5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town_

When words like breaching, fluking, spouting and spyhopping, can be heard around Cape Town, it means it’s whale season. From June to November, Southern Right Whales enter Cape Town waters – their 60-ton, barnacle-covered bodies can be seen frolicking not far from the coastline where they come to breed and calf each year on their annual migration from Antarctica. Between May and November it’s the turn of Humpback whales who have for millennia made the journey from the polar region to the Cape of Storm where they court and give birth before setting out with their young to Mozambique and Madagascar. Whale season in Cape Town is as exciting for locals and tourists as it is for the whales, so we’ve picked five of the best ways to see whales around Cape Town.

  1. Simon’s Town Boat Company

Little more than a thirty minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre, historic Simon’s Town is one of the best places to whale-watch. Simon’s Town Boat Company is happy to help with a number of sea tours and boat charters – definitely the best way to experience the beautiful False Bay coast that stretches from Strandfontein all the way to Cape Point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The area, tucked away from the open ocean and surrounded by sheltering mountains at the southern tip of Africa, is an ideal winter home for whales. You might be lucky enough to see them from the shoreline or you can get a closer view of these gentle giants in their natural habitat by setting out on one of four custom-designed vessels, skippered by highly qualified crew and your very own expert tour guide. Keep an eye out for other ocean visitors like Humpbacks, Orcas and dolphins.

boatcompany.co.za

Facebook: @boatcompany

Brooders Whale watching IN Cape Town Top 5 Ways To Watch Whales

  1. Ocean Wonder

Ocean Wonder offers boat-based ocean wildlife encounters, guided by Paul Lipschitz and his knowledge of the Table Bay area and the creatures who live in it, whether whales, dolphins, penguins, sun fish or seals. These guided trips take you wherever the ocean giants can be reached – and along the way, you’ll be enchanted by the facts and stories Paul can tell you, about the ocean’s wildlife and the breathtaking habitat they call home. The boat is a 7.2 meter Ballistic semi-rigid inflatable (SRI), certified by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) for use as a commercial charter boat. You can expect an exciting and comfortable ride that can accommodate 11 passengers.

oceanwonder.co.za

Facebook: @oceanwondercapetown

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Dyer Island -Cruises-01

  1. Dyer Island Cruises

Dyer Island Cruises is based in Gansbaai, a two-hour drive from Cape Town. The area surrounding Dyer Island and “Shark Alley” is the world renowned home of the Marine Big 5. Depending on the time of year, you can see whales, dolphins, seals, African Penguins and Great White Sharks – sometimes in a single trip! Peak season is July to December, and Southern Right Whales are prolific between August and November.

Dyer Island Cruises’ marine tour guides know this area like the back of their hand and are not only extremely knowledgeable about all things ocean, but are also keen to ensure that your trip is as enjoyable as it possibly can be onboard the Dreamcatcher – a 5-star, custom-built whale-watching vessel.

Whalewatchsa.com

Facebook: @WhaleWatchSA

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Dyer Island -Cruises - 03

  1. Southern Right Charters

Southern Right Charters’ purpose-built catamaran “Miroshca”, is a great way to experience the marine playground of Hermanus. This area hosts most of the Southern Right Whales that visit the South African coastline. Humpback and Brydes Whales are also a common sight, along with many other marine creatures. Tours leave from the Hermanus’s New Harbour – dubbed the “Capital of the Cape Whale Coast” – and head out to Walker Bay, one of the best whale-watching areas in the world.

Southern Right Charters describes itself as a “progressive, environmentally-sensitive company that operates according to the ‘Observing NOT Disturbing’ principle’, which puts the safety and conservation of whales and marine life first”.

The charter company also offers on-land facilities at New Harbour. The Whale Shack on the water’s edge has refreshments, WiFi and free internet access, a DVD pre-viewing area, local crafts and souvenirs, as well as regular whale sightings in peak season.

Southernrightcharters.co.za

Facebook: @HermanusWhaleWatching

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Hermanus Land Based Whale Watching

  1. Hermanus

Hermanus – rated one of the top 12 whale-watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund – offers not only boat charters, but opportunities to view the whales from land, for those who’d prefer not to get their feet wet. Since the whales often come within metres of the shoreline, a number of viewing terraces have been set up at the Old Harbour and Gearings Point. One the unique experiences of whale season is the Whale Crier – who blows on a traditional kelp horn to alert locals and tourists to the presence of whales. If you’re able to visit in August, you can experience the Kalfiefees(the Calving Festival) or wait for the first week of October when the seaside town hosts its annual whale festival—a unique event to welcome the whales home, and celebration all things cetacean.

hermanustourism.info

Facebook: @hermanustourism

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restaurants with fireplaces in Cape Town

Cape Town is well known for its unpredictable weather, and winter is no exception. From rainy days to summer-like warmth, venturing out for a meal can be a challenge. After experiencing four seasons in one day, these restaurants will draw you in with cosy fireplaces and delicious food.  There’s something for every taste bud. From high tea, to burgers and three-course meals – escape the winter chill at one of these amazing restaurants.

