Destination of the Week: Cape Town
The city is famous for its harbour, landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom...
'You don't need a holiday. You need a Cape Town.' Who are we to argue otherwise? Chosen as the top 2014 destination by The New York Times, Cape Town is very much the jewel in the crown of The Rainbow Nation.
A popular tourist and expatriate destination, its 'power house' status can be attributed to its good climate, natural settings, and well-developed infrastructure. Cape Town's cultural diversity and historical significance are also a popular draw for visitors.
On release from prison, Nelson Mandela gave his very first speech at the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall and once stated that; 'During the many years of incarceration on Robben Island, we often looked across Table Mountain at its magnificent silhouette … To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we knew we would one day return.'
More reason to be drawn to the city this year is Cape Town being named as the 2014 World Design Capital. Design in all its form is being celebrated with students and established designers alike showcasing at fashion shows, open houses being held and the spectacular annual visual arts 'Design Indaba conference' being held in the city in February.
Efforts by locals to rejuvenate the impoverished townships are also part of the schedule. These include The Maboneng Lalela Project which is turning township homes into galleries and performance spaces; Foodpods who are constructing sustainable farms, giving residents access to healthy produce; and the Langa Quarter project seeking to make the townships a cultural tourism destination.
Last but definitely not least, we thought we should mention the vineyards. A great deal of us are partial to a glass of 'vino' (if you're not... well that's sacrilege) and with hundreds of vineyards within half an hour of the city centre, Cape Town's a mecca for wine enthusiasts.
Now the most important question is do you need a Cape Town?