South Africa is in the spotlight now with a million soccer fans converging on the country’s most famous cities for the World Cup, and in between games, the charms of the nations tourist attractions are beginning to gain a little well-deserved attention now, perhaps for the first time. So if you happen to be there in Johannesburg right about now for a fun-filled African holiday, which would be the best beaches, restaurants, shopping districts and nightlife to take in? And what would it all be like?
Let’s center our South African holiday in Cape Town with a kind of day trip that takes in a little bit of all the best stuff. Let’s start in a way that can rest your spirit and calm your soul with a visit to the Kirstenbosch Gardens. These sprawling gardens are filled with spectacular landscaping touches and cozy coves all through, and the beauty can be somewhat preternatural. When you see families sitting about on their checkered picnic cloths enjoying themselves with great spreads, and children tossing Frisbees around with playful dogs, you’d be forgiven for wondering if you had just stepped into a picture book. While you’re there, make sure that you make your way to Signal Hill for the sunset; there are few more beautiful experiences you could hope to have in life. And while on the subject of sunsets, try one of the most beautiful white sand beaches you’ll ever see this side of the Fiji, at Camps Bay. Wherever you go, you can be sure that you will have a good bit of pantomime and music to entertain you; street entertainment is really big in South Africa.
Most people would go to the shopping district for shopping; in Cape Town, you certainly have a sparkling shopping experience in store for you, but the street entertainment is not to be missed – the street jazz bands, the clowns, the tightrope walkers, you name it, are all here working up a commotion. Kloof Street has lots of great Bohemian eateries and stores for little souvenirs and odds and ends. Somehow, Cape Town seems to have the lock on really cool little Bohemian stores all around. Try the Baobab mall on Long Street and the Canal Walk mall too on the waterfront. There are vintage African clothing, wonderful secondhand buys and books, jewelry and everything you could want for great shopping expedition.
All this shopping is bound to put you in a mind for a good old South African culinary experience; and you’re certainly in the right place. Cape Town’s cuisine is so famous, people actually fly in from all over the rest of the country to eat at some of Cape Town’s best restaurants. Curiously, one of the best restaurants of this kind, Mzoli’s, is right next to a ghetto near Klipfontaine Road. And here’s a chance at a spot of poverty tourism as the fashionable like to call it these days. Anyway, the restaurant gets pretty crowded. If you want something less formal, try the Royale on Long Street for great burgers or Texies Seafoods for unbeatable fish and chips. At the end of the day, you’re bound to be of the mind to celebrate, if you just finished a burger at the Royale on Long Street, you’re in for a treat; you’ll find there is the famous Zula Sound right next door with South African ethnic music, and the Waiting Room for dancing. If you are the karaoke kind person, try the Dubliner; it’s like the Philippines in here. Everyone loves karaoke.
That should put a wrap on a rollicking South African holiday in Cape Town. The town has a long history, and it reflects in the thousands of tiny little undiscovered attractions there are all around. All you need to do is to explore.