5 reasons why Cape Town is the top travel destination of 2018
Its not hard to see why the New York Times has just hailed Cape Town in South Africa the top travel destination this year. Its a city of outstanding beauty, which offers diverse fun and entertainment for all the family. Its a cultural hub and home to some of the most incredible landscapes on earth. You could be drinking fine wines in a sunny vineyard one day and chasing lions and buffalo through the African plains the next.
Theres a real foodie vibe here too, giving you the opportunity to try top quality native recipes, alongside exciting fusion foods and more international fare. Two of the worlds top restaurants are located here, to give you an idea of how just how well you can eat.
Sports are popular here too and the warm weather makes being outside a real pleasure. Whether youre a golf enthusiast, like to follow the surf trails, or fancy doing something even higher octane, like paragliding off Table Mountain, Cape Town offers a wealth of sporting opportunities.
Lets have a look at some of the top reasons why this impressive city is leading the way in this years top destination lists.
This flat topped mountain is an iconic sight and a feature that is immediately associated with South Africa in the mind. There are many ways to reach the top, including hiking, biking up one of the many trails or taking the cable car and once up there, what a view!
Here are a few tips to ensure you get to the top in one piece. Although many people climb Table Mountain every year and no specialist knowledge of mountain climbing is necessary to do it, dont expect the walk to be insanely easy. Besides, if it was that easy, reaching the top wouldnt be as rewarding!
The secret to maximum enjoyment is choosing a route that suits the level of difficulty you can manage and picking a day when you have good weather. Be aware that the weather can change suddenly during your hike too and dress accordingly. Layers are great, as you can add a few when it gets windy, or cloudy (which it does frequently), and take a few off when the sun comes out.
Having a decent level of fitness will make the walk easier and more enjoyable, as will taking a guide with you, who will remove the stress of you getting lost or not knowing what to do if the incline gets too technically difficult. A guide will also be able to point out any exciting wildlife you see and South African wildlife is abundant everywhere!
The Cape Winelands
The infamous Stellenbosch and Franschhoek winelands can be reached easily on a day trip out of the city. Whether youre taken there as part of an escorted tour, or youre on a self drive holiday, you should be able to reach the grapes within 40 minutes. There are plenty of vineyards to choose from, including Constantia Glen, Constantia Groot and Silvermist.
There are over 200 wine producers in the Stellenbosch region alone and they particular welcome visitors with a discerning or curious palate. You can relax in the leafy surroundings enjoying award winning wines, paired with delicious gourmet foods. Truffle infused delicacies with subtle flavourings sit alongside proud African biltong dishes. Youll eat and drink very well here.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Want to explore the indigenous plants of South Africa, without having to journey coast to coast? Then head over to this botanical garden, where youll be able to see, smell and touch over 7 thousand different varieties of native greenery. Its a beautiful place to spend the day, with a canopy walkway up high to get a birds eye view of the gardens below as well. Its a scent and sight overload, in the most glorious way.
You can either make sure youre prepared with a picnic and head up the mountain for an enhanced view, or you can head over to one of the two eating establishments on site. For lighter snacks, why not head over to the Tea Rooms, or for tantalising local dishes, you could eat in Moyo, an African themed restaurant.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
An important geographical feature for circumnavigating the world, the Cape of Good Hope here is not only a stunning world heritage site, but also home to over 250 species of exotic South African wildlife. Towering 200 feet above the sea, you can look out towards the ocean and see the picturesque shipwrecks that litter this treacherous stretch of water.
Baboons, zebras and a myriad of different birds are the big pullers for the nature enthusiasts here. You can get as up close and personal to them as you dare, or enjoy their majesty from the more refined surroundings of the Oceania restaurant, which will provide you with great seafood at the same time.
Cape Town is fringed by some truly magnificent areas of sandy beach. Camps Bay is a family friendly beach, where you can relax and swim with the kids, with the paragliders landing here from their jump off Table Mountain providing constant entertainment. This beach also has a glamorous, fashionable reputation, with Cafe Caprice generally considered as the place to be seen!
Long beach is great if you fancy a bit of exercise as well as relaxing. Youll see plenty of hikers and and horse riders along here. If youre feeling a bit homesick and fancy reminding yourself of the UK, youll want to try the fish and chips at Kalkys at Kalk Bay. Surfers should head for the waves at Muizenberg, while if its the infamous South African beach based penguin colony you want to see, then the destination you need is Boulders Bay
Booking your Cape Escape
Want to see how much more Cape Town has in store for its visitors? Here at Aspen Travel we hold strong partnerships with some of the UK’s leading South Africa operators including the likes of Titan Travel, Cox and Kings, Travelsphere and many more. If you have a holiday preference in mind, please contact us using the details below: