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Packing for a family is probably one of the worst nightmares when you going on a trip. It gets even trickier when traveling with young kids. There’s just so much to do and so much to remember. In today’s post I will share my own tips and tricks to make packing so much more effective […] The post Packing for a Family – Tips and Tricks appeared first on Maros...
Packing for a family is probably one of the worst nightmares when you going on a trip. It gets even trickier when traveling with young kids. There’s just so much to do and so much to remember. In today’s post I will share my own tips and tricks to make packing so much more effective and fun.
I think the number one tip is to make a list. That way you can be sure that you don’t forget anything. I’m a very organised person and I usually start making my lists very early on, so I would suggest you start early. Have a list for every member of your family and cross the list off as you go along. That way you can ensure that you will not forget anything!
CREATE A SYSTEM
I like systems and this includes when packing. When I pack for my family, I set all the suitcases that needs to be packed out on the floor. Usually mine and my husbands together and then each child’s suitcase after that. I usually do this about a month before we travel and I start packing the items I can pack and at the same time cross my list off. I found this system to be very helpful, but you can use any system that works for you.
This is helpful should your luggage get lost. Pack an item of clothing of each family member in every suitcase. That way, no-one is left without clothing.
Before you travel, do research on the whether and the activities you are wanting to do and pack appropriately. Try to not “over-pack”. Keep clothing items to the minimum and pack only what is needed. That will decrease the amount of luggage you take.
maximise your space
Try and use the space that you have available as best you can. Packing is like a jig-saw puzzle. Use every inch of space available to pack something by using smaller packing cubes, folders, sacs, etc. Use all the available space you have. When you pack clothing, roll the items up so that you can fit more in your suit cases.
organise all chargers/cords in one place
Travelling with different devices can be a headache for a family. I found a great tip is to pack all electronics and cables together in one bag. That way everyone knows where it is and it can be found easily.
pack toys for the kids
Traveling with kids can be daunting. Make sure you pack some toys for the kids to keep themselves busy with. Kids also feel more secure and safe if they have their own toys with them, that way you ensure happy travels to everyone. Please remember to keep the toy items small and compact as possible.
pack healty snacks for the kids
When traveling with kids (especially mine), it is important for me to have healthy sacks for the kids. I typically pack stuff like nuts, dried fruit, biltong, droëwors and cheese crackers. That way I know my child has food to nibble on and at the same time stay healthy. If you want tips on what healthy snacks to pack for the kiddies, make sure to read a previous post of ours: “Healthy Snack Ideas when Traveling with Little Ones”.
If you have more tips that you would like to share with us, please do so by leaving a comment on this post. If you find these tips helpful, please do share it with your friends and family. If you want more similar helpful tips in the future, please make sure you follow us on our social media platforms. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter.
As parents we always want to keep our children healthy. We are always looking for healthy snack ideas when out and about or ever travelling little ones. We’ve asked 8 mom’s to give us some of their healthy snack ideas. Well, there you have it. Don’t know about you, but we certainly got a whole lot […] The post Healthy Snack Ideas when Traveling with the Little Ones appeared first on Maros...
As parents we always want to keep our children healthy. We are always looking for healthy snack ideas when out and about or ever travelling little ones. We’ve asked 8 mom’s to give us some of their healthy snack ideas.
Lauren Henry is a mom of 2 girls, ages 4 and 1 years old and her girls loves fruit, rice cake snacks and rice crackers when they are out and about.
Dee Berry is a mom of 2 boys, 11 and 5 years of age. She says her boys love boiled eggs, but add that you need to keep them in the shell till your child is ready to eat them, but be conscious not to carry them around in warm weather for more than an hour or so. Other goodies her boys love, includes mini corn, cheese wedges and carrots make great snacks too.
Denise Neethling is a mom of a girl, age 23 months and soon to be mom to a boy. She says that Lea likes ProVita’s, Rusks, Banana, Purity Fruit Drops, Droëwors, Rhodes Fruit Squash, Dried Fruit Roll, Yoghurt and Mini Cheddars.
