Cape Town

for a Summer Holiday in December

By Gillian Pope
If you planning a summer holiday over the December period then look no further than the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa and its surrounding areas. Although two weeks in December is a little too short to take in all that this great destination has to offer you will be able to get a taste of one of the best places to visit, and that’s according to Trip Advisor!    
 
Cape Town has such a range of things to do and apart from walking along the many beautiful stretch of beaches, one of the must visits is Table Mountain There are two ways to reach the top – hiking or using the revolving cable car.   Although this hike is only about 3km, it is fairly strenuous and can take between one and three hours to complete. It is a demanding walk, so it’s not recommended for young children. On reaching the top of the mountain, there are three different walking trails, one of them giving you a 360° view of Cape Town. 
 
Still in the mood for walking, visit the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  It was founded in 1913 to preserve the country's unique flora. The Western Cape area is one of the richest and most populous floral kingdoms in the world, while geographically the smallest in the world.  It holds the largest number of species and was declared by UNESCO as World Heritage site. Apart from minor exceptions only indigenous plants are cultivated. Recently launched in the gardens is the “Boomslang” (meaning tree snake in Afrikaans) tree canopy walkway which stretches about 130 meters through the garden, giving visitors a birds-eye view of the gardens and the multitude on indigenous plant species. There is a beautiful restaurant which gets very busy and I can highly recommend their delicious scones. Don’t forget to visit the website for opening hours and entrance fees.    Should you visit in the summer months look out for outdoor concerts which are held in the gardens on Sunday evenings.
 
If you feel brave enough to step into the cold waters of the Cape and feel daring enough, why not try shark cage diving. Unfortunately I was not brave enough to do this but it is very popular.   A quarter of the world’s shark species, around 98,  dwell in South African waters and around 40 of these call the waters around Cape Town home.    The white shark capital is found in Gansbaai, 175km (about 2 hours) scenic drive from Cape Town.  There are few companies who arrange these trips which can easily be found on the internet. Just keep in mind the weather as trips can easily be cancelled, so don’t leave it to the end of your journey. 
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