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There’s something magical about summer sunsets: the vibrant colours, the warm glow, and that unshakeable sense that – for a moment – all is right with the world. They ought to be celebrated properly, and these Cape Town spots make it easy to do just that!

The Vue Sky Bar Lounge

This rooftop bar in De Waterkant has a magnificent view of the city, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and Table Mountain. Here you can enjoy a sundowner as the sky turns from blue to pink and the city lights start to twinkle. They have an extensive drinks menu to choose from as well as a wide selection of food for when hunger strikes. The open-plan layout is also perfect for an impromptu photo shoot with a view if you’d like to make everyone in the world jealous of your fine location.

Website: the-vue.com

14 Stories Rooftop Bar

Cape Town is lucky enough to welcome a hot new rooftop bar right to the centre of town with the 14 Stories Rooftop Bar at the new Tsogo Sun SunSquare in the CBD. Open daily from 4-11 pm, it’s a great place to wait out traffic, sip on a sundowner, and get the party started as you fall in love with Cape Town all over again.

Website: tsogosun.com

The Bungalow

Situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, The Bungalow does a good job of living up to its name. We’re not talking about an itty bitty cottage here; we’re talking relaxed summer home of a ridiculously wealthy friend. The blue-and-white theme and stained timber give it a fresh nautical feel, but the chandeliers, white table linen,  and gilded mirrors are by no means out of place.

Think sushi, crayfish, or oysters served with sweet melon, chilli, and vodka salsa, paired with a chilled glass of chardonnay or a flute of your favourite champagne. If that wealthy friend is buying, there’s a bottle of Armand de Brignac Brut Rose on the menu, but otherwise, we’d recommend the watermelon mojito.

Website: thebungalow.co.za

Harringtons Cocktail Lounge

If you’re more concerned with epic drinks than a stellar view, then Harringtons Cocktail Lounge in the city centre might be right up your alley. This cocktail lounge, boutique bar, and eatery still has a pretty good view of the city and the DJ or live act will give you plenty of reason to linger. It’s perfect for after work drinks and then some.

Website: thefirmct.co.za

The Leopard Bar

If it’s romance you’re after, The Leopard Bar at the Twelve Apostles Hotel offers up the kind of sunsets that’ll make anyone go gooey on the inside. With the Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles mountain range behind you and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out in front of you, you’ll feel like you belong on the set of an epic movie. If you don’t fancy any of the cocktails on the menu – the Vanilla Chocatini looks delish – the bartenders can whip up something from your favourite ingredients. In addition to a craft beer menu, the bar also has a cigar menu for those special occasions.

Website: 12apostleshotel.com

Bascule Bar

The Cape Grace‘s Bascule Bar, which is situated on the edge of the V&A Waterfront‘s international yacht marina, offers up spectacular views of Table Mountain. Primarily about whisky – there are over 500 whiskies to choose from – the bar also serves wine and cocktails. Not surprisingly (given that you’re looking out over yachts), this spot, with its warm wood interior and stylish furnishings, is glamorous in an understated sort of way.

Website: basculebar.com

Grand Café & Beach

Set in a restored warehouse on a private beach in Granger Bay, the Grand offers up a beach area, two beach bars, and a deck for alfresco dining. With Table Bay in front of you and Signal Hill in the background, it’s easy to forget that you are just a few minutes from the CBD. Try the Frozen Mexican Milkshake or the Grand Pink Gin.

Website: grandafrica.com

Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar

Head into the city and the sunsets are no less spectacular. Situated at the top of a restored heritage building in Longmarket Street, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is all kinds of sexy. The interior – with its dark wood, red leather, gleaming copper, and quirky nods to Japanese culture – complements the new indie and electronica music nicely. Gaze out over the cityscape whilst sipping on a Ginger Ninja and nibbling on some drool-worthy tapas.

Website: tjingtjing.co.za

The Radisson Red Rooftop Bar

The uber cool Radisson Red has a rooftop bar with incredible views, a bright red drinks van, and tasty bar food. The hip mix of people and the cosmopolitan setting of the Silo District means you’re definitely in for a good time. The hotel is aimed at creatives and especially lovers of music, fashion and art, so you’ll be in excellent company.

Website: radissonred.com

Rick’s Café Americain

Decorated in a style that hints at the movie Casablanca, the restaurant has a cocktail bar that spills out onto a sunny deck with views of Table Mountain. With a drinks menu that spans five pages and a selection of over 60 beers and 30 tequilas, you might have some difficulty settling on just one drink. Luckily, with a daily cocktail special that runs from 3-7 pm, you won’t have to. Go on, have that Two Oceans Orgasm or A Bloody Good Time.