Shelley Swart, mom to a boy, age 6 years, says that when Connor Jo was little, she used to pack things like Purity or Squeeze pouches, fruit juice, mini cheddars, a packet of raisins, rice cakes or the Veggie Biscuits from Woolworths. If they go out over lunch time, she use to take frozen blocks of veggies or food and just heat it before they have lunch. Now that Connor Jo is much older, she packs a small bottle of water, banana, container of grapes, cheese or peanut butter sandwiches and a small packet of chips/crisps. She also mentioned that recently, Connor Jo started to nibble on cucumber – without the skin and corn.
Chanel Schonfeldt, mommy to a busy 1 year old girl, says that they love road trips so it is very important for her to have healthy snacks handy, which includes Drinking Yoghurt, Fresh Fruit, Sugar Free Muffins, Granola Bars and fresh, steamed veggies.
Claire Butterfield, mom of a girl, 6 years old says that she use to give Leah Popcorn and to make it fun, she would add a small drop or two food colouring. She advise that use a plastic shopping bag as the food colouring stains everything.
Meagan Hillman is a mom to 2 girls, 8 and 6 years of age and she likes to pack things like viennas, oat meal snack cakes, cucumber, cocktail tomatoes, Carrot Sticks, Yoghurt, Crackers, Cheese, Mini Puff Pies from Woolworths, Muffins, Bananas, Strawberries, Mini Pizzas, Celery Sticks or kebab sticks with chicken.
Johané Matthee, mother to a girl of 7 years old, shares that Tiané loves frozen fruit on a hot day, especially grapes. She also loves infused ice water and added that rice cakes with peanut butter and cheddars is always a winner.
Well, there you have it. Don’t know about you, but we certainly got a whole lot of new ideas from these mommies. We would just like to extend a warm thank you to all the mommies that was willing to share their ideas with us. Thank taking the time to share your insights with us. We certainly a whole lot wiser.
If you have any healthy snack ideas that you would like to share with us, please do leave a comment with your suggestions. If you know of any mommies that would find these ideas helpful, then please do share it with them. If you want more of these helpful tips and more, then please make sure you follow the blog on any of our social media platforms. You can also sign up for our newsletter.
The post Healthy Snack Ideas when Traveling with the Little Ones appeared first on Maros Travels.
Planning for an overseas trip can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for family travel. I live by the following quote from Saint Augustine: “The world is a book and those that do not travel, read only a page”. I cannot agree more with this quote. Being able to travel to other countries is such a […] The post Planning for an overseas trip appeared first on Maros...
Planning for an overseas trip can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for family travel. I live by the following quote from Saint Augustine: “The world is a book and those that do not travel, read only a page”. I cannot agree more with this quote. Being able to travel to other countries is such a privilege and something I really believe everyone should do. In this article we’ll share some of our tips on how to make this daunting task, a fun and exciting experience.
Getting a passport is first on our list as you cannot travel internationally if you don’t have a legal passport. Even if you don’t know where you are wanting to go yet, get your passport done as this is the first and very important step towards your plans to travel. When applying for your passport, in South Africa it is R480.00 and can take up to 6 – 8 weeks for the Department of Home Affairs to issue you with your passport.
Bear in mind that if you are going to travel with children, each child require his/her own passport and will be charged the normal R 480.00 per passport. Another thing to remember when applying for passport for a child, you need to present an Unabridged Birth Certificate, that contain both the mother and father’s details. Before you travel, make sure your passport is valid for at least another 3 months AFTER you arrived back in your home country. Also, before you book your tickets, check when your passport expire. If you need to renew your passport, make sure that you do so before you continue with your travel plans.
Decide where you want to go
If you do not know yet where you want to go, I would suggest you first make a bucket list of all the countries you would like to visit. This will depend on what type of holidays you prefer, city or beach. Do you like history? Do you like to experience the culture? What type of whether to you prefer? All these elements will play a huge role in your decision as to where to go. Some other thigs to take into consideration is budget, currencies, distance and visa requirements. This is the most important step.
