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Abercrombie & Kent Southern Africa


Abercrombie & Kent Western Cape 47 Collingwood Road Observatory 7925, South Africa Tel: +27 21 448 3799 Fax: +27 21 448 3844 Published by: MediaWeb Publishing

guide to


eat | stay | drink | play | visit | info

If you would like to visit any of the establishments mentioned in this booklet, please do not hesitate to contact your local Abercrombie & Kent representative who will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. Tel: 021 448 3799

contents 04 Opening word 06 Highlights 10 V&A Waterfront 14 Winelands 18 Kirstenbosch 22 Robben Island 24 Out of town 26 Table Mountain 28 Museums 30 Historical timelines


Located within the dynamic setting of a working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers you more than 400 stores, top restaurants and taverns, two craft markets, an aquarium, numerous leisure options - including boat and helicopter charters - as well as ongoing events and entertainment. All of this, combined with access to one of South Africa’s premier heritage sites, Robben Island, ensures that the V&A Waterfront lies at the heart of your visit.

opening word Welcome to Cape Town Abercrombie and Kent have come a long way since we opened our first office in Nairobi, Kenya in 1962, as a small but discriminate source of ‘Inspired Experiences’. From that time onwards the company maintained a steady growth, opening offices all around the globe with a total of more than 2500 employees and a fleet of more than 500 owned vehicles. From exclusive hotel properties, to a ship sailing in the Antarctic and the Amazon, to Nile cruisers in Egypt, A&K has it all. Today, A&K designs and operates luxury adventure travel programmes, for individuals, travel agencies and corporations in all major markets worldwide, and has offices in 27 countries.

The principles which guide A&K are simple – to deliver an unfailingly high level of service, paired with an equally high regard for ecological concerns, and a product that combines quality with value. The advertisers are all reputable A&K preferred retailers and have been specially invited to participate. Please don’t forget to show the retailers your ‘A&K Peace of Mind Guarantee’ of quality on page 10. We hope that this our first A&K Guide to Cape Town will complement our hospitality during your stay in this wonderful city. Gael Timms MD A&K Southern Africa

A&K staff reveal their Cape Town highlights

“... picnicking on the lawns of a wine estate...” Supervisor Branded Division Yvonne Reed The laughter of my kids as they play in the rock pools on Blouberg beach; the sight of Table Mountain every morning on my way to work; a brisk walk through Tokai forest early on a Saturday morning; a picnic with the family on the lawns of a wine estate; cherry picking in Ceres in December.

Arriving early in the morning at one of the Waterfront-based hotels and enjoying a refreshing cup of coffee at an outside table; breathing the clean, crisp air while watching the seagulls improvise their ballet over the Atlantic Ocean.

“...breathing crisp, clean air...” Sales and Marketing Director Marc Gastaud

“...wallking on Noordhoek beach...” Cruise Manager Amanda Schuddinh The views from the top of Table Mountain on a clear day; long walks on Noordhoek beach when the sea is calm; sundowners on Clifton in midsummer; sunset concerts at Kirstenbosch and eating fish ’n chips at On the Rocks in Hout Bay. Cape Town has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

PEACE OF MIND GUARANTEE The Abercrombie and Kent ‘Peace of Mind Guarantee’ is another example of how A&K leads the way in ensuring hassle-free and worry-free shopping. If any item you have purchased while in Cape Town is faulty or broken due to manufacturer error, A&K will ensure that the necessary arrangements are made to resolve the problem. Please contact your nearest A&K office who will ensure the item is replaced, repaired or refunded – at no additional cost to yourself. The guarantee is valid for a year from the date of purchase. Items damaged due to negligence will not qualify. In order to qualify for this unique guarantee, simply present this voucher to participating retail stores at the time of your purchase and keep your proof of purchase.

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experience: the V&A Waterfront

400 world-class shops set against dramatic harbour and mountain backdrops


llow yourself plenty of time to experience the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – it is the most visited destination in South Africa and 20 million visitors a year can’t be wrong. Set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and mountain views, it is a shopper’s paradise but also boasts entertainment venues, world class hotels, 10

restaurants, apartments and an aquarium. You can also visit parts of a working dry dock and see fishing, pilot and tug boats moving through the harbour as well as the occasional cruise liner as you sit and enjoy a meal on the quayside at one of a wide selection of restaurants. The port of Cape Town dates back to 1860 when it was known as the Albert

Basin, and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront development was started in 1988 to make the harbour area more accessible to the public while keeping the feel of a working harbour and restoring the existing historic buildings in the area. All stores at the V&A Waterfront are open till 9pm seven days a week.