Website: rickscafe.co.za

Café Caprice

Café Caprice has been making it onto lists such as these since it opened in 1999, and for good reason. Long the haunt of models, actors, and celebrities, Café Caprice is pretty much perfectly placed. If you get bored of watching the glorious sunset, dabble in a little celeb-spotting instead. Try the signature Granadilla Lolly cocktail – Absolut Citron Vodka muddled with granadilla, lemon, pineapple, and crushed ice – and, if you’ve worked up an appetite, the triple-decker Caprice Club Sandwich.

Website: cafecaprice.co.za

Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel

It’s hard to imagine that you’ll find a great spot to watch the sun go down in Long Street, but the Grand Daddy Hotel manages to pull it off. The hotel has a vintage airstream trailer park on its rooftop and along with it a stylish bar. The bar, which is only open when the weather is sunny, offers up beer, wine, and cocktails. You’ll want to try the signature Trailer Park Happiness, which is made with premium gin, Cruz vodka, raspberry and lemon juice, and topped with lemonade. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order tapas from the restaurant downstairs, Thirty Ate.

Website: granddaddy.co.za

The Rumbullion

Lord Charles Somerset was onto something when he made the Roundhouse his hunting lodge – the sweeping views of Camps Bay are simply spectacular. While the Roundhouse itself is pretty swanky, the terraces – known as The Rumbullion – are the ideal place to kick back and relax. During the summer season, from 4 pm to sunset you can enjoy pizzas and drinks on the lawns.

Website: theroundhouserestaurant.com

De Grendel

If it’s wine you’re after then you’ll meet your match in De Grendel in the picturesque Durbanville Wine Valley. This wine estate has that magical effect of making you feel like you’re a million miles away from a city, while it’s only a 40-minute drive away. Expect excellent wine and world-class food as you see the sunset over Table Mountain and the city lights in the distance.

Website: degrendel.co.za

On the Rocks

This lovely restaurant in Blouberg Strand is a favourite for locals and visitors and it’s easy to see why. On a clear day, their view of Table Mountain is postcard perfect and the sea breeze offers the perfect companion to a long colourful cocktail, G&T or glass of wine. Once you glance at a menu you’ll definitely be tempted to eat too: the seafood, mains, and desserts are worth salivating over.

Website: ontherocks.co.za

The post The best sundowner spots in Cape Town appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa – situated just under two hours from Cape Town – is excited to announce the birth of a baby rhino – exactly one year after the surprise birth of two rhinos in 2017.

On 27 November 2018, the 24-hour rhino surveillance team of the Anti-Poaching Unit witnessed the birth of the little boy. They discovered the feisty male play fighting and charging his mother within hours of his birth.

This event is a great celebration in the fight against rhino extinction.

Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa is proud to have been able to bring the first rhino to the Western Cape in 250 years and in February 2005, announced the first rhino birth in the Western Cape in 250 years.

The post Aquila does it again with another Rhino birth appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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Cape Town Tourism by Lauren Edwards - 2d ago

January is a great time to visit Cape Town. It’s mid-summer, so you can expect long days, balmy evenings, and plenty of sunshine. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what to expect from the Cape Town weather in January.

Book your accommodation and flights now to get the best rates

January temperatures in Cape Town

January gets pretty hot in Cape Town. The average daily temperatures are 17ºC – 28ºC (63ºF – 82ºF), but temperatures can get up to over 30ºC (86ºF) on some days. Chilly days are few and far between, but they can happen. Bring loads of sunblock for warm days, but it’s worth packing a light jacket or similar for the occasional evening chill. However, most days in January are comfortably warm.

January wind in Cape Town

January is one of the windiest months in Cape Town. Its great news for those who want to try their hand at kite surfing or other wind-based activities: in fact it is in late January or early February every year that the Red Bull King of the Air is held. For those who are less enthused by a fresh wind, there are many places you can go to take shelter. There are a few beaches that are well known for being really sheltered, where you’ll be able to lounge in the sun with a book even while the rest of the city is blustering furiously.

Read more about avoiding the wind in Cape Town

January Rainfall

January is one of the driest months in Cape Town, with an average of only three rainy days in the month.

January daylight hours

January is still mid-summer, so the days are long and sunny. There is an average of 11 hours of daylight per day in January, allowing you plenty of time to explore.