When to visit
Once you followed the first step and you have your list you need to determine when a good time to visit is. Our suggestion is for countries like Europe, including the UK, Scandinavia and America, spring or summer is the perfect time to visit. The weather during these times are perfect as it’s not too cold neither is it too hot. Countries like Africa, South America, Australia or New Zealand, spring or autumn is perfect as it can get extremely hot in the summer with extreme winter temperatures. If you have a sense of adventure and are keen to try things you haven’t experience before, then you can visit these countries during the summer months. Bear in mind however, that you would need to consider packing things like shades, hats, loads of sun screen, very cool clothes and you need to stay hydrated. Tropical islands like the Indian Ocean Islands and the Caribbean is anytime between December to April. During these months the weather is drier, cooler and less humid. During the months of September to October is usually cyclone season, with rains starting in June. Countries like South and Southeast Asia, it’s best to visit January through to March as well as June through to September. These counties are close to the equator, which means that it’s hot and humid year-round. However, during these months they experience the lowest rainfall, which means that it’s a little less humid.
Booking your tickets
When it comes to booking your tickets, you have a few options. You can either book the tickets yourself at the airline directly or you can go through a travel agency. I would recommend that you go through a travel agency, simply because they can tell you which airline would be best for your needs. Airlines often have specials and the agencies can tell you about these specials. Most of the big agencies in South Africa do the visa applications, travel insurance, accommodation and car hire as a package and usually works out a little cheaper than doing it yourself. Another advantage of booking through an agency, is knowing that should something go wrong during your travels, you have someone that can assist you. This saves you lot of time, money and stress.
In South Africa, we have a couple of great travel agencies. Below is a list of our favourites:
- Sure Travel
- Flight Centre
- Pen Travel
- Student Flights – Caters for anyone up to the age of 35
- STA Travel
Travel Insurance is compulsory if you require a visa. It is relatively cheap and is usually really good cover. It covers any medical emergency, luggage, cancellation of flights, accidental death, missed connection, travel delay, denied visa, personal liability, hijack & hostage detention inconvenience and emergencies due to nature causing accidents like cyclones, earthquakes, etc. Don’t make the mistake and think that your medical aid will cover your travel insurance. They do make provision for it, but the cover is very minimal. We suggest that you get proper travel insurance through a travel agency. You can get travel insurance from any of the travel agencies listed in the previous point. If you are traveling with children under the age of 2, the insurance is usually included in the adults insurance.
We mentioned in the beginning of this post, that one of the things to consider when choosing where to go, is whether visas are required. If you are traveling with a South African passport, most countries these days require you to have a visa. We did a post on Visa-Free Holidays for South Africans which contains a list of all the countries you can visit visa-free if you travel with a South African passport.
If you travel with an American passport, we also did and article Countries Americans can visit visa-free. Again, this article contains a list (and a very long list if I may ad) of countries you can visit visa-free if traveling with an American passport. If you are unsure on whether you require a visa, feel free to contact the local embassy or you can also check online. They will provide you with all the info you require. When applying for a visa, for most countries you can only do so 3 months before you leave and it can usually take up to 6 weeks for the embassy to issue you with your visa. If you are traveling with children, each of the children would also need a visa at the normal visa charge..
Accommodation and Car Hire
Accommodation and car hire/travel is probably one of your biggest expense and you should expect to pay quite a bit for accommodation and travel. We recommend that if it is at all possible, to try and stay with family and friends as far as possible. If this is not possible, then you must decide as to how much you are willing to pay for accommodation. If you are adventurous at heart and want to save on accommodation, we recommend backpacking as this is by far the cheapest way to travel. If backpacking is not for you, then there are other options like hotels, B&B’s or even Guest Houses. Another great way to save on accommodation is to check out Air B&B. You can search and book accommodation by making use of the search box to your right. This will also give you an idea of pricing that will make it easier for you to budget.
