Hamiltons Tented Camp, Self-Drive

Situated in a private concession within the Kruger National Park, Hamiltons Tented Camp guarantees an African Safari experience of a lifetime. Six magnificent tented suites are linked to the main lodge area by raised timber walkways amongst ancient Jackalberry trees and have superb views of the river and dam. Pure luxury, combined with the sounds and smells of the African bush ensure journey into a bygone era, in true “Out of Africa” style.

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Man killed by shark in Hawaii

A 65-year-old man, Dr Thomas Smiley, died on Saturday after being bitten by a shark while swimming off Hawaii’s Maui Island near the Kaanapali Shores resort.

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Saddling Up In South Africa’s Drakensberg Foothills

Acacia Africa Director and novice rider, Vivian McCarthy, visits South Africa and takes to horse-riding in the Drakensberg foothills.

The city of Durban, normally hot and sunny, was wet and windy when I arrived, but not with the wintry drizzle of England. No, it was African rain – warm, heavy drops that fell vertically and flooded the street within minutes yet cleared the air so magically. A reminder that I was on the edge of the giant continent where Nature is more immediate and relevant to life than at home.

Travelling a few hours inland we were in the Drakensberg foothills and some 1000 metres above sea level – the Drakensberg Mountains running a thousand miles across South Africa forming a barrier with the landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho. 

The mountain air was clear and the temperature varied markedly during the day: at 8am it was barely above zero, by 10 O’clock it was mid 20s and rising. Later that afternoon it was hot and yet as soon as the sun sank behind the mountains it very quickly became cold enough to need a sweater.  

I was balanced (more or less) on the back of Tetu, the path ahead zig-zagging its way up the slope toward the sun. As a novice I was happy to have been given a gentle mare, one content to follow rather than lead, and happy too that the first part of the ride was along a quiet stretch of country road before we turned into trackless fields of yellow-green grass. 

The ground undulated a little before rising to an incline of several hundred feet and our small group of riders formed a line as we tracked slowly up the uneven terrain. With more experienced colleagues ahead and behind, the horses seemed to find their way almost intuitively and I began to relax and look around as we gained height.

As the slope steepened I felt rather than guided Tetu across a narrow stream and muddy ditch. I swayed in the saddle but kept my balance and as we continued upwards I felt Tetu begin to labour and felt sweat running down my back. It was beginning to get hot and I started to wonder if I’d used enough sun-block.

Unfazed by the presence of our little group, life goes on as it always has in this remote corner of South Africa. We rode slowly past a group of local women cutting the long yellow grass and laying it out in neat piles to dry. I was told it was made into broomheads which the ladies sold at market – the land not simply a scenic marvel for visitors but a source of subsistence for the people who live here.

We were now several hundred feet up, the countryside opening out around us. From the top the views were breathtaking. In one direction lay the Drakensbergs – rising to 8,000 feet, its massive, snow-capped, peaks sharp against the sky – and in the other direction the plains of Kwazulu Natal rolling away toward the horizon. 

The scale of it was enormous. At home everything is near: buildings, streets, people, all close enough to touch. Here it was different: distances were immense and the air so clear you could see for miles. It was like another world, and for me, the feeling was magnified by being on horseback. There’s something powerful about sitting six or eight feet off the ground on a horse. Nevermind that Tetu was the gentlest of animals or that if she had taken it into her head to break into a trot my sense of calm control would have been considerably upset. That didn’t matter: right at that moment, I felt an awesome sense of achievement. In more ways than one, I was at the top of the world. 

We let the horses graze before continuing along the ridge and across a high meadow overlooking valleys and a river until eventually, we looked down to the road where we’d begun.  Starting down the slope and along the empty road we turned back into the stables. I realised I was no longer a novice and that horse-riding, something I thought had passed me by long ago, was an extremely enjoyable pastime. I even managed to dismount without falling over.

Pony trekking is an optional activity on our tours. Vivian McCarthy travelled as a guest of South African Tourism.

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12 Awesome Experiences In South Africa

Are you planning a trip to South Africa? Then read on… Most people when they think about South Africa, they think about doing safaris and the spotting the ‘Big 5’ the words of Valerie and Mik, genuine creatives of the Suitcasestories that travelled on our 41-day Southern African Adventure tour. But South Africa has so much more to offer. Here are 12 awesome experiences personally tried & approved which will make your trip even more unforgettable. From hiking waterfalls to seeing crocodiles, visiting traditional villages and bungee jumping from the world’s highest commercial bridge. All listed on a map, making it easy for you to schedule them in your itinerary.