Best activities when visiting Cape Town in January

January is sill peak season in Cape Town, although later in the month it does quiet down a little. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you book your accommodation and activities early to avoid disappointment. January is a great time of year for outdoor activities, like beaches and hiking. It is the best time of year for wind-based activities like kite-surfing. January is perfect for visiting wine farms or enjoying al fresco dining. There are very few cloudy days, so it’s also a good time to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

What to pack for a January vacation
  • Sunblock and hats
  • Insect repellant
  • Cool, light clothing
  • Bathing suit
  • A good wind-breaker type jacket
  • Hiking gear
  • Sandals

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post Cape Town Weather: January appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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Cape Town is a great base from which to explore the stunning surrounds in the rest of the province. Whether you want to go on safari, visit the Cape Winelands, or just take in the amazing scenery the Western Cape has to offer, there’s plenty to see and experience no matter your interests. Here are our five favourite day trips from Cape Town.

Get hold of a City Pass for generous discounts on Cape Town’s top attractions, and rent a car for total freedom to take one of these amazing day trips! 

West Coast

The West Coast is made up of expansive beaches, fields of wildflowers, tiny fishing villages, and quaint historic towns. There is plenty to see and do, from the incredible fields of wildflowers along the Wildflower Route between August and October to a totally unplugged camping weekend in the mountainous region of the Cederberg. Darling offers craft beers and gourmet lunch food at the local Darling Brewery, while Atlantis is where you’ll find enormous dunes to sandboard down. Visit fishing towns like Paternoster or Saldanha Bay for a relaxing beach-side day trip, or tackle the many mountain biking trails that criss-cross the West Coast National Park. Stop over at Club Mykonos, where you can go jet-skiing or sailing, visit the restaurants and spa, and send the kids to enjoy a huge and colourful play area.

Distance: 1-6 hours, depending where you go
Highlights: A real road-trip feel, wildflowers in spring, quiet beaches, family-friendly fun, local beer and wine
Stay over: Club Mykonos

The Karoo

The Karoo starts just an hour away from Cape Town and sprawls across the southern half of the country, so there are many options for great day trips in the area. It’s a semi-arid region, in stark contrast to the mountains and forests of the Cape. Here you’ll find quirky little towns connected by long, straight roads that stretch to the horizon over scrubland. Sheep graze on the stubs of grass and small koppies (hills) rise now and then from the landscape. There’s the iconic Ronnies Sex Shop—the self-proclaimed “oddest pub in Africa” that was formerly just “Ronnie’s Shop” before it hilariously gained its fame after someone graffitied the adjective onto the signboard. Prince Albert is a an artsy and historic little town tucked behind the majestic Swartberg pass, which makes a perfect escape from the city.

A highlight of the Karoo area is Aquila Private Game Reserve. It’s the only place near Cape Town where you can go on safari and see the Big Five. Go on a half-day or full-day safari and come face-to-face with lions and leopards, or the enormous, majestic African elephants. A full day tour includes a buffet breakfast and lunch, and a stop at one of the breathtaking swimming pools to take a dip and cool off in the wilderness.

Distance: 1-6 hours, depending where you go
Highlights: See the big five, explore historic towns, get in touch with the real, rugged side of South Africa
Stay over: Aquila Private Game Reserve

Image courtesy of Aquila Private Game Reserve.

Cape Point

Cape Point has got to be one of the world’s most beautiful promontories, with its cliffs rising high above the waves that crash at its base. The scenery from here is truly magical, with endless views of the ocean. Seabirds nest in the cliffs high above turquoise waters, and tiny hidden beaches are tucked into private alcoves. You’ll spot the famous dassies (rock hyrax), along with other small animals, and can take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the top lighthouse for panoramic views that look like something from a postcard. The Two Oceans Restaurant serves great food overlooking False Bay, and the Parks Shop sells unique locally-made fynbos body products.

On the way, you’ll travel along the False Bay Coast, a stretch of beach-side suburbs like Kalk Bay, where you’ll  find innumerable bars and restaurants as well as little antique shops and art galleries. You’ll also pass Simon’s Town, where you can get up close to the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach and take a dip with the creatures. All of these neighbourhoods make perfect day trips from Cape Town.

Distance: 1 hour from Cape Town
Highlights: See the penguins, stunning scenery, restaurants, beaches
Stay over: Cape of Good Hope cottages

Cape Point.©Alain Proust/iAfrika Photos

The Winelands

One of Western Cape’s biggest attractions is its fine wine. There are plenty of day trips you could choose from, including the Stellenbosch Wine Route, Helderberg Wine Route, The Durbanville Wine Route, and the Constantia Wine Route, only 20 minutes from the city. Our favourite way to experience the Winelands is aboard the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which transports you between some of the Franschhoek area’s finest wine estates, and nobody has to get behind the wheel.

