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Trending travel – a peek inside Cape Town’s hotspots

The South African tourism industry is constantly shifting and evolving, with people looking for a different kind of travel experience.

Whether travelling for business, leisure, or a bit of both (coined as “bleisure” tourism), people want to experience as much as possible within a limited time frame. South Africa has a plethora of vibrant attractions to offer the curious traveller, and Cape Town is at the heart of it all!

Sarah Rootman, owner of Cape Voyage, shared her thoughts on recent travel trends in Cape Town.

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With summer approaching, what are you most looking forward to?

Touring Cape Town and basking in the sun! Scenic drives, beach picnics, and walks along the promenade are some of my favourites.

What are 3 must-do activities in Cape Town that you recommend?

A scenic drive along the Atlantic seaboard to Cape Point, with a mandatory stop to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. And, of course, a visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a visit to the winelands.

Cape Town is best-known for its incredible wine farms. What are some of your favourite farms, and what makes them stand out?

There are so many, but we love Waterford Wine Estate. Some delightful wine farms listed on our tours (and website) include Delaire Graff, Haute Cabriere, Steenberg, Constantia Glen, De Grendel and Warwick.

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In your opinion, what makes for a great wine tasting experience?

Beautiful views, a good sommelier and great service are a must.

Travelstart recently featured a blog on 5 Undiscovered Wine Farms In and Around Cape Town. Which winery would you include in your tour?

They all sound great, but we will definitely visit Whalehaven Winery when we plan our tours to Hermanus to see the whales in a month or two.

What trends have you noticed in your company in the last year about travel and tourism in South Africa?

We are seeing more and more international travellers, and so many are returning for their annual summer holiday. With so much to offer – beaches, hiking, world-class restaurants and warm weather – Cape Town is certainly becoming the place to visit.

In your experience, how are local tourists different from foreign tourists?

I think locals take so much for granted. Foreign visitors show their appreciation for what they see and experience, and there’s a certain excitement to see and explore as much as possible.

Cape Voyage has been around for 7 years. How would you define your company’s success?

It may be a cliché, but good service. We are quick to respond to all enquiries and are available 24/7. We understand that with travel, things can change at the last minute, so we have to be flexible and able to accommodate last-minute changes. Our drivers and tour guides are very reliable and will always go the extra mile to ensure our guests have a memorable time.

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If Travelstart approached Cape Voyage to do a team-building event, what would you recommend?

We work with a company that specializes in team events, so we would be able to provide the transport, (luxury sedans, minivans or coaches depending on the numbers) and ensure you have a safe, comfortable trip.

Gear up for summer in Cape Town, where its beckoning coastlines, shimmering beaches and natural wildlife will take your breath away. Get ready to wine and dine your way through some of the Cape’s most spectacular wine farms, set against picturesque landscapes. Whether you’re a local or first-time visitor, you’re in for a treat with Cape Voyage’s fantastic tours and tailor-made packages!

Interview as told to Travelstart

Three must-visit restaurants in Cape Town

In the mood for a delicious night out – but, not sure where to start? We’ve put together a list of three must-visit restaurants in Cape Town.

Whether you call the city home or are only here for a short-time, we guarantee you will discover a new favourite. From classic French brasserie to sushi and steak – all you need to do is make the reservation.

The Stack

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Featuring one of the most beautiful bars in the city, with its plush emerald greens and vibrant purples, The Stack is as much a bar and restaurant as it is a marvel of design. The latest project of hotelier Nigel Pace, and interior designer, Sarah Ord, The Stack is a private members’ club and French-inspired brasserie. Perfect for a special night out, start your evening with one of their signature cocktails – think Burnt Orange Old Fashioned – before indulging in brasserie classics, such as confit duck, beef tartare or a classic creme brûlée. With a beautiful outdoor deck for warmer days, and cosy fireplace for Cape winters, if you’re out to impress a special date, look no further than The Stack.

Visitor suggestionAs it’s situated just off Kloof Road, it’s worth planning lunch here after a trip up the Cable Car – what better way to relive the views from the top of the city, than with a bespoke cocktail in hand?

