Warm up at the Western Cape’s best Winter Wine Festivals

The Western Cape is most often associated with warm weather, beaches, quaint coastal towns, bustling neighbourhoods and wine farms drenched in sunshine. As winter arrives from mid-May onwards, this changes! Cape Town and the wider Western Cape take time to chill out in the cooler weather.

As autumn drifts into winter, a change of season is clearly in the air. Trees lose their leaves, the days are shorter and the early mornings and evenings are much, much cooler. It may seem like there is not too much activity taking place as the Western Cape goes into hibernation mode during winter but don’t be fooled… There is still loads of fun to be had during the colder weather! You’ll need a way to warm up as winter approaches. These 7 winter wine festivals across the Western Cape are the perfect way to do so!


Top wine festivals to enjoy in the Western Cape this winter:


Nuy Valley Festival, 14 May 2022

Head to the charming Nuy Valley in mid-May to celebrate the end of the harvest season! Situated 13km from Worcester about 1 ½ hours from the Cape Town city centre, the vineyards, olive groves and mountain backdrops make Nuy Valley one of the most beautiful, hidden gems of the Cape Winelands!

Enjoy this outdoor family-friendly festival complete with activities for the kids, award-winning wines and fine country food. There will be wine and olive tastings, craft beers, live music, trail runs and more! The 2022 event will be hosted by Nuy Winery at Nuy on the Hill, Willow Creek Olive Estate, Leipzig Country House and Winery and Lions Creek Olive Estate. You can catch a tractor between wine farms to see it all! Take a look at the Nuy Valley Festival event website for more information.

Cheers

Stoep Sitting in Graaff-Reinet, 26 - 29 May 2022

Technically Graaff-Reinet is not located in the Western Cape, however, we couldn’t leave this quirky event off the list! Located in the Karoo in South Africa’s Eastern Cape (just over 6 ½ hours drive from Cape Town), is Graaff-Reinet - the country’s fifth oldest town. Every winter, Graaff-Reinet hosts the Stoep Tasting Wine Festival. The event began as such: 5 wine producers came to town one year and hosted tastings on the stoeps (a name for a veranda at the front of a house) of local businesses. The people loved it! Today, it has grown into a major event with winemakers from across the country participating! It’s not only wine… visit and enjoy tastings of local produce, beverages, meals and more. See the Graaff-Reinet website for more info.

Wine Corks

Vintage & Vine Faire in Tulbagh, 28 May 2022

Hosted at Morgansvlei Country Estate, the Vintage and Vine Faire in Tulbagh showcases the world-class wines, olives and rich cultural heritage of the Tulbagh Valley.

Visit Morgansvlei Country Estate in Tulbagh (1 hour and 20 mins from Cape Town city centre) for a fun-filled day out! Meet the winemakers, taste local produce and enjoy the live music and entertainment. Find ticket information and event details on the Tulbagh tourism website.

Tulbagh Wine

Retro Rouge Festival, 4 June 2022

Travel to Muratie Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch winelands to experience a vintage wine festival! Sample a variety of Muratie’s vintage wines and enjoy a day of festivities. There will be wine tastings (of course!), great local cuisine and live music to complete the day.

Check out the Muratie website for event details and ticket information.

Muratie

Calitzdorp Expressed, 17 - 19 June 2022

Are you a port wine lover? This event is for you! Calitzdorp Expressed is a weekend full of wine tasting, local cuisine, cooking competitions and outdoor events! The event is hosted in the “port wine capital” of South Africa and was previously known as Calitzdorp Uncorked. Over the years, it has expanded to include a range of South Africa wines, gin, food and more. There are 31 venues involved in the 2022 events and a Catizdorp Expressed passport is the best way to get a taste of all of the exciting events.

Located just over 4 hours from Cape Town, Calitzdorp Expressed looks set to be the perfect weekend excursion for winter time! Check out the Calitzdorp Expressed event Facebook page for more information.

Calitzdorp

Christmas in Winter in Tulbagh, 25 - 26 June 2022

Shake out those Santa hats and Christmas lights… It's almost time to celebrate Christmas in June! While South Africa has the unique privilege of celebrating Christmastime under the sunshine during our summertime, it does mean we miss out on the classic traditions of a chilly Christmas in winter. However, now you can enjoy the best of both worlds! Christmas in Winter hosted in Tulbagh gives you the chance to warm up and celebrate Christmas early!

Visit between 25 - 26 June 2022 and look forward to Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, traditional Christmas dinners and even a Winterland Blues Festival! Christmas celebrations are combined with a wine festival as local winemakers host a variety of events. It’s the perfect combination of fun for the whole family! Check out the Tulbagh Tourism website for more information about Christmas in Winter.

Tulbagh Christmas decorations

Bastille Festival in Franschhoek, 16 - 17 July

Finally, practice your French in anticipation of the Bastille Festival hosted in Franschhoek. Bastille Day is France’s national day. Franschhoek is South Africa’s own “French corner” as this town was settled by the French Huguenots centuries ago. Therefore, thanks to the strong French roots in the town, Franschhoek embraces Bastille Day celebrations with gusto!

The town dons red, white and blue for a celebration of its French heritage. The Food and Wine Marque can be explored along Franschhoek’s main road and you can look forward to fine wine, food and revelry during the Bastille Festival! Keep an eye on the Franschhoek tourism website for further updates on the event.

Bastille Festival in Franschhoek

Are you ready to shake off the winter blues and head out to enjoy these wine festivals? Fantastic! They are sure to be full of fun and memories, whether you are a local or visitor. Be sure to check out the various event websites to secure tickets (where necessary) and confirm times and dates. Look forward to an unforgettable winter in the Western Cape!

12 Fun and fascinating facts about SA

South Africa is a diverse and beautiful place that boasts rich culture and a captivating yet turbulent history. Many of us will know that this country has emerged from a dark past to become the widely-loved “Rainbow Nation” that it is today.

On 27 April, South Africa celebrates Freedom Day. This annual holiday commemorates the anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. After decades under apartheid rule, this was a time of great joy and celebration, with Nelson Mandela being sworn in as the first democratically-elected president of the country! Today, Freedom Day is a time to celebrate South Africa’s values of freedom and democracy and admire how far the Rainbow Nation has come!

South African Flag

To celebrate Freedom Day 2022 and to shine a spotlight on our wonderful country, dk villas has put together a list of 12 fascinating facts about South Africa. Even if you’re a local, some of these facts may surprise you!


12 Fascinating Facts About South Africa


1. South Africa is home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

From the natural scenery and historic sites to the melting pot of cultures, there is undoubtedly no shortage of incredible destinations and things to experience in South Africa. In fact, the country is home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Important landmarks including Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned, and the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa are on the list.

Visit the Cradle of Humankind located northwest of Johannesburg to see fossils dating back nearly 2 million years! The discoveries made in South Africa’s Sterkfontein Caves are some of the earliest evidence of human evolution in the world!


2. There are 11 official languages in South Africa

This is a fact we love because it speaks to the rich diversity of South Africa and its title of the Rainbow Nation. There are 11 official languages in South Africa and you’ll find many people who speak at least 2! The official languages listed in alphabetical order are: Afrikaans, English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele, Northern Sotho, SeSotho, siSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga.


3. Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world

Cape Town’s iconic landmark is one of the oldest mountains in the world! Table Mountain is estimated to be around 260 million years old and is home to thousands of different species of animal, bird and plant life. Listed as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, Table Mountain is one of the most popular attractions in Cape Town and has hundreds of walking and hiking trails that people can use to explore the mountain.

Table Mountain

4. Three of the “world’s largest” races take place in this country

Sports enthusiasts, this one's for you! South Africa hosts several exciting races and sporting events annually. Excitingly, it is also host to 3 of the “world’s largest” races. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is the world’s largest individually timed bicycle race with +-35,000 participants traversing the 109 km route. In the Kwa-Zulu Natal province you can lace up your running shoes for the Comrades Marathon. This is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon (the first race took place in 1921!) with the route stretching 89 km between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Finally, the world’s largest open water swim is the Midmar Mile, hosted at Midmar Dam, also in Kwa-Zulu Natal.


