Bo Kaap, old Cape Town Bo Kaap, old Cape Town

Cape Town: open for business

Strict water saving measures, early winter rain and an above average rainfall predicted for the next three months has meant that Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ for water has been pushed back to 2019. ‘Cape Town is open for business,’ says Melyne Hovasapian, trade relations manager, Australia New Zealand for South African Tourism.

‘The tourism industry has contributed to the region’s water saving efforts, introducing conservation methods that will become standard as South Africa works towards becoming a water wise country.’ This is good timing in the lead up to Africa’s annual Indaba travel trade show in Durban where nearly 1500 domestic and international buyers, and more than 1000 exhibitors, will converge this week. And with Cape Town’s water woes attributed to weak national tourism statistics in the fourth quarter of 2017 (international visitors up just 3.7%), Indaba provided an opportunity for international travel wholesalers to visit the city and surrounds to ‘see for themselves’ that the region is indeed open for business.

After staying one night in the wine region of Franschhoek (see TRAVELinc Memo 5 May), a group of Australasian wholesalers and trade media spent three nights at Tintswalo Atlantic, a luxury lodge perched ocean-side at the foot of Chapman’s Peak in the rugged Table Mountain National Park. Around forty minutes drive from Cape Town, Tintswalo was the perfect starting point for a tour that continued up the peak and around Cape Peninsula by sidecar with Cape Sidecar Adventures. Powered by CJ750 motorbikes the sidecars turned a few heads as they roared along the coastline to the False Bay side of the Peninsula. After a fish ‘n’ chips lunch at the harbour settlement of Simon’s Town, the group enjoyed wine tasting at Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine producer.

The final day of the famil was spent exploring Cape Town with the highlight being the new Zeitz MOCAA – Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Located in a 1920s grain silo, the galleries and the cathedral-like atrium space at the centre of the museum have been carved from the 42 silo tubes that pack the building. The group also managed to fit in a visit to the colouful inner suburb of Bo-Kaap, once home to the ‘Cape Malays’, individuals and descendents of political exiles, slaves and convicts from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia Archipelago. 

Trish Freeman

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