Monthly Archives: September 2019

Cape Town Lures Visitors With Spectacular Beauty and a Rich Cultural Diversity

Cape Town has had a long and turbulent history. With Apartheid still linger in the minds and hearts of its people. Transformation has led to the new ‘Rainbow Nation’, which can be experienced in the cosmopolitan city centre of Cape Town.

Flower sellers, business executives, parking attendants, office workers and shoppers all rub shoulders in a setting of both historical and modern buildings, backed by the city’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain. The colourful Malay Quarter, the remains of District Six, St George’s Cathedral, Government Avenue and the old Castle are historically significant, while world-class African and international restaurants tempt travellers with their culinary delights.

Although an African city, Cape Town has a European flavour but the city has comforts of First World standard.

Cape Town’s unique setting means that it can be enjoyed from various vantage points: Table Mountain provide breathtaking vistas over the city bowl and the Cape peninsula.

You can find many scenic routes along magnificent stretches of coastline and inland terrain leading to special places like Cape Point.

The city has four distinct seasons.

Summer – White sandy beaches, Autumn – Crisp colours, Winter – Ferocity of stormy seas in winter, Spring – Show of Cape ‘fynbos’ flowers.

From culture, history and scenery – to an unforgettable experience.

Cape Town is a special place with much to contribute towards its growing reputation as a favoured travel destination.

Cape Town Excursions

** Robben Island and Table Mountain

South Africa’s most widely known tourist attraction is probably Robben Island, seven miles (11 km) from Cape Town in the centre of Table Bay.

For nearly 400 years this tiny rocky island outcrop was utilised as a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment for numerous categories of people ostracised by society, ranging from political protestors to lepers.

During the years of Apartheid, Robben Island became synonymous with institutional brutality as numerous freedom fighters, including the island’s most famous resident Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned here for more than a quarter of a century.

The island is now a museum, symbolising liberation and the triumph of the human spirit. Regular island tours are conducted, lasting three and a half hours. The tours, which are guided by former prisoners, include a visit to the maximum-security prison on the island where an estimated 3,000 freedom fighters were incarcerated between 1962 and 1991.

** Capman’s Peak Drive lookout Chapman’s Peak

Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular coastal roads in South Africa, linking the seaside community of Hout Bay to the Noordhoek Valley along the Atlantic Coast, with breathtaking views from along the narrow, winding road blasted into the cliffs.

Constructed in 1915, the six-mile (9km) route took about seven years to complete and was built as a shorter, alternative route between Cape Town central and the South Peninsula. Many visitors use this scenic route to reach Cape Point Nature Reserve situated at the tip of the Peninsula.

** Penguins on Boulders Beach

A recommended day excursion from the city includes a trip through the southern suburbs and along the scenically beautiful False Bay coastline via Muizenberg to Simonstown, South Africa’s principal naval base.

Simonstown lies about 25 miles (40km) from the city and is a quaint town built around a naval dockyard, with well-preserved Victorian buildings, museums, sidewalk cafes and local legends to learn about. One such legend is about a dog called ‘Just Nuisance’ who ‘joined’ the British navy, becoming their mascot, when Simonstown was a British base.

A short distance from the town is Boulder’s beach, famous for its protected colony of African Penguins (formerly Jackass Penguin) that can be viewed from the boardwalks.

Transport: Metrorail suburban train from Cape Town’s central station; Admission: Boulders Beach Penguin Colony: R15 (adults), R5 (scholars)

** Cape Point

Most visitors to Cape Town are keen to make a day trip 40 miles (65km) from the city to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, not only to take in its floral diversity in what at first sight appears to be a bleak landscape, but to stand at the top of the towering promontory at the most southerly point of the Cape Peninsula (not of Africa, visitors must go further afield to Cape Agulhus for this).

From the viewpoint and lighthouse at Cape Point, reached via a funicular, it is awesome to watch the thundering waves crashing at the base of the cliffs 686ft (209m) below. The reserve itself is worth exploring, particularly on foot, for those interested in birds and botany. The restaurant at Cape Point has a terrace offering spectacular views.

Resident baboons here enjoy the spoils from tourists’ snacks – particularly their ice-cream; they can be quite aggressive. Because feeding of the baboons carries a stiff penalty, it is worth ensuring there are no free lunches for these hirsute scavengers!

