Cape Town Spring Flower Festival 2017

If you love flower festivals, you can’t miss witnessing the floral blooms of South Africa in August and September! The northern regions of the Western and Northern Cape are blessed each year with some of the most incredible displays of nature’s artistry. See the multi-colored landscape of millions of flowers in bloom, and check out the organized events, as well! There’s nowhere in the world with a better display of wildflowers. Here are a few places to check out while you’re there!

 

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West Coast Spring Flowers. If you are planning to visit Cape Town during the end of summer, you’re in luck!

The Postberg Flower Reserve is famous for its floral blooms.   This private park is only open to the Public during August and September every year, and Take2tours offers it as a day trip from Cape Town during that period.

Where in the world can you stand next to crashing blue turquoise ocean waves amongst thousands of wildflowers, while you watch dozens of wild antelope and zebra roaming freely in the open grasslands.

Koeberg Nature Reserve. This beautiful park is the closest reserve to Cape Town. This reserve plays a key role in preserving the West Coast Strandveld, a flower-rich belt that runs through South Africa. Keoburg Nature Reserve is bursting with incredible wildflowers that dress their best during each August and September! Not only can you see the flowers in all their glory, you’ll also get the opportunity to glimpse wildlife, such as the reserve’s zebra population.


Hopefield Fynbos Show.
Each year at the end of August, the Hopefield Fynbas Show provides a wonderful weekend of fun and outdoor adventures for people of all ages and walks of life! Head out to this mutli-day event to enjoy tractor rides, a bike race, entertainment, food, and, of course, plenty of wildflowers in bloom. Don’t forget to check out the fossil museum, too!

 

Clanwilliam Wildflower Show. Take the scenic drive two and a half hours north of Cape Town to experience the Clanwilliam Wildflower Show. The trip is more than worth it! Here, you’ll find the Cederberg Mountains and Clanwilliam Church, which is known as the “flower church” for its strikingly lovely blossoms. The church is always decked out in blossoming style for the festival, and you won’t want to miss the sight. Besides the church, you’ll get to view incredible South African scenery, blossoming with vibrant colors of every shade, and enjoy the 400 species of wildflowers that will be on display indoors. The show is set to run from August 25 to September 2, 2017. This will coincide with Clanwilliam’s 200th anniversary, so you can enjoy both celebrations at once!

 

Darling Wildflower Show. One of the Cape Town area’s classic wildflower shows is the Darling Wildflower Show. The 2017 event will be the Darling Wildflower Show’s 100th anniversary! The show will run from September 14 to September 17, 2017. Be a part of wildflower history when you come to enjoy the 1200 different flower species that will be featured in this year’s event. You’ll also get a chance to learn about the history of this important wildflower conservation group, get a free flower tour on the tractor-drawn wagon, enjoy entertainment, and more. There’s even a kids’ workshop! Best of all, you will get access to the wetland at Oude Post, which is only open to the public during the annual wildflower show. If you love flowers, you’ll definitely want to see this!

 

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If you’re captivated by the idea of these wonderful flower festivals, be sure to put the Cape Town region of South Africa on your itinerary next year! There is so much beauty to behold in South Africa’s natural world.

Unsure how to plan?  Contact us today.  info@take2tours.co.za

Beaches of Mozambique

Since Mozambique is located on the Indian Ocean, it has many wonderful white-sand beaches with warm waters. If you’re planning to visit this country, you can’t miss out on opportunities for watersports, fishing, and soaking up the sun! Here is a list of some of Mozambique’s top beaches.

Image source: http://www.mozambique.co.za/

  1. Wimbe Beach. This place is exactly what you imagine when you think of a tropical beach. The sand is lined with palms, swaying to and fro in the wind. The water is warm, and the beach is ideal for running or long walks. This is a nice, safe beach that is perfect for families. There are food stalls and accommodations nearby, so you won’t have to travel far to find everything you could possibly need for your stay in paradise.

 

  1. Tofo Beach. This is the ideal beach for vacationers who love to lounge all day and party all night! This beach has golden sand and blue water, so you can enjoy the Instagrammable view as you lounge the day away. The vibrant nightlife scene is fantastic, so be sure to take at least one evening for partying on Tofu Beach! If tanning and partying isn’t your style, don’t write off this beach too quickly—it’s also a popular place for adventure sports.

 

  1. Benguerra Island. Located in the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra Island has endless stretches of sand for you to enjoy. You can set up your umbrella anywhere on the fine, white sand or jump in and explore the two miles of reef with your snorkel mask and flippers. Here, you can also see Africa’s only dugongs as they calmly graze among the seagrass.

 

  1. Portuguese This stunning island has a lot to love! If you want to escape from the crowds and clamour of mainland Mozambique, you will relish the quiet serenity of Portuguese Island. This uninhabited island is reserved for day trippers and is very popular with vacationers. The beach here is perfectly gorgeous! You can relax on a shaded beach chair with a rum in your hand, browse the vendors’ stalls, or try your hand at any one of a number of water sports activities.

 

  1. Ponta do Ouro. Just north of the border between Mozambique and South Africa, you’ll find this beautiful peninsular region just waiting for you to come make memories. The town is remote, so you can escape the other tourists and find yourself surrounded by the wild beauty of the natural world. Ponta do Ouro’s lovely beach is the perfect place to kick back and relax. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the playful dolphins that often frolic off the coast! If you love adventure, you’ll want to try the offshore diving and deep sea fishing opportunities you can find.

 

  1. Fernao Veloso Bay. This lovely beach is a jutting point of white sand that disappears into a glassy blue sea. Here, you’ll find tourists and locals alike enjoying the beautiful weather and sunshine! This beach is famous for its massive fish, which you can catch, with a bit of luck. This is also a great place for kayakers to visit, since the water is calm and clear. You may even catch a glimpse of interesting marine life beneath your boat!

 

  1. Carushka. Head to the town of Napula to experience this beach. While this is a great place to visit, it isn’t on the itinerary for most tourists. This means that when you come, you’ll get to enjoy a distinctly local vibe! However, there are some things created especially for travellers. You can stay in a lovely little bungalow on the beach, where you’ll get a comfortable bed and good, local seafood. Even if you don’t stay here overnight, you’ll enjoy a day at Carushka Beach. You can rent jet skis here or just relax on the sand—it’s up to you! This place runs on African time, so there’s no rush to do anything in particular.

Image source: http://www.mozambique.co.za/

Love these beaches? We know you will! If you want to visit one (or all!) of these lovely beaches during your trip to Mozambique, Take2Tours has you covered. Contact one of our representatives to find out more, or book a tour online! We can bring you to the loveliest beaches in Mozambique and make your African adventure perfectly magical. So sit back, relax, and let us do the work! You’ll be too busy soaking up the sunshine to worry about a thing.

Ancient Serenity – Get Lost Among the Stars of the Cape Karoo

Deep in the desert of South Africa, The Cape Karoo captures the imagination of everyone who visits. Here, you’ll discover a thriving town named Beaufort West, miles away from the glaring lights of the city. Instead of city lights, something else illuminates the landscape—the stars. Beaufort West, aside from being an enchanting town to visit, is located in The Cape Karoo, the best and most famous place for stargazing in South Africa. If you want to see the night sky in all its glory, step back into time, and unravel the mysteries of space, then head to the dusty town of Beaufort West in The Cape Karoo, South Africa.

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Beaufort West was founded in the early 1800s when settlers found the surrounding area ideal for farming and raising sheep. The entire Cape Karoo area is a desert landscape, but it’s still hospitable to such agricultural pursuits. The resulting towns grew up around the sheep industry, but today they survive mainly on the tourism generated by the interesting environs of The Cape Karoo area. Much of that tourism centres on the amazing stargazing offered by the region.

