4 Unusual Activities for Kids in Cape Town
Jan07

4 Unusual Activities for Kids in Cape Town

Cape Town is a veritable hive of adventure, cultural and outdoor activity. There are  the regular tourist activities to enthral kids, that include trawling malls for ice-cream shops and toys, going to the beach and other nice-to-do activities. But these are pretty stock standard. There are actually so many hidden corners of the Mother City offering unusual activities for kids in Cape Town, that plenty of locals don’t know about. Today we’re going to explore 5 of these activities so that tourists and locals can plan for the somewhat lengthy and tiresome school holidays. Reptile Rehabilitation Centre and Scone Shack in Cape Point The snake park that was previously located at Imhoff has now moved to the ostrich farm located just outside the Cape Point Nature Reserve. The farm is a working ostrich farm  and is the perfect place for the snake park and reptile rehabilitation centre. The ostrich farm is now a full wildlife experience for kids and families in a central hub in one of the most beautiful natural places in Cape Town. The Reptile Rehabilitation centre houses an array of unique species of snakes and reptiles. Here you’ll find pythons, tortoises, bearded dragons, cobras, iguanas and a Nile crocodile – to name but a few. Reptiles are rehabilitated and moved into the wild; and conservation is at the heart of this centre. It’s an ideal activity for budding little herpetologists and kids expressing an interest in the natural world. There are “mini-mo” shows available for private functions and birthday parties. Job shadows and volunteers are also welcome. Reptiles and ostriches in an awe-inspiring setting. What more could you want? Located next door to the ostrich farm is the Scone Shack. This has become a local highlight and was recently featured in a few online articles. After checking out the reptiles and ostriches, we suggest you take those kids of yours to the scone shack. It’s a makeshift artsy and quaint shack serving unbelievable homemade scones and jams (there’s also items like carrot cake with a lemon zest and Pecan pie on the menu). On the grounds of the Scone Shack you’ll find free roaming pigs, geese, ducks and chickens – an ideal place for kids ! A little place that you need in your life. Check out the websites here :  Cape Point Ostrich Farm  Reptile Rehabilitation Centre  Scone Shack Cape Point Stand Up Paddle Board on the VA Waterfront Canals Located on the canals of the VA Waterfront in the fun-filled Battery Park area is SUP Cape Town. Battery Park is on the outskirts of the VA Waterfront and is accessed by taking the first...

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The best places to view rock art in South Africa
Oct30

The best places to view rock art in South Africa

The best places to view rock art in South Africa are in the Drakensberg mountains on the border of KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho, in the Cape Cederberg area, and in the Karoo. There are places scattered across the country that are renowned for either paintings or engravings left by the San (Bushman) or the Khoekhoen (Herders), and if you’re travelling in more remote parts of South Africa and have a cultural interest in the country, it would be worth your while to check out the details for some of these sites. In this article, we’re highlighting three rock art sites that are more or less on the popular tourist route, making them easy to access if you’re hitting the safari destinations of the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, or heading up on a cross-border road trip to Botswana or Zimbabwe. South Africa has a large amount of paintings and engravings, some of which date back thousands of years, but most significant are the etchings in ochre that were discovered in a limestone cave on the southern Cape coast. These discoveries in Blombos Cave are known to be some of the oldest prehistoric art in the world, dating back well over 70 000 years! These are some of the best places to view rock art in South Africa Western Cape: Cederberg, Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Area Bushman’s Kloof is in custody of an incredible piece of heritage; over 130 different rock art sites have been identified here, some of which have been dated to as far back as 10 000 years. The reserve is a Grade 1 South African National Heritage Site and fortunately for us ancient art seekers, we can go and see these protected and conserved paintings that were made by staining rocks with oxide pigments. The paintings here depict elements of the Bushman culture, lifestyle, and spiritual beliefs that were all a part of their lives in these ancestral mountains. Bushman’s Kloof is a destination in itself, and viewing the sites is a privilege of the guests who stay at the lodge. It isn’t open to the public and is protected under the responsibility of the reserve, so to see the ancient sites, guests of the luxury lodge will go on a guided excursion into the mountains and benefit from an interpretive guide. Afterwards, you’ll sit down to a delicious breakfast in the bush and hear more stories about the fascinating, ancient surroundings. KwaZulu Natal: Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park and World Heritage Site Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park is the country’s capital of Stone Age art. It has some of the most beautiful rock paintings in the world on its ancient,...

