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Cape Town - beaches, wine lands and whale watching

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Although not officially regarded as the most southern tip of Africa, the enchanting city of Cape Town sits on the edge of the African continent and leaves a firm imprint in the hearts of those that venture to its southerly shores. Fondly referred to as ‘the mother city’, it encapsulates the essence of South Africa’s rainbow nation, offering a spectrum of experiences for every type of traveller.

The city is a true melting pot of scenery and culture, brimming with attractions that are so beautiful and unique! There is the chance to visit the Castle of Good Hope, Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island and the Gold museum for those interested in history.

One can find a colourful range of contemporary designer pop-up shops, gourmet markets and a buzzing craft beer culture for the young and hip. Families can enjoy a run around and high tea at the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, a trip to the two oceans aquarium or a visit to Boulders beach to see the African jackass penguin colonies.

Nature lovers should not miss a day trip to the Cape Point nature reserve where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean, as well as a hike to the top of Table Mountain and Lions head for the most unimaginable views!

The multitude of hotels and award winning restaurants add to the cities charm, surely no other place can claim to have something for everyone like Cape Town can!

Three of the biggest pulls for visiting the Cape which cannot be overlooked are its expansive wine country, variety of spectacular beaches and its astonishing marine life.

To rub fins with the locals for a spot of surfing, head to Noordhoek, Muizenburg and Llandudno, or simply park off under an umbrella for a trendy tanning sesh at the four glamorous beaches of Clifton. For a more private experience away from the crowds, explore the sheltered coves of Bakoven, Boulders and Bali bay.

Or head up the west coast to the seaside village of Paternoster, a photography hotspot with its white washed cottages, colourful wooden boats and wrinkled fishermen. This is the place to enjoy a delicious mussel pot or some salted snoek and sweet potato, a local speciality that one must delight in!

For wine connoisseurs and gourmet gurus, the Cape wine lands towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek provide insight into yet another facet of the country’s history where architecture and wine production methods left behind from the Cape Dutch and French Huguenot settlers can be distinctly noted.

Amongst these verdant vineyards lie some of the top wine producers and award winning labels where tastings are offered and the region is also wonderful for a day or two spent enjoying gourmet picnics, cheese and chocolate tastings, local farmers markets, vintage car museums and quirky art galleries.

For the adventurous, why not hike or take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and explore the hidden dams and valleys that most visitors don’t discover before hiking down to the heart of the Constantia wine lands for afternoon tea and wine tasting?

Don’t miss out on the scents and scenery of the Cape floral kingdom and the Overberg coast where a handful of luxury eco retreats can be found. It is possible to catch a very close glimpse of the incredible Southern Right whales and Humpback whales that grace these waters to calve, nurse their young and migrate between July and November.

And finally for a wonderful authentic culinary experience, head to the colourful streets of the Bo-Kaap district for a cookery lesson and experience the wonderful culture and flavours of the Cape Malay people.

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