** Cape Town township Township Tours

The N2 highway that connects Cape Town International Airport to the city is lined with townships, consisting of a mixture of shacks and solid buildings. During the days of apartheid, people of colour were not allowed to live in the white suburbs and were banished to areas away from the city. Township tours allow visitors to experience how the majority of Capetonians live in the townships that surround the city.

Guides, often residents, take visitors around to meet the people, see community projects, have a drink in a ‘shebeen’ (township pub) and shop for local crafts. Each township has its own colourful character, and despite their difficult living conditions, residents are generally hospitable and delighted to receive visitors.

Townships were once no-go areas for many people, but today a visit is becoming a popular experience for tourists to Cape Town.

Visit Langa, the oldest of South Africa’s black townships, established in 1923, or the newest and second largest in the country, Khayelitsha, which dates from the 1980s. Guguletu and Nyanga were set up in the 1950s.

Visitors are advised not to visit the townships alone; there are many tour companies that offer tours, including transport to and from the township areas. Contact the Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre or its satellite, the Sivuyile Tourism Centre in Guguletu for information about tours, accommodation and entertainment in the townships.

** Bathing houses at Muizenberg Muizenberg

A historical beach-side suburb on the False Bay coast, Muizenberg is popular with families for its long, gentle-sloping beach, warm water, beautiful views, and activities such as mini-golf and supertubing. The beach is famous for its row of colourful changing houses and is a photo favourite from the mountain road far above. Muizenberg beach has also long been the preference of beginner surfers and several popular surf schools have been established at Surfers Corner, the closest side to the mountain. False Bay is known for its Great White Shark population, but a shark watch service is in operation to give warning to bathers and surfers. A scenic walkway below the railway line links Muizenberg to the next seaside village of St James with its tidal pool. The delightful fishing village of Kalk Bay is a few minutes drive away with its protected harbour, and its main street lined with fascinating antique and art shops, as well as cafes and restaurants.

The Great Southern Touring Route – 5 Day Self-Drive Itinerary

Melbourne – Apollo Bay – Port Fairy – Halls Gap – Ballarat – Melbourne

Total Distance 792kms

Highlights

  • Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Surfworld
  • Otway Fly
  • Twelve Apostles
  • Port Campbell National Park
  • Sovereign Hill
  • Grampians National Park
  • Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Eureka Centre
  • Victoria Wineries

The Great Southern Touring Route offers the very best of Victoria’s attractions – stunning coastal and inland scenery, history and heritage all in a circular route connecting Melbourne to 3 of Victoria’s regional cities – Geelong, Warrnambool and Ballarat. The flexible, compact touring route is a unique and diverse driving experience, providing links with the internationally acclaimed Great Ocean Road, the natural wonders of the Grampians National Park and the historic Ballarat goldfields.

Pickup car hire Melbourne.

Day 1 – Melbourne to Apollo Bay (184km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

From Melbourne travel towards Geelong along the Princess Highway, stopping at Werribee Park which features an award winning historic mansion and the Werribee Open Range Zoo, an Out of Africa adventure. Geelong’s new waterfront is a popular attraction to take a break.

Then it’s on to Torquay Australia’s surfing capital with beautiful beaches, a surfing museum, and a great shopping centre devoted to surfwear and surfing merchandise. Torquay is the official start of the Great Ocean Road, where it begins to wind its way though Angelsea and onto Lorne. With the ocean on one side and rainforest behind, Lorne is a cosmopolitan beachside destination, popular for swimming and surfing. Restaurants, cafes and boutique shops adorn the street overlooking the bay.

The road hugs the coastline to Apollo Bay, providing spectacular lookout opportunities along the way. Apollo Bay is set in the picturesque green foothills of the Great Otway National Park and boasts long sandy beaches and deep-blue sea. Sample some freshly caught seafood.

Overnight: Apollo Bay

Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Port Fairy (193km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

The Great Ocean Road briefly leaves the coast as you head through the Great Otway National Park where you’ll marvel at mighty fern gullies, huge trees, beautiful waterfalls and native animals in the lush temperate rainforest. For a bird’s eye view, take a walk along the 600 metre long Otway Fly Tree Top canopy walk.

