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  • The Ultimate Guide: The 56 Best Things to do in Cape Town

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Unfurling like a peacock tail at the tip of Africa, Cape Town dazzles with its blend of dramatic scenery and secret charms. Travellers swoon for it, newspapers rave about it and even killer whales visit it. As do two million people every year. And they'll all tell you that, from the city centre, one can be sipping world-class wine on a tranquil vineyard within thirty minutes, cavorting on a pristine beach in ten, or strolling on a mountainside in five.  But there is something more than the stats, a certain magic, which sees the accolades roll in and the visitors always eager to return. It's the combination of innovative restaurants, vibrant festivals, great weather, dynamic people and the feeling that anything could happen around the next corner, which all adds up to make Cape Town a special place, a different city. And there's a helluva lot to do. So, if you're coming to Cape Town and you'd like to know how you can keep busy, better get a pen and a piece of paper small book. This might take a while...


    Activities

    1. Helicopter flights around the peninsulaCape Town is a beautiful place to explore, but to do it from the air can be sensational. The easiest way to do this is to go to the V&A Waterfront where the steel birds take off daily. There is a range of different routes you can choose from, such as the Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island and Full Peninsula. And there are different operators to choose from, although the two that we recommend are Cape Town Helicopters and NAC Helicopters. Cost: R1,050 per person - R4,000 per person Operating hours:  08h00 - 17h30 7 days a week 2. Zipline Tours in Hout Bay Cape Town Ziplines is close to the CBD and easily reached on the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus. This is one of Africa's longest and highest Zipline tours. The zipline is approximately 2.3km in total length, with single cables that stretch up to 500m and that soar 155m above the ground at their highest point. Cost: The two-hour tour costs R480 per person and bookings for groups of six people or less can be done electronically via the company’s website (Saforestadventures.co.za). Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 09h00 (first tour departs) – 16h00 (last tour departs) 3. Tandem Paragliding in Cape TownHere's yet another adventure in the air, and some might even say it's the best. Tandem paragliding flights are mostly done from Signal Hill but they also occasionally take off from Lions Head inside the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. The Fly Cape Town paragliders either land in Camps Bay or Green Point after the thrilling ride down from the mountain. Just beware, it's over much faster than you might imagine (7-20 minutes), and you're definitely going to want to do it again. Cost: R1150 per person per flight Operating Hours: 07h00 - 19h00, weather permitting. 4. Learn to Surf in Muizenberg Muizenberg is considered South Africa's 'best learn-to-surf beach' due to its gentle and consistent breaks. Voted by National Geographic as 'One of the World's Best Surf Towns', Muizenberg offers a great introduction to the wonderful thrill of surfing. Cost: Gary's Surf School charges R380 for one person for a two-hour lesson. The Surf Emporium charges R330 for one person for a one and a half hour lesson. For both, the price drops for larger groups. Operating hours: Times change according to the tides. Contact the surf schools to arrange a time before you go. 5. Kayaking in Three Anchor BayStart your day surrounded by dolphins. Kaskazi Kayaks launches its tours from a small beach in Three Anchor Bay and embarks on a 3 - 5 km journey either towards Granger Bay or Clifton Beach. A range of seabirds can be seen on the trips but it is the penguins, seals, dolphins and whales that cause the most excitement. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have previous paddling experience they can arrange half day kayak trips too. Cost: R350 per person Operating hours: FThe first tour departs at 07h30, next one at 10h00. Arrange beforehand to ensure tours are going. 6. Shark-spotting in Gansbaai and False Bay Cape Town is one of the best places to come face-to-face with the magnificent great white sharks. Gansbaai is home to a larger population of sharks and home of the famous 'shark alley'. False Bay, however, is where you are more likely to see (if you are lucky) the sharks breach the water - a genuinely breathtaking sight. A general rule of thumb,  winter months can be better in False Bay while summer months is better in Gansbaai. It is best to contact the different operators and see what their sightings are like at the time you are here. Cost: R1500 - R3000 depending on season Operating hours: Tours leave in the early morning. Gansbaai is a two-hour journey from Cape Town and is a day trip. 7. Whale watching in Hermanus Hermanus has been recognised by the WWF as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. The best time to see the whales is between July and November (when the Southern Right Whales are breeding) either on land, by boat or from the air via a scenic flight. For those with a more adventurous spirit, a guided sea kayaking trip promises to get the adrenaline going and offers a unique opportunity to watch whales and explore the magnificent coastline. Cost: Sea Kayaking R400 per person. Whaleboat R700 per person. Operating hours:The whaleboat leaves at 9h00; 12h00 and 15h00 from the New Harbour in Hermanus every day in season. The sea kayaks leave at 9h00, 11h30 and 14h00. 