Capetown, Africa

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The ride to the top of the iconic Table Mountain is one you’ll never forget. You’ll relish the views of the cobalt blue ocean and urban landscape from this lofty perch.

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Reap the rewards of an encompassing panorama after an hour’s hike to the Lion’s Head. A night with a full moon makes it a popular place to view the sparkling city lights below.

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The eastern slopes of Table Mountain rise above the swathes of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The flora, locally known as fynbos, is at its best between August and November.

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Dubbed the Cape of Storms by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, the lighthouse, which illuminates the Cape of Good Hope, is the strongest on the continent.

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For shopping, entertainment and a slew of restaurants, you won’t go wrong at the V&A. It’s convenient to reach the aquarium and stadium nearby, and it’s the place for a bay cruise.

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The Two Oceans Aquarium name reflects the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and it features the marine life in these waters. Don’t miss the shark feeding on Sundays at 3:00 pm.

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You can buy a ticket online for either a morning or afternoon trip to the top by cable car. However, an excursion to the 3,500-foot summit always depends on the weather, so check it before you go. It’s wise to bring a sweater with you, and wear sunblock and proper footware. If you plan hiking to the peak or along one of the trails at the summit, be safe and bring water, snacks and a friend.

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As in any other city you visit, it’s always best to keep your wits about you. It is recommended to take a taxi in Cape Town at night, rather than walking, and be on your guard when withdrawing cash at an ATM. If you’re curious about visiting a township, then go with a group led by an experienced guide.

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Cape Town has a temperate climate. October to April offer warm and dry weather, but the notorious south-easter winds occur from December through January. February to mid-April has great beach weather, and hiking enthusiasts will enjoy crisp, clear days from late April to early June.

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Four to five full days allow you to experience the sites and sounds of the Mother City at a leisurely pace. Stay longer if you’d like and use the city as a base to explore the beautiful, surrounding areas in the Western Cape, such as the wine region of Stellenbosch.

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African Safari

Safari Philosophy

Without wanting to turn the traditional game drive completely on its head, the Angama Mara guiding team felt it might be time to shake things up a little: the team struck on the idea of crafting game drives around the guest. Guests are asked where they have been; what they have seen; what their great passions are; what they would like to do and when they would like to do it; and for how long they would like to be on a game drive at any one time – and game drives are structured accordingly.

The pace is a little slower here because all of Angama Mara’s guests come to East Africa to see game, and game there is a-plenty. They might start their safari in the Mara and want to do many game drives; they might come here in the middle of their journey and do a little less game viewing; or they might end their adventure at Angama Mara and only go down into the Reserve to find something they might not have seen. One fact for certain is that the Mara Triangle consistently delivers twelve months of the year – so one can afford to take things a little slower, and enjoy a much more flexible day on safari no matter what time of year.

A day on safari

Guests could leave the lodge at dawn, or decide to go on a game drive after breakfast, descend down Angama Mara’s private road and 10-minutes later find themselves in the heart of the action – surrounded by more animals than they could imagine: the vast grasslands dotted with acacias are home to abundant herds, as well as Africa’s Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo.

Safaris are conducted in the lovely Mara Triangle, open from sunrise to sunset, and are in completely open gameviewing vehicles to which the animals are well accustomed – the vehicles are specially equipped and converted, offering comfy seats, ample legroom, charging stations and canvas roofs for respite from the sun.

Because the weather is so mild in the Mara, there are no constraints as to when to go on a game drive, and Angama Mara guests tailor-make their safari days: out early and back for breakfast; out early with a picnic breakfast and back for lunch; out after breakfast with a picnic lunch and back mid-afternoon; a post lunch game drive and back at sunset; or very best of all, spending a whole day exploring the Mara Triangle – with a picnic breakfast and lunch down at the Tanzanian border without a soul in sight – that’s an all-time favourite and a grand way to spend the day.

Something for everyone

Angama Mara’s experienced guides tailor-make their guest’s safari days: first-timers to Africa will be guided differently to old-timers, and there are over 570-recorded species of birds which will keep birding enthusiasts busy. First and foremost, the guides are storytellers, and interpret the Mara in a way that immerses their guests in the surroundings: a safari at Angama Mara is about an overwhelming sense of place. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the knowledge and companionship of more than one guide as their desired safari experience changes from day to day, and the guiding team will endeavour to match like-minded guests with each other: birders will go on safari with fellow birders, as will those with a keen interest in photography or another special interest.

A rocking safari

Guests at Angama Mara can also enjoy the wonders of a safari without leaving the comfort of their deck: the views of the Mara from the tented suites are staggering – the sky never sits still and there is always something to spot 300m below – elephant families melting in and out of the forest, a thousand buffalo lazing about, giraffe stepping daintily down from the escarpment or a pod of hippo moving from one water body to the next. All the tents are equipped with binoculars and there is a spotting scope in the guest area. There are heaps of resident game around the lodge: eland, zebra, giraffe, topi and impala; and watching the raptors soar effortlessly above and below you is a great way to while away the hours.