South Africa-61Read Valerie and Mik’s full blog here: 12 AWESOME EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH AFRICA

DCIM100GOPROG0090185.JPGImages and blogs by Valerie and Mik, Suitcasestories 

 

 

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May Safari Bites

South Africa’s Latest Rhino Horn-trafficking Case Could Be Its Biggest Yet!

In a triumph against rhino poaching, two men have been arrested for possession of 167 rhino horns, in what could be the biggest rhino horn-trafficking case ever recorded in South Africa. The arrest was made on April 13. Information from Save The Rhino.

Come and see South Africa

White Rhino grazing

Gorilla Selfie Goes Viral

Captioned, ”Another day at the office,” a recent image, taken at the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, went viral.  Uploaded by the Elite Anti-Poaching Units and Combat Trackers, the picture showed ranger Mathieu Shamavu posing for a selfie with two cheeky primates, Ndakazi and Ndeze.

In the selfie, the two gorillas were standing tall and mimicking the ranger’s behaviour.

“In terms of behaviour, they like to mimic everything that is happening (around them), everything we do,” Shamavu told the Associated Press.

One of Africa’s most sought after wildlife experiences, go gorilla trekking on our Camping Overland or Accommodated Overland 2tours, or book one of our Short Safaris & Treks.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Last Remaining Northern White Rhino Caught On Camera

In 2018, Sudan, the last remaining male northern white rhino passed away from natural causes in Kenya, his death signalling the end of the existence of their subspecies.

Not far from Sudan’s grave live Fatu and Najin, mother and daughter rhinos that are now the last known living northern white rhinos on the planet – the two recently photographed by award-winning photographer, Justin Mott – their presence captured on film for all time.

Unfortunately, a loss of habitat and poaching of their valuable horns to be sold on the black market for traditional eastern medicinal purposes has led to the demise of their species.

Support rhino conservation and go walking with rhinos in Zimbabwe.

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Celebrate Endangered Species Day With A Safari

From the Big Five to the ugly five, Africa’s wildlife steals the show on any safari, and Endangered Species Day (17 May 2019) is chance to raise awareness about the sad plight of some of the intriguing animals we so are eager to spot on the game drive.

Of course, it’s also a time to celebrate the weird and wonderful from the Wild Dog (unsightly, but sociable creatures) to the Mountain Gorilla (the latest “gelfie” of the gorillas and their park rangers going viral) and what better way to do that than by booking a tour with us. Your visit to Africa’s parks and reserves will have a direct impact on conservation projects, but more importantly, you will hear about the work that’s being done on the ground and learn to appreciate the issues faced by the continent’s animal kingdom. 

We hook up with some exciting projects on our way across Africa including, Botswana’s Khama Rhino Sanctuary (a community-based project which benefits the locals) and Zimbabwe’s Wild Dog Project (one of the most endangered species in the whole of Africa), and we even have our own two tonne rhino celebrity (star of our #SaveInongwe campaign) based in Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, but before you decide on your dream safari, here’s where to meet Africa’s most endangered and critically endangered wildlife.

The Black Rhino

Rhino

The figures for Black Rhino are startling, the population dropping by a massive 98% between 1960 and 1995. Conservation initiatives are going some way to combat poaching and since then numbers have increased, however the black rhino is still considered critically endangered, their precious horns seen as having medicinal powers. South East Asia is driving the illegal poaching of rhinos in Africa and putting the species in jeopardy of extinction.

Where to spot them?

Go walking with black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent beasts a thrilling safari experience. You can also overland your way across Etosha National Park with us, our camp providing you with a 24/7 game viewing experience.

Mountain Gorillas

There’s good news for Africa’s Mountain Gorillas as they are no longer considered critically endangered. After last year’s census, the total number of mountain gorillas (living in the Virunga Mountains and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now believed to be above 1,000 individuals. Of course, this all comes down to the great work being done by rangers on the ground, every traveller contributing to the current success story.

Where to spot them?

Uganda came top of our list when we looked at the trendsetting safari hot spots for 2019, and interest undoubtedly gathered pace when the recent snap of two gorillas photographed posing for a relaxed selfie with the rangers who rescued them as babies, went viral. 

