The Very Best of Cape Town in a Week

A week in Cape Town as any visitor to the city is never enough and it opens the doors to a return visit for so many tourists. What could an Itinerary in Cape Town for a week look like? Here is just a teaser.

Hopefully you will fly into Cape Town on a clear day and the first thing that will greet you will be Table Mountain. Many airlines and their pilots often get permission to fly around the mountain and give their passengers a view they will never forget, if you are on one of these flights then your week Cape Town is off to a fine start.

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Cape Town Day Tours

Whether you have come to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities with its 7th natural wonder of the world set majestically in the heart of all its splendor, for a day or a month, day tours are extremely appealing. They appeal not only to tourists who have a large bucket list to complete, but also to the average Joe who is a born and bred Capetonian and who wants something to do with the family that is not only cost effective, which day tours usually are, but will offer an exciting excursion as well as an array of wonderful sites to see in a single day. Below is a comprehensive list of companies that offer day tours as part of their packages and whose pricing is definitely not steep, and the best value for money as well as excellence.

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5 ways to supersize your Easter Egg Hunt

From boozy bunnies to giant eggs, we’ve searched high and low to bring you the best Easter egg-scursions and activities (for little and ‘big’ kids) – stick out ‘dem whiskers…

1. Brandy for the big bunnies

Love Easter egg hunts but you’re all grown up? We have just the thing: follow Van Ryn Distillery’s GPS clues along their adults-only treasure hunt to find a very special reward…a bottle of award-winning 10 year old brandy! Get in on the hunt via Van Ryn’s Facebook page

2. The biggest egg in the village

Get sight (and a taste) of the biggest egg around town: head to La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek and see their enormous Easter egg centrepiece. Then send the ankle-biters off to hunt while you try the estate’s “tapas from around the world”. It’s a win-win, really. Details here.

3. Rabbits out the hat

Easter just got weird, in the best way. Let the kids do a guided egg hunt through a circus while you watch a former world champion trapeze artist do the twist at the South African National Circus School. This one’s for a good cause too – 5% of profits go to the Theo Truter Autistic-ally Auwsome fund. Tickets are R70 for children and R110 for adults. Book via Computicket.

4. Easter goes XXL at Spier

Foodies will be eggstatic about this one: choose one of three Easter-themed dining experiences at Spier Wine Farm over the long weekend, or go XXL and do them all! On Good Friday there’s a dinner with a varied menu of treats, including traditional pickled fish; on Saturday a massive braai, or the market where kids can join the egg hunt in the gardens while you try a workshop in ice-cream making; and on Sunday a wine-cellar family lunch with a mouth-watering Easter dessert menu. Visit Spier’s website for details.

5. Do the boozy bunny hop

Last but not least, just a little All About Cape Town idea… Give your friends clues towards the next bar you’re going to. Each person who DIDN’T guess the place has to do a shot of Nachtmuzik (or any other chocolate flavoured shot) when they eventually get there. But remember: no one likes a boozy bunny on the road. Designate a sober driver or hop home in an Uber. First-time Uber users can use the promo code ALLABOUTCT to get R150 off their first ride. Happy hunting!

Spier Werf Market – go on, try this new food market in the Cape winelands

Many visitors to Cape Town have heard of the city’s fabulous food markets, but Dax Villanueva, the man behind popular Cape Town food, wine, lifestyle and travel blog Relax-with-Dax, goes further afield and finds a firm new favourite.

Few people know about Spier Werf Market, the Saturday food market at Spier Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch. That’s because it’s still fairly new.

The market takes place in the restored werf (“yard” in Afrikaans) area of the estate and has everything from organic vegetables to pasture-reared eggs. Of course there’s also plenty to snack on while you’re there, including local cheeses and freshly-baked breads and pastries.

The Spier Werf Market takes place from 09h00 to 14h00 and offers a wide range of delicious food offerings: expect traditional South African dishes, artisan spirits from Hope on Hopkins distillery, pulled pork from the on-site Hog House Barbecue and delicious tacos from Taco Combi.

#CTLucky7: Fairy tale adventures for real life

Go full werewolf and howl at the moon, make like a troll and explore the city by underground tunnels and explore shipwrecks “under da sea” with these seven fairy tale adventures in Cape Town.

1. Explore an underwater wonder-world

Make like the Little Mermaid and dive through an underwater world of shipwrecks. With a whopping 500 plus wrecks off the Cape Peninsula, there’s lots to feel your way through “under da sea”. Read more here

2. Go full werewolf!

Howl at the full moon from a mountaintop as you join our town’s villagers in their monthly pilgrimage up Lion’s Head. Or get off the beaten track and take another of Cape Town’s ethereal moonlit walks. Read more here

3. Listen to ancient tales 

Thousands of years of history live in the veld at !Khwa ttu, where a San guide will share his stories of spirits and adventure and, if you ask nicely, show you how to use a bow and arrow.