5. South Africa has hosted the Rugby, Cricket and Soccer World Cups

South Africa has had the privilege of hosting the Rugby World Cup in 1995, the Cricket World Cup in 2003 and the Soccer World Cup in 2010. The only other country to have this honour is England.


6. It’s home to the world’s highest bungee jump

Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? Head to Tsitsikamma along South Africa’s Garden Route! The 216m high Bloukrans Bridge is home to the world’s highest bungee jump. Strap in and get ready to jump towards the Bloukrans River flowing below. (Don’t worry, you’ll be swinging back up before you reach the water!)

Bloukrans Bridge

7. South Africa is the only country in the world where two Nobel Prize winners lived on the same street

Vilakazi Street in Soweto has the accolade of being the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize winners have lived! Both the late former President Nelson Mandela and the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu have called Vilakazi Street home. Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 while in 1993, Nelson Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former South African President FW de Klerk.


8. The world’s first successful heart transplant took place in Cape Town

Way back in 1967, the world’s first successful heart transplant took place in a surgical theatre in Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Dr Christiaan Barnard and his team performed the transplant on Louis Washkansky and the ground breaking surgery is still celebrated decades later.


9. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the most biodiverse in the world

Anyone who has visited South Africa will confirm that the natural scenery is truly breathtaking! In no place is this truer than in Cape Town. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the world’s floral kingdom but is also the most biodiverse! In fact, the diversity of floral species on Table Mountain alone is higher than the diversity of floral species found in the whole of the United Kingdom!

Proteas

10. It is the only country in the world with three capital cities

South Africa is the only country in the world with not one, not two but three capital cities! They are split to represent the three branches of government. Cape Town is the legislative capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital and Pretoria is the administrative capital.


11. South Africa is home to the world’s longest wine route

As if we need more of an excuse to explore and enjoy South Africa’s famous wine routes! South Africa is home to the longest wine route in the world. Route 62 stretches +- 850km from Cape Town in the Western Cape to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, passing through the beautiful regions of Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route along the way!

Nearby to Cape Town you can visit the famous Cape Winelands. Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl are home to award winning vineyards. Be sure to try a glass of Pinotage - South Africa’s signature variety!


12. There is a country-within-a-country in South Africa

The final of our fascinating facts feels a little like Inception! There is a country-within-a-country in South Africa! The Kingdom of Lesotho is fully located within South Africa’s borders; within the stunning Drakensberg Mountain area to be specific. The striking mountains and valleys have earned the country the nickname “Kingdom in the Sky” and it’s a beautifully unique destination!

Kingdom in the Sky

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world’s most captivating countries! Whether you are a local or a visitor to these beautiful shores, discovering South Africa is sure to be an unforgettable experience. We hope these fascinating facts have helped you fall even more in love with the Rainbow Nation this Freedom Day!

Spend a night under the stars at The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Treat yourself to a much-loved Capetonian cinematic experience with a visit to The Galileo Open Air Cinema! The Galileo is all about watching great movies in beautiful settings. Plus, you get to enjoy a delicious picnic-style evening under a blanket of stars! Now in operation for over 10 years, The Galileo has become a staple of the warmer seasons in the Mother City. As such, it is definitely something both locals and visitors to Cape Town should enjoy!

Dk villas has put together a quick guide to The Galileo Open Air Cinema to help you make the most of this magical movie experience.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

What is The Galileo Open Air Cinema?

The Galileo is an open-air movie screening enjoyed outdoors. Viewers attend in the evening, set up picnic spots and watch a film on a large screen designed specifically for the outdoors. The first season launched 10 years ago and every year since, The Galileo has operated between October and April.

It combines the beauty of the outdoors with a big, outdoor screen set up and the excitement of an evening-time picnic. Featuring amazing venues, screening the best movies and serving delicious food - what’s not to love? Better yet, there are a variety of screenings suitable for all kinds of ages and the venues are wheelchair-friendly. The Galileo is a must for family fun, date nights, friend gatherings or even a solo film-fanatic experience!

This is a fantastic excursion to enjoy when in Cape Town because it combines two activities: movie magic and beautiful settings! The Galileo’s screenings take place at a variety of venues across Cape Town and the surrounds; including the Southern Suburbs and the Cape Winelands.

Evening at The Galileo Open Air Cinema

What to expect from an evening at The Galileo Open Air Cinema

An evening at The Galileo is sure to be filled with films, fun, food and fantastic scenery! Arrive early to secure a spot and enjoy the vibe as the sun sets. Once the sun says farewell, the movie can begin! Snuggle up at your picnic spot and get ready for movie entertainment.


The Galileo Picnic Experience

The Galileo Picnic is the classic outdoor movie experience we know and love. Set up your picnic spot in front of the big screen and enjoy snacks from home or from local artisanal food vendors. There are vegetarian and Halaal options and food stalls include 2 kitchens, Butlers Pizza, Sugar & Pop and Lion Coffee.

The Galileo Picnic Experience

Be sure to get there early to secure a great spot. Fill up on food from the local vendor or set up your picnic with treats from home and enjoy the lawn games and vibey atmosphere while you wait for the movie to begin.

*Please note no alcohol is allowed to be brought into venues hosted on wine estates however there are bars available on site at wine estates. You may bring your own food and beverages to all venues other than Blaauwklippen Wine Estate and Plaisir Wine Estate. These two venues have excellent markets on site. Cash is preferred but there will be card facilities on site.


The Galileo Royale Experience

Feel like royalty for the evening! On the first Wednesday of every month, you can book tickets to The Galileo Royale. Look forward to an outdoor movie experience at exclusive Cape Town venues. You’ll get a welcome drink, canapé, popcorn and even a gift upon arrival! Top it off with live music before the film and it's sure to be an unforgettable evening! While no food or beverages may be brought into Royale venues, the restaurant at the venue will have a selection of meals and drinks available.


What about tickets?

There are several options for tickets ranging from R109 - R195. Pick which suits you best!
A Standard picnic ticket costs R109 per person and includes entry. A Comfy ticket costs R125 and includes entry and a backrest. A Warm & Comfy ticket costs R130 and includes entry, a backrest and a blanket. A VIP ticket costs R195 and includes entry, a backrest, a blanket, a drink, chocolate and popcorn. Purchase online via Webtickets.

Galileo Royale tickets cost R290 per person and include a live music performance, the movie, backrest, a blanket, a welcome drink, an appetizer and popcorn.

Doors open at either 5pm or 6pm depending on the location and the movie starts when the sun sets. Please note screenings are weather dependent.

Galileo screenings

Which venues host Galileo screenings?

Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, Kirstenbosch Garden, Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront, Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, L’Avenir Stellenbosch and more!

Be sure to check The Galileo listings for dates and venues.

Beautiful Venues

What are the upcoming movies?

Throughout the year, there is an exciting and varied line-up. It includes new blockbusters, captivating dramas, family-friendly movies, rom-coms, classic films and more. There are even specially selected films for special times of the year like Halloween and Christmas! (Read more on these special screenings below).

While The Galileo is currently heading into the last month of the current season, there are still a bunch of great movies to watch! Here are a few great films coming up:

  • Mamma Mia - Saturday 2 April Plaisir Wine Estate, Franschhoek
  • Nomadland - Sunday 2 April, Kirstenbosch Garden
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Saturday 9 April, L’Avenir Wine Estate
  • Dirty Dancing - Thursday 14 April Kirstenbosch Garden
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show - Friday 15 April Battery Park, V&A Waterfront

Take a look at the full list of movies on The Galileo website.


Special screenings and events at The Galileo Open Air Cinema:

The Galileo offers special tickets and events for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas and Boxing Day. Make a real evening of it and celebrate these events in style at The Galileo. Keep an eye on their website and social media channels for updates on special screenings.

