Cape Town Travel Guide

/ / / / / /

Why Twitter Went Crazy Over the Arrival of British Airways Flight 43

December 21, 2013 at 1:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

The top trending topic on Twitter Friday night was a cryptic inquiry: #HasJustineLandedYet?

To tell the story behind the hashtag is to sum up 12 hours of Twitter intrigue and outrage stemming from a single idiotic tweet by @JustineSacco.

Sacco, a communications director for media conglomerate IAC (representing brands like Vimeo, OkCupid, and Match.com), couldn't resist the urge to fire off a final tweet before boarding a 12-hour nonstop flight on British Airways from London to Cape Town, South Africa:

Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

Three Touristy (but Totally Worthwhile) Things to Do in Cape Town

June 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're going to road trip in South Africa, let it be on the Garden Route. This popular stretch of road connects Heidelberg and Storms River Village along the N2, traversing mountain passes interspersed with views out to the Indian Ocean. We recently drove it in a 2014 Subaru Forester XT, opting for the most picturesque (and least paved) stretches from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town. Come along for the ride all this week!

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

So far this week, we’ve taken you from Plettenberg Bay to Arniston, through numerous mountain passes and ostrich farms, and to a museum choc-full of Ferraris. Alas, all good things must come to an end and the final stretch of our road trip in a 2014 Subaru Forester XT brings us into Cape Town for the usual touristy stuff.

It's totally okay to be a tourist, you know. Everyone must start somewhere in exploring a city new to them. For a first visit to Cape Town, these three touristy activities are completely worthwhile:

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Road Tripping South Africa via the Garden Route: Ferraris in Franschhoek

June 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're going to road trip in South Africa, let it be on the Garden Route. This popular stretch of road connects Heidelberg and Storms River Village along the N2, traversing mountain passes interspersed with views out to the Indian Ocean. We recently drove it in a 2014 Subaru Forester XT, opting for the most picturesque (and least paved) stretches from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town. Come along for the ride all this week!

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

So far this week, we’ve taken you from Plettenberg Bay to Arniston, through numerous mountain passes and ostrich farms, but all good news must come to an end. This is the final stretch of our intense road trip. We're Cape Town-bound, although hardly via the “quick and easy” route.

The town of Arniston is a small fishing community on the very southernmost coast of South Africa. Originally called Waenhuiskrans, it received its newer name after a British-owned East India trading ship called the Arniston lost its heading and ran aground off the coast in 1815. Debris and bodies washed up on shore for days and, tragically, only 6 people survived. Regardless, the residents are always pleased to have vacationers in their humble town.

more ›

/ / / / /

Foreign Grocery Friday: The Koeksister Donuts of South Africa

June 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

In further celebration of National Doughnut Day, we bring to you the Koeksister"donut" from South Africa. Although not the classic doughnut shape, it retains the same basic ingredients, with a twist. The dough is usually braided and fried in hot oil followed by an immediate dunk in a special, sweet syrup.

The temperature difference allows the syrup to be sucked right into the heart of the dough, causing ooey-gooey goodness. It's a favorite treat in South Africa and usually served as a dessert at gatherings and parties.

more ›

/ / / /

Cape Town Asks Visitors to Donate One Vacation Day to Cleaning Up the Community

October 27, 2010 at 2:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Table Bay Hotel, in Cape Town, South Africa, is getting involved in the community by helping to restore several streets in Langa, one of the Cape's oldest townships, and they are asking their guests to help too.

The initiative is part of the “One Street at a Time” project which aims to build Langa into a sustainable tourism destination. The first street they are tackling is Harlem Avenue, a historic boulevard lined with shops and historic homes, including the home of Chris Hani, the influential anti-apartheid activist. Volunteers will help clean up the area and make needed repairs to homes and businesses along the avenue, which adds a nice positive, active slant to a South Africa vacation.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Celebrate South African Rugby With Matt Damon In 'Invictus'

December 11, 2009 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

Clint Eastwood's soon-to-be-Oscar-nominated film Invictus opens nationwide today. In the movie, Eastwood takes on the daunting task of telling the story of the first few months of Nelson Mandela's South African presidency, including his struggle to get the country's black majority to rally around the nearly all-white Springboks national rugby team, in the hope that it would unite the nation. Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) first made an example of himself by befriending the team's captain, Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon). He then cheered along with the rest of the country as the Springboks went on to defeat the New Zealand All Blacks and win the 1995 World Cup.

The Springboks are still a big deal in South Africa and are currently the holders of the Rugby World Cup and the Tri-Nations Championship. Even though it's off-season, the team is taking their trophies on the road. The tour will start in Cape Town on Friday, February 5 and make its way through all 14 provinces with over 116 stops, including 50 schools as well as clubs and shopping centers. You can get a schedule of the tour and ticket information for next season on The Springboks' official website.

more ›

/ / / /

Calling All Dog Lovers: Win A Volunteer Vacation In South Africa

Where: Cape Town
July 21, 2009 at 3:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

Listen up, animal lovers in need of a vacation! Keen Footwear is giving away a volunteer vacation in which one lucky winner will travel to South Africa to help out at a local animal shelter. The trip is valued at $4000, which includes airfare on South African Airways to Cape Town, accommodations (most likely a shared dorm room in a volunteer house) and the experience of working with neglected animals for up to two weeks. The winner will also have plenty of down time to explore Cape Town on their own.

