Following a historic route between Pretoria and Cape Town, The Blue Train is one of South Africa’s finest rail journeys. On board, you can experience fine dining, relax in your own private suite and take in mountain views from the Observation Car.
Cape Town City Tour
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a tour of the "Mother City". Your tour will include visits to the Castle of Good Hope, the Parliament Buildings and Bo-Kaap, plus of course the iconic Table Mountain.
The Castle of Good Hope was constructed during the late 17th century in a style typical of European fortification at the time, and replaced an earlier, far more modest fort constructed by Jan van Riebeeck (the leader of the Dutch East India Company party charged with turning the Cape into a key re-supply station). High spring tides used to send waves crashing up against the castle walls: amazing when you now consider how far the walls now are from the ocean, a product of huge land reclamation projects that have helped expand Cape Town seawards.
The Houses of Parliament are a large sprawling complex, the size a legacy of apartheid when the three different "races" each had their own legislature. The original wing is a great example of Neoclassical architecture. Also in this area you'll visit the pretty Company Gardens and the lively Greenmarket Square.
Next you head to the cable car station at the foot of Table Mountain for the ride up. Your cable car rotates through 360º during the journey, giving you fantastic views over the city, coastline and Robben Island. These views are continued at the summit, and you can see over the far side of the mountain down the Twelve Apostles that form the backbone of the Cape Peninsula at this point. You descend from the cable car station into Bo-Kaap, Cape Malay quarter. The bright pastel shades and unique version of Cape Dutch architecture used in the buildings are a proud reminder of the Cape Malay's rich heritage. The descendants of slaves bought in by the Dutch from all over their empire (including Malaysia, hence their name), most of the community are practicing Muslims, and the sound of the call to prayer blends with the aroma of delicious Cape curries to evoke an exotic atmosphere unique in Africa.
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Other experiences in Cape Town
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens occupy a large swathe of beautiful land on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. They house a huge collection of indigenous flora, such as heathery fynbos, flowering proteas and dramatically colored strelitzias.
As with any major city there are a number of very good museums in Cape Town and you might like to visit some whilst you are here. Some of the ones that we personally recommend are District Six Museum, Gold of Africa Museum, and the Iziko Museums of Cape Town.
The Cape Peninsula is an area of dramatic natural beauty and huge ecological significance, which manages to retain a wild feel despite its huge popularity with visitors. As you drive south from Cape Town, you pass through the exclusive suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton before continuing onto Hout Bay and through Constantia, where the road meanders behind Table Mountain and down onto the coast.
The beautifully restored carriages of Rovos Rail combine luxury travel with the chance to experience living history.
Guest are taken to the lower terminal for the cable-car up Table Mountain. The cable-car is a very modern affair, and completes a 360º rotation during the ascent, affording you fantastic views over the city.
In the company of Pietman Retief, who is recognized as one of the leading wine experts in the country, you can experience the winelands and the history of the area through his passion.