Cape Town: From the City to Safari

This is the next installment of the Cape Town series we started a while back is here! This time it’s on days 1-4 of Luca’s trip which started off in the City and ended on a safari 🙂

Day 1: Gearing Up

Cape Town’s International Airport is situated about 20km from the city centre. We arrived late afternoon, collected our Avis car and, after a 12h journey, opted for some proper rest while planning our first South African night. For the first two nights in Cape Town, we had a really comfy stay at Double Tree by Hilton, where we enjoyed the hotel’s delicious “cookies”, breakfasts and stunning sunsets over Table Mountain directly from our room.

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Day 2: “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”

Robben Island

On our first full day in Cape Town, we decided to visit Robben Island (“seal island” in Dutch) as we were eager to understand the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents. The island is seen as a unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice”. Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.

Booking this visit in advance is strongly recommended (at least 2 weeks during high season). The ferry departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront and the tour takes approximately 3.5 hours including the ferry trip to and from the Island. Once you reach the island, a bus will transport you to all the historical sites around the Island. What is very special about this visit is the fact that all tour guides are former political prisoners. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

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V&A Waterfront

In the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront turned out to be the perfect place for a light lunch after our morning tour. There are also plenty of shops for some shopping as well as bars with a nice view on Table Mountain where you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun which add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere.

Long Street

Our night destination turned out to be Long Street, probably the busiest street in town, with lots of nice restaurants and a pretty cool and young night vibe. We decided to have dinner at Mama Africa, which came highly recommended from both friends and locals. Food was fantastic and the staff very interactive and friendly. They had live local music (Abavuki band) the night we went which really capped off the experience!

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Day 3 and 4: Take a look at the wild side

Day 3 had an early start, as we treated ourselves to a 2-day safari and drove for about 5 hours to reach Gondwana Game Reserve, situated near the town of Mossel Bay. This is really the perfect place to let loose and have fun with your adventurous side while relaxing in a luxury hut. The 11000 hectare reserve is home to all of the ‘Big Five’. You can take in the wondrous landscape and incredible wildlife on morning and late-afternoon game drives every day. When you’re not investigating your surroundings, spend time lounging in your hut, at the pool if the weather is friendly, or enjoying the delicious safari cuisine at the reserve’s Kwena Lodge restaurant.

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More on the trip in the next post!