4 Ideas for Cape Town
The first few things that come to mind when someone brings up the city of Cape Town, South Africa are Table Mountain; gangs and poverty; and Nelson Mandela. I could, of course, suggest the Table Mountain cable car ride, or a township tour, or even a trip out to Robben Island in my 4 Ideas for Cape Town – but where would the originality be in that? Rather, I’m including 4 things that I personally did on my most recent trip to Cape Town.
Enjoy Camps Bay Beach
Camps Bay Beach is a spectacular little gem. Just a short 10-minute cab or 2 short mini-bus rides away (if you’re doing it like a local – which I highly recommend during daylight hours), Camps Bay Beach is found in one of Cape Town’s more affluent neighborhoods. With the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the beach to one side and the massive Cape Town icon of Table Mountain to the other side, it’s no wonder so many people flock to this spectacular neighborhood. Not only does the picturesque location provide the backdrop for beautiful photos to be taken, but it’s a prime spot for people-watching. In the summer months, you can hire an umbrella and layout on the beach, and year-round you can test out any of the trendy restaurants. Catch a seat on one of the many patios and overlook the beautiful beach.
Do a full day Cape Peninsula Tour
Like fur seals? How about penguins? Interested in seeing where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet? You can do all this in the full day Cape Peninsula Tour. I had my hostel book the tour for me and it was roughly R600 not including the boat trip out to the seal colony in Hout Bay or lunch. I found it to be highly informative and the tour covered a good amount of distance – starting in the fishing town of Hout Bay where we took the opportunity to get close to a massive seal colony just a short 10minute boat ride out of the harbor. The tour then carried on along the scenic drive, south to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve where you can stretch your legs by walking up to the top of the enormous cliffs – here you are also given the opportunity to have lunch at a restaurant with some of the
most picturesque views imaginable. The day continues on by heading back in the direction of Cape Town’s CBD and a stop at the world-famous Boulders Beach – home to a large penguin colony. The final stop is at the Kirstenbosch NationalBotanical Gardens where you’re given the opportunity to literally stop and smell the roses.
Climb Lion’s Head at Sunset
Feel like stretching your legs? Want to get a 360degree view of Cape Town? Head for Lion’s Head and you’ll be in for a challenging yet enjoyable hike – including a scramble to the top. Make note that this ‘hike’ is NOT for the faint of heart. You have to be somewhat fit as there is a good portion at the top where you are literally scrambling up the rocks. But let me assure you, the view when you get to the top is second to none. Bring a cold one, a bottle of champagne or some other sort of victory treat for when you make it to the top. And don’t forget your camera, headlamp for the walk down, and plenty of water.
Spend an Afternoon at The V.A. Waterfront
The V.A. Waterfront has it all – restaurants, shops and every tour Cape Town offers has some sort of booth set up, trying to sell everything from shark cage dives to helicopter rides and everything in between. You’ll see buskers and street performers presenting traditional African song and dance for the crowds. There’s an aquarium, Nobel Square (with statues of Cape Town’s four Nobel Peace Prize winners), a diamond museum, an arts and crafts market, and even the Cape Town Ferris wheel. You can easily spend an entire day hanging around the V.A. Waterfront
– and at night, the bars are always hopping with dancing and live bands no matter what day of the week!