Abba as a pop group were not just popular the United States and Europe, but also enjoyed huge popularity in Southern Africa too, particularly In South Africa. It is still common to have yearly concerts celebrating Abba’s most popular songs. I recently decided to travel to Africa and explore Cape Town and the surrounding areas. Cape Town also happens to be one of the worlds finest wine producers…hehehe..The Cape wine lands are one of the most picturesque parts of Cape Town that any and all tourist must visit. And so we set off !!
AbbaGirl’s Winelands tour sets off !!
We chose to stay at the popular Ashanti Lodge Cape Town Backpackers, which we used as a base as well as their efficient tours service. You will first visit Stellenbosch which is at the foot of the Hottentot Holland Mountains. It is unique; consisting of streets lined with oak trees and white gabled Cape Dutch farmhouses. Stellenbosch is located at the heart of the Cape Wine Route and boasts 23 private cellars and 5 co-operative wineries. They produce a very large variety of red and white wines including Champagne. All the wines produced at these wineries are award winning wines. At these wineries you will be able to do wine tasting and purchase the wines you really enjoy.
The next stop on the tour will be Paarl which is the largest town in the Cape Wine Route. This destination is also referred to as Cape Route 62. Paarl has large international wine companies as well as the smaller winemakers. The main aim of all these win e makers is to produce good quality wines that will appeal to all wine lovers. They produce a wide range of wines to satisfy your taste buds from the “fresh and fruity” to the Dark and brooding”. The “signature cultivar” of the Paarl Wine Route is the Shiraz which has won many awards. Many of the wineries also offer extra attractions such as cheese and olive tasting.
As soon as you arrive in the town you will see that most of the wine farms still carry their original French name. Here you will discover a variety of cellars from the small wineries that produce unique tasting wines to the larger cellars that can offer organised tours and wine tastings. The Franschhoek Wine Valley makes a superb range of white wines as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc. Then to the full-bodied red wines as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. All these wines can be tasted and even enjoyed with wonderful plate of food made available from the restaurants situated on the estates. All these wine tours include a delicious a la carte lunch. I must really commend Ashanti Travel on their diverse selection of African safari vacation packages which cover almost anything you might want to try.
The first stop of the tour will be The District Six Museum. Here you will learn how the area was established. It was set aside as a mixed community for freed slaves merchants, labourers and immigrants in the late 19TH Century. It was a pulsating centre and was close to the city centre and the harbour. But in the early 20TH Century the migration process began. The black South Africans were the first to be displaced, and then others began to move out to the suburbs till the area became neglected. This area was declared a white only area on the 11 February 1966 and in excess of 60,000 people were forcibly removed and their houses were flattened. Today it is amazing to see how this once desolate place has been restored and rebuilt and can now claim its status as a National Heritage Site.
The next stop on the tour will be the district of Langa. This township is the oldest in Cape Town. It was established in 1923 and has lately seen much improvement as the government has invested much into its infrastructure. You will be visiting the local community school and crèche. You will also stop at a local shebeen (pub) and taste some of the traditional beer. During the walk down the main street you will be able to interact with the locals and learn some of their culture and experience their hospitality.
You will lastly take a walking tour around Gugulethu which will be for around 40 to 45 minutes. On this walk you will experience the everyday life of the residents. You will also visit Mzoli’s place which is a local braai spot. A taxi will transport you around the township and also show you the neighboring township of Nyanga. You will have the opportunity to visit the townships Sangoma (traditional healer). The last stop of the tour will be a visit to the 7 memorial stones.
There is so much to do and see in Cape Town that you will have to come to explore and tour the area again and again.