Ethos & Origins


We believe that door-opening journeys are about travelling
with a curious mind … an open heart … and light steps

We offer visitors the opportunity to travel like an insider, share a page or two from
a local’s black book, hear multiple perspectives, make authentic connections.  
It’s what inspires us when we travel, which is why we … 
Give you a taste of South Africa’s unique blend of heritage, history, cultures and cuisines.


Founder & owner, Marion Ellis was born on a farm in Africa, and after studying languages and history of art at the University of Cape Town, travelled extensively, sailing the oceans and crossing continents,
before settling on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

The inspiration behind her first business venture in South Africa was to offer others the sort of food she wanted to eat but couldn’t find on her return home, following years of gallivanting the globe.
To counter this gap, she created Rozenhof restaurant that resonated in the hearts of Capetonians, and won accolades such as “Number One in the Cape”, while featuring repeatedly in the “Top 10 American Express / Style Awards in South Africa”.

Her second foray
found her searching for high-flying executives with hard-to-find-skills, in association with a leading recruitment consultancy, which garnered her this endorsement from Singita Game Reserves:

“Marion Ellis’ considerable network of Southern Africa’s most valuable people, her superb work ethic, and unique skills in the service industry, make her an individual we would without hesitation recommend”.

Since pioneering Cape Insights in 2008, she’s harnessed her networks and honed her associations, such as the Vernacular Architecture Society; International Wine and Food Society; Slow Food Convivium, and via her husband, the Botanical and Geological Societies of Southern Africa, in order to keep her ‘black book’ tempting.  

”You clearly know the landscape, foodscape & funscape like you know how to breathe.
Following someone who loves what they’re sharing is a no-brainer. It’s almost like getting that perfect massage, just when you need it most. Recommending an experience of a lifetime is not hard”.  – Dr Stan & Pam Hart, USA

See Marion Ellis on what Cape Insights offers

We’re an eclectic bunch of locals sharing this ethos

We’re architects, artists, foodies, wine fundis, environmentalists, historians, creative craftsmen, archaeologists, botanists and  ‘fynbos’- fanatics

We’re also cultural interpreters, captivating raconteurs, as well as story-tellers deluxe who weave locals strands together to shine light and share clarity 

We don’t mind killing the cat, metaphorically!
Meet the team