8. Ride a bicycle on the Sea Point Promenade This may seem like one of our least exciting options - just a bike ride on a promenade? But it is a great way to end the day and watch the sunset from this scenic stretch of Cape Town coast. There are food vendors near the Sea Point Pavilion and the Green Point Urban park is nearby too and equally fun to explore. You can find the bicycles next to the pavilion too. Cost: R50 an hour. Operating hours: Open all day, closing times change with the sunset. 9. Seal snorkelling in Hout BayAnimal Ocean has marine guides who are dedicated to getting you in the water with the playful Cape fur seals. Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coast and are found nowhere else in the world. Duiker Island in Hout Bay is home to 10 000 seals, which, as they say, 'brings you mask-to-whisker with playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat.' Cost: R650 per person Operating hours: Typically leaves in the morning and takes 3 hours. 10. Take a ride on the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus This is a great way to see the city and its beautiful surrounds. The family-friendly bus offers informative audio commentary about Cape Town's major attractions in 15 languages, with a special audio channel just for kids. Your ticket gives you access to all our bus tours in Cape Town - the Red City Tour, Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, Yellow Downtown Tour, and the Purple Wine Tour. Stops include the Waterfront, Table Mountain, Camps Bay and Constantia Winelands. Cost: R160 for one day, R260 for two Operating hours: Roughly 08h00 - 20h00, check the schedule to be sure. 11. Catch a cable car up iconic Table MountainTable Mountain is Cape Town. There's no getting around that. Or the mountain. Just ask the commuting locals. This popular attraction and natural wonder receives almost one million visitors a year. It's a great place to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean with a glass of champagne or spend an entire day exploring. Just don't miss the last cable car down! Cost: One way is R125 and return is R240 Operating hours: Summer 08h00 - 21h00, Winter 08h30 - 17h30, (times vary in between seasons, check website for more). 12. Sail on a yacht in Table Bay There are so many ways to take in this city, but on a yacht must surely be one of the most glamorous. Sail from the V&A Waterfront down the coastline to Cape Town's famous beaches such as Clifton and Camps Bay and back. Drop anchor, have a dip and soak up the good life. Check out the website for more info. Cost: Anything from R180 per person per hour to R300. Can include a glass of champagne.  Operating hours: Goes throughout the day but sunset times are the most popular. 13. Ride a Harley along Chapmans Peak And now we move to our most hard-core form of transport, a Harley Davidson. You can rent a bike from Cape Bike Travel, but taking chauffeured rides is also possible. And if you're getting on a Harley, there is only one place to head to - South Africa's most famous scenic drive, Chapman's Peak. You'll have dramatic cliffs on one side and a mighty ocean on the other, with a raging engine between your legs. Cost: Bike rentals: per day R1350 - R2100, Chauffeured rides: R1600 for a half day, R2100 for full day 14. Treat yourself to High Tea at Cape Town’s finest hotels Cape Town has an array of hotels and restaurants that offer High Tea. They are immensely popular and understandably so, you can taste teas from around the world and snack on macaroons, carrot cake, cheesecake and more. We have a blog telling you exactly where to go to find Cape Town's Top 10 High Teas. Cost: R145 - R295 Operating hours: Traditionally in the afternoon between 15h00 and 18hoo, although there are some morning teas on offer. 15. Ride a horse on Noordhoek BeachJust the other side of Chapman's Peak lies the small town of Noordhoek and its long beach, which is ideal for horse rides. The Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers three daily rides along 8km of the picturesque Noordhoek Beach.  They have horses to cater for all levels of experience, even complete amateurs. Generally, there are two guides on each ride so those that just want a nice relaxing stroll can stay at the walk and the more experienced riders can have a trot and canter. Cost: R500 per person Operating hours: Rides take an hour and a half and leave at 09h00, 12h30 and 16h00 16. Visit Two Oceans Aquarium This one is perfect for the kids. There is a penguin exhibit, tanks of 'Nemos' or clownfish, shark tanks and a popular Touch Pool. The Touch Pool is the surprising star of the show and invariably delays all visitors. Cost: Adults R135, Kids R65 Operating hours: 09h30 - 18h00 17. Visit the penguins at Boulders beach Boulders Beach near Simon's Town is home to one of Africa's only penguin colonies. Boulders is one of the only places in the world where one can actually swim amongst penguins as they tend to explore the surrounding beaches. A popular stop for tourist buses, the penguins look awkward on land but swim like seals. Cost: R65 Adults, R35 Children Operating hours:   07h00 – 19h30 (Dec – Jan), 08h00 – 18h30 (Feb – Mar / Oct – Nov), 08h00 – 17h00 (Apr – Sept)