The Cape Karoo is known for its dark skies and bright stars, and it is here that many night-sky junkies have set up their homes for the purpose of stargazing night after night. Each town in the area has its own claim to fame when it comes to stargazing, but the best place of all for watching the night sky is Beaufort West. Why? Because of The Karoo National Park, the natural area adjacent to the civilised portion of the town. If you’re hoping to do some serious stargazing when you’re in The Cape Karoo, then staying in Beaufort West and driving to The Karoo National Park is the best way to go.

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Just a short six-kilometer drive from Beaufort West, you’ll find yourself in the middle of The Karoo National Park. The open plains of the park, plus dark skies and uninterrupted skyline, make for the perfect stargazing spot. Here, you’ll see the entire display of the southern hemisphere: in the summer, our old friends Orion, Perseus, and the Great Bear are clearly visible. In the winter, Scorpius, Hercules, and Sagittarius gleam brightly in the sky. In autumn, Leo and Hydra make their appearance, while in the spring, Andromeda and Aquarius watch Pegasus fly through the night sky. At any time of the year, one can spot the Southern Cross and Centaurus circling the South Pole.

The best season to see the night sky is December through March, which is summer for South Africa and also is the dry season. You won’t have to worry about clouds blocking your view of the stars if you visit at this time of year. Even July and August, the South African winter, you can still get great views of the night sky. If you’re lucky enough to visit after a rain, when the air is crisp and clear, you can see some of the most brilliant stars that you’ll view in a lifetime.

If you’re hoping to do some stargazing in The Karoo National Park, you can stay up late watching the night sky in the park and then head back to your hotel in Beaufort West. Despite the relatively small size of the town and the remote location, there are several excellent hotels and guest houses to choose from. You can stay in ultimate comfort between nights of stargazing, and during the day, you can explore the town itself. There are many interesting attractions to keep you busy as you wait for the stars to come out: dinosaur footprints in The Karoo National Park, a tour of an olive groove, or shopping at the antique store. You can also take a historic tour of the town, which takes visitors through the Village Museum and the historic Dutch Reformed Church.

There’s no doubt about it: Beaufort West is an ideal destination for stargazers from all around the world! Visit The Cape Karoo to make your starry dreams come true. When it comes to enjoying the night sky, you won’t find anywhere better.

Make your next African trip incredible! Give us a call or drop us a mail at info@take2tours.co.za and let’s chat about your trip to Southern Africa.

A Wine-Loving Traveler’s Gem: Riebeek Kasteel

Riebeek Kasteel, South Africa is a town with many attractions. The art, the countryside, and the history call many travellers from far and wide. However, it is the wine—paired perfectly with the landscape and art scene—that is especially magnetic to visitors. If you love good art and good wine, you’ll love Riebeek Kasteel! Here’s an overview of the town and the wine-lovers activities you can enjoy there.

History

Riebeek Kasteel, named for famous South African figure Jan van Kasteel, is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. Not only is it one of the oldest European settlements, but it’s also one of the most ancient villages. It’s little wonder that so many people have decided to live in this location—it’s absolutely beautiful! The town is nestled into the edge of the Riebeek Valley, where grapes and olives have been grown for generations. Besides an agricultural heritage, the town also has architectural heritage. It’s home to some of the oldest buildings in South Africa, including the oldest hotel in the country.

 

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Image source: swartlandwineandolives.co.za

 

Countryside

The natural world around Riebeek Kasteel looks a bit like the Italian countryside. Grapevines and olive trees dominate the cultivated part of the landscape, while the wilder slopes of the valley are no less captivating. This, of course, has attracted a thriving art scene in Riebeek Kasteel—something that makes wine touring that much more classy and delightful. Many of South Africa’s most famous artists have made a home in Riebeek Kasteel in order to live in the midst of such beauty and capture in on canvas in a thousand different ways. Before you leave, be sure to browse the art galleries to see the many artistic renderings of the surrounding area. You can even take home a painting to keep a piece of Riebeek Kasteel in your own house, wherever in the world you live.

