If you are planning stag weekends in Europe, you might want to consider a completely different destination. Cape Town in South Africa could be the answer to all your needs. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with friendly people and views to die for. There is, of course, the backdrop of the famous Table Mountain, seemingly flat on top and covered by a snowy table cloth when the southeaster blows. When you spend a classy weekend in this vibrant city, you will find that there is just not enough time to sample all the exciting possibilities.
Cape Town is situated on a peninsula, with the Atlantic and Indian Oceans within easy driving distance. The beaches are stunning and most of them are snow-white and sandy, with Bikini Beach in Gordon’s Bay and the famous Clifton Beach both classified as Blue Flag. There are many areas still unspoiled within an hour or two of the city centre. A trip up Table Mountain in the revolving cable car will reward you with spectacular views for many kilometres around.
The city contains many beautiful buildings, a large number of them Cape Dutch, which were built during the Dutch occupation in the 17th and 18th centuries. A beautiful example of this is the manor house on the Leeuwenhof estate in the suburb of Gardens, at present the residence of the leader of the Western Cape’s ruling political party, Helen Zille from the Democratic Alliance.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area abounds in restaurants and shops, many selling authentic African crafts and items of unique art. It borders a working harbour, from which there are sunset cruises and trips to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was kept prisoner for 27 years.
Take a drive through the upmarket suburb of Constantia to Hout Bay, where you can watch the fishing boats unload their catch in the harbour. Afterwards, you can have fresh fish or crayfish at one of the many restaurants along the wharf.
On the Indian Ocean side, a train trip will take you along Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek, where the sea sometimes washes over the railway lines. Make a stop at one of the friendly pubs along the way or hunt for bargain antiques in the main road. Past Muizenberg, you can drive to Cape Point, situated in a nature reserve. It is romantically considered to be the southernmost tip of Africa, although that geographical honour really belongs to Cape Agulhas.
The Atlantic seaboard has many highly rated restaurants with stunning sea views, where you can watch kite surfers defying gravity. Further up the West Coast lie quaint fishing villages. In late winter and early spring, the natural beauty of the flower carpets of the Namaqualand area is almost overwhelming.
The numerous excellent vineyards in the surrounding areas, such as Constantia, the Paarl and Stellenbosch, all have informative and excellent wine tours you can take. The natural beauty of these areas is simple yet stunning, especially during the grape season in summer.
The world-class restaurants and hotels in Cape Town and its immediate surroundings offer excellent food and accommodation. A large variety of bed-and-breakfast establishments and self-catering units supply anything from three to five-star lodgings.
Cape Town is an excellent and cost-effective destination for groups who have chosen to visit South Africa as an interesting alternative to the more common stag weekends abroad.