    Nature

    18. Cape Point Nature ReserveCape Point is one of Cape Town's most popular attractions and one of nature's great places. The most south-western tip of the African continent is a combination of brutal elements, history, stunning views and wildlife. Baboons, zebras and ostriches are common sights at the reserve. Cost: Child (age 2-11): R65, Adult: R125 Operating hours: 07:30 – 18:00 Summer (October – March) – Exit by sunset 08:00 – 17:00 Winter (April – September) – Exit by sunset 19. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens This 'living museum' is South Africa's largest botanical garden and was established to conserve and promote the indigenous flora of southern Africa. Go for a stroll, a picnic or have lunch in one of the restaurants and get to see the wide range of gardens and plants in this 528-hectare reserve. Cost: R15 - R55 Operating hours: 08hoo - 18h00 April to August, 08h00 - 19h00

    Hiking

    In the Cape Peninsula, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking. Some locals spend their entire lives exploring these mountains and never see it all. Some hikes take you to a waterfall, grotto, yellowwood grove, shipwreck or spectacular viewpoint. The routes range from challenging climbs to the top of Table Mountain to leisurely strolls among the fynbos or along city beaches, and will appeal to hikers of all levels of experience – whether aspiring ramblers or diehard adventurers. For visitors, these hikes are the most easily accessible. 20. Lions HeadThis short hike (about an hour up in general), gives a fantastic panoramic view of the city and beaches. Just a five-minute drive from the city's centre, Lions Head is perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike. The full moon hikes are exceptionally popular too. Cost: Free 21. Table Mountain If you want to skip the cable car there are a range of different routes you can take to get up top on the flat top. The most direct route is up Platteklip Gorge, which is also arguably the most challenging one. India Venster has great views of the city all the way up and then there are alternative routes up from Camps Bay and Kirstenbosch too. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Find out more here and read a full description of Cape Town's best hikes here. Cost: Free 22. Silvermine A 20-minute drive from the city centre, Silvermine Nature Reserve is a popular spot for walking and hiking, as well as bird-watching, picnicking, and mountain biking. There are several short, easy-to-manage hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the landscape from False Bay to Cape Point. One such trail is the hike to Elephant’s Eye, a large cave so-named because the mountain looks like the shape of an elephant’s head and the cave the eye. Cost: R30 for adults, R15 for children (age 1 to 11) Operating hours: 07h00 – 19h00

    Beaches

    Cape Town has two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you're after beachside bars, secluded coves, big waves, safe swimming beaches,  or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, there's something here for you. 23. CliftonClifton has four beaches (Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) with each one home to its own set of typical visitors. The beauty of Clifton is not just the bathers (but yes, the eye candy is something to behold) but its positioning. Clifton hardly receives any wind and provides a sheltered bay for the yachts and small boats. A great place to see and be seen. 24. Camps Bay Camps Bay is near Clifton but much bigger and more of a family beach. To the right lies Glen Beach, which has the best surf in the area, and behind Camps Bay beach is a Miami-like strip of bars and restaurants ensuring that a cold drink or hot meal is never too far away. 25. Llandudno Llandudno has it all, a beach big enough to play sports on, great waves for surfers and even a nudist beach, Sandy Bay, within walking distance. This is a bit further from town than Camps Bay and Clifton but is a popular beach with locals. 26. Muizenberg Muizenberg is well-known for its multi-coloured beach huts and is located in the scenic False Bay, on the opposite side of the Cape Peninsula to the above-mentioned beaches. It is a recognised Blue Flag beach and a favourite spot for families and aspiring surfers.

    Culture and History

    27. Robben Island This former prison is also a former leper colony and is now one of Cape Town's chief tourist attractions. Boats leave daily from the V&A Waterfront and take visitors back in time to the days of the Apartheid regime. Guides, many former prisoners themselves, give you an inside look at the lives of prisoners, the most famous among them none other than Nelson Mandela. Cost: R300 Operating hours: Ferries depart at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm and each tour takes approximately 3.5 hours including the boat trip there and back. Please be sure to be there 30 minutes prior to the departure time, with the gates closing 10 minutes prior to departure. 28. District Six Museum District six was a suburb of Cape Town that was originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants. In 1966, it was declared a white area and 60,000 people were forcibly removed. The museum looks back at those tragic days and remembers a place that was so vibrant that numerous books, plays and musicals have since been written about it. Cost: R30 entrance, R45 for a guided tour. Operating hours: Monday to Saturday 09h00 - 16h00 29. Bo-KaapJust a short walk from the city centre at the base of Signal Hill, the Bo-Kaap is a colourful array of tightly packed houses and the spiritual home of the Cape’s Muslim community. Many of the residents are descendants of slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and various African countries. The best place to discover the history of the area is the quaint Bo-Kaap Museum, or for more excitement take a cooking class with the locals. Cost: Museum R20, Cooking Classes R700 Operating hours: Museum- Mondays to Saturdays from 10h00 to 17h00, Cooking Class 10h30 30. Iziko South African Museum The South African Museum houses more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections range from fossils almost 700-million years old to stone tools made by people 120,000 years ago to contemporary photographic exhibitions. Cost: R30 Operating hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00 31. South African National Gallery South Africa's premier art museum houses outstanding collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art. Selections from the Permanent Collection change regularly to enable the museum to have a full programme of temporary exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture. The National Gallery can be found near the South African Museum in the Company Gardens. Cost: R30 Operating hours: Daily from 10h00 to 17h00