4. Do a Cinderella

Travel up Cape Town designer Stefania Morland’s magic staircase to a world of luxurious silks, beaded dresses and gold-stitched gowns. Then transform yourself into a princess for a night, or longer… Read more here

5. Transport yourself to a different realm

Get lost in the rhythms, harmonies and plays of light as electro beats at Cape Town’s top dance clubs transport you into another realm. Read more here

6. Make like a troll

Make like a troll and explore Cape Town’s hidden underground tunnels. This expert guide will take you through dark, cobbled canals that opened to the streets in the early 1700s. Read more here

7. Learn a magical art

Learn the magical art of meditation and create your own paradise of calm, power and beauty at the Tibetan Buddhist meditation centre in Cape Town. Read more here

#CTLucky7: Seven ways to carbo-load for the Cape Town Cycle Tour

With the Cape Town Cycle tour just around the corner, we’ve got the best selection of places to tuck into dishes that will leave you (and your non-racing friends) drooling.

1. Get fresh – go bakery hunting!

From cult-status bacon croissants to breads made with ancient grains, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into at these top bakeries. Read more

2. Explore the noodles of the East

Before you explore the roads of the Cape, why not dig into a carby broth? It’s pork, citrus, soy and beer flavours for the win at what’s been called Africa’s top spot for ramen. Read more

3. Do carbs the Cape Town way – try a Gatsby!

Filled with slap chips, salads and meat, this legendary local dish doesn’t hold back on filling you up. Read more

4. Hit the trail and catch a market

Chow your way through the Tokai forest market on Saturday, after a fun warm-up ride along the nearby pine-covered, dappled paths. Read more

5. Taste Italian tradition.

Chef Giulio Loreggian brings memories of his mama’s kitchen to life in his famous Pollo Pesto Linguine at this fresh, modern spot in Cape Town’s bustling city centre. Read more

6. Taste (and cycle) your way through the Cape Winelands.

Called the gourmet capital of South Africa, Franschhoek holds a heritage of cuisine and some of the best off-road biking trails. Get your carb on at La Motte, one of the top estate restaurants in the valley. Read more

7. Get your coffee fix

Need a caffeine boost while browsing cycling gear or giving your beloved bike some TLC? Try one of these cycling-based coffee spots: &Bikes Cafe and Bicycle Boutique in Loop Street, The Handle Bar on Hans Strijdom Avenue, Breakaway Café on Waterkant Street or Starling and Hero Bicycle Café at The Woodstock Exchange.

‘You can hear sometimes in my music that I’m broken’

Most afternoons, you’ll find Shiraz “Busta” Ahrendse – “like Busta Rhymes, ’cos I can rap also” – playing his trumpet to passersby on Thibault Square – just across from the Vida e Caffe on St George’s Mall. Some people stop. Maybe throw a coin at his feet. But most just walk on by…

“My name is Shiraz. I’m a Muslim. My friends call me P. Just the letter. We went on this camp. I peed into a bottle. Later, two of the guys were very thirsty. They were looking for leftover cooldrink. They drank from it. I didn’t tell them. I laughed at them. Now they call me P, some of the time.

It’s mostly change I get, this bronze money. And two rands. But ja, God is good. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I get a note like this. Then I just put it in my pocket. When I have proper money, they – the guys from the train station – run past and grab it. But I know, I understand. Ja, I don’t get angry. We have the same struggles.

I have a four-year-son. I stay with an auntie and I have to pay R20 a night. My little brother stays there too – he’s still young, man. I’ve got to look out for him as well.

Ten months ago my mom was shot in the head. Those gangs in Mannenberg – you know, when innocent people get in the crossfire. It’s in the paper, The Voice. Ja, you can read it there. Sharina Arhendse. The three boys, the sons they write about? That’s us. Then you can know I’m not lying.

You can hear sometimes in my music that I’m broken. You know, the sad songs.

10 fun facts about Cape Town’s top horserace: the J&B Met

Can’t wait for the J&B Met? We’ve collected a few fascinating facts about the oldest horse race in the country (you see — fun fact right there) to get you pumped for the big day. These totally random facts might just be the conversation starter you’re looking for…

1. The oldest horse race in the country, the Metropolitan Mile, was originally run on the Green Point Common. The jockeys were English soldiers attached to the Cape Garrison.

2. Only one horse has won the J&B Met three years in a row. Pocket Power, trained by Mike Bass, won the J&B Met in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to that, the record was held by Politician, a horse trained by Syd Laird that won the J&B Met in 1978 and 1979.

3. Kenilworth Racecourse, where the J&B Met is run, is unique in that it has three racetracks that all finish in front of the grandstands with one pull-up area. The racecourse is also situated on a 52-hectare nature reserve that is home to the most preserved section of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the world and hundreds of fauna species, including 20 on the endangered list.

4. The event has been postponed twice — once in 1986 due to equine flu, and once in 2004 as a result of African Horse Sickness.

5. J&B has been sponsoring the J&B Met since 1977. At first glance, 39 years may not seem like all that much, but this is actually the longest running sports sponsorship in the world!

6. The J&B Met packs quite an economic punch. Wesgro, the official destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency for the Western Cape, estimated that the economic impact of the 2013 J&B Met for the City of Cape Town and the region was a whopping R68 million.

