Destination: South Africa: Cape Town
Cape Town is in the midst of the most rapid expansion in South Africa’s history. Construction is everywhere as the city gears up for the Football World Cup in 2010 by building hotels, a stadium and housing, and while it’s still a relatively laid-back, friendly place, tourism and its attendant ills (crowds, traffic and higher prices) seem to be increasing by the month. Yet now is an exciting time to visit Cape Town. Like a gawky adolescent who has suddenly discovered that she is beautiful, the city is practically preening as it shows off spectacular new restaurants and hotels. For the visitor, there are also lovely spas and excursions to the winelands and beyond, often with an African theme that will remind you that you are indeed far from the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a reminder you’ll also have when you arrive at Cape Town airport, surrounded as it is by shacks, which hundreds of thousands of Capetonians—as well as migrants from rural areas and other countries in Africa—call home. The townships are both daunting and impressive. “You mean everyone is a builder?” my six-year-old daughter asked as we drove past row after row of houses built from discarded materials. These thriving, dynamic communities are often the source of the incredible creative energy that can be seen in the art and crafts available on many a street corner (and, unfortunately, the source of gangs and much of the crime in the city).
It’s important to take in the two sides of Cape Town—its glamorous party spirit and its resilience and toughness. Pay attention to both and your visit will be greatly enriched.
Search By Keyword
This island has unspoiled coral reefs and protected lagoons so...
Travelers seek out the privately owned Lanai, nine miles west...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.