As many of you probably know Ireland is about to be battered by Hurricane Ophelia! So, most of us are off work today and the really bad weather had me dreaming of being back in Cape Town. I also just realized that myself or Bryan never actually posted about our trip to Cape Town which was all the way back in August!
We did visit the rainbow nation during their winter season but we got really great weather for the majority of the trip with only two rainy days.
Why Cape Town? As many of our friends and relatives asked when we booked the trip, well we thought, why not?
Cape Town is an amazing destination with fantastic food, friendly people and many many things to do. We did have some concerns about safety but just like any other main city, don’t walk alone at night, don’t go off with strangers and keep your wits about you and you will be fine! So here is what we got up to on our adventures in Cape Town.
We flew with Emirates and opted for a 19 hour stopover on dubai, this was a little rough but definitely worth it. We arrived in Cape Town mid afternoon to sunny clear skies and 32 degrees. We had booked the MannaBay hotel and arranged our airport transfers with them. The hotel is absolutely amazing with fantastic views of Table Mountain.
Mannabay is a boutique hotel with just 8 rooms and each room has a theme and either a view of the city or a view of Table Mountain. We chose the orchid room as I have a love for orchids and luckily enough this room was on the upper level which enjoyed a balcony and a view of the famous mountain that overlooks the city.
Our booking with Mannabay included breakfast, high tea every afternoon and free transfers for dinner each evening. The staff were fantastic and everything was so personalized we couldn’t fault the hotel one bit and would definitely make this our go to place when we return to the city.
After we were shown around the hotel we decided to catch up on some sleep, shower and then get ready for dinner. We had Azure restaurant booked which is in the Twelve Apostles hotel and of course Mannabay had taken care of the reservation for us in advance.
If you are heading to Cape Town do make sure you visit Azure for dinner one evening. It is a little bit more expensive in terms of Cape Town but the food is fantastic and the price is still reasonable when you compare it to European prices. We got a three course meal with a bottle of wine and teas and coffees for half of what we would pay here in Dublin and the food is the best food we have ever had!
Speaking of food, anywhere we ate in Cape Town was fantastic and if you do go, make sure you try two things, Springbok which I had in Azure and it was absolutely delicious and also Cape Malay curry which Bryan said is the best chicken curry he ever had!
After a wonderful evening in Azure we went back to the hotel and watched one of the many movies available on the Tv in our room before we fell asleep to get ready for the next days adventures.
We woke bright and early and had a delicious breakfast at the hotel before setting out to explore the city. We ordered and Uber to collect us and bring us down to the V&A waterfront. The waterfront area is in the Centre of Cape Town and it is full of beautiful buildings, many shops and restaurants and also houses some luxury brand stores. We explored the waterfront and long street, had some lunch and then decided to be such tourists and get the city sightseeing bus to explore some of the city!
The City Sightseeing bus is fantastic if you do not drive or if you chose not to drive on your trip. It covers all major sights and has three routes. One that covers the likes of Table Mountain and signal hill, another that covers the seaside towns and Kirstenbosch gardens (which is a must by the way) and another that covers Constantia which are the wine lands closest to the city.
The bus is also great for the amazing views you get, especially going up to Signal Hill and around Clifton and Camps Bay. Check out our photos below!
That evening we decided to head down to the waterfront for dinner and went to a beautiful Italian restaurant for pasta and pizza! The portions were very generous and with a drink it only cost us €20 with a tip! The food of course was delicious like all the food we had in Cape Town.
This was one of the rainy days we had in Cape Town that I mentioned before. We had some breakfast and then went down to the waterfront as we were supposed to head out to robben island. Unfortunately as the weather was too bad the ferries were cancelled and we had to reschedule our trip to Friday morning (our last day in Cape Town) with this we decided to do a little shopping and after lunch we headed back to the hotel as the weather just go too bad! Luckily for us MannaBay have the Friends tv show boxsets on the tv so with that, room service, and snacks from high tea we decided to chill for the day and catch up on some rest. We also ordered in food that night as MannaBay had a list of restaurants we could order from.
