Cape Town is home to “the most beautiful Garden in Africa” , the Kristenbosch Botanical Gardens which is also a world heritage site. The gardens are set on the foot of the Table mountain to the east and are a major tourist attraction. The gardens are also famous for holding amazing summer concerts fondly referred to as one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon at the Cape. The event mainly features top South African artists and international acts . The massive stage has its back towards the mountain allowing the audience to enjoy live music with an amazing sunset view of the Table mountain*sigh*. The concerts are usually family friendly and suitable for all ages.
After packing a few delicious goodies and wine we were set for a picnic in the wild and some fresh air. On getting there we had to pay an entrance fee of 60 Rand which is worth every penny. I have to agree that Kristenbosch is indeed the most beautiful gardens in Africa. One word, Breathtaking. Think of the most perfect shade of Green well trimmed grass, Table mountain providing a picture perfect backdrop, colourful wild flowers, cute little ducks waddling by a pond, a dash of fresh air sigh…are you sold already?. I know I was right the minute we walked in.
We walked around for 2 hrs looking around and reading about the various plants there while managing to get our touch and smell senses put to work. Our absolute favorite was the perfume Garden followed closely by the touching garden.Getting a chance to smell all those different fragrances was just amazing. Ensure you also get to see the extinct garden and get to see and read some about plants that are almost extinct now mainly due to human activities ;(. It makes you appreciate plant life more and all those botanical gardens in the world working so hard to ensure that the next generations get to see the plants.
Kristenbosch is such a great place for kids as they get a chance to run around and just be kids. Do not be scared to let your inner kid out, I assure you its quite hard not to….Afterwards we had our tiny picnic to relax and we were joined by some friends. While at Kristenbosch take your time to absorb all the beauty around you , find out when the next concert is and Go for it!. You will meet most of Cape Towns vibrant artistic community, enjoy some good old South African house , Live music , braai (South African Barbecue) and have a good time.
After a lovely time in the gardens we decided to go check out the V&A waterfront by the busy Cape harbor. It is situated right on the harbor between Table mountain and Robben Island and claimed to offer the best of Cape Towns shopping experience, entertainment, world class dining experience, Luxury apartments and much more. True to their word the V&A waterfront is that and much more and once you get there you will understand why its the most visited place in Cape Town. Lets talk views, oh dear.
Upmarket Restaurants offering the best of fresh sea food line up the waterfront, companies offering helicopter rides over all of Cape Town, An Aquarium, Food Market, Bars offering the best of South African wines, Ciders and beers,Street Performers, a Ferris wheel quite similar to the UK London Eye for you and the kids to enjoy, Popular fast food chains (KFC, McDonalds, Steers etc), Designer Stores selling items straight off the runways (Tom ford,Steve Madden, Chanel, DIOR etc), Popular stores( Zara, H&M, Top shop, Cotton on etc), Local chains like MRP( very affordable), Cinema for you to watch the latest movies etc. This is just but a few of the things that you should expect to find there.
On one of the days that we were there we were lucky enough to attend a jazz concert. South Africa has a deep musical heritage as music played a very big part in terms of Political liberation and uniting the nation. Jazz music is really huge down there and you will often spot some talented street performers who do covers of popular songs adding a jazz feel to them.
Walking around the waterfront we got to see several awesome and sometimes scary street performances. This one guy freaked me out so bad swallowing crushed glass beer bottles and sticking a sword down his throat! Yikes!. I could not watch that for more than a minute and I literally had to run away LOL. There was another guy that had painted himself silver, was wearing silver clothes and looked like a statue!. I kid you not bruh, he was not even blinking!!. Then he would make small robot like movements that had everyone going crazy. If you tried dropping some money next to him, he would stick out his hand to greet you but end up trapping your hand and freezing up again until you dropped more money he he. It was so funny seeing people get so confused, touching the `statue` and totally freaking out when they realized it was a person. Good times :-*).
Also on the waterfront you will find the Robben Island Museum, which provides you with in depth information on apartheid. The museum also provides a gateway to the Robben Island which was used as a prison for political “criminals”. The most famous inmate of was Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years locked up there. The tickets cost 320 Rand and you have to book a little bit in advance. The trip to the Island is quite nice from what we heard from other travelers and you might even spot penguins!.
Unfortunately we did not do the Robben Island tour for personal reasons. However I highly recommend it :).Next to the museum you will spot an old Victorian Gothic style clock which is an important historical landmark as it was originally built as the Port Captains office in 1882. A few renovations have been done on it since and managing to change very little in terms of appearance.
Exactly 100 metres from the clock you will find Seals basking in the sun. Indulge yourself in some seal watching as it is not everyday when you get to see a seal ;). Take a walk to the aquarium for some underwater experience which you will surely enjoy. If an Aquarium is not what you are looking for, you can visit the Ripley’s Believe it or not museum which has some really weird but interesting things.
The V&A Waterfront is one of those places that you keep going back to over and over again. Be it for a cup of tea, a movie or just sitting by the docks for the sunset it sure is spectacular and I highly recommend a visit.
Its been quite a while since I posted something and if you follow me on Instagram (@shishiLestrange) you might remember me mentioning my laptop broke down. Things went horribly wrong in Zambia and I could barely get it to boot, then we went to Rural Malawi which did not help at all.I attempted to blog from my phone a couple of times and failed miserably. Am just really happy that its now fully functioning and now understand that this are some of the things as a digital nomad you sometimes experience.
Thanks for taking your time to read this :-).
Yogie on the Move.