Tshepiso Makhele
8 minute read
2 May 2018
12:05 pm

8 fun and unusual things to do in Cape Town

Tshepiso Makhele

Despite the water crisis, Cape Town is still the place for that well-deserved holiday.

14 Stories Rooftop Bar. Picture: Supplied

We’re not trying to tell you to forget about the water crisis in Cape Town, because that would not only be insensitive but also senseless.

However, choosing to focus on the rich tourism vicinity the Mother City is, and the innovative ways the Capetonians have managed to work together to fight the so-called Day Zero, will not only leave any tourist amazed, but also afforded a learning opportunity.

So, why not visit this beautiful city to learn, wine and dine, pump up your adrenalin with some crazy adventurous activities and experience nature and utmost tranquillity?

1. Spend the first night at Southern Sun Waterfront

Placed in the heart of the city’s supreme tourist friendly zone, the stylish and appealing Southern Sun Waterfront hotel is conveniently a brief walk from the V&A Waterfront; a place to be to get the best of Cape Town.

Suitable for leisure travellers and perhaps a family vacation, the award-winning, recently refurbished hotel has 537 elegant rooms, a fully-equipped fitness centre, and an outdoor pool that will rejuvenate any tourist after a dreadful flight, and the a wine pairing dinner menu that will be sufficient to make any guest want to spend their entire vacation lazing around the exquisite space that is Southern Sun Waterfront.

Southern Sun Waterfront hotel. Picture: Supplied

Dining alternatives, I gathered, comprise of SA inspired dishes at the hotel’s Yizani Restaurant and relaxed cocktails at the Southern Sun Waterfront Bar.

2. Appreciate art

Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa) is a public not-forprofit contemporary art museum which collects, reserves, investigates, and exhibits 21st century art from Africa, besides hosting international exhibitions, and forming supporting educational and development programmes.

I wasn’t too sure I would understand this gigantic art museum, with rooms that seem to lead to other rooms of artworks from a variety of artists.

It’s true, art is a gift; and its either you have it or you don’t. But people whose collective artwork is part of this museum, are just a few of those gifted individuals that God bestowed an artistic heart; an ability to touch lives through their work.

“It’s amazing what human hands can do,” I thought to myself as I walked from one room to the next and one impressive floor to the other.

Here is where art lovers will discover over 100 galleries, spread over nine floors and devoted to a large revolutionary permanent collection; centred for Art Education, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute, among others.

3. Have cocktails at the 14 Stories Rooftop Bar

SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl can be explained in simple terms as a new generation hotel, for the young and funky; people who know a good time, love great views and are not afraid to party until they drop. The hottest new hotel in Cape Town’s CBD, with a design edge, great service, and some of the most thirst quenching potent cocktails.

SunSquare drinks at 14 Stories Rooftop Bar. Picture: Supplied

Located ideally on the corner of Buitengracht and Strand streets, the busy location of the hotel compels partygoers and those who like taking strolls to explore the surroundings and get to know the city a bit more intimately.

The stylish 14 Stories Rooftop Bar on the 14th floor serves as a welcome hideaway for SunSquare guests in need of stylish relaxation, with the bar offering entrée to the enclosed pool deck that marvellously opens onto an outdoor deck overlooking the striking Lions head and Cape Town harbour.

4. Live life downhill

I will not lie, I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to try this activity, but I guess I wouldn’t call it an adventure if the element of fear was absent.

First of all, I don’t know how to ride a bicycle but, nonetheless, I was prepared to try the Scootours around some interesting places in Cape Town. Call me crazy, but Cape Town kind of has that effect on me. It forces me to let go and live a little. Maybe we should all try that once in a while.

Not only does this Scootour give you much needed excercises in light of the extreme rates of obesity in Mzansi, but this amazing experience will allow you to experience Cape Town and its famous Table Mountain like never before. A perfect family adventure, good for corporate team-buildings and of course a kid’s birthday party with a cool twist.

Scootours. Picture: Supplied

Get into the Scootour and glide into the city below, experiencing the breath-taking views in a fun and active way. The 5km track takes you on an adventurous off-road track down the side of Signal Hill into Bo Kaap. The fun continues as you are driven to Table Mountain for your final run down a single track, off this well-celebrated land mark. These Swiss-designed, non-motorised push bikes are ecofriendly, and can be enjoyed by the entire family.

5. Wine and dine at a Cape Dutch estate

The perfect place to do this has to be Groot Constantia Wine Estate; Cape Dutch feel environment that produces an award-winning wine to satisfy every palate. Driving in the vineyard already brings a sense of nature, authenticity and makes you understand that you’re about to have your palates experience quality wine.

A wine is best experienced with a palatable hearty meal, and that is exactly what I was afforded at this simple yet elegant wine estate. “Pair an elegant Brut Rosé with a gourmet anniversary picnic on our lawns; choose a light and fresh Semillon for an al fresco lunch under our aged oaks; sip an expressive Pinotage during a family feast; or toast a milestone by the fireplace with a dignified glass of Gouverneurs Reserve,” I was told.

With three wine-tasting venues on the estate, one is spoiled for choice. For those with a sweet tooth, a chocolate and wine pairing experience is also offered. Groot Constantia is snuggled in the rich Constantia Valley.

6. Use a different mode of transport

Who wants to drive when on holiday? Certainly not me. I’ve used maxi taxi before and Uber here and there, but never have I imaged how thrilling it would be to use the sidecar. What an experience!

Cape Sidecar Adventures. Picture: Supplied

Besides the red leather jacket and sunglasses that made me ride the sidecar looking as cool as ever, I loved just how the wind felt on my face as the driver drove from Signal Hill, Atlantic Seaboard, Camps Bay, Chapmans Peak Drive and Bloubergstrand, allowing me to take in the city’s sounds and sights, comfortable and feeling more safe than I ever felt in Joburg.

The ride, which took about an hour and half with me as the third passenger, felt more like a beautiful shared experience with the driver plus a good friend of mine – one passenger in the sidecar, one passenger behind the driver.

7. Watch the sunset on a boat cruise

If I was going to go on a boat cruise, I always told myself, I’d do it in a proper way and ensure that the experience is one I can talk about for ages. This was it.

South Africa’s newest, large and most safe private yacht, the Mirage, was a dream come true for me. A remarkable addition to the V&A Waterfront in recent years, the Mirage is magnificent, with a five-star service and intimate atmosphere that allows for a flawless romantic activity.

I went upstairs just to feel the wind brush all over my body and get a perfect view of the splendour of the Mother City placed out before me – with all her stunning, picturesque magnificence – and watched as the glorious sun set, exuding all the beautiful shades of orange in a cruise that took about a good hour, 30 minutes of my life. Time well spent, indeed.

8. Check in at The Cullinan

Walking in the big and crystal clear glass doors of this exquisite and sophisticated hotel, and walking outside through the opposite door to the intimate and extremely classy pool area made me wish that wasn’t my last day in Cape Town, and got me pondering the idea of extending my stay.

Southern Sun The Cullinan hotel. Picture: Supplied

Classically designed and incorporating world-class facilities with modern highlights, Southern Sun The Cullinan is charming, with traditional architecture of the building echoed all over the hotel – high ceilings that command attention and big windows that just make it feel spacious – bringing in just enough light that is not harsh on the eye at all.

After checking in, why not try out the Mangwanani Boutique that offers a range of therapeutic wellness treatments in a serene surrounding. World-class pampering packages will restore your mind and soul. I tried it, and still feeling revived to this day.

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