Willoughby & Co

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Consistently claimed to be the “best sushi in Cape Town” by locals, it’s the one spot in the city where you don’t mind queueing.  With no social media presence or website, Willoughby’s relies on word-of-mouth for recommendations, and – the they just keep coming. With an almost-endless variety of sushi to choose from, including classic California Rolls to more adventurous tempura and combo options, it’s simply heaven for any sushi lover. The perfect spot to refuel after a morning of shopping and site-seeing around the V & A Waterfront, add a glass of wine or sake and make it a long lunch before heading to the harbour to watch the sun set.

Local hint: Ask your water for the “off menu” platter called The Bomb. You won’t regret it.

Hussar Grill Steenberg Village

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We’ll confidently go out on a limb and state that these are the best steaks in Cape Town. Reminiscent of an English gentleman’s club, complete with library corner and leather upholstery – you’ll be forgiven for wanting to indulge in a cigar and glass of cognac after dinner. Situated in Tokai, opposite the well-known Steenberg Wine Estate and close to the Constantia Wine Route, The Hussar Grill also offers respite to those with the munchies, after a few wine tastings-too-many. With garlic snails, fillet Béarnaise, Chateaubriand and more to choose from, it’s a well-priced, extensive menu that will make you an instant regular.

Inside tip: Don’t leave without trying the chocolate vodka.

3 Great day trips from Cape Town

If winter’s already giving you cabin fever, or you want a quick break without breaking the bank – you’ll soon realise that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to easy day trips around the Cape.

Here are three of our top day trips, all under two hours from the Mother City – ensuring you’ll be back in time for dinner.

Explore the South Peninsula

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Only 40 minutes from the centre of town, there’s so much to explore “down south”, from Muizenberg all the way through to Cape Point. Whether it’s time spent exploring quirky and colourful Kalk Bay, before heading on to historic Simons Town with its famous penguins at Boulders Beach, you can easily spend an entire day in the area. If you have time to spare, we suggest heading out to Cape Point – the most southerly point in Africa – and taking in the incredible views, before enjoying a late lunch at their restaurant. Keen for a more DIY option? Pack a picnic and enjoy it on one of the private beaches within the nature reserve. You’ll return home feeling like you’ve had a true holiday away!

Darling and the West Coast

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Particularly popular during wild flower season, from August to October, the West Coast is barely an hour from the CBD. With lagoons and beaches reminiscent of the Mediterranean, set against endless carpets of vibrant flowers, it’s easy to make a day of the area. If you want to experience some local culture while you’re there, then we suggest looking into the San Bushman Cycle Tour, which allows you to explore the history of the !Khwa ttu people, who have been in the area for over 2,000 years. We also recommend stopping in at Evita Se Perron – the home of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout – and Darling Brew, a local microbrewery offering tastings and delicious platters.

A day in Hermanus

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One of the most famous whale-watching towns in the world, Hermanus is under two hours from the city, making it a popular day-trip destination. A bustling town, set against the rocks and cliffs of the coast, it has small-town charm – but comes alive during whale-watching season – from October onwards. With the Hemel-en-Aarde wine route just outside town, and plenty of kayaking and water-sports options, the family-friendly town offers something for everyone. A must-visit if you’re in Cape Town for more than a few days.

Experience the best of Cape Town – and beyond – with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information on how we can help craft your perfect experience.

 

Best spots for Afternoon Tea in Cape Town

Is there anything more elegant or refined than the thought of Afternoon Tea?

Whether it brings to mind fine china cups, endless cucumber sandwiches or an avalanche of petits fours, we look at the best places to enjoy Afternoon Tea in Cape Town.

Belmond Mount Nelson

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Afternoon Tea is taken very seriously at the Mount Nelson Hotel. With three sittings available – Morning, Afternoon and Evening – you are assured of a delectable dining experience, no matter what time you choose to visit. The morning version is lighter than the afternoon and evening classics, but all include sweet and savoury options, as well as a selection of tea and coffee.

More information here.

Vineyard Hotel

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A delightful option for those in the Southern Suburbs, the Vineyard Hotel serves their Afternoon Tea in the Garden Lounge, overlooking their expansive grounds. Served on a tiered tray, the sweet and savoury options include sandwiches, scones, mini cheesecakes and more. At only R165pp, this is also one of the more inexpensive Afternoon Tea options in the city.

