Cape Town is pretty and poignant. Between crisp mornings and groovy nights, the city surprises you with stunning sights, undisturbed beaches, vineyards, and an encouraging art scene. Whether you climb Lion’s Head or track the Big Five in a game drive, the ‘Mother City’ is open to any adventure that makes every moment in the city worthwhile. Come to this African city where lions are treated with compassion, jazz is celebrated, and mountains are scaled with ease. When you are in Cape Town, you have the freedom to discover yourself.
It is located along the southern coast of South Africa, close to the southernmost point of the continent of Africa.
Cape Town Facts
- Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to have permanent European settlement.
- It is affectionately called the ‘Mother City.’
- Cape Town is the most gay-friendly city in Africa.
- It is home to one of the largest LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) events in the world.
- The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with retailer shops ranging from cookware to select fashion items, is one of the most-visited destinations in South Africa.
Places to Visit:
Table Mountain – This enduring symbol of Cape Town is one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Reaching the peak of the1086 m (3,563 feet) high Table Mountain in a cableway is an excellent experience. Once you are at the top, the cloud-clad mountain and the panoramic view of the town will be one of your best moments for years to come.
Robben Island: Oval in shape, this island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, served behind bars here for 18 years. During its rich history, the island also housed a leper colony.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – Located against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this Botanical Garden displays rich and diverse flora of southern Africa. It is the first botanical garden in the world set up to protect one-of-a-kind flora of South Africa. Birdwatchers will be more than happy to spot African Dusky Flycatcher, Steppe Buzzards, Egyptian Geese, and Spotted Eagle-owls.
Lion’s Head – Resembling a hunkering lion or a sphinx, Lion’s Head forms a part of the spectacular backdrop to Cape Town. Located close to Table Mountain, the Lion’s Head offers a majestic view of the Atlantic Seaboard, particularly during a full moon.
Clifton Beach – This beautiful stretch of sand offers an excellent spot for sunbathing. The beach is divided into four sections by huge boulders, and each part is quite safe. It is consistently ranked among the topless beaches in the world.
Muizenberg Beach – Considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa, this is the beach where both seasoned and amateur surfers can have a jolly good time. The colorful changing rooms on the beach look amazing in contrast to blue waters and white sands.
Table Mountain National Park – From mountains to white sands of Cape Peninsula and hiking trails to the floral beauty of the Cape Floristic Region, there is plenty to explore and experience.
Two Oceans Aquarium – Located at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the aquarium lets you discover the life of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of those rare occasions when you get to see the underwater forest, translucent jellyfish, spider crabs, and rare Knysna seahorse.
Things to Do in Cape Town
Dare to Choose Shark Diving – It’s a rare chance to get close to sharks. Gansbaai fishing town is the gateway to shark-diving tours. Enclosed in a shark-proof cage, you dive into the waters and enjoy a one-on-one encounter with nature’s most fearsome and magnificent creatures.
Meet the Penguins at Boulders Beach – The most remarkable aspect of Boulders Beach is the colony of African Penguins that settled here in 1982. Since then, the colony has grown to over 3,000. You can get close to the penguins, but trying to feed them would be little too ambitious.
Get Familiar with History – Take a step into South Africa’s past by visiting the award-winning District Six Museum that houses maps, photographs, recordings, and another specimen of the tumultuous days of the 60s and 70s. Robben Island is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to know inspirational stories of brave-hearts who fought for a free and democratic South Africa.
Indulge in Wine Tasting – A scenic drive for an hour from Cape Town takes you to Cape Winelands. The very first sight of vineyards, mountains, and wine estates triggers a happy feeling. You must explore the premier wine estates and make the most of wine-tasting sessions.
Try Hiking and Paragliding in Table Mountain – India Venster, Platteklip Gorge, and Llandudno Ravines are some of the scenic routes that hikers take to reach the summit of the mountain. Along with Lion’s Rump or Signal Hill, Lion’s Head is a popular launching site for paragliders. You can enjoy tandem paragliding and fly over the Table Mountain National Park.
Discover Wildlife – Aquila Private Game Reserve is known for the Big Five safari that opens up the opportunity to spot lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. The Fairy Glen, a malaria-free venue for safari, is home to blue wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, and the endangered bontebok (antelope).
Go Shopping – The popularity of the Pan African Market lies in its offerings, especially old folk art and custom-made garments. While Heartworks is known for its gift items and souvenirs, Baraka is where you find African masks, Indian leather notebooks, and wire- woven baskets. The Bay Harbor Market is for shoppers of all tastes. You can choose from an excellent collection of craftwork and items for home decoration.
Accommodation in Cape Town
Budget travelers and backpackers should check out Atlantic Point Backpackers and African Heart Backpackers for lodging. Travelers willing to splurge should check out The Table Bay Hotel and POD Camps Bay.
|Atlantic Point Backpackers||www.atlanticpoint.co.za||4 star||2 Cavalcade Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org|
|African Heart Backpackers||backpackersincapetown.co.za||2 star||27 Station Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa|
|The Table Bay Hotel||5 star||6, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Breakwater Blvd, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa|
|POD Camps Bay||www.pod.co.za||5 star||3 Argyle Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa email@example.com|
Cape Town Restaurants
Addis in Cape and Emily’s Bar and Bistro offer authentic African cuisine. Try tortillas and other Mexican delicacies in El Burro and treat yourself to American fare at the Hudson’s – The Burger Joint. The Beijing Opera and Hallelujah are known for serving top-notch Asian cuisines. To break the monotony, head to any of the food stalls in the Bay Harbor Market and try a wide range of delicacies from sushi to Cape Malay curries and Tunisian falafel to pancakes. A hearty meal with craft beer sounds perfect.
Best Time to Visit Cape Town
If you want a mild climate, less crowd, and hotels in an affordable range, then the best time to visit Cape Town is from March to May. Spring (September to November) is also a preferred time to visit the city.
How to Reach?
By Air – The Cape Town International Airport is located within the city and serves many flights from across the world.
By Rail – Cape Town Railway Station is the main station and has several trains going to other cities of South Africa. Shosholoza Meyl, the Blue Train, and Rovos Rail are the tourist trains.
By Road – Operators like Greyhound, Intercape Mainliner, Translux, and SA Roadlink run buses to other cities in South Africa and Windhoek in Namibia.