Insider Tips for Alternative Activities and Tours in Cape Town
There are places that are of such transcendent historical importance that they become iconic to a culture, a country, and even an entire continent. One such city is South Africa’s Cape Town. Historically, this city is of great importance in political and ideological struggles, and this congruence of history, people, and events, has made Cape Town into one of the most diverse and culturally rich cities in Africa. Adding to this phenomenon, the city has gained even greater international recognition after hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup. However, to really get a true taste of Cape Town culture, you have to stray from the now well-worn tourist path. So how do you do that? We’re here to guide you.
Cape Town Jazz Town
Cape Town enjoys a huge congruence of musicians and lovers of the fine art of jazz music, as well as a rich history in the genre. Remember that although Jazz is an American music genre, some of its roots are African. Cape Town is bursting with places to play and listen to live Jazz. These vary from improv nights at Tagore´s in the Observatory neighborhood, to full on concerts at places like the Moholo Live House in Langa, and the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival. However, if you’re a student traveler you can find student nights at the Great Wizoo in Rondebosch. To have a sampling of this variety, you might want to look into one of the “Jazz Safaris” around town that will organize a great night out experimenting some of the best Jazz you’ve ever heard.
Cape Town Foodie Town
The term “melting pot” applies perfectly to Cape Town. Not only does this apply to its history and cultural heritage, but it translates deliciously into Cape Town’s gastronomic landscape. The town is not only full of foreign influences like scrumptious fish and chips at Fish on the Rocks at the end of the Hout Bay harbor, incredible pizza and Italian food at Ristorante Posticino on Main Road, and fine French bistro cuisine at La Bohème. However, local flavors sprout all over the city, so make sure to try delicacies such as Biltong (a salty dried meat), Bobotie (Malayan meatloaf with raisins and baked egg), Boerewors (thick braaied sausage), Bunny Chow (hollowed out half loaf of bread stuffed with curry), and sweet delicious Koeksisters (twisted sweet deep-fried pastries). Tours include gourmet adventures, and walking tours around historic and gastronomically rich neighborhoods like the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood.
Cape Town Nightlife Town
Put on your best clothes and head out into the night. The bustling night-scene of Cape Town has a variety of pubs, bars, dance clubs, and venues to cater to every taste. If you came with a bunch of friends who want to fight for their right to party, head on to The District, Cocoon, or Reset to dance the night away to electronic, house, and hip-hop music. For live presentations that will blow your mind, check out the V&A Waterfront spectacular roster of acts. Julep Bar and Fiction Music Bar offer a more “alternative” ambiance with themed parties and varied DJ’s. Whatever kind of atmosphere you´re looking for, Cape Town is sure to have it, or taste a bit of everything in a night out tour.
Cape Town Wine Town
One of the most popular activities in Cape Town is to visit its wineries and have a taste of the area’s famous wines. However, some of them offer unique experiences where wine is not only a product to taste, but a lifestyle and creed. Some outstanding options are the underground candlelit tastings and inspirational tales at Weltevrede Wine Estate, an intimate tasting and sensory delight experience at Esona Boutique Winery, or just getting lost by the shore at Excelsior State. Another wine must-visit spot is the manor house at Groot Constantia, the oldest and most historic of South Africa’s wine farms.
Cape Town Nature Town
Although Cape Town is a great access point to some of South Africa’s most popular Safaris and nature adventures, you don’t really need to get out of the metropolitan area to get in touch with nature and appreciate the rich diversity of Cape Town and South Africa. The city is spotted with parks and natural areas so visitors can take a break from city life and indulge in a natural escape. For instance, take a few hours off to visit Green Point Park´s gorgeous indigenous garden with local medicinal plants. During springtime, Rondebush Common is very much worth visiting to admire stunning flowers. Other amazing parks include the Tygerberg Nature Reserve in the northern suburbs where imphepho (Helichrysum patulum) and wild rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) aromas will envelop you. Or, enjoy great views while hiking in Green Point Park or the Helderberg Nature Reserve.
About The Author: Diego Garzón. Diego is a writer by day at AllTheRooms and a reader by night. He is also the author of the first Screenwriting Manual in Spanish. He has been a creative consultant for television series and films. He lives with “the wife”, ”the dog”, and “the other dog”. You can also visit his website www.diegopgarzon.com
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