To my embarrassment, this trip occurred in April, just before AfrikaBurn, and I am only finally writing about it now. Shameful, I know.
The good thing is that it means I’ve been super busy doing exciting things in the meantime (more on that soon), therefore it prevented me from finding the time to write. The downside of it doing it now is that I’ve forgotten most of the (very important!) things I wanted to say at the time…
Luckily, I wrote a few notes then and I still remember my general impression. So that will be it, which in a way will lead to a much quicker read for you!
So the first part of the trip was Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula all the way down to Cape Point. Then we did AfrikaBurn (read about it by clicking here) and finally we headed to the Western Cape Province and its numerous wine estates for a bit of wine tasting. Two weeks in total. To break it down, we spent 4 days in Cape Town, 5 days at AfrikaBurn and 5 days driving around the countryside in search of wine estates.
It was a beautiful trip, punctuated by very different types of visits, from very nice art galleries and museums (Goodman and Stevenson galleries, South Africa National Gallery), lively food and crafts markets (Palms and Woodstock markets) and deliciously hype restaurants (Ash, Fork and Chefs Warehouse among others) in Cape Town to the Boulders Penguins, stunning views from Table Mountain and windy Cape of Good Hope and a very charming scenery along the zigzagging roads going up and down the Peninsula (Chapman’s Peak Drive!). The trip to Robben Island was an important moment to grasp the reality of Nelson Mandela’s time in jail, as well as was the visit to District Six Museum to understand how the Apartheid regime in place expelled over 60,000 inhabitants of various races from the district in order to build and gentrify Cape Town’s city centre. Walking around Bo Kaap and its vibrant coloured houses was very pleasant and gave a bit of exotic flavour and multiculturalism to the maybe false impression of an otherwise very white city.
Cape Town is a big city, the second most populated urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg. It is very modern with sometimes the weird impression of a very sterilized-clean environment. But the nature around it still seems wild and untouched. It was named the best place in the world to visit by the New York Times in the USA and the Daily Telegraph in the UK in 2014. I kind of get it, though I’d never recommend a place surrounded by so much water and yet so little chance to enjoy it without a wet suit!
As for the Winelands, Groot Constantia and its ducks, Babylonstoren and its beautiful food garden and greenhouse, Spier wine farm and its Eagle Encounters Raptor Centre and deliciously yummy Hoghouse BBQ Restaurant, and Creation’s stunning 7-course menu with wine pairing (and kids’ equivalent!) were our very special experiences this time around. There are so many more around the region that it would be the mission of a lifetime to try them all. But some particular ones that we missed come to mind, such as Boschendal and Vergelegen for their picnics in beautiful gardens and cosy atmosphere.
Now that I have visited Johannesburg too, there is no way I would recommend one city over the other. It is just impossible to compare the two. They are complete opposites for me (except for some very Art Deco buildings), and it would be crazy to visit one and not the other. So you know what you have to do!
Art galleries, street vibes and Bo Kaap:
Table Mountain, Cape Point and the Peninsula:
Two Oceans Aquarium & Robben Island from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and District Six Museum:
Wine estates and small towns along the way:
A big thank you to my friend Alex for helping me organise this great trip!