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Travel Notes: Travel-Write: Africa Travel Articles: Cape Town - The Fairest Cape

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As a destination and gateway to the rest of South Africa or the Western Cape region, Cape Town continues to grow in popularity with international travellers. And with good reason.

Cape Town

Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures, sights and sounds.

The rich blend of tastes and aromas - from the wine producing neighbourhoods of Constantia and Durbanville, to the culinary delights of African and Fusion cuisine that is enjoyed at cafes and restaurants throughout the city create a spirit that is unique to Cape Town.

Known fondly as the 'Mother City', Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and mixes the funky with the old, the historic with high tech, the pristine coastlines with mountain ranges and adrenaline activities with laid back pampering. Cape Town is unmistakably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

It is also the gateway to the rest of the province - a tapestry of agriculture, scenic routes, small town charm and wide-open spaces.

Regions within the province have their own unique offerings and cultural heritage. The Cape Winelands produce award-winning wines - hospitality is second nature and visitors are invited to tour cellars, taste wines, swap stories and enjoy gastronomic delights.

Cape Route 62 - the world’s longest Wine Route - promises not only fine winds, but also breathtaking views. This is a scenic alternative route between Cape Town and the Garden Route, offering numerous activities and charming sights along the way.

Stellenbosch Wine Country

The heart of South Africa’s wine industry, Stellenbosch is a place of great beauty and culture steeped in South African tradition.

The Stellenbosch Wine Route is arguably the country’s most famous and the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin area includes over 300 members, of which more than a 100 are open to the public.

Don’t forget the famous annual Strawberry Festival in October. Up to this date, strawberries - second to wine - are the largest export product from Stellenbosch.

Historic guided walks take place twice daily starting at the Tourism Bureau in Market Street and it’s a unique opportunity to explore the rich heritage of 'The Village of Oaks'.

Stellenbosch Wine Map:
Maps of the various estates are available from most hotels or the Stellenbosch tourism offices.

Delheim Wine Estate

Unlike some of the larger estates like Spier or Nederburg, Delheim -  in the Greater Simonsberg area - has retained its unique charm.

Wine tasting takes place in a cellar - what else - by candlelight and staff are fluent in both English and German.

Wine tasting at Delheim - South Africa
Delheim Wine Tasting

Once you’ve savoured the extraordinary wines from this estate, why not sit beneath large shady trees and enjoy a quiet lunch at the estates’ restaurant, while you gaze over the valley below. It’s truly spectacular.

South Africa Whale Watching

One of the best land-based whale watching sites can be found at Hermanus, in the Overberg area.

The whole coastline, with its four coastal villages, comes alive during the Whale Season (July to November) when the Southern Right Whale comes to mate and clave.

The West Coast, north of the city of Cape Town, stretches along the Atlantic Ocean and offers the visitor an experience of untamed coastline, quaint fishing villages, open-air beachside restaurants and a spectacular show of flowers during the Cape’s Spring Season.

Whatever your taste: vibrant night life, the great outdoors, adventure, culture or just an adrenalin rush, or all of the above, Cape Town and the Western Cape will never disappoint you.

For the Adrenalin Addict

Sea, air or land - Cape Town, the Cape Wine lands, Route 62 or the West Coast are the perfect adventurer’s destination.

Cape Town Adventures:
Organised tours, adventures and excursions to suit every adrenaline requirement await the traveller.

Paddle a comfortable touring kayak along the coast - the uniqueness of the area lends itself to exciting trips throughout the year - or take a boat charter from the harbours around Cape Town, Kalk Bay, Hout Bay, Simon’s Town, Hermanus, Godon’s Bay or the West Coast.

Get really high on a helicopter flip at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront - one of Cape Town’s most popular venues - or go up Table Mountain in a cable car, 1,086m above the city.

The rugged nature of the area makes for numerous and excellent scuba sites with wrecks and reefs accessible from the shore and boats.

The Cape of Good Hope has earned a reputation for being a hotspot in the world of Big Game Deep Sea Fishing. Cruisers depart from Simon’s Town.

At Cape Point the two oceans meet, resulting in prolific catches of Dorado, Albacore (longfish tuna) and Yellowtail.

Whilst not a hotspot for Marlin, Broadbill Swordfish (the gladiator of the deep) is ever present. Try Big Game Fishing Safaris, operating from Simon’s Town.

Why not try quad biking in the country, or if you’re feeling brave and want to have an eye-to-eye encounter with a shark, licensed operators offer Great White shark cage diving and whale watching excursions.

If the idea of going into the middle of the ocean and dangling yourself in a cage surrounded by Great Whites sounds a bit daunting, why not try a dive with not-quite-so-big-or-scary sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront?

Rock climbing, hiking trails, 4x4 and mountain biking - the list could really go on forever.

Just imagine yourself doing something wild and crazy, then come to Cape Town and you’ll be sure to find it.

Distances from Cape Town International Airport: George 450 km, Knysna 500 km, Mossel Bay 400 km, Oudtshoorn 387 km.

By Tricia Walters.

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