7. Over 300 different stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban get involved in promotional displays for the J&B Met. The event gives the South African fashion industry a big boost in what is traditionally one of its quietest months. Many South African designers dedicate entire ranges to the J&B Met.

8. Every Met Day each of the grooms at the Kenilworth Racecourse is given a special J&B Met overall, which is worn with pride for the rest of the year.

9. The numbers are superlative: the J&B Met attracts up to 50 000 guests, who arrive in approximately 20 000 vehicles. The J&B Met Hospitality Village provides over 2 500 guests with lunch and dinner.

10. In 2002, the gates were closed halfway through the afternoon and ‘house full’ signs were put up because no more people could safely be admitted to the venue.

10 easy steps to use Uber

Heard all about Uber, the quick and inexpensive transportation network that criss-crosses Cape Town, but not sure how to use it? No problem, we walk you through it.

1. Visit www.uber.com and sign up for an account or download the Uber app on your smartphone.

2. Fill out Uber’s member form with your name, mobile number, email address and billing information (credit card or VCPay).

3 .Read the terms and conditions (wink wink) and know what you’re getting yourself into. No really, read it.

4. Once you click the “Sign Up” button, you’ll be sent an email to confirm your information and activate the account.

Whew. You’ve done the hardest part — it’s all smooth sailing from here. To request a ride, first select the type of ride you’d like:

– UberX: an everyday car (the cheapest option) for up to four people

– UberBLACK: Uber’s original service delivers a high-end sedan for up to four

– UberXL vehicles for larger groups up to 6 people.

5 .Next, enter your pickup address (or use a pin to mark the spot) and hit the “Set Pickup Location” button. Confirm your payment details are correct and watch your designated driver approach via GPS. A fare estimator tells you how much you can expect to pay.

6 .Be ready and waiting for your driver as he or she arrives — there’ll be a number you can call if you need to give them any special instructions. Moving to another spot creates confusion. If there are no Uber drivers available, try again in a couple of minutes.

7. If you need to cancel your reservation, do it quickly — your card will be charged if you wait more than five minutes.

8. Hop in and head to your destination.

9. While the Uber sign-up process is fairly seamless, we recommend doing it before you head out for a night on the town so you’re not trying to input billing info when it’s 02h00 and you’re balancing your phone and a drink in your hands.

10. Be sure to rate your driver with five stars if you’re happy with the service. Remember: a four-star rating or less will damage your driver’s reputation and he or she may not be allowed to drive for Uber again in future.

Find out more about how Uber works here

10 incredible dive spots in South Africa: beginner to pro

Forget about lazing on the beach; rather strap on your scuba diving tank to see what South Africa’s gorgeous coastline offers beneath the waves.

Need a place to start? Try Aliwal Shoal off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Regularly rated as one of the top 10 dive sites on the planet, this remarkable spot has something for everyone, from The Pinnacles (at just 15 metres) for the novice to the wreck of The Nebo in a more challenging 30 metres of water.

Speaking of challenging: Protea Banks is one for advanced divers looking for excitement. Plunging down to 40 metres, this site is famous for its sharks: expect to find Zambezi, Tiger, Hammerhead, Dusky, Ragged Tooth and Black Tip sharks hunting on the Banks. If you’re lucky you may spot manta rays and whales cruising past. It’s a deep dive with a strong current, so it’s for experienced adventure divers only.

Sodwana Bay is more forgiving, and home to the southernmost coral reefs in the world. The pristine coral teems with a huge variety of marine life and, if you’re lucky, you could spot turtles, dolphins or even a whale shark.

Sharks of a different sort are the drawcard at Gansbaai, just two hours’ drive from Cape Town. Billed as the Great White Shark capital of the world, the 60 000 seals resident on Dyer Island and Geyser Rock just offshore from Gansbaai draw in these impressive Apex Predators. There are a number of cage-dive operators in Gansbaai, but White Shark Projects is one of the best. In False Bay, closer to Cape Town, Apex Predators offers responsible cage-diving excursions.

If you’re feeling brave, you can leave the cage behind and roll into the warm(ish) False Bay waters in just a wetsuit. Experienced divers should hop on a charter boat and head for the wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay. The five ships scuttled here were sunk in the 1970s to form an artificial reef, and are today covered with marine life.

Not far from “Smits”, A-Frame and Windmill beach are great options for novice divers. Easy shore entries and shallow waters allow you to relax and search for the resident dogfish and pyjama sharks. Close by, the dives with seven-gill cow sharks are also memorable.

If you’re feeling brave Whittle Rock in the middle of False Bay is an outstanding site, but is also popular with great white sharks so a quick descent is essential!

In the summer months you’ll want to dive on the icy Atlantic side of Cape Town, where the prevailing south-easterly wind ensures crystal-clear waters. Add a dash of glamour to a day of diving by suiting up at Justin’s Caves, an underwater playground of jumbled granite. The 12 Apostles Hotel across the road is perfect for an after-dive drink.