Image source: Alex Bond-Smith

Image source: Google images

Wine Scene

Riebeek Kasteel is a wine lover’s paradise. There are plenty of vineyards to visit, wineries to tour, and glasses to sip from. Start your wine journey at Kloovenburg Wine Estate. Here, you can try it all—and we don’t mean just the different wines. Drive through the picturesque vineyards to the cellars, where you can tour through the barrels before relaxing with a glass of liquid red heaven. Next, visit Meerhof Wines, where you’ll get to see the cellars where traditional wine is made. Using no modern techniques or commercial yeast, the wine from Meerhof Wines is one hundred percent traditional, and it tastes wonderful. Mullineaux Family Wines also creates traditional wines. Five varieties of grapes and a dedication to local flavours and processes are the key ingredients to the unique wines that come from Mullineaux Family Wines. Of course, you’ll want to get an overall wine tasting tour in addition to visits to individual vineyards. For a local wine tasting tour in Riebeek Kasteel, attend a wine tasting at Het Vlock Casteel. This tour will take you through a gastronomic adventure of all of the offerings of Riebeek Kasteel. You’ll get to taste the many wines in the area, and you’ll also get to sample local olive oil, jams, fruits, and more. A wine-tasting tour like this is the best way to get to know the flavours and culture of South Africa’s Riebeek Kasteel.

If you’re a lover of wine and art, there’s no better place to visit in South Africa than the lovely town of Riebeek Kasteel! Enjoy the history, the art, the countryside, and, of course, the wine in this little corner of Africa. You’ll love experiencing the best of South Africa’s wine scene and see a side to the great continent of Africa that you never expected to see. Who knew Africa could produce such incredible wines? See it for yourself (or rather taste it for yourself) to understand why travellers from around the world continue to flock to this little town in the South African hills.

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2 Bonus Adventures To Add To Your Bucket List

A real adventure starts in Africa. We’ve added two bonus adventures you can add to your bucket list. If you’ve missed our previous post detailing 3 Adventures in South Africa To Add To Your Bucket List, go check it out first!

Bungee Jumping

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We’re going to take a wild guess and assume that unless you have a fear of heights, bungee jumping is already on your bucket list. Why not check off that item in South Africa? It’s a good place to do it, since it has the world’s highest commercial bungee jump! Bloukrans Bungee is the terrifying, thrilling, and addicting jump that has served as the platform (pun definitely intended) for many world records and celebrity jumpers. Take a leap of faith and try it out for yourself! This is a thrill ride that’s hard to top.

Snorkeling

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If you’ve never gone snorkeling before, you’re in for a treat. Even if you have snorkeled elsewhere, you’ll still be enchanted by the magic of South Africa’s undersea world. All along the coast, there are excellent places to strap on your mask and flippers for a wet adventure. One of the most interesting places to snorkel is Knysna, a coastal town that draws many tourists for its beautiful coastline and marine life. Snorkel the Garden Route to see whales, dolphins, and adorable seahorses in their natural environment! Short of scuba diving, there’s no better way to view and learn about life under the sea. You’ll be amazed by the busy marine neighborhoods you can find beneath the waves!

You won’t find opportunities like this anywhere else in the world! Drop us a mail at reservations@take2tours.co.za and we’ll help you plan.

3 of Southern Africa’s Best Safari Parks: A Quick Guide

You may not know that “safari” is the Swahili word for “journey.” What you probably do know, however, is that southern Africa is one of the best places to take a safari! There are many safaris to take, but three of the best are Kruger National Park, Thanda Reserve, and Etosha National Park. Drive these three safari trips in Namibia and South Africa to see an incredible array of exotic wildlife. Here’s a little bit about what it’s like to tour and stay at these three safari parks in Southern Africa.

