After Sundown

There are several myths about the nightlife in South Africa related to crime, violence and a suspicious people. For instance, it isn’t unusual for a South African to be asked if wild animals roam freely or if a typical South African household would have a domesticated wild animal in their backyard. This view still proliferates in the international community despite the plethora of vw Polos for sale in Gauteng.

The most one can answer to these crazy ideas is to ask if Canadians still live in log cabins; if Asians stay in nipa huts or tree houses; or if the United States still has American Indians living in  teepees. As for crime, it happens in all corners of the world and South Africa is no different so anyone can enjoy night after night of partying and fun without ever being threatened by a criminal provided the normal and usual safety precautions are observed.

South Africa has busting modern cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg where all modern amenities and conveniences are found including the best cuisine, shops, and bars. In fact, Cape Town is a city that never sleeps because the South African nightlife spills over to early morning when the rest of the city is waking up to another busy day. And there are no elephants walking the city streets and you can only see them in national parks. Also, many of the major cities have Dutch names and a strong multi-cultural presence which means the chances of bumping into someone who looks familiar as a race as you enjoy the nightlife in South Africa is almost sure to happen.

Some of the best places to drop by to unwind after a hectic day while in South Africa are:

The Montecasino Entertainment Complex in Johannesburg which expanded its operations in 2007 by adding Teatro and an open-air Piazza. There are excellent restaurants in the Piazza, a hotel, ballroom, and the fabulous Pivot which is a new hotel with restaurant, bar, and lounge. Other places to to experience South African nightlife here in the entertainment complex are the casino, comedy club, cinemas, a second theatre called the Pieter Toerien Theatre, and a food court.

Long Street in Cape Town is a bohemian-style street where you find ethnic stores, bookstores, the Zula African restaurant and the Masala Dosa Indian restaurant. What’s amazing about Long Street is the vibrant atmosphere and party mood once the sun sets in Cape Town. It’s a great place to go hopping from bar to coffee shop to restaurant and back again. It’s perfect also for a walking tour to see the old Victorian architecture that once housed anti-Apartheid movements, among others.

Not too long ago, an article came out in Fortune Magazine about the “Best Restaurant in Africa.”  This is The Tasting Room which is located in Le Quartier Francais hotel in Franschhoek, Western Cape. Aside from having the multi-awarded Dutch-born chef, Margot Janse, The Taste Room offers an excellent choice in wine from the Winelands, South African specialties, and cooking classes for pre-registered guests. Janse was honored last 2012 as the Top Chef for South Africa and one of two Grand Chefs in the African region. Her signature 8 course meal which takes 3.5 hours to cook uses 80% African produce that includes homemade ice cream, waffles, and corn bread. The restaurant accepts advance bookings so guests don’t have to wait the full 3.5 hours although there is a long line so planning and booking ahead is highly recommended.  The hotel offers special packages for couples, single adults, and families that include great food, a relaxing few days, and impeccable service.