Cape Town - The Enclave

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22nd Jun 2015




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Cape Town is Africa's leading boom enclave - a world unto itself nestled at the tip of Africa, the last stop before a roiling sea that stretches to the bottom of the world. Culturally, it is a melting pot of South African tastes, and a crown jewel of the continent in terms of development, cuisine and lifestyle.

Economically, its on fire, representing potential for Africa at large and led by a diversifying local economy.

Arrivals

Cape Town International Airport is Africa’s second busiest flight destination, and you’ll arrive into a bustling, modern airport with all the tacky tourist shops one might expect of a modern international city. Keep in mind that South Africa requires at least two or three blank pages in the passport, and you’ll be refused access if these are not available in your passport on arrival.  

To get into the City, the modern voyager will simply tap tap tap for an Uber - the cheapest and most reliable way to get around if you are focused on the city.  If you do want to rent a car, try the local option with Bidvest car rentals - where a friendly team will get you squared away for around half the price of the the international majors. You can also select vehicles that only exist for African safaris, with extra tires and built in toolboxes, refrigerators and other manly things, in case you’re planning on an adventure of sorts.

Where to Stay

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Cape Town is all about the views, so its well worth spending a bit of time and money to be out of the central business district and around the corner in some of Cape Town’s well known beachside neighbourhoods, such as Seaport, Clifton, Bakhoven and Camps Bay.  All are beautiful and they serve different needs, but Clifton benefits from the best beaches and a geographic shelter that protects it from the area’s strongest winds.  Seapoint is super convenient and charming, a place that 10 years ago was a bit edgy but has now graduated to bona fide awesome status.  

If you can, use booking.com or One Fine Stay to bag yourself a B&B in these neighbourhoods. If you’re looking for easy and amazing, then look no further than the Cape View Clifton, featuring an immaculate set of bungalows overlooking one of the worlds great views of Table Mountain.  If you’re on a budget and want something practical, then try the Amalfi Suites, smack in the middle of the action in Seapoint.

A little farther south, on the road leading through mountains to Hout Bay and other fabulous spots, is the 12 Apostles Hotel, famous for its view of the 12 Apostles mountains.  Here you will feel in a world unto yourself, with colonial luxuries and animalistic designs fostering a setting that would be camp if the clientele weren’t so ancient. The 12 Apostles is a must for lunch, and possibly a honeymoon or clandestine rendezvous.

Cuisine

Cape Town is a foodie paradise, and the moderate climate lends itself to wonderful local and organic food selections. Combine this with the wild side of Africa, where a braai (bbq) could easily feature exotic things like kudu, buffalo or a bit of antelope, and you get a mesmerising experience for culinary tastes.  Some great spots for tasting and dining exist along the beach front boulevard of Camps Bay, and sunset bites at The Bungalow, in Clifton, is a must.  You’ll be lounging to soft cocktail music with a plate of mussels as you watch the sun dip below the Atlantic and the clouds roll over Table mountain like cotton candy.

The Cape area is very well known for its wineries, so a trip to Stellenbosch, Constantia, Franschoek or Paarl will leave your mouth rolling in fine wines. For tips, follow South Africa’s premier wine guru, John Platter’s advice (www.wineonaplatter.com), but the Cape Dutch spirit of exploration is best to follow here - you almost can’t go wrong with the voyage or the selections you’ll find along the way.

Meanwhile, back at the Cape Town waterfront, a multi-year renovation and mixed use development plan has resulted in a fun and engaging cluster of entertainment, restaurants and shopping that are about the best of anywhere in Africa. Spend an evening wandering the docks and walkways, and discover how Cape Town sees its future.

Wrap

Business in Cape Town is about more than the sensorial visits it so well provides. Manufacturing, technology, trade and services are the new lifeblood of the Cape Town experience. It is fuelling a population boom changing the fabric of the city. But while the size of the city is ballooning, the culture and heart of Cape Town remain focused on lifestyle, and for that, Cape Town is always a fantastic choice.