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the place to be. In 2018 there was an exciting baby boom at Bwindi, and later that same year, Uganda Tourism announced the successful habituation of three new gorilla families and the addition of more permits: 19 gorilla families now available for trekking and the total number of trekking permits standing at 152 per day.

Wild Dog

While we might not instantly fall head over heels with the Wild Dog (or Painted Dog) – the species listed as one of Africa’s Ugly Five – they are very sociable and they will often charm their way onto your checklist – just ask anyone who watched David Attenborough’s Dynasties series. Sadly, human overpopulation, poaching, diseases like rabies and threats from other predators such as lions and hyenas are all contributing to their demise.

Where to spot them?

Denning (usually the dry season months) is the best time to see these animals, as they tend to cover large distances searching for prey.  The Hwange National Parkis unmissable as it’s also home to the Wild Dog Project – the park housing to one of the largest populations in Africa.

Pangolin

The single most poached and trafficked species on the planet, the pangolin’s scales are still being used in traditional medicine in Asia. Sadly, their armour-plating is a poor defence against humans and sightings of these gentle creatures are becoming rarer and rarer. Small and reclusive they are not easy to spot so it’s bound to be a memorable safari moment if you find one, these cute critters walking on their back feet and using their tails as a balancing pole.

Where to spot them?

South Africa’s Kruger and Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.  Preferably on a night-drive as these animals are nocturnal.  Don’t get your hopes up as sightings are extremely rare.

African Penguin

The African penguin is one of the most endangered species in Africa. Numbers have plummeted in recent years due to depleted fish stocks from over fishing and fish stocks moving further west due to climate change. The African penguin is also at risk from oil spills. The only penguin species breeding in Africa, they are easily recognisable by their dapper black and white plumage and jack-ass braying call.

Where to spot them?

See them at Boulders Beach, near Cape Town on the Cape Peninsula, where there is a visitor centre and boardwalk past their nests.

Grevys Zebra

Over the course of the past 30 years, the population of the Grevy’s zebra (the largest and most threatened of the three species of Zebra) has plummeted by a whopping 54% to a population of just 2,680. Similar to the plains zebra, these wild equines can be distinguished by their narrow stripes, taller body, white belly, rounded ears, brown muzzle and black dorsal stripe. Poaching, loss of habitat and competition for water sources are all unfortunate factors in their situation.

Where to spot them?

Head for Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park or Botswana’s Okavango Deltato catch sight of the striped set.

Rothschild giraffe

Rothschild’s giraffes (also known as the Baringo or Uganda giraffe) are distinguished by their spots. Masai giraffes’ legs are decorated with brown spots all the way down to their feet, but Rothschild’s giraffes appear to be wearing white socks. Sadly, major threats to this sub-species are habitat loss, poaching and population segregation.

Where to spot them?

Your chances of spotting a Rothschild Giraffe will go up markedly if you visit Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park.

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees are one of the most endangered animals in Africa – the biggest threat to their survival is habitat loss and an increasing demand for bushmeat – deforestation, disease also contributing to their demise.  Any sighting is magical, these guys sharing 98% of our genes, – their behaviour in some ways strikingly similar.  

Where to spot them?

In the Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will find Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest – home to our distant cousins.

Hooded Vulture

Sure they get a bad rap as the villains in various animated movies, but it’s important to remember that these scavengers are staunch eco-warriors – vultures controlling disease outbreaks by keeping the veld clean of rotting carcasses. Under threat, the hooded vulture is now listed as critically endangered. Indiscriminate carcass poisoning, increase in trade for traditional medicine, hunting, persecution as well as habitat loss and degradation are the reasons behind their plight.

Where to spot them?

Often the first to descend on a kill, these feathered folks inhabit South Africa’s Kruger National Park and also Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Cheetah

The Cheetah might be viewed as vulnerable, but on their own race to extinction, there are calls to put the world’s fastest land mammal on the endangered list. As per the IUCN, only 6,674 mature individuals of the species remain and the population is steadily decreasing. In fact, the cheetah ceases to exist today in 91% of its historic range.  Poaching, encroachment on their habitat and a reduction in the prey populations of the cheetah threaten their survival.

Where to spot them?

