Tasting rich reds with wine makers, discovering the up-and-coming art scene and hearing the moving stories from a former prisoner on Robben Island. We get to know Cape Town from those who know the city and its surroundings best. 

Cape Town's Art Galleries

Irene Boaventura

“Cape Town is seizing global attention as the art hub of Africa”

Irene Boaventura
Art Concierge at The Silo Hotel

Tell us about the current art scene in Cape Town…
There is an understanding among experts in the art community that Cape Town is seizing global attention as the art hub of Africa. With more than 150 art galleries in Cape Town and its surrounds, the art scene is growing both in size and popularity among the local and international community. The Mother City is known for its vibrant and dynamic culture and artistic community, with a wide range of contemporary and fine art exhibitions on the go at any time. Renowned art centres such as Norval Foundation, A4 Foundation and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa have been the latest additions to Cape Town’s art scene. There are also numerous art schools and a growing number of galleries.

How can you help us discover a slice of the city?
I can advise you on the art and culture of the city and allow you to appreciate the art in a well-curated experience. Each art tour with me is unique and based on your interests. You might, for example, see a piece that you like in the hotel and we can arrange to go and visit that artist’s studio or home in Cape Town – usually these spaces are off-the-beaten tourist track. We also offer the opportunity for you to explore Cape Town’s top galleries and private studios, engage with the art and artists in a holistic manner. The Silo Hotel has been voted one of the best art hotels as it has a well-curated art collection, a private art gallery and a design approach to the interior. It also has the advantage of being located above the first museum of contemporary art in Africa.

If a visiting friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
I’d suggest starting the day with a light breakfast at The Silo Hotel’s Willaston Bar, followed by a visit to the neighbouring Zeitz MOCAA. From there I’d suggest visiting the design district, Woodstock, which houses some of the most established galleries in South Africa, namely the Goodman gallery, Stevenson and SMAC gallery. After working up an appetite, a lunch at Karen Dudley’s The Kitchen is a must for those looking for some authentic local cuisine. I’d conclude the day with a trip to the city centre to explore some of the trendy galleries and design stores around Cape Town.

What do you love most about your city?
Cape Town is very cosmopolitan – I love the diversity! The beautiful wine regions nearby echo the elegance of similar wine regions in France. Camps Bay reminds me of Miami, but our beaches are better! And I love the edgy design district of Woodstock. The wonderful mix of cultures and neighbourhoods make Cape Town the ideal destination for those looking for a rich, diverse and unique cultural experience.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

V&A Waterfront

“It’s at night that you can best appreciate how walkable the V&A Waterfront is”

Donald Kau
Head of communications at the V&A Waterfront

How has the V&A Waterfront developed over the years?
It’s no longer predominantly a place to shop. It has fabulous restaurants too, and lots of activity on its waterways – you can catch a water taxi from the edge of the city through its residential marina, right into the heart of it. It’s grown physically, too. There’s a brand new skate park and basketball court, plus a new cruise terminal that has a fantastic restaurant with views right up against any cruise ships that come into port.

Tell us about the nightlife
It’s at night that you can best appreciate how walkable the V&A Waterfront is. During the day it feels dense. In the evenings you notice how much space is dedicated to pedestrians and other modes of transport, besides cars. Summer brings the Silo Concerts on the first Friday of the month. These are free to the public, with a mix of performers and musicians. Battery Park, too, has a live music series running. We have museum nights; a motor show; open-air cinema; a comedy club; art exhibitions; and an amphitheatre always packed with performances to enjoy.

What are your favourite things to do on the waterfront?
I love stand-up paddle boarding in the canals, but the absolute best bit is visiting the brand new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in the Silo District of the V&A. The building’s architecture is an amazing spectacle; the artwork within is breathtaking; and the restaurants, hotel and open spaces at the top of the museum are dizzyingly beautiful. It’s a space I never tire of visiting.

If a friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
Zeitz MOCAA is top of my list for starters. I also love the numerous art galleries spread out through the city, best enjoyed on foot or by hiring a bike. My next stop would be a visit out to Kalk Bay for a late lunch, and then back to the city via Chapman’s Peak drive with its spectacular views of the coastline – best viewed at sunset.

What do you love most about your city?
The natural beauty of it. There are so many landscapes and, within a 20-minute drive, you can be in wine country, on the slopes of Table Mountain, on the beach or at the Waterfront.

Donald Kau at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town

Robben Island

 

Ntozelizwe Talakumeni

“I share my personal experience of being on Robben Island as a political prisoner”

Ntozelizwe Talakumeni
Ex political prisoner and Robben Island Museum guider

How did Robben Island become part of your life?
Robben Island became part of my life when I was sentenced and imprisoned on Robben Island. It was a 14-year sentence, but after an appeal it was reduced to five years. I was released in 1990 and thought it would be my last time on Robben Island. In 1995, there was a reunion of political prisoners, where I found myself on the island again. Currently I work for Robben Island Museum, taking visitors through the political imprisonment experience.