Coming up over Easter, why not take the family to enjoy an Easter Screening of Peter Rabbit 2 at Meerendal Wine Estate on Sunday 17 April?

Celebrating a birthday? The Galileo is the place to be! Enjoy free entry during the week of your birthday when you arrive at the door with your ID. Find more information about birthday screenings on The Galileo website.

Galileo offers special tickets

Enjoy a bit of movie magic in the Mother City! Find a movie you’d love to watch - maybe a classic golden oldie or something you’ve never seen before! Grab your loved one or a few friends and look forward to a great, unique night out at The Galileo Open Air Cinema!

All images courtesy of The Galileo Open Air Cinema, taken by Troy Davies @Retroyspective

dk villas Top 10 Reasons to Visit Cape Town Right Now!

Recently, British newspaper The Telegraph shared a secret we are already lucky enough to know about… that Cape Town is the greatest city in the world to visit right now!

In their article, The Telegraph celebrated the Mother City for its resilience in not simply returning life to pre-pandemic normality, but in feeling revamped and revitalised - and we couldn’t agree more! After nearly two years of travel restrictions, Cape Town and its surrounding areas are more than ready to welcome back travellers with open arms.

As locals, we have some expert insight into what makes Cape Town the greatest city in the world to visit right now. We have experienced first-hand our communities bouncing back and embracing a return to the “new normal.” While there may be some differences post-pandemic such as mask-wearing and social distancing in places, one thing remains the same - Cape Town is one of the best destinations to be in the world! Better yet, Cape Town offers a much needed, relaxing escape from the current stresses of life.

Cape Town

Here are our top 10 reasons to add a trip to Cape Town to your travel bucket list; if you haven’t already, of course!


1. The Natural Scenery Will Take Your Breath Away

From Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles to the crashing blue waves of our beaches and the rugged beauty of Cape Point - Cape Town’s scenery is guaranteed to take your breath away from the moment you arrive in the city!

Hike to the top of the iconic Table Mountain to admire the views, meander through the scenic Cape Winelands and see the vineyards and striking mountain ranges, relax on the sparkling coastlines and even see a penguin or two at the famous Boulders Beach! Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the greatest botanic gardens in the world and the Cape Floral Kingdom is the world’s most biodiverse. The unrivalled outdoors truly make Cape Town spectacular.

Table Mountain

2. It’s Affordable!

While Cape Town is a popular cosmopolitan African city, one of the biggest draw cards for foreign visitors is the affordability factor. Foreign currencies like the dollar, pound and euro do incredibly well against the South African rand. This means you get a real “bang for your buck” in Cape Town - and South Africa - as an overseas visitor! Look forward to enjoying world-class accommodation, restaurants and experiences here!

As for South Africans visiting Cape Town? The city and its surrounds have options that suit a range of budgets. Simply do a bit of research, keep an eye out for specials and find options that suit you best! Cape Town is worth it!


3. There are Countless Things to Do!

You will never find yourself bored on a trip to Cape Town as there is always an exciting activity to try, a place to visit or a restaurant to experience.

We could go on for pages and pages about all the fantastic activities to enjoy in Cape Town and its surrounding areas. Actually - we have already in previous blogs!

One of the best neighbourhoods to visit is Hout Bay. Looking for an active adventure? Find out more about Hout Bay adventure activities and Hiking Hout Bay.

There is so much just waiting to be experienced. Take a look at our Cape Town Bucket List for 2022 for a comprehensive list of all the things to enjoy here this year!

Motorbike Sidecar

4. Bring the Kids and the Grandparents! Cape Town is Family-Friendly

Families, listen up! Cape Town is the place to be for a family-friendly holiday. The variety of activities, accommodation options suitable for a range of budgets and the exciting vibe make Cape Town appropriate for a range of ages. Children will love exploring places like Kirstenbosch, Cape Town's Beaches, and the Planetarium. Activities like go-karting, Clay Cafe and sandboarding will keep kids of all ages occupied! Visits to wine farms, strolls along the Promenade, cruises around the harbour and visits to the V&A will keep family members of all ages entertained!

Beach Picnic

5. There are Exciting, Diverse Destinations Nearby

Cape Town spreads out much further than the city centre and the V&A Waterfront. A drive along the Atlantic Peninsula will take you to world-class destinations such as Camps Bay, Hout Bay and Llandudno. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and visit the Southern Suburbs (home to the Constantia Wine Route!), Muizenberg’s beaches, Simon's Town’s penguins and much more.

Travel north and enjoy the beauty of the West Coast. This quieter region is home to quaint fishing villages, charming towns such as the much-loved Darling, several fantastic wine farms and untouched scenery.

Travel 40 minutes to an hour inland and you’ll find yourself in the famous Cape Winelands. Picturesque towns like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are home to world-class wineries and award-winning wines!

Further afield is Hermanus - famous for its whale watching! Pay a visit during whale season and marvel at these majestic marine animals in their natural habitat.

Cape Penguins

6. Cape Town Suits a Variety of Travel Interests

A trip to Cape Town offers endless possibilities! Seeking a destination for a Workcation, a honeymoon, adrenaline-pumping adventures, world-class foodie finds, outdoor escapes or exciting wildlife finds? Cape Town ticks all of these boxes and much more!


7. It’s a Wine Lovers Dream

No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a visit to one of the region’s beautiful wine farms. You can visit award-winning wineries and world-class wine estates along the wine routes in Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and the West Coast.

Close to Cape Town, you’ll find Cape Town’s oldest wine estate- Groot Constantia while a trip to the Winelands needs to be on your Cape Town bucket list; whether it's a day trip or longer stay in the area. Many wine farms are family-friendly making for a great family day out.

For something unique, enjoy a trip on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. The old-school tram and transport system transports passengers around several wine farms and along several routes. It’s a great way to see the region in a safe and fun-filled way!

Wine

8. The Culinary Scene will Have Your Mouth Watering!

The pandemic has been a tough time for many companies in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant industries. While many spots closed, in Cape Town, there has been a revival of new eateries and old, established classics going from strength to strength! Take a look at the best new restaurants in Cape Town here.

For an unparalleled food experience, visit Franschhoek. This small town in the Cape Winelands was settled by the French Huguenots centuries ago. Today, it is South Africa’s culinary capital! Here, you’ll find incredible restaurants such as La Petite Colombe, the Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Protégé and much, much more.


9. It’s great during all seasons!

While some places are only great to visit at certain times of the year, Cape Town is lovely yearround! Do keep note of the southern hemisphere seasons.

In summer, make the most of the sunshine, beaches and the exciting festive atmosphere! In autumn, the weather begins to cool down but the days are warm and still excellent for walking, hiking and cycling - maybe even the odd beach visit! Take a look at our selection of autumn activities here. In winter, Cape Town does get chilly! This is the perfect time to warm up in the Winelands! Stay cosy next to roaring fires, indulge in great food and sip on South African wine.
Finally, spring brings the sunshine and the wildflowers! Thousands visit Cape Town in the spring to glimpse the stunning wildflowers along the West Coast. Find out more about wildflower season with our helpful guide.

Proteas

10. Enjoy the Warm and Welcoming Local Vibe!

South Africans are renowned for their hospitality and welcoming spirit. We are known as “proudly South African” for a reason. In Cape Town, it’s no different! Look forward to excellent service and a warm smile. With the pause that the global pandemic put in travel, South Africans across the country are excited to welcome local and foreign visitors once again. If you choose to visit Cape Town right now, you’ll have the chance to “support local” and help businesses continue to recover from the effects of the global pandemic.


By now, there should be no doubt that Cape Town is the greatest city in the world to visit right now. Visit soon to experience what makes the Mother City so special.

Top reasons to take a workcation in 2022

Work is a reality of everyday life. Whether you work in a traditional office set up, from home or enjoy a hybrid setup, it can be easy to slip into the repetitiveness and predictability of the working week. Many of us might become stuck in a rut or feel constrained by the rigidity of an office environment. This kind of setup can lead to burnout and boredom! So, what can we do to avoid it? One word - workcation!

