Rev Up Your Adventures: Top Destinations for Car Enthusiasts in Cape Town

Are you a car enthusiast planning a trip to Cape Town, South Africa? From scenic drives along the coast to thrilling racing experiences, Cape Town offers a diverse range of attractions for those with a passion for automobiles. Whether you’re into classic cars, modern marvels, or simply love the thrill of the open road, Cape Town has something for every petrolhead. Here are some top destinations you won’t want to miss:

1. Franschhoek Motor Museum

Nestled in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, just a short drive from Cape Town, lies a paradise for car lovers – the Franschhoek Motor Museum. This world-class facility houses a remarkable collection of over 100 years of automotive history. From vintage classics to contemporary supercars, the museum showcases a diverse array of vehicles, meticulously restored to their original glory. Spend hours admiring iconic models from renowned brands like Ferrari, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce, and gain insight into the evolution of automotive design and engineering.

2. Cape Town Motor Show

If you happen to visit Cape Town during the annual Cape Town Motor Show, consider yourself lucky! This premier automotive event brings together enthusiasts, industry professionals, and exhibitors for a weekend of automotive extravaganza. Featuring the latest models, concept cars, and cutting-edge technology, the Cape Town Motor Show offers a glimpse into the future of automotive innovation. Get up close to your favorite cars, enjoy thrilling live demonstrations, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this must-attend event.

3. Chapman’s Peak Drive

For a scenic driving experience like no other, embark on a journey along Chapman’s Peak Drive. This iconic coastal road winds its way along the rugged cliffs of the Cape Peninsula, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding mountains. With its twisting turns and dramatic vistas, Chapman’s Peak Drive is a favorite among car enthusiasts and road trip aficionados alike. So, rev up your engine, roll down the windows, and soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the world’s most scenic drives.

4. Killarney International Raceway

For those craving a dose of adrenaline-fueled action, head to Killarney International Raceway – Cape Town’s premier motorsport destination. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a spectator looking for thrills, Killarney has something for everyone. From high-speed circuit racing to exhilarating drag strip competitions, the raceway hosts a variety of events throughout the year. So, buckle up and prepare for an unforgettable day of speed, skill, and excitement at this legendary racing venue.

5. Classic Car Tours

Experience the charm of Cape Town’s scenic landscapes in style with a classic car tour. Embark on a journey through rolling vineyards, quaint towns, and historic landmarks aboard a vintage automobile. Whether you prefer the elegance of a classic Rolls-Royce or the nostalgia of a vintage VW Beetle, there are plenty of tour operators offering bespoke experiences tailored to your preferences. So, sit back, relax, and let the timeless beauty of Cape Town unfold before you as you cruise in classic style.

From museum marvels to scenic drives and adrenaline-pumping races, Cape Town offers a treasure trove of experiences for car enthusiasts. Whether you’re marveling at historic classics, exploring cutting-edge technology, or embracing the thrill of the open road, there’s no shortage of automotive adventures to be had in this vibrant city. So, pack your bags, fuel up your passion, and get ready to embark on the ultimate car lover’s getaway in Cape Town, where every journey is an adventure.

garden route

Top Destinations in Garden Route

The Garden Route is a 300-kilometer stretch in the south-western coast of South Africa which extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. This beautiful and dramatic route is considered as one of the most beautiful regions in the country because of its perfect combination of the most breathtaking landscapes and sceneries, from forests, rivers, beaches, and lakes to mountains, indigenous flora, and fauna. And because the area is also jam-packed with things to do, it is guaranteed that you will make the most out of your trip to Garden Route. Here are some of the top destinations in Garden Route:

Garden Route Trail Park

top destinations in garden route

The Garden Route Trail Park is situated midway between George and Knysna and is nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge. With beautiful scenery and carefully designed routes have for riders of all levels, mountain bikers and trail runners will surely enjoy in the park. Facilities at the park include a picnic area, pump track and BMX track, bathrooms with showers and the Trail Cafe.

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary

About 16 kilometers east from Plettenberg Bay is a unique sanctuary called the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary. In Monkeyland, you will have the opportunity for up-close encounters with the playful primates as several species of monkey are allowed to move freely in the surrounding indigenous forest. The monkeys at Monkeyland were previously caged and have now can freely move in their natural habitat. Among the species found in Monkeyland are the Gibbons of Asia, Howlers from South America and Lemurs from Madagascar.

Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tour

Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tour
The Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tour allows you enjoy the unequaled beauty of the indigenous Tsitsikamma forest from high up on ten treetop platforms. There are 10 connected platforms which are built around giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that are up to 700 years old. You can get to enjoy the view 30 meters above the forest floor. You need not worry about safety because the system has been built to the highest civil engineering standards. The tour is ideal for families with children 7 older and above. The tour can take two to three hours depending on the size of the group.

Bartholomeus Diaz Museum

Bartholomeus Diaz Museum
Located in Mossel Bay at the site where European explorers first made contact with the South African indigenous people is the Bartholomew Dias Museum. Named after the 15th-century Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias, The museum offers a unique and fascinating insight into the area and the history of Portuguese, Dutch and British sailors. The museum contains the ‘post office tree’ where sailors left messages for one another, the 1786 Dutch East India Company granary, a small aquarium and a local history museum. The highlight in the museum is the replica of the caravel that Dias used on his 1488 voyage of discovery. Visitors can explore the boat and all its inner workings.

Garden Route National Park (Wilderness Section)

Garden Route National Park (Wilderness Section)
The Wilderness National Park has now been incorporated into Garden Route National Park along with the Knysna Forests and Tsitsikamma. Situated right in the middle of the Garden Route, between George and Knysna, the park consists of rivers, lakes, beaches, forests, and mountains. The park also offers many outdoor activities that you will surely enjoy such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, abseiling, birding and paragliding.

Knysna Elephant Park

Knysna Elephant Park
The Knysna Elephant Park is a sanctuary for orphaned elephants. The park has cared for and raised more than forty elephants in the span of 20 years. The visitors to the park will have the privilege to have a personal encounter with the gentle giants. You can feed, touch and take photographs with the elephants. The park also offers elephant back rides, nature walk with the elephant and sunrise and sunset safaris.


Why You Should Visit Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is situated False Bay, just outside Simon’s Town, on the way to Cape Point. It is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders.  The big round granite boulders are 540 million years old and provide some shade and shelter the cove from currents, wind, and large waves. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is home to a colony of thousands of African penguins. In fact, the beautiful Boulders Beach is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. Every year, over 60 000 visitors flock to Simon’s Town to photograph and watch the famous Boulders Beach Penguins.

African Penguins

african penguins

African penguins are formerly known as jackass penguins because of their distinctive donkey-like braying sounds to communicate. These penguins are the only penguins found on the continent. African penguins are flightless like all extant penguins. They have a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat. They are covered in dense, waterproof feathers which keep dry and insulated in cold water.  Their body upperparts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts, which are spotted and marked with a black band. They also have distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black facial mask. The pink gland above their eyes helps them to cope with changing temperatures.  These penguins are pursuit divers and feed primarily on fish and squid. And they usually breed during the African winter when temperatures are lower.

In Boulders Beach, you should be able to see the penguins throughout the year. However, the birds spend much of September and October feeding out at sea, so the number of penguins on the beach at this time of year is lower. During the mating season which is from December to February is the best time to view the birds and their natural behavior.

Endangered Species

boulders beach

The story of this penguin colony in Cape Town started in 1983 when a pair was spotted on Foxy Beach at Boulders. They came to False Bay from Dyer Island. False Bay at that time was closed to commercial fishing so they had abundant food and breeding sites. Their population then grew. But over the years, their population declined due to things like over-fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities. Today, these African Penguins have been classified as endangered species.

Boardwalks were then built as a measure to allow for viewing of the birds, whilst keeping them safe. There are wooden walkways above the beach where the penguins can be seen in their nests in the bush undergrowth. The walkways also lead down to a viewing platform at Foxy Beach, which is the most populous part of the colony.

