Travel to Cape Town

Cape Town Destination Guide overview. The lure to travel to Cape Town lies in its spectacular setting and the beauty of its natural environment, as well as the rich cultural diversity of its people. It has had a long and turbulent history and the effects of Apartheid still linger in the minds and hearts of the people. Transformation however has led to a feeling of hope in this new ‘Rainbow Nation’, which can be experienced in the cosmopolitan city centre of Cape Town. Flower sellers, business executives, parking attendants, office workers and shoppers all rub shoulders in a setting of both historical and modern buildings, backed by the city’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain. The colourful Malay Quarter, the remains of District Six, St George’s Cathedral, Government Avenue and the old Castle are historically significant, while world-class African and international restaurants tempt travelers with their culinary delights. Although an African city, Cape Town has a marked European influence and visitors can experience the excitement of Africa from the comforts of First World surroundings.

Cape Town’s unique setting means that it can be enjoyed from various vantage points: Table Mountain and Lion’s Head provide breathtaking vistas over the city bowl and the Cape peninsula with its beautiful beaches; trips to Robben Island offer a dramatic sweep of scenery across to Table Bay; and harbour tours and old buildings await exploration at the cosmopolitan Waterfront. Many scenic routes meander along magnificent stretches of coastline and inland terrain leading to special places like Cape Point, the meeting place of the cold Benguela and warm Mozambique currents, and Chapman’s Peak boasts one of the most picturesque drives in the country.

It is a city with four distinct seasons, each working its particular magic on Cape Town and bringing with it a flood of associations – summer and white sandy beaches, autumn’s crisp colours, the ferocity of stormy seas in winter, and spring’s show of Cape ‘fynbos’ flowers.

From culture, history and scenery – to an unforgettable experience. This is a special place with much to contribute towards its growing reputation as a favoured travel destination.

Visa & Passport

Passports must be valid for at least 30 days beyond the period of intended stay. An onward or return ticket is required, as well as sufficient funds and documents needed for further travel. Note that visitors to South Africa must have at least one free page in their passport for endorsements.

Entry requirements for Australians:

Australian nationals need a valid passport, but no visa is needed for stays of up to 90 days for business or touristic purposes.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders:

New Zealand nationals require a valid passport, but no visa is necessary for touristic/business stays of up to 90 days.

Contacts

South African Tourism, Johannesburg: +27 (0)11 895 3000 or www.southafrica.net

South African High Commission, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 (0)2 6272 7300.

Australian High Commission, Pretoria: +27 (0)12 423 6000.

New Zealand High Commission, Pretoria: +27 (0)12 342 8656/7/8/9

Emergencies: 10111 (Police); 10177 (Ambulance)

Health

Travellers arriving in South Africa from infected areas require a yellow fever vaccination certificate, otherwise no vaccinations are required. There is a malaria risk in the low-lying areas of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga (including the Kruger National Park) and northeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal, and precautions are advised when travelling to these areas. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Tap water is safe in urban areas but sterilisation is advisable elsewhere, as there are periodic outbreaks of cholera in the poor communities of rural South Africa, particularly in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo provinces. Drug-resistant TB has been reported throughout the country. Food poisoning is rare. Medical facilities in South Africa are good, but medical insurance is strongly advised as private hospitals expect cash upfront and public hospitals are best avoided.

Airports

Cape Town International Airport

Location: The airport is situated 13 miles (20km) east of Cape Town.
Time: GMT +2.

Transfer between terminals:

Transfer to the city:

Door-to-door minibus services are available for the journey to the city, taking approximately half an hour (R150). Many hotels operate courtesy buses, and taxis are available, but only use Touch Down Taxis, the authorised airport taxi company.

Car rental:

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Hertz, Avis, National Alamo, Budget, Imperial and Tempest.

Facilities:

ATMs, bars, restaurants and currency exchange facilities are available throughout the airport. There are several shops, including duty-free in the International Departures’ section. A VAT refund service is available by the International check in desk. Hotels reservations and tourist information are available in the International Terminal. There is a Vodacom shop in International Arrivals where visitors can buy local SIM cards for their mobile phones. A free magazine called The Other Guide is handed out in International Arrivals; it’s packed with ideas on where to eat and what to do in Cape Town that month.

Car parking:

Short- and long-term parking, as well as valet parking, is available.

