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Cape Town’s a spectacular city – and one of South Africa’s THREE capitals. It’s also one of Jemima van der Dalton’s favourite destinations.

She’s been back again and again. And one look at her top tips will have you wondering why you haven’t been …


Somewhere to hang your Cape (Town)

Want to live in the lap of luxury? One & Only Cape Town, the Cape Grace and Three Apostle tick the boxes. Or there’s the new Silo Hotel, built in an old grain store. But I like a little more freedom and recommend the V&A Marina Waterfront apartments.

Safe harbour

The V&A Waterfront is a great place to have as your central compass point. They have a huge mall with lots of shops and hundreds of restaurants, all of which have views of Table Mountain. Visit the Watershed for local produce, clothing and gifts. Monuments to Mandela and Ghandi are also here, right outside a delicious food court with all homemade food. Give Woodies burgers, on the top floor, a go or hunt out the lamb wraps on the bottom floor. Want something a bit more active? You can paddleboard around the waterfront for about £10. The best company to use is Sup Cape Town

Bus-iness as usual

If you want to get your bearings, definitely do the open-top red bus tours. There are two main routes to choose from, a city tour and a suburbs tour. You can get a two-day ticket for about £6 and hop on and off as many times as you like. On the suburbs tour, you can visit a township that is being helped by local initiatives.

Gardening leave

Kirstenbosch Garden is beautiful and perfect for children, with space to run around. It has an open-air auditorium so it’s worth looking online to see if anything is on. You could spend all day here and still not see everything so make sure you take a walk over the new treetop bridge. You can order a picnic or take your own to eat here.

Safari, so good

Gardens not quite big enough for you? Head off on safari. You can get a flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and most safari companies pick you up from airport. Lalibela is the one I have been to but there are plenty to choose from.


So that safari was tiring, right? Refresh yourself at the best spa in Cape Town. I’d plump for the spa at the One & Only hotel, right in the centre of the city. Or if the road dust has left you thirsty, there’s vineyards aplenty to wash it away. The most popular tend to be Constantia and Stellenbosch. You can pre-order an amazing picnic to have after your wine tasting.

Rain, rain go away

The aquarium at the waterfront is award-winning and is a splash hit if the weather turns wet. You can plan to visit around penguin feeding time, too, for maximum comic impact. Penguins are a real feature of the city: so if the weather clears up you can see them in the wild – in their hundreds – at Boulders Beach. A taxi or Uber is a cheap way to get there.

The top Table
Table Mountain dominates the skyline and it is just breath-taking! Make sure to buy your tickets online before you go to save queuing time (you can download a ticket pass on your phone if there’s no printer). Also, check the weather before you go. If there are clouds over the mountain – known as the Table Cloth – then it’s likely it is closed to the public.

Sunset cruise

You’ve got a choice of sunset boat trips at V&A Waterfront. I recommend the catamaran, which includes champagne. It’s around £10 - £12 and you may even see dolphins or whales. There is also a pirate themed boat trip that children enjoy.

World Cup dinners

The England team stayed at Cape Grace Hotel during the 2006 World Cup – but don’t be put off by its SIX-star status. It does the most incredible tapas menu in their bar. Nothing beats it! And it is incredibly cheap. And while you’re there, try out a great local gin – Musgrave Pink Gin.

My other recommendations? Tashas (in the V&A mall and on Canal Walk), Grand Café Beach pizza (near the waterfront), The Bungalow (at Camps Bay), Baia for the best seafood, and anything fresh from the food markets.

In Mandela’s footsteps

You get the boat to Robben Island by the clock tower at V&A Waterfront. This is so insightful, your tour guide will be an ex-prisoner and will show you Nelson Mandela’s cell. It’s thought-provoking and emotional.

Takes the Biscuit

Biscuit Mill is a weekend market of local produce. They have live bands always playing, incredible food and coffee. You MUST try the breakfast at the food stall called BUNGA BUNGA.

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