[imagesource: Getty Images]
Things can change very quickly in the space of two weeks.
A British guide to travelling to Cape Town that was written today would probably be pretty concise.
“Don’t, because you’ll spend 10 awfully expensive days in a terrible quarantine hotel when you arrive back home.”
It was a different story on November 18 when The Evening Standard published its guide on how to spend a week in the Mother City.
We will travel back in time for a little ego boost:
Fabulous beaches, excellent food, near-endless winelands, some of the world’s greatest scenery, wildlife, plus history and culture in abundance, Cape Town offers it all and in one city.
It would take years to see and experience everything on offer in the so-called Mother City.
You are correct.
To kick things off, visitors are encouraged to tick off Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
The Atlantic Seaboard gets an obvious shout-out:
Spend some time enjoying the Clifton, Glen and Camps Bay beaches, and hire a car or book a tour to take you on Chapman’s Peak Drive – the stunning road that boasts one of the most jaw-dropping driving routes in the world…
I am not exaggerating when I say I have an entire notebook dedicated to where to eat in Cape Town; it’s one of the greatest culinary cities in the world. Locals will roll their eyes at this touristy spot, but I always mention Codfather in Camps Bay — I spotted Dermot O’Leary there once — for its brilliant seafood and sushi.
Dermot O’Leary is an English radio and television presenter. I’m not enthused.
Even if he’s not around the Two-For-One Tuesday burger special and Friday’s Happiest Hours Half-Price Bubbly Special make it worth stopping by.
In terms of accommodation, the Cape Grace in the Waterfront, the 12 Apostles, the Mount Nelson, and the Silo Hotel receive glowing praise.
The travel guide also recommends a visit to the Winelands. It would be rude not to:
The two most famous areas of the Cape Town Winelands are Stellenbosh and Franschhoek. The former is well known but the latter is — in my experience — better. Both are less than an hour away from town centre. Most of the wine farms operate on a drop in basis, with no need to book tastings, but if you have a specific stop in mind it is best to check and call ahead…
The Franschhoek Motor Museum is fun to visit. I was dragged there by my father, but did enjoy their collection of cars offering visitors a look back at 100 years of motoring history.
For those after a spot of wildlife, the guide recommends Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay “where you will see giraffes, elephants, buffalo and hippos in the wild”.
A visit to see the Simon’s Town penguins is a good shout with a sea kayak tour labelled “something really special”.
But all that was two weeks ago before the Omicron variant caused Boris Johnson to hit the panic button.
A simpler time. A time when December looked like it might actually see an influx of tourists, a battle for parking, and a massive shot in the arm for the local economy.
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