Support the tourism industry with experience gifting | 9Lives
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The media makes us believe that someone will value and enjoy material gifting more, yet that Christmas unwrapping buzz only lasts for a hot minute. The anticipation of a gift is actually a key factor in assessing the overall happiness that a gift gives you, and to me, experiences trumps material gifting every time. Experience gifting also adds more value to people’s lives, it connects us more socially, and it gifts us memories that will hopefully last forever. Just google “travelling quotes” and you’ll be sold to the idea.

This year was the year of minimal travelling for everyone. For most of it we weren’t even allowed out of our houses. And if you’re anything like me, you’re itching for that sense of adventure that comes with exploring new places. This year has also put massive stress on our tourism industry and the worries won’t be going away soon with the foreseeable future of international travel not being very predictable.

But this means that there’s more space and time for us locals to enjoy our country and what the tourism industry has to offer. I mean, we are voted as one of the top travel destinations in the world, yet how many of us have experienced our country through tourist eyes?

So here are a few experience gifting options for those in the Winelands and Cape Town that would make anyone feel like they’re taking a mini holiday, and of course whilst supporting our top-notch tourism industry.

Babylonstoren Spa

babylonstoren.com
This is a personal favourite. If I had the opportunity to go here every weekend, I would. A Spa voucher is the perfect “treat yo’self” gift and Babylonstoren spa just adds a new level of tranquillity to the spa experience.

Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, situated at the foot of the Simonsberg in the picturesque Franschhoek wine valley. The farm has one of the most beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens that will have you wandering for hours. The farm also includes unique accommodations, a restaurant, the greenhouse eatery, a wine tasting room and a garden spa.

The Garden Spa, like the rest of Babylonstoren, is linked to the garden. The spa is housed in a pavilion constructed of bamboo, offering a hammam, chill room, hot spa and gym. A spa treatment at Babylonstoren includes a whole day of relaxing at their newly done pool and jacuzzi, surrounded by a forest of bamboo. The greenhouse menu offers all things homemade and fresh from Babylonstorens’ garden and can be brought to your poolside table.

I mean, how amazing does that sound? Tip: Get a voucher for your mom and hopefully she’ll bring you with.

 

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Atlantic Outlook

atlanticoutlook.com
This is a gift for the adventurous. Atlantic Outlook offers vouchers that can be used within 3 years from the date of purchase. Atlantic Outlook was established in 2017 by Ben Brown and Jordan Zeelie, running Kayak Tours from the V&A Waterfront, the hub of tourism in Cape Town. In 2019 they welcomed Lance Kime on board and grew to offer daily guided hikes in Table Mountain National Park.

The 2-hour Kayak tour takes you along the Atlantic Sea Board coastline from the V&A Waterfront and past the Green Point lighthouse. You get to see the magnificence of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head from the comfort of your kayaks.

I recently saw many of my friends do this and the reviews have been amazing. The guides are said to be amazing and their knowledge of the ocean and its wildlife make it so much more enjoyable.

You also get the chance of spotting dolphins, seals, penguins, sunfish and occasionally whales which are all frequent to our Cape Town waters. Regardless, they promise that “all your senses will be tantalised”.

The tours start and end at Granger Bay harbour, so make sure to book a weekend so that you can enjoy lunch at the Oranjezicht market. How wholesome does that not sound?

 

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Bo-Kaap Cooking Classes

bokaapcookingtour.co.za
The perfect gift for foodies. The Bo-Kaap cooking tour takes you on a full experience of the lives, food and culture of the Cape Malay’s in Bo-Kaap. The tour also offers a hands-on lesson on how to cook Cape Malay “Auntie” style.

The tour includes a walking tour of Bo-Kaap which leads into a cooking workshop and a 2-course lunch. You will be taught by the best in the business on how to mix masala, make roti’s, samosas, dhaltjies and chicken curry from scratch. You will also receive a Zainies recipe booklet and mixed masala.

The Bo-Kaap is one of the oldest urban residential areas in Cape Town and such an important part of South African heritage. The walking tour takes you to the Bo-Kaap Museum, Awwal Mosque, the famous colourful houses and more. The entire experience is truly culturally enriching.

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𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯…

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Clay Cafe

claycafe.co.za
Why just take someone for a normal lunch if you can eat and paint at the same time?

In primary school, my grandma used to take me almost every month to go paint mugs or plates at a local pottery shop, and it’s one of my fondest moments growing up. This is really a great present for a family outing or for a bonding experience.

The Clay Cafe makes for a memorable visit of creativity and recreation for all ages. You have the option of either visiting their original shop, nestled in the heart of Hout Bay or their new location in Bree Street.

At the cafe, you can choose from a vast selection of already made pottery pieces, colourful paints and tools to create your unique ceramic masterpiece. You can spend the whole day painting and relaxing while sipping on some wine and enjoying a nice lunch or breakfast. Did I mention that they make all their food from scratch every day? SOLD.

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Wine Tram Franschhoek

winetram.co.za
This gift is definitely for the wine lovers. The wine tram offers several different routes, all taking you through the picturesque Franschhoek wine valley and to some of the most beautiful wine farms that the Winelands have to offer.

The hop-on-hop-off experience has the option of eight different lines where you visit up to six wine estates. The experience takes about 2-7 hours, all depending on where you decide to hop-on and hop-off. The tram also includes a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley.

Tastings and activities aren’t included in the tram price, which make this gift a bit more on the pricey side. But there could be no better way to explore Franshoek’s finest flavours and rich landscapes with views that can only be experienced while cruising on a track built more than 100 years ago. Oh, and the sweet aftertaste of some of the best wines.

 

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Some more experience gifting ideas include: Escape room, a Kirstenbosch picnic, a luxury meal at a wine farm, paragliding from Lion’s head and so much more. South Africa is your oyster.

If you’re not completely sold on experience gifting yet, view our other gift guides here.

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I have a low tolerance for heat, gluten, Tuesdays and queues. Half the time even I don't understand what I'm saying.

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