What will we see and learn on a tour with you?
You’ll learn about the hard times of political imprisonment. I share my personal experience of being on Robben Island as a political prisoner and will tell you about my years of service within the sports committee at that time. I also share stories of the collective experience of what we used to be fed, the clothes we used to wear and the different means we used for communication, including tennis balls.

Why is Robben Island an important heritage site?
Personally, it is important to me because it developed my political maturity around the issues of freedom and governance. For South Africans, it is a symbol of freedom and the triumph of the human spirit over extreme diversity.

If a friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
I would take them to Robben Island, of course, and then a township experience in Gugulethu or Khayelitsha. I would want them to experience the local culture, food and meet the friendliest people in the world.

What do you love most about your city?
I love Gugulethu. This is the place that moulded me into the person that I am and I would like to show it off to visitors. 

Robben Island

Cricket in Cape Town

David Brooke

“You’ll struggle to find a better place in the world to watch cricket”

David Brooke
Brand Manager at Newlands Cricket Ground

Has Newlands Cricket Ground been a big part of your life?
Absolutely. I grew up coming to Newlands to watch Western Province, Cape Cobras and South Africa play cricket. The likes of Adrian Kuiper, Alan Dawson and Herschelle Gibbs played a major role in fuelling my passion for the game. Some of my best sporting memories have been at Newlands and in working here on a daily basis, I am able to create more great memories.

Where is the best place to sit at Newlands Cricket Ground?
In the Oaks Grass embankment you can get a cold beer for under two quid and watch cricket while enjoying the most spectacular view of Table Mountain. You’ll struggle to find a better place in the world to watch cricket.

What’s the best way of getting last-minute tickets?
I urge you to only buy from the accredited ticket company for South African cricket, which is Ticketpros.co.za and not get caught paying ridiculous prices on ticket scalping sites. We, as a stadium, cannot guarantee that those types of tickets are genuine and you risk not being able to get into the ground.

If a friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
Cape Town in summer, between December and March, is just amazing. You can start your day off with a nice breakfast in Camps Bay, take a morning walk along the beachfront, catch a tan on one of many beautiful beaches and then enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down. You’ve then got a choice of some of the most amazing restaurants in Cape Town for dinner, with a range of nightlife to ensure everyone enjoys themselves.

What do you love most about your city?
The personality of the locals, especially in summer when the weather is good and people are in a festive mood.

Franschhoek

 

Irene de Fleuriot

“I knew I wanted to make, write, lecture or professionally taste wine”

Irene de Fleuriot
Winemaker at La Bri Estate

Where did your passion for wine come from and how did you become a winemaker?
I attended a Cape Wine Academy Course in 1996 and the lecturer piqued my interest in wine – and I knew then that I wanted to make, write, lecture or professionally taste wine. I quit my job as a maths and accounting teacher and spent five years travelling between Australia, France, the UK and South Africa, working harvests and gaining wine experience until I returned to Stellenbosch in 2001 to study for a BSC Oenology. I graduated in 2004 and I was fortunate to land my first position as winemaker at Graham Beck Wines in Robertson that year.

How far is La Bri from Cape Town?
La Bri Estate is in Franschhoek, around an hour from Cape Town. Franschhoek is a renowned winemaking area, from Methode Cap Classique to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. It boasts some of the finest world class restaurants, both in town and on local wine farms. There are various wine tours that come to Franschhoek or you can catch the red bus. The famous Franschhoek Wine Tram also offers a Cape Town to Franschhoek service and is a fun way to visit the wineries. There are also other options, such as hiring a bike and visiting in your own time. The area has three festivals held each year: Bastille in July, Uncorked in October and Champagne & Cap Classique in December.

Do you have any recommendations for wine lovers visiting Cape Town?
If you are planning a day of tasting, either plan to stay over, hire a driver from Cape Town or catch the Wine Tram. Franschhoek is a must visit, as there is entertainment for the whole family, and I’d recommend spending at least two days in the area.

What do you love most about Cape Town and where would you take a friend visiting for the day?
I am Cape Town born-and-bred so I am biased – I think it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I love that you can be in the rush of the city, enjoy the tranquillity of a walk on the beach and indulge in what the winelands have to offer – all in one day! As a wine lover, my visit would be Franschhoek focused, visiting my favourite farms before lunch in Franschhoek and ending the day with sunset views from the top of Franschhoek Pass

La Bri Estate Franschhoek

Camps Bay

David Brooke

“There’s a buzz around ‘being seen’ on the Golden Mile”

Clayton Howard
Group Host Manager at The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay

Why should we visit Camps Bay and what is there to do in the area?
Besides being Cape Town’s premium and most prominent beach strip, the paragliding, dining options, party venues and just the buzz around ‘being seen’ on the Golden Mile ensure you’ll have a summer to remember.

We’ve heard the private beach club at The Bay Hotel is the place to be. What’s the draw?
Sandy B at The Bay Hotel offers exclusivity, the bluest pool in Camps Bay and the ocean as your backdrop to snap those destination Instagram pics. We also offer premium cocktails, music, beautiful people all around and an exceptional team ready to serve you. The guest list and VIPs that hang out at Sandy B give the club a ‘red carpet’ feel when you arrive.