    The Arts

    32. Summer Concerts at Kirstenbosch This has got to be the best way to see off the weekend in Cape Town's summer months. Set against the back of Table Mountain in Kirstenbosch's natural amphitheatre, the summer concerts here are a lovely, family-friendly event held every Sunday. Local musicians and the occasional international act perform as the sun goes down in one the world's prettiest venues. Cost: R100 - R175 Operating hours: Gates open at 16h00. Concerts start between 17h15 and 17h30 and end by 19h00. 33. First Thursdays On the evening of the first Thursday of every month, the art galleries around Bree Street in the CBD open its doors to the public. What started out as a small project has exploded into a massive event for the young and the old and has morphed into one of Cape Town's best nights out. Cost: Free Operating hours:Galleries are open 17h00 - 21h00 34. Galileo Open air cinema It's like a drive-in cinema but with deck chairs. And blankets and pillows and stars. There are more than ten different venues Galileo operates at, the prerequisite seems to be a flat open space in a stunning setting. Wine farms, botanical gardens and rooftops are your standard venues where they show classic movies to snuggling couples and friends. Cost: R79 - R149 Operating hours: Tuesday - Saturday, doors open at 18h00, movie start around 20h00 35. Watch jazz at the CryptThe Crypt is the place to see Cape Town's best jazz musicians perform in an intimate and very unique setting. In the actual crypt of St. George's Cathedral, jazz bands stand in the corner and belt out their music to tables of wining and dining patrons. It's a fun experience, but just make sure you don't sit behind one of the pillars. There are more jazz bars to choose from, check out this blog to see the rest. Cost: R85 most nights Operating hours: 20h00 - 23h00 36. Go to the Theatre. Cape Town has a rich theatre history with plays, productions and musicals appearing across the city at places such as the Artscape Theatre, Baxter Theatre, Athol Fugard Theatre, Theatre on the Bay and Kalk Bay Theatre. Visit their websites to find out what is showing and when. Cost: Anything from R50 - R400 Operating hours: Shows normally start between 19hoo and 20h00

    The Winelands

    The Western Cape has over 3,000 primary wine producers on a hundred thousand hectares and produces over a billion gross litres of wine a year. That's a fair amount of wine. And it's bloody good. In fact, South African wines are considered some of the best in the world and the vineyards, at the base of towering mountains in fertile valleys, are absolutely stunning. Many people come here just for the wine farms, and they invariably keep coming back. These are our four most recognised wine routes. 37. Franschhoek The Franschhoek Valley is a spectacularly beautiful wine route. With many of the wine farms sharing a French Huguenot heritage, expect to find overwhelming French influence here and not surprisingly a Champagne-inspired sparkling win sub-route, the “Cap Classique Route”. The quaint village of Franschhoek is home to art galleries, antique shops, restaurants and boutique hotels. Of the wine farms, we particularly like Babylonstoren, Moreson and Rickety Bridge. There is also the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which is a hop-on-hop-off tour of the wine farms. 38. Constantia The Constantia Valley is the closest wine route to the city, and no more than 30 minutes away. This region is home to both the country’s oldest established wine farms and some of the newest. Constantia wines are largely cool climate offerings, so look out for world class Sauvignon Blancs, wonderful reds and infamous sweet wine offerings. Popular wine farms here are Groot Constantia, Buitenverwachting and Constantia Glen. 39. StellenboschStellenbosch is considered the home of South African wine and boasts more than 150 tasting rooms. Connoisseurs and novice wine-drinkers are equally welcome, where they can sample award-winning wines, relax and enjoy the breathtaking Winelands. Delairre Graff, Waterford and Tokara are just a few on the incredibly long list of wine farms worth visiting. 40. Durbanville A short drive north of the city will quickly have you in the Durbanville Valley. Most of the wine estates here offer wonderful dining in addition to their fabulous wines and many with spectacular views back towards Table Mountain. Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest Estate and Nitida are our favourites.

    Markets

    Cape Town is market mad. Every weekend, there are farmers' markets, food markets, craft markets, night markets, organic markets and community markets all over town. And then there are the midweek ones too. In fact, you could have a market tour and eat at a different one every day if you wished. These are the best of the lot. 41. Cape Point VineyardsJust look at it. It has one of the best sunset views in Cape Town in a city brimming with options. This is a popular one with families where visitors can choose from a wide variety of food stalls and sample wines from the Cape Point Vineyards. 42. Hout Bay Market This weekend market (open Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday 09h30 - 16h00) is relatively new on the scene but is already a firm favourite. You can check out the clothes, records and crafts on offer and try out their popular vegan and vegetarian meals or just stick with the sushi and pizza. Live musical performances give this market a very festive atmosphere. 43. City Bowl Market Every Thursday evening, the City Bowl Market opens its doors on Hope Street in Gardens. We would know, this is directly opposite from our offices and every week Rhino Africans can be spotted out here trying the blue cheese and pear empanadas or happy hour cocktails. With live music and a social atmosphere, this little market is a popular weeknight outing.   44. Old Biscuit Mill Market Every Saturday morning, people flock to the 'vibrant, warm-hearted little village in the heart of Woodstock.' The market features over 100 specialty traders, creating a weekly platform for local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers and distributors, grocers, mongers, butchers, artisan producers, celebrated local chefs, and micro enterprises. 45. Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Granger BayAnother popular Saturday market, this one takes place next to the V&A Waterfront in Granger Bay. A great spot for breakfast or brunch, the market is a place where customers can do weekly food shopping (veg, fruit, bread, organic dairy, free-range eggs, honey, muesli etc), try out some delicious cooked and raw foods and be inspired about helping to build an alternative food system. It's not a bad place for an ice cream either.