Thanda Reserve

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When you think “safari,” what comes to mind is likely red dust, muddy tires, and plenty of animals. You won’t be entirely wrong if this is what you imagine Thanda to be, but it certainly isn’t a complete picture! Thanda Reserve in South Africa is home to some of Africa’s most incredible wildlife, but it also includes a luxury hotel and park tour. If you want the best of high-end African luxury as well as amazing view of lions and buffalo and giraffes (oh my), then Thanda is the best safari park to enjoy. As a plus, Thanda Reserve is a private park with a dedicated commitment to both Zulu culture and a healthy environment. See South Africa through the view of South Africans! Get the local experience of the South African bush.

 

Kruger National Park

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Africa’s “Big Five” animals include lions, buffalo, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. You can see all of these (plus more) when you visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Two animals that get particular attention at this safari park are the elephants and the lions. Guests at the park can meet the elephants, learning the personality of each gentle creature. You can walk hand-in-trunk with an elephants through the park, help clean them, or be a caretaker for a day. You’ll never get closer to elephants than you can at Kruger National park! You’ll also get a chance to see wild lions up close. Unlike the elephants, the lions aren’t exactly hands-on, of course, but you can get some great views of the big cats at dawn or dusk as you safari through the park. A series of scenic cabins, complete with pools and sunset views, make for a perfect stay at the park.

Etosha National Park

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Etosha, a Namibian park, is another great place to see Africa’s Big Five. There are many waterholes throughout the park, and you can view big game as well as dozens of smaller species at each hole. Surprisingly, there are often species sharing a watering hole that you wouldn’t expect to see in the same vicinity. This is a great example of the balance of nature. Although the big cats may be the most exciting animals to see, the most valuable wildlife sightings in Etosha National Park are the black rhinos. These rare animals are hard to find in the wild, and many tourists visit Etosha National Park just for a glimpse of the black rhinos. While you’re at Etosha National Park, you can stay at one of several camps, all of which contain luxury lodges or private cabins. As far a safari experiences go, this one is pretty hard to beat.
If you’re looking into a safari trip for your next vacation, be sure to give these three parks a look! There are a lot of great places to see wildlife in southern Africa, but these three include the best of all safari elements. You’ll get to see Africa’s Big Five, view the incredible scenes of Namibia and South Africa’s great outdoors, and stay in utter luxury in the bush. Make your next Africa trip incredible! Give us a call or drop us a mail at info@take2tours.co.za and let’s chat about your trip to Southern Africa.

Dehoop Preserve Hiking in South Africa

3 South African Adventures for Your Bucket List

South Africa is a place of wonder, excitement, and adventure! With so much to see and do, you can get lost in the options. When it comes to adventure, however, there are a few awesome activities that stand out. Check out these adrenaline-pumping experiences and add them to your bucket list! Next stop: South Africa.

Cycling


One of the best ways to see South Africa (or most places, for that matter) is by bike. Take a cycling trip through South Africa to get a good look at the countryside and have a chance to meet the locals who live in this beautiful place. One popular bike trail is the Midlands Meander. The countryside here is reminiscent of Europe, but only when it comes to natural surroundings. The culture is decidedly African, and you can rub elbows with friendly South African locals along the way. Go it alone to take a tour—it’s your choice. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to see the country from a totally new perspective.

Hiking

Dehoop Preserve Hiking in South Africa

Strap on your hiking boots and take a trek into South Africa’s wilderness. There are a lot of great hiking trails on this planet, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one more beautiful than the trails you encounter in South Africa. Coastal hikes are especially popular, since they offer some of the best views in South Africa. Combine hiking with whale watching to kill two birds with one stone. One especially fun hike is found in De Hoop Preserve, a coastal nature area where you can take a trek up to five days long and see the famous South African whales during their migration.

