Ultra-luxury cruises with private butler service.

Africa & Indian Ocean

Mahe to Cape Town - Voyage Number : 7860
DEPARTURE
Mar 21 2023
DURATION
23 DAYS
SHIP
Silver Shadow

Itinerary & Excursions

Go beyond your boundaries and explore the world as never before.

Like jade-coloured jewels in the Indian Ocean, the more than 100 Seychelles Islands are often regarded as the Garden of Eden. Lying just four degrees south of the equator, the Seychelles are some 1,000 miles (1,610 km) from the nearest mainland Africa. Little more than 200 years ago, all 115 islands were uninhabited. Then in 1742 a French ship dispatched from Mauritius sailed into one of the small bays. Captain Lazare Picault was the first to explore these unnamed islands. He encountered breathtaking vistas of rugged mountains, lagoons, coral atolls, splendid beaches and secluded coves. After Picault sailed away, the islands remained untouched for the next 14 years. Then France took possession of the seven islands in the Mahé group. During an expedition Captain Morphey named them the Sechelles, in honour of Vicomte Moreau de Sechelles. This name was later anglicised to Seychelles. The first settlers arrived at St. Anne’s Island in 1770; 15 years later the population of Mahé consisted of seven Europeans and 123 slaves. Today there are about 80,000 Seychellois, the majority of whom live on Mahé; the rest are scattered in small communities throughout the archipelago. The people are a fusion of three continents - Africa, Asia and Europe. This has created a unique culture and the use of three languages - Creole, French and English. Mahé is the largest island in the archipelago and the location of the capital, Victoria. Ringed by steep, magnificent mountains, few capitals can claim a more beautiful backdrop. The town features a mixture of modern and indigenous architecture; it is the centre of business and commerce thanks to the extensive port facilities. Noteworthy sites in Victoria are the museum, cathedral, government house, clock tower, botanical gardens and an open-air market. The major attractions are found outside of town where the island’s quiet, lazy atmosphere delights visitors. With 68 pristine, white sand beaches, Mahé boasts more beaches and tourist facilities than any of the other Seychelles Islands. Beautiful and remote Mahé with its green-clad mountains and palm-fringed beaches is indeed an island of abundance; pleasant surprises are around every bend in the trail. Come ashore and discover for yourself this marvellous island paradise.
Like jade-coloured jewels in the Indian Ocean, the more than 100 Seychelles Islands are often regarded as the Garden of Eden. Lying just four degrees south of the equator, the Seychelles are some 1,000 miles (1,610 km) from the nearest mainland Africa. Little more than 200 years ago, all 115 islands were uninhabited. Then in 1742 a French ship dispatched from Mauritius sailed into one of the small bays. Captain Lazare Picault was the first to explore these unnamed islands. He encountered breathtaking vistas of rugged mountains, lagoons, coral atolls, splendid beaches and secluded coves. After Picault sailed away, the islands remained untouched for the next 14 years. Then France took possession of the seven islands in the Mahé group. During an expedition Captain Morphey named them the Sechelles, in honour of Vicomte Moreau de Sechelles. This name was later anglicised to Seychelles. The first settlers arrived at St. Anne’s Island in 1770; 15 years later the population of Mahé consisted of seven Europeans and 123 slaves. Today there are about 80,000 Seychellois, the majority of whom live on Mahé; the rest are scattered in small communities throughout the archipelago. The people are a fusion of three continents - Africa, Asia and Europe. This has created a unique culture and the use of three languages - Creole, French and English. Mahé is the largest island in the archipelago and the location of the capital, Victoria. Ringed by steep, magnificent mountains, few capitals can claim a more beautiful backdrop. The town features a mixture of modern and indigenous architecture; it is the centre of business and commerce thanks to the extensive port facilities. Noteworthy sites in Victoria are the museum, cathedral, government house, clock tower, botanical gardens and an open-air market. The major attractions are found outside of town where the island’s quiet, lazy atmosphere delights visitors. With 68 pristine, white sand beaches, Mahé boasts more beaches and tourist facilities than any of the other Seychelles Islands. Beautiful and remote Mahé with its green-clad mountains and palm-fringed beaches is indeed an island of abundance; pleasant surprises are around every bend in the trail. Come ashore and discover for yourself this marvellous island paradise.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that’ll make your jaw drop.

Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only 6 degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone.

The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations.

The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route.

Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania.

Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, decent dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a popular spot to head post-safari.

Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples, and 2 Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow.

Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th century have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village.

Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island and now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all.

This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that’ll make your jaw drop.

Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only 6 degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone.

The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations.

The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route.

Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania.

Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, decent dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a popular spot to head post-safari.

Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples, and 2 Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow.

Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th century have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village.

Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island and now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Nosy Bé, meaning Big Island in the Malagasy language, lies just a stone's throw off Madagascar's northwest coast. It is a remote and exotic destination. With its deserted beaches, rustic hotels and unhurried pace, it attracts travellers looking for a laid-back vacation. The fertile island is the centre for the production of perfume essence from the ylang-ylang trees. The heady scent of their flowers gave Nosy Bé the name "Perfumed Isle." Other local products include sugar cane, coffee, vanilla and pepper; they are grown for export in large plantations. Hellville, the island’s main town and port, is situated in a sheltered bay. It is named after a former French governor, Admiral de Hell. The town features a few old colonial buildings, a busy market, some small boutiques and tourist shops along the busy main street. At the quayside, vendors display embroidered linens, wood carvings and straw articles. Trips into the lush countryside may include a ride up to Mt. Passot. At 950 feet (285 metres), this is the highest point on the island. The view from the top offers an extensive panorama of crater lakes nestled between verdant hills. Most visitors make the boat trip to Nosy Komba. The tiny island is known for its lemur reserve. These arboreal primates, with their large eyes, soft fur and long curling tails, have lived unharmed for centuries in the forest behind Ampangorina village. The lemurs are a popular tourist attraction and a profitable source of income to the small local community.
Originally named Diego Suarez after a 16th century Portuguese navigator, Antisiranana was renamed in 1975 when independence from Portuguese rule was declared in Madagascar. The Bay of Diego is one of the largest natural bays in the world, and both bay and city are full of history. The bay was a battleground for the French in the 1880s, a depot for Russia in 1896, and again a point of focus for capture during World War II. In 1942, the Allies launched Operation Ironclad and landed forces at Courrier Bay and Ambararata Bay, just west of Antisiranana. Hundreds of British soldiers fell in the Battle of Madagascar, and most of them were buried in the special British cemetery in the center of town. Antisiranana leads to the Montagne d'Ambre (Amber Mountain) National Park, an isolated patch of mountain forest that rises from the surrounding dry region. The park is famous for its waterfalls, crater lakes, and wildlife, especially chameleons.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Like most of Madagascar’s east coast ports, Toamasina, also known as Tamatave, began as a pirate community. The French, who were already a presence in Ile Ste-Marie, established a trading port here in the late 18th century, only to be challenged by the British governor of newly acquired Mauritius. Madagascar was the main supplier of slaves in the Indian Ocean. The British Parliament abolished the slave trade in 1807; the attack on Toamasina was made to end slavery at its source. The victorious British retained a small garrison and began to develop Toamasina into a major port. In 1896 the French declared Madagascar a colony; it remained one until 1958 when the autonomous Malagasy Republic was established. Independence was granted by France in 1960. Theories on the origin of the name Toamasina vary; one is that King Radama I tasted the sea water and remarked "Toa masina" - it is salty. The lush coastal area is often referred to as the Coast of Greenery due to the extensive rainy season. Toamasina is also the name of the province, which includes the port town, the rice-producing plain of Maroantsetra, the Nosy Mangabe Nature Reserve, the rain forests around Andasibe, the giant Pangalanes Channel and the former pirate havens of the Bay of Antongil and Ile Ste-Marie. Today the town of about 70,000 is home to the country’s largest port. Its once-fine colonial houses lend Toamasina a somewhat shabby elegance. It is a busy place with sailors and tourists, offering a variety of bars, restaurants and hotels. Most visitors spend only a day or two in town as the attractions are really found outside in the country. While in town, visit the colorful market, where vendors display a wide array of produce, seafood and spices such as vanilla, cloves and black pepper, and locally made quality straw goods. The official language is Malagasy, with French as the second language, spoken mainly in the cities. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to dock in the port of Toamasina, located about one mile from the center of town. Taxis and pousse-pousse (rickshaws) pick up customers only at the port’s main gate. Walking to town is not recommended. Do not carry large amounts of cash on you or wear expensive jewelry as thievery is common in this busy port town. Shopping Visit the market for local color and an amazing display of produce and spices. Cloves are cultivated in large quantities and exported to India as food spices. A good selection of locally made straw articles are also available at the market. There are a few shops along Boulevard Joffre, Toamasina's main street, that are worth checking out. The local currency is the Ariary. Cuisine Oriental dishes, particularly Chinese food are your best bet here. European cuisine is only found in the major hotels in town. Try the restaurant at the Hotel Joffre, the Bateau Ivre, Sharon or Le Neptune. Other Sites If you wish to explore the town on your own, we recommend making the Hotel Joffre your landmark. To minimize your walk, hire a pousse-pousse (rickshaw), but be sure to negotiate the price before getting in. Beaches Although Toamasina has beaches, frequent shark sightings discourage swimming. A better choice is the pool at one of the hotels. Private arrangements are not encouraged in this port.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Located just off the east coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is fast making a name for itself as the tropical paradise of the Indian Ocean. A volcanic island approximately 10 million years old, Mauritius is thought to be the peak of an enormous sunken volcanic chain stretching from the Seychelles to Réunion. In fact, volcanic lakes and inactive craters can be found scattered throughout the island. Mauritius also boasts a unique marine environment. Surrounded by one of the largest unbroken coral reefs on the planet, conservationists are now campaigning to protect its white coral sand beaches and fragile ecosystem. Though it can be found on the maps of early Arab mariners, Mauritius remained uninhabited until the end of the 16th century. Portuguese became the first European visitors in 1510, however, they did not lay claim to the island. In 1598 Dutch colonists settled on the island, naming it after Prince Maurice of Nassau. The Dutch colonial period saw the development of thriving sugar cane plantations as well as the decimation of the ebony forests and the extinction of the dodo bird and other indigenous wildlife. Eventually abandoning their settlement in 1710, Mauritius lay unclaimed until the arrival of the French five years later. French continued the cultivation of sugar as well as indigo, cloves, nutmeg and other spices, retaining possession of the island until 1810 when it was ceded to Britain at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius is now a vibrant cultural mix with impressive mountains, boundless sugar cane plantations and some of the most exquisite beaches and aquamarine lagoons.
Located about 480 miles (773 km) east of Madagascar and 102 miles (164 km) southwest of Mauritius, Réunion is the largest of the Mascarene Islands. The archipelago, consisting of Rodrigues, Mauritius and Réunion, was named The Mascarentes following its discovery in 1512 by the Portuguese navigator, Pedro de Mascarenhas. The French made the decision to settle Réunion in 1642, but no one actually lived here until four years later when the French governor of Fort Dauphin in Madagascar exiled a dozen mutineers to the island. In 1649, the king of France officially took possession of Réunion and renamed the island Colbert Bourbon. After the French Revolution, the island took back its original name. Since 1946, Réunion has been administered by France as an Overseas Department, with St. Denis as its capital. Facilities here are comparable to any major town in metropolitan France. St. Denis straddles the mouth of the St. Denis River and sweeps upward into the flanks of la Montagne where modern apartment complexes and luxurious houses have replaced the shanty town of the post-war era. Pointe des Galets is the principal port of Réunion, 30-minute by car from the small capital, St. Denis. The island is best known for the rugged beauty of its interior. Major attractions include the fascinating and still active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, and three extinct craters known as cirques. Their forested slopes are dotted with isolated villages. Two thirds of the western part of Réunion are covered by mountain ranges, with the 9,200-foot-high Piton des Neiges the highest point on the island. The major source of income is from agriculture, mainly sugarcane, vanilla and the production of geranium oil used as a fixative in perfumes. Although the island has its share of beaches, most travellers arriving from France and South Africa come here for the stunning vistas of the interior. A taste of Créole-flavored French culture transported to the tropical setting of Réunion is also part of the attraction.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Fort Dauphin, or Taolanaro in the Malagasy language, is Madagascar’s oldest town and a popular destination for excursions to the Berenty Reserve and the Spiny Forest. The province of the same name is located in the southeastern part of the enormous island. The French established their first colony here in the 17th century, giving it the name of the Dauphin, later crowned Louis XIV of France. Built on a small peninsula, the town is bordered on three sides by beaches with a backdrop of high green mountains. It boasts a drier climate with much less rain than the rest of Madagascar, but suffers from fierce gales around the middle of the year. The town itself is small, with only about 32,000 inhabitants; its beaches and interesting trips into the surrounding area attract a good number of visitors annually, mostly from Europe. Plenty of local colours can be observed at Fort Dauphin's lively market, where everything is sold from fish and produce to French baguettes and live animals. A few good viewpoints around town offer fine panoramas of the bay and the mountains. A drive into the hinterland offers a look at some of Madagascar's unusual species of flora, such as the rosy periwinkle, the carnivorous pitcher plant and the triangular rubber palm. The Spiny Forest, beginning several miles west of Fort Dauphin, is another unique and characteristic feature of this region.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Founded in the 1880s, during the Anglo-Zulu colonial wars, Richards Bay was named after British Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards, who landed a naval force here. An early claim to fame came in 1891, when colonial adventurer John Dunn killed a 22-foot crocodile in the estuary still one of the largest ever documented but the town remained a backwater with a population of less than 200 people until as recently as 1968. Today, Richards Bay is the major port in the region and is adjacent to significant mineral deposits, which have contributed to the town's massive growth. Visitors may be more interested in what awaits beyond in the hinterland.