Top 10 List sourced from the exciting new Dineplan app

#1 High Tea at Truth

Steam punk mixed with high tea seems like an unlikely pairing, but Truth effortlessly fuses the two to create a unique and fun experience. High tea options include a Classic non-alcoholic version for R360, Pol Roger Champagne High Tea for R480, or Pol Roger Winston Churchill Champagne High Tea for R990. Everything is served in three different courses prepared by French-born chef Kamal Hamzaoui, starting with the Amuse Bouche, followed by the Café Course, and finishing off with Le Grande Révélation.

Your choice from an entire selection of Single Origin and Nigiro Teas are perfectly paired with nine different Petit Fours including a chocolate éclair, cream scone with homemade jam, or a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. With its edgy vibe and inventive taste combinations, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

High Tea: Sunday 1 pm and Monday—Saturday 3 pm-5 pm

36 Buitenkant Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 200-0440 | za.truth.coffee/pages/high-tea

#2 Homage 1862

Homage isn’t just a restaurant—it’s an immersive dining experience. The handmade crockery, dining tables made out of salvaged ceiling wood, and plants on the wall accentuate the warm ambiance. With a large wood fireplace located in the open space and comfortable, retro furniture it feels like you have been transported back in time.

The menu features flame-grilled South African favorites combined with Asian undertones to create small plates. With an attentive staff and seasonal menu, Homage creates a unique and delicious experience. A secluded area is located upstairs and is the perfect place for cocktail hour. The music and comfortable furniture create a relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

Hours: Tuesday 12pm-4pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11:30am-11:30 pm, closed Sunday & Monday

168 Loop Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27 (0) 422-0900www.facebook.com/homage.1862/

#3 Aubergine Restaurant

The eclectic restaurant has simple décor yet sophisticated vibes. German chef and owner Harald Bresselschmidt prepares innovative dishes with Eastern and Western influences that combine fresh, local ingredients sourced directly from farmers and trusted suppliers with seasonal flavors.

Dishes include lunch, dinner, and vegetarian options with either an A la Carte or Degustation Menu with optional wine pairing. Offering hand-selected local and international wines that are sure to compliment your entrée, Aubergine is all about creating a unique and sensory dining experience.

Lunch: Wednesday to Friday (October to April) 12noon-2pm

Dinner: Monday to Saturday (closed two Mondays per month) 6pm-10pm

39 Barnet Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 465-0000www.aubergine.co.za

#4 Lou Lou’s Bar

Classy, trendy, and unique—all three words perfectly capture Lou Lou’s bar. Whether you’re stopping by for an after-work drink, a night out with friends, or a romantic evening with your partner – you’re greeted with good vibes and a welcoming atmosphere. The dim lighting, golden accents, and leather-back booths transports you to a simple, happy time.

The fresh and flavourful food is hand-crafted to bring a new-age take on tapas, fusing Asian, Italian, and contemporary cuisines. After dinner, the music gets louder and the party vibe is pumped up. With unique food and great drinks, the fun vibe escalates on Friday and Saturday nights with “Dinner and Dance.” A live DJ plays some of your favourite oldies, blues, jazz, and dance music to get you bobbing to the beats.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-2am; Sunday closed

10 Jarvis Street | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 418-0015 | www.loulous.co.za

#5 Rick’s Café Américain

 

Looking to have a comfortable meal out? With three open fireplaces and Moroccan-themed decor inspired by the film Casablanca, Rick’s is a great homey spot. No matter what your dietary preferences might be—vegetarian, omnivore, or straight-up carnivore—you’re sure to find a meal you love with Rick’s eclectic menu options and warm atmosphere.

With its vibrant, happy atmosphere and 600 different beverage options the bar is ranked among one of the top drinking spots in Cape Town. From wines to whiskies, beers to cocktails, aperitifs to brandies, and more than 30 different types of tequila in between Rick’s has something for everyone.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am- 2am; Sundays closed

2 Park Road | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 424-1100 | www.rickscafe.co.za

 

#6 Toni’s on Kloof

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Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine and cooking at this local favourite spot. The relaxed and warm atmosphere create a comfortable environment to dine with friends and family. The vibrant yellow and blue traditional Portuguese colours paint the outside of the restaurant and accent the decor inside.