Distance: 1 hour from Cape Town
Highlights: Wine, wine, wine!
Stay over: There are loads of B&B’s, lodges, and guest houses to stay at. Take your pick!

The Whale Route

The Whale Route takes in some spectacular scenery and some really nice little towns, perfect for day trips. Of course, it’s best to go during whale season, between June and November. Hermanus is the go-to place to see whales, and they host an annual Whale Festival in peak season. The town has gorgeous beaches and many simple but tasty seafood restaurants. There’s a rich history showcased in lovely museums, along with nature reserves with spectacular walking trails overlooking the sea.

On the way there, stop over at the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where there are beautiful coastal rockpools and a brilliant sea view.

Distance: 2 hours from Cape Town
Highlights: The southernmost tip of Africa, whale watching, seafood
Stay over: There are many options along the entire coast.

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post 5 fantastic day trips from Cape Town appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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People come from all over the world to sample South African wine, for good reason. Many of the best wines in the world are made right here in Cape Town. If you haven’t done a lot of wine tasting before, it might be a little daunting to explore the South African wine scene. If you need a little intro to get you going, look no further than this handy guide. Take a few minutes to read this article and nobody would ever guess that you’re a beginner!

Get your hands on a City Pass for free tastings and tours at some of Cape Town’s top wine estates

Beau Constantia Vineyards

Your tasting vocabulary

Before we get into a great deal of detail, here is a helpful little cheat sheet. Learn these few words and what they mean, and you’re about halfway to understanding wine tasting. It’ll also make wine tasting more enjoyable for you, because you’ll understand what the staff are talking about when introducing the wines. Remember that the staff at wine estates are there to help you, and they are well accustomed to guiding everyone—from rookie to veteran—through the wine tasting experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! They’re there to help you learn and have a good time.

Varietal

The word “varietal” simply refers to the type of grape used to make the wine.

Tannins

“Tannins” are a compound that occurs in wine. They are responsible for the dry taste of red wines. It’s the same kind of taste that you’ll find in strong tea. The word is typically only used to describe the dry mouth-feel of a red wine: most white wines don’t have noticeable tannins on the palate.

Wood

Some wine is matured in oak barrels. In white wines, this is responsible for a richer flavour, and will bring out caramel, vanilla, straw, and buttery flavours. It also makes the wine a deeper yellow colour. Not all white wines are matured in wood, but almost all red wines are matured in barrels. The longer the wine is wooded for, the more complex the flavour: you’ll detect spice, smoke, and other rich, deep notes. South African wine is matured in French oak.

Terroir and climate

Wines are affected by the kind of climate the vines grow in. Rainfall and temperature can make a big difference. “Terroir” refers to all the environmental factors that go into the grape, including the soil type, geological factors, climate, elevation, and even what other organisms are growing nearby.

Colour

Pay attention to the colour of the wine: it can tell you a lot. In red wines, it is a clear indication of age. Younger reds are a bright red or purple, while aged reds take on a brownish hue. In whites, it can indicate whether the wine was matured in wood or not. The wood gives white wine a yellower colour. Rosé wine colour is affected by how long the skins of the red grape are left on before the liquid is separated. A subtle, pale pink might only have had under an hour of skin contact, while a deeper pink indicates a longer skin contact time.

Nose

The “nose” of a wine refers to the scent you can pick up – florals, spices, wood, and any other elements. Once you refine your nose, it’ll tell you a lot about what you’re drinking before you even take a sip.

What to expect when you go wine-tasting

Wine-tasting can be a great experience for seasoned connoisseurs and total beginners alike. Many wine estates offer other activities, like picnics, kids’ playgrounds, amazing restaurants, cellar tours, pairings, and much more. Most are located in stunning surrounds, and many (like Groot Constantia) contain beautiful examples of the unique Cape Dutch architecture. Depending where you go, you’ll find gorgeous white-washed manor houses, incredible views, local artwork, and a rich history. Even if you’re not a big wine drinker, or have kids in tow, there’s something for everyone on a day exploring Cape Town’s wine farms.Research the wine route you would like to visit, and plan your day to include a great lunch and other activities. You’re likely to drink a bit of wine on your outing, so it’s a good idea to arrange transport. The City Sightseeing bus connects to both the Franschhoek Wine Tram and Constantia wine route, and is a comfortable and convenient option.