experience: the V&A Waterfront With over 400 stores the Waterfront caters to all shopping needs and is divided into five main areas: The Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre forms the bulk of the retail space at the Waterfront and it includes some unique new stores such as a magnificent Aston Martin showroom. This area contains the majority of clothing and jewellery boutiques and has a large selection of restaurants and coffee shops. The Clock Tower Centre brings South African crafts, arts, designs and foods together in one place. The easily recognisable and historic Clock Tower was the original Port Captain’s Office (completed in 1882). 12

The Alfred Mall & Pierhead is located within the historic Pierhead and overlooks the small craft harbour and adjacent dry dock. Those seeking quality specialist artefacts, jewellery, curios and art with a nautical or African flavour will find a wonderful selection there. The Red Shed Craft Workshop, adjoining Victoria Wharf, is filled with an eclectic mix of locally produced merchandise and art. It has an atmosphere that allows the shopper to ‘get closer’ to the producers. The Waterfront Craft Market & Wellness Centre represents the Waterfront’s culture of local entrepreneurship, featuring an assortment traditional handcrafts, antiquities and holistic lifestyle accessories.

A simply unforgettable dining experience 57a Somerset Rd (cnr HighďŹ eld Rd) Green Point Cape Town Tel: 021 421 4848/4343 email:

getting out: the Winelands

One hell of a



The Helshoogte pass is a heavenly blend of views and vineyards.


odest chap, Simon van der Stel. The Governor of the Cape Colony from 1679 to 1699 wasn’t just content to name Simon’s Town after himself – he did the same for Stellenbosch (Stel’s Forest) and Simonsberg (the majestic mountain that dominates said Stellenbosch). He also founded the famed Groot Constantia wine farm (named after his wife), introduced French Huguenot settlers to Franschhoek (French Corner) and generally made a bit of an impression. Which has nothing to do with Helshoogte. Except that it runs the ‘back way’ – ie over the mountains – between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek with the Simonsberg looming on either side. It’s doubtful there is a more beautiful drive, with more stunning views combined with more abundant wine estates, anywhere on earth, let alone in the Winelands.


T he M ost L uxurious T rain in the W orld Experience the extravagant elegance of rail travel on the most luxurious trains in the world. Rovos Rail’s unique train safaris through the heart of Africa combine some of the most magnificent scenery with the CAPE TOWN • GEORGE • VICTORIA F ALLS • DURBAN SAFARI AFRICAN COLLAGE • NAMIBIA • DAR ES SALAAM • GOLF SAFARI TEL: (+27-12) 315 8242

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getting out: the Winelands In short, what we have here is a fabulous example of panoramic landscapes with the added attraction of fine wining and dining. It’s best to start from the Stellenbosch side to get the full impact. From Cluver Road turn right into Helshoogte Road (the R310). As you leave Stellenbosch behind the imposing Simonsberg will be on your left. Fable has it that the shape of the mountain is Van der Stel lying on his back – his head and nose on the right. Whatever the imagery, the view becomes more impressive as you climb and the road twists and turns enough to let you admire the beauty of the winelands from what seems to be every cardinal point. 16

As you near the crest of the pass you’ll pass Tokara which boasts a fantastic restaurant with a view all the way to Table Mountain. Tokara also produce brilliant wines, especially their sauvignon blanc and have now branched out, as it were, into olives. Thelema Mountain Vineyards next door produces stunning white wines. The road now drops down towards Franschhoek. At the bottom you’ll pass Boschendal Wine Estate. From here it’s a couple of minutes and you’re at the intersection with the R45. To the right lies Franschhoek and more gastronomic heaven. What a drive!

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

P A living

MONUMENT It is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of its flora. Not to mention its magnificent setting against Table Mountain.


rofessor Harold Pearson would have approved. Pearson, the first Director of Kirstenbosch, was the driving force behind the establishment (in 1913) of what has become one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The area, wild and overgrown, was left to the people of Cape Town in terms of the will of the mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, who died in 1902. Pearson lived in a small ‘rat infested’ cottage and devoted himself (mostly without pay) to the creation of a botanical garden for the city. He died in 1916 aged 46 and lies buried in the shade of an Atlas Cedar. His epitaph ‘If ye seek his monument, look around you’ is apt for

