The Best Food and Wine Tours of Cape Town
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa's southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain's flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum. The flat-topped mountain is the headline act, but there are many other equally gorgeous natural landscapes within the park's extensive boundaries. Cultivated areas, such as the historic Company's Gardens, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Green Point Park, also make exploring the city a pleasure. Follow the lead of locals by taking full advantage of the abundant outdoor space: learn to surf; go hiking or mountain biking; tandem-paraglide off Lion's Head; abseil off the top of Table Mountain - just a few of the many activities on offer. Within an hour's drive from the city, you can exchange urban landscapes for the charming towns, villages and bucolic estates of Wineland destinations, such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Hermanus is a prime whale-watching location, and also a base from which to organize shark-cave diving. Further afield, the delights of the Garden Route unfold, with more inspiring scenery to be viewed on thrilling drives down the coast and over mountain passes. With so much to see, do, and taste, Cape Town is a great place to experience, and there are several options for Food and Wine tours to help you enjoy some of the best flavors of the area.
As you travel, learn how South Africa's heritage stems from all over the world, including the Middle and Far East and Europe. Hear about some of the traditional dishes created by the indigenous people of Africa, and discover how colonization, slavery and immigration influenced the food of the Mother City. Throughout the course of your tour, stop at three or more eateries to get a feel for the country's distinctively varied cuisine. Perhaps stop first at a street-side cafe or restaurant in Bo-Kaap, below Signal Hill. Also known as the Malay Quarter, the neighborhood is famous for its brightly colored houses. Learn how Cape Malay cuisine is a fusion of Malaysian, Javanese, Dutch and Khoekhoe ingredients, and discover the spices used to produce the dishes' unique flavors. Then, maybe try some local street food before continuing on to one of Cape Town's townships, such as Langa or Guguletu, for a taste of loxion food. Visit a local's home to taste a selection of staple dishes that might include umngqusho or umleqwa, both said to have been favorites of Nelson Mandela. After around four hours, your tour concludes back at the original start point.
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Meet your guide at your accommodation in central Cape Town, and then set off in an air-conditioned minivan to begin your full-day tour of the Stellenbosch Winelands. Make your first stop at Ernie Els Wines, a wine estate owned by South African golfer Ernie Els. Take a tour of the winery, then take a seat and drink in views of Stellenbosch and the surrounding vineyards and mountains as you taste four wine varietals. Next, continue to the Marianne estate. Here, learn about South Africa's winemaking heritage before savoring four of the estate's finest wine varietals, such as pinotage and merlot blends, each perfectly paired with biltong. Following your roughly 30-minute tasting, soothe your sweet tooth at Clos Malverne, where you'll pair your wine tasting with artisan ice cream. After, soak up the views during a scenic drive through Stellenbosch's historical center to Babylonstoren, a Cape Dutch wine farm where you'll have the option to purchase lunch and enjoy a wander through the gardens. Should you wish, you can also partake in another wine tasting here. Your full-day tour then concludes in the late evening with a drop-off back at your Cape Town hotel.
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South Africa is known worldwide for making crowd-pleasing and award-winning wines. This half-day Winelands tour will take you to the cradle of this beautiful wine region. On the tour your guide will share with you the story of how the South African wine industry came to be. You will begin your morning or afternoon tour with complimentary pick-up from your Cape Town hotel before being taken to Stellenbosch Wine Estate. There you will do a wine tasting, as well as a wine and cheese tasting. After, you will be taken on a guided tour of the charming town of Stellenbosch. It will highlight historical Dorp Street and DeBraak. Your next wine experience will be a guided cellar tour where you will take in the ambiance created by enumerable amounts of soon-to-be-wine ageing in barrels and tanks. You will then do a second wine tasting. When you have had your fill of touring and tasting you will have the chance to purchase the wine you have tasted and more.
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Get picked up at your central Cape Town hotel and begin your day trip into Western Cape wine country. The first stop is a visit to the town of Paarl in the Paarl Valley, where you'll visit a wine estate for a cellar tour and wine tasting session. Next, stop in pretty Franschhoek before heading to Stellenbosch. It's second only to Cape Town as the oldest European settlement in the province, and where the region's winemaking got its start. The last wine tasting of the tour will be at one of the prominent wine estates in Stellenbosch. The Pinotage grape is unique to South Africa, having been hybridized in the country, but it's not the only wine you'll taste. Other varietals are grown in South Africa, too, including Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay. During your stops in Paarl and Stellenbosch, enjoy some free time to explore the towns on foot at your leisure. After the last tasting of this relaxing day, head back to Cape Town aboard the vehicle.
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