Wine tasting usually happens in the estate’s tasting room. Here, you’ll find knowledgeable staff to guide you through the process, telling you all you need to know about the wines you’re drinking. There is usually a small tasting fee, although many estates waive it if you purchase wines from them. A lot of estates ship internationally, so you can just place an order and your wine will meet you at home. The only sweet wines you’ll find are dessert wines, which are delicious but too heavy for casual drinking, and better kept to pair with a dessert. If you prefer sweet wines, think of this as an opportunity to branch out and find a high quality, world-class dry wine that you like.

Klein Constantia

Types of South African wine Red wines

There are many kinds of red grape grown in Cape Town, and you might find some more unusual varietals on some estates. Red wines are most often (but not always) matured in oak barrels, and the skins are left on. The result is a lovely red colouring from the skin, and a richness from the wood. Here are some of the red wines you’re most likely to come across on your wine tasting adventures.

  • Pinotage: Pinotage holds a special place in local hearts, because it is the only grape that is unique to South Africa. It was invented at Stellenbosch University in 1925. It is a hybrid of pinot noir and cinsault. Pinotage is a bold and complex wine with a deep red colour. Depending on the age of the wine, you may taste notes of red berries, spice, and chocolate or coffee.
  • Cabernet sauvignon: Many estates in Cape Town make great cab sav. It is a darker, deeper red than pinotage and often has a more complex flavour. It has bold tannins, and you’ll often pick up black fruits, along with peppery notes and even a tobacco flavour.
  • Merlot: This is a little softer on the palate than cab sav. It has gentle tannins, and loads of delicious fruity flavours. It used to be mostly used in blends, but you’ll find straight merlot at a lot of estates these days.
  • Shiraz/syrah: Most South African producers call this wine shiraz, but it’s the same thing as syrah. It’s quite a versatile grape, so the wines vary from place to place. It’s a rich, deep wine with a distinct spiciness, and often a nice chocolate/coffee finish.
  • Cape Blend: This is, as the name dictates, a blend of different types of grape. It is local to the Western Cape region. It has to have at least 30% pinotage to be a Cape Blend. Other grapes used include merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, shiraz, or other less common varietals.

White wines

White wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks, but some are later matured in wood barrels. One of the most notable differences between white wines is the woodiness. Wooded whites are usually yellower and rich, while those bottled straight out of steel tanks are more clear, with a crisp finish. Here are a few of the white wines you’ll find most often.

  • Sauvignon blanc: South African sauvignon blanc is world famous. It’s light and crisp, with that distinctive summery acidity that makes it the perfect drink on a sunny day.
  • Chardonnay: Chardonnay is usually (but again, not always) wooded. It’s usually rich, yellow, and has notes of caramel, vanilla, and butter. Many estates these days produce unwooded chardonnays, which have a lighter colour and flavour.
  • Chenin blanc: Chenin is another great wine to sip on a sunny day. It usually has some wood contact, giving it more complexity than a sauv blanc, but it isn’t as rich as a chardonnay. It’s often a great food wine.
  • White blends: Don’t skip the South African white wine blends! They are incredibly diverse, but almost always delicious.
Bubbles

Bubbles are an essential element of any celebration. MCC stands for Méthode Cap Classique, and it is the South African equivalent of champagne. Sparkling wines are carbonated, while MCC develops its own bubbles in the bottle naturally. MCC is usually a little more pricey, but it’s well worth it for the soft bubbly texture and complex flavour palate.

Rosé

Many estates produce fantastic rosé, although it is not as common as red and white wine. It’s often inexpensive, and makes for great summertime drinking.

Dessert Wines

Dessert wines are the only high quality sweet wines you’ll taste while exploring the vineyards of Cape Town and its surrounds. There are a few methods of production. Late harvest wines are made by allowing the grapes to become almost raisin-like on the vines before they are picked. The grapes produce tiny amounts of juice, but the little bit they do offer is honey-sweet. Another method is noble late harvest. This refers to “noble rot”: the presence of a fungus called botritys, which infects grapes in moist conditions. The ripe grapes are exposed to the fungus, which causes them to become raisin-like and produce a very sweet nectar. Straw wine is another type, which involves drying the grapes once already picked, typically on straw mats. Whichever the method, these wines are delicious and pair beautifully with desserts.

