Cape Town & Western Cape, South Africa
Travel Types: Luxury, Adventure, Active and Family/Multi-Generational Travel
Special Interests: History & Culture, Nature & Wildlife, Urban Art, Wine, Cuisine, Hiking, Walking & Biking
A Day in the Life of a Specialist Guide
For a guide the days can be long, but in my case, they are totally worth it! I never want to be late, so I typically start in the early morning, picking up a car well in advance of the planned start time with my clients and after a full day of touring, late finishes in the evening are common. Cape Town is jam-packed with so many amazing things to see and do and invariably there is never enough time to do it all. The art of a good guide is the ability to ‘break the ice’ with new guests as soon as possible after meeting. I do this by asking questions, so I can get a sense of where visitors have come from, who they are and what really ticks the boxes for them. The sooner I can do this, the quicker I can start showing off my beautiful city and provide them with an experience tailored to their specific interests and needs. Local knowledge is a good base but learning is a continuous process and relationship building is everything! That is my focus with every guest I am fortunate enough to guide.
Why I Love Sharing My City
I really do bang on about it, but for me, Cape Town honestly is the most beautiful city in the world. The unparalleled variety of things to do and see means that there is something for everyone, no matter what your interest. Guests often ask me if I tire of visiting Cape Point Nature Reserve, going up to the top of Table Mountain or exploring the Cape Winelands (and many other highlights!) more times than most locals will ever do. The answer is a resounding NO! Couple the diversity of the “Mother City” with the unique interests of its visitors and I find myself learning and appreciating new perspectives every single day. Every time I see familiar places, I experience them differently with different visitors. I love watching my guests get excited about a certain experience because I know they will take this special memory home with them, even as they leave a piece of their own hearts in this wonderful city. The day I feel bored with the beauty, the places and the experiences is the day I’ll “hang up my boots”. We cover many of them most of the time. I have a few secret things to see or do in the favorites and they remain secret only for my guests to see!
Experiences I Am Recommending
- The Dylan Lewis Scupture Garden: Located in Stellenbosch, this is a little bit of heaven on earth for art and sculpture lovers!
- The Oranjezicht Farmer’s Market: Open on Saturdays and Sundays, the market is abuzz with activity! This is the place to pick up amazing organic fresh produce and check out the huge selection of truly delicious, artisanal food.
- A walk on the beach at Llandudno: This beach is incredibly beautiful. The clear, ice cold water and pure white sand is the perfect complement to the waters which turn from turquoise to deep blue right in front of your eyes.
- Coffee at Truth: Truth coffeehouse has become an iconic part of the city. It is a bustling, unique “steampunk-themed” coffee shop and the artisanal coffee is as good as the home-baked pastries.
My Favorite Activities
It may sound a little corny, but my favorite activities are some of the most common and well known experiences in the area! These spots never get old and are constant reminders of why I love Cape Town so much!
- Cape Point Nature Reserve: Think breathtaking nature, dramatic scenery, unspoiled views. And bring your camera!
- The Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach: No visit to Cape Town is complete without a visit to these adorable animals that make themselves at home on the beach. Their home in the Cape Peninsula is truly a unique phenomenon of nature.
- Surfers Corner at Muizenberg: This is vibrant and fun area, full of colorful characters and the surfers that take advantage of the incredible waves.
- Chapmans Peak Drive: This is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Every curve brings you to more breathtaking views and scenery.
- The Cape Winelands: Wine lovers should not miss the picturesque villages of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Located near Cape Town, the many local wineries are producing incredible varieties of wine and are solidifying South Africa’s place as a leader among wine producing countries. Visit year round for outstanding wines and food.
- The Hemel en Aarde Valley: The valley is the home of some the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the country. This is a great place to visit, especially if paired with the seasonal whale watching in Hermanus!
- Table Mountain: The iconic flat top of Table Mountain forms a large part of Cape Town’s stunning beauty. An amazing cable car ride or challenging hike is breathtaking every time, but keep in mind this activity is very weather dependent.
- The Company’s Gardens: Located in the city, the Company’s Gardens offers you a treasure trove of history and culture in the midst of some of the oldest trees in the country. The stories here are countless!
- The Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay Coastline: Visit each of these coastlines to see the architectural diversity on the Peninsula and discover the “split personalities” of the city.
- Any of the Amazing Restaurants in the Area: From the winelands to Cape Town and really across the entire peninsula, you are guaranteed to find food for all palates and persuasions! Different neighborhoods offer different dining options and one thing is certain: you will not go hungry in Cape Town!
These ideas hardly scratch the surface of all there is to discover in Cape Town and the Western Peninsula. Whether this is your first visit or your 40th, I look forward to welcoming you to the most beautiful city in the world!