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Culture vultures

Discovering Cape Town and Namibia

Nick Wilson April 26, 2016

For wildlife, beaches and diverse experiences combine the cultural wonders of Cape Town with the vast landscapes of Namibia. From the Mother City to the Skeleton Coast, Senior Destination Manager Nick Wilson tells us why a Southern Africa multi centre holiday is hard to beat.

Cape Town - the Mother City

Cape Town has something for everyone – it really is one of the most cosmopolitan cities I have ever visited. From the moment you arrive, your shoulders seem to relax as you drink in the sunshine lapping the Cape. It always feels like there’s magic in the air in Cape Town – as if something exciting is about to happen. South Africa’s oldest city is vibrant and oozes culture and history - it's no surprise it's been voted Best City in the 2016 Telegraph Travel awards. 

Image of the cape of South Africa

Just off shore lies Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was infamously imprisoned. It’s come a long way since the days of apartheid, however, and the atmosphere is now more a sense of hope from locals positive about their futures. While they still admit there is a long way to go, almost everyone you meet has a friendly smile and a story to tell.

Aside from history, you will be spoilt for choice for other things to do. The cuisine, for example, is out of this world; I have never had a bad meal in Cape Town. More and more gourmet restaurants are popping up all over the place and the steak and seafood on offer cannot be beaten. The price you pay is amazing as well – almost a third of the price of what you would pay in the UK.

Add in amazing backdrops of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and the stunning beaches of Clifton, Bantry Bay and Camps Bay and you have some of the world’s most amazing scenery. Tours up Table Mountain, to the Cape of Good Hope and to see the penguins of Boulders Beach are a must-see for first-timers and the shopping on the Waterfront is world class – you need at least a day here.

Image of penguins on the beach in Cape Town

And don’t get me started on the wine! Just a mere 45 minutes from Cape Town are the Cape Winelands where you are spoilt for choice with amazing qualities of wine, all set on stunning working vineyards – think the Cotswolds only with permanent sunshine.

Image of bottles of sparkling South African wine

If you’re visiting South Africa and you want to explore somewhere a little out of the ordinary as a multi centre option then consider the otherworldly beauty of neighbouring Namibia.

The Vast Beauty of Namibia

There are so many reasons to visit Namibia that it’s hard to know where to start. One thing to say is that it’s completely different to anything else in Southern Africa.

Think towering red dunes in the south of the country where a solitary oryx standing atop the sand may be all you can see one morning, contrasted with huge herds of elephants in the north on the shimmering salt pans of the Etosha National Park.

Namibia is very safe for self-drive holidays. They drive on the left and the roads are fantastic. You sometimes won’t see another soul for hours and the photography opportunities are amazing.

Float above the dunes in a hot air balloon (The English Patient was filmed here) and you can also fly over by light aircraft. The Skeleton Coast is full of shipwrecks and again if you fly over the coast, you can see the porpoises and seals jumping in the surf.

In the north there’s the opportunity to meet the local Himba people – coloured red by the ochre clay they paint on themselves. Meanwhile, the geography and the vastness of this country that will steal your heart and the stars in the night sky are like nowhere else on earth; it’s a once in a lifetime experience — just like Namibia.

Be sure to check out our South Africa and Namibia multi centre if you’re looking for holidays in Africa.