Surfing

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South Africa is a surfer’s dream destination. If you head to the coast, you have to try it—even if you’ve never surfed before, it’s definitely worth a trip. There’s no time to learn like the present! If you know anything about surf culture, you’ve definitely heard of Jeffery’s Bay, one of the world’s most famous surf spots. There are actually a few different places to ride the waves on Jeffery’s Bay, and it has something for surfers of every taste. If you’re looking for long rides and huge barrels, this is the place to go.


If any of these items are on your bucket list, then South Africa is a great place to check them off! If they aren’t on your agenda yet, then why not add them? South Africa boasts some of the most fun and exotic adventures you’ll find anywhere on the planet, from adrenaline-rushing drops to serene undersea landscapes. You won’t find opportunities like this anywhere else in the world! Drop us a mail at reservations@take2tours.co.za and we’ll help you plan.

The best markets to visit in Cape Town & Johannesburg

South Africa in general is an incredible place to visit and if you’re lucky enough to live in this diverse and eclectic country, you’ll have experienced this in one way or another. From the roaming mountains to the vibrant rural communities and buzzing cities, there’s always something to do. However, one of the favourite local activities is to set aside time on the weekend to visit the local market.

Depending on which area you’re in, these markets will vary in character. In Cape Town’s city centre and surrounding suburbs, you’ll often find crafts, music and a selection of divine eats on offer. The Winelands tend to be more focused towards relaxation and family days out, while in Johannesburg, they are slightly less esoteric at times than Cape Town’s but also offer a selection of beautiful hand-crafted souvenirs, and everything from fast-food favourites to gourmet snacks.

Top 5 markets to visit in Cape Town and Johannesburg

The Old Biscuit Mill

1.The Old Biscuit Mill Market Cape Town: One of Cape Town’s favourite market, the daily affair at the Old Biscuit Mill is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends. With a range of gourmet eats and tasty favourites, as well as designer stores, crafts and collaborations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Expect a packed market on the weekends especially, as it’s a local favourite.

2.The Stellenbosch Slow Market: The Slowfood Market in Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch is a fantastic place for food-lovers to enjoy a selection of slow-cooked meals. However, the market is also known for it’s range of fine wines on offer, as well as the fact that it showcases green and sustainable crafts. It’s held every Saturday from 9am to 2pm, regardless of the weather.

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3. The Lourensford Market: Every Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy the Lourensford Market from 10am to 3pm. Enjoy a range of fresh produce and crafts on offer in the scenic town of Somerset West. There’s lots of space for kids to play at this family market, and locals love to bring along their bankets and enjoy a picnic.

4. Braamfontein Market, Johannesburg: The Braamfontein Neighbourgoods market is one of the most popular in Johannesburg, with local favourite eats and treats being hot chocolate and paella. The market runs every Sunday, come rain or shine, from 9am-3pm at 73 Juta street.

5. The Rosebank Market, Johannesburg: happens at 50 Bath Mall in Johannesburg, daily. It’s a distinctly African market offering a exciting and authentic vibe to visitors – perfect for travellers looking for authentic souvenirs.

Rosebank African Market

Make a trip of it

Take2Tours can help you make a day of it with a customised trip to these markets and more. Why not book a trip and see some of the best markets in Cape Town and Johannesburg with other stops along the way? This will give you the opportunity to enjoy yourself without having to worry about driving and you’ll also have an experienced tour guide to help you enjoy the best markets.

Experience the ‘Magic of Bubbles’ at the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival

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End your year in style by visiting the Hugenot Monument in Franschhoek for the town’s ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique & Champagne festival. This year’s black & white with a touch of bling theme, is the perfect opportunity for you to grab your most chic ensemble and set out to taste some of the region’s most exquisite bubblies. Just in case that wasn’t a good enough reason to get dolled up and ready for an amazing time, the best dressed couple each day will win a R5 000 MasterCard gift card. What better way to make the most of your festival experience?