Other Things to Do in Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach isn’t just a great place for penguins, it’s also a popular family-friendly swimming beach. Whilst tourists cannot go onto the beach at the colony itself, the adjoining section of pristine white sand and crystal clear water at Boulders Beach is great for swimming and snorkeling between the rocks as numerous penguins jump in and out of the water and swim playfully around you. It is also a great place for a leisurely picnic with the family. Visitors can also check the information center at the entrance to Boulders Beach to find out more about the penguins, including their conservation, breeding habits and their general history in Simon’s Town.

penguins at boulders beach

Important notices from SANParks

  1. Conservation fee: R60 for adults; and R30 for children under the age of 12.
  2. Boulders is a safe beach, with rangers on patrol each day.
  3. Do NOT feed the penguins or come too close. While they may look cute, they’re still wild animals.
  4. Parking is limited, especially during peak Summer, so come early
  5. Alcohol and smoking prohibited
  6. No vessels are allowed, including canoes and kayaks
  7. Because it’s part of the Marine Protected Area, it is a no-take zone, which means no marine life may be removed.

How to Get to Boulders Beach

There are a couple of routes you can take to get there: First, around the mountain via the Southern Suburbs, and leafy Bishops Court, past the Constantia Valley to Kalk Bay, then along the coast to Simon’s Town. Second, from Camps Bay via Hout Bay, along Chapman’s Peak drive, past Noordhoek and Kommetjie. Third, is through public transport. Catch a train from Cape Town Station all the way to Simon’s Town. The train runs along the Kalk Bay coastline. Boulders Beach is about two kilometers from Simon’s Town train station. You can either take the 30 or so minute walk through the historic little naval town or catch a taxi.


table mountain cable car

The Table Mountain Escapade

Table Mountain is South Africa’s most famous landmark. It is a flat-topped mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town, known for being one of the New7Wonders of Nature. It got its name for its uncanny resemblance to a table. It owes its table-top flatness to the fact that it is a syncline mountain, meaning that it once was the bottom of a valley. Table Mountain is a great destination for nature-lovers and adventurous individuals. Tourists and locals can enjoy the activities like hiking, rock climbing, caving and mountain biking.

table mountain

The plateau forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. The main feature of the Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometers from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear’s Beacon.

The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds known as the “table cloth”, which is formed when a south easterly wind is directed up the mountain’s slopes into colder air. According to legends, the table cloth symbolizes the smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks.

Table Mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is also a home to large variety of unique flora and fauna. It is also known as part of a World Heritage Site, an important part of the Cape Floristic Region and the single richest floristic area in the world. Visitors can take a casual walk on the top, explore the Cape’s unique fynbos vegetation and spot a variety of animals. Grysbok, dassies, porcupines, tortoises, mongooses, and snakes can all be spotted on the mountain. The mountain’s magnificence, beauty, and remarkable features, along with the adventures it offers draw roughly a million people a year

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

table mountain cable car

Because Table Mountain is elevated 1,085 meters above sea level, going to and from the mountain is difficult. The cable car transportation system built by Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has become the solution to the arduous walk and climb to the top. Since its opening in 1929 up until now, the cable cars have been the easiest and fastest way of going to and from the Table Mountain and more than 25 million people has taken the trip. This cable car transportation system offers visitors a five-minute ride to the summit. The cable cars hold around 65 people and revolve slowly to give the visitors the chance to see the spectacular panoramic view of the Cape Peninsula including the Table Bay, the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains and the rest of the Table Mountain National Park. This cable car transportation system has been upgraded three times since 1929. The last upgrade was in 1997 where they introduced extensive renovations and installed new cars which are now called the rotairs.

At an elevation of 1,067 meters, on the westernmost end of the Table Mountain plateau lies the upper cable station. At the upper cable station, you will find a restaurant and a curio shop as well as a network of footpaths to explore the table top. Amenities at the upper station also include free guided walking tours, an audio tour, meals and internet access.

With just R255 for a return trip, you will get to experience the cable car ride and enjoy the wonders of South Africa’s most prominent landmark. Spending a day in Table Mountain with your family, friends and loved one is all worth the time and effort of getting there. Indeed, a trip to Cape Town will never be complete without going up the Table Mountain.

Bike Rentals Cape Town

Renting a bike in Big Bay

The Tableview promenade is one of the most spectacular stretches of beach in Cape Town itself. It bustles with life. Joggers, skateboarders, walkers and cyclists cruise along its paved paths enjoy the sea air and the sun on their back. Bike Rental Cape Town are based in Big Bay, in the Eden on the Bay shopping center. From here you can either ride North to Melkbos and enjoy this secluded suburb on the edge of Cape Town, or you can ride South back towards the city and enjoy the sites of Tableview and Blouberg. If you are looking for seclusion ride North, and a bit more of a friendly crowd with restaurants and bars ride South.

