Summer in Cape Town sees up to 14-hours of daylight, with the sun setting at about 8pm at the height of the season when temperatures regularly hit the 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit). And what a sunset it usually is: the sky streaked with candy floss-pink clouds and the sun slipping beneath the horizon as it bathes all in a soft, golden light.
Africa’s allure lies in its wide, open spaces and game-packed reserves. Many travel to this wild continent to get as far as possible from cities and buildings, people and noise. They come to seek out herds of elephant roaming free under a vast, blue sky; to feel their hearts beat faster as they watch a lion stalk its prey and to let life’s everyday niggles slot back into perspective in ink-black nights lit by the stars of the Milky Way.
Being from Cape Town we like to think that we live in the land of eternal sunshine – most Capetonians do. This isn’t too far from the truth as Cape Town's winters are peppered with occasional moments of glorious sunshine. And we're not talking about a feeble, washed-out winter sun but rich, golden days with warm colours, pleasant temperatures and no wind that makes for perfect hiking weather!
There is so much to see and do at Babylonstoren – a deluxe working farm hotel in the Franschhoek Winelands – that’s best to arrive with some sort of plan. This is how we’d spend 48 hours at this very unique accommodation.
Each year, Africa's top chefs wait with baited breath to see how our continent will perform at the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. We're proud to report that Luke Dale-Robert's The Test Kitchen currently ranks 28th on this prestigious list, while Peter Templehoff's Greenhouse and Michael Broughton's Terroir both grace the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Global Selection.
It may seem strange that South Africa's oldest and most venerable wine-producing valley is paradoxically also the one with the lowest profile. While the Cape's rolling Winelands, which are made up of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, vie for attention - and thus get a lot of the acclaim - Constantia treads a quieter path, secure in the knowledge that two of its estates date back to 1685, making them the oldest in the country. For nearly 330 years, Groot (Great) and Klein (Small) Constantia have been harnessing the unique terroir and cool, crisp climate that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain range to create magnificent wines, including one of the most hailed of all time: the legendary Vin de Constance.
It’s no secret that Hermanus is home to what is arguably the world’s best land- and boat-based whale watching. Every year, thousands flock to this picturesque town lying on Walker Bay (about 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town) to be enthralled by the mating and calving antics of southern right whales as they arrive on their annual migration from the icy Southern Ocean to the balmy shores of South Africa's Garden Route.
Africa's undisputed gourmet capital, Cape Town rolls out a feast for every sense. We've gathered together our favourite favourites in this video, from the city's cafe culture of artisan coffee roasters to the inspired menu of a Cape Winelands treasure set in heavenly gardens, from the decadence of pure chocolate to a pedigreed high tea and, finally, a signature cocktail at our favourite spot to admire the setting sun.
Africa is a vast destination, home to untamed wilderness, idyllic islands and modern cities. You’ll find this same rich variety in the cuisine served here. Cast an eye over our guide to the Top 10 Restaurants in Africa, and you’ll find everything from internationally awarded gourmet restaurants to aromatic fusion food inspired by Africa’s rich cultural heritage… and that’s not counting the mouthwatering local ingredients served in spectacular wilderness settings at our top lodges.
Come dine with our African Safari Experts as they savour the spicy scents and flavours of a Cape Malay curry and try their hands at rolling a perfectly buttery roti (a traditional round flatbread) under the watchful guidence of an authentic Cape Malay cook. But before you roll up your sleeves and inspire your inner domestic goddess, we recommend a short stroll down Cape Town’s memory lane to dip into a slice of South Africa's history that produced its multi-cultural melting pot heritage.