More information here.

Cape Grace Hotel

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Situated on the water’s edge in the V & A Waterfront, the Cape Grace is the picture of elegance. Offering a number of options for Afternoon Tea – including a Cream Tea and MCC Tea – daily, from 12h00 to 18h00, there’s sure to be an option for everyone’s taste. Ranging from R75 to R420pp, there is also an option of enjoying a single slice of cake for the not-so-hungry.

More information here.

One & Only Hotel

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One of the more recent additions to the Cape Town Afternoon Tea scene, the One & Only presents their offering in the Vista Lounge. Taking place during the afternoon during the weekend, and mornings and afternoons on the weekend, you can expect a full buffet with sweet and savoury options – with a little local influence.

More information here.

Table Bay Hotel

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Offering what is said to be the “best afternoon tea in Cape Town”, The Table Bay Hotel has an extensive spread, including their famous rainbow cheesecake. Served over three courses, there is also a “sweet only” option, for those who’d rather leave the sandwiches and indulge in extra cake!

More information here.

Discovering delicious Constantia

Known for its historic wine estates and excellent wine, the restaurants of Constantia can often be overlooked. Ranging from bistro casual to fine dining, here are five of our favourites in the valley.

Foxcroft

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A joint venture between two of La Colombe’s chefs, Foxcroft opened towards the end of last year, and has been serving authentic French pastries and tapas-style dishes to happy diners ever since. With two distinct sections – a cafe and take-away bakery, and sit-down restaurant, it is proving popular with those who just want to pop in to grab a loaf of artisan bread and a few pastries on their way home. Sit-down diners can expect a combination of crowd favourites and more inventive dishes – with enough options to please most palates.

Open Door at Constantia Uitsig

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What used to be the River Cafe, has received a beautiful, trendy revamp by the owners of Bocca and Burrata – and, remains a popular spot especially for breakfasts and lunch – the bone marrow Eggs Benedict is a particular favourite. Particularly popular on weekend mornings, thanks to the bike park on the premises, it’s a fantastic spot for a leisurely Saturday brunch when accompanied by the estates MCC. Keep an eye out for dinner specials, especially as we head towards off-season.

Simon’s at Groot Constantia

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Hidden towards the back of the estate, Simon’s is a cavernous restaurant, that still manages to feel cosy, with the addition of roaring fireplaces – a welcome site for any visitor to Cape Town, as we head into rainy season. A wholesome, generous menu is accompanied by a good selection of local wines – you’re sure not to leave hungry. With a neighbouring deli, allowing you to take a few pantry staples home with you, it’s a fantastic, unpretentious choice for a satisfying meal.

La Belle at The Alphen Hotel

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The more informal of the two restaurants on the Alphen’s property, La Belle is mainly al fresco, so bookmark it for a day with a cloud-free sky. A bistro-inspired menu, you can expect delicious burgers, gnocchi and line fish. Stepping inside, you’re greeted by a glass counter filled with an assortment of delicious pastries – from macarons to mini tarts – that can either be enjoyed as dessert, or taken home.

La Colombe at Silvermist

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Nestled at the top of Constantia Nek, neither Constantia nor Hout Bay are ready to relinquish their claim on this fine dining gem – and, we simply couldn’t leave it off our list. Voted the second best restaurant in the country, you can expect fine dining at its most exquisite. Based around a selection of tasting menus, we suggest going all the way and doing the wine-pairing too – and , trust us to get you home safely afterwards!

Experience the best of Cape Town – and beyond – with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information on how we can help craft your perfect experience.

Top 5 things include in a trip to Cape Town

Planning a trip to Cape Town can be overwhelming – no matter if you’re a local traveller, or visiting from further abroad. With so many attractions and things to see, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve put together our 5 top things to include in a trip to Cape Town for you.

Table Mountain

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Whether you choose to explore Cape Town’s icon by cable car or by foot – you can’t visit the city and not visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Set aside some time to spend at the top, taking in the views from every angle and enjoying a bite to eat at the restaurant. The hike can be challenging, if you are contemplating tackling it by foot – so remember to take the necessary precautions and prepare accordingly.