The Serengeti is a hotspot for cheetah sightings – these famed Big Cats loving nothing more than an energetic sprint across the plains.

The post Celebrate Endangered Species Day With A Safari appeared first on Acacia Blog.

Discovering The Okavango Delta – 5 secrets to know before you visit

It’s no secret that the Okavango Delta is
one of Acacia Africa’s favourite destinations. Today we take a look inside this
mysterious, evocative corner of Africa, and uncover just a few of her secrets
for you to enjoy. For the rest… well, you’ll just have to experience them for
yourself!

1.  
Head to the Savuti for a little
peace and quiet

With the
Okavango Delta as popular as it is, finding a truly quiet time can be slightly
challenging. The Linyanti Savuti, however, while still part of Chobe National
Park, lies in a remote northern corner of the Delta. Cameras and people are
rare, and you’ll have the unique chance to experience this wet wonderland in
peace as nature unfolds around you. The Savuti channel dried up in 1983, only
seeing water again in 2008. From roaming packs of wild dogs to elephants in the
dry season, experience a different side of Botswana here at the ‘vanished
river’. The Savuti Marsh area is often called a ‘glimpse into the Botswana of
yesteryear’, and a trip that will humble (and test) even the most seasoned
traveller.

2.  
Your best source of river
secrets

It’s no secret
at all that one of the best ways to experience the delta is via a cruise in a mokoro, or traditional dugout canoe.
It’s easy to get caught up in the splendid animal experiences around you while
you lazily pole down the river-who can blame you? If you truly want to get the
most from the experience, however, it’s time to look down, inward, and all
around with equally open eyes. Your baYei poler, a native of this
heart-catching landscape, has grown up in the area and has a wealth of
knowledge and life experience marinated in their unique culture to share with
you- but only if you remember to ask! Otherwise, they will remain quiet during
the trip, simply stirring the waterlilies with their nagashi to let you drink in the sights.

3.  
Every island is a secret
discovery

Many of us
simply assume that the Okavango Delta is one cohesive, unchanging whole. In
reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Each rain, each season,
brings profound shifts in the landscape. New islands form and disappear in the
Delta almost every month. Ask your poler, and they’ll be able to help you
discover pristine islets unseen by others. No two trips are ever the same. The
Okavango Delta also gives you a unique chance to spot one of the area’s rarest
bucks- a wachwe, or cross between a lechwe and a waterbuck.

4.  
Riding low

The mokoro may be an iconic part of the
journey- but it is an experience in itself. Expect to sit remarkably low in the
water, and note a profound cooling as you push off on your journey through the
hull of the boat. That doesn’t mean you can skimp on sunscreen, however! Be
sure to bring a hat (or parasol if you’re feeling quaint) to ensure you can
experience the area in comfort no matter the time of day. Stick to ‘bush’
colours to ensure the best animal experiences. And try to stay as still as
possible- sudden movement can throw the poler off the boat entirely, and you
don’t want to be that person!

5.  
You will feel tiny

There’s no other
way to describe this feeling. It may start off a little unsettling, as you come
eye-to-eye with almost a ton of hippopotamus fiercely defending its territory,
or lock gazes with the King of the Pride mere meters away. Over time, you will
come to see it as the gift it is- a true and honest perspective of the world.
As sunsets and sunrises unroll before you, and you experience the many
beautiful creatures that call the Delta home, you will find your very sense of
self altered profoundly. Expect to leave awed by the experience!

The Okavango Delta, recently declared a
World Heritage site by UNESCO, is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
It’s a fascinatingly diverse ecosystem, one of the most complex we know, and
home to 200 000 species of mammal, 70 types of fish and over 400 birds. This
includes some desperately endangered species we may well be the last
generations to see without careful curatorship.

In short, the Delta should be on everyone’s bucket list. Why not allow Acacia
Africa to help shape the perfect Okavango Experience[1] 
for you today, and discover more of her secrets for yourself?


The post Discovering The Okavango Delta – 5 secrets to know before you visit appeared first on Acacia Blog.

Brace yourself: the winter specials are coming!