Departure tax: None.
Website: www.airports.co.za

Climate and Weather

Month Rainfall
(mm)
Min Temp
(C)
Max Temp
(C)
January 15 16 26
February 15 16 26
March 21 15 25
April 49 13 23
May 91 11 20
June 105 9 18
July 91 9 17
August 82 9 18
September 54 11 19
October 39 12 21
November 24 14 23
December 19 15 25

Travel to Cape Town Attractions

Table Mountain

Cape Town’s most popular tourist attraction is also its most famous physical feature, the flat-topped mountain that stands sentinel over the city. Table Mountain has been proclaimed a nature reserve, protecting its diverse floral species, some unique to its slopes. The views from the top of the mountain are quite spectacular. A Swiss-built rotating cable car carries visitors smoothly up the mountain and back. The mountain-top is equipped with a restaurant and small gift shop, as well as numerous pathways and vantage points. It is possible to climb the mountain via different routes, but care should be taken by inexperienced hikers because Cape Town is prone to sudden weather changes. The walk up can take anything between one and four hours depending on the route and level of fitness. Route maps can be bought at the cable-car station. It is always best to check the website or call the weatherline to see if the cable car is in operation.

Location: Tafelberg Road, Cape Town
Phone: 021 424 8181 (weatherline) or 021 424 0015
Email:
Website: www.tablemountain.net
Opening Times: Cable car operates daily (weather permitting) every 10-15 minutes from 8.30am to 8pm (November); 8am to 10pm (December to January); 8.30am to 8.30pm (February); 8.30am to 7.30pm (March); 8.30am to 6.30pm (April); 8.30am to 6pm (May to mid-September); 8.30am to 7pm (16 September to October). Closed for annual maintenance in July and August.
Admission: Cable car: R120 return, R60 one way (adults); R65 return, R35 one way (children under 18). Other concessions available. Bookings are not available due to changeable weather conditions
How to get there: Bus to Kloof Nek from Adderley Street and a 1.5km walk up the hill; minibus taxi from the Parade; Riki taxi; or as part of the Cape Explorer Topless bus tour

Castle of Good Hope

South Africa’s oldest building, the Castle was completed in 1679 (replacing an earlier mud and timber fort built by the first Dutch Governor, Jan van Riebeeck). Situated adjacent to a parking lot and bus station in Buitenkant Street, its walls mark the original boundary of the seashore where the waves washed up against the fortifications. Its outside aspect is somewhat foreboding, but inside are some interesting features and collections that have been restored, offering a good insight into the early days of the Cape when it was the centre of social and economic life. The castle is a pentagonal fortification with a moat and five bastions, each named for one of the titles of the Prince of Orange. The entrance is a good example of 17th century Dutch Classicism, and a bell, cast in 1679 by Claude Fremy in Amsterdam, still hangs from the original wood beams in the tower above the entrance. The castle contains a Military Museum depicting the conflicts that arose during the Cape’s early settlement, and also houses the William Fehr Collection of decorative arts, including paintings, furniture and porcelain. Of interest are the dungeons, which bear the graffiti carved by prisoners incarcerated here centuries ago.

Location: Buitenkant Street, opposite the Grand Parade, Cape Town
Phone: 021 787 1249
Email:
Website: www.castleofgoodhope.co.za
Opening Times: Daily 9am to 4pm, with tours at 11am, 12pm and 2pm from Monday to Saturday. Self guided tours are possible with the aid of a map, provided by the Castle
Admission: R20 (adults), R10 (children); half-price on Sundays. Concessions available
How to get there:

Houses of Parliament

East of the tree-lined pedestrian Government Avenue, which runs through the Company Gardens at the top of Adderley Street, lies the complex of Parliamentary buildings, containing numerous chambers, offices and corridors. It was here that the racial segregation policy of Apartheid rose and fell along with the ascendancy of the National Party which made South Africa the political pariah of the world. Visitors can now book a tour of the legislative complex, the original section of which dates back to 1885, a magnificent Victorian Neoclassical building. Worth exploring, too, are the neighbouring Company Gardens that house a range of plants and trees from around the world.

Location: 90 Plein Street, city centre (Visitor’s entrance), Cape Town
Phone: 021 403 2911, or 021 403 2266 (tours), 021 403 2460 (debates)
Email: info@parliament.gov.za
Website: www.parliament.gov.za
Opening Times: Tours Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm
Admission: Tours are free, but advance booking is essential. Day tickets can also be bought to watch a parliamentary debating session
How to get there:

South African Museum and Planetarium

The imposing South African Museum, dedicated to natural history and the human sciences, contains a huge variety of fascinating exhibits from entire chunks of caves bearing rock art, to traditional arts and crafts from several African tribes. The natural history galleries are full of mounted mammals, dioramas of prehistoric reptiles and a collection of whale skeletons, which can be viewed with the eerie sound of whalesong echoing in the background. Alongside the museum is the Planetarium, which has a changing programme of thematic shows involving the southern constellations.

Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Phone: 021 481 3800 (museum), 021 481 3900 (planetarium)
Email: info@iziko.org.za
Website: www.museums.org.za/sam
Opening Times: Daily 10am to 5pm. Planetarium shows Monday to Friday at 2pm and at 8pm on Tuesdays; Saturday and Sunday 12pm, 1pm and 2.30pm
Admission: Museum: R10 (adults), R5 (children), free on Saturdays; Planetarium: R20 (adults), R6 (children)
How to get there:

Greenmarket Square

Situated in the Central Business District, near the main station, is Greenmarket Square, the perfect spot to observe South Africa’s ‘rainbow nation’ in all its hues. Once the scene of slave markets, this is the site of one of the city’s most vibrant flea markets, where clothing, jewellery, knick-knacks and souvenirs are on sale every day, and tourists and business people rub shoulders in the many sidewalk cafes that surround this busy cobbled square. Be prepared to haggle at the market to get the best prices and be warned, touts are prevalent. On the west side of the square is the Old Town House, dating from the mid-18th century, which is a wonderful example of Cape Dutch architecture and houses the Michaelis collection of Dutch and Flemish landscape paintings. Evening classical concerts are held regularly on the veranda.

Location: , Cape Town
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Opening Times: Square open daily, except Sundays. Art exhibition daily 10am to 5pm (February to December)
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St George’s Cathedral

Cape Town’s Victorian Gothic style Anglican Cathedral, founded in 1901, is situated in Wale Street and is historically significant for it is where the enthronement of South Africa’s first black archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, took place. The Cathedral is unique in that it became a political powerhouse in the struggle against Apartheid, known as ‘the people’s cathedral’, stating openly from the 1950s onwards that it was open to all people of all races at all times. This was a brave stand in the racially segregated society of the time. In subsequent years the cathedral became the venue for many protest gatherings and vigils and on occasions the building was surrounded by police, water cannons and barbed wire. Victims of forced removals were even accommodated in the cathedral at times. As far as architectural merit goes, the cathedral does feature some fine Gabriel Loire windows, including a magnificent Rose Window above the south transept.

Location: Wale Street, Cape Town
Phone: 021 424 7360 (Cathedral office)
Email: info@sgcathedral.co.za
Website: www.stgeorgescathedral.com
Opening Times:
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How to get there:

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Five miles (eight km) south of the city centre lies the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, covering a huge expanse of the rugged south-western slopes of the Table Mountain range. Kirstenbosch was bequeathed to the nation by mining magnate Cecil Rhodes in 1895, and today contains more than 22,000 plants, a research unit, botanical library and nursery. Numerous paths meander through the gardens, including a Braille route for the blind, which are full of lush shrubs and ‘fynbos’, the Cape’s indigenous floral heritage. A tearoom, restaurant and coffee bar are on site. In summertime the delightful setting becomes the venue for Sunday evening open-air concerts, when picnickers relax on the lawns, sipping Cape wine, and enjoying the sunset entertainment.

Location: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Phone: 021 799 8783/8620 weekdays, 021 761 4916 weekends
Email:
Website: www.kirstenbosch.co.za
Opening Times: Daily 8am to 6pm (April to August); 8am to 7pm (September to March)
Admission: R27 (adults), R5 (children 6-18). Concessions available. Concert fees are applicable on Sunday afternoons during the Summer Sunset Concert series
How to get there:

Beaches

Cape Town has some great beaches, but the most easily accessible are on the Atlantic Ocean where the water is unbelievably cold; the locals rarely venture in beyond knee-high depths. The most popular is Camps Bay beach, a long, wide stretch of golden sand packed with locals and tourists alike and backed by a strip of fashionable bars and restaurants. Just towards town is Clifton, whose four beaches, imaginatively called First, Second, Third and Fourth, are situated beneath exclusive houses and apartments set into the cliff that protects sunbathers from the harsh southwesterly wind. First Beach is the largest and most popular with families (the steps are shorter), Second Beach is preferred by the ‘camp’ and ‘hip’ crowd, and Third and Fourth are usually frequented by well-toned locals and, when the waves are up, surfers. The small suburb of Llandudno, 15 minutes south of Camps Bay, is home to another excellent beach and is popular with locals from the Southern Suburbs or those keen to avoid the crowds. There are no bars or restaurants here, the nearest being at Hout Bay, another 10 minutes south. Hout Bay’s long beach is popular with families and walkers but is not as stunning as its neighbours.