Once in Cape Town, Keen will put the winner in touch with i-to-i volunteer vacations who will introduce them to TEARS, a local animal shelter that provides pet food, veterinary treatments and pet education to Capetonians. The organization also rescues dogs and cats from neglect or abuse and offers shelter to abandoned animals. Volunteers at TEARS not only help care for the animals, but they also work with local children to help them understand how to look after their own pets.

To enter Keen's contest, go to their website before August 21st and enter for a chance to win. Even if you don't win, you can still contact i-to-i travel about volunteering at TEARS or a number of other nonprofit organizations they work with around the world. Most of their excursions last between 2 to 4 weeks and cost between $2000 and $2500.

Related Stories:
· Win a Volunteer Vacation to Help Rescue Animals in South Africa [About.com]
· Animal Welfare [Charity Guide]
· Volunteer Travel [Jaunted]

[Photo: Social Investment Exchange]

/ / /

Cookies Could Send You To Cape Town

June 16, 2009 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Eat cookies, win trip. That's a no-brainer if we ever heard one, so the marketers at the Khaya Cookie Company might be on to something. They've started up the Quest for Cape Town competition and the winner gets a 10-day trip around the Cape Town area in South Africa, choosing from food and wine, eco-tourism or sun and surf themes.

Khaya Cookies include various shortbreads and granolas that are made with organic materials sourced from the winelands area near Cape Town, and the "cranberry rooibos shortbread" sounds like the most delicious one to us. If you buy a pack, you get an automatic entry into the competition to win the trip, or runner-up prizes like a Kindle, or extra boxes of cookies.

You can even check fellow cookie-addicts at the contest's stats page - when we checked, the leading entrant had scoffed down 22 packets of cookies so far. Entries close on July 15, after which time buying extra packets of cookies will become a slightly more "guilty conscience" action – although at least these cookies say you're helping create local jobs in South Africa. Eat up!

Do you love travel contests? Enter the Jaunted-Competitours Contest here!

Related Stories:
· Quest For Cape Town [Official Site]
· Cape Town Travel Guide [Jaunted]

/ / / /

Off-the-Beaten-Track Wine Farms Near Cape Town

February 3, 2009 at 2:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Monica Guy is joining us again this week to tell us what more there is to do in South Africa. Enjoy.

Yesterday we told you about the South African Brandy tastings that you must experience when you make the trip to South Africa. But we can't forget about wine tours, can we? At the top of our list of Things To Do Around Cape Town still remains a tour of the wine farms in Stellenbosch and Constantia.

Did we say wine farms? We meant tourist farms. The two dozen or so farms who are fully kitted out for international visitors with industrial tasting rooms, restaurants that could feed the whole of Africa, international shipping options and marked up wine prices.

Okay, we take it back. Some of these places are pretty gorgeous – colonial-style white houses overflowing with summer roses and surrounded by fields of vines. Here's a few that you should stop by and see.

more ›

/ / / /

Where To Go When You’ve Done Table Mountain

January 27, 2009 at 2:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

Monica Guy is joining us again this week to tell us what more there is to do in South Africa. Enjoy.

It doesn’t sound as if our last South African embed, Jill Nawrocki had such a good time on her hike up Table Mountain. And so we have to ask: why bother hiking up the thing when you can get a cable car and save yourself the legwork? Unless you’re a proper hiker and pick one of the weird back routes, you’ll only end up at exactly the same place as the sensible buggers who took the cable car – the mountain’s (excellent but expensive) panoramic café restaurant.

In the summer, the Platteklip Gorge route is Bloody Hot – take it from us. If you do fancy it, do the decent thing and get your lazy butt out of bed at 6am, ready to start at 7am. Or the sweat pouring off your forehead will make the front pages of the Cape Times. (Possible headline? "New Saltwater River Discovered on Table Mountain.")

Either way you do it, you're gonna want a place to rest and relax after you've done it. It just so happens we've got a few recommendations fo you.

more ›

/ / / /

The Best Views Around Cape Town

January 26, 2009 at 4:24 PM | by | Comments (2)

Monica Guy is joining us again this week to tell us what more there is to do in South Africa. Enjoy.

The best Best View in Cape Town, of course, is Table Mountain. But pick a clear day or you’ll be looking down at cotton wool (above). The weather does funny things around here and you have to get out slightly further afield for other "Best Views." That's where we come in. We've rounded up three more of Cape Town's best views in case the whole Table Mountain thing doesn't work out.

more ›

/ / / / /

South Africa Field Trip: A Cape Peninsula Tour

September 30, 2008 at 4:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Our Southern Africa embed Jill Nawrocki recently ducked out of Namibia for a field trip to South Africa.

We learned our lesson the hard way on the trip to Table Mountain, so when it came time to voyage out to the Cape of Good Hope, we weren't taking any chances. Our de facto tour guide Kev booked us two seats on the Baz Bus tour for R435 ($53) each. The deluxe minibus runs daily tours that include all of the Cape Peninsula highlights, as well as hiking and biking--in case we didn't already get our outdoor fill.

more ›