If you're lucky enough to be visiting this part of the African continent, then there are plenty of things that you must be sure to see. Here are our pick of them.
Visit the Newlands Cricket Ground
It's no secret that South Africa are cricket masters. In the biggest international competitions they're never far away from the trophy. In fact, in this year's Cricket World Cup, bookmakers predict they could be in the running for the trophy. Of course, you might not be lucky enough to be staying during the 2020 World Cup, but their domestic competitions are really a sight to behold as well. Cape Town boasts several teams, all with incredible talent, so if a match happens to be occurring during your visit then be sure to visit the Newlands Cricket Ground. This historic ground is a seriously exciting way to spend a sunny afternoon in Cape Town.
Try Denningvleis Stew
Africa in general has a rich stew heritage. It's healthy, filling and most importantly comforting. One stew that not everybody will necessary be familiar with is Denningvleis. This dish is the epitome of South African cuisine, and there's one place in Cape Town that does it better than anywhere else; Bo-kaap Kombuis. This restaurant specialises in Cape Malay cuisine which, although made fresh every day from local ingredients, remains affordable. The owner of the restaurant has always made affordability a priority, so that all of his neighbours can enjoy food in Bo-kaap Kombuis.
Anyway, Denningvleis. It is a lamb stew with a strong sweet and sour taste, thanks to the rich, sticky tamarind used to flavour the sauce. It's also heavily spiced, with nutmeg, mustard seeds, all spice and of course, plenty of garlic. At Bo-kaap Kombuis they keep to tradition and serve the dish with South African yellow rice and raisins. It's hearty, warming and utterly delicious - a true taste of South Africa.
Climb Table Mountain
It almost goes without saying, that one of the most spectacular parts of sprawling Cape Town is the impressive Table Mountain. It's possible to get a cable car to the top, but there are several hikes that make the trip to the top of the mountain far more adventurous. Whichever hike you choose, be sure to wear walking boots with good ankle support, as the terrain can be uneven, even on the most popular paths.
If you want to get to the top quickly, then opt for the Platteklip Gorge route. You'll see a Platteklip sign where there's space for parking and, also, the signpost to the ravine which you'll be climbing. The steps are relatively steep in parts, but it's the most direct route up the mountain. Those who are incredibly fit can do the whole walk in an hour and a half, but if you take a couple of breaks and are of average fitness then you're more likely to take closer to three hours.
In good weather this hike is very popular, so you're likely to see a few other people on your way. As well as this, the views back across the land away from the mountain are exceptionally beautiful. Once you reach the summit you're a very short way from the Cableway, so you can catch that back down and save your tired legs!
If you fancy making a day of it, then Skeleton Gorge is the route for you. You'll start your hike in the absolutely staggering Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden - there's a pretty cafe in among the trees here which is a great spot for breakfast. Once you've finished your breakfast, you'll begin your 3 kilometre trek up table mountain. Be warned. Although 3km sounds easy, when you're climbing the face of table mountain, it feels like a lot further!
Your hike starts in dense almost jungle and will include steep steps and even the odd ladder. As you get into the second half of the hike you'll emerge above the tree line on Breakfast Rock (if you need to stop for a snack then this a perfect place). There's a large reservoir at the summit which looks really tempting to dive into, but please don't! Simply enjoy the views and revel in the fact that you've made it. The first half is shaded and feels like you’re in a jungle somewhere far-off, but you’ll start seeing some spectacular views closer to the top.
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