In fact, it was a very special dessert wine made right here in Cape Town that first made South African wines famous. Groot Constantia‘s Grande Constance is the oldest wine in the country, and it was famously served to Napoleon Bonaparte while exiled in St Helena. Add a taste of Grande Constance to your bucket list!

Where to taste wine

The best South African wine is made right here in Cape Town. There are five main wine routes in or close to Cape Town: Constantia, Durbanville, Helderberg, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch. Your best option is to choose a route that’s convenient for you, and select four or five estates that tickle your fancy.

Read about the Cape wine routes and plan your trip

How to taste wine

So, once you have a glass of wine in your hand, what next? Here’s your step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your sip. First, swirl it around to release the aromas, and take a look at the colour. Then, take a deep sniff, and see what flavours you pick up on the nose. Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: take a sip. To make sure you get the full impact and all the flavours, try swishing it around in your mouth. And then, the final question: spit or swallow? If you’d prefer to pace your alcohol intake, or you’re driving, little buckets are usually available to spit into. It’s pretty widely acceptable (as is chucking the rest of the tasting glass after a small sip). Do whatever suits you best: the most important thing is to have a great time.

History of South African wine

South African wine has a complex and fascinating history. Take a few minutes to explore the history and your wine tasting experience will be all the more interesting. If you want to find out about how South African wine originated and how it got to be so famous, read this article.

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post A beginner’s guide to South African wine appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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Cape Town is a coffee fan’s dream. Head into the City Bowl and surrounding areas and you’re bound to find a coffee shop on every corner. So, naturally, it can be difficult for a coffee shop to set itself apart from the rest. Here are some that have done just that by offering customers more than just coffee.

Coco Safar

With the tag line of Journey Beyond Ordinary, it is certainly clear that Coco Safar is an experience to be lived. The concept originated in New York, was designed in Toronto, and set its roots in Cape Town. There is the coffee bean roastery which emanates the fresh smell of roasted coffee beans. Move beyond that and you’ll find a Rooibos Botanical Micro Brewery. Here, you can sample Rooibos in various stages of maturity as well as a citrus coffee cold brew.

Opposite the Botanical Micro Brewery are the Capsule Emporium and Espresso Bar. Get talking to one of the expert baristas and take your tastebuds on a journey with their specialty beans. While you’re there, stock up on their Bio-capsules so that you can save the earth one cuppa at a time.

Website: cocosafar.com

Ground Art Cafe

Three things are treated with the utmost respect at this cosy coffee shop in De Waterkant: coffee, food and art. Order a coffee at this intimate space and enjoy the current art exhibition while you are there. Their fresh cakes and baked good perfectly compliment the coffee and they serve light lunches too. Their exhibitions change often, so you’ll be visiting a different space every time you go.

Website: facebook.com/Groundartcaffe

Revolution Cycles and Che Café

This proudly South African family-owned bike shop has become somewhat of an institution in Bree Street – frequented by loyal cyclists, who have been using their bike maintenance services for years. The shop has now grown into a showroom focused on Specialized and Pyga bicycles and accessories. The best part is that they now also serve Truth Coffee in their concept store, which makes a visit even more of a dream for coffee-driven bike enthusiasts.

Website: revolutioncycles.co.za

Haas Collective

This inspiring spot on Buitenkant Street doubles as an exhibition space for local creatives and is truly unique in every way. They serve coffee from Brazil, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jamaica and Colombia as well their own “masterpiece” Haas blend. They’re also one of the few places in Cape Town where you can try out Black Insomnia, which has 200% more caffeine than your average cuppa and has been named the world’s strongest coffee.

Website: haascollective.com

&Bikes

Quinton Smith of Bike n Wine Tours founded this cycle boutique and café in the CBD. Here you can book a tour, which includes beer, art or food, purchase bicycle-themed apparel – or rent a vintage, road or mountain bike to explore Cape Town. Obviously, you’ll need to have a coffee and pastry at their café before you do any of that.

Website: andbikes.co.za

The Book Lounge

This independent bookstore in the Eastern Precinct of the CBD, which has an amazing selection of South African books, is the ultimate place to escape to. Even better – visit their coffee shop in the downstairs lounge area where you can hide away from the electronic world. Super relaxed and quiet, the café offers coffee, milkshakes, herbal teas and a selection of cake and goodies – some of which are Banting-friendly.

Website: booklounge.co.za

Starling and Hero

This bicycle co-op come café at the Woodstock Exchange offers a workbench for anybody to use to do maintenance on your bike. They also sell bicycle commuter accessories and second-hand bicycles. Coffee, fresh juices and smoothies, as well as really yummy, healthy food and snacks are on offer at the café.