    Lunch with a view

    Cape Town has a long and growing list of world-class restaurants. And we'll get to our gourmet and fine-dining options in a moment, but the places below are not exactly that. These are places to pop in for lunch after a morning beach session or hike. They're not recommended for their menus (although they're good), they're suggested for their ocean views and casual atmosphere. 46. The RoundhouseThis old guardhouse is nestled in the glens of Table Mountain above Camps Bay. Since 1786, the building has also functioned as a hotel, dance hall and, most famously, Lord Charles Somerset’s hunting lodge. The outside dining area at The Roundhouse, The Rumbullion, offers guests a tapas-style menu and the chance to unwind in the sun on the lush lawns. 47. Brass Bell You cannot get closer to the water than the Brass Bell. Waves crash into the rocks a stone's throw away and splash up to give patrons a refreshing ocean spray while enjoying pizzas, burgers and beers. Located in the trendy harbor town of Kalk Bay, the Brass Bell is a restaurant/pub with a view. But what a view! Top tip: For a more elegant experience, head round the corner to the celebrated Harbour House. 48. The BungalowWonderfully placed between the popular beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, the Bungalow is a place where sand and sequins mix. Bare feet and bubbles is the order of the day here. The uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean views are the main attraction, with the wine and food a very welcome accompaniment. 49. The Lookout Deck The Lookout Deck is a seafood restaurant situated on the water's edge in Hout Bay harbour. The restaurant boasts breathtaking mountain and ocean views serving excellent sushi and freshly caught fish in this old fishing village. Top tip: There are a couple of restaurants on Hout Bay beach that offer similar experiences, Chapman's Peak Hotel and Dunes are the best options. 50. The GrandThe Grand is popular summer spot next to the V&A Waterfront, 'Where the grand-chic meets retro-romance, fit for the worldly traveller and diner'. They serve great cocktails and massive pizzas, but the first thing you're going to want to do there is get your toes in that sand. 51. Die Strandloper Now, this is a somewhat different option. Die Strandloper is a casual open-air restaurant located just over an hour from Cape Town and lunch is an all-day affair. Starting at midday and going until early evening, Die Strandloper offers a seafood extravaganza where guests eat about 10 courses from mussels through to crayfish. Don't worry, you can walk it off between courses on the beach. 

    Restaurants and Nightlife

    So you've done your crazy activity for the day, you even managed to take in lunch with a view, a small hike and a soul-stirring sunset afterwards, and now it's time to go out and have a good time. But where to go? Cape Town recently topped the Conde Nast Traveler list of Best Food Cities in the World. I know, I know, what can't we do? There are some celebrated fine-dining restaurants such as the Test Kitchen and Pot Luck Club, but for those of us who don't have time for a six-month waiting list we simplified the options into regions of the city. We limited this list to places within easy reach of the city centre for those visiting Cape Town. 52. Bree Street This, in 2016, is Cape Town's most lively and popular street. Host to the already-mentioned First Thursdays and its very own festival, Bree Street is a long street of chic restaurants and bars vying for your attention. Chef's Warehouse is an award-winning tapas restaurant, Charango is a Peruvian grill and bar with  a menu dedicated to Peruvian-Japanese fusion, or Nikkei cuisine. And Bocca is an enjoyable pizza and wine restaurant. For drinking, Hanks is a moody whisky bar with booths to relax in and the occassional DJ to lift the spirits. Publik (not technically on Bree, but very close) is a fantastic neighbourhood wine bar with a focus on the more unusual and interesting wines available. And then towards the top of Bree is Orphanage, a cocktail emporium that is 'a specialist club of artisan cocktails, elixir's & intoxications.' 53. Long street This iconic street might be a little rough around the edges, especially as the night wears on, but there are still some great restaurants and bars to check out. A good option is Fork, Cape Town's best tapas restaurant with a creative offering of small plates. Further up Long Street is Mama Africa, a fun and vibrant restaurant that offers a truly African experience with iconic dishes and a lively bar. A great place for an evening cocktail is the Grand Daddy Hotel rooftop bar, the world’s only designer rooftop caravan park.   54. Kloof Street The younger more hip cousin, Kloof Street connects at the top of Long Street and continues up the mountain. Bacini's is loved for its stellar pizzas while Jerry's (just off Kloof) is loved for its tasty burgers. For a more sophisticated experience, check out Kloof Street House. Set in a Victorian house with a fairy-lit garden, Kloof Street House is a romantic option with an array of delicious meals and live jazz on Sundays. 55. V&A WaterfrontThe Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a posh wharf turned shopping area with upscale stores, cafés, restaurants, and bars. Willoughby & Co. is regarded as one of the best seafood restaurants in the city. Den Anker combines Belgian beer with fresh, seasonal dishes like just-caught crayfish or shrimps flown in from Europe. Alternatively, pay a visit to the nearby Cape Grace where you'll find the Signal Restaurant and the Bascule Whiskey Bar, Cape Town's premier whisky bar. 56. De Waterkant In the shadow of the Cape Town stadium, De Waterkant has a nice collection of bars and restaurants to choose from. El Burro is one of Cape Town's best Mexican restaurants, with an accompanying tequila bar to kickstart a night out. Hussar Grill, near the Mouille Point Lighthouse is considered by many to be Cape Town's best steak restaurant. The Piano Bar is a New York-inspired music revue bar and eatery with a strong African flavour.
    And that's Cape Town in a nutshell. As you might be able to tell, one week is not nearly enough for all the things you can see or do. And we haven't even mentioned the plethora of weekend getaways within easy reach of the city.  If you'd like to come to Cape Town, contact one of our consultants to find out exactly how you can do that. The Mother City awaits...  

