Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Cape Town Festivals and Events

South Africa's capital is a spectacular destination to visit at any time of the year, combining natural splendour and vibrant local culture, a buzzing nightlife with a fascinating recent history. But it is also notable for the sheer number of festivals and events that take place all throughout the year. Here are a few of the highlights to watch out for on your Cape Town holiday...

For Sports Enthusiasts...

There's one event that a sports nut on holiday in Cape Town won't want to miss out on. The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is the world's biggest cycle race, with over 40,000 amateur and professional cyclists taking part each year. Starting in the centre of town, the 109 kilometre route passes through the highlights of the local scenery, including False Bay, Chapmans Peak, and Suikerbossie Hill, before finally ending up in the Green Point district. It is one of the most beautiful cycle rides in the world, held on the second Sunday in March every year - book your place early if you want to take part!

If you are a runner rather than a cyclist, the Two Oceans Marathon could be your event of choice. Taking place on Easter Sunday and following the stunning scenery of the Peninsula, this is known as "the world's most beautiful marathon." The main event is a 56 kilometre ultramarathon that runs from Greenlands to the university, but there is also a half marathon and a number of fun runs for those who want to run a shorter distance.

For the Party Crowd...

One New Years' Celebration not enough to you? In this city, they celebrate the New Year two days in a row! Taking place on the 2nd of January, Tweede Nuwe Jaar (also known as Kaapse Klopse) is a celebration unique to the city. Originally a celebration held by freed slaves, the event has evolved into a colourful carnival, featuring live music, dance, food and drink stalls, as rival troupes from different parts of town compete to put on the very best show.

For the Fashionistas...

If you you are planning on having a Cape Town holiday and know your Gucci from your Gautier, try and time your visit with Fashion Week. Held in late August, it showcases the best local design talent in a proudly African week of fashion, eschewing the big name international designers and focusing instead on homegrown talent and practical fashion.

For Gourmets...

If good food and fine wines are your thing, make sure you start you South African holiday in Cape Town. The Cape Times V&A Waterfront Wine Affair, held over three days in early May, is a showcase of over 70 vineyards, held in a picturesque waterfront location, giving visitors to sample the very best South African wines.

Another essential event is the Cape Gourmet Festival, a fortnight of culinary events focusing on wine, spirits, and traditional South African food that concludes with The Good Food and Wine Show on the last weekend of the festival.

Whether you are a sports nut, a discerning gourmet, a fashion fan, or are just looking for a good party, your are sure to find a festival to suit your taste, so make sure you time your holiday to coincide with one of these great events.

Rachel Hill is a specialist consultant with Southern Africa Travel, a company offering Cape Town holidays, as well as holidays to other destinations in Southern Africa. Our experienced consultants will help you design your very own luxury holiday, and will be happy to provide you with a free quote.

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