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden someone whose vision and energy led to the establishment of this magnificent area. Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous Southern African plants. The estate covers almost 530 hectares and supports fynbos (local Cape flora) and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. In 1660 a hedge of wild almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) and brambles was planted to form the boundary of the then colony and keep out Hottentot cattle raiders. Sections of this barrier, known as Van Riebeeck’s Hedge, still exist. The origin of the name Kirstenbosch is 20

uncertain but a number of families with the name Kirsten lived in the vicinity and somehow the area became known as Kirstenbosch (Kirsten’s Forest). It is not just the rolling lawns, two restaurants and over 2 500 plants that make Kirstenbosch such an attraction: there are numerous paths that crisscross the ‘back’ of Table Mountain. Nursery Ravine and Smuts’s Track (named after the former South African prime minister who said it was his favourite walk) are the most well known but there are dozens of others, ranging from dawdle to serious workout. The gardens are also used throughout the summer for a series of very popular sunset concerts.

Kirstenbosch is 13 km from the Cape Town city centre. From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg. At the first traffic light intersection turn right (southwards) onto Rhodes Drive (M63) and follow the signs to the gardens.

Robben Island

A bastion of bitterness that became a place of hope and forgiveness


obben Island is notorious as the place where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. It is a haunting place with a long and sorry past but at least its story has a happy ending. It’s the place that symbolises the fall of


apartheid and the victory over colonialism, injustice and oppression. The island is named after the ‘robben’ – seals – that inhabited the area. For centuries it was not visited or inhabited as it had no water. Wells were then dug and

at the end of the 17 century it was used by the Dutch to isolate prisoners, including rebel leaders from various Dutch colonies. From 1836 to 1931 it was used as a leper colony, then during World War Two it was fortified and heavy naval guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town. Robben Island then became a maximum security prison, and between 1961 and 1991, over 3 000 men were held there, including many current leaders of South Africa. These days you can take a boat out to the island where former prisoners act as tour guides and relate their experiences of life on the place that once broke so many hearts but now is a beacon of new beginnings.

Charter your own private yacht with an experienced skipper and crew and enjoy the tranquility of the open ocean • UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES Half day or full day trips • PRIVATE YACHTS We do not mix guests • NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED For novices to experienced hands • SAIL ALONGSIDE YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKIPPER & CREW or Just enjoy the best views of Cape Town • NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED Fleeces, windbreakers & caps provided • PROVISIONS Wines, refreshments and photo CD of your sail

As featured in the book ‘50 Places to Sail Before You Die’

Tel: +27 (0)82 439 3225 email: website:

out of town: Simon’s Town Roll down the windows and breathe in the fresh sea air as you meander your way down to Simon’s Town


irst stop is the historic fishing village of Kalk Bay, which provides a wonderful opportunity for photographs as the local fishermen offload their hauls from brightly painted boats. You can also wander the cobbled streets and look out for bargains in the quaint antique shops lining the main road. If all this sounds like hard work first thing in the morning then stop in for a cup of coffee and a hot breakfast at Live Bait restaurant. Moving on past Fish Hoek you’ll soon see the naval base at Simon’s Town occupying 24

a headland with the giant Simonsberg mountain behind plunging into the sea. Nowadays, Simon’s Town’s premier attraction is the world’s only urban penguin colony, so spend an afternoon at Boulders Beach or Foxy Beach having tea with the little feathery critters. In the centre of Simon’s Town’s Jubilee Square you’ll see a statue of a great dane ... a dog that is. This is the much–loved Able Seaman Just Nuisance, who ‘served’ in the local arm of the Royal Navy in World War Two as a mascot. To this day, the (some would say slightly eccentric) locals celebrate Just Nuisance Day (April 1) with a parade of great danes through the town’s streets.

• Experience all aspects of ostrich breeding.

• Tours conducted in a number of languages.

• Restaurant specialing in

authentic ostrich dishes.

• Three curios shops, African boma and lots more.

• Leather factory and museum. • Open daily from 09h00 to 17h00. To visit Cape Town Ostrich farm contact your local Akorn representative who will take care of all arrangements: Tel: 021 448-3799

take a hike: Table Mountain


number of celebrities (including presidents, members of the Royal Family and countless film stars) have visited Cape Town and ascended Table Mountain. Among them was Sir Edmund Hillary, who visited Cape Town in 1953 following his ascent of Mount Everest but like many others, he took the cablecar to the top. If you are reasonably fit, however, walking to the top of Table Mountain is a feasible and enjoyable option and your A&K guide can advise you on the best routes. You can also combine a cablecar ride with a walk on the Hoerikwaggo Trail. The first night is spent on the lower slopes of Table Mountain where you are treated to a threecourse traditional Cape Malay meal. The next day you catch the cablecar up 26

to the top of the mountain and walk to the Overseer’s hut where you overnight and can partake in a braai, before descending at Kirstenbosch the next day. The trail is fully catered, you carry only a small day pack, and you are accompanied by trained guides at all times.

