10 Romantic Things to do in Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape TownThough the attraction of getting out into the bush on safari followed by lying motionless on a tropical beach is appealing for many of our honeymoon clients, Cape Town is no slouch in the popularity front either.  This vibey stunningly beautiful city has so much to offer from great restaurants to night life to scenic beauty to gorgeous beaches. But how to inject that extra shot of romance into your stay in Cape Town? What are the top 10 ‘romantic’ things to do in Cape Town? Here’s my highly subjective top ten…


1)    Sunset yacht cruise

If you are heading to Cape Town in the summer, book a sunset cruise on a yacht leaving  from the Waterfront. Some of the boats are traditional sailing yachts – intrinsically romantic in themselves – and the sight of Table Mountain silhouetted against the sky at dusk is one that will stay with you for a long time. Yes, you’ll be with other people on the boat but the essential magic remains.


2)    Helicopter flight followed by lunch

V&A WaterfrontWhy not take a 15-20 minute helicopter flip around the city – an awe-inspiring experience to share with your beloved. The exact routing will depend on the length of the trip, which in turn depends on the depth of your wallet. Longer rides take in most of the Cape Peninsula whilst shorter ones will take you along the dramatic Atlantic Coast and then back over Table Mountain.

Twelve Apostles Hotel is doing a wonderful helicopter and lunch excursion at the moment – you enjoy a helicopter trip from the Waterfront to the 12 Apostles followed by a delicious three course lunch at Azure restaurant on the terrace overlooking the Ocean. Then you are transferred back to your hotel by road.


3)    Picnic on top of Table Mountain at sunset

Yes I know it’s not original but it’s still blooming marvellous! It’s on everyone’s list for things to do in Cape Town so won’t there be too many people? You would be amazed just how lazy people are. They don’t like to walk – at all. So if you take even a short walk of 20-30 minutes you will be far away from the crowds. I recommend the easy walk in the direction of Maclears Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain. After 10 minutes there’s a mild little scramble off the main plateau and the crowds seem to stop at that point – like wildebeest contemplating a river crossing!  Continue on and you’ll have the mountain to yourselves (well almost).

Head up the cable car to the top of Table Mountain in the late afternoon with a bottle of champagne and glasses in your backpack.  There are fewer people around so it is easier to find a secluded spot as the afternoon sun’s rays lengthen… The cable car stays open into the early evening in the summer months.


4)    Cape Side cars for Two

This is a bit of a novel way to get around… How about adding in a transfer or tour on a vintage 1930’s Sidecar with one of you on the back behind the driver and one in the sidecar. It’s great for an early evening transfer to a restaurant especially if you take a scenic detour along the Atlantic Coast. (Just remember that the helmet may mess up an elaborate hairstyle.)  We also recommend it for a trip out to the Winelands as you don’t have to worry about driving after visiting the wine estates. Highly recommended if a little pricey!


5)    Abseiling off Table Mountain

Perhaps not part of a classic romantic things to do in Cape Town list – but in the spirit of “doing something adventurous makes you closer” , how about trying out the abseiling off Table Mountain?  You do the abseiling side by side so there’ll be great photo opportunities before you start , when you are all harnessed up, and hopefully not looking too pale-faced with fear. The abseil itself is great fun (if you like that sort of thing) and then there is a short 20-30 minute hike back up to the top of the mountain which makes you feel that you’ve climbed the mountain when you’ve actually only done 20 minutes instead of 2½ hours!


6)    Chocolate and Wine Pairing at Lourensford Wine Estate

Not strictly in Cape Town but most people like to get out of the city to explore the Cape Winelands as well. Lourensford Wine Estate is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa but it boasts one of the most technologically advanced cellars in the southern hemisphere. It also has an unusual take on wine-tasting. You get to taste not only their very drinkable wines but you can pair it with chocolate during their specialist wine and chocolate tastings. What more can a girl want!

Other attractions on the farm include visiting the Coffee Roasting Company where coffee is freshly ground to order and of course purchasing more of the aforementioned hand-made chocolates and wines,  as well as boutique cheeses and olives at their deli shop.

Lourensford Wine Estate is in the historic old part of Somerset West close to the Cape Dutch Homestead of Vergelegen so you can easily combine a visit there. Morgenster Wine and Olive estate is in the same area…


7)    Hidden Beaches at Llandudno, Cape Point

One of the loveliest things to do in Cape Town is to visit one of its ring of hidden beaches. If you are not heading off to some tropical beach destination on your romantic holiday or honyemoon, make sure you allow enough time in Cape Town to head to the beach for at least a few hours. In addition to the world-famous Clifton and Camps Bay Beaches, there are attractive little bays such as Llandudno, glorious stretches of white sand at Noordhoek and romantic windswept beaches at Cape Point


8)    Spa treatment in the fynbos

We all know that splurging on a spa treatment or couples massage is almost obligatory on a honeymoon. But what about taking it outside; taking a massage in a Spa pavilion with a gentle breeze and  glorious views of the mountains and sea all around you. This is on offer at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa. You don’t have to stay at the hotel to book a spa treatment but as the hotel is very romantic – why not splash out?