Website: starlingandhero.co.za

See pictures people in Cape Town have shared of coffee in the Mother City:

Crossley and Webb

If you are a lover of classic and sports cars, then you have to visit this pristine showroom in Gardens set in a historic red brick warehouse that stores the finest automobiles in Cape Town. It’s almost like visiting a gallery of sorts and you’ll find yourself sipping Truth coffee and just staring at these works of art in awe.

Website:  crossley-webb.com

Loading Bay

Another hybrid shop, Loading Bay in De Waterkant sells menswear, has a skin care boutique and dishes up gourmet burgers along with great coffee. Their buttermilk flapjacks are out of this world and they have matcha lattes on the menu too.

 Website: loadingbay.co.za

A post shared by Loading Bay (@loadingbay) on Apr 10, 2017 at 1:09am PDT

Tribe 112

Tribe Coffee Roasting is a stylish designer concept café located within the Donford BMW Motorrad motorcycle shop on Buitengracht Street. Here sensational Tribe coffee is consumed in a warm industrial space with elements like engine parts making up lighting and other features. Worth a visit both for the décor as well as the coffee!

Website: tribecoffe.co.za

Up Cycles & Breakaway Cafe

Inspired by the lifestyle of Amsterdam, at Breakaway Café on the fan walk is the place to hire fixed-gear bikes made for cruising around town. They also provide a shower facility and a safe place to store your own bike for the day. Plus you can enjoy a light meal and get your caffeine fix once you’re done.

Website: upcycles.co.za

Dapper Coffee Co.

Are you a bit of a petrolhead? Then Dapper Coffee Co. on the corner of Bree and Strand Street is for you. You can have a delicious cup of java while admiring old and new Porsche sports cars, Mercedes-Benz vehicles, Ferraris and more.

Website: dappercoffeeco.co.za

Department of Coffee

Khayelitsha’s first artisanal coffee shop has been bringing coffee culture to the townships since 2012. Their success story is heart-warming and their coffee is exceptional.

Website: facebook.com/Department-of-Coffee

See The Department of Coffee in our Neighbourhood Guide to Khayelitsha:

Khayelitsha: The Love Cape Town Neighbourhood Series - YouTube

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post The best coffee shops in Cape Town appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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It’s that time of the year where we look back and celebrate our achievements, evaluate some of the challenges, and plan for a better future.

While we have faced a myriad of challenges during the course of the year, (including drought, a tough economy and a decline in domestic travel) Cape Town continues to thrive, proving just how strong and resilient our industry actually is.

International arrivals are up 12% from January to October 2018; and we are anticipating a bumper high season.

Our Mobile Visitor Information Centre, affectionately known as Thando, has allowed us to connect with visitors where they are – on our city’s beaches, parks, at events, and even in other provinces. We are excited about the expansion of our mobile fleet and our newly arrived Thando 3, which will allow us to reach more visitors and interact with them at a greater number of events and attractions. Our total visitor interactions (including Thando) from January to October 2018 has so far amounted to 160 326 visitor engagements.

Our membership connect sessions are proving to be very popular and continue to be in great demand. These sessions are not just focused on networking, but also on skills development and business support. Our first Thursday events have been hugely successful and create a platform for emerging black tourism businesses to expose their products to the established tourism industry.

We look forward to hosting you at our next first Thursday event which will be held in February 2019, where will welcome the New Year and celebrate the theme of LOVE.

CTT continues to promote and raise awareness around visitor safety. Our efforts have been recognized and are supported by SAPS.

We would like to thank you, our members, for your continued support. We wish you a successful High Season, and a fabulous end to 2018. Here’s to many more fruitful ventures together as we strive to make Cape Town the best it can be.

The post A note from Lisa-Ann Hosking, Tourism Services Executive – Dec 2018 appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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There are so many things to think about when you’re travelling with children. Clothes, favourite toys, medication – there’s a long list of things to consider.

What many tourists to South Africa don’t realise is that there are additional requirements that are necessary when travelling with children to our country. These are not standard requirements for most trips. They can be slightly difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with South Africa’s bureaucratic requirements – so we’ve broken these down into a handy list for you to check off.

Once you get all of the boring red tape out of the way, make sure that your kids have the time of their lives on their trip to Cape Town.  The City Pass offers entry to over 70 of Cape Town’s attractions and is a fantastic way to see the city with your little ones. 