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3 Dog-friendly Hotels in Cape Town. Bring Mitzy, but Leave Beast.
Oct19

3 Dog-friendly Hotels in Cape Town. Bring Mitzy, but Leave Beast.

Planning a holiday is exciting, but leaving darling Mitzy at home is gut wrenching. Going away without your pets requires careful planning and organisation; and there is always an associated level of anxiety that accompanies a holiday away from pets. When you leave your pets in the trusted hands of family members or house sitters it’s comforting, but it’s not quite the same when you’re without the four-legged furbuckets. In an ideal world, we’d lock up the house, put Mitzy in our handbag and toddle off to our destination, but this isn’t possible when we’re hightailing it to a place that doesn’t accept pets. Luckily for us, more and more hotels are adopting a dog-friendly attitude, which is good news for frequent travellers that simply don’t want to leave Mitzy moo at home. Hotels in Cape Town have jumped on the bandwagon, and there are now numerous hotels with a fantastic four-legged policy. 3 of our favourite luxury hotels along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard offer dog-friendly rooms, which we’re quite happy to hear about. As a general rule of thumb (or paw), most hotels only accept small dogs or dogs under a certain weight limit. Unfortunately, this means that Beast the Bull Mastiff, Max the Boerbul and Phoebe the friendly Rotti will need to stay at home. Smaller dogs – although more opinionated – tend to be easier to control, and less intimidating towards other guests. Great Danes should also probably stay at home – no one wants a horse in a hotel. It goes without saying that all inoculations need to be up to date, and dogs must also be housetrained. No hotel wants to see their antique plush ottoman destroyed by Bogart’s bowel issues and inability to digest the night-before’s lamb meal. If you’re an international traveller flying to Cape Town, you’d need to find out what the protocol is when it comes to flying with dogs. Without further ado, here are our top 3 luxury dog-friendly hotels on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, designed to make you go barking mad.  Of course, this only scrapes the surface of all the doggone terrific hotels out there! The Radisson Red Hotel at the VA Waterfront The Radisson Red Hotel is located in the hub of Cape Town – the VA Waterfront. The Waterfront is centred around a yacht basin and is dotted with designer shops, bustling cafes, award winning restaurants and elite five star hotels. The arty and bold Radisson Red is located – specifically – in the hip and happening Silo district, a stone’s throw away from the Zeitz MOCAA gallery. The Red Hotel slots in perfectly into...

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5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central
Sep01

5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central

There are hotels and then there are hotels. Most hotels in Cape Town offer something unique, but then there are a handful of hotels that are simply picturesque in the most quirky of ways. some hotels just deserve to be celebrate on – dare we say it – Instagram. These are our 5 funky Instagram worthy hotels in Cape Town Central. The George Hotel They refer to the George Hotel as the “Gorgeous George” – and for good reason ! This hotel is a design masterpiece incorporating modern decor with a taste of Cape history. The hotel is located in two heritage buildings that have been restored to their former glory. The George is now THE place to be seen. The 32 luxurious industrial chic rooms are kitted out with eclectic and Victorian decor, ensuring a classic yet modern ambience. Plenty of deep greens, plant walls and plush colours provide a sense of relaxing depth to the hotel. Did anyone say indoor jungle? Not only is the Gorgeous George a must-see inner city hotel, but it also offers a rather remarkable restaurant area with a view. There’s a rooftop bar and pool area giving rise to sweeping views of city ‘scapes, and provides the ideal space for a funky crowd to enjoy a bit of New York living in the heart of Cape Town. Gorgeous George is energetic and vibrant; and certainly making waves in the hotel world! Location : The George Hotel is located in the heart of Cape Town’s bustling city centre, on Greenmarket Square in the St Georges Mall. Best Instagram Spots :  Choose any corner on the rooftop bar. There’s also the swimming pool with views of the city. The winding marble staircase makes for unique photos. There’s plenty of colourful greenery indoors, lounge areas and long arty hallways. The Silo Hotel The Silo Hotel is a modern and contemporary hotel located in the famous VA Waterfront area. The towering hotel overlooks the yacht basin and no expense has been spared when it comes to the design of the hotel. The Silo sits neatly above the Zeitz Mocca art gallery and museum, and actually looks like a work of art itself with its bevelled pillowed windows. This is elite living at its finest and sets the standard in terms of five star hotels in Cape Town. This bold hotel is built in a towering old grain elevator, and offers various rooms types all decorated in an eclectic style. There are actually 6 categories of rooms, with one presidential Rooftop pool, restaurants, bar area and spa treatment room offer a number of perfect places to unwind...