  • Big Adventures for small Safari Adventurers at... Ulusaba

    By Melanie Du Toit |

    Ulusaba Rock Lodge’s name translates to ‘the place of little fear’, given by ancient Shangaan warriors who used the boulder-strewn koppie on which part of it rests as a lookout post in centuries gone by. Today it not only welcomes new and veteran safari-goers but those visitors who come in a more ‘diminutive’ form, reaffirming Ulusaba's status as a haven promising plenty of discovery while leaving little to fear. Ulusaba’s Cub's Club features specially tailored activities for children and ensures that a dizzying amount of excitement is in store from the minute their tiny feet touch the savannah in this private sector of Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Safari holidays have had a reputation in the past for not being conducive to a family holiday. At Ulusaba, a dedicated team of staff and a comprehensive kids programme ensure that this most certainly is not the case, proving that a safari can be enjoyed by even the smallest of enthusiasts. While parents are trundling through the wilderness in search of the Big 5 and making the most of their well-deserved break, kids are kept busy and entertained back at the lodge. Cubs can make their days their own and decide on their itineraries for their stay in the bush. Upon arrival at Ulusaba, cubs are greeted with a safari backpack filled with everything they’ll need for their whirlwind safari adventure. With an Ulusaba cap protecting little heads from the harsh sun, these small adventurers embark on a treasure hunt around the lodge designed to familiarise cubs with their new surroundings. Under the careful and friendly gaze of a guide and tracker, cubs may find themselves trekking (not too far) into the 13,500ha Ulusaba Private Game Reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger Area on a mini-rangers course and bush walk. Here they will learn about the bush and how to identify animals from the tracks and dung droppings they’ve left behind. Even dinner time turns into a fun affair with Safari MasterChef courses allowing little ones to try their hand at making pizza and baking cookies (the latter of which can be enjoyed at tea time or while listening to African-themed bedtime stories). Kid-friendly meals are also on offer as the staff at Ulusaba understand that cubs don’t have quite the same appetite as full-grown members of their pride might. At night, parents can rest easy knowing that there are 24/hr security guards patrolling the premises who will pay extra attention to any peeps and murmurs that might come from rooms with cubs in them. Other activities around the lodge include afternoons at the swimming pool, with an experienced swimmer on hand to supervise; as well as rock painting and coloured sand art. For those days when cubs would rather stay in than out, Ulusaba boasts an array of current and classic DVDs, CDs, and even a Nintendo Wii—ensuring that kids can still be active, even when indoors. Between board games, puzzles, cards, and learning traditional South African games that cubs can take home with them—there won’t be a moment of fun to spare. And when the little tykes are tired out from a hard day spent adventuring? A unique cub’s spa treatment is sure to help them unwind. Are you ready to take your family on the adventure of a lifetime? Contact one of our worldly Rhino Africa consultants today to find out more, and visit Ulusaba's website to see what else they have to offer.

    Please note:

    Ulusaba’s Cub's Club is open to cubs between the ages of 0-11 years and babysitting services are available at no extra charge.

    Children over the age of six may accompany their family on game drives.

    We do advise pre-booking as this activity may be subject to season and availability.

  • My Trip|A Wildlife Extravaganza in Southern Africa

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Dominic D'Souza, an Australian living in London, recently visited Southern Africa with his girlfriend, Nicole, and her family. Dominic is a talented photographer and managed to capture some of Africa's magnificent animals in a way that would leave many professionals envious. Dominic's group had the consummate Samantha as their consultant who helped plan their trip with them. They stayed at;

    • Cresta Sprayview, which is the perfect gateway for adventure seekers exploring the resort town of Victoria Falls. 
    • Muchenje Lodge in the west of Botswana's Chobe National Park where guests can go on river cruises and drift silently past a bathing herd of elephants or enter the hippos' world of crocodiles and amazing birdlife. 
    • And Kirkman's Kamp in South Africa's Sabi Sand, a historic camp overlooking the Sand river and often boasting excellent wildlife sightings.
    These are the beautiful photos Dominic managed to capture on his trip..."The trip far exceeded all of our expectations and, for all of us, was a trip of a lifetime," Dominic says. "One of the best moments of our trip was having lunch on our boat along the Chobe river with a herd of 300 elephants walking past along the river bank." "Another amazing sighting was seeing a lioness and her two cubs steal an impala from a leopard in the Sabi Sand. The lions then ate the impala while the leopard sat and watched them feed." "I was surprised by how close we got to the animals and the sheer quantity and variety of wildlife that we saw. On the majority of our game drives in Sabi Sand we were lucky enough to see all the Big 5 in a single outing, morning and afternoon. "At one point we were surrounded by 4 of the Big 5 in a 360-degree view – elephants in front, rhinos behind, a leopard stalking along the river bank and a heard of buffalo crossing the dry riverbed!" "Rhino Africa was fantastic to work with. From the first contact right through to the start of our trip no question was too much trouble and no shortage of details and information. As a former leisure agent myself (now corporate agent) I can appreciate the amount of time and effort Sam put into making our trip unforgettable. She was so good we’re now looking to book an east Africa trip for the end of this year through her." If you too would like to come on a trip to Africa and experience its allure for yourself contact us now and let’s talk about what your dream trip would be and we can start making that a reality. 