A helicopter trip

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No matter if you’re a Cape Town local or international visitor, seeing the city from the sky is guaranteed to wow you. With flights as short as 15 minutes, all the way up to one hour, it’s easy to fit one in to your schedule, even if you’re pressed for time. Most flights depart from the V & A Waterfront, making it a central option for most visitors. Be sure to book in advance, especially in peak season (November – March).

Cape Peninsula Tour to Cape Point

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The Southern-most tip of Africa, the iconic Cape Point Nature Reserve allows you to do everything from taking scenic hikes, to getting up close and personal with African Penguins at Boulders Beach. A beautiful drive from the city, it’s worth booking out at least half a day in your diary to make the most of this area.  Note that entrance fees for the nature reserve do apply.

A visit to the winelands

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Showcasing more than simply spectacular Cape wine, the three main wine regions around the Cape – Constantia, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are also filled with heritage monuments and rich history of the area. If you’re short on time, Constantia is barely 30 minutes from the city centre – with Franschhoek and Stellenbosch more suited if you have half a day or more to spend. No matter where you choose to go, we guarantee you’ll find a new favourite wine!

A sunset cruise

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The perfect pre-dinner treat, sunset cruises usually leave from the V & A Waterfront. Including a glass of bubbly, watch the sun go down on the Mother City while taking in the views from the water. Perfectly situated to take advantage of the many fine restaurants at the Waterfront, you won’t find a more magical way to send a day in the Cape.

Experience the best of Cape Town – and beyond – with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information on how we can help craft your perfect experience.

The best spots to celebrate in Cape Town

While visiting Cape Town is, in itself, a special experience – there are a few spots that are simply magical. Whether you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary, pop the question or have a special birthday coming up – these are our top picks for spots to celebrate in Cape Town.

Tintswalo Atlantic

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Situated just below Chapmans Peak, within the Table Mountain National Park, Tintswalo Atlantic is unrivalled in terms of location. With the ocean barely meters away, this boutique 5* hotel is as special as it gets. If you aren’t looking to spend the night, sundowners and dinner will allow you to experience the magical sunset, and, if you’re lucky, an al fresco dinner with the lights of Hout Bay shimmering across the bay.

Planet Bar at The Mount Nelson

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The Nellie is more than simply a pink facade, boasting two restaurants, a spa and retail outlets on its grounds. However, often overlooked, is its gorgeous Planet Bar. Sophisticated and elegant, it offers privacy away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD – and, a fantastic selection of classic cocktails for all palates. Whether it’s pre-dinner drinks or an entire evening of celebration, Planet Bar will add more than a touch of class to your night.

12 Apostles Hotel

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Situated outside Camps Bay, the 12 Apostles is perfect for those wanting a seaside escape away from the crowds. With their Leopard Bar and restaurant both offering fantastic sea views, you’ll be forgiven for turning your drinks into a night in one of their luxury rooms. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for their winter movie specials, which include dinner and a classic movie in their intimate on-site cinema.

La Colombe

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Voted the second best restaurant in the country for two years running, La Colombe offers refined dining at its most elegant. Situated at the top of Constantia Nek, expect gorgeous views across the valley, impeccable service and food that will leave you thinking about it for weeks afterwards. As it is popular, booking is essential – it’s worth including a visit on your itinerary before you hop on the plane. Even if you don’t have a special occasion, as soon as you step into the restaurant, we guarantee you’ll be in the mood for some bubbly.

Experience the best of Cape Town – and beyond – with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information on how we can help craft your perfect experience.

Boulders Beach – Penguin’s Paradise

Boulders Beach is all about the Penguins! With it’s pristine beach, clear water and plenty of penguins, it’s not surprising that more than 60 000 visitors flock to Boulders Beach every year

Boulders Beach, with its wind sheltered bays and safe sandy shores, is home to a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins. Only 50 minutes from Cape Town, a trip to Boulders Beach is well worth a visit.

Book a tour, enjoy the scenic journey and enjoy a few hours amongst these little guys. It’s great fun to watch the tuxedo clad penguins go about their daily routines of sunning themselves, guarding their nests or waddling across the beach.