Producers showcasing their renowned MCCs

Enjoy a variety of options from established producers such as Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Moreson, Boschendal, Pongracz, Leopard’s Leap, Steenberg, Villiera, Anthonij Rupert Wyne, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Simonsig, Colmant, La Motte and JC Le Roux. In the same breath, you’ll also be introduced to a few producers which are more recently established, including: Maison Wine Estate, Le Lude and the Grande Province – all of which will give you greater insight into why Franschhoek is considered one of the premium destinations for producing sparkling wines in the world.

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Pallet-teasing edibles from renowned local restaurants

Of course no Champagne festival would be complete without the right accompaniment of edibles, and the Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique & Champagne Festival is no exception. Expect a range of gourmet dishes on offer from local eateries such as The Salmon Bar, Bread & Wine, Le Franschhoek The Restaurant at Grande Province, Le Franschhoek, Mont Rochelle, L’Ermatige to name a few. Each of these establishments offers visitors a distinctly French experience – the perfect setting for a bit of joie de vivre.

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Need-to-know information

Tickets to the event cost R200 each, which will allow you access to the festival from 12–5pm for both days (5th & 6th). As part of your entry fee, you’ll also get a tasting glass and coupons.

If you use your MasterCard to purchase your ticket, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the cost of your ticket. You can book through Webtickets here.

Getting to and around the festival

If you’re looking to make the most of your festival experience, you can hire us to get you there, take you around and show you the best that Franschhoek has on offer. At Take2tours, we do custom trips to Franschhoek, and can make sure you get around safely while tasting as many Champagnes as you like. We can also help you experience more of the town with options as to which parts you can visit while you’re there. Contact us if you’d like a tailor-made tour experience.

Not to Be Missed Cape Festivals

The Western Cape is the social and cultural melting pot of South Africa. There is always something going on, be it a music, food or wine festival, concert or sporting event. One simply cannot keep up with the speed of the social and cultural calendar of Cape Town and the Western Cape. We have made a list of the festivals and events that are not to be missed. Let’s have a look:

 

Good Food and Wine Show

 

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The world’s biggest travel magazine Conde’ Nast, recently named Cape Town as the 3rd Best Food City in the world. The city was also named as the top summer food destination by the world’s biggest food news network CNN. Over the last couple of years the city has hosted some amazing food and wine festivals, the most famous of which is the Good Food and Wine show. This year the show, which will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, will host a string of world renowned chefs, bakers, food critics and writers. Matt Preston from Masterchef Australia fame, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro and TV chef Siba Mtongana will all be showcasing their talents at the annual event. Doors open at 10am and close at 9pm on the Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the show will be open from 10am to 6pm.

 

Knysna Oyster Festival

 

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From fresh seafood, a beautiful coastline, delicious wine, pristine forests to world class sports events, the Knysna Oyster Festival certainly has it all. There are numerous activities hosted at the festival that you can join in on. You can work up a sweat at the 50 or 80 km mountain bike race, or you can dust off your running shoes for the Featherbed Trail Run. If these “active” activities make you a little nervous, then you can head to wine and oyster tastings or the cooking and art workshops. If you are in the mood for some light exercise after tasting the delicious food and wine on offer at the festival, then you can go and play a round of golf in the Knysna Classic or head down to the Knysna lagoon for a spot of canoeing.

The Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna competition and the Oyster chucking and eating competition are among the highlights of the festival. The Flavours of Knysna competition gives the top restaurants in the area a chance to go head to head against each other in a cook off competition. To avoid missing out on this great festival we recommend that you book your accommodation and transport as soon as possible because availability is limited.

 

Hermanus Whale Festival

 

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The annual Hermanus Whale Festival celebrates the start of the calving season and the return of the Southern Right Whale to the South African coast. The festival was first held over 23 years go and it has only gone from strength to strength since. It is one of the most popular festivals in South Africa with over 110 000 people in attendance in 2013 alone. Hermanus is widely regarded as the best land based whale watching destination in the world. The town has numerous walking trails along its coast which all offer unrestricted whale watching viewpoints.