Durban has the pulse, the look, and the complex face of Africa. It may have something to do with the summer heat, a clinging sauna that soaks you with sweat in minutes. If you wander into the Indian District or drive through the Warwick Triangle—an area away from the sea around Julius Nyerere (Warwick) Avenue—the pulsating city rises up to meet you. Traditional healers tout animal organs, vegetable and spice vendors crowd the sidewalks, and minibus taxis hoot incessantly as they trawl for business. It is by turns colorful, stimulating, and hypnotic.

It's also a place steeped in history and culture. Gandhi lived and practiced law here, and Winston Churchill visited as a young man. It's home to the largest number of Indians outside India; the massive Indian townships of Phoenix and Chatsworth stand as testimony to the harsh treatment Indians received during apartheid, though now thousands of Indians are professionals and businesspeople in Durban.

Street names have all been updated, but the old ones remain in brackets, as some maps and locals still refer to streets by the old names.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the country and the rest of the continent. And therein lies its attraction. South Africa's most urbane, sophisticated city sits in stark contrast to the South Africa north of the Hex River Valley. Here, the traffic lights work pretty much consistently and good restaurants are commonplace. In fact, dining establishments in the so-called Mother City always dominate the country's "best of" lists. What also distinguishes this city is its deep sense of history. Nowhere else in the country will you find structures dating back to the 17th century. South Africa as it is known today began here. Elegant Cape Dutch buildings abut ornate Victorian structures and imposing British monuments. In the predominantly Malay Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the call to prayer echoes through cobbled streets lined with houses painted in bright pastels, and the sweet tang of Malay curry wafts through the air. Flower sellers, newspaper hawkers, and numerous markets keep street life pulsing, and every lamppost advertises another festival, concert, or cultural happening. This is a relaxed city, packed with occasions and events. What you'll ultimately recall about this city depends on your taste. It could be the Cape Winelands over the mountain, the Waterfront shopping (a consistent winner, given exchange rates favoring virtually any foreign currency), or Table Mountain itself. Thoroughly imposing, presiding over the city as it does, the mountain is dramatic, with a chain of "sister" mountains leading from the Table to Cape Point (roughly 68 km/42 miles south) cascading into the sea in dramatic visual fashion. Francis Drake wasn't exaggerating when he said this was "the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth," and he would have little cause to change his opinion today. A visit to Cape Town is synonymous with a visit to the peninsula south of the city, and for good reason. With pristine white-sand beaches, hundreds of mountain trails, and numerous activities from surfing to paragliding to mountain biking, the accessibility, variety, and pure beauty of the great outdoors will keep nature lovers and outdoor adventurers occupied for hours, if not days. A week exploring just the city and peninsula is barely enough. Often likened to San Francisco, Cape Town has two things that the former doesn't: Table Mountain and Africa. The mountain, or tabletop, is vital to Cape Town's identity. It dominates the city in a way that's difficult to comprehend until you visit. In the afternoon, when creeping fingers of clouds spill over Table Mountain and reach toward the city, the whole town seems to hold its breath—because in summer it brings frequent strong southeasterly winds. Meanwhile, for all of its bon-vivant European vibe, Cape Town also reflects the diversity, vitality, and spirit of Africa, with many West and Central Africans and Zimbabweans—many of them having fled from conflicts elsewhere—calling this city home.