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Insect-based Pop Up Restaurant in Cape Town
Aug03

Insect-based Pop Up Restaurant in Cape Town

The world’s population is increasing at an exponential rate, which puts pressure on the planet to produce more and more food. By 2050 we will need to produce double the amount of food – if the population growth increase at its current rate. Farming livestock and even mass producing crops puts pressure on the planet’s natural resources. Farming requires water, energy and expanse of land. The more people there are, the more food is needed. There’s been a global shift in consciousness when it comes how and what we consume. The fact is, overpopulation is killing the planet. As each day passes, humans are looking for alternate sources of food, which is why we’ve more of the world’s population are now turning to Entomophagy. It’s not a new phenomenon but one that is moving from the “unusual” to “mainstream”.  One such pioneering insect-based restaurant in Cape Town is the talk of the town at the moment, and we’re looking forward to sampling the unusual fare at The Insect Experience in Woodstock. Circa 2017, food scientist Leah Bassa launched Gourmet Grubb, a company that turned black fly larvae into protein powder and milk. This EntoMilk is packed with nutrients and there’s even an ice-cream range that can be found at the sought after Old Biscuit Mill market in Woodstock. The Gourmet Grubb brand went from EntoMilk into a full-blown pop up restaurant specialising in bug fare, under the creative eye of chef Mario Barnard who has a unique flair for making insects taste good. After stints in Thailand, Mario returned with an idea to cook bugs and bring the trend across shores. Your job? To make the mental leap ! Cue background sounds of *crickets*.  Yes, that’s right. Eating insects is becoming a “thing”. Gourmet Grubb has certainly carved the path for others to follow suit. A large percentage of the population will need to get their mental state warmed to the idea of chowing down on ant ice-cream and crunchy crickets. If we look at the science, eating insects provides a perfectly viable source of protein and one that is environmentally sustainable. According to an article published in IFL Science, house crickets contain an average of 205 grams/kg of protein and beef contains 256 gram/kg ! Eating insects is practised by many cultures around the world. Daily our social media feed is flooded with typical tourist snapshots of eating crickets in the East and devouring mopane worms in Africa. In due course, this practice will become widespread and no longer considered quirky. It might take us years to get there, but this Cape Town based insect  restaurant  is certainly...

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Finding Exclusivity at Ellerman House in Cape Town
Aug03