Last updated: 21 May 2019
Winter in Cape Town has a lot of pros, but one thing locals look forward to most is the slashed prices at Cape Town’s best restaurants. Every year, there are fantastic and affordable deals that make it possible to have a really special meal without breaking the bank. Here’s our pick of the best winter specials for 2019.
Bookmark this page! We’ll keep updating it as more specials are announced. 
La Colombe Restaurant, Constantia
Executive Chef James Gaag and Head Chef Jess van Dyk invite you enjoy some of Cape Town’s finest food and wine with their winter lunch special.
Lunch Special: R495 per person for four courses (Monday to Friday, lunch only)
View the menu and book at La Colombe
The Foodbarn, Noordhoek
The Foodbarn has teamed up with some amazing wine farms again for this year’s specials. Every few weeks, there’s a new menu paired with fantastic local wines.
Lunch and Dinner Special: two courses with wine for R295 (R265 without wine); three courses with wine for R345 (R305 without wine)
Pensioner’s Special: two courses with a glass of wine for R245 (available Monday to Saturday, lunch only)
View the menu and book at The Foodbarn

 

Bistro Sixteen82, Tokai
Bistro Sixteen82 specialised in bistro-style comfort food with gourmet flair. Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch, or tapas-style dinner, there’s a special totake advantage of here. The venue at the Steenberg Estate is stunning and it makes for a really special outing.
Vintner’s Breakfast: R195 for Steenberg bubbles, breakfast, tea or coffee, and a cellar tour (Monday-Saturday)
Hearty and Homely Lunch Special: R230 for two courses, R265 for three courses, or R295 for four courses (Monday-Friday)
Tapas for Two Special: enjoy the chef’s selection of five dishes for R325 per couple (daily between 17h00 and 20h00)
View the menu and book at Bistro Sixteen82
Greenhouse, Constantia
The Greenhouse serves food that tells stories, preserving local culture and history. The fine dining experience is offering a Friday and Saturday lunch special this winter.
Lunch Speical: R550 per person on Fridays and Saturdays
View the menu and book at Greenhouse

Catharina’s, Tokai
Catharina’s is also located on the Steenberg Estate, and serves hearty and generous lunches and dinners by the fire, with views of the Constantia mountains and vineyards.
Lunch Special: R165 for two courses or R195 for three courses
View the menu and book at Catharina’s
La Petite Colombe, Franschhoek
La Colombe’s new sister restaurant in Franschhoek is celebrating the chilly weather and rain with a great weekday special. Gather some of your top clients, friends, family, and/or colleagues and enjoy some of the Cape’s finest food and wine.
Lunch Special: R450 for seven courses (R835 with wine)

View the menu and book at La Petite Colombe

The Bistro at Klein Constantia, Constantia
The lunchtime special at Klein Constantia features fresh, seasonal ingredients and country bistro style food. You can also expect to sample a flight of three wines paired to each dish.
Lunch and Dinner Special: two courses for R320 or  three courses for R425 respectively, including wines
View the menu and book at The Bistro

 

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights and browse accommodation now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox. 

The post Brace yourself: the winter specials are coming! appeared first on Cape Town Travel.

The top 5 things to do this weekend in Cape Town

Cape Town has a great weekend life, so make sure your stay in the city extends past the week and into the weekend. Most festivals, markets, and concerts take place on the weekend, and the city’s bars and cafes fill up. We’ve chosen seven of the best events to check out this weekend. Clear your schedule and book your tickets now.
For a complete list of events, take a look at our calendar.
Norval Concerts: Moreira Chonguica
The award-winning Mozambican saxophonist Moreira Chonguica is celebrated as one of Africa’s most innovative jazz musicians. He returns to Cape Town for a single performance on Africa Day 25th May at 8:30 pm at Norval Foundation. Moreira’s passionate stage performance takes place at Gallery 8. Be sure not to miss this event.

Special Screening of Deep Blue – Middle C
It’s movie time at the Two Oceans Aquarium on 24 May 2019. Dip into the ocean for a special screening of locally produced documentary Deep Blue Middle C. This genre-bending film was inspired by and takes place on the west coast of South Africa – a place of profound meaning and impact for filmmaker Bryan Little who, along with a group of his friends, spent 10 days and 10 nights re-connecting with the wild and enigmatic part of South Africa’s coast.

The Lawns Market
Come and enjoy this lifestyle market with live music performances taking place at the event. Expect a carefully curated selection of food, beverage, men’s and women’s apparel, swimwear, sunglasses, skincare, decor, bags, jewelry, kids wear, chocolate and so much more.

