Welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter in October 2009 .
Enjoy the warmer days in Spring in Cape Town and enjoy the great outdoors the Mother City has to offer.
When the sun is out Capetonians take to the many stunning beaches and enjoy a picnic or get hiking in the mountains. Tygerberg and the Table Mountain range as well as the Helderberg Mountains around Somerset West offer many great daytrips. Or enjoy whale watching around the Cape Peninsula should you not want to venture out to Hermanus. And finally, beautiful Chapman's Peak Drive has re-opened too...
Well, the options are endless!
But definitely my best tip for this season is to go on a game watching safari either around Cape Town or further afield in the Kruger Park.
Enjoying the magical South African landscape or going on a sunrise or sunset tour in the National Parks can not get better. Watching South Africa’s wildlife at this time of the year with all their babies like elefants, zebras and monkeys, playing and fooling around is a visual feast you will never forget.
This Newsletter will give you many insights and show you some of the best attractions the Spring season offers in Cape Town.
This is what you will find in this issue:
1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: South Africa Safari Tips
2. Event of the Month: Sentimientos
3. Inside Cape Town: Suburb of the Month: Muizenberg
4. Typical South African: Braai and Second Skins
5. Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to get…?
Hot Tips for Expats and Travellers: South Africa Safari Tips
We just have come back from a wonderful South African holiday: A safari in Krueger Park. We had some great days up North and here are my top safari tips for your game drives in South Africa:
• Get a Wild Card: Get reduced entrance with an annual family ticket.
• Queue up early: The gates at the Kruger Park open as early as 5.30am in summer.
• Take binoculars: For the best game spotting you will need a good pair of binoculars.
• Invest in a Guide Book: Buy a Field Guide Book at the entrance gates to the game park or nature reserve.
• Malaria: If you visit certain parts of South Africa like Kwa-Zulu Natal or the Kruger Park you should take Malaria prophylaxis as precaution especially in the rainy season which is summer in Krueger Park.
• Take lots of water: For a relaxed day of game viewing you should take a picnic basket with drinks and some goodies with you.
More safari tips and info for your game drives here.
Event of the Month: Spanish Flamenco Rhythms in "Sentimientos"
Enjoy the rhythms of Spanish Flamenco Dance in this performance by acclaimed La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre. Audiences can expect to be blown away by traditional flamenco with a contemporary flare, performed by dancers exquisitely costumed by Dicky Longhurst.
The Cape Town La Rosa Dance Theatre only performs four evenings at the Artscape Theatre, make sure you get tickets and you will be in for a treat.
What else is on in Cape Town in October?
This month it is also time for Oktoberfest in Cape Town. Join the festivities at the V&A Waterfront and relax with a cool beer, brezeln, pork knuckles and Bavarian umpah music while watching the boats float by.
More great events and shows in October.
Suburb of the Month: Muizenberg
In this section you will find every month insiders’ tips and advice about one of the many suburbs of Cape Town. So you know where to stay and where to go.
Why Muizenberg? This popular False Bay resort town lies roughly 25 km to the South of Cape Town. The town is pretty relaxed and has a laid-back feel but there are some great bars and restaurants which are very popular with the young international surfers who love this beach.
The huge weekend market at Zandvlei attracts many locals and tourists. Young families and surfers from all over the world love the gentle waves and the warmer water of the blue flag resort town.
Where to stay? Good safe housing is available in the area, many houses are undergoing renovation and the beach promenade was recently extended and upgraded. For tourists there is a good choice of B&B accommodation and self-catering options as well as hotel accommodation are to be found. There is quite a variety of restaurants in the area. You will find everything from little local coffee shops and specialty restaurant and the scenic False Bay coast invites to enjoy great views from many of its restaurants.
Where to go? Enjoy the blue flag beach at Muizenberg. Take a picnic or go walking or jogging along the beach. Kids will love the shallow water and the wide sandy beach. There is a lifeguard station and shark-spotters keep the swimmers safe at Muizenberg beach.
Where to find great surf shops in Muizenberg? Drive down to the beachfront and there you will find Roxy’s and Gary’s surfshops, two of the biggest names on the south African surfing scene. There you can rent boards or book lessons, get new gear or general advice on surfing matters.
Get more info on Muizenberg here.
More info on Muizenberg.
Typical South African terms
What is a braai? Braaing is surely the favorite past time of most of the South Africans. The love their braai, which is the African version of BBQ. You will usually taste boerewors, game, chicken or beef steaks and even crayfish in season on a typical South African braai. Often potato salad or pap is served with your grilled meat.
What are second skins? Second skins is swimwear which protects from the suns damaging rays and are looking like nylon T-shirts with long or short sleeves or pants looking like cycling shorts or short leggings.
This swimwear is getting more popular all over the world, but here the name for sunshirts is adapted from the local brand name of the manufacturer. Especially kids will need to get second skins in South Africa now that the swimming season starts at the schools again. Schools often ask for this type of sportswear when the kids are taken for outdoor activities where there is water involved. The second skins fabric is quick-drying but densely manufactured so it protects against the sun.
Cape Town Insider Tips
What else? Have you tried these…?
Where to go on a township tour and experience a truly African cooking session? Take a township tour around Cape Town’s oldest towship: Langa. Go to the Eziko restaurant and cooking school in Langa and taste the lovely food the students prepare. Talk to them and be infected by the enthusiasm of the founder of the social uplifting project by former Langa HighSchool Teacher Victor.
Where to get a Cape Town bead crafts in all forms and sizes? The wonderful creations of Streetwires in the Bo-Kaap make it difficult to decide which ones to choose. Take a tour around the workshop and see the workers lining up diligently the beads and creating fabulous items. There are so many designs to choose from, you will definitely end up getting more than you first planned. But hey, they are so good value and you support with your purchase a good cause as they are uplifting disadvantaged craftsmen.
Where to taste the best beer South of the Equator;)? Visit Cape Town’s Waterfront and enjoy the delicious Oktoberfestbier at the Paulaner Brauhaus which is located next to the red Clocktower. Germans all over the world celebrate Oktoberfest this month. And if you love German food, the restaurant and beergarden are always worth a visit.
What’s coming in the Next Newsletter?
As ExpatCapeTown wants to bring you the most up to date stories and insights, please be patient and let me surprise you with more great news about the Mother City.
Just be assured, there will be lots of more great tips and advice, so be sure to subscribe my newsletter and take a look at my website which is ever expanding.
And please come back with more great tips from your site, all kinds of comments very welcome!
Contact me here.
Have a great time in Cape Town or wherever you are!