Location: , Cape Town
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Robben Island

South Africa’s most widely known tourist attraction is probably Robben Island, seven miles (11km) from Cape Town in the centre of Table Bay. For nearly 400 years this tiny rocky island outcrop was utilised as a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment for numerous categories of people ostracised by society, ranging from political protestors to lepers. During the years of Apartheid, Robben Island became synonymous with institutional brutality as numerous freedom fighters, including the island’s most famous resident Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned here for more than a quarter of a century. The island is now a museum, symbolising liberation and the triumph of the human spirit. Regular island tours are conducted, lasting three and a half hours. The tours, which are guided by former prisoners, include a visit to the maximum-security prison on the island where an estimated 3,000 freedom fighters were incarcerated between 1962 and 1991.

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: 021 409 5100 or 021 413 4200
Email: info@tourcapetown.com
Website: www.robben-island.org.za
Opening Times: Boats leave at 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm (weather dependent)
Admission: Tours are R150 (adults), R75 (children 4-17), which includes the return boat trip across Table Bay
How to get there: Boat from the Nelson Mandela Robben Island Gateway in the clock tower precinct at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town

Groot Constantia

The historic Cape Dutch homestead of Groot Constantia, about half an hour’s drive to the south from the city centre, is the oldest house in the Cape and the main stopping point on the well-signposted Constantia Wine Route. The manor house, originally home to Dutch Governor Simon van der Stel in 1685, is the centre of a museum complex. The house itself is furnished with items from the period while an adjacent wine museum exhibits drinking and storage vessels in glass, silver, copper and stoneware dating from 500BC to the 19th century. There are two excellent restaurants on the site, and cellar tours and wine tastings are offered. Other estates on the Constantia Wine Route are Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig and Steenberg.

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: 021 795 5140
Email: info@iziko.org.za
Website: www.museums.org.za/grootcon
Opening Times: Groot Constantia opens daily, museum open 10am to 5pm; other estates closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays
Admission: Museum: R8 (adults), R2 (children)
How to get there:

Chapman’s Peak

Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular coastal roads in South Africa, linking the seaside community of Hout Bay to the Noordhoek Valley along the Atlantic Coast, with breathtaking views from along the narrow, winding road blasted into the cliffs. Constructed in 1915, the six-mile (9km) route took about seven years to complete and was built as a shorter, alternative route between Cape Town central and the South Peninsula. Many visitors use this scenic route to reach Cape Point Nature Reserve situated at the tip of the Peninsula.

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: 021 791 8222
Email: info@chapmanspeakdrive.co.za
Website: www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za
Opening Times: Open 24 hours; the road closes occasionally due to heavy rainfall, or rockfalls
Admission: Chapman’s Peak Drive is operated as a toll-road. Light motor vehicles cost R23
How to get there:

Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront

This working harbour, historical site and shopping and entertainment development has become one of Cape Town’s most visited tourist attractions. The waterfront offers everything from shopping malls, and arts and crafts markets, to live music, cinemas, buskers and a variety of festivals throughout the year. There are also more than 70 eateries ranging from pubs and fast food outlets to five star restaurants, luxury hotels, and a variety of boat trips, harbour cruises and helicopter charters. The Two Oceans Aquarium is the largest of its kind in Africa and is an impressive display of life in the oceans surrounding the Cape Coast (www.aquarium.co.za).

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: 021 408 7600, or 021 418 3823 (aquarium)
Email: aquarium@aquarium.co.za
Website: www.waterfront.co.za
Opening Times: Aquarium: daily 9.30am to 6pm
Admission: Aquarium: R70 (adults), R32 (children 4-17). Concessions available
How to get there: A Waterfront bus service links the Waterfront to the city centre and the Atlantic Seaboard. Buses from the Victoria & Alfred Hotel travel to Adderley Street in the city centre, while buses from Breakwater Boulevard outside Victoria Wharf travel as far and the Peninsula Hotel in Sea Point

Simonstown and Boulders Beach

A recommended day excursion from the city includes a trip through the southern suburbs and along the scenically beautiful False Bay coastline via Muizenberg to Simonstown, South Africa’s principal naval base. Simonstown lies about 25 miles (40km) from the city and is a quaint town built around a naval dockyard, with well-preserved Victorian buildings, museums, sidewalk cafes and local legends to learn about. One such legend is about a dog called ‘Just Nuisance’ who ‘joined’ the British navy, becoming their mascot, when Simonstown was a British base. A short distance from the town is Boulder’s beach, famous for its protected colony of African Penguins (formerly Jackass Penguin) that can be viewed from the boardwalks.

