Lekker with LocalPlaces

Our latest news: 4 July 2024.

With mid-Winter weather surrounding us, we are dreaming of the imminent summer ahead. But we have lots installed for you before the summer sunshine hits, and beyond that too.

Cold, misty and wet. I am writing from the Company’s Garden restaurant in the heart of Cape Town, sipping coffee near the fireplace. Winter weather has finally arrived and it is time to take stock of 2024. Of what we have done at LocalPlaces so far, and more importantly, of what we are planning to do.

It was a tumultuous month. South Africa stormed through its elections without an outright winner and a month of negotiations resulted in a grand coalition government, coined a Government of National Unity, even though the 3rd and 4th largest parties are not part of it.

We hope for an effective government that will focus on growing the economy for the benefit of everyone.  As important as it is focus on implementation and delivery, it is to listen to the sizeable opposition and to govern to the benefit of everyone. We simply must fix our divided cities, suffering from apartheid-era spatial planning, and create a more equitable society and economy!

Politics aside, our own business has been evolving ever since I headed to Cape Town in January 2023. It has not been a smooth ride at all, but I am excited and confident about what we are building. In Johannesburg, Charlie is going from strength-to-strength, while in Cape Town I am slowly expanding our offering too. Despite the Cape being regarded as the tourism capital of South Africa, we are still generating more business in Johannesburg. Yet, over time, we are sure the Cape will become the jewel of our tourism-focused business. While more regions are beckoning too.

We have decided to simplify our branding, dropping the names ‘JoburgPlaces’ and ‘IkapaPlaces and to simply be known as ‘LocalPlaces’. This is especially so to make it easier for international customers to find us when searching for our products. And to refer to the cities we operate in, in full as Johannesburg and Cape Town, since travelers simply get confused with Joburg, Jozi, eGoli, Ikapa and more.


Cape Town Storytelling Dinners
In Cape Town, we are especially excited about launching our Winter Season of storytelling dinners. We have discovered the perfect venue for such dinners: Sibling, a bespoke kitchen studio in a historic building, on the edge of the Bo-Kaap. From 11 July we will be hosting public storytelling dinners every Thursday. Bookings are open for July and August. We will soon also open bookings for the Summer Season (September to February).

Find more info on our storytelling dinners and how to book here: www.localplaces.co.za/cape-town-storytelling-dinners/


Private events in Johannesburg
In Johannesburg, we are gearing up towards the events season, with several private travel group and corporate storytelling dinners already booked for the spectacular Red Room in the old stock exchange (JSE Newtown in Diagonal Street). Are you looking for a bespoke and historic venue for your next event? Be in touch with us to curate and host the ultimate lunch or dinner for you.

Find more on this astonishing venue here:   www.localplaces.co.za/jse-newtown/

For smaller groups, we can also host a private storytelling dinner or lunch in a trendy Maboneng penthouse for you. Find more info here: www.localplaces.co.za/joburg-storytelling-dinners/


Walk and explore
We offer a whole gamut of walking tours in both Johannesburg (guided by Charlie) and Cape Town guided by Gerald). It simply is the best way in which to get to know, understand and experience a city.

In Johannesburg, we recommend a combination of two half-day tours to make for the ultimate full-day city exploration: Understanding Johannesburg and East Town is Alive. Together these tours cover everything from historic Marshalltown with its heritage architecture to trendy Jewel City and Maboneng, brimming with street art.

Find info here: www.localplaces.co.za/understanding-johannesburg/
And here: www.localplaces.co.za/joburg-east-town-is-alive/

In Cape Town, we recommend our half-day Understanding Cape Town walking tour, combined with the Mesmerizing Midtown walking tour to make a spectacular full-day experience. These include everything from the Waterfront and Foreshore to the central city and Company’s Garden, as well as the Bo-Kaap and District Six. It will leave you astonished with the diversity of Cape Town.

Find info here: www.localplaces.co.za/understanding-cape-town/
And here: www.localplaces.co.za/cape-town-mesmerizing-midtown/


Eat and learn
Another fantastic way in which to enjoy a city, is to walk, eat, mingle and observe Food offers the easiest route to discovering a city’s contemporary culture and its history. At LocalPlaces we offer superb food tours in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. It makes for the perfect group excursion, whether you are a group of travelers or a corporate team in search of a cultural immersion and inspiring learning experience.

