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7 Spectacular Spots in South Africa’s Sophisticated Cape Town

The Roaming Gnome stylishly flew South African Airways to Cape Town last week, living it up in the Mother City, staying at the Table Bay Hotel on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and sightseeing until his hat started to droop. You can see Cape Town in a style befitting of the Gnomed-one by following our must-see list below and staying at one of Travelocity’s fabulous Cape Town hotels.

1.Table Mountain — When you first arrive in Cape Town, you’ll spy majestic Table Mountain (recently named one of the world’s “New 7 Wonders of Nature”) framing the city. Cape Town is actually surrounded by mountains on one side, and embraced by two oceans on the other, creating a “city bowl.” For spectacular views, head to the top of the 3,500 ft flat-topped mountain by hiking (about a 2-hr trek) or by taking the scenic cable car, which rotates 360 degrees.

2.V&A Waterfront – Shopping, dining, hotels, and entertainment make the waterfront area a must-visit when you’re in Cape Town. For shopping fanatics, the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre offers everything from gold bangles to soccer balls. Attached to the mall is the Red Shed Craft Workshop with an array of local vendors. The V& A is also where you’ll find some of the most popular hotels in town, including the One & Only, Cape Grace, and Table Bay.

3.Robben Island – The former prison island where Nelson Mandela was detained for nearly two decades during the Apartheid struggles is only an 8 miles boat ride from the V&A Waterfront, but feels like a world away. The rugged prison is now an UNESCO World Heritage site where former prisoners lead informative tours and you can peak into Mandela’s former cell.

4.Cape Point – Spectacular nature surrounds this cosmopolitan city, and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, just an hour south of the city center, is where you can spot baboons, zebra, and antelope right through your car window. When you arrive you’ll be at the southernmost point in Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.

5.Constantia Wine Area – No need to drive all the way to wine country (although it is beautiful) to taste some of South Africa’s famous vintages. On the eastern outskirts of the city are these lush vineyards that will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into southern of France. Further the illusion with a gourmet meal at the French-influenced La Columbe restaurant at the lovely Constantia Uitsig winery.

6.Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens – In the shadow of Table Mountain, but definitely not overshadowed by it, this oasis of greenery highlights indigenous plants, including the country’s much-beloved fynbos. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic lunch; you can also hike part of Table Mountain and descend into the gardens, a lovely outdoor adventure right in the heart of the city.

7.March of the Penguins – Penguins on the beach! Really! The colony of Cape Penguins at Boulders Beach will erase all thought of the tuxedoed birds cavorting in snow from your memory. After you watch the waddlers, get a sophisticated sundowner (literally a drink while the sun goes down) at the historic boutique Ellerman House Hotel.


When a Gnome Visits South Africa (Travelocity’s Facebook Page)

More International Travel Stories (The Window Seat)

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Contributing editor for Travelocity.

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