Quads and cocktails: The beginner’s guide to exploring Jozi and Cape Town as a local

Winter may be here, but that doesn’t mean we have to halt any travel plans. On the contrary, winter serves as one of the best seasons for locals to become more acquainted with their country.

From gin experiences in the V&A Waterfront to quad biking through Soweto, read on to see the ultimate beginner’s guide to exploring the cities of Jozi and Cape Town.

Select the perfect homebase

The best way to kick off your trip is to ensure your homebase is perfectly situated to explore the city you’re in. For Cape Town, the Radisson RED V&A Waterfront is nestled perfectly in the world-famous V&A Waterfront, home to many attractions within walking distance.

Similarly, the Radisson RED Johannesburg Rosebank is in the bustling cosmopolitan hub of Rosebank, making it ideal for leisure travellers who want to make the most of a Jozi visit.

These hotels also provide a play on the conventional, with the aim of encouraging guests to ‘stay and play’.

Get the adrenaline pumping

While some may equate a traditional holiday to quiet days and spa treatments, there’s so much opportunity to add adventure into your trip. Both Johannesburg and Cape Town are bursting with exciting outdoor activities suited to every traveller’s palate. Whether you’re a full-on adrenaline junkie, or someone just testing the waters, both cities can accommodate your daredevil levels.

For water lovers, Cape Town Kayak Adventures offers an exhilarating kayaking experience around Battery Park in the V&A Waterfront. It serves as a safe and exciting activity for those of all ages. It’s open year-round (weather permitting, of course), and has dedicated guides along with you to ensure smooth sailing.

Need something a bit low-key? A pleasant e-bike tour around the city is a great way to take in the sights of the Mother City.

These adrenaline-filled activities and so many more can be booked with Up Front Concierge.

On the road to Atlantis, what may seem like small sandcastles in the distance are in fact vast dunes ready to be explored. Jeep Tours Cape Town provides travellers with specially curated sandboarding experiences, led by experienced drivers who know the Atlantis dunes like the back of their hands.

Quad biking and Johannesburg may not be words you thought would be in the same sentence, but the team at Honest Travel Experiences begs to differ. The Soweto Towers are famously known for their bungee jumping experience, but they offer so much more for travellers to explore the area of Soweto. A quad bike tour of the township is offered by guides, showing the rich cultural and historical sites that can be explored.

Have fun with food (and drinks!)

It’s no surprise that food and drink tourism is on the rise, with a projection to grow another 16.8% by 2025, according to the World Food Travel Association. Countries all over the world have prioritised their gastronomical offerings, and South Africa is no exception.

In the City of Gold, you don’t have to look further than your homebase to experience the best of the culinary scene. The Radisson RED Rosebank has recently given its famous RED Roof menu a facelift by incorporating highly anticipated dishes familiar to most South Africans. Steak seared to perfection while drinking in the dreamy Jozi skyline isn’t the worst way to wind down your day. Familiar favourites on the menu include steaks, ribs and wings, and even pork trotters.

If you’re in the mood for a home-cooked meal, the hotel also offers a Sunday “seven colours” table buffet every week. The meal includes hearty beef stew, flame-grilled chicken, creamed spinach, beetroot and more!

The Radisson RED V&A Waterfront also offers a unique gin experience that takes guests through the process of how different gins are blended. You even get to take a sample of your handmade gin blend home with you!

Not too far from the hotel is the famous Cause Effect, which serves up an Insta-worthy cocktail pairing. This sought-after three-course cocktail and food pairing lasts about 45 minutes, with each group being attended to by their own private bartender. These spaces fill up quickly, thus bookings are essential.

Learn more about the culture

Regardless of whether you’re new to a city or were born and bred there, there’s always something new to learn about the local culture. A great way to explore this is through the art around where you’re staying.

In the trendy suburb of Rosebank, a walking tour is a fantastic way to become acquainted with the local art galleries. Another offering by Honest Travel Experiences, the tour includes a walk through the Keyes Art Mile by an experienced tour guide who has in-depth knowledge about the artists and their work.

Prefer to experience art indoors? The Radisson RED V&A Waterfront hosts regular ‘sip and paint’ evenings with Paint and Pretzels, which include yummy snacks, delicious local wine and, of course, your masterpiece to take home with you.

All of the above serves as a great springboard around which to plan your holiday. With a country so rich in cultures and experiences, when it comes to curating your next sho’t left, the world is your oyster!

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