Car hire Cape Town: No matter who you ask – across the world, by mentioning South Africa, people get certain pictures in their mind’s eyes: Firstly, the overall impression of a scorching sun above seductive settings from impressive mountains and rough seas to dry deserts as well as unique plant worlds in lush greens. In the next moment, portrayals of safaris in open Jeeps will follow their train of thoughts, imaging themselves eye to eye with a protective lioness or sitting around a traditional boma, listening to compelling stories about South Africa’s captivating history.
Finally, more detailed, Cape Town and its iconic landmarks will occur, including one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, flat-topped Table Mountain, with panoramic views from 1,087 metres above the sea or looking at it from the city centre, covered in clouds which are known as tablecloth, predicting South Easterly wind coming up. Going on, they might picture themselves in a comfortable vehicle, rented from a Car hire Cape Town – or better: a car hire in Bloem Street, reliable and popular Around About Cars –, heading towards Cape Point, part of the Cape Floral Region, with a prolific birdlife and diversity of plant species.
On the way back, cruising along Chapman’s Peak Drive, soaking up a memorable sunset, ending the day in one of the many restaurants they would find in buzzing Camps Bay with amazing views of the sandy beach swept by the waves. That sounds familiar? And even more so, as the Car hire Cape Town has offered you not only great value but also a car you did not want to park too soon, you have already taken the chance to explore the world known Garden Route, stopping at Cape Aghulas, the southernmost point of Africa where the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans meet, continuing to Hermanus to catch a glimpse of a Southern Right Whale’s large fin, relaxing in the sparkling lagoon next to the magnificent Knysna Heads, overlooking the two massive rocks before indulging in some fresh oysters at the picturesque harbour?
But now, you feel like driving to less popular but still unparalleled places, looking for something special, hidden gems, areas you can tell your friends about, stunning them as they have never heard about them? Despite thinking of themselves being experts in and around the Western Cape? Well – no problem! After all, I did promise you some secluded treasures when we last spoke. So here we go!
I am even offering you two options to go ahead – or better: drive along in your Around About Cars limousine. Start with the first ones. Admittingly, they are still no secrets to the public. But they do have a mysterious side to them … as we all do, I guess?!
Thanks to your Car hire Cape Town, you can get into your vehicle and start the engine. Take your time on the roads, the Southern African landscape is so fascinating, you would be regretting not soaking in the views along the way. It won’t take you too long to reach the first destination: Gaansbai, just a bit more than 100 kilometres from Cape Town, one of the most popular white shark cage diving destinations of the world.
General knowledge: Getting into your wetsuit, stepping into the cage, being released into the deep water, finding yourself face to face with the dangerous predators of the sea … That is what is being advertised. Now – don’t rejoice too early, I am not offering you the one and only chance of diving with the great whites but without a cage. As this would more than likely mean that it will literally be the only time you will be able to do so. And also, that the manager of the diving centre might end up to being lifelong banned from the business – as it happened to a commercial provider in Guadalupe Island.
But did you know that you do could propose to your fiancée while facing the sharks in the same cage? Sharing the risk, going through the extreme together – what better could a future relationship be built on? Well, speaking to her might prove slightly difficult. But use your hands, look at her in a way not to be misunderstood. Or simply wait until you are both back up on the boat again. Promising her that she won’t be held in a small cage like the one you just experienced (not even in a golden one) might make her react in a favourable way!
General knowledge: With currently some 550 different wine estates within the Western alone, choosing where to taste the different red, white and sparkling grapes is a difficult task. Still, some farms enjoy an especially high reputation, so to name Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa, founded in 1685, or Spier, next to Stellenbosch, well-known not only for their fine wines but also romantic picnic sites, contemporary art collection, distinctive Cape Dutch buildings and 4 star hotel.
But did you know that you can combine the noble drinks with some sustainability, spoiling yourself and preserving the environment at the same time? Ask your Car hire Cape Town staff at Around About Cars how to get to Org de Rac – which is regarded as the South African pioneer in cultivating and producing fully certified organic wine. Feeling like some adrenaline before enjoying it? Then steer your wheel to the Silvermist Organic Wine Estate in the Constantia Valley and get onto the Zip-line, overlooking the Table Mountain Nature Reserve from the air!
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
General knowledge: No wonder they were proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. Being part of the Cape Floristic Region, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens spread over 528 hectares of cultivated and protected areas, showing different species of fynbos, a wide variety of other indigenous plants as well as animals from birds and mammals to reptiles and invertebrates.
But did you know that the most recent attraction is neither a plant nor an animal – but a so called “boomslang”? Over a distance of 130 metres, you will have to be free from giddiness to use the tree-top walkway. But once you are on it, snaking above the gardens, enjoying aerial views of Cape Town and its surroundings, being brave hearted will be more than worth it!