The Night Feast Featuring Matthew Mole & Friends
The Palms Décor & Lifestyle Centre in Woodstock invites you to celebrate, dance, and feast in their inner-city gathering of food, music, and design culture. Get ready for a feast unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Cape Town Concert Series
The event returns with an exciting new line up of their first season of 2019. The Cape Town Concert series presents a clarinet and piano recital with Junnan Sun & Megan–Geoffrey Prins that will take place on the 25th May 2019.
Buy tickets from Webtickets
 

A Night at the Opera
Following last year’s success, the Con Spirito Philharmonic returns this weekend with exciting arias, duets, and ensembles from famous operas.
Buy tickets from Webtickets 

Jazz in the Garden – Winter Edition
Enjoy your Sunday, while relaxing with friends and family with live music & DJ’s spinning jazzy tunes. This weekend you’ll get to enjoy the sultry sounds of jazz vocalist Ami Williams accompanied by pianist Dillon April. Food and beverages will be on sale at the event. Guests are welcome to bring their own or even braai. The event is family friendly.
Buy tickets from Webtickets 

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights and browse accommodation now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox.

The post The top 5 things to do this weekend in Cape Town appeared first on Cape Town Travel.

Travel like a local: Your neighbourhood guide to Hout Bay

Hout Bay, or the Republic of Hout Bay as locals affectionately call it, is a fantastic sea-side neighbourhood in Cape Town that offers something for everyone, any day of the week. Here’s a deeper look at what this great Cape Town area has to offer.
Distance from Cape Town: +- 20kms (around 30 minutes)
WHERE TO EAT AND MAKE MERRY
There are many popular hangouts in Hout Bay where you can get a delicious meal and a decent beer. Here are some of our favourites.

MASSIMOS
This a one of the most well-known restaurants in the area. Known for its delicious pizzas – which are out of this world – Massimos offers a wide variety of Italian dishes. There are also a wheat-free option and seriously decadent desserts, including a chocolate fondue and sweet pizzas.
Website: www.massimos.co.za
THE LOOKOUT DECK
Situated on the beachfront, the Lookout Deck offers amazing sea views with delicious seafood. While the food is amazing with various sea food dishes on offer plus oysters and Champagne, the views of the ocean and the mounts is one of the selling points of this establishment.
Website: www.thelookoutdeck.co.za
MARINER’S WHARF
If you’re looking for some of the freshest fish and chips in the area, this is where to find it. Situated right at the edge of the Harbour, Mariner’s Wharf has been around since 1984. Here not only can you buy great food, but also marine artifacts, souvenirs and antiques.
Website: www.marinerswharf.com
FISH ON THE ROCKS
Surrounded by the harbour, the wharf anf the Naval Heritage site, Fish on the Rocks serves up delicious fish and chips. The building used to be a fisherman supply store in 1951 so it is steeped in history.
Website: www.fishontherocks.com
HOUT BAY VINEYARDS
This boutique winery is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Having started in 2001, owners Peter and Cathy kicked it all off with some bubbly. Now in 2016, this establishment also produces a range of reds, a crispy sauvignon blanc, a delicate, dry blush and a vintage port. You can book a private tasting or join them on the lawn for a picnic when they have open days.
Website: www.houtbayvineyards.co.za
KITIMA RESTAURANT
If you’re into authentic Thai food and some Asian fusion, then this is the place to be. Kitima claims the food is Royal Thai cuisine and all dishes are made by Thai chefs. The restaurants is housed in an old Cape-Dutch style building that dates back to the 17th century. It’s the perfect date night spot!
Website: www.kitima.co.za
CHEYNE’S
This popular Hout Bay restaurant serves up dishes influenced by Pacific Island foods and Asian cooking techniques. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is casual.
Website: www.facebook.com/cheyneshoutbay
QUENTIN AT OAKHURST
This fine dining establishment is situated on one of the original Hout Bay farms. The food is sourced locally as far as possible and the ethos of the restaurant is that the ingredients used are sustainably grown and harvested. They are open for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, lunch from Thursday to Saturday and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday (closed on Mondays). They also have a ladies-only high tea.
Website: www.oakhurstbarn.com
THE INDIAN OVEN
Serving up Indian/Pakistani, seafood and vegetarian dishes, the Indian Oven makes all tandoori dishes in a wood fired traditional Indian oven. Think meals such as lamb rogan josh, chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, biryanis, bunny Chows, rolled stuffed roti and more.
Website: www.indianoven.com
CLAY CAFÉ
A place to eat, but also a place to create. You can enjoy a meal at the Clay Café while also painting some crockery that you can collect at a later stage once it is set and ready. This also makes a good party venue for both the young and young-at-heart.
Website: www.claycafe.co.za
PAKALOLO
This hangout spot is a restaurant, plus bar plus a great place to watch the game thanks to the three HD TVs in the venue. With four seating areas two outside terraces, a chill out lounge and a bistro area with a fireplace, it’s perfect for celebrations or simply just a get together with friends.
Website: www.pakalolo.co.za
WHERE TO PLAY

