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Things to do in Cape Town

Abseil Table Mountain

If taking a cable car down Table Mountain is just too easy, why not try abseiling down the world-famous landmark? Abseil Africa (tel: +27 (0) 21 424 4760, or text 072 065 1520 after hours; www.abseilafrica.co.za) lead budding abseilers on a guided walk to the highest point - 1,000m (3,280ft) above sea level - before leading the plunge down the mountainside.

Diving with sharks

Shark cage-diving is an increasingly popular activity, and there are several FairTrade-accredited operators who promise to get you out of the ocean in one piece. Around 40 minutes from Cape Town, African Shark Eco-Charters (tel: +27 (0) 82 838 2309; www.ultimate-animals.com) runs shark cage-diving trips from False Bay. Good, uhm, luck.

Explore Cape Town’s fabulous beaches

Cape Town has some spectacular beaches, and the weather makes them a virtual year-round attraction. Beaches on the Atlantic seaboard are several degrees colder than those on the False Bay side, where warmer waters and smaller waves makes Muizenberg, St James and Fish Hoek ideal for swimming. The Tourist Information Centre (tel: +27 86 132 2223; www.capetown.travel) will find your perfect match.

Get out into nature

Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula is a nature-lover's paradise, with trails offering indigenous gardens, Cape wildlife and some spectacular views. AWOL Tours (tel: +27 (01) 21 4183803; www.awoltours.co.za) offers hiking tours of Table Mountain or, for a change, head to Lions Head for panoramic views of Table Mountain.

Take to the waves on a surfboard

With around 50 surf spots within an hour’s drive, Cape Town is the perfect place to grab a board, whatever your ability. If you want to learn, Downhill Adventures (tel: +27 (0) 21 422 0388; www.downhilladventures.com) runs Cape Town’s oldest surf school. The tourist office (tel: +27 (0)86 132 2223; www.capetown.travel) also lists accredited surf schools.

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Daddy Long Legs

Rooms in this art hotel have been decorated by artists, poets, photographers and musicians and themes include music, travel and the tattoo artists, among others. There’s a bar/lounge and balcony overlooking lively Long Street, and self-catering apartments are located nearby. No breakfast, but Long Street is filled with breakfast options.

The Fritz Hotel

In a quiet spot near Kloof Street and just up the road from buzzing Long Street, this charming guesthouse proves that budget doesn’t have to mean bland or unstylish. Original art deco furniture and commissioned pieces give the rooms a quirky feel, and some have balconies with views of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill.

One&Only

Exclusivity comes at a price at The One&Only set on the V&A Waterfront and with panoramic views of Table Mountain and the marina. The rooms are sophisticated and stylish and amenities include a swimming pool and a spa complete with vitality pools. Enjoy rare vintages from the Wine Loft and dine at Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's Nobu or the award-winning Reuben's.

Once in Cape Town

Situated in Kloof Street, conveniently close to many of Cape Town’s attractions, Once in Cape Town is the definition of a poshtel (basically, an upscale hostel). It’s clean, comfortable, funky and affordable, and accommodation ranges from mixed and single-sex dorms to double rooms. Yours Truly, the on-site restaurant, serves delicious, fresh food (breakfast is included).

Hippo Boutique Hotel

Just off Kloof Street, close to Cape Town’s CBD and within easy reach of many bars and restaurants, the Hippo Boutique Hotel has sleek, modern rooms with wooden floors and whitewashed ceilings. Facilities include kitchenettes, air-con and Wi-Fi, and there’s also a small rooftop pool. Although there’s a bar downstairs, double glazing keeps the noise out.

Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa

This all-suite hotel is as big on space as it is on design and luxury. The Sky Bar with a rooftop pool deck is the perfect spot to enjoy ocean views before dinner; stay in and try one of their restaurants (which offer Italian Indian and Asian among others) or walk ten minutes to the V&A Waterfront. A complimentary shuttle will transport guests within a 5km (3 mile) radius.