If a friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
Any ocean-facing café for a black Americano and a naughty sweet pastry, followed by a local MCC (Méthode Cap Classique) for setting the mood for the day. Then a short walk along the coast, followed by a small gallery visit on vibrant Bree Street and a stop at one of the city’s many vintage shops. For lunch, I’ll let us dig into this summer’s hottest dish, fresh tacos – especially where a raw fish offering is available – or a turn at one of the freshest salad bars in the city.

We’ll spend some time on the V&A Waterfront and maybe enjoy a quick harbour boat tour. Then, it’s time for sundowners at any one of the myriad of craft gin, rum or vodka bars in Cape Town or, naturally, at the best sundowner spot on the Atlantic Seaboard, Sandy B Private Beach Club! We would then go to dinner, where food and wine are equally key; and end the night dancing at my ‘top secret’ favourite bars.

What do you love most about your city?
The food, the freedom I have to easily walk all over Camps Bay’s sunset strip, and access to Cape Town’s trendsetting creative hub. The city is constantly evolving and growing, allowing for sharing and showing-off on Instagram, which could make your followers jealous! Cape Town truly is the world’s best city to live in.

Camps Bay Cape Town

Table Mountain

Fazielah Williams

“The cable car’s rotating floor allows you to have a 360-degree view of Cape Town”

Fazielah Williams
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway content marketer

Tell us some impressive facts about Table Mountain…
Along with Mount Everest, the Matterhorn and Kilimanjaro, Table Mountain is one of the most globally-recognised mountains and is approximately 260-million years old. Reduced by massive erosion, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head once connected the Peninsula to the Hottentots Holland Mountains, and are the last remaining remnants of a massive range that stood thousands of metres high, 220-million to 280-million years ago. Table Mountain is referred to as ‘Hoerikwaggo’, meaning ‘mountain of the sea’, by the Khoikhoi; and it is the only mountain in the world to have a constellation of stars named after it. Table Mountain features several rare sandstone cave systems, the largest of which are the Wynberg Caves; and its unofficial mascot is the dassie, a rock hyrax found on rocky outcrops at the summit.

What are the different ways of getting to the top?
You can enjoy a scenic five-minute ride in our state-of-the-art cable cars and the rotating floors allow you to have a 360-degree view of Cape Town. Additionally, there are hiking paths along the mountain to enjoy and we suggest doing these with a trained hiking guide. 

Tell us about the best look-out points, wildlife and top tips for exploring
There are several look-out viewing decks along the mountain’s pathways offering incredible views of Cape Town, Lion’s Head and Robben Island. My favourite thing to do is join one of the free guided walking tours that depart from the Twelve Apostles Terrace below the Table Mountain Café, and learn all about the Cableway, Table Mountain and the fauna and flora along the summit. Be sure to keep an eye out for the dassie – the elephant’s closest living relative! 

If a friend asked you to show them the best of Cape Town in one day, what would your plan be?
I’d take them to visit at least three of Cape Town’s Big 6 attractions: Table Mountain Cableway, V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Groot Constantia and Cape Point. 

What do you love most about your city?
Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures, people and experiences. I love that no matter where I go in my hometown, I am sure to find open-minded people with a diverse range of interests and stories, eager to make new memories with me.

Table Mountain in Cape Town

Stellenbosch

Hanli Fourie

“The cultural diversity of the region adds wonderful depth to local menus”

Hanli Fourie
Founder of Bites and Sites Food Tours

Tell us about the food scene in Stellenbosch…
Stellenbosch is a university town situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. This means the food and wine industry is part of its identity, but it is also known for innovation and young, creative energy. The cultural diversity of the region adds wonderful depth to local menus.

How easy is it to get from Cape Town to Stellenbosch?
Stellenbosch is roughly about 35 minutes from Cape Town, so it’s easy to reach if you are on a self drive, but other options include a private taxi or Uber.

What can we try on a food tour in Stellenbosch?
We offer different walking tours, which combine storytelling and flavours. In the historic Stellenbosch town centre our tours focus on local, artisan food and drinks, ranging from indigenous teas to craft beers, featuring must-try traditional dishes and even trendy coffee inventions. On our Kayamandi (sweet home) tour, guests are immersed in authentic, vibrant township life and enjoy a hearty, home-cooked Xhosa meal.

What’s the art scene like in Stellenbosch?
The town is a delight to the senses. Countless accomplished artists work and live in Stellenbosch and there is even a society tasked with arranging annual outdoor art exhibitions. We are eagerly awaiting a Triennale exhibition, which will showcase large-scale, contemporary art from all over Africa.

What do you love most about the city?
It is a busy metropolis, but it has beauty, heart and soul. I feel connected to the world when I walk in the streets of Cape Town.

Food tour in Stellenbosch

Inspired?


We offer many of the hotels and experiences mentioned so, to start planning your Cape Town holiday, search for one of our South Africa experts to chat to someone who has been there and book an appointment in your local Kuoni store.

This feature was published on 16 January 2020. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Laura May.

 

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