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A few ago ago, I was approached by Ross Hudgens from Travelstart. Ross asked if I would be interested in allowing them to post a travel blog on my site. I was super excited yet again to be approached by a Travel company as I love adore travelling.So in keeping with my theme of 5 Ross created this lovely post. I hope you enjoy reading this post and earmark some of the sights to visit next time you find your self in Cape Town.

While it is true that you will always find new and interesting things to do in Cape Town, no matter how many times you have visited, first time visitors to the Mother City have the advantage every time.
No traveller will ever forget their first experience of this popular coastal city on the tip of the African continent. The wonder may start once you head out from the airport, or it may begin as you get your first glimpse of Table Mountain’s distinctive flat top. By the time you arrive at your chosen hotel or guest house though, you will very likely have fallen head over heels for the Mother City’s beautiful surrounds.
Just in case you need a little more inspiration, here are some must-sees that will put Cape Town on your list of favourite places.

1) Table Mountain Named after its unique shape, the mountain is more than just a definitive landmark. For those who have made the city their home, it is also a navigation system. One billboard displayed during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup put it perfectly: mountain on the right, ocean on the left and everything else in the middle.
Take a cable car up to the top on a clear day for a panoramic view, try a full moon hike up Signal Hill one evening or head to Blouberg Beach for picture-perfect images of the mountain in all its
glory.

2) Cape WinelandsComprising the wine growing towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, the Cape Wine Route offers the chance to savour the Cape’s finest wines. Stellenbosch is the most famous of these towns, and is also one of the oldest towns in the country.
Here you will find many award-winning estates along with boutique wineries, five-star cellars and many excellent dining options – all mixed in with a good dose of historical charm, picturesque views and a laid-back atmosphere.

3) Robben Island Former president Nelson Mandela spent over two decades on Robben Island, incarcerated for speaking out against what was then the apartheid government. His release captured the hearts of millions around the world, and also brought change to South Africa as it entered its first era of democracy.
Visit the Robben Island Gateway Museum at the Clock Tower in the Waterfront, and then take a ferry over to the island itself. You will come back inspired and amazed, with a deeper insight into Madiba and his fellow struggle icons.

4) BeachesCape Town beaches have a bit of an unfair advantage – the city is surrounded by two different oceans for a start. On the Atlantic Ocean side, you will find the beaches of Camps Bay, Clifton (1st to 4th), Llandudno and Hout Bay. The water is chillier on this side, but the beaches are truly spectacular.
On the Indian Ocean side of the peninsula lies the False Bay. This coastline includes Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Boulders Beach (home to African penguins that join you for a swim) and Simons Town. The warmer waters make this coast great for swimming, while shark diving can also be done here for those wanting a thrilling marine encounter.

5) City Centre Last but certainly not least, we have the City Centre. TIME magazine called it a bit ‘seedy’, comparing it to Miami’s inner city. But for the thousands of visitors who flock to Cape Town ever year, seedy is not even remotely the way this vibrant CBD would be described. Some would call it eclectic; others may refer to it as diverse. A few even hail its historic slash retro vibe.
Talk a walk down Long Street to browse the colourful shops or grab a bite to eat at a trendy sidewalk café in Bree Street. Check out Green Market Square or St. George’s Mall for locally made curios and drumming sessions. Visit the SA Museum and have a stroll through the Company Gardens – if you buy a bag of peanuts, you can even feed a friendly squirrel or two.
These must-see highlights will be a good place to start your journey through the Mother City. But the best part about trips to this part of the world is that you will find myriad other things to see and do along the way too. Every day offers the chance to try new things to do in Cape Town – for visitors of all ages and stages.

Russell Jarvis writes for Travelstart.co.za, South Africa’s leading travel agency.

For more information on fab holidays checkout http://www.travelstart.co.za

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South Africa a land of contrasts…..

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Since my return to SA in 2010, I have started to view my home country in a different light . They say we often don’t realise the worth of something until its gone. This statement proved true as during my time in the UK I clung onto everything that was South African from mementos to food items even things I never eat here at home in SA .
During the cause of this week a Twitter competition was run and it entailed listing facts about what makes South Africa special. During my Google searches I found some very interesting facts.
This prompted me to write this blog and share this:
 Table Mountain is believed to be the oldest mountains in the world.
 Table Mountain alone has 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.
 South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the World.
 South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
 South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
 Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively in its 73 acre Animal Lodge in USA.
 South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
 South Africa is the world’s largest producer of Macadamia nuts.
 SA is home to the worlds smallest succulent plant and the largest (Baobab Tree).
 We have the only street in the world to house 2 Nobel Peace prize winners is in Soweto, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
 SA has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.
 SA has deserts , mountains, escarpments ,plateaus,grasslands, bush, wetlands and subtropical forests.
 Most of the world’s proto – mammalian fossils are found in the Karoo region.
 The Karoo region is home to some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs.
 SA has the most luxurious train in the world , The Rovos Rail.
 The oldest remains of modern humans were found in Klasies River Cave in the Eastern Cape.They are well over 100,000 years old.
 SA is first country to host the Rugby, Cricket and Soccer World Cups
 Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species in the African continent.
 Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the 1ST human heart transplant in the world in 1967.
 3 of the 5 fastest land animals live in SA.
 General Motors SA is the only place outside the USA to build the Hummer H3.
 SA has 11 official languages.
 SA is home to 7 of the World’s Heritage Sites.

After trolling through my Google searches I was so amazed or should I say gobsmacked.
Hard to believe we are rated in the world for so much, yet we the citizens of SA don’t pay attention to these amazing facts. It now makes sense why so many overseas visitors flock to SA year after year and its not only for our weather .
So I urge you take time to explore the amazing country you live in where ever you are in the world. Be proud of your heritage …………..