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June 02, 2009

US travel journalist gives Cape Town the crown

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Photo courtesy Peter aka zugg55

Jane Engel, a travel columnist, recently visited the Mother City and, like many before her was very complimentary. Her great review was published in the Los Angeles Times on May 17, 2009.

Her remarks on entering the parallel universe that is Cape Town were perfect: “For a first-time visitor like me, South Africa is a kaleidoscope of shifting scenes and world cultures.” Where better to experience this than in Cape Town? With constantly changing scenery you discover something new around every corner. Her experiences of this, written in an amusing anecdote, show just some of the diversity that visitors to Cape Town experience: “Braking for baboons in the road was unmistakably African. Yet a few miles away, penguins strolled the shore. Antarctica?”

Engel’s praise of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, maze at One & Only, putting it on par with New York restaurants, paints a tantalising picture for tourists about to land on our shores.

With the credit crunch hitting the world economy, everyone is watching their spending. Engel does not see this as a problem; foreign currency goes a long way, making Cape Town an ideal tourist destination.

She calls it “one of the world’s most eye-popping cities”.

Her taxi driver, Nazeem, asked her if it was her first time in Cape Town. When she replied that it was, his response was: “You’ll be back, I promise you.” After their whirlwind tour Engel agreed with Nazeem: “And, oh, if only we’d had one more day to chase cheetahs. Next time.”

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