There are great stalls and shops to stop at along the way, grab an ice cream, and watch the surfers and stand up paddle boarders along the way. If you are feeling friendly you can even give one of the skateboards a short tow.

Bike Rental Cape Town carry a number of bikes, mainly mountain bikes that can be rented by the hour, day or even longer like for the whole weekend. You do not have to stick with riding around Blouberg either as they are happy for you to take the bike away and explore the more intermediate and advanced trails that Cape Town has to offer.

There are lots of trials in the mountains just behind Blouberg and Milnerton that are maintained by the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club. You can ride over a number of farm, on fantastic manicured single track and enjoy the views down to the Ocean. It only costs R40 on a honest box system to enjoy this great initiative.

You can also travel further afield to Stellenbosch or Tokai. There are hundreds of trails here, although some have been closed for now due to the fires that ravaged Cape Town last year. However there ares till some jems that are open, so just look online and you will find an endless supply.

Even further out of Cape Town in Elgin longer trails can be found that host the Absa Cape Epic each year. You can get a feel for just how amazing this race is for yourself.

Cape Town has become a bit of a cycling meca, with people commuting to work, cycling after work along the promenades and hitting the spectacular trails it has to offer. The famous #moonlightmass has ended now, but it gathered hundreds of cyclists each full moon to ride around and explore this great city.

So grab a bike and see the city from a different angle.

Paragliding Cape Town

Paragliding Signal Hill

One of the best activities a visitor or local can do in Cape Town on a calm day is to paraglide off Signal Hill or Lion’s Head. There are a ton of paragliding operators and you can constantly see their shuttle vehicles dropping off and picking up their guests and instructors. Check in with them to see who suits your timing with their availability.

Where you launch from depends on the wind direction of the day. If you launch from Lion’s Head you get to enjoy the beautiful Camps Bay below you and you will land on a safe grassy field just to the right of the beach. If the wind is more northerly, you may launch from Signal Hill which will take you over the homes of Sea Point and Fresnaye. The gorgeous Table Bay will stretch out before you filled with all the ships coming into the harbor. If you launch from Signal Hill you will land on the popular Sea Point Promenade. It is a beautiful free use space filled with walkers, runners, cyclists, skateboarders, roller bladders, artists, families and groups of people playing soccer or frisbee.

The Promenade has become a focal point in Cape Town, with lots of artistic sculptures dotting the grassy sidewalks which have sometimes caused controversy as good art can. Sometimes it was the protesters defacing the art which caused more discussion than the actual art pieces themselves, so you have to ask yourself who are the actual artists here.

When paragliding for the first time you will be taken by an instructor on a tandem paraglider. You will just be able to sit back and relax, even though you may be terrified, and enjoy the view and the feeling of flight. If you have a brave heart ask the pilot to take you on some steep turns. This will definitely get the blood pumping and the butterflies in your stomach swirling.

Paragliding companies make their money from running multiple flights while to conditions are good, so do not expect a very long flight. Good companies will give you your monies worth, although everyone will tell you that the conditions were just too light to have a longer flight.

If you are visiting Cape Town, definitely make sure you take some time to fly off one of her beautiful mountain and land next to the ocean.


Learning to Kitesurf

We live in Cape Town where it is really windy. Especially in Summer. The wind blows so much it even has a name. We call it the Cape Doctor because it cleans up the seas and the skies. Whenever it is windy you can see hundreds of people kitesurfing Cape Town. So we decided we would take some lessons to learn how to do it, stay safe and start joining the fun.

There are a lot of kitesurfing schools in Cape Town and it can be hard to choose which one to use. We took the advise of a friend who kite surfs and went with Cabrinha Kiteboarding which we were told is the best school in the city. They have been around since 1999 and use the best equipment to ensure students learning safety. This was a very important concern for us as we have heard some stories about people getting injured while trying to teach themselves.

