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Sampling the Continent


Make your Cape Town base the Ikhaya Lodge, an African-style boutique hotel at the foot of Table Mountain. It features authentic African design and an African-themed restaurant serving African and fusion cuisine. "Home" in the local Xhosa, the lodge is convenient to many of the shops, restaurants and nightspots inspired by sub-Saharan culture.


Spend the morning at Greenmarket Square in the City Centre, soaking up atmosphere and browsing art, beadwork, fabrics and sculpture from all over Africa in a flea market atmosphere. You'll find plenty of exotic souvenirs at bargain prices, but save room in your suitcase for some real treasures waiting in art galleries and craft shops.


Sample a communal meal eaten by hand at Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant, and followed by a coffee ceremony honoring Ethiopia's fabled beans to give you a jolt of energy for the afternoon ahead.


The city has an abundance of African art galleries and high quality crafts around town. Check out Africa Nova in De Waterkant and Africa Image in the city center. Both have branches in the crafts market at the Watershed on the V&A Waterfront. For African CDs and traditional instruments, head to the African Music Store downtown.


Enjoy an African feast at Mama Africa or Gold's Restaurant. The touristy Mama Africa has exotic meats like warthog and ostrich, an art gallery, marimba bands and live African soul, jazz and drums. Gold's serves a 14-course set menu, mostly vegetarian, representing culinary traditions from all over the continent. It is served up with interactive djembe drumming, puppets, a capella singing and African dancing.


If not ready to call it a night, drop by Marco's African Place in Bo-Kaap for some top-flight live entertainment and an umqomboti, a Xhosa beer brewed from maize, sorghum malt and yeast.