9)    Horse trails on noordhoek beach

If you enjoy riding, check out the horse riding on Noordhoek Beach. This long wide stretch of white sand is perfect for cantering along with your adored one. You don’t have to be an expert rider as they will cater to riders of all abilities but it helps if you know the front end of the horse from the back…


10)    Take the long way round – Kalk bay, penguins, Chapmans Peak,  wine estates

Boulders BeachIf you are hiring a car (or considering it), we really recommend taking a long slow meander around the Cape Peninsula. The scheduled  day tours fit in Kirstenbosch gardens as well and then you have to keep motoring. By taking Kirstenbosch out – a romantic and relaxing destination in its own right – you give yourselves enough time to enjoy the ride. Take in Chapmans Peak, Cape Point, the penguins at Boulders Beach, Kalk Bay and the Constantia wine estates.

  • Stop on Chapmans Peak for some of the best honeymoon photos ever
  • Perhaps take in a coffee at Imhoffs Farm to explore their little craft shops and boutique cheesery
  • Check out Cape Point but perhaps add in the steep little hike down to the old lighthouse and back up again (good for working up an appetite for lunch)
  • Check out the penguins at Boulders Beach but don’t just go to the main viewpoint (where all the madding crowds are). Check out the little beach nearby where you may even find yourselves swimming with the penguins!
  • Allow enough time to mosey around the quirky little shops in Kalk Bay. There are some great casual restaurants here for an early dinner.
  • Alternatively if you still have time, end the day with some relaxed wine tasting in the Constantia Valley.
  • From Kalk Bay, it is only 30-40 minutes back to the city centre, less if you stay in the Constantia or Newlands area…

So there’s my very personal take on romantic things to do in Cape Town. Feel free to email me to add your suggestions!

Contact Us if you want assistance planning your holiday in Cape Town. This is just some of the information that we give to our clients in our detailed itineraries which details all the things to do in Cape Town, not just the romantic ones…

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5 Reasons to stay in the Highveld after your Kruger Safari

Lots of our guests fly to the Kruger National Park and its adjacent private game reserves for their Kruger safari and fly straight out again. Unless you are seriously short on time, I think that’s a real shame, as the countryside around Kruger National Park, such as the Blyde River Canyon, is stunning.

Read the full entry here »

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What are the best Beach & Safari Honeymoon Destinations in Southern Africa?

beach and safari honeymoonsMany of our honeymoon clients – and lots of our other clients as well – are keen to do a beach and safari honeymoon. They want the safari experience but they want some R&R as well.

But where to choose?  That depends on the time of year, your preferred style of beach holiday and also the size of your wallet.

Beach & Safari honeymoons & Time of Year

As I am always banging on – South Africa does have a definite winter season. The beaches along the Whale Coast and Garden Route are ideal for our summer months (November to March) and less so at other times. I speak purely in terms of lying on the beach baking in the hot sun – they remain stunningly beautiful.  If you are coming in our winter eg June –July, even Durban beaches may a little be too cold. At that time of year the ONLY South African beach destination to consider is northern KwaZulu Natal eg. Thonga Beach Lodge or similar.

Mozambique, Mauritius, Lake Malawi are all perfect destinations for those winter months.

Conversely in high summer, those destinations could even be too hot for some fairer-skinned clients and from mid January to mid March the monsoon storms can play havoc in Mauritius and Mozambique.
Read the full entry here »

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Kate’s Review of The Alphen Hotel in Cape Town

I recently checked out the newly reopened Alphen Hotel, a lovely 17th century Cape Dutch homestead and National Monument, which is located in the beautiful Constantia valley of Cape Town. However what makes this hotel stands out for me is the stark juxtaposition of the old and the new in both its public spaces and its rooms. “ A little eccentric, some what Bohemian, rather ecletic and casually elegant” is what the hotel says and I think that’s a good summation of the Alphen Hotel.

It is surrounded by 11 acres of gardens with a pool, water features and centuries old oak trees. Overlooking the gardens is the Rose Bar, a vibey outdoor garden bar perfect for summer evening cocktails and drinks. Read the full entry here »

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Kruger Safari – Private Concessions vs Private Lodges

Lions mating at Simbavati River LodgeI am aware that choosing a Kruger safari can be a confusing issue. Many people want to visit the Kruger Park and then find themselves bewildered by the choices. Do they stay at a rest camp or opt one of the Kruger luxury lodges which are private concessions within the Kruger National Park? Or do they go for one of the private game reserves which are adjacent to the park such as one of the Sabi Sands lodges or Timbavati? There are so many options to choose from that this is where I think a specialist tour operator that knows the various areas and camps can really prove their worth. But then I would think that, wouldn’t I?

One question we are often asked is the difference between a Kruger safari staying at one the Kruger Luxury lodges within the park itself and the lodges in the Sabi Sands or Timbavati private game reserves? Having just been on holiday with MY family and stayed at both types, I thought it would be worth demonstrating the differences using actual examples.

Read the full entry here »

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8 Tips to get the most from your Safari Game Drive

Safari ar River Bend Game LodgeSo you’ve arrived at your rather expensive game lodge and you are keenly awaiting your first game drive on your safari in Africa. What can YOU do to ensure that you have the best possible game drive experience?

1) Understand how a game drive works

Some people like to live in suspense and take life as it comes. If that’s you, you can skip this part! Others get more from an experience if they understand how it works…

Broadly speaking private game lodges offer open vehicle game drives with anything from 4-6 people (at the most expensive lodges) up to 10 people on a game vehicle, usually somewhere in between. There is a place for one person next to the ranger (more on that later) and then three rows of seats usually each one a little higher than the last. The drive usually lasts around 3 to 4 hours depending on what you see and there’s a break for morning coffee/tea and for evening sundowners which is also an opportunity for a bush loo stop.

Read the full entry here »

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


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