Bo Kaap in Cape Town

Have you ever been to a place for the first time and felt as if you’d been there before, like this foreign place somehow felt like home? This happened to me on my first trip to Cape Town, South Africa in 2004. Many aspects about the city felt strangely familiar to me, as if it were some sort of homecoming. I wrote about this experience on Gloria’s lovely blog, At Home in Tuscany, in which I said:

As I stepped out of the plane and into the airport terminal, I sensed a surge of excitement – I’d always wanted to visit South Africa – but the emotion that really struck me was how I felt so much at ease. Hardly anything felt strange. It was like taking a stroll in my own backyard.


The Table Mountain as viewed from Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront at sunset

The great news is: my next trip takes me to…. you guessed it!… Cape Town! You can imagine how excited I am about the prospect of returning to the Mother City this Saturday. It promises to be a trip of a lifetime! Accompanied by Melvin (Traveldudes), Matt (Landlopers) and Nellie & Alberto (Wild Junket), I’ll be in fabulous company. Together, we’ll explore Cape Town’s historic, culinary and arts/design scene; enjoy the city’s stunning natural beauty by hiking to the top of the Table Mountain and paragliding off Signal Hill (a peak adjacent to the Table Mountain); bike around a township; and discover the other Cape gems, like the breathtaking Hout Bay and the penguins on Boulder Beach, along the Cape Peninsula.

#LoveCapeTown and a call to Capetonians

You can follow our adventures in Cape Town by following the hashtag #LoveCapeTown on Twitter, via my Facebook page and Instagram (velvetescape). Calling all Capetonians, we’re looking for tips on offbeat things to do and see in the Mother City so if you have a suggestion, be sure to tweet us using the hashtag #LoveCapeTown. We’d love to hear from you! You can be sure that we’ll follow up on the best tips and feature them (and you) on our social media streams.


We’ll also be hosting a “Welcome to the Bloggers” Twitter chat on Sunday, 29th July between 7pm – 8pm (local time). You’re most welcome to tweet us using the hashtag, just to say ‘Hi’, to find out a bit more about us or to suggest your favourite things to do and see in Cape Town.

To dive or not to dive? That is the question.

One other thing we’re going to do is a shark cage-dive in Gansbaai, the ultimate spot to view the marine life of the Western Cape. Ok, this is where I start to get a bit jittery. I’ve experienced swimming with sharks before. I even wrote a post about it titled “Getting over my Jaws complex“!! Somehow, the idea of swimming with 5-6ft-long black-tip sharks (like I did in Malaysia and Bora Bora) seems like child’s play compared to diving with 12-16ft Great Whites that are common along the South African coast. Yes, we’ll be in a cage but should I be assured? I’m still undecided. What do you think? Should I go for it?

After what would undoubtedly be a fabulous week in Cape Town, we’ll (hopefully) be in tip-top shape to meet with local travel bloggers and tourism industry representatives at the Getaway Travel Bloggers Conference on Saturday, 4th August. I’m really looking forward to speaking at the conference about the business of travel blogging and meeting the South African travel bloggers in real life.

This is going to be an amazing trip with more ‘firsts’ for me, in a city I can easily call HOME. I hope you’ll follow me and the others on our trip around Cape Town and begin to understand why Cape Town holds a special place in my heart.

Note: my trip to Cape Town is a collaboration between the Cape Town Tourism Board and iambassador.

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11 Responses to “#LoveCapeTown”

  1. Keith Jenkins 07/08/2017 8:11 pm

    Hi Jon,
    I didn’t do it in the end as I fell ill on the day of the dive. I’ve heard about this issue but I’ve never researched which companies do this. That said, I’ve been on two shark/whale-watching tours with Marine Dynamics (based in Gansbaai, about a two-hour drive from Cape Town) and they’re very serious about marine conservation. They also conduct cage-diving tours but I can’t say what means they use to lure sharks. A blogger friend of mine did go cage-diving and wrote this post about her experience: http://www.dangerous-business.com/2016/06/go-cage-diving-great-white-sharks/

    I hope this helps.

    Have a great trip to South Africa! If you’re looking for more tips/ideas for SA, please let me know.


  2. Jon 07/08/2017 6:33 pm

    Hey there Keith,

    My wife and I are big travelers and it’s been quite refreshing reading our similar experiences. Reading how we’ve loved the same places definitely adds some weight to your S. African experiences (we’re heading there in November).

    Just wanting to follow up, did you end up going Great White diving? Thoughts? Also, I read that some tour companies use chum and other means of luring sharks which will negatively associated humans with food. Did you find an ethical place for cage diving?

    Thanks for the reply!


  3. velvet 15/08/2012 4:14 pm

    Thanks Alex! It sure was an awesome experience! 🙂

  4. Alex Lop 15/08/2012 4:10 pm

    Awesome, Keith. Just awesome. It looked like it was such a great experience.

  5. mzansigirl 29/07/2012 9:10 pm

    Hi Keith, Cape Town is amazing! You should do the shark dive, though I don’t think I could, i’d just be too nervous. Look forward to meeting you at the Getaway Blog Conference!

  6. velvet 25/07/2012 12:19 pm

    That’s a fab tip! Thank you Munier! 🙂

  7. Munier Parker 24/07/2012 12:38 pm

    It’s Ramadan for Cape Town’s Muslim community and you should try and fit a visit in to share in the breaking of fast. This is an experience like no other.

  8. velvet 23/07/2012 12:06 pm

    Hahahaha, “really big goldfish”? Ok, I can deal with that. 🙂

    Thanks for your comment Ben.


  9. Adventureswithben 23/07/2012 12:03 pm

    So this may have been an anomaly, but when I went shark cage diving in Gansbaai I found it to be underwhelming. I was attracted to it by images from shark week on TV and brochures with open-jawed vicious sharks. The reality was, they swam gently by as I was underwater. They were like really big goldfish.

    The trip was fun, but was not as scary as I envisioned. I say go for it. You’ll be fine.


  1. #LoveCapeTown Campaign Shakes Up “Fam” Trip With Crowdsourced Tips for Travel Bloggers | Robert Licursi - 06/09/2012

    […] be sure to tweet us … we’ll follow up on the best tips and feature them (and you),” posted @velvetescape to his blog.) Later in the week, one of those suggestions may have caused him to be in position to […]

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