Some other practical tips
- We suggest that you make 2 copies of all your documentation. One copy to leave at home with family or friends. This is to provide them with all your travel information, so that should something happen to you, they have all the info that might be required. The other copy is to keep with you in your bag wherever you are staying. This is to prevent you from being “stuck” should you lose the original documentation. It is important to remember that you need to have your passport on you at all times.
- If you travel as a family, make sure that you pack half of your clothes in your own bag and half in another family member’s bag. That way, should your luggage get lost, you at least have clothes.
- If you are a South African, make sure that you inform your bank of the dates that you will be out of the country. Also inform them of the countries you are going to visit. This is to prevent them from blocking your card due to fraudulent transactions from countries other than South Africa.
- Plan your trip. Make lists of the places you want to see and if possible, book tickets online before you go. It is usually cheaper to buy online and it prevents you from carrying unnecessary cash around. Planning your trip effectively, allows you to enjoy every moment. It eliminates trying to cramp a whole bunch of activities into the day, making you feel tired and you end up not enjoying your trip.
- Do research of the country/ies you are going to visit. Make sure you are aware of the laws of the country and that you understand the culture. There’s nothing more embarrassing then finding yourself clueless and in trouble. If you are visiting a country that speaks any language other than English, try and learn the important phrases in that language. It will make your trip a lot easier and fun.
- Before you start packing, make sure you are aware of the amount of bags each person is allowed as well as the weight of each bag as you will be charged for every kg you are over the allowed weight.
- Make sure you know of the dates and times of your flights. If it is allowed and you can, try and check in online before you go to the airport. This will make the process at the airport a lot quicker.
- Try and have fun! Enjoy your trip, make the most of every opportunity. Meet new people, eat the traditional foods, learn the culture and the history and take in the beauty each country has to offer. Take loads of pictures and build memories.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any other tips that you want to share with us? Then please join the conversation, by commenting in below. Please also show the love by sharing this article with your friends and family. If you want to know when there is new articles on the blog, please sign up for our newsletter. You can also stay up to date by following us on any of our social media platforms.
We were privileged to do an Accommodation Review for The Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa, a 5 star hotel is situated in Century City, Cape Town. It is walking distance from the very famous Canal Walk Shopping Center that is home to over 400 of the world’s most well known shopping brands. Spoiled with a lifetime’s […] The post The Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa, Century City appeared first on Maros...
We were privileged to do an Accommodation Review for The Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa, a 5 star hotel is situated in Century City, Cape Town. It is walking distance from the very famous Canal Walk Shopping Center that is home to over 400 of the world’s most well known shopping brands. Spoiled with a lifetime’s worth of luxury, the hotel showcase almost 15 000 square feet of versatile, contemporary venue space and innovative planning services. With all this on offer and with an average of 4.5/5 review rating, one can understand why 90% of the visitors highly recommend you choose this venue to be your home when visiting to the Mother City.
The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa has enough facilities to keep you so busy, you don’t even have to leave the hotel. Facilities includes a guest lounge with fire place, sushi and cocktail bar, the Tower Restaurant, The Deli and the ever famous Ruby Bar, Pool and Health Bar, Business Center and the Life Day Spa.
If you are looking for fine and sophisticated dining, The Towers Restaurant is the place to be. The restaurant is divided into 3 sections, including a romantic private area and offers carefully planned menus of intercontinental and fusion flavours. The Towers Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and dress code is smart casual.
The 24 hour delis is ideal for getting some business done or having a quick bite in a casual atmosphere. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dress is casual.
Should you be in the mood for an exciting night out, than be sure to pay a visit to Ruby Bar. This double volume bar is fully stocked with an extensive collection of imported champagnes and single malt whiskeys. Complimentary bar snacks are on offer. If you are looking for something more intimate, be sure to escape into the private bar lounges, decorated in honour of South African legends Kingsley Holgate and David Kramer. Open for dinner only. Dress code is casual.