Workcations are the best way to stay refreshed and inspired while enjoy travel and fulfilling your work obligations. Below, we share the top reasons to take a workcation in 2022. Plus, we share one of the top places to enjoy a workcation!

Remote Work

First of all, what is a workcation?

It’s all in the name! A workcation is a combination of ‘work’ and ‘vacation’. It’s a vacation that allows you to work remotely while including elements of leisure, fun and relaxation that come along with a traditional holiday. Workcation’s are short getaways where people work and travel, as opposed to people considered digital nomads who work and travel for months or years at a time.

On a workcation, you get to take a break from the usual, predictive places of work. You’ll still complete your tasks and agreed upon work hours. However, while on a workcation, you get to inject your working days with the excitement and vacation vibes of being in a new location! If you have the flexibility to work remotely, the beauty of a workcation is that you get to choose the travel destination of your workcation and spend a short period of time in an exciting place! All you need is a reliable connection to the internet and you’re good to go!

There are a number of advantages to embracing a change in surroundings on a workcation.
From increased productivity and a reduction in stress, it’s tough to find reasons not to take a workcation if you are able!

Work Remotely

Here are 7 reasons to enjoy a workcation:


1. Productivity

A change in scenery can help people feel refreshed and motivated which in turn leads to improved productivity. A monotonous daily life can lead to exhaustion and apathy which in turn reduces productivity. On a workcation, the added excitement motivates many people to be more productive!

Some people may worry that being away from their regular working space setup may reduce productivity due to distractions. However, discipline is important on a workcation! Be committed to putting in your necessary work hours and then be ready to switch off and enjoy your surroundings afterwards!


2. Performance & Positivity

Similar to the way that a workcation can improve productivity, a change in scenery that travel brings can truly enhance your performance at work along with your feelings of positivity. A new setting adds excitement to your day. The prospect of getting out and exploring before or after your working time is a huge motivator.

A workcation can reinvigorate you with a new sense of energy and purpose. This in turn can improve your performance at work - and you’ll get to enjoy the added boost of positivity to all facets of your day!

workcation

3. Better work-life balance

While it may initially feel counterproductive to work on holiday - a workcation is actually a balance between the two. You get to focus during your work hours and fully embrace vacation mode outside of those hours! Many of us can be tempted to check an email or complete a task outside of specified hours. However, with discipline in keeping your working hours, and dedication to switching off outside of those hours, you get to achieve an excellent work-life balance during your workcation!


4. Optimise working hours

As mentioned above, discipline is an important part of a workcation. Deciding on times for your working hours and sticking to those hours is vital. It will help you ensure tasks are completed (so you are actually working on your workcation!) and ensure that you maximise your enjoyment of your free time to explore your chosen destination!

Working vacation

5. Reduce burnout

Work-life routines with no breaks can cause chronic stress ultimately leading us to burnout. No one can operate at full capacity without periods of rest and rejuvenation. However, another problem is that many people may worry about falling behind on tasks or missing deadlines. That’s why a workcation is such a great solution! You get to fit in your work hours while enjoying the benefits of a vacation such as travel and exploration. Just be sure to prioritise the rest and rejuvenation aspects of your vacation time. Switching off is important!

By embracing the thrill of a new destination and new experiences, you’re sure to feel reinvigorated and inspired!


6. Reduce daily stress

Day-to-day work routines can come with a significant amount of stress. Whether it’s the stress of a commute, office politics or household chores, these stressors can build up over time and wear down our energy and spirit. This makes getting away from everyday routine highly important! Take a break from the norm and visit a new and exciting place! You’ll avoid the stress of missing out on work while reducing the stress that comes with work.

Travel

7. Freedom and flexibility

The sense of freedom and flexibility that comes with a workcation is priceless! This point can be taken as a combination of all of the above. Enjoy the flexibility to travel and work in an exciting destination while enjoying the freedom to explore and the freedom from the routines of everyday life. Bask in the benefits of feeling re-energised and inspired! Better yet, you get to take this positivity back into everyday life.


Where to enjoy a workcation:

When deciding on a destination for a workcation, you need to choose a place with adequate infrastructure for work and great activities to keep you entertained outside of work hours.

We can highly recommend Cape Town and its surroundings for a workcation! The beautiful natural scenery, the incredible accommodation options (complete with great internet access) and the exciting variety of activities available make it a great option for all kinds of travellers - both local and foreign! Whether you’re a foodie, wine lover, outdoor adventurer, culture connoisseur or simply want to kick back and relax, Cape Town is the place to be.

Cape Town

Now, you should be ready to book your next workcation! Take a look at dk villas’ accommodation options in Hout Bay for a seaside getaway in a beautiful location that is close to a range of exciting attractions. For something more secluded, Dwaskerbos offers a relaxing workcation filled with peace and relaxation.

dk villas top adventure activities in Hout Bay!

Searching for a destination that's filled with charm, stunning views and exciting things to do? Look no further than Hout Bay!

Nestled on the Atlantic Seaboard, just over 20km from the heart of Cape Town city centre, is Hout Bay. What was once a sleepy fishing village is now a popular living and travel destination. You’ll find locals and visitors alike flocking to Hout Bay to enjoy the beach, harbour, great restaurants, markets, stunning outdoor areas and more.

It’s no secret that we absolutely love Hout Bay! dk villas have three fabulous properties in Hout Bay: Harbour View Hout Bay, The Boardwalk Hout Bay and RivervieW Hout Bay. When staying in Hout Bay, the best way to experience the area is to head out and explore the scenery! In honour of this wonderful town and all the great ways there are to spend time here, we have put together a list of the top adventure activities in Hout Bay. Take a look at them below!


1. Paddle across the ocean waves on a Kayak Adventure

Experience one of the top activities in Hout Bay on an unforgettable kayak tour! This is the perfect way to get a unique perspective of Hout Bay. Head out onto the water and paddle along the iconic Atlantic Coastline with Kayak Adventures based in Hout Bay.

These scenic kayak excursions offer views across the shore. Look forward to seeing the town, the nearby seal sanctuary and the iconic Chapman’s Peak. Be sure to keep your eyes out for local marine life too! You could see seals, dolphins, penguins, sunfish and even whales at the right time of year! There is nothing quite like being out on the water!

Useful details: Book a spot with Kayak Adventures via their website. The minimum age is 7 years old and there is a maximum of 2 people per kayak (however, you don’t need to have a partner to enjoy a tour with Kayak Adventures. Trips are also weather dependent. Take a look at their website for more info.

Kayaking
Kayak Hout Bay

Images courtesy of Kayak Adventures


2. Cycle around the neighbourhood on an e-bike

The Western Cape offers incredible natural scenery. This is especially true in Hout Bay. This coastal town borders the crashing blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean and boasts dramatic mountain ranges as a backdrop. An incredible way to explore the coastal area and mountain trails is on an e-bike. Book a trip with Cape Lion e-Rides and explore in an exciting way on pedal-assisted electric bicycles and electric MTBs.

There is a range of e-bike packages available in and around Hout Bay. Choose to picnic and ebike at Cape Point Vineyards - enjoy a half-day tour including a delicious picnic at the vineyards!
Chapman’s Peak is another fantastic option. Ride from Hout Bay and travel along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to Noordhoek. Enjoy a combination tour of the Imizamo Yethu township, meet locals and see historical points of interest with a local guide. See more of the coast on a beach walk and e-bike combo.

Options further afield include a Bay 2 Bay trip from Camps Bay to Hout Bay or the Camps Bay to Cape Point trip.

Useful details: Book trips with Cape Lion e-Rides on their website or rent an e-bike and explore an area of your choosing. Cape Lion e-Rides is running a special until the end of February, offering 3-for-2 on e-bike rentals for Prophete Navigator and road e-bikes.

e-bike
e-bike rentals

Images courtesy of Cape Lion e-Rides


3. Snorkel with seals

This next entry is a definite bucket list experience! As Hout Bay is located on the coast, it’s no wonder that several of the top activities involve the water. Seal Snorkelling allows people to experience these wonderful marine animals in their natural habitat! Join Animal Ocean for an unforgettable and intimate seal snorkelling experience!