* The Hoerikwaggo Trail (meaning ‘mountain of the sea’) is organised and run by the Table Mountain National Park. Ask your local A&K representative for more details about booking either a two-day or three-day trail.

Tribal Trends Est 1976

African Home DĂŠcor Store 72-74 Long Street Cape Town Tel: +27 21 4238008 Fax +27 21 4238009


We offer international delivery

interesting museums A selection of what we consider to be the best museums in Cape Town


CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE Cnr Darling & Castle Streets Tel: +27 21 469 1249

DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM FOUNDATION 25A Buitenkant Street Tel: +27 21 461 8745

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, it was never seriously defended. It always had a military function but today it houses the priceless William Fehr Collection of artwork which reects many aspects of cultural life at the Cape from the early settler days until the middle of the 19th century.

District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, by 1982 over 60 000 people had been forcibly removed and their houses attened by bulldozers. The museum works with the memories of those experiences and more generally with the history of forced removals.

SLAVE LODGE 49 Adderley Street Tel: +27 21 461 8280 Built in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, this single-story building was used to accommodate about 600 slaves. Today it also houses a collection of cultural artifacts from around the world. THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM Government Avenue Tel: +27 21 481 3800 This museum was established in 1825 and has a particularly impressive anthropological section with a number of unique fossils. The exhibitions mainly deal

with the natural history of South Africa and its biological and cultural resources of the past and present. Don’t miss the anthropological section with its big realistic


dioramas. The Planetarium lies in an adjacent building.

Serves as a place of remembrance for the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and for all other victims of Nazism. It addresses the ethical, moral and historical dimensions of the Holocaust.

BO-KAAP MUSEUM 71 Wale Street Tel: +27 21 424 3846 The historic Bo-Kaap became home to many Muslims after the abolition of slavery and it still retains a strong link with Islam. Aspects of Muslim cultural heritage are displayed. The building is a rare example of early urban Cape Dutch architecture.

Tel: +27 21 462 5553

GROOT CONSTANTIA MANOR HOUSE Groot Constantia Rd, Constantia Tel: +27 21 794 5067 The manor house at Groot Constantia is a magnificent example of Cape Dutch architecture and probably the most majestic historic mansion in the Cape.

historical timeline A quick rundown of 42 000 years of Cape history in two pages. 40 000 BC: The first humans are believed to have inhabited the Cape. Skeletons and tools have been found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek. 1488: Bartolomeu Dias rounds the Cape and reaches Mossel Bay, which he names Angra dos Vaqueiros - Bay of Cowherds with reference to Khoikhoi herders there. 1620: Two optimistic Englishmen, Andrew Shillinge and Humphrey Fitzherbert of the English East India Company take ‘quiet and peaceful possession’ of Table Bay and ‘of the whole continent near adjoining’. 30

1652: Jan van Riebeeck is instructed to ‘found a fort and garden’ at the Cape. 1654: Sheep are placed on Robben Island to prevent theft and attack from wild animals. The island is later used to incarcerate prisoners. 1658: By this date over half the population at the Cape are slaves, brought in from West Africa or the East. 1795: The British land in False Bay and take possession of the Cape after a few skirmishes in Muizenberg.

historical timeline 1803: The Cape is handed back to Holland but then retaken in 1806. 1867: Diamonds are discovered in the Northern Cape at Kimberley. Diamond diggers exceed 50 000. 1886: Gold discovered on the Witwatersrand, leading to an even madder rush.

1950s: Forced removals start. Houses in District Six demolished and families are forced to move to the Cape Flats.

1996: First public hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into apartheid atrocities are held.

1967: World’s first heart transplant operation performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital.

2003: The government finally accedes to two long accepted facts: that HIV causes AIDS, and that anti-retroviral drugs can retard the progress of the disease.

1976: The Soweto Uprising starts after a proposal to make Afrikaans the official language in black schools.

1912: South African Native National Congress is formed (later renamed the African National Congress – ANC).

1990: Nelson Mandela released after 27 years in prison.

1948: Nationalist Party comes to power and formalises apartheid laws.

1994: First democratic non-racial elections. The ANC takes 60% of the vote.

2006: Fifa decides to build a stadium in Green Point for the 2010 soccer World Cup. 2007: The Springboks win the rugby World Cup in France.

Huguenot House, cnr Hout and Loop St, Cape Town Tel: +27 21 422 1090

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