Pool and Health Bar
Decorated with pure white furniture and high volume doors that open up to the beautiful pool deck the most amazing views over the city. The pool area has a health bar that provides you with a healthier alternative to your daily meals and the day beds allow you to unwind and forget about the days of trouble. The pool area serves light meals, sushi or cocktails with a clear view of Table Mountain. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dress code is casual.
The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa cater for the professional and corporate. You can be ensured to receive a Business Centre with a professional setting for executive meetings and conferences. Facilities includes large, multi-use conference venue, with state-of-the-art boardrooms, full secretarial and business services and complimentary wireless internet access. The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa is dedicated to world class conference venues and facilities and I would HIGHTLY recommend The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa for your conferencing.
Life Day Spa
The Life Day Spa Cape Town is at the forefront of the wellness revolution and has created a unique place of relaxation, revitalization and anti-aging. No expense has been spared in the creation of this world class facility. Services and treatments includes body scrubs, body wraps, couple massages, facials, manicures/pedicures, messages, steam room and waxing. Appointments is required. To make a booking, please contact the Life Day Spa Cape Town:
Tel: +27 (0)21 525 3883
The 108 guest rooms offers something different with amazing architecture and breathtaking city views. Each room is quipped with a mini kitchenette and honesty bar. The kitchenette is equipped with coffee/tea making facilities and a fully stocked mini/honesty bar.
The en-suite bathroom is equipped with a luxurious bath that overlooks the entire city. Scented candles is available for your use. Fancy a shower rather than a bath? Then the cylindrical frosted glass shower with a raindrop shower head known as “The Crystal Showers”, is just for you. The toilet is separate from the bathroom. Some of the other facilities in the rooms includes a LCD TV with DSTV, DVD player and some DVD’s. The hotel has a DVD library stoked with all your favourite award winning movies. Other facilities includes a GHD, Wii Game Console, Playstation and Board Games for in room use. The bedrooms are also fitted with an executive work desk, climate control air-conditioning, international plug point, a safe large enough to store a laptop, ample cupboard space and a hair dryer.
Why would you want to stay anywhere else? I think this post speaks for itself. The only think to add is that you will absolutely NOT be disappointed with your stay here. We only spend a few hours here, but we can promise you that few hours felt like an entire lifetime. That is how much at home we felt. Spoiled for luxury and surrounded by absolutely beautiful architecture and décor, you will NOT go wrong by booking your place at The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa.
Have you stayed at The Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa? Please do share your feedback by commenting below. If you liked reading this article, please show it some love, by sharing it with your friends and family. If you want to know when there’s new articles on the blog, please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on any of our social media platforms.
Knysna is lined with indigenous forests, fynbos (a distinctive type of begetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. It includes a very wide range of plant species, particularly small heather-like trees and schrubs), lakes, rivers, mountains and beautiful coastlines. With its very moderate climate, Knysna is the natural Eden of South Africa. Knysna […] The post All about Knysna on the Garden Route appeared first on Maros...
All about Knysna. Knysna is a perfect family travel destination, about 490km from Cape Town along the famous Garden Route. The route starts in Cape Town and runs all the way to Port Elizabeth, traveling through some of South Africa’s most beautiful landscapes. There are tons of beautiful accommodation along the route and Knysna is a “must stop” when exploring the Garden Route. Knysna was named one of the Top 100 destinations according to TripAdvisor 2008 Travellers’ Choice Destinations award.
Knysna is lined with indigenous forests, fynbos (a distinctive type of begetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. It includes a very wide range of plant species, particularly small heather-like trees and schrubs), lakes, rivers, mountains and beautiful coastlines. With its very moderate climate, Knysna is the natural Eden of South Africa. Knysna is also known for its annual Oyster Festival (www.oysterfestival.co.za) that usually runs around May/June and cause thousands of visitors across the country and globe to set upon this beautiful town. Knysna is also home to the well known Knysna Loerie as well as the Knysna Elephant.
