Things To Know About Cape Town
Summer is on the way in the southern hemisphere, and the demand to visit South Africa’s famous Mother City is getting hotter by the day. Famous for its stunning natural beauty, Cape Town is also a cosmopolitan and vibrant city with so much to offer. Visitors to Cape Town can discover that whatever they want from a holiday is possible - whether that is relaxing on beautiful beaches or fine dining in the Winelands, making the most of the trendy nightlife or early morning hiking up the iconic Table Mountain.
There are many things to know about Cape Town, and it helps to have a local source of reliable information about Cape Town to help your clients make the most of their time in the Mother City, so we’ll present some up to date answers to six common questions:
1. What are the languages in Cape Town?
The most common Cape Town languages are English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. English is spoken widely throughout the City’s tourist establishments and places of interest, although it is in fact, Afrikaans that is the most common home language in Cape Town.
2. What is Cape Town’s traditional food?
Cape Town is foodie heaven and a veritable smorgasbord of latest global food trends, but those on the lookout to sample traditional delicacies won’t be disappointed. Cape Town has a long, multi-cultural heritage and ‘traditional food’ is actually a blend of styles and influences that include Dutch, Afrikaner, British, Malay and Indian. Cape Town traditional food ranges from spicy bobotie, curries and sosaties to sweet treats like milk tart and koeksisters. Traditional snacks include biltong and droëwors. There are a number of African-themed restaurants offering pan-African cuisine with an emphasis on game dishes served with “pap” (also known as mieliepap [the Afrikaans word for maize porridge] in South Africa). A foray into Cape Town traditional food wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a South African braai (similar to a barbeque)!
3. How safe is Cape Town?
Probably the most frequently asked question a tour guide or tour operator has to answer is: “How safe is Cape Town?” As a major global destination and one of the most visited cities in the world, Cape Town has high standards when it comes to visitor safety.
Cape Town’s top attractions and its central city district, which includes the highly popular V&A Waterfront are all purposely fit for tourists and security is sophisticated. Visitors are advised to take the same common-sense precautions that they would in other metropolitan cities like London or Paris or New York.
4. What is the latest news on Cape Town hotels water restrictions?
Over the past few months, Cape Town has received good rainfall and it currently faces the upcoming summer season with its dams around 70% full. The Mother City still faces water restrictions at this time, however they have been slightly downgraded. On arrival, visitors can expect to receive the latest information about the Cape Town water situation and they may be requested to join the locals in easy water-saving methods.
Many Cape Town hotels have adopted innovative solutions such as salt water swimming pools, and they have the water situation in hand to ensure that the visitor experience is not compromised.
5. Where is the best place to stay in Cape Town?
There really is no one ‘best place to stay in Cape Town’. Apart from guesthouses, B&Bs, backpackers and Airbnb, the Mother City boasts a wide range of hotels from mega-large to boutique, and from ultra-luxury to budget. There is something to suit everyone’s preferences and pocket. Popular, safe, tourist-focused areas to stay in Cape Town include the V&A Waterfront and the central city district; De Waterkant and Green Point, the Riviera-like Atlantic seaboard including Camps Bay and Bakoven, Clifton and Bantry Bay; as well as the Southern Suburbs and the Constantia Winelands.
6. Where are the best restaurants in Cape Town with a view?
This is very important information about Cape Town - from impressive rugged mountain ranges to azure white sand beaches and gorgeous rolling Winelands, Cape Town is renowned for its spectacular beauty, and everyone wants to enjoy the views!
Summer is on the way with its warm, blue-sky and long daylight hours, so here’s our pick of some of the best restaurants in Cape Town with a view:
Fine dining overlooking the ocean
Cape Town’s coastline is absolutely spectacular, and there are a number of excellent restaurants with dazzling sea views such as the Azure Restaurant at 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, Harbour House Restaurant in Kalk Bay, La Parada Del Mar and Rumbullion at The Roundhouse offering different aspects of Camps Bay.
Gastronomic delight in the tranquil vineyards
There’s probably no better place to savour Cape Town’s extraordinary provenance of fine food and wine than at the award-winning restaurants on the Mother City’s esteemed wine estates. The best Winelands restaurants with a view include Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia in Constantia, Bistro Sixteen82 at the Steenberg winery in Tokai and De Grendel Restaurant in Panorama.
Sky-high, the view from the top
There are several top-notch eateries in Cape Town in fascinating sky-high locations that offer breathtaking bird’s eye views over the city and harbour, mountains and coastline. Unique silo experiences include The Pot Luck Club in Woodstock and The Granary Café and Silo Rooftop at the Silo Hotel at the V&A Waterfront. The gently revolving Top of the Ritz Restaurant in Sea Point offers spectacular 360-degree views of mountain and sea without turning your head. With glass from ceiling to floor and panoramic views on all sides, ON19 is situated on the 19th floor of The Westin Cape Town located at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
From mountain to sea, from traditional food to the latest global foodie trends, from glitzy shopping to soulful nature walks, Cape Town really does have it all on offer. The summer season of 2018 is full of sunny promise, and the Mother City has arms open wide to welcome your clients to her beautiful shores.
Shimansky is proud to be a part of providing visitors with a beautiful and unforgettable experience while in Cape Town, and the opportunity to take home a precious sparkling piece of Africa as a memory of their visit.