On day 4, we had a tour booked through the hotel for Cape Point. This was our second day with bad weather but we were looking forward to this adventure! The tour was taking us on a drive through Chapman’s Peak, Cape Point, to Simmons town and then to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. We met our tour guide Philippe and driver Steven at the hotel and set out to collect the other groups for the tour.
The first point was to drive along Chapman’s Peak drive. This was a fantastic experience and we even stopped off on the tour to get some photos of the amazing views. Check out our photos below!
We then headed toward Cape Point Nature Reserve. The reserve is full of baboons, ostrich and many their animals, our tour guide was brilliant and advised us on the safety in the reserve especially when it come to baboons and snakes. We headed up to the light house to get some amazing views. When walking up to the light house do be aware of the baboons and do not have any food with you! We saw a baboon running with food and we found out later from Philippe that the baboon took it forcefully from a couple who had just got out of their car..
After taking many pictures at the lighthouse we then headed down towards the Cape of Good Hope. Unfortunately due to very heavy rainfall we didn’t spend much time down here but it was still a great experience to say we were there.
We then went to Simonstown for lunch. The tour guide took us to a cute little restaurant that had a great menu full of seafood and game meat. We opted for the hake and chips which was delicious. We also got to know the other groups on the tour quite well and it was great to here other stories of travel and definitely gave us some ideas of destinations to visit!
The next part of the tour was a trip to boulders beach in simonstown to see the famous penguins! This was a dream come true as Bryan and myself love penguins and we were really looking forward to seeing them. The beach didn’t disappoint even in the rain and it was a fantastic part of the day!
Finally before we went back to the hotel Philippe and Steven took us to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. We only had 40 minutes here so myself and Bryan searched frantically for the famous canopy bridge that we saw in so many photos! We found it after about 20 minutes and took some amazing photos, the views actually turned out amazing in the rain and it gave such a tropical feel to this part of the gardens.
The tour was amazing and we would highly recommend it if you are staying in MannaBay! When we got back to the hotel we got ready for dinner at Stack restaurant which was a perfect end to a wonderful day.
Day 5 was our second last day in Cape Town and we decided to go to Constantia, the wine lands closest to the city. We opted to take the city sightseeing bus and get the purple route which takes you to three wineries. We decided to go to Groot Constantia as it’s the oldest wine estate in Cape Town. The estate was beautiful and is definitely a must visit! We got a tour of the winery and received 5 vouchers so we could taste 5 wines. Myself and Bryan were of course a little giddy after this but we decided to have a walk around the grounds which were spectacular! We also got to keep our glass and bought a bottle of wine each from the winery.
Our last day in Cape Town was eventful to say the least. We of course had rebooked our robben island tour and when we got to the ferry point we had met a family who had booked two tickets for the 9 o’clock tour and another two for the 11 o’clock tour as they couldn’t get availability together. We swapped our tickets with them for the 11 o’clock so they could go together and then went off to have breakfast before our tour at 11. While eating breakfast I was looking at the tickets and noticed that they had swapped a child ticket for one of our adults tickets by accident. This caused a major issue for us when we went back to the ferry terminal and we had to rebuy an adults ticket… it was unfortunate but I was just happy we got to get on the ferry and do the tour as I was very upset at the possibility of not being able to go.
We got to the island and got a guided bus tour before heading into the old prison buildings. This part of the tour was led by an ex prisoner on robben island and was fantastic as it gave proper insight into the experience of the prison. We were also shown Nelson Mandela’s cell and the garden where he used to walk.
Cape Town has now become our favourite place that we have visited so far. It’s so beautiful and friendly and is a definite must if you are a foodie. We would definitely return so we can do the many more things we didn’t get to do that the city has on offer.
If you are heading to Cape Town do let us know and if you have any questions just drop us an email and we will be delighted to answer as best we can.