As the Great Ocean Road returns to the coast, the majesty of the Port Campbell National Park quickly begins to unfold. Colossal rock stacks soar from the ocean floor and blowholes roar with spouting water. The massive Twelve Apostles are a highlight of the whole trip. See them from the boardwalk or for truly awe-inspiring scenery and breathtaking photographic opportunities take a helicopter flight with Great Ocean Road Helicopters. More of nature’s beauty is revealed in the Bay of Islands Coastal Park on the drive to Warrnambool. The picturesque city overlooks the deep blue of the Southern Ocean and has a fascinating maritime history. Visit Flagstaff Hill, a recreated 19th century maritime village and in the evening experience ‘Shipwrecked’, a sound and laser spectacular that tells the tragic story of the Loch Ard disaster on a 9-metre aqua screen.

On the way to Port Fairy, visit Tower Hill to intimately observe Australian wildlife in a dormant volcano or experience bush culture with Worn Gundidj, the local Aboriginals. Travel a further 10 minutes along the road to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy. Steeped in history and charm, Port Fairy’s culture and architecture have been beautifully preserved.

Overnight: Port Fairy.

Day 3 – Port Fairy to Halls Gap (158kms, 2 hrs)

The Great Southern Touring Route leaves the coast near Port Fairy and travels north towards the Grampians National Park. Along the way, character packed country towns provide a glimpse of Australian life. Nearing the Grampians, the pristine beauty and enormity of the ranges becomes apparent as they begin to dominate the horizon. In the Grampians National Park, you’ll discover hidden valleys, waterfalls, lakes and wildlife. Explore the region on one of the many walks in the magnificent Halls Gap are and soak up the breathtaking views from the spectacular lookouts. Take a tour to see Koori rock art within the park and learn about the local Aboriginal culture at Brambuck. For the adventurous, Grampians Adventure Services provides rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, guided walks, canoeing and kayaking.

Overnight: Halls Gap

Day 4 – Halls Gap to Ballarat (142kms, 1 hr 45 mins)

The touring route continues onto Ballarat and along the way you can take a self-guided tour of the wine regions of the Pyrenees, Grampians and Ballarat and learning the intimate secrets of some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines.

In Ararat you’ll find Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, which re-lives the journey and story of gold prospectors from Southern China and their discovery of Australia’s largest alluvial goldfield.

The legacy of the boom from the gold rush days is evident in the majestic architecture and wide tree-lined streets of Ballarat. Strike gold at Sovereign Hill, the city’s major attraction recreating the gold fever that gripped Australia in the 1850’s. Sovereign Hill is brought to life in this outdoor living museum, which features a working bakery, blacksmith, lolly shop and main street troopers. At night ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ depicts the 1854 Eureka Stockade, the only civil uprising when miners took on the authorities. It’s a spectacular sound and light show not to miss!

Overnight: Ballarat

Day 5 – Ballarat to Melbourne (115 kms, 1.5 hrs)

Spend the day looking around Ballarat, as it boasts a number of other great attractions including the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, beautiful botanic gardens, the Eureka Centre and a wildlife park. At Ballarat Wildlife Park enjoy close contact with Australian native animals. Feed the free-roaming kangaroos, watch crocodiles and Tasmanian Devil feedings, and participate in koala and wombat photo opportunities.

Traveling To Asian Cities

Do you plan to travel to Asian Cities? Do you want to get information about Asian places to visit and how to access these places? This is something that interests you.

Asia is too diverse and massive so we can only imagine it. It is not even possible to close selected places if you only have a limited day with you. It’s also hard to know the limits too. From the mountains around the Black Sea in the west to the Siberian snow field in the east, there is no limit to the level of Asia.

The highest point in Asia is Mount Everest in Nepal and China while the lowest point is the dead sea of ​​Israel and Jordan. The longest river in Asia is the Yangtze, which flows through China. The largest lake is the Caspian Sea which is around 386,400 Sq Km. Asia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Indian Ocean to the South. There are many travel options ranging from desert ruins and modern malls in the Middle East to majestic monuments in South Asia.

You can also find Beach Bungalows and the Southeast Asian Forest tracks to be very interesting.

Asia provides the most diverse travel options for travelers. You can also find ultra modern countries like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea where people live by living standards. As discussed earlier, there is no limit to discussing places in Asia. Really it is a place to visit where in your budget you can easily enjoy life to the fullest. We cannot leave some of the world famous places in Asia such as Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Beaches in Boracay, Philippines, St. Basil in Moscow, Russia, and an Oasis in Oman. The list will continue to add more places and we will not be able to summarize the list. If you are planning for a long vacation try to get some place in Asia, believe it or not it will be an unforgettable visit in your life.