Cape Town has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the world. I’ve visited the city twice, and on my last trip I spent a full week participating in the many touring options in and around the Cape. I also stayed in a different hotel each night in order to sample the many options available in Cape Town and the Winelands region.
On arrival into Cape Town, after two weeks on safari in the Okavango Delta and the Sabi Sands with my colleague Melanie Reger (read her blog about our safari experiences and her first trip to Africa!), we were transferred to Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands to La Residence, where we stayed in my favorite accommodation to date!
Our private two bedroom villa was stunning and offered amazing views of the vineyards with mountains as the backdrop. Melanie and I each had our own beautifully appointed bedroom and bathroom with a shared living room, dining room and huge plunge pool in the back of the villa facing the vineyards. To top it all off, there were peacocks on our lawn! The following day we met our guide and explored various wineries on a relaxing Winelands tour. It was fabulous, and in my opinion, this tour is a “must-do” when you are in Cape Town.
Over the following days we stayed at the boutique Cape Cadogan hotel just off of Kloof Street, the historic Mount Nelson Hotel, the beautiful and quintessential Cape Town accommodation The Cape Grace, The One and Only on the waterfront and finally, at Welgelegen Boutique Hotel.
I enjoyed each of these hotels, as they all had their own unique characteristics and charm. I loved the Cape Cadogan and Welgelegen because they are both small boutique properties located in the center of the city rather than in the waterfront area. When you stay in that area you feel a bit more like you live in Cape Town and are just returning to your personal apartment at the end of the day. Both accommodations give off a warm, homey feeling and are within walking distance of bars, restaurants and shops that are frequented by locals and tourists alike. My favorite restaurant in the area was Black Sheep. It’s delicious, casual, relatively inexpensive and well worth a visit!
The Cape Grace and The One and Only were my favorite hotels in the waterfront area. The One and Only is great if you are looking for a bit more of a “beach vibe” in Cape Town. Their pool area and island rooms are fantastic! The One and Only also just remodeled their kids club, and it is absolutely amazing.
One of my favorite tours in Cape Town was the Peninsula Tour. On the tour we were able to see the penguins at Boulder’s Beach, enjoy a photo op at the Cape of Good Hope sign and take in the stunning ocean views from the lighthouse at Cape Point. We finished the day at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens. The Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point is a delicious venue for seafood and another great place to appreciate the cliffside views in the area.
On our last day in Cape Town we took a guided tour of the townships. Our awesome township guide, Jimmy, grew up in the townships and still lives there with his family. He was able to explain to us how the townships were created and also explain what the future holds for the people living there. Jimmy was well-educated, well-spoken and loved by everyone we encountered.
After six days of touring the city we drove out to Constantia for our last dinner in the Cape before continuing our safari at Mashatu Tented Camp in Botswana’s Northern Tuli Game Reserve. We had dinner at The Greenhouse at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. The food was absolutely phenomenal! We enjoyed a seven course tasting menu and while it was pricey, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Our dinner at The Greenhouse was the perfect way to end our time in Cape Town and the Winelands.
Cape Town and the Cape Winelands are sometimes overlooked when travelers start thinking about planning their safari. However, if you have the time, I highly recommend spending at least four nights (if not more) exploring the Cape. You’ll be glad you did!