Location: , Cape Town
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Opening Times:
Admission: Boulders Beach Penguin Colony: R15 (adults), R5 (scholars)
How to get there: Metrorail suburban train from Cape Town’s central station

Cape Point

Most visitors to Cape Town are keen to make a day trip 40 miles (65km) from the city to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, not only to take in its floral diversity in what at first sight appears to be a bleak landscape, but to stand at the top of the towering promontory at the most southerly point of the Cape Peninsula (not of Africa, visitors must go further afield to Cape Agulhus for this). From the viewpoint and lighthouse at Cape Point, reached via a funicular, it is awesome to watch the thundering waves crashing at the base of the cliffs 686ft (209m) below. The reserve itself is worth exploring, particularly on foot, for those interested in birds and botany. The restaurant at Cape Point has a terrace offering spectacular views. Resident baboons here enjoy the spoils from tourists’ snacks – particularly their ice-cream; they can be quite aggressive. Because feeding of the baboons carries a stiff penalty, it is worth ensuring there are no free lunches for these hirsute scavengers!

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: 021 780 9010/11
Email: capepoint@concor.co.za
Website: www.capepoint.co.za
Opening Times: Daily 6am to 6pm (September to April), 7am to 5pm (May to August). Funicular: 9am to 6pm (summer), 9am to 5.30pm (winter)
Admission: R55 (adults), R10 (children 2-16). Funicular: R25 one way (adults) or R34 return, concessions available
How to get there:

Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap, or the old Malay Quarter, was declared an exclusive residential area for the Muslim Cape Malays under the Group Areas Act of 1950 during the Apartheid years, forcing people of other religions and ethnicity to leave, and today is still closely associated with the Muslim community. The houses have been restored and colourfully painted, and the steep cobbled streets, mosques and minarets, and blend of Cape Dutch and Edwardian architecture makes it one of the most interesting historical and cultural areas of the city. The Bo-Kaap Museum on Wale Street documents the history of the Cape Malays (Tel: (021) 424 3846).

Location: , Cape Town
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Website: www.bokaap.co.za
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Township Tours

The N2 highway that connects Cape Town International Airport to the city is lined with townships, consisting of a mixture of shacks and solid buildings. During the days of apartheid, people of colour were not allowed to live in the white suburbs and were banished to areas away from the city. Township tours allow visitors to experience how the majority of Capetonians live in the townships that surround the city. Guides, often residents, take visitors around to meet the people, see community projects, have a drink in a ‘shebeen’ (township pub) and shop for local crafts. Each township has its own colourful character, and despite their difficult living conditions, residents are generally hospitable and delighted to receive visitors. Townships were once no-go areas for many people, but today a visit is becoming a popular experience for tourists to Cape Town. Visit Langa, the oldest of South Africa’s black townships, established in 1923, or the newest and second largest in the country, Khayelitsha, which dates from the 1980s. Guguletu and Nyanga were set up in the 1950s. Visitors are advised not to visit the townships alone; there are many tour companies that offer tours, including transport to and from the township areas. Contact the Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre or its satellite, the Sivuyile Tourism Centre in Guguletu for information about tours, accommodation and entertainment in the townships.

Location: , Cape Town
Phone: Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre: 021 426 4260, or Sivuyile Tourism Centre: 021 637 8449
Email:
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Opening Times:
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Restaurants

Wakame

The sister restaurant of Wasabe in Constantia, Wakame has a great position overlooking the ocean and is always packed with food and fashion connoisseurs. The focus is on sushi, but Wakame also serves excellent Modern European fare. There is a good bar and a small terrace, ideal for sundowners. In peak season there are two sittings and booking is essential.

Address: Beach Road, Moulie Point, Cape Town
Cuisine: Japanese
Website: www.wakame.co.za

Constantia Uitsig

A huge success story from day one, Constantia Uitsig is an Italian-French restaurant with Asian fusions set in picturesque wine country, backed by the Constantiaberg. Chef Frank Swainston continues to create food with broader influences now than this original Provencale-Tuscan mix, he claims Australian and Asian influences too these days. Next door is Uitsig’s sister restaurant, La Colombe, serving richer food which some prefer, but the views are not as good. Booking essential.