These excursions are fantastic for animal lovers, people passionate about the oceans and even budding photographers! Head off on a seal snorkelling trip and experience the ocean while learning more about the Cape Fur seal and the diversity of the local marine ecosystem.

Cape Town Bucket List also offer fantastic Seal Snorkelling excursions in Hout Bay and trips can be booked online.

Useful details: African Ocean Seal Snorkelling trips embark from Hout Bay. The
knowledgeable guides take up to 10 people out to the snorkelling site at Duiker Island. Bookings can be made on their website and the trips are available to all regardless of snorkelling experience. Trips are weather dependent.

Seals
Seals on a rock

Images courtesy of Animal Ocean

snorkeling

Image courtesy of Cape Town Bucket List


4. Cruise along one of the most scenic roads in the world on a motorbike

Great views, bucket list-worthy driving routes and a unique way to travel - that's what you can expect from Cape Sidecar Adventures! Using their fleet of 30 refurbished WWII sidecars, the company offers fully chauffeured tours around the Cape Peninsula, Cape Winelands and wider Western Cape area.

One of the most scenic trips is the route that travels through Hout Bay and traverses Chapman’s Peak Drive. The 4-hour half-day trip does a loop from the depot in Salt River or the V&A Waterfront, travels along the Atlantic Seaboard, Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Simon’s Town and the Constantia Winelands. The tour includes a stop for lunch and an option for a visit to a wine farm if time permits - not a bad day out! The price includes use of the sidecar, driver, full access to Cape Sidecar Adventures driving gear ((helmets, jackets etc) and complimentary bandanas, fuel and insurance.

There are also short 2-hour trips and full-day tour options that include Hout Bay on the itinerary.

Useful details: The bikes come with a driver and a sidecar that holds one person. A second person can sit behind the driver. There are new bikes that can accommodate up to three people. Bookings can be made on the website.

sidecar adventures
Cape Sidecar Adventures

Images courtesy of Cape Sidecar Adventures


5. Enjoy a bespoke picnic in a beautiful setting

With its beautiful scenery and array of outdoor options, Hout Bay is the perfect place to enjoy a mouthwatering picnic outdoors! This may be the “calmest” entry on the list with regards to adrenaline-pumping activities. However, you can get as adventurous as you’d like when picking your picnic venue! Protea Picnics is the perfect way to enjoy a customised picnic in Hout Bay!

Described as upmarket and affordable picnics perfect for families, couples or groups of friends, Protea Picnics offer fresh and seasonal food options. You pick your perfect picnic from a range of menus. Select an item from each menu including dips, pate and homemade bread, quiches and pastries, salads, main protein, something sweet. There are vegetarian and vegan options. Put together your perfect picnic and then feast in your favourite spot! Great locations for picnics include Hout Bay Beach, one of the picnic spots along Chapman’s Peak Drive, or one of the beautiful hiking trails.

Useful details: Pre-order your picnic through Sally at Protea Picnics. Booking information can be found on Protea Picnics social media channels. Picnics cost R275 per person - create your picnic by selecting one item from each of the 5 menus. Orders must be placed 2 days beforehand by 12pm and picnics are for a minimum of 2 people. Collect in Hout Bay or enjoy free delivery within a 20km radius of Hout Bay.

Protea Picnics

Images courtesy of Protea Picnics


6. Soar above the treetops on a zipline adventure

If you enjoy high-flying adventure and adrenaline-pumping activity in the outdoors, head to Silvermist Organic Wine Estate near Hout Bay. Here, you can experience one of Cape Town’s most memorable activities with Cape Town Zipline Adventures!

Get your heart racing and admire the breathtaking views of the Table Mountain National Park and Constantiaberg mountain ranges as you traverse the ziplines. In fact, this is one of the longest and highest zipline tours in Africa! There are 12 platforms that start off high in the mountains and descend the slopes using ziplines of various lengths and heights; the highest sits at 255 meters while the longest line is just under 500 meters! Cruise along the zipline course and marvel at the scenery of the Cape Floral Kingdom - the most biodiverse in the world!

Useful details: Cape Town Zipline Adventures is operated by SA Forest Adventures and is open 7 days a week. Average fitness levels are required and the minimum age to participate is 6. Booking can be made on their website. On the day, you will receive a full safety briefing before the tour starts and the assistance of trained guides throughout. Getting there - Silvermist Estate overlooks Hout Bay and is located at the top of Hout Bay Main Road.


7. Take to the high seas on a boat trip

The last entry on this list is another great activity to enjoy on the water. Hout Bay boasts incredible marine life including whales, seals and dolphins. The best way to watch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is on a boat trip! Captain Jacks operates adventure filled boat tours from Hout Bay.

Hop aboard and get cruising! Enjoy the scenic views of the shoreline from the high speed boats operated by experienced skippers. Sightings can include Long Beaked Common and Heavyside
Dolphins, Sun Fish and Cape Fur Seals while from June to November, Southern Right, Humpback and Bryde Whales make their annual migration from the cold waters of Antarctica to the warmer waters of Cape Town.

Useful information: Boat trips can be enjoyed year-round, however, if you are hoping to see whales - be sure to book during their migration period. Trips are weather dependent and bookings can be made on the Captain Jacks website.

Chapmans Peak Panoramic

Conclusion:

Be sure to add these adventurous activities to your itinerary the next time you visit Hout Bay. Each offers a unique way to experience the town while getting your adrenaline pumping!

dk villas Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentine’s Day 2022 is only two weeks away! As the most romantic day of the year is just around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some ideas for unforgettable romantic activities to enjoy in Cape Town.

Cape Town is the perfect place for romance. It has magnificent views, beautiful wine farms and world-class restaurants. It offers classic romance as well as unique adventures to share with your loved one. Think couples’ spa days, candle-lit dinners, exciting trail runs and sunset cruises! As Valentine’s Day takes place on a Monday this year, many of these activities can be enjoyed on the day or during the weekend of 11 - 13 February.

In honour of February 14th, here are 14 romantic things to do in Cape Town for Valentine’s Day 2022:


1. Spa Day

Enjoy a day of ultimate romance with a couple’s spa day! Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to sit back, relax and engage in the ultimate pampering session with your partner. While you are able to book couple’s spa days and massages throughout the year, the great thing about Valentine’s Day is that there are often great couple’s spa specials and romantic packages available at this time of year! Spas at hotels including the One&Only, Amani Spa at the Radisson Blu, the Cape Grace and more in Cape Town offer Valentine’s Day packages. Travel into the Cape Winelands and enjoy a spa experience at hotels like La Residence in Franschhoek for a day of luxury!

Be sure to check the venue’s websites and social media for up-to-date deals and information.

Spa

2. Picnic

Delicious food, a beautiful setting and your loved one? Sounds like a winning combination to us! Pack a picnic of your favourite treats and select a scenic spot to enjoy a couple’s picnic on Valentine’s Day. Choose from great locations such as one of Cape Town’s gorgeous beaches, Signal Hill or Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Alternatively, enjoy a mouth-watering picnic experience at one of the region’s wine farms. This year, you could enjoy a romantic sunset picnic for two at Spier in Stellenbosch, complete with a bountiful picnic and live cellist and singer, while Jordan Wine Estate, also in Stellenbosch, is hosting a Valentine’s Day evening summer concert on Sunday 13 February.


3. Wine Tasting

Why not treat your loved one at a world-famous wine farm this year? Cape Town boasts hundreds of incredible wine farms and sprawling wine estates; from the historic wine farms dotted along the Constantia wine route, to the famous wine farms of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Durbanville and Paarl.