  • Tragedy and Hope: Another Orphaned Rhino Arrives at The World’s Largest Rhino Sanctuary

    By Good Work Foundation |

    When a rhino cow has a calf with her, which is often the case, poachers are under pressure to act fast. Once they have killed the mother, the horrified calf will make high-pitched squeals, attracting both predators and anti-poaching units that may be close by. The poachers need to focus on the activity that will earn them their bounty – extracting the mother’s horn as quickly as possible. If there are spare hands in the gang, the poachers will also kill the calf and attempt to extract the small stump of a horn that the young rhino has grown in its short life. In this business, every ounce of horn is worth thousands. One of the most recent additions to the Care for Wild AFRICA rhino sanctuary is a male calf that narrowly escaped the same fate as his mother. The rhino calf was rescued from South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP) and his mother is assumed to have been killed by rhino poachers. ‘’The calf wandered through the bushes by himself for about five days before he was rescued in the Satara section of the KNP,’’ says Petronel Nieuwoudt, founder and CEO of Care for Wild AFRICA. He was immediately darted and transferred to Care for Wild AFRICA, which is now the largest rhino sanctuary in the world. Petronel expected the worst, as she always does. There is no guarantee that the orphans will respond to medication, and often, their wounds are beyond treatment. This rhino calf was no exception. He was dehydrated and severely traumatised (the rhino calf is assumed to have watched as the poachers hacked his mother’s face to pull out the horn). Even worse, there was clear evidence that the poachers had tried to kill him. Two deep gashes on his back from machetes show that the poachers tried to break the young rhino’s spine. In all likelihood, he was bothering the poachers as they did their work. Remember – even a rhino calf can do extensive damage when it charges. The story, although horrific, ends with some level of hope. The young male calf is alive and healthy. When he arrived at Petronel’s sanctuary, a team of veterinarians and surgeons were able to treat the various injuries, and the young rhino responded well to antibiotics. He has been named “LoFo” – lost and found. LoFo is kept in the boma next door to Don, the orphaned rhino that was adopted by our team at Rhino Africa. In today’s blog, we wanted to share photos of the heroes who helped to save LoFo. Many of these professionals (who are also volunteers) were the same people who rescued, nurtured and rehabilitated Don. Both rhinos become two more animals that are still alive. Two more animals that provide hope for the future of this species. Are you interested in adopting LoFo? LoFo has not yet been adopted. The cost is $1100 per month, covering all maintenance costs relating to food, shelter and medication as well as state-of-the-art security. If you would like to join us at Rhino Africa in supporting the incredible work of Petronel and her team, consider adding an orphan rhino to your family. For more information, contact us here.  

  • Our Top Child-Friendly Lodges in Africa

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    “Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” -  Richard L. Evans

    It can be both wonderful and difficult for a child on safari. The wonder obviously lies in the adventure and the animals, and the difficulty lies in keeping quiet and fidget-free for long periods.

    I remember being ordered to sit silently in a hide next to a waterhole in Zimbabwe when I was twelve, and it was one of the most challenging things I had ever done, or, according to my parents, didn’t do. It is for such reasons that many of the luxury lodges in Africa don’t cater for children under age 16. But there are several that do. And they do it remarkably well! Think bushwalks, junior ranger training, butterfly/fish/insect catch-and-release, arts, crafts, games and special game drives. Here are our favourite child-friendly lodges in Africa that will welcome your little ones with open arms. They have several facilities and activities tailored to keep the rascals busy and inspired until they pass out in their cosy safari beds for the night. There are also several malaria-free safari destinations such Madikwe and the Garden Route/Eastern Cape.

    1. Londolozi

    Hosted at Londolozi, the Londolozi Cubs programme packs in a bunch of fun and fascinating activities to give your kids more than just an understanding of their role in managing and conserving Africa’s incredible biodiversity. Here, children learn about themselves, other people and cultures, about building friendships and trust, and about survival in the wilderness. It's ideal for wannabe young rangers. The Cub’s Den is equipped with fish ponds to splash around in, Land Rovers to pretend-drive, camp-out tents and an educational centre focusing on wildlife. Your kids can go on bushveld excursions, guided by the Cub Coach, a dedicated and expert naturalist, who oversees all the children’s activities. Please note, it is recommended that Londolozi be notified beforehand if you're coming with kids. Accommodation: Varty Camp and Founders Camp at Londolozi both accommodate children between the ages of 4 and 16 years old. Activities: Game drives (children of 6 years and older); paper mache; candle making; baking; spoor identification; bird watching; bug catching; African dance; bead making; singing and drumming; gumboot dancing; dung spitting; fishing; and more.

    2. Sanbona Gondwana Lodge

    The Sanbona Gondwana lodge hosts a special "Kids on Safari" programme with plenty to keep the little ones active. Accommodation: Only 3 hours from Cape Town, the Gondwana lodge in the Sanbona Game Reserve is the perfect family lodge offering numerous facilities and activities geared specifically for a family safari. There are 12 large suites and a children's playroom with TV. Activities: A range of outdoor activities are available to children of all ages, including an interpretive trail through the garden of Gondwana learning about animals that occur on the reserve as well as tracks and important plants. Visit the sites where the San people left their legacy on the rock faces at Sanbona, where the ranger will interpret the scene so that the children can create their own ‘rock’ art. Children can partake in various social, sporting and art activities such as bead making, clay making activities, face painting and star gazing. There is also a wide selection of indoor activities including art with scrapbooks, paper, scissors, glue crayons, pencils & paints. Puzzles of varying sizes and difficulties covering a broad age range. Documentary DVD’s on various conservation topics and animals, animated movies. A selection of entertaining and educational children’s books and fun board games.