Boulders Penguin Colony
General knowledge: Next to the Big 5, the Penguins are the 6th in the line that establish South Africa’s reputation of being a country for offering wild animals a home they were always hoping for. In the case of the more than 2,000 jackasses in Simon’s Town, they are spoilt with clean white sands, a perfect breeding colony on a rocky shore, protected by boulders and bushes.
But did you know that you won’t have to use public pathway, paying the entrance fee and only getting snap shots from a distance? Simply use the chance you got by your Car hire Cape Town and a little drive further, park on the street and walk down to the small beaches somewhat hidden away, nestling between large and small boulders – opening up the opportunity of swimming right next to the cute black and white birds. You will soon find out that they might be flightless – but regarded as champions once they hit the waters!
General knowledge: The second oldest European settlement in the Western Cape does show off with its centuries-old oak trees, cobbled streets, charming architecture, vibrant student life and various small galleries, opening an opportunity for young South African painters and sculpturers to get know by some public art enthusiasts.
But did you know that you might be able to meet the undead, getting shivers run down your spine, by joining the Ghost Walk? Not enough simply inspecting the dark cellars of ancient buildings – you will be treated with some even creepier stories about what all had happened there … Luckily, your Car hire Cape Town is making sure you will be able to drive back into the brightness of the South African summer days safe, leaving the haunted behind.
West Coast National Park
General knowledge: A good one-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town, the West Coast National Park is offering hikes on nature trails for every fitness level, kayaking on the steel-blue Langebaan Lagoon, birdwatching of highest quality or simply the chance to relax on one of the four small offshore islands.
But did you know that you return to South Africa in August or September next year is a must-do? Get a transport again from your Car hire Cape Town and visit the park once more – this time with a carpet of wildflowers, a kaleidoscope of different hights and colours, meeting your eyes.
General knowledge: Driving towards the Klein Karoo with its magnificent rocks in their exceptional red colour and wide, open plans in a comfortable vehicle by Around About Cars is already a trip you should not miss for anything. But Oudtshoorn itself is well-known to the world too – with the famous Cangoo Caves consisting of 20-million-year-old limestones that are regarded the largest within the whole of the continent or all the different Ostrich farms that allow you to experience a wobbly ride on the back of the large flightless birds.
But did you know that you only have to take one Ostrich egg back in the boot of your vehicle from your Car hire Cape Town, ensuring breakfast for the next 24 days? That is of course under the assumption of having one hen’s egg each morning as a typical way to start off your day. Only – good luck with possible scrambling the big one. Even standing on it might not break it. As an alternative, you can boil it for 90 minutes. Provided a large enough pot…
Remember, I was promising to take you to a second kind of hidden gems – the ones that you will not find in many travel guides at all, but which are at least as worth travelling to as the acclaimed landmarks.
Elgin Valley is one of the less famous wine areas within the Western Cape. And this despite the Overberg region being home to some of the country’s award-winning wine farms, charming little towns, mountain bike tracks for adrenaline junkies, and remote natural jewels with indigenous plant species. Driving from Cape Town, you will hit the hidden gem after a good hour already, just behind the Hottentots Holland Mountains.
Breede River Valley: Another valley famous for its red and white wine. Anyway, there are two other reasons you should get into your Car hire Cape Town vehicle and get there – as you should not miss out on the many different premier olive oils of highest quality that have been awarded by acclaimed experts. And even if it is neither one of the Big 5 nor a penguin – the name is (almost) program: Breede River Valley is known as South Africa’s leading breeding spot for racehorses.
Laughter in Darling
Finally, something different – get into your Car hire Cape Town, get to Darling in the North of Cape Town, and get prepared to kill yourself laughing by visiting one of Evita se Perron’s shows. The quaint village itself is worth stopping by, enjoying Darling Brew’s craft beers as a change to all the wines you have had, stepping into some art galleries or small local restaurants. But you have to try and get tickets for the influential Evita Se Perron theatre, home of Evita Bezuidenhout, or better Tannie Evita, alias Pieter-Dirk Uys.
It did not take long for the comedian to set up a well-known institution countrywide, allowing herself / himself to air all the political incorrectness only a satirist is allowed to do without creating some certain storms within the social media. That was quite a lot. So, your stomach growls? Let me give you a last hint: Stop anywhere on your way back to the Mother City in your Car hire Cape Town vehicle and order yourself a large portion of waterblommetjie bredie. Endemic to the Western Cape, you find the main ingredient to the typical South African dish in dams, ponds and small lakes. And in a stew!
Also worth a try is following the route I will explaining everything about in our coming newsletter next week. Get prepared to rent a 4×4 at your Car hire Cape Town and let yourself be surprised what awaits you!