Cape Town Ocean View
Cape Town Background
For the next two days we would engross ourselves into the history of Cape Town as well as learning about their award-winning wines and lots more.
It is South Africa's port city a key harbor for commerce located on its southwest coast. As a peninsula it's landscape backs to Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles. After the over twenty-one-hour journey we arrived late in the evening. Our hotel POD arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport for the short drive to Camps Bay which was twenty-five minutes away. We chose to stay in Camps Bay since it is right on the ocean. It is your typical beach town offering the Atlantic Ocean views and white sand beaches.
Our Cape Town Plan
For our two days in Cape Town we selected Luhambo Tours as our tour provider. Marlene was our guide for both days. The first day we selected the Cape of Good Hope and Constantia Wine Tour. She picked us up at our hotel to start the tour with our first stop at the penguin colony at Boulder Beach. The entrance fee for two adults was roughly $22, you can walk among the penguins observing their natural habitat. If you go early in the morning you miss all the tour buses which we appreciated. It was their winter season so it wasn't busy at all.
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
Next stop was Cape of Good Hope during the drive along Chapman's Drive you got so see the Atlantic Ocean's waves crashing into the shoreline understanding how rough the ocean can be. We did the typical tourist thing and got our picture at the Cape of Good Hope sign before heading to our next stop Cape Point's lighthouse. Along our way we saw ostrich, baboons, and antelope. You can take the funicular up to the lighthouse or walk up, we chose to walk up, it took about 20 minutes. Took some more pictures of the ocean before heading down for lunch and to start our wine tasting in Constantia.
Wine Tasting in the CapeSteenberg Farm
We passed through Simon's Town prior to lunch which is home to their navy. Luhambo Tours provided recommendations for lunch each day as well as wineries to visit. After reviewing our options, we chose Bistro 1682 for lunch. We had our first tasting at Steenberg Farm where the restaurant was located. We sampled 5 of their prized wines, from bubbling to their blends and very unique Pinot Brut. They do offer the ability to ship wine home, we purchased a case.
Lunch Bistro 1682
After the tasting for lunch we selected raw oysters, venison fillet, fish of day and glasses of Pinotage. It was too much food for two people; all was very good though. Bistro 1682 has a focus on locally sourced ingredients creating inventive dishes for their guests. Service was attentive and cost was comparable to lunch at a bistro in Europe if not slightly less. Luhambo made our lunch reservations so we didn't need to do anything.
Klein Constantia Winery
Second wine tasting was at Klein Constantia, for some more premium South African wine. They do not offer shipping to the United States so instead we purchased a bottle to take with us. We prefer big body red wines which Marlene soon learned and ensured our tasting focused on our likes. Klein does offer winery tours we didn't do this for any of the wineries we visited during our two days. We have been on several cellar and wine making process tours instead we focused only on tasting.
North of Cape Town - Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Wineries
For day two we chose the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine tour, it would be wine, wine and more wine. Each stop had five tastings. First winery up was Meerlust, on are way to our second winery we saw zebras. Prior to visiting Thelema, we stopped at the Graff estate to look at the mountain views more picture opportunities. Thelema also doesn't ship wine so we purchased another bottle to take home with us.
Lunch at Roca
During our drive Marlene shared the history of Stellenbosch as we worked our way to Franschhoek. Prior to lunch we stopped in the city of Franschhoek to look around the local shops. Lunch today was at Roca overlooking their winery where we saw baboons picking the grapes from the vines. We chose the phyllo prawns, fillet, Mozambican chicken and glasses of wine. The choices were wonderful, restaurant setting memorable, service exceptional hence a great option for lunch. This was the best way to see the historic town and going during their winter season afforded us very few other visitors. Both places we would like to visit again.
Finishing the day, north of Cape Town
We still had three wineries before ending day two: Simonsig, Kanonkop, and Vrede en Lust. All offered tours but again we chose just tasting. Vrede en Lust offers shipping, which allowed us to ship six bottles home. Kanonkop we purchased one of their flagship varietals to take with us since shipping wasn't an option. Marlene did adjust after our day one tastings based on learning more about us each of the winery selections were all very good are highly recommended.
Vrede en Lust
In closing our time with Luhambo Tours
During our entire two days with Marlene, she shared the history of South Africa, Cape Town and Wine Country. We would highly recommend her as your guide. Additionally, Luhambo was attentive and helpful during our planning, we have shared in the past we ask a lot of questions with high expectations when finally choosing a tour provider, they didn't disappoint at all, hence why we would highly recommend them.
PODs in Camps Bay, 25 minutes from the airport situated with views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. We chose staying outside of the downtown Cape Town because of the beach experience we were looking for versus in another big city.
Our roomView from the balcony
The modern boutique hotel only has 17 rooms allowing the entire staff to know their guests as well as be available for any assistance that is required. We booked our room directly through the hotel without any issues additionally coordinating our transportation from the airport to the hotel since our arrival was late in the evening. Included was breakfast, stocked mini bar, and wine and cheese samplings in the evening. This is considered one of the top hotels in Camps Bay and we could understand why. We would recommend staying. During the warmer months select a room with a plunge pool.
Dinner Options: Cape Town
Cod father is a local seafood stop mostly for tourists but there are also locals. It is located across the from the beach with nice views of the ocean. You can choose from the counter of fresh caught fish there are numerous options. After choosing your seafood selection you will be asked how you wanted it prepared. We chose grilled king klip fish and langostinos to share which came with rice and vegetables. The seafood was very fresh, we would have preferred it prepared based on the chef's recommendation versus our best guess for preparation. It was fine not sure we would return given all the other options to try. If this is the type of experience you are looking for we would recommend it. They do take reservations which were not needed during their winter season.
Paranga, is located in Camps Bay where you can enjoy watching the sunset as the waves roll in from the Ocean. We went during their winter season, so it was not busy, nor did we need reservations. For dinner we shared the tempura pawns, three sushi rolls, bottle of wine and crème brulee. The service was attentive and helpful with wine recommendations. The food was tasty and met our expectations. We would recommend trying Paranga as a good choice for dinner. You will not be disappointed. This restaurant didn't feel as a tourist spot as the previous night's dinner at Cod Father.
Check out our next blog on Zambia, Botswana and more
In closing, we planned Cape Town, South Africa on our own, two very full days we saw everything we wanted too but we will back for more wine. Since we paired South Africa with Zambia and Botswana it was a nice way to recover from the long flight prior to heading north for our game drives. We didn't know what to expect from Africa and were presently surprised how we enjoyed it.
South Africa Travel Tips
Schedule a tour in the Cape Try the Pinotage, it is South Africa's varietal We didn't exchange any money for the local currency They did ship wine to the United States from a central distribution warehouse in the states Do multiple countries because it is very easy to get between countries Try the seafood it is all very freshOther Travel Tips