The rainbow nation
Cape Town will make you feel alive and kicking for a new year.
South Africa has it all. From a roaring wildlife and stunning beaches to great food and wine, it’s all there.
What is exciting about South Africa is the people, the 32-tooth smiles and the fact that wherever you turn, there is quick-get-the-camera scenery.
In Cape Town, what hogs every view is Table Mountain, rising more than 3,500 feet to its flat top and trademark white tablecloth of clouds. And it will be at this table that you will have your best Christmas ever.
In the shadow of Table Mountain is a buzzing city. What makes it so lively are the various cultures that throng the streets – a rich cultural heritage that is showcased in the buildings, food and art. There’s an especially loud – in a good way – meeting of cultures at the Pan-African Market. In this multi-storied Victorian building on Long Street, you can get a delicious taste of Africa and buy anything from musical instruments from Mali to ceramics from Cameroon and hand-made wooden furniture from Senegal. And you can be sure that for Christmas, the Ethiopian chef who runs the Pan-African Market restaurant will cook up a storm.
At night, you’re spoilt for choice. A drink in Camps Bay while watching the sunset is as romantic as it can get. For Christmas, the V&A Waterfront sets up a huge fun park complete with Ferris wheel while free concerts make some noise at the amphitheatre. You can also visit the Adderley Street Night Market, all lit up for Christmas. Or else, dance the night away at one of the jazz clubs that keep Cape Town awake.
But Cape Town is not just a city because here, nature comes to party. So lace up your walking shoes and hike up Table Mountain to hunt for the more than 2,000 native plant species that flower and bloom in the Cape Peninsula. You can also spend a day at the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. And for the wildlife, head down to Boulders Beach and watch the cutest of penguins play around.
Just outside Cape Town, the Stellenbosch, Wellington, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constantia Valley winelands are not just a pretty view – they are testament to South Africa’s 300 years of wine-growing. If you want to hear and taste it through the grapevine, this is the best place to buy award-winning wines at ex-cellar prices. And the food that accompanies the wine is just excellent – so sit back, smack your lips and greet the new year with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a vintage port.