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November 06, 2012

My Table Mountain National Park quickie

The South African National Parks media group enjoyed the unexpected splendours of the Table Mountain National Park in October 2012

A quickie by definition, is a brief, passionate interlude that leaves you wanting more, but there is nothing brief, or unfulfilling, about a 36-hour weekend getaway in the gorgeous Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).

Home to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Cape PointSignal HillBoulders Beach Colony and more, the TMNP is a sprawling estate with so much more to it than meets the eye.

As an adventurous sequel to the fantastic West Coast National Park and Bontebok National Park media trips, arranged and hosted by South African National Parks, TMNP, a natural World Heritage site, had a lot to live up to and, boy, did she deliver!

Exhilarating park activities

The Boulders Beach Colony is one of the must-see attractions in the Table Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy SANParks

We rose bright and early on Saturday, October 27 to pile into our trusty Green Cab and pay a visit to our little penguin friends at Boulders Beach.

With only 18 000 breeding pairs of African Penguins left, these cuties are in critical danger so remember to tread carefully when visiting.

There are only 18 000 breeding pairs of African Penguins left

From birds to paddas (frogs)… we were lead on an educational walk by park ranger, Sergeant Marissa, through the Cape of Good Hope Reserve, or as it is more commonly known, Cape Point.

Sergeant Marissa introduced us to the Cape Platanna, a species of frog, which believe it or not, were used as pregnancy tests in the 1960s!

Cape of Good Hope park rangers are on hand to provide information and tours of the reserve to visitors

Next up on our quickie itinerary was a seaside meander along the Cape Point coastline. Though these beaches are open to the public for swimming, abalone poachers are a severe threat to the local marine life, which is why we need to be mindful when enjoying its natural splendour.

Lunch with a view

Cape Point's Two Oceans Restaurant offers patrons a spectacular view and tasty gourmet delights. Photo courtesy Cape Point Partnership

A hop, skip and baboon watch away, a gourmet lunch awaited us at Cape Point’s decadent Two Oceans Restaurant.

The recently renovated eatery boasts an appetising new sushi bar and a sexier design. While we all agreed that nothing could possibly top their salmon roses, paella and fish and chips, we were proved wrong by the ridiculously delicious chocolate brownie and ice cream dessert…

Discover how far Cape Point is from the rest of the world

A Flying Dutchman funicular ride to the top of the lighthouse for an amazing view of False Bay, followed by a walk down to admire the iconic Cape Point is highly recommended.

The iconic Cape Point is a highlight for visitors and locals of Cape Town

Sleeping under the stars

The luxury Slangkop Tented Camp in Kommetjie. Photo courtesy SANParks

Properly sated and ready for some R&R, we headed out to our accommodation for the evening, the Slangkop Tented Camp in Kommetjie.

The Slangkop Lighthouse and beachfront add to the beauty of the tented camp

Rustic, spacious and practically on the beachfront, this 12-sleeper camp boasts a spectacular view of the Slangkop lighthouse, fully functional toilets, hot water, showers and a communal boma, equipped with electricity and all of the necessary kitchen appliances, as well as an enclosed braai area. It's ideal for that friends getaway you’ve been dying to have.

Sipping on sundowners while admiring the gorgeous sunset and enjoying stimulating conversation with my tour mates was simply magical, as was being able to look up at the stars while in my tent later that evening.

Scenic sightseeing

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… no Sunday in Cape Town is complete without a sightseeing expedition.

Sightseeing in Cape Town is not complete without a stunning view of Champman's Peak

For our viewing pleasure, we were treated to a leisurely drive along the impressive Chapman’s Peak before stopping by for a visit to the beautiful Oudekraal beach and site.

With summer fast approaching, the Mother City, Oudekraal, with its braai areas and tables, is a great spot for a picnic and beach day with your loved ones.

Brunch on a hill

The new children's play park at the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden add to the family friendly appeal of this establishment.

Our 36-hour quickie getaway culminated in a champagne brunch at the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Room.

From its vantage point, the restaurant provides an unforgettable view of Cape Town. Its easy-on- the-wallet menu, including delicious home-made raisin muffins and a full English breakfast, and children’s play park make the restaurant a perfect family friendly establishment.

In the video below, my media trip tour mates Guy McDonald (Good Hope FM), Nadia Krige (GoTravel.24.com) and Nicole Biondi (SANParks' regional marketing manager) share their hidden gems and why they #LoveCapeTown:

For more information and bookings for the Table Mountain National Park, please visit www.sanparks.org

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