Our lessons were going to be broken up into a few parts. The first lesson would be on the beach in Big Bay where the shop is situated. In the first lesson we met our instructor Morne and headed down to the beach. We learned all the safety tips and theory in order to keep us safe while learning and then we started to fly a small kite on the beach, so that we could learn the skills needed to fly the bigger “real” kites. The tie we flew was called a foil kite and only three metres long. Even with that small kite you could feel how much power it generated. It was lots of fun and pretty soon we were both doing loops and figure of 8s.

We really wanted to get going with our new kitesurfing career so we did a double lesson on our first day. After we had mastered the small kite we learnt how to set up the bigger kites. The kite we set up was 6m long, so double the size of the training kite. The bigger kites need to be pumped up to hold their shape and allow them to float on water. It is good to know that even though you crash the kite in the sea it won’t sink.

Once we knew how to pump it up and set up our controlling lines, we started practicing take offs and landings, as this is one of the most dangerous time while kitesurfing. We spent a lot of time here to make sure we were experts and getting off the beach and returning.

Once we were comfortable with this skill we started the same flying skills we had mastered with the small kite with the big kite. Because we had mastered the control skills before, it all came really quickly and we never felt scared or unsafe. We practiced flying the kite on the left, and then the right, and then we started dipping the kite into the power zone where you start generating pull. We got dragged down the beach a bit each time we made a turn. it was great and you could really start to feel how the kite can pull you through the water.

We ended off the lesson by learning how to rescue ourselves from the water if we crash and cannot relaunch our kite.

Next time we will be putting on our wetsuits and heading into the water for what is called body dragging. We are having so much fun so far and we have not even seen the board yet.

If you are looking to start kiteboarding I would definitely recommend Cabrinha Kiteboaridng for kitesurfing lessons in Cape Town.

Lions Nelspruit

Kruger Trip 2016

Earlier this year we went to spend three weeks in the Kruger National Park here in South Africa. Along the way we stopped off in some Nelspruit accommodation to rest and enjoy a night of luxury.  Kruger is one of the best places in the world to see wild life in their natural habitat and we saw lots of beautiful animals including the Big 5. The Big 5 are called that because they are the most dangerous animals to hunt. Now they have become a selling point for game lodges and parks which contain some or all of the Big 5. Kruger park has all the big 5 which include Lions, Leopards, Rhino, Elephants and Buffalo.

A funny preconception with the big 5 is that the Hippo is not included in it even though it accounts for the second most deaths in Africa after the mosquito.

The Kruger Park is about 5 hours away from Johannesburg by car, and your drive takes you down the escarpment and through some beautiful country side on your way into the low veld. We had flown up from Cape Town to JHB, so we couldn’t make it all the way to our camp in one go.

We decided to stay in Nelspruit along the way and discovered the beautiful Shandon Lodge. The Shandon Lodge is run by Jane and Tony who are fantastic hosts and extremely welcoming. The rooms are beautiful and the pool and deck are are a fantastic place to relax and enjoy their spectacular view. There were a number of other guests staying there which included both fellow travelers  and some corporate businessmen in Nelspruit on business.

The food we ate there was delicious and we slept so well in their comfy beds. We would definitely recommend staying at the Shandon Lodge if you are ever in the Nelspruit area for business or vacation.

The next day we left the gateway to the louvered and the Kruger Park which is Nelspruit and headed through Paul Kruger gate to start our adventure.

We would have a couple of nights staying in Skukuza, Satara and Lower Sabi Camps and then we would be taking part in a three day walking safari in a  secluded park of the Kruger. The walking safari was definitely the highlight of the trip and it is so fantastic to experience nature and the African wilderness close at hand. We saw so many Rhinos it put hope back into our heart after the terrible poaching epidemic that has been striking down these animals.

On our walks we even bumped into Lions, but luckily they were not to close and we could enjoy them from a distance and revel in the excitement of seeing them on foot.

We love birding and are embarking on a Big Year this year, so we are keeping a record of all he birds we see in our travels. It was one of the main reasons for traveling down to the Kruger so we could enjoy all the species that are found there and not in the Western Cape and Cape Town where we live.

The most exciting bird we saw was a Marshal Eagle in a tree just above us on the last day of our walking safari. It was spectacular.

After our walking safari our time in the Kruger park was at an end and we had to start our long journey back to Cape Town by car and plane. We will be happy to be home and walking on the beach again, but we will always miss our adventures in the bush.