    3. Royal Chundu

    The child-friendly Royal Chundu hosts the Chundu Children’s Club, a bespoke kids on safari programme aimed to entertain and accommodate your little ones. There are several activities offered by trained staff, subject to length of stay and guide availability. Accommodation: Royal Chundu offers accommodation at either the Royal Chundu River Lodge or Katombora Island Lodge, both incredibly positioned on a piece of untamed Africa with rapids protecting it up and downstream, granting guests 15kms of unspoilt, safe and private river usage. Activities: These include a treasure hunt, a frogging safari, butterfly and insect capture and release, fishing tag and release, cosmic safari, birding, cooking lessons with the Chundu Chefs, and much more. Children under the age of 2 will be cared for at the lodge by trained child minders while parents enjoy Sunset Cruises. Watch Royal Chundu Children's Club Video for an inside look:

    4. Tintswalo

    Tintswalo Manor House is a comfortable, exclusive-use lodge for larger families and friends with a fenced garden and children's rooms close to parents. Accommodation: This luxury exclusive-use villa in the Manyeleti Game Reserve has three en suite bedrooms, one with an interconnecting children's room and another the palatial master bedroom. Activities: Children are allowed on game drives at the discretion of the guide, but not on game walks. Tintswalo's special children's programme offers a fun, educational bush experience in the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve where the Big 5 as well as plenty of plains game roam.

    5. Madikwe Safari Lodge

    Madikwe Safari Lodge is very child-friendly, many of the staff have kids of our own, so they know what an unforgettable experience it is for children to be in the bush. They encourage parents to bring their children with on safari and cover all the bases, from child-friendly food to a full range of activities. Added bonus: Madikwe doesn’t charge for kids six years old or younger. They also don’t charge additional costs for any of the activities. Accommodation: There are two large family suites in Lelapa Lodge (Lelapa is Tswana for family) which are perfect for families with up to two children, ten years old and under. Each suite has twin beds and a comfortable sleeper-couch. Activities: Adult safari drives are available to all children who are 6 years and older while family safari drives are available to all children between 2 and 6 years old. Although the family drives don’t approach or go into lion or elephant sighting areas, for safety reasons, it is an exciting opportunity for the kids to go out with their parents into the bush and enjoy seeing so many incredible animals. There is bush orientation, bug CSI, dung tracking, animal track moulding, painting, drawing, baking, soccer, star-gazing lessons and even more.

    6. Machaba

    Machaba is located in the game rich Khwai area of the Okavango Delta and caters for children as well as to the seasoned safari traveller. Children aged five years and younger stay free and children 6-11 pay standard child rate, which is 50% of the adult sharing rate. Accommodation: Machaba has 10 luxury tents overlooking the famous Moremi Game Reserve. Two of these tents cater specifically for families. The family luxury tents allow for two children under 12 years of age two adults. There can be space made for additional children upon request. Activities: There is a swimming pool for the children to swim and play in and game drives, nature walks, mokoro rides are also available. No children under 12, however, are allowed to participate in mokoro and game walk activities.

    7. Victoria Falls River Lodge

    Victoria Falls River Lodge has a great 'Junior Explorers' programme. The idea is for the children to embrace the outdoors like a true African Explorer and learn all about the fascinating flora and fauna of the wild surrounds. There are also bushwalks, fables by firelight and a range of games to keep the kids busy. Accommodation: There are family suites on offer which have an adjoining tented room to the main 'tent', with one single (3/4 sized) bed and one bunk bed, where up to three sharing children (younger than 17 years old) can sleep comfortably; allowing their parents a bit more privacy. Activities: Kids can join their guide on a game drive to learn all about the animals and plants. These are aimed at children aged from 4-7 and should be accompanied by at least one parent. There are guided walks within the camp surrounds and riverbanks immediately in front of the lodge. This is geared for children of ages 4-11 years. At the end of the day, there are stories around the fire of traditional African tales and if the weather is not agreeable there are a range of games for indoor entertainment.

    Other great child-friendly lodges include:


    A Final Word

    Should you like to find out more information about these safari lodges mentioned or discuss things further with an expert consultant , please contact us and we'll help tailor-make you the perfect trip!

  • Rhino Africa wins fourth consecutive World Travel Award for Africa's Leading Safari Company

    By Matthew Sterne |

    On Saturday the 9th of April 2016, Rhino Africa was crowned Africa's Leading Safari Company for the fourth year running. The glamorous event, held on the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar, recognizes the leading operators in the world of travel. Called 'The Oscars of the Travel Industry', the World Travel Awards selected Rhino Africa as the continent's leading safari company due to its ongoing service excellence and the widely acknowledged client satisfaction. Let's hope that this is merely one more step towards an even brighter future, with many more to come.