Select the area and wine farm you’d like to visit for Valentine’s Day. There are a variety of wine tasting options available, some with unique twists including wine and nougat, wine and chocolate, wine and cupcakes and even wine and biltong pairings! Be sure to book ahead of time to ensure a spot.

For something off the beaten track, take a trip up the West Coast’s wine routes and discover the fantastic wine farms in this area.

Wine

4. Fine Dining Experiences

Speaking of wining and dining… this list would not be complete without mentioning fine dining experiences! Cape Town is home to a number of world-class restaurants, some of which run Valentine’s Day specials and all of which are worth a visit! Destinations like the 12 Apostles hotel in Camps Bay, Cellars-Hohenort, Le Pommier and Grande Roche (both in the winelands) are running great specials. Alternatively, book a table at Cape Town’s hottest fine dining destinations such as Belly of the Beast, Grub and Vine, Chefs Warehouse and more.


5. Helicopter Trip

This is one for the adventurous couples! Get your hearts racing this Valentine’s Day with an unforgettable helicopter trip! There are a variety of flight options for a scenic helicopter tour in Cape Town, most of which start from the V&A Waterfront. Explore the skies around Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, see Camps Bay and Hout Bay, fly over the historic Robben Island or even fly out to the Winelands for lunch or a wine tasting!

Helicopter ride

6. Trail Run

Are you an active couple? Hit the trails for Valentine’s Day! Work up a sweat and enjoy the fresh air and natural scenery of Cape Town! Travel to the stunning D’Aria Winery in Durbanville for a trail run hosted by Lifestyle Challenge on Saturday 12 February 2022. Distances are 5km and 10km and the run can be completed with or without obstacles. Crush a challenge with your partner this Valentine’s Day! This is also a great option for active families looking for a fun day out.


7. Cooking Classes

This is a Valentine’s Day gift that will keep on giving! Learn a new skill, enjoy tasty food and bond with your loved one during a Valentine’s Day cooking class. Regardless of your cooking skills, it is sure to be full of fun and laughter! Ginger and Lime is offering an interactive cooking class complete with canapes and dessert, while you will learn how to whip up a variety of mains. Love Italian classics? Old Town Italy in Constantia is hosting a pizza making class on 14 February- couples will receive wine and a plate of antipasto while learning to make traditional pizza.

Restaurants

8. Live Music

If you and your partner are music aficionados, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to soak in some great live music. Whether you love classical music, old school tunes or modern beats, there is sure to be a live event or two happening around you on Valentine’s Day. As mentioned above, several wine farms are hosting picnic and live music events. Alternatively, enjoy local artist Ard Matthews who will be performing at Cafe Roux in Noordhoek on Sunday 13 February
2022. It’s sure to be a vibe!


9. Rose Picking at Chart Farm

Another great way to spend a romantic morning or afternoon outdoors is rose picking! Nestled in amongst the Southern Suburbs, you’ll find Chart Farm in Wynberg. Here, you can wonder through the gardens and select and pick your own roses. Snip your favourites and pay for what you’ve picked at the end. There is also a quaint coffee shop and farm stall on the property to for a lovely cuppa’ post-rose picking!

Chart Farm

10. Open-air Movie

A classic film, popcorn and snuggling up to your loved one under the starry night sky? Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day date to us! The Galileo Open Air Cinema hosts screenings in beautiful venues across the Cape Peninsula. Movie lovers can look forward to special Valentine’s Day screenings in 2022, from 10 to 14 February. Watch The Proposal at Kirstenbosch on 10 February, Crazy Rich Asians at Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront on 11 February, The Notebook at Warwick Wine Estate on 12 February, and Pride and Prejudice at Kirstenbosch on 13 February. There will be a special Valentine’s Day Screening of Notting Hill at Nooitgedacht Estate on 14 February - ticket price includes a welcome drink, a sweet treat, a blanket and a back rest.


11. Scenic Drive

Stuck on ideas for Valentine’s Day? Hop into your car and take a scenic drive! Cape Town boasts road-trip worthy stretches that wrap around the scenic coastline. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the world’s most scenic drives; with the sheer rockface of the mountains to one side and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the other, it’s not difficult to understand why! More scenic drives to enjoy include trips through the Cape Winelands and a road trip up the West Coast Way.

Scenic Drive

12. Couple’s Golf

Here is a unique event for sporty couples! Fairview Golf Estate in Gordon’s Bay is hosting a couples’ golf day on Sunday, 13 February 2022. It’s set to be an exciting nine holes set in a beautiful location, with a snack included once the course is complete!


13. Sunset Cruise

End Valentine’s Day on a spectacular note! Cape Town is known for its incredible sunsets and appreciating the sun go down from the water is a truly unforgettable experience. There are a
number of charter boats and sunset cruises which depart from the V&A Waterfront. Book a ticket and set sail! Several companies include a drink with the ticket, giving you the chance to toast to the end of Valentine’s Day with a glass of bubbly or two!

Sunset cruise

14. Sundowners somewhere beautiful!

If boats aren’t really your thing, don’t worry! You can still toast to the end of a beautiful Valentine’s Day in Cape Town with sundowners somewhere spectacular. Take a look at our list of sublime sunset spots around the city. Whether you choose to watch the sunset from the beach, head to the top of Table Mountain, enjoy a drink at one of the spots along the Camps Bay strip or stroll along the Sea Point Promenade - it’s sure to be an evening full of romance and great memories as long as you’re with your special person!


Bonus Suggestion:

In the spirit of sharing love, here is an extra suggestion for a great Valentine’s Day activity! Treat yourself and your partner to a memorable night away at one of Cape Town’s best boutique accommodation options. dk villas is running a fantastic Valentine’s Day special across our properties - book to stay between 1 and 28 February for two nights or more and enjoy a 10% discount plus a free bottle of bubbles on us!

Vacation

Are you ready to get romantic on Valentine’s Day 2022? Enjoy one of these top Cape Town activities with the special person in your life this year! Be sure to book early where necessary to avoid disappointment!

2022 Bucket List: Top 10 things to do in Cape Town

It’s a brand new year! That means it’s time to enjoy new experiences and make new memories! What better place to do that than in the beautiful city of Cape Town?

Cape Town is a cosmopolitan South African city. It boasts an enchanting combination of beautiful natural scenery, world-class accommodation, award-winning restaurants and fantastic shopping. Here, you’ll find a mix of fascinating cultures and famously friendly locals - and unmissable things to do, of course!

A visit to Cape Town should be high on any traveller’s bucket list - whether you are a local or international visitor, there are certain things that definitely need to be experienced when visiting the city.

Take a look at dk villas top 10 recommendations for the best things to do in and around Cape Town in 2022. Get ready to add them to your 2022 Cape Town bucket list!


1. Take in the views from the top of Table Mountain

Table Mountain is an iconic landmark in Cape Town. The majestic mountain provides an impressive backdrop to the city while a trip to the top offers incredible views across the city centre and surrounds. In even more accolades, it’s officially one of the New7Wonders of Nature! There are a number of ways to experience the mountain. Taking the aerial cableway to the top is one of the most popular options. Buy tickets at the lower station, hop aboard the state-of-the-art cable car and enjoy a +- 5 minute trip to the station at the top; enjoying the scenic views along the way. At the top, stroll around the walkways and explore! Visit the viewpoints and keep an eye out for the resident wildlife - including a stunning variety of birdlife and the cute-yet-grumpy looking rock hyrax! You could even settle down for a picnic or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant.

Table Mountain

2. Experience the scenic vistas of Cape Point

Travel south to visit the beautiful Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope in the southern section of Table Mountain National Park. Here, you’ll find striking scenery including crashing ocean waves, rocky outcrops and scenic beaches. There are a number of great things to do during a visit! Some include: admiring the sights from the viewpoints, taking a trip on the Flying Dutchman to the viewpoint above the old lighthouse, relaxing on the beaches, enjoying a meal at the Two Oceans Restaurant, embarking on one of the area’s hiking routes, wildlife watching and more. Don’t miss the chance to snap a pic at the Cape of Good Hope which is the most south-western point of Africa!