Popular local musicians like Jeremy Oliver, Goodluck and Mark Haze perform at the festival every year. Accommodation types available in and around Hermanus vary from camping at Onrus to 5 star luxury at the Marine Hotel in Hermanus. We recommend that you book your rooms sooner rather than later as availability runs out very quickly. If you want to get real up close and personal with the whales, you need to get on a whale watching boat or join in on one of the sea kayaking tours of the bay.

 

Afrikaburn

 

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Afrikaburn is South Africa’s regional version of the world famous Burning Man event, which is held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA. On a farm deep in the Tankwa Karoo, hundreds of people gather for the party of the year, Afrika Burn. The festival will is held on the Stonehenge farm, which is situated on a 250 km long gravel road between Ceres and Calvinia next to the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Afrikaburn is made up of a community of volunteers who create burning structures, art, mutant vehicles, theme camps, music and much more. Afrikaburn’s main principles are to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. There is nothing but ice for sale at the event.

The event is what they call a decommodified zone with a gift economy. People give whatever they have to their fellow Afrikaburners without expecting anything in return. The 10 Principles of Burning man are the foundations around which the event is planned and executed. The principals focus on environmental responsibility, inclusivity and community. By camping under the stars and experiencing the silence that one only gets in the Karoo, one’s appreciation for nature gets restored. Please remember that money is good for nothing at Afrikaburn. You will have to take everything you need along with you (except ice). If you should run out of anything, you will have to rely on the principals of Afrikaburn and the kind nature of your fellow Afrikaburners to provide for you!

 

Bastille Festival

 

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One of South Africa’s most picturesque towns Franschhoek, will once again host the annual Bastille Festival. The Cap Classique and Wine region of South Africa will celebrate its French Huguenot heritage with a feast of food, wine and entertainment. The Food and Wine Marquee is where all of the fun will be had. You can come and taste some of the finest French cheeses and Franschhoek wines at the marquee as well as delicious food made by local chefs who will be strutting their stuff. There are loads of activities to join in on. Fitness junkies can brace the cold and run in the Trail Run on Saturday morning, or ride in the Mountain Bike Classic on the Sunday.

The town will be abuzz with activity, the most popular of which is the Solms-Delta Parade, the Barrel-Rolling Competition and the Boules Tournament. Families seeking a more relaxed atmosphere should get tickets for the Sunday because the atmosphere is usually more relaxed. This festival promises to be a very eloquent affair where you can rub shoulders with the who’s who of the wine and food socialites of Cape Town, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. It’s the one social event not to be missed for those who want to see and be seen!

 

Cape Town Jazz Festival

 

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The Cape Town Jazz Festival, which is the world’s fourth largest jazz festival, brings the best of the international and local jazz scene together under one roof. The festival has become internationally known as one of South Africa’s top music festivals. Tickets are sold out months before hand and hoarded more closely than most valuables. Renowned artists like Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Amel Larrieux, Al Jarreau and Thundercat draw crowds from all over the country year in and year out.

There are five stages with over 40 artists performing over two days. The event takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The two-day passes are almost always sold out well ahead of time, so if you want to get your hands on them we recommend you buy them as soon as possible.

 

Cape Town Carnival

 

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The second weekend of March every year signals the start of Cape Town’s biggest street party. The theme for the Cape Town Carnival changes every year. For instance the theme for 2015 was Elemental! How it works is you have to make or buy a costume which relates to the theme of the year. Get in your most spectacular costume and join the 1km Fan Walk, which starts at the corner of Coburn and Somerset Roads in Green Point. The Carnival parade traditionally begins at 7:00 pm, after an impressive fireworks display.

There will be giant floats, special acts and wacky puppets passing through the street, each carefully built and decorated to represent the specific theme of the year. The parade runs for approximately two hours after which there will be an awesome open air party that only ends when the sun comes up!

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