Find info here: www.localplaces.co.za/cape-town-fantastic-foodie/
And here: www.localplaces.co.za/joburg-fantastic-foodie-tour/


Drive and marvel
For those not keen to spend too much time on foot, or who want to explore the wider city regions, we offer some of the best driving tours this side of the Limpopo River. In Johannesburg we recommend our Charlie’s Favourites Overview Tour. It takes in the best of the city and Soweto. In Cape Town, our Winelands tour offers a fresh alternative: taking in the spectacular gardens and art, as well as some vineyards and opportunities for wine and food tasting.

Find info here: www.localplaces.co.za/joburg-overview-charlies-favourites/
And here: www.localplaces.co.za/cape-town-winelands-tour-2/


Days that shaped South Africa

To keep our guests intrigued and to offer you a glimpse into the astonishing stories we share during LocalPlaces tours and dinners, we are publishing a series on significant dates in South African history.


1 March 1510:
Battle of Salt River
Much misunderstanding exists about the early history of the Cape, prior to colonization. Perhaps one of the most significant dates in our history is that of the Battle of Salt River. Portuguese ships anchored in Table Bay with the crews attempting to trade goods for cattle (meat) with the local Khoe (KhoiKhoi) people (known here as the ǃUriǁʼaekua, pronounced ‘Goringhaiqua’ in Dutch). Their nomadic culture involved moving up and down the coastal plateau for seasonal grazing as they kept large herds of cattle, sheep and goats.

With the initial attempt at trade failing, the Portuguese decided to return the next day and to raid the village, probably desperate for fresh meat and planning to steal some cows. The locals expected this, and a battle ensued in which 64 Portuguese were killed. Including Captain Almeida. It is the earliest recorded conflict between Europeans and Africans in what is today Cape Town. It set the tone for Portuguese ships to avoid Table Bay for the next 140 years.

Read more online on Wikipedia, Africa Today/Yesterday and South African History Online.


17 September 1860:
Construction of Cape Town’s first harbour
A storm earlier damaged a fleet of British ships anchored in Table Bay. Consequently, Lloyds of London refused to insure any British ships anchoring in the bay during winter months. The risk of windy storms was simply too high. For this reason, Queen Victoria sent her second son, Prince Alfred to the Cape in 1860 to oversee the excavation of a harbour where ships could moor safely. So started the construction of the Alfred Basin, the city’s first harbour and what is today the focal point of the V&A Waterfront.

Prince Alfred returned to the Cape in July 1870 to officially open the harbour. The timing was fortuitous from a British perspective. The harbour opened just in time for the 2nd Industrial Revolution, and the consequent Scramble for Africa – which in the case of Southern Africa resulted in rapid British expansion and occupation. Britain probably never would have succeeded at this, were it not for a harbour that could accommodate larger ships, for offloading industrial equipment and removing natural resources!

Read more online on Wikipedia, South African History Online and Cape Town Heritage.


15 August 1985: Rubicon Speech
The apartheid-era President, PW Botha, was expected to ease apartheid and bring change to South Africa. But his infamous Rubicon speech, delivered in the Durban City Hall, did the opposite. The consequence was for the ANC President in exile, Oliver Tambo and Bishop Desmond Tutu, to call for mass sanctions against the apartheid state, while South Africa defaulted on its sovereign debt. In the months following many international companies withdrew from the South African economy and left behind abandoned offices in Johannesburg. It was the catalyst that caused decades of urban decline from which the city still has not recovered.

Read more online on Wikipedia, South African History Online and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.  


Ready to host you
We are looking forward to hosting you on a tour, storytelling dinner or event. Be in touch. Don’t forget that we can advise you on your entire travel itinerary and help you plan everything from transport to accommodation and other activities too. And of course, we can plan and host your entire group event, whether it is a party, an awards function, a team building session or whatever.


  • Greetings from Gerald in Cape Town
    (and Charlie in Johannesburg)LocalPlaces – Johannesburg & Cape Town
    Explore and learn with us!

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