Be sure to check the opening times and ticket costs before your visit.

Cape Point
Cape of Good Hope

3. Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach

This is definitely the most adorable entry on this list! Travel to Simon’s Town in the Southern Peninsula and visit Boulders Beach to see the monochromatic residents. Boulders Beach is home to colonies of African Penguins. Pay to access the beach and spend time with the adorable flightless birds who waddle across the sand and dip and dive through the lapping waves. Alternatively, access the boardwalk and watch the groups of penguins from the viewpoints dotted along the walkways. Look forward to the gorgeous coastal views including huge granite boulders and cool blue waters.

Cape Penguins

4. Learn about South Africa’s history on a Robben Island tour

One of the most important historic sites to visit in Cape Town and South Africa as a whole is Robben Island. The tour takes around 3.5 hours and includes a round-trip on the ferry and a tour of the historical sites around the island. The tour is incredibly informative and will be led by a guide with deep knowledge of the island’s 500-year history. Learn more about Nelson Mandela’s time spent imprisoned on the island as well as the history of the other freedom fighters who served time here, visit the Bluestone Quarry, see Robert Sobukwe’s house and view Mandela’s cell.

South African Flag

5. Take a hike!

When in Cape Town, be sure to head outdoors! There are several breathtaking hiking routes around the city and its surroundings. The mountain ranges and coastal areas offer beautiful scenery and wonderful views. Routes range from easy to challenging so it is up to you to find the one that suits you best! Around Table Mountain, choose to hike the Pipe Track, Kasteeslport, India Venster and more while lion’s Head is a great hike for a range of fitness levels. Travel to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in the Southern Suburbs where some truly amazing routes begin including Nursery Ravine, Skeleton Gorge and nearby Celia Forest.
Hout Bay is also home to some spectacular walking and hiking routes!

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

6. Sample the region’s best wines

Cape Town is famous around the world for its wines and wine farms! The best place to sample authentic South African wine is on one of the region’s stunning wine farms. Closer to town, travellers should visit farms along the Constantia Wine Route including Groot Constantia which was founded in 1685 - making it one of the country’s oldest producing wine farms!

Venture out from the city centre to visit the Cape Winelands; Stellenbosch and Franschhoek both boast award-winning wine farms and are culinary centres in South Africa. For a unique experience, enjoy a day on the Franschhoek Wine Tram! More wine regions to explore include Hermanus, the West Coast, Durbanville and Paarl.

Cape Town Wine

7. Shop up a storm at the famous V&A Waterfront

Head to the bustling V&A Waterfront for a great day out! This centre for shopping, cuisine and entertainment is sure to keep all kinds of travellers captivated. Stroll through the shopping centre and Watershed Market to pick up everything from fresh produce and clothing to souvenirs and artisanal products. Sample local flavours at the V&A Food Market or world-class fusions at one of the many restaurants in the area. Take a trip on the big wheel, cruise around the marina on a boat trip or enjoy a cocktail or high tea at one of the opulent hotels in the waterfront - there are so many great things to do!

V&A Waterfront

8. Eat to your heart’s content!

One of the best things about Cape Town is the pure variety of food and restaurant options. From street food and authentic local favourites to five-star luxury dining and everything in between, Cape Town caters for all palates! We recommend booking a table at a beautiful wine farm restaurant or enjoying a luxurious high tea somewhere fancy!

Luxurious high tea

9. Relax on the beautiful beaches

Looking for a few hours of relaxation in a beautiful setting? Head to the beach! Cape Town is lucky enough to have multiple stunning beaches nestled around its coastline. Close to the heart of the city centre are the ever-popular Camps Bay and Clifton beaches which are the quintessential picture of “idyllic beach break” - we’re talking about golden sand and deep blue waters! Further south is the colourful Muizenberg where you’ll find the iconic multi-coloured beach huts. Here, beachgoers can relax, enjoy beach walks and even try their hand at surfing.

Cape Town Beaches

10. Explore the museums and galleries

Are you a culture vulture? When in Cape Town, visiting the museums and galleries is an absolute must! Visit Company’s Gardens where you’ll find the South African Museum, the National Gallery and the Planetarium. In the Silo District of the waterfront, be sure to visit the Zeitz MOCAA which is Africa’s only museum dedicated to contemporary African art. The District Six Museum and the Castel of Good Hope are two more excellent historic destinations to visit. In the Southern Suburbs, you’ll find the Norval Foundation which hosts riveting art exhibits and has a fascinating sculpture garden! There are many more small galleries and artistic destinations located around the peninsula so be sure to keep an eye out for them wherever you go!

Zeitz MOCAA

Are you ready to start ticking off items on your Cape Town bucket list? There’s no time like the present! Start planning your next visit to the city or if you’re local, get out and start exploring!

dk villas 2021 Year in Review

We have almost reached the end of 2021 and what a year it has been! 2021 was an unprecedented time for the hospitality industry and beyond. We have felt highs and lows and worked our hardest to adjust to a new normal. It was another year that no one could have anticipated! However, it has taught people across the world valuable lessons and helped many of us slow down to appreciate the important things in life, including health, family and friends, as well as the small everyday joys we can now appreciate from a whole new perspective!

Looking back, it has been 12 months filled with ups and downs. From the frustration of international travel restrictions and various lockdown levels on our own shores to the feelings of hope that vaccination rollouts bring, it’s been quite the rollercoaster! Through it all, dk villas has stayed dedicated to the goal of providing an incredible holiday experience to its clients, whenever possible, at the four beautiful properties located across Hout Bay and Dwarskersbos.

Platter

Now it’s time to look back on the year that was and share important achievements, lessons and memories from 2021. Dk villas owner Johann de Kock, accompanied by his wife Petra who helps run the business in her downtime, sat down for a Year in Review Q&A. Take a look at their insights below:


1. Looking back on 2021, what have been your biggest achievements this year?

“One is tempted to say that surviving the year has been one’s biggest achievement, but realistically, we have adapted to the changing world of travel. We have gone out of our way to find means of still offering great value prices and experiences to our clients, and have most definitely seen a great improvement in bookings in general as we headed towards the end of 2021. Naturally, the recent travel bans affected the SA inbound travel market extremely seriously, but we are of the belief that the domestic travelling market still needs to head off on holiday this year, and there is no better place than Cape Town or the nearby West Coast. We look forward to welcoming all our guests over this summer of ‘21/22!”


2. What have been some of the challenges this year and how have you overcome them?

“I think that just like almost all businesses globally in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, undoubtedly the pandemic has been the greatest challenge of this past year, if not of all time. We have tried to be as accommodating (pardon the pun) of our guests as possible, in allowing flexibility of changing dates, re-bookings, and in general trying our best to assist them in these difficult days of making travel plans.”

Beautiful Interior
Beautiful Interior 2

3. As a well-established business in the hospitality industry, is there a piece of advice or a mantra that has helped to get you to where you are today?

“Nothing in this world is easy, least of all success. Whatever your endeavour is, work hard at it relentlessly. It won’t always be easy, it certainly won’t happen immediately, but perseverance, commitment and dedication will pay off in the end. Enjoy your business, live it, and be proud of it.”


4. What would you say are the core values of dk villas, from its inception in 2018 to today?

“Exceptional client experience and satisfaction are our constant goal. There is no better advertising medium than a 100% happy and satisfied client. Our commitment to our standards of perfection in the facilities that we offer, and our exceptional, dedicated commitment to service of the highest level, remain the fundamentals of our personal and business values.”

Hout Bay View
Beautiful Linen

5. Are there any big plans for 2022 for dk villas? If so, are you able to share any insights with us?

“Like all of us in the hospitality industry, we are hoping that 2022 will see a turn-around in the many uncertainties of domestic and international travel. In terms of plans, they will naturally have to be in line with whatever prevailing regulations and restrictions are. And as these are unknown, agility is the key – to always be ready to respond to market conditions, and even in the quietest times, to be ready to handle “full-house” at dk villas if we return to the days of high volume travel again. And to ensure that whether there are quiet days ahead or sold-out seasons ahead, that our standards of quality and service for our clients remain our priority.”


