Today we caught up with great mum and travelbee, Felicia da Costa, who is currently in South Africa and told us everything about her family travel tips for things to do around Cape Town.
“Exactly one year ago, my family and I decided to visit South Africa for the first time. It had been on our wishlist for a long, long time, and because we were in desperate need of some sunshine and quality time, we knew we’d found the perfect destination. Once you visit spectacular South Africa, it’s hard to forget about it, let alone to go back home without a yearning desire to return as soon as possible.”
“Fast forward to now, 2020, and we’re back in SA! After considering what felt like a thousand vacay options, we (again) decided that this was the place we’d love to visit during our kids’ two-week school holiday. The only thing that we wanted to do differently this time, was to travel around less. We’re dedicating our time here to relaxing, soaking up countless rays of sunshine, and catching up with dear friends who have been living here for many years.”
“The first time we visited South Africa, we spent almost every day traveling around from one place to another. This time, we started our trip by enjoying a few wonderful days in the versatile and exciting Cape Town, before heading off to Scarborough. While our main goal was to catch up with our friends, we actually ended up visiting quite a few amazing places. Our favorites? Hard to choose, but if I had to, these are my recommendations.”
“This is the perfect place for quality time and a picnic in the sun with your family. Imagine a huge lawn for the kids to roam around on, wooden garden tables and benches with adorable umbrellas, a wooden playground, and the perfect shallow fountain for the kids (and you) to cool down in after relaxing and/or running around in the sun. We absolutely loved this gem, and cannot recommend it enough!”
“If you want to explore an old school winery that has been upgraded but is not too perfect and polished (yet), then this is the place to be. Sip on a coffee while relaxing below the beautiful, huge trees, watch your kids play on the cute and simple playground or with the water installations, and hop by the butcher and deli to buy some tasty local produce to use during a ‘braai’ (BBQ) or a picnic. The many little picture-perfect corners and hideaways make this the best place for a wonderful morning with your loved ones.”
“This is a fantastic (if not, the best) place for a long, leisurely lunch. The food is simply fantastic, the setting incredibly cute, and the kids can roam freely around the property and play with chickens while you order (yet another) superb glass of local wine.”
“After saying goodbye to Cape Town, we drove off to Scarborough for some much-needed beach time. This tiny village turned out to be a fantastic hidden gem; an absolute winner that urged us to return to South Africa. It’s small and rather anonymous, yet super cozy and calm, and a mere 50-minute drive from Cape Town. If you’re into long beach days, early nights, and small trips to neighboring Simonstown (where you’ll find wild penguins and adorable vintage boutiques) or Kalk Bay (tidal pools, sushi at Harbour House, and Dinner at Salt), this is your place. Trust me!”
“We are currently staying at one of the most stunning houses we have ever rented, and are having trouble deciding what to do in this amazing spot. There’s almost too much to choose from! Whether we walk down to the pristine beach, stay in to enjoy the pool and marvel at the perfect views, take a drive to Cape of Good Hope National Park (beaches, whale spotting), or simply install our lazy selves at the beach in adorable neighboring town Kommetjie, we have an extraordinary time.”
“The Village Hub in Scarborough is a true delight, too. From an early morning coffee or freshly-squeezed smoothie or juice to a sneaky ice cream, a perfect lunch at midday, delicious snacks at sundown, or an early dinner with the kids. And don’t forget the on-site playground, the cute boutique, bike rental shop, and the fact that The Village Hub sells practically everything you need for a perfect stay, like a tiny traiteur! In our humble opinion, Scarborough is a wonderful and ideal place if you and your family need some relaxing quality time. But let’s keep this gem a secret. ;-)”
“It’s important to remember that South Africa is not just made up of Cape Town, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Scarborough. It is a gorgeous and, especially, a very diverse country with a long and sometimes painful history. This is something that cannot and must not be overlooked. If you are the investigating kind of tourist with a vast interest in South African history and heritage, you will find an infinite plethora of meaningful sights, spots, and stories as told by all kinds of SA inhabitants.
In my opinion, this makes the country even more beautiful; South Africa is not perfect, but remarkably interesting and appealing. So, although we are currently still enjoying the lazy life in a sleepy beach town, we will definitely be back for new (cultural) adventures in the near future. For now, I’ll leave you with my idea of a perfect day in this wonderful part of South Africa…”
“Wake up in sunny Scarborough and go for a walk on a stunning stretch of beach before grabbing a freshly-brewed coffee at the Village Hub.”
“Go for a drive along the wild (but gorgeous) coastal route to Cape Town and stop for a fresh smoothie or coconut juice at the Oranjezicht Farmers Market. Make sure to pick up some fresh flowers and veggies while you are there. Also, the kids will love the amazing ice cream from Moro Gelato (look for the pistachio-colored cart)!”
“If the kids insist on some beach time before dinner, you could opt for a quick trip to Dunes Beach in Hout Bay: another gem that is truly a sight for sore eyes! While you sip on a cold beer or fancy cocktail, the little ones play (at the playground) on the beach. Perfect, if you ask me!”
“If you hurry a bit, you might be able to catch the sunset from both Dunes Beach and during dinner at Harbour House in Kalk Bay. You’ll be sitting upstairs in a white decor, surrounded by nothing but some glass walls and marvelous views of the ocean. Enjoy some delectable fresh seafood pasta and sushi before calling it a day.
“On a final note, should you have time to explore other parts of (South) Africa, I highly recommend including a safari in your trip. It’s a truly unique experience to cruise around a vast reserve and see wild animals in their wonderful natural habitat – and end the day sipping a glass of whiskey by the fire while gazing at the stars
Hesitant as to whether you can pull this off with young children? Lovely Annemarie at Africa Junkie offers all the solutions and perfectly customizes your family trip to and around South Africa (she also offers trips to Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, and Mauritius). Feel like squeezing in a fancy game drive or two outside South Africa or, for example, craving some downtime in Zanzibar? Then you won’t regret reaching out to Mary at Planet Africa Safaris for the ultimate experience (they also offer trips to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). After living in Tanzania for years, Mary and her husband moved to Cape Town with their family, but they continue to travel around the fantastic continent regularly.”