Here is our list of things to do when visiting Knysna:
The Knysna Heads is a channel though which the sea pours in to flood the wide and beautiful lagoon at the mouth of the Knysna River. There is a path way that one can follow that will take you all the way to the edge of the heads. From here you will be able to marvel at the breathtaking views of the surrounded mountains and ocean. There are restaurants situated at the heads, where one can enjoy some delicious, freshly prepared sea food, while overlooking the beautiful lagoon.
Plettenberg Bay is 50km from the town of Knysna, along the N2 towards Port Elizabeth. The Puzzle Park is situated just before you reach Plettenberg Bay. If you are one that loves word games and puzzles, this is the place to visit. Here you will find word games and puzzles for young and old alike, making it the perfect activity for the whole family. Some of the games includes two puzzle maizes., one of which is a human made 3D maize. The aim of the game is to find your way through the maize, by solving riddles along the way. It is loads of fun for the while family. There are some wonderful prizes to be won and there is even a small maize for children as well as a jungle gym. For more information, please visit: (www.plettpuzzlepark.co.za).
About 20km just outside of Knysna on your way to Plettenberg Bay along the N2, you will find the Sunday Market. The market takes place every Sunday and is home to a variety of things. From jewelery, to African Art. From kids toys to cheese, bottled fruit, quilts, fresh fish and pate’s. If you are hungry, there’s tons of food stalls to fill the hunger tummies. You will even find a little tea garden where you can have a cup of tea/coffee with something sweet to eat. The market is only open on Sundays from about 07:00am until around 12:00pm, so make sure you are there early.
The Sactuary is situated south of the N2, between Kysna and Plettenberg Bay. The interactive guided tours takes you through the wolf enclosures and is truly a unique experience that allows you to get really close and personal with these creatures. If you are liked and lucky, you could even get a gentle kiss from the semi tame wolf, Nalea. You will also find friendly wolf dogs and husky’s. You will also meet the various different “Wolf Packs”, wolf dogs, husky’s and Jackals in separate spacious enclosures. You will be able to interact with the variety of farmyard animals and the touchfarm. If you are hungry, there’s even a small restaurant that offers lovely breakfasts and other light meals. Yet, another great activity for the whole family.
For more information on operating hours and fees, please visit their website.
The Knysna Waterfront is a popular hotspot for tourists and locals alike, known and loved for its leisure activities, dining and spectacular views. It is also a shopaholic’s delight, as there is a number of fabulously unique shops to art galleries and specialty stores that caters or the needs and preferences of just about anyone.
The Knysna Waterfront is also home to the Knysna Quays, which is the residential part of the waterfront, offering accommodation to visitors.
The Waterfront is also the departure point for a number of yachts and cruising vessels that take visitors out of the lagoon and showcase the splendour of the Western Cape. Simply watching these boats drift on the water while sipping a cold beer is tranquil in itself.
The life-size bronze stature of Bondi is always a treat to see. This English Bulldog was known for visiting Knysna on the HMS Verbena during the 1920’s and 1930’s. He was a resident on this ship and loved by its passengers. However, in 1931, he followed them onto shore and died of a heatstroke. They buried him on Thesen Island, and his statue remains as a reminder of his brave “sailor”.
picnic on leisure isle
Why not end the day off with a sunset picnic on Leisure Isle. The lagoon is perfectly situated to provide visitors with views of the famous Knysna Heads which jut majestically out into the lagoon on the one side and the sea on the other. Laze on the beach and watch the sailboats and ferries across the blue waters. You can also take the opportunity to walk or cycle around the 4km island perimeter. The perfect way to end an eventful day with the whole family.
This is just a small list of many activities to do in Knysna. When planning to visit Knysna, we suggest you stay in Knysna for at least a week to be able to appreciate all that this small town has to offer. For more information of the town of Knysna and the surrounds, please visit: (www.tourismknysna.co.za).
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Please share the love for this article, by sharing it with your friends and family. You can also show some love by following us on any of our social media platforms. If you have visited Knysna before and want to share your experience, please do so by commenting on this article. If you want to be informed when there’s new articles on the blog, please subscribe to our newsletter.