BAY HARBOUR MARKET
With live entertainment, food of all kinds, play areas and various arts, crafts and curious to buy, the Bay Harbour Market is the place to be on weekends. There is plenty to do and see and it is fun for the whole family. Local traders come here to sell their products while a live band entertains in the background.
Website: www.bayharbour.co.za
WORLD OF BIRDS
There are over 3 000 birds and over 400 species of birds to see at World of Birds. This is the largest bird park in Africa and a wonderful place to take the kids to learn more about these animals. It’s a tropical garden setting, so nature lovers will enjoy it. You can also find various forms mammals and reptiles here.
Website: www.worldofbirds.org.za
BOAT CRUISE WITH CIRCE LAUNCHES
When conditions are good, head out with Circe Launches for a trip to Duiker Island. You may be able to see kelp forests and lots of sea animals. You can also do a trip to seal island, weather permitting.
Website: www.circelaunches.co.za
NEIGHBOURHOOD CULTURE
A WALKING TOUR WITH CITY SIGHTSEEING

Imizamo Yethu, is an informal settlement in Hout Bay. Here you can find wonderful locals ready to tell their stories. Visitors can do a free walking tour of the area with City Sight Seeing if they take the City Sight Seeing bus to this area. A CSS representative will meet you at the stop to take you on the tour where visitors will learn about how Imizamo Yethu came into existence, enjoy the views of Chapman’s Peak Drive’s winding road and learn how a place of unhappiness became a township of prosperity.
Website: www.citysightseeing.co.za
ORIGINAL TEA BAG DESIGNS
This is a fantastic initiative. The founders of Original Tea Bag Design employ disadvantaged women and give them the necessary skills needed to create the products that they sell- all of which are made from or incorporate dried out tea bags. It is worth a visit. Chat to the staff about the company and hear the amazing stories and, of course, support them by purchasing a product or two.
Website: www.tbagdesigns.co.za
WHERE TO STAY

TINTSWALO ATLANTIC
Like a phoenix from the ashes, Tintswalo Atlanic has been redone and refurnished after a devastating fire burned the property early in 2015. This five-star luxury lodge sits on the water’s edge of the Atlantic Ocean and offers exclusive accommodation to its visitors. The views are breath taking.
Website: www.tintswalo.com
HOUT BAY MANOR
This beautiful boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Hout Bay. The original building was built in 1871 and it has been restored and refurbished to look like it did in its heyday. There are 16 rooms at this hotel and each one gets the five-star treatment. The onsite restaurant, Pure, is renowned and well-known to offer amazing food.
Website: www.houtbaymanor.com
HOUT BAY BACKPACKERS
For those wanting to travel like a backpacker, the Hout Bay Backpackers has great accommodation. It’s located within walking distance of the beach and shops. The views from the establishment are breath taking.
Website: www.houtbaybackpackers.co.za
CHAPMAN’S PEAK HOTEL
Sitting at the foot of the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive is the Chapman’s Peak Hotel. There’s a room for everyone here – rooms with a sea view, rooms with a mountain view, penthouses and original rooms. Plus, the restaurant here is rumoured to make some of the best sea food in town.
Website: www.chapmanspeakhotel.co.za
LOCAL FLAVOUR
Nobody knows Hout Bay better than a local. When you’re in town be sure to visit the closest VIC in the city in Burg Street where staff can help you really uncover the magic on offer in Hout Bay and beyond.
Call 0861 322 223 for more details.
 

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The post Travel like a local: Your neighbourhood guide to Hout Bay appeared first on Cape Town Travel.