 

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At Boulders Beach, the penguins have adapted quite well to camera-wielding humans.

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They walk and nest undisturbed just a few feet away from the thousands of visitors that visit every year. But, as cute as they look they can be quite feisty, so don’t try to feed them!

If you’re travelling with kids, be prepared to stay a while: the water is safe for swimming, there are rock pools to explore and granite boulders to climb on – it really is the perfect spot for a family beach picnic.

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Experience the best of Cape Town with Cape Voyage. Contact us for more information!

We love this video clip! (Credit David Jacobs)  What a cute little guy – sometimes you just need to trust your ability!

More than 25 million people have visited Table Mountain!

If you’re visiting Cape Town, a trip to Table Mountain is a must.

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The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has been providing visitors with a world-class experience since October 4, 1929.

The cableway has been upgraded three times – in 1958, 1974 and, more recently, in 1997, when the cars with revolving floors, called Rotairs, were introduced.

Cable cars similar to the ones used at Table Mountain are in use at Titlis in Switzerland and Palm Springs in the United States. The cable cars take visitors up 704m, from the Lower Cable Station at 363m above sea level to the Upper Cable Station at 1 067m above sea level.

Table Mountain Cable Way

Table Mountain Cable Way shared these fun facts:

FUN FACTS

  • The Cableway has transported over 25-million people to the summit of Table Mountain
  • Each of the two cable cars can carry 65 people
  • More than 800 people can enjoy the trip every hour
  • The floor of the circular cabin rotates to allow travellers 360° views
  • The cable cars’ circular shape ensures excellent aerodynamics and stability
  • Approximately 909 000 visitors from all over the world use the Cableway annually
  • Tickets can be bought online from anywhere in the world.
  • The cable cars travel at a maximum speed of 10m per second
  • The cable cars take four to five minutes to reach the top of the mountain
  • Each of the Cableway’s cables is 1 200m in length
  • The cables weigh 18 tons and are attached to counter-weights weighing 134 tons each
  • The cable car base is a water tank with a 4 000l capacity. This provides fresh water for visitors, and is used as ballast in windy conditions
  • The cable cars can carry up to 5 200kg each

If you’re only in Cape Town for a short stay don’t leave Table Mountain to the end of your trip! If the sun is shining and there’s no wind, book your tickets and take advantage of the perfect day.

Send an email to book@capevoyage.co.za and we’ll purchase your Table Mountain tickets and book your transfer. Should you want a guide to accompany you we will ensure a registered tour guide collects you from your hotel or guesthouse.

Why not take advantage of the Sunset Special. Tickets are half price from 18h00 until the end of February. Adults pay half price at R120 per ticket
Children pay half price at R57.50 per ticket.

Sunset on Table Mountain

Sunset on Table Mountain – Photo courtesy table mountain.net

 

 

 

A new conference centre has opened in Cape Town!

A new  high-tech conference centre is now open in Century City, Cape Town. With the capacity to accommodate 1900 guests across 20 different venues, the Century City Conference Centre provides the ideal location for a wide variety of events, from corporate conferences and product launches, to expos, cocktail parties and weddings.

 

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Cape Town Tourism is on a massive drive to market the Western Cape as a global destination for Business travel and as a result there has been a great demand for a conference facility with a capacity for up to 1200 delegates (in one venue).

The Century City Conference Centre is intended to compliment the Cape Town International Conference Centre and position the city as the prime conference city in Africa.

A further advantage is that the adjacent Hotel now increases the number of rooms in the area to six hundred in total, all within walking distance from each other.

This mixed-use development was designed with both hospitality and operations in mind, exposing Century City to a global audience and providing local businesses the advantages of the spillover effect.

The Square, which surrounds the Conference Centre and Hotel, is a calculated feature set to become the central meeting place for both residents and the people working in the precinct.

With a variety of restaurants, bistro’s and wine bars to choose from, this open-air setting serves as a great location for live concerts, markets and social gatherings.

Read more: The Next 48hOURS caught up with Gary Koetser and Glyn Taylor, Joint CEO’s of Cape Town’s newest conferencing destination, the Century City Conference Centre (CCCC).

To book your transport for your next conference contact info@capevoyage.co.za