A valid passport and visa

Now, we know it’s pretty obvious that your child will need a valid passport and visa (if necessary) in order to travel to another country. But remember to check passports (both your child’s and your own) for blank pages.  Passports must have at least two blank pages for entry and exit stamps. This is a small but vital detail that could stop your holiday in its tracks if forgotten.

To find out if you need a visa, take a look at the list of visa-exempt countries here.

Remember that you’ll need your return flights and accommodation sorted for your visa application. Browse accommodation and flights now to get the best rates

Your child’s unabridged birth certificate

The worldwide problem of human trafficking has prompted the South African Department of Home Affairs to be rather strict about children entering and exiting the country.

An unabridged birth certificate is a birth certificate that has the information of both of the child’s parent on it. The DHA formerly required that parents travelling with children carried this birth certificate with them at all times as a way of proving parentage. This has recently been relaxed. As long as your child’s passport lists both parents, you don’t technically need an unabridged birth certificate to travel. However, we still recommend that you bring your child’s birth certificate along to avoid any hassles getting through border control.

A parental consent affidavit

If you’re travelling with children but without their other parent, you’re going to need a little extra paperwork to get you through immigration.

The Parental Consent Affidavit from the Department of Home Affairs must be completed by the parent not travelling. The non-travelling parent must somplete and sign this form. This document MUST be certified in order for it to be valid. It must also be accompanied by a certified copy of the non-travelling parent’s ID or passport.

Court order

Thankfully, the Department of Home Affairs recognises that there are certain situations where obtaining a parental consent affidavit may be impossible. In these cases, you will need a court order that grants full parental rights to the travelling parent.

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post Travelling to South Africa with children appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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Shark cage diving is one of the best ways to experience one of the ocean’s most majestic, and feared, predators up close. It is one of the most popular activities among visitors to Cape Town. There are few things more exhilarating than looking a great white shark in the eye, while appreciating the sheer beauty of these magnificent creatures.

Get hold of a City Pass for free entry to over 70 Cape Town attractions, including Great White Shark Tours

Where to go

With the densest populations of great white sharks in the world, Dyer Island in Gansbaai is arguably one of the best places in the world to get up close with these majestic beasts. ‘Shark Alley’ has been the subject of numerous documentaries. It is the most popular spot for cage diving and breaching. It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but totally worth it. Great White Shark Tours are a reputable operator located just outside of Gansbaai, and a City Pass will get you a free shark cage diving experience.

False Bay is also great place for viewing great white sharks, especially around Seal Island just off the coast of Simon’s Town, with the large colony of Cape fur seals making it a favourite hunting ground for the great white. If you have limited time in the city, this is the place to go, as it’s just around the corner from the Cape Town city centre.

What you’ll see

Sharks, sharks and more sharks! Get to experience the majestic great white shark up close during a cage dive or watch in awe as these powerful creatures launch themselves into the air while on the hunt for seals.

If you’re in Gansbaai, stop by Hermanus on the way back, and wander through the streets of South Africa’s whale spotting capital. Who knows, maybe you’ll spot another one of the ocean’s most celebrated creatures?

If your tour is in False Bay, explore the historic naval village of Simon’s Town or stroll along the streets of Kalk Bay just down the road, or take a mini tour of the peninsula with Boulders Beach and Cape Point a short drive away.

When to go

While cage diving can be experienced year round, breaching expeditions only take place during the winter months, from June to September.

How to get there

Gansbaai is a scenic two-and-a-half hour drive from Cape Town. Most operators offer a shuttle service at an additional fee. The shuttle will pick you up from the anywhere in the city centre or surrounds.

Simon’s Town is a quick 45-minute hop around the peninsula from Cape Town’s city centre. Most shark cage diving operators offer a shuttle service from anywhere in the greater Cape Town area.

Responsible tourism and shark cage diving

The Western Cape is one of the most important great white research areas in the world. In fact, the majority of the world’s great white shark research takes place in Gansbaai. Most shark cage diving operators take conservation very seriously. They’re dedicated to operating tours in ways that will have the least impact on the environment, natural habitat, and behavior of the sharks.

Watch the weather

The weather is a big factor when it comes to dives and expeditions, especially during winter (it’s not called the Cape of Storms for nothing). Tours might be cancelled at the last minute due to adverse conditions. However, in the event of a weather cancellation, most operators offer vouchers to reschedule the tour for another day.

Operators

Cape Town has a number of reputable operators that can provide you with more information and in which to book a tour:

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post Shark Cage Diving in Cape Town appeared first on Cape Town Tourism.

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