Consistent and loyal Portuguese dishes, made on order with quality, fresh ingredients are created with great care and passion. Enjoy local favourites such as Peri-Peri Chicken, Mozambican Curries, Feijoada, Prawn Rissoles, Portuguese Seafood Rice, and many more.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 12 pm-3 pm, 6pm-11 pm

88 Kloof St | Tamboerskloof | Cape Town | +27 (0) 423-7617  | www.tonis.co.za

#7 Den Anker Bar & Restaurant

The spectacular setting in the V&A Waterfront offers unparalleled views through floor-to-ceiling windows. With exceptional seafood creatively prepared it makes it easy to understand why Den Anker has been around for over 24 years. Tasty local South African specialties, which change weekly, give visitors and locals alike a wonderful and fresh experience. Their menus are centred around local, seasonal foods and offer specialties such as fresh crayfish, imported shrimp, foie gras brûlée, and decadent chocolate desserts.

Paying homage to their roots, the Den Anker Bar has six different imported Belgian beers, imported from small breweries and ensuring many different flavours and styles. These are brewed on tap and include De Koninck, Vedett Extra White, Liefmans Fruitesse, La Chouffe, Maredsous Blond, and the exclusively brewed Anker beer made in Lochristi by Den Anker’s Belgian founder, Denis Bouckaert. With one of a kind tastes, friendly and attentive staff, and picturesque views, your experience at Den Anker is sure to be unforgettable.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 am-10 pm

Pierhead | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 419-0249 | www.denanker.co.za

#8 Life Grand Cafe Waterfront

With the motto, “Food you want to leave home for. Food you feel at home with.” you get a sense of what the Life Grand Café is all about. Its intriguing design and open, bright space creates a decadent dining experience.  Inside you’ll find a salad bar, crudo bar, coffee bar, and cocktail bar which offers a variety of creative and interesting cocktails, such as the Love Potion and Youth Elixir.

The menu offers over 100 entrees, ranging from Mediterranean-style food to classic entrees with a twist – all prepared in a wood-burning oven. With five fireplaces and beautiful views of the vibrant Waterfront Pier, it is an ideal location for great food and a warm atmosphere.

Hours:  Monday to Sunday 7am-11pm

2 Pierhead Road | V&A Waterfront |Cape Town | +27 (0) 205-1902 | www.facebook.com/lifegrandcafesa/

 

#9 Dash Restaurant & Bar

Reportedly named after the Queen’s favourite pet, Dash offers panoramic views of Table Mountain and a live pianist during dinner from Tuesday through to Saturday. Although it sits in the Queen Victoria Hotel, the restaurant and bar are open to the public. With a menu that changes every few weeks and a dedicated chef, you are sure to have a unique and exquisite dining experience every time you visit.

Looking for a place to have drinks after work? The bar at Dash, with its signature royal purple bar stools, offers an extensive selection of single malt whiskies and wines. Mirror ceilings reflect the double-sided fireplace and remarkable artwork, surrounding you with feelings of warmth and elegance.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 6:30am- 10:30pm

Queen Victoria Hotel | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 418-1466 | newmarkhotels.com/places/restaurants/dash/

 

#10 The Stud Burger & Saloon

Enjoy great vibes, good music, and delicious burgers at this trendy bar and burger spot. With a focus on gourmet burgers and grills plus true dedication to their mantra “preparing quality food,” this eatery is a great local favourites. Creative themed dishes add to the relaxed and fun environment.

There is something for everyone at The Stud Burger & Saloon with great vegetarian and vegan burger options as well. Complement your burger with one of the wide range of craft beers on tap, bottled beers and ciders, or a glass of red or white wine. Stay warm at a table inside near the fire and enjoy the view of the vibrant Woodstock street life.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm-4pm, Sunday 4pm-11pm

Happy Hour: 6pm to 7pm Tuesdays & Thursdays

76 Roodebloem Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 447-4613 | www.facebook.com/thestudburgersaloon/

How We Discovered Our Top 10 Restaurants with Fireplaces in Cape Town

 

Dineplan was launched on December the 1st, 2012. In 2011, Greg Whitfield and Martin Rose, started dreaming about creating software that would revolutionize the South African restaurant industry. They went to school together and with their solid friendship as foundation, they started an exciting entrepreneurial journey together.

The dynamic duo approached local restaurants to find out more about their reservation needs. From their finding they created software to help manage bookings. Restaurants across the country use their innovative system, from the Cape Peninsula to Phalaborwa.

After six years of finetuning the reservation system, they launched the Dineplan app in early 2018. They already have access to the behind the scenes booking information and can now offer dining patrons the ability to tap into this information and make instant bookings at the Dineplan restaurants. Restaurant lovers can pick and choose from 1000’s of Dineplan restaurant users.

Using the Dineplan App

 

If you are looking for restaurants with a specific feature, Dineplan has categorized their vast database. Choose between a variety of filters including cuisine, price, attributes, and rating. The attribute options range from child friendly, romantic, and great views to sunsets, serves Halaal, and pet friendly.

Step 1: Select a Location

You can either use your current location or type in the city/suburb

Step 2: Access filters

Click on the menu icon at the top right

Step 3: Select Attributes

Click on the filter option to categorize the results

Download the app now on the iTunes or GooglePlay store