Cape Town: An Embarrassment of Riches
In 1652, the Dutch East India Trading Company sent a small party of Dutch settlers, under the command of Jan van Riebeeck, to establish a supply station that could service the shipping route between Europe and the Spice Islands. Cape Town grew from there.
Today a diverse, international city, its cosmopolitan nature is reflected in both its varied architecture and cuisine. Cape Dutch buildings mingle with Islamic mosques and Hindu temples, while reminders of British colonial rule are everywhere. Meanwhile, Malay influences are evident in the many spicy curries, chutneys and rice dishes available across the city, and a diverse restaurant scene offers no shortage of options for people of all tastes.
Even in a city surrounded by mountains, Table Mountain stands apart. So named for the level plateau found at its peak, this natural wonder towers above South Africa’s legislative capital and constitutes the crown jewel in the city’s majestic backdrop, formed in conjunction with Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. Famous for the National Park that bears its name and a cableway that provides spectacular views on its way to the top, we prefer to tackle one of the mountain’s many hiking trails—making the view from the top that much more rewarding.
Situated within Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point provides the peninsula with a mountainous view worthy of the region’s majesty. With a nature reserve situated within the park, you don’t need to leave the Cape to see creatures in their natural habitat. You’re almost certain to come across the notorious chacma baboons (please do not feed them), but you may also see eland and bontebok (two species of antelope), or even the rare mountain zebra. A large variety of birds are also regular visitors to the park, including sunbirds, black eagles, ostrich, and ocean-going species such as albatross and cormorant.
“Cape Town has a restaurant to suit every mood, every budget, every craving,” says Lauren Foulds-Vallee of our Africa design team.
The city’s restored narrow streets, art galleries and parliament buildings provide South Africa‘s legislative capital with a bustling hub worthy of the continent’s most culturally diverse population. And for evidence of its diversity, look no further than Cape Town’s restaurant scene, where foodies can find just about any cuisine their heart desires.
About the Author
Recently named a Safari Specialist by Departures magazine, B&R’s Director of Private Travel Brad Crockett keeps his finger on the pulse of the world while planning amazing African experiences. He considers the Singita Lebombo Lodge his favourite hotel, and “the one closest to me” his favourite bottle of wine.
Banner image: Carolina Ödman