Traveler’s Corner: A Mother-Son Cape Town Adventure

March 21, 2022  By: Gretchen

Mother and Son travelers Paula and Luke enjoyed a fantastic two-week South African adventure, and each shared safari stories with us – from both a mother’s and son’s perspective. After many memorable experiences and wildlife encounters, Luke and Paula headed to the Western Cape to visit Cape Town and the Winelands. They were reluctant to leave the wilderness for the city but were happy they did as soon as they arrived!

Cape Town waterfront

From the moment they landed in Cape Town, the incredible views of Table Mountain from the Victoria & Alfred Hotel had them excited for what was to come. They found the V&A, as it’s known, to be a great home-base in Cape Town as it was close to everything on the Waterfront, which includes shopping, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Paula and Luke

To get a good feel for South Africa’s ‘Mother City,’ they had planned a half-day tour which allowed them to see myriad sites, but also gave them time to roam on their own and get ready for their dinner arrangements. Among other sights, they walked through the Company Gardens, visited the South African Museum and the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa.

“Our guide was very knowledgeable and worked with our interests to put together a great day.“ - Luke
Luke paragliding

Luke decided to end the tour on a high note by jumping off Signal Hill and paragliding down over the city and ocean – “talk about an incredible view and experience!” Luke highly recommends this experience to any adrenaline junky. In his words, “Paragliding felt a lot safer than skydiving…I loved just floating in the wind!”

dinner in Cape Town

They knew Cape Town was well known for its dining, so they were sure to try several restaurants in the city including the Pot Luck Club, an in-demand location with renowned chef Luke Dale Roberts at the helm. The space has amazing city views and great energy. Its tapas-style menu is divided into themes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami) and is very cutting-edge. They enjoyed the meal immensely.

“(The Pot Luck Club is) a must for any foodie. The tapas-style was great so you can really try everything.” - Luke
Table Mountain view

Next up was the scenic Winelands, just an hour or so from the city center, but not before Luke and Paula were able to take advantage of a clear day to get to the top of Table Mountain! Originally scheduled during their city tour, the weather hadn’t been cooperative for them to take the cableway to the summit. Their AAC Journey Specialist was able to rearrange their activities so that they could still catch the breathtaking summit views. We always recommend that travelers spend at least a few days in Cape Town to have the chance to get up to Table Mountain’s summit, as well as for the fact that there is so much to see and do!

Winelands

Once atop Table Mountain, Luke and Paula enjoyed a short hike at the top, then their guide prepared a small breakfast and coffee. They then headed to the Winelands, visiting the famous locales of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. After exploring the towns a bit and stopping at a few wineries, they headed to Babylonstoren, one of the most sought-after places to stay in the Winelands – they didn’t want to miss a minute of it!

pool

From having their own mountain bikes to the incredible food and wine, Babylonstoren exceeded Luke and Paula’s expectations. They found that there were more activities to do than they could make time for – wine tasting, garden tours, swimming, a healing garden, a full-service spa and more – they were spoiled for choice. The farm-to-table cuisine was incredible at every meal and made the stay even more special.

Luke in Winelands
“We had two nights (at Babylonstoren) but I wish we could have had two more!” - Luke
Paula and Luke with penguins

That marked the end of their trip – one with unforgettable memories of new adventures and special family time together. Luke has some great tips for Africa travelers:

  • Luke recommends that travelers learn the basic conversion between the Imperial and metric systems. Miles and kilometers, pounds and kilograms, Fahrenheit and Celsius. South Africa (and much of the world) uses the metric system and it’s helpful (though not an absolute must) to know the general comparison.
  • Remember that there is laundry service most everywhere you will go. Don’t overpack – it’s a recipe for disaster when you’re coming home as your souvenirs won’t fit!
  • Consider participating in Pack for a Purpose – it is a small way to make your trip more meaningful. Paula has airline status on Delta, so she was able to bring a free extra checked bag. They brought many items such as book bags, school supplies and games for drop off at one of their lodges that participates in Pack for a Purpose.
“I will likely never have a 19-day trip with my mom again. It was so special to have this time away together. We were great travel partners and I wish more people could do that with their parents.” – Luke

Are you ready to plan your own family safari?