If you’re en route to South Africa for the upcoming ESG Africa Conference and the highly anticipated Morningstar Investment Conference South Africa 2023 , why not indulge in a captivating detour to the Mother City, Cape Town?
As a born and raised Capetonian, I’m thrilled to guide you through a sustainable travel experience in our breathtaking city. Cape Town, South Africa is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a wealth of natural beauty to offer. From its iconic Table Mountain to its stunning beaches and lush vineyards, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Cape Town not only boasts stunning natural beauty but also a commitment to conservation, culture, and inclusion. Here are three must-visit destinations that embody these principles:
1. Spier Wine Farm
Spier Wine Farm is one of the leading sustainable wine producers in South Africa. The farm is committed to protecting the environment and supporting local communities. Here’s why you should visit:
Biodiversity Conservation: Spier is dedicated to preserving the Cape Floral Kingdom’s biodiversity, home to over 9,500 plant species found nowhere else in the world.
Innovative Sustainability: The winery pioneers water and energy efficiency, ensuring long-term conservation commitments.
Nature Immersion: Spier welcomes tourists to experience the land firsthand through nature activities, fostering a deep connection with the environment.
Social Impact: Their wastewater treatment plant recycles 100% of wastewater, and the cleaned water irrigates the grounds. They empower local communities through programs like the tree-preneurs initiative, providing opportunities for vulnerable individuals.
Must taste: The Chocolate and Wine pairing is the most delightful wine and food tasting I’ve ever had. Think white peppered plum chocolate paired with a rosé, white cardamom and passion fruit chocolate paired with a classic red; I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. But don’t miss their Pinotage, it’s a crazy good drinkable red!
2. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Table Mountain’s unique topography allows it to capture and store rainfall, which is collected in dams and reservoirs and supplied to the city.
The vegetation on the mountain also plays a vital role in slowing down the flow of water during heavy rainfall, reducing the risk of flooding and soil erosion. Here’s what makes Table Mountain truly exceptional:
Celestial Connection: It’s the only South African site and natural wonder with its own constellation of stars named after it.
Botanical Wonder: Hosting the richest floral kingdom on Earth, with over 1,470 floral species, Table Mountain showcases the wonders of nature
In addition to its sustainability credentials, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway also offers a unique and unforgettable experience. The cableway ride takes you up the side of the mountain, offering stunning 360 views of the city and surrounding coastline.
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3. Robben Island
Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, symbolizes the struggle against apartheid. It’s where Nelson Mandela and many political prisoners endured hardship. Yet, the island’s history spans centuries, from a prison to a military base and a leper colony.
Here’s why you should embark on this historical and inclusive journey:
Apartheid History: Robben Island serves as a powerful reminder of apartheid era, offering insight into the oppression faced and also a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.
Nelson Mandela’s Legacy: Explore the cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison and gain a deeper understanding of his enduring spirit.
Ferry Adventures: Ferries depart daily from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, offering an immersive experience. The tours, lasting approximately three-and-a-half hours, provide a comprehensive perspective on South Africa’s history.
As you embark on your journey through Cape Town, remember three simple ways to make a meaningful impact:
Support Local: Choose local products, from wines at Spier to artisan souvenirs, to directly contribute to the community’s well-being.
Respect Nature: When exploring Table Mountain, tread lightly and follow responsible hiking practices to preserve this natural wonder.
Preserve History: By visiting Robben Island, you help safeguard its historical significance and promote inclusive storytelling.
Cape Town offers not only breathtaking beauty but also opportunities to be a responsible traveler. Embrace these principles, and you’ll leave a lasting, positive mark on the community and environment
This Column in the Sustainable Travel series is by Liam Marais. Each Week ESG News offers readers and experts a chance to share experience and insight on sustainable travel. Email here if you are interested in submitting an article [email protected]