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Miss South Africa Shares Her Holiday Tips

Basetsana Kumalo

Media mogul, philanthropist and former Miss South Africa shares her holiday season must-dos in Cape Town.

Climb Aboard a Sunset Cruise
Bassie loves the sea, so when she’s in Cape Town, a boat ride at dusk is her idea of a great way to celebrate. “A sunset cruise around the V&A Harbour through MK Exotic Tours is a must if you are here with a group of friends,” she says.
$428 for up to 12 guests (includes drinks and snacks); 27-21-552-0247

Attend a Tree Lighting
“For a truly special treat, where you get to make a difference and have some fun, go to the Tree of Lights Ceremony at St. Luke’s Hospice in Kenilworth,” Kumalo says. On Dec. 4, a local dignitary will switch on the LED decorations adorning a massive Norfolk Pine. You can sponsor a light with an $8 donation, which goes towards the care of terminally ill patients. The evening is also filled with pipe bands, carols and food stalls selling. Tip: Take cues from Capetonians and arrive early (starting at 4pm) with your own snacks to enjoy on the lawn. 27-21-797-5335

Visit the Botanical Garden
“Another way to celebrate Christmas and help local charities is to go to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for Carols by Candlelight,” Kumalo says. Tickets for the Dec. TKTK event—which can be purchased on-site or at local Pick ‘n Pay stores—include a candle and song sheet. Bring some champagne and a picnic for an alfresco meal before the carols begin at sunset (around 8pm). Rhodes Dr.; 27-21-761-2866

Take in an Open-Air Concert
Head back to Kirstenbosch on Dec. 31 for the Amarula New Year’s Eve Concert, where “you’ll be engulfed by the festive spirit and good cheer,” Kumalo says. Get comfortable on the large lawn (seating is unreserved, and the gates open at 7 p.m.) to watch local band Prime Circle and Idols winner Elvis Blue sing in the New Year. $35; 27-21-761-2866

Party with Locals
“For the Mother City at its best,” Kumalo says, “check out the Minstrel Carnival, which is authentic to Cape Town.” The Golden Dixies, Holly-Hood Entertainers and the Burger Happy Boys are just some of the minstrel troupes that dance and sing their way through the streets during this parade, which takes place on Tweede Nuwe Jaar (Second New Year), on Jan. 2. Check the local paper for the route.

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