Address: Constantia Uitsig Farm, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Cuisine: French
Website: www.constantiauitsig.co.za

Blues

For over 15 years Blues has been synonymous with the spectacular views of Camps Bay. Be it a stormy winter’s day or perfect sunlit afternoon, you will always find Blues as buzzy, busy and as fashionable as ever. The restaurant that introduced modern California cuisine to the Cape today boasts a menu incorporating Mediterranean and fusion influences with a focus on seafood. Book well in advance during peak season and expect slightly chaotic waitering. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Address: The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Cuisine: Modern Eclectic
Website: www.blues.co.za

Millers Thumb

Solly and Jane Solomon’s refreshingly-casual seafood restaurant in uptown Cape Town, Miller’s Thumb’s ever-changing chalkboard menu means that the customer, though reasonably assured of always finding something familiar, will just as surely find a couple of unlikely options. Cajun and Creole dishes have their influence in this kitchen, as does a winning Japanese dish which must be tried at least once: ‘Yaki Soba’, a noodle dish with prawns, chicken and cashews, which has become a staple. There’s generally a pasta dish or two on the menu with interesting sauces, complemented by a good choice of wines.

Address: 10b Kloofnek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
Cuisine:
Website:

Five Flies

Five Flies is a sassy upmarket dining venue situated in the hub of Cape Town’s legal and financial district. Great care has been taken with the interior renovations of this historic 18th-century building in order to create one of the unique dining experiences in the Cape. Executive Chef, Gerard van Staden has become renown for his artistic and delicious creations, which are presented together with some of the Cape’s finest wines. Secure street parking available.

Address: 14-16 Keerom Street, Cape Town, Cape Town
Cuisine: Modern Eclectic
Website: www.fiveflies.co.za

The Codfather

Situated just behind Camps Bay’s main strip, the Codfather offers a unique presentation of fine fish. There is no menu at this low-key restaurant – you make your choice after a personal discourse with your waiter on the daily specials. It is then weighed, prepared to the highest standard and served at your table. Staff are all first class and provide a fine act. There is also a sushi bar. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Address: 37 The Drive, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Cuisine:
Website: www.thecodfather.co.za/codfather/

Beluga

Beluga is a stylish eatery located in the Foundry, a wonderful 100-year-old red-brick building that once housed one of the city’s oldest metal works, now converted into a modern interior design and office centre in the heart of what is rapidly becoming Cape Town’s film and modelling district. The restaurant offers the best of New World cuisine – plenty of robust flavours, interesting ingredients and generous portions – while the cocktail bar serves great drinks and retro-cocktails, and a welcoming café spills out onto an enclosed courtyard, serving light meals and coffees from early till late.

Address: The Foundry, Prestwich Street, Green Point, Cape Town
Cuisine: Modern Eclectic
Website: www.beluga.co.za

Café Royale

Royale is the gourmet burger joint in Cape Town and it is not uncommon to see scruffy jeaned skater types rubbing shoulders with trendy executives. Royale offers a spectacular range of burgers (and an entire list of different veggie burgers too) and one can chop and change toppings, choose between ostrich, chicken, veggie burgers, regular burgers or even seared tuna burgers and feast on a mix of potato wedges, sweet potato fries, regular fries and delicious salad. The burgers sport amusing names such as the ‘Miss Piggy’ (with bacon and guacamole) and the ‘Fat Bastard’ (double everything) and the restaurant also offers a range of pizzas and mouth-watering milkshakes. Royale now boasts an upstairs bar and lounge known as the Waiting Room that features live music, as well as a third floor that caters for private functions and has a sundowner deck.

Address: 273 Long Street, Cape Town
Cuisine:
Website:

Madame Zingara and Cara Lazuli

Madame Zingara (and its attached sister restaurant Cara Lazuli) is a riot of sounds, smells and tastes, and is one of Cape Town’s most popular restaurants. The food is delicious, the atmosphere infectious and there are always some surprises in the form of magicians, python wielding belly dancers, tiaras for the birthday guest and more – just be sure to expect the unexpected. Specialties include the ‘Offerings of Faith’ mezze platter starter, the signature fillet steak with a decadent chocolate chilli sauce, and the mouth-watering deep fried chocolate cigars. Enjoy a hubbly bubbly pipe for the table, sit back and indulge in the magic. Bookings are absolutely essential. Note: Unfortunately due to an electrical fire, the restaurants are closed until March 2007.

Address: 192 Loop Street, Cape Town
Cuisine:
Website: www.madamezingara.com

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