A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the country and the rest of the continent. And therein lies its attraction. South Africa's most urbane, sophisticated city sits in stark contrast to the South Africa north of the Hex River Valley. Here, the traffic lights work pretty much consistently and good restaurants are commonplace. In fact, dining establishments in the so-called Mother City always dominate the country's "best of" lists. What also distinguishes this city is its deep sense of history. Nowhere else in the country will you find structures dating back to the 17th century. South Africa as it is known today began here. Elegant Cape Dutch buildings abut ornate Victorian structures and imposing British monuments. In the predominantly Malay Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the call to prayer echoes through cobbled streets lined with houses painted in bright pastels, and the sweet tang of Malay curry wafts through the air. Flower sellers, newspaper hawkers, and numerous markets keep street life pulsing, and every lamppost advertises another festival, concert, or cultural happening. This is a relaxed city, packed with occasions and events. What you'll ultimately recall about this city depends on your taste. It could be the Cape Winelands over the mountain, the Waterfront shopping (a consistent winner, given exchange rates favoring virtually any foreign currency), or Table Mountain itself. Thoroughly imposing, presiding over the city as it does, the mountain is dramatic, with a chain of "sister" mountains leading from the Table to Cape Point (roughly 68 km/42 miles south) cascading into the sea in dramatic visual fashion. Francis Drake wasn't exaggerating when he said this was "the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth," and he would have little cause to change his opinion today. A visit to Cape Town is synonymous with a visit to the peninsula south of the city, and for good reason. With pristine white-sand beaches, hundreds of mountain trails, and numerous activities from surfing to paragliding to mountain biking, the accessibility, variety, and pure beauty of the great outdoors will keep nature lovers and outdoor adventurers occupied for hours, if not days. A week exploring just the city and peninsula is barely enough. Often likened to San Francisco, Cape Town has two things that the former doesn't: Table Mountain and Africa. The mountain, or tabletop, is vital to Cape Town's identity. It dominates the city in a way that's difficult to comprehend until you visit. In the afternoon, when creeping fingers of clouds spill over Table Mountain and reach toward the city, the whole town seems to hold its breath—because in summer it brings frequent strong southeasterly winds. Meanwhile, for all of its bon-vivant European vibe, Cape Town also reflects the diversity, vitality, and spirit of Africa, with many West and Central Africans and Zimbabweans—many of them having fled from conflicts elsewhere—calling this city home.

Suites & Fares

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Owner's 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 82,600
with early booking bonus
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Grand 2 Bedroom
Grand 2 Bedroom
FROM US$ 80,900
with early booking bonus
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Royal 2 Bedroom
Royal 2 Bedroom
FROM US$ 78,800
with early booking bonus
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Grand 1 Bedroom
Grand 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 63,300
with early booking bonus
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Royal 1 Bedroom
Royal 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 61,000
with early booking bonus
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Silver
Silver
FROM US$ 59,800
with early booking bonus
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Medallion
Medallion
FROM US$ 51,200
with early booking bonus
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Deluxe Veranda
Deluxe Veranda
FROM US$ 30,100
with early booking bonus
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Superior Veranda
Superior Veranda
FROM US$ 28,800
with early booking bonus
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Classic Veranda
Classic Veranda
FROM US$ 25,400
with early booking bonus
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Vista
Vista
FROM US$ 19,500
with early booking bonus
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Competitive Silversea rates. Request a quote.

John: +91 98300 53005
Linn: +1 910 233 0774