6. What would you like to say to your clients from this year (and the previous three years)?

“Our main comment to our clients would be a big “Thank you!” for your support and for the amazing feedback that we receive from them. We are incredibly grateful to our clients for showing their appreciation. As mentioned previously, our dedication to ensuring that everything provided by dk villas is of the finest quality, that our service is exceptional, courteous and helpful, and that experiencing dk villas is absolutely wonderful is at the heart of what we do!”

dk villas owners

Gratitude is the attitude at the end of 2021 and heading into 2022! A huge thank you again to everyone who continues to support dk villas. Travel restrictions are once again adjusting and we are feeling hopeful for the near future! The dk villas team wishes you all a happy festive season and is looking forward to welcoming new and returning clients, both local and international, in the upcoming year!

Christmas in Cape Town: Top festive markets and events to enjoy!

Christmas time in South Africa is truly unique. While the classic image of Christmas is one filled with chilly weather, crackling fires and falling snowflakes, a South African Christmas offers a whole different kind of experience! We swap snow for sandy beaches and celebrate the festive season under the sun!

The festive season falls during South Africa’s summer and locals and travelers will get to enjoy the wonders of the festive season, just in the warmer weather! One of the best places to spend the festive season is in Cape Town. The city, its surrounding suburbs and the Cape Winelands host a variety of festive events that are sure to excite people of all interests and ages. To help you make the most of Christmas time in Cape Town, dk villas has put together a quick guide on the best things to see and do in Cape Town at Christmas.

V&A Waterfront

Here are the top things to see and do, including festive markets and events, during the festive season in Cape Town:


1. Visit one of Cape Town’s enchanting local markets:

Cape Town’s markets are a must-see throughout the year. When Christmas time comes around, various local markets embrace the festive cheer making them even more unmissable! Shop for gifts, try delicious food and support local businesses at any of the options listed below.

Cape Town Summer Market

Make your way to the Cape Town Summer Market in Company’s Garden to browse the stalls. Located in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by gorgeous greenery and with the magnificent Table Mountain providing a pretty epic backdrop, the Cape Town Summer Market is sure to delight shoppers! It is set to be held from 16 - 18 December 2021 and the market is hosted outdoors.

To experience more of Cape Town’s beautiful flora and fauna, visit the Christmas Market at Kirstenbosch, the event will be held on 19 December and hosts a variety of local vendors. Visit and enjoy the wide selection and beautiful surroundings! More information here.

Explore the Night on the Square Christmas market held at Greenmarket Square from 4 - 14 December and 18 - 31 December 2021 to browse more local goods in the historic heart of Cape Town! More information here.

During the week, pay a visit to the Oranjezicht City Farm Wednesday Night Market at the V&A Waterfront for a spot of evening shopping! Look forward to great local food, produce and artisanal products.

Head south from the city centre to Noordhoek for a festive seaside pop up from 9 - 12 December 2021! Visit the Noordhoek Gift Fair which will feature an array of local artists and designers. The market will be held just off Beach Road - keep an eye out for the signs!

Christmas Presents

Travel slightly further south to Sun Valley between Fish Hoek and Kommetjie for the Fab Ideas Christmas Gifts Fair. Held indoors at Sun Valley High School from 17 - 22 December 2021, this is another great destination for locally crafted gifts and treats! More information here.

Somerset West is home to a number of popular weekend markets. A long-time favourite is the Lourensford Market held on Saturdays and Sundays; there are also Friday Twilight Markets during the summer season! Visit for a weekend treat and enjoy the festive atmosphere during December! More information here.

Franschhoek is a must-see destination on any trip to the Cape Winelands! The charming small town is home to award-winning gourmet restaurants and is surrounded by world-class wine estates. From 16 - 19 December 2021, Franschhoek Village Market on Huguenot Road in the centre of town becomes even more lively with festive cheer! Visit to shop for gifts and treat yourself to a treat or two! More information here.

These are just a selection of Cape Town and the surrounding areas wonderful markets. Get out and explore your area to find even more options.

Christmas Tree

2. Enjoy festive events at these beautiful spots across the Cape Peninsula and Cape Winelands:

The festive season is a time for celebrating with family and friends. What better way to do that than at one of these December and festive events in Cape Town?

The Carols at Kirstenbosch event has been running for years and is ever-popular! It is the perfect example of a “South African Christmas” event as it’s a fantastic combination of a Christmas tradition and a summery setting! Book a ticket to the carols event and look forward to an evening of Christmas tunes in the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Find out more information about tickets here.

You can also enjoy the Carols by Candlelight show at Blaauklippen Vineyards in Stellenbosch. The Stellenbosch University Symphonic Orchestra will be accompanied by a selection of talented singers and musicians. More information here.

Twinkling lights are a Christmas time staple across the world! Drive down Adderley Street in the heart of the city centre to admire the “festival of lights” which adorns the road during the December festive season.

Christmas Decoration

For a lovely family-friendly evening under the stars, book an evening at the Galileo Open Air Cinema! There is a great selection of festive movies airing around Christmas this year. Watch Four Christmases at Kirstenbosch on 23 December, The Grinch at Meerendal Wine Estate on Christmas Eve, Home Alone Christmas Day and Elf on Boxing Day, both at Kirstenbosch. Book tickets here.

There are a number of options for toe-tapping live music events during the December and January festive season! Enjoy top local artists at Sun-Set@Baxter Concert series. Held in Baxter Theatre’s scenic garden, watch Matthew Mole on 16 December 2021 and Zolani Mahola, The One Who Sings, on 30 January 2022. Book tickets here.

Head to Alto Wine Estate in Stellenbosch to enjoy their Sunset Rouge Evenings running until the end of December. Book tickets and enjoy live local music, wine, and amazing views of the sunset and Stellenbosch Hills.

Durbanville Hills will also be hosting their Sunday Sunset concerts from December to May.
Look forward to delicious wine tastings and great local entertainment!

Christmas Tree 2

The Cape Winelands host a variety of festive events. Visit the incredibly popular Babylonstoren wine estate and make your own Christmas wreath at one of their popular workshops.

At Spier in Stellenbosch, enjoy their series of festive picnics along the riverside. You could also enjoy a truly unique storytelling experience at the Constellations event which is a series of theatrical campfire gatherings hosted at various spots around the wine estate. More information here on the event being held until 18 December 2021.

Visit Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch to enjoy the Warwick Kids Christmas Carnival! Look forward to a family-friendly, fun-filled day on 17 December 2021. Kids can write a letter to Santa, enjoy face painting, a petting zoo and more! Book tickets here.

In Cape Town, visit the One&Only hotel in the V&A Waterfront for a delicious Frosted Afternoon Tea. Enjoy the hotel’s fantastic high afternoon tea with Christmas themed treats!
This special afternoon tea is available from 16 - 30 December at R425 per person.

Gingerbread

3. Find a delicious local spot to enjoy Christmas Day lunch or Christmas Eve dinner:

We couldn’t finish this list without mentioning the great Christmas Day Lunch and Christmas Eve Dinner options. Take a look at the brief overview below and find out more about Christmas lunch and dinner options for 2021 here.

V&A Waterfront at Night

Popular options include Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia, Hout Bay Manor, Radisson Blu Hotel in the Waterfront, Jonkershuis in Constantia, Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic and Benguela Cove in Hermanus.

Hazendal Wine Estate and Jordan Wine Estate both offer delicious Christmas Day lunches and picnics! Be sure to find a spot that ticks all of your boxes!

Christmas Meal

Stay responsible - mask up and practice social distancing at Cape Town’s markets and events.

Spend Christmas in the sun and enjoy a trip to Cape Town in the festive season! Make it even more memorable by booking a stay at one of dk villas gorgeous properties - it’s the perfect way to have a holly, jolly South African Christmas!

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