Finding Exclusivity at Ellerman House in Cape Town

Ellerman House in Cape Town is the perfect luxury hideaway for discerning guests, with one of the most exclusive addresses in the Mother City. This tranquil boutique hotel caters for guests seeking a sublime destination far-away from the maddening tourist crowds of Cape Town’s hub. Known for its classic artworks and understated sophistication, Ellerman House is certainly a place catering for the elite, but without the ostentatious atmosphere. Overlooking the striking sapphire waters of the Cape’s Atlantic Ocean, Ellerman House certainly sets the standard in terms of location. Oh Ellerman House, you most certainly are a calm, classic and cool sanctuary showcasing the grand life reminiscent of a bygone era. High tea for me please, served in bespoke tea cups accompanied by your signature sandwiches. There are two exclusive use villas ideal for small groups. Each villa is a mixed architectural masterpiece of contemporary builds, designed to make the most of seaside living. Flanked by the lofty sedimentary sandstone mountains, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the villas are certainly ideal for that “I’m in the Hamptons” holiday. This is beachside glamour personified. Decor is peppered with modern artworks, designed to bring pops of colour to the cool blue hues of the open spaces villas. Expansive glass doors ensure the breezy seaside life becomes a part of the minimalist interior, and natural light filters throughout. Each Villa is privately staffed and guests can take solace in knowing that their time is flexible, and their own. Lunch is served when you desire and languid days around the infinity pool are encouraged. Villa One can accommodate 2 – 10 people and has 3 levels of oceanside bliss. Just glorious. Villa Two is similar to Villa One with its overall look and feel, but only has two levels. This villa sleeps up to 6 people, but has plenty of spacious areas for entertainment. Also equipped with a private infinity pool, this designer Villa also makes the perfect escape for small groups. The actual Ellerman House Hotel has seductive views of the coastline and caters for individual guests/couples in more of a bed and breakfast manner. There are 13 individually styled bedrooms in the hotel, each of which is nothing short of inviting. In conjunction with an array of luxury accommodation options, Ellerman House also offers sundowner experiences, has its own wine cellar, bar area, and their own sugar shack pantry. Of course, these are only a few of the things on offer at Ellerman. There is so much more to discover – attention to detail is their forte. Haven’t heard of Ellerman House? That’s probably because it’s one of Cape Town’s best...

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4 Family Activities in Cape Town
Jul18

4 Family Activities in Cape Town

Cape Town is the perfect holiday destination for families. There’s so much to do in a city that never sleeps, and – apart from being an adventure lover’s paradise – it is also one of the most awe-inspiring destinations perfectly equipped to entertain families with its natural beauty. Family activities in Cape Town can include anything from lazy days on white sandy beaches, to scaling mountains, exploring vineyards, shopping, boat cruises and more. Either way, families certainly won’t be bored exploring the iconic landmarks, sweeping scenes and bustling coastal villages of Cape Town. Swim with Penguins at Boulders Beach Boulders Beach is located in Simon’s Town which is located one the False Bay coastline. It’s about a 20 min drive from the famous Cape Point Nature Reserve, and has proved time-and-time again to be a highlight with tourists. A protected penguin colony lives freely on the shores of Boulders Beach. Visitors have the option of walking along the rustic wooden walkway to view the nesting penguins from up close, or they can relax on the beach in the protected bay in the hopes of seeing the penguins swimming freely. Either way, Boulders is one of the nicest Protected and safe beaches/bays in the peninsula. You’d need to get there early to grab a spot as the beach is a tiny bay. Perfectly round granite Boulders protrude from the water and create small channels of water between the smooth rocks provide the perfect hideaway for penguins. It’s not uncommon to spot a few jackass penguins gliding through the shallow crystal clear waters while you’re dunking and diving in the waters. After spending time with the penguins and indulging your sun seeker side, we recommend you explore Simon’s Town on Foot. There are beautiful curio shops, ice-cream vendors and an array of restaurants catering for a variety of palates (even your teenager’s fussy food choices). Family Activities in Cape Town at the VA Waterfront The VA Waterfront sits on the Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town and is centered around a yacht basin. There is something for everyone at the Waterfront ! There’s a delightful daily sunset cruise ideal for families – it’s not too long, so the little ones won’t get bored. The cruise meanders its way around the harbour area and gives a great vantage point. There are a ton of sushi, seafood and mixed grill restaurants, so you certainly won’t be stuck for choice when it comes to meal times. If you’re a large family with contrasting dietary habits, then head to the food market where you’ll find a wealth of flavours and stalls boasting decadent dessert options! Of...

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