Cape Town has been named one of the “must see” cities of the world and has some of the best South African attractions. We thought it good to celebrate this, by giving you our reasons why we think Cape Town is one of the “must see” cities in the world. Our list is in no […] The post Top ten things to do in Cape Town appeared first on Maros...
Cape Town has been named one of the “must see” cities of the world and has some of the best South African attractions. We thought it good to celebrate this, by giving you our reasons why we think Cape Town is one of the “must see” cities in the world. Our list is in no particular order, but does contain our favourite things about the city and of course, most of them are family friendly attractions.
Table Mountain is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and one can understand why when looking through the famous pictures of this magnificent giant. There is two ways one can visit Table Mountain. If you love hiking and you are an experienced hiker, then you can hike to the top. It is however advisable that you be aware of the following:
- Go in a group and make sure that you stick together all the way.
- You are an experienced hiker.
- Check the whether before you plan to hike up the mountain to make sure that there will be no cloud cover during your hike up the mountain. We would suggest you check the whether with the Table Mountain Cable Car office.
- Make sure that you follow the trail all the way to the top and avoid going off the trail at all times.
- Let someone on the ground know that you are planning to hike up Table Mountain and when you are planning to be back. We suggest that you inform the Table Mountain Cable Car Offices.
- Enjoy and take in all the beauty around you.
The second way to reach the top of Table Mountain, is by cable car. The cable cars are all imported from Switzerland and can carry 65 people at a time. The floors of the cable cars are revolving to offer you a 360° view of the Mother City. Once you have reached the top, you will not want to go back. The view is absolutely too amazing for words. You are free to stay on the top as long as you’d like. You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or you can pack your own picnic to enjoy by yourself. If you like souvenirs, you can visit the souvenir shop.
TOP TIP: When planning to visit Table Mountain by cable car, make sure that you put 1 – 2 hours aside. This time may vary during peak season due to queuing and it is also depended on how much time you want to spend at the top. Prices will vary depending on the time of day you are planning to visit. Unfortunately you are unable to pre-book as the operation is very dependent on weather conditions. You are welcome to visit the Table Mountain website for information on whether and operating hours. You can also buy your ticket online. There is a discount if you buy your tickets online.
VICTORIA & ALFRED WATERFRONT
Adjacent to the working harbour, the V&A Waterfront has something to offer for everybody. Visit the clock tower, which was the original Port Captain’s Office built in 1882. If you like shopping, the V&A Waterfront is home to over 450 retail outlets that varies from fashion, to homeware & curious, to jewelers, to leather goods & audio/visual equipment to souvenir shops. If you like food, there are plenty of award winning restaurants which offers cousine from all over the world.
TOP TIP: If you want to experience true South African cousine, visit Karibu Restaurant on the port side of the Waterfront.
One of our personal favourite places to visit when we find ourselves at the the V&A Waterfront, is the Two Oceans Aquarium. The aquarium houses over 3 000 living sea animals, including sharks, fish, seals, turtles and penguins. You will not want to leave once you have experience the wonder of our rich sea life. It’s a fun day out for the whole family. The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 to 18:30. Buy your tickets here.
If you love history and would like to know more about the past of South Africa, then I highly recommend you visit Robben Island. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It has a long history and has served as a leper colony and the local version or Alcatraz for political prisoners. This was the prison where Mr Nelson Mandela was held as prisoner during the apartheid regime. You are welcome to read our article on our recent visit to Robben Island if you want more information. Visit their website to buy your tickets online.
TOP TIP: We recommend that you buy your tickets in advance as it is usually fully booked quite far in advance AND you save about 10% when you buy online.
If you love wine as much as we do, you will absolutely love a visit to the Cape Winelands. Home to some of the world’s most famous wine estates, you will have a hard time to make your choice on who to visit. Among some of the well known estates are Spier, Beyerskloof, Vergelegen, Boschendal, Groot Constantia, Vrede & Lust, Nederberg and much, much more. When planning to visit the Cape Winelands, get an early start to your day and bare in mind that the Winelands are generally much warmer than Cape Town CBD. Plan your trip in advance. Designate a driver, make lunch reservations and bring your water bottle, sun screen.
