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5 Reasons You Need to Visit Cape Town in 2019

November 9th, 2018, by Lucille Sive

In 2018, the readers of Travel + Leisure named Cape Town one of only 15 “World’s Best” cities. Thanks to the Mother City’s unique blend of natural beauty and captivating cultural attractions, it’s easy to see why the city remains at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists. Following an incredible recovery from a water shortage in 2018, in which residents and travelers alike rallied together to save water, Cape Town’s travel and tourism sector is “open for business”! Travelers looking to support sustainable tourism and sample some of Africa’s extraordinary experiences in 2019, should look no further than this astonishing city.

1) BREATHTAKING NATURAL BEAUTY

One of the many reasons that travelers choose to visit Cape Town is its abundance of scenic beauty and natural attractions. The city itself is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain, one of the world’s Seven Wonders of Nature. Table Mountain’s iconic plateau forms the dramatic backdrop of the city and is a must-see for visitors. We recommend taking the cableway to zip to the top of the mountain, which sits over 3,400 feet above the city, since it allows 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding area. Once at the top, you can freely hike and explore the area to take in truly awe-inspiring views of the Western Cape.

View of Table Mountain


Another can’t-miss scenic attraction is the Cape of Good Hope, located within driving distance of Cape Town. We recommend booking a full-day tour of the region where you will enjoy a lovely scenic drive along the rocky coast of the Cape Peninsula, before making your way to the top of Cape Point for uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. The Cape of Good Hope is also located within the Table Mountain National Park, so you will get an opportunity to see the fascinating flowers of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of just six floral kingdoms in the world.

2) GOURMET FOOD & WORLD-CLASS WINE

Capetonians love their food, so it’s little wonder that Cape Town is one of the leading culinary destinations in Africa. The region is known for its seafood, thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The diverse sushi selections at Willoughby & Co., situated in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, are a local favorite as are the fresh oysters that are served daily at the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa’s Azure Restaurant. Cape Town is also home to a rich culinary history from the Cape Malay people, who came to the region from Malaysia in the 1600s, bringing with them flavorful foods such as curry and chutney. For adventurous culinary tourists, we recommend taking a cooking class with renowned chef Cass Abrahams to learn some of the secrets of the tasty Cape Malay cuisine.

Wine tasting in the Cape Winelands. Photo: South Africa Tourism


For wine amateurs and experts alike, no trip to Cape Town is complete without a thorough exploration of the region’s famous vintages. Situated just outside of Cape Town proper, the Cape Winelands is home to a diverse range of winemakers that is sure to delight travelers of all tastes. Thanks to the area’s one of a kind climate, the region’s grapes produce some of the best wines in the world. A wide variety of wines are produced in the region, including reds, whites, and tawnies, but of particular note is pinotage, a red wine grape that is known as South Africa’s signature variety. A cross between pinot noir and cinsaut grapes, pinotage is notable for its rich, earthy flavors. We recommend booking a full-day tour to the Winelands region so that you can stop for wine tastings and tours at a number of vineyards to learn about the exciting history of South African wine.

3) NELSON MANDELA'S STRUGGLE AGAINST APARTHEID

While visiting Cape Town, it is absolutely essential to learn more about Nelson Mandela’s three-decade struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Arrested in 1962 for political crimes, Nelson Mandela went on to spend 18 of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island, located just off the coast of Cape Town. Today, you have the opportunity to visit Robben Island, now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will be escorted around the former prison to learn how Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners overcame extraordinary adversity to transform Robben Island into a symbol of freedom for the world. Seeing Robben Island and, especially, Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell, is an emotional journey and one that you won’t soon forget. We recommend booking the half day tour to Robben Island in advance of your trip to ensure your seat is saved for this popular historical attraction.

Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island. Photo: Katherine Watts

4) VIP TREATMENT & LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS

From the moment you arrive in Cape Town, you will be treated like a VIP. After you have touched down and collected your luggage, an African Travel representative will whisk you away to your luxury hotel to begin your Cape Town adventure. This VIP treatment extends to your experience at your hotel, where you can expect to be warmly greeted by the property’s well-trained staff. We are proud to offer a variety of hotel options and you can rest assured that we only provide accommodations at a 4-star level or above. For example, if you travel on Unforgettable Southern Africa you will stay in the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, a 5-star boutique hotel that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel enjoys the longest hours of sunshine in Cape Town, ensuring that you will see remarkable African sunsets during your stay. The interior decor reflects the surrounding scenery with light, airy rooms that combine contemporary African style and classic European comfort. The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa is just one of many Cape Town properties that we enthusiastically recommend. We encourage you to speak to your knowledgeable Africa Specialist to find the Cape Town accommodations that suit your travel style.

Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

5) CAPE TOWN IS A WORLD LEADER IN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

View from the Cape of Good Hope.


Cape Town has made a remarkable recovery from the water shortage that affected the area earlier this year. As of October 2018, dam levels have reached 75% capacity, up from 38% capacity at the same time in 2017. This incredible turn around was made possible thanks to abundant winter rains and the coordinated efforts of Capetonians and travelers who, when called upon, rallied together to conserve the region’s water resources. Over the past three years, Cape Town has been able to decrease its water consumption by an amazing 50%, making Cape Town not just a story of recovery in the face of climate change, but a sustainable model for the world. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has highlighted Cape Town’s successful water conservation strategies as a new standard for other global cities to emulate. Sustainability is at the heart of Cape Town’s tourism industry and, as a result, water-wise practices remain in effect at the city’s hotels: you will be asked to do your part by taking shorter showers and avoiding baths. With this sustainable foundation in place, Cape Town is poised to remain a top travel destination for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming you to Cape Town in 2019!

For more information about Cape Town’s water shortage, read Cape Town is Open for Business”.

 

Cape Town is Open for Business

October 5th, 2018, by African Travel

Graced with Rain

World Rhino Day 2018

September 20th, 2018, by African Travel

It’s estimated that at the beginning of the 20th century, there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia. Today, there are only 29,000 rhinos in the wild.

On this World Rhino Day, September 22, 2018, we celebrate all five species of rhino – the Black Rhino, White Rhino, Indian Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and the Javan Rhino. But three of the five rhino species are Critically Endangered, meaning they face a high chance of extinction.

At African Travel, Inc. we are passionate about protecting wildlife. That’s why we partner with the TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. At African Travel and TreadRight, our mission is clear, to have a positive impact on the people and communities we visit, to help protect wild and marine life, and to care for the planet we call home.

Here are a few ways we work with the TreadRight Foundation to protect rhinos to ensure their survival.

TreadRight Bat Hawk
The TreadRight Bat Hawk is a light aircraft used by the Wilderness Foundation – Africa to track and monitor rhinos in the Eastern Cape. This indispensable tool has been instrumental in safeguarding the region from the unrelenting poaching threat rhinos face on a daily basis.

Did you know 3 rhinos are poached for their horn every day on average across Africa?

Book African Travel’s South African Adventure
When guests book our South African Adventure safari vacation, a contribution is made in their name toward rhino conservation.

Turn Off Your GPS Location While on Safari 
Poachers are now using unsuspecting tourists to hunt their prey. We encourage all guest on safari to turn off geotagging on their phones when they are taking photos of wildlife. Guests will likely post photos of animals to social media sites, not realizing that embedded within the post or the photo is a geotag containing the GPS location of the photo or poster. This allows poachers to track animals of value. Click here to learn how you can turn off geotagging on your phone. 

 

To see us in action, watch this video of the African Travel team micro-chipping a rhino at Shamwari Game Reserve last year. 

Giving back to a world that has given us so much is an intention at the heart of The Travel Corporation. Learn how we make travel matter. 

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