TOP TIP: Get yourself a copy of the Wine Tourism Handbook, which you can get at any book store. This will aid you in getting the best of all the 16 routes.
KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDEN
If you are a nature lover, than the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is just the place you want to be. Not only do you experience some of the Cape’s Fauna & Flora, but you will be stunned with views that will take your breath away. Founded in 1913, the gardens are home to a diverse range of South African plants from fynbos to natural forests. Fynbos is a distinctive type of vegetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. It includes a very wide range of plant species, particularly small heather-like trees and shrubs. During the summer months (from Spetember – April) the garden host summer concerts in its ampitheathre which is to be enjoyed by the whole family. For an day of peace and quiet, take your picnic basket and take in the beauty of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Visit their website for operating times, info on summer concerts or entrance fees.
Giving one a feeling of a true fisherman’s town, Kalk Bay is something to experience. Its streets are lined with antique shops, art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops. Its biggest attraction is the harbour where you will find fisherman throwing out their lines over the harbour wall for a lucky catch. Something to experience when visiting the Kalk Bay harbour is Kalkies fisheries, home to some of Cape Town’s best and freshest fish and chips.
PENGUIN COLONY AT BOULDERS BEACH
Just a few minutes drive from Kalk Bay along the main road en-route to Cape Point, is Simons Town which is home to a small colony of African Penguins (previously known as “Jackass Penguins”) at Boulders Beach. This colony as well as the small colonies found along the coast of Namibia and Port Elizabeth, are the only colonies on the continent. The site is wheelchair friendly and the perfect spot to get up and close with these rather interesting creatures. There is a small charge to enter the beach and numbers are limited depending on the tides and space available on the beach. This is truly something to experience for the whole family. If you want more information on operating times and entrance fees, you are welcome to contact the Boulders Beach visiting center on +27 (0)21 786 2329.
CHAPMAN'S PEAK DRIVE
This toll road winds its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa and is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. It’s unofficially known by the locals as “Chappies” This scenic drive was purposefully build in 1922 by blasting it into partially vertical rock and is truly one of the most beautiful scenic routes around. There are plenty of places for you to stop along the road and take in the beautiful views. When planning to take a drive over Chappies, bear in mind that the road is often closed due to rock falls, so its best to call before you plan to make your way over Chapman’s Peak. There is a toll fee charged. To enquire, please call +27 (0)21 791 8222.
TOP TIP: I would highly recommend that if you are planning to take this scenic drive, plan it in such a way that you stop at the 12 Apostles Hotel for lunch. You can even plan your route in such a way to stop for High Tea. Visit their website for more information.
This must be one of our personal favourite spots. Not only is the beach very private, but the town itself is beautiful. Hout Bay (Originated from Afrikaans, meaning “Wood Bay”), is situated in a valley on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula. It was declared a republic by its residents a few years ago and upon your visit you will not be surprised why. The town is surrounded by incredible views of the surrounding mountains and a sea food lovers dream with tons of small sea food restaurants. When visiting Hout Bay, be sure to pop in at the Hout Bay market, situated on the harbour.
Often incorrectly referred to as the “southern most tip of Africa” (Cape Agulhas is the southern most tip of Africa), Cape Point is indeed something not to be missed when visiting Cape Town. Founded by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488 and known as the Cape of Storms in those days, Cape Point is home to numerous of shipwrecks. You can also visit the Cape Point light house and the Two Oceans Restaurant perched high above the crashing waves with beautiful views of False Bay. Cape Point is also home to Fraunhofer Institute in Garmisch, Germany, and the South African Weather Bureau’s research laboratory that enables them to monitor long-term changes in the chemistry of the earth’s atmosphere that influences climate changes.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Have you visited any of the above attractions? If so, please let us know what your experience was, by leaving a comment below. Do you perhaps have any other favourites that is not featured on this list? Please let us know by commenting below.
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