Cape Town, The Mother City ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Our of all the wonderful cities in South Africa, Cape Town has to be my favourite; the scenery is beautiful, the people are lovely and the food and wine are amazing (mmm steak!)

There are many different things to do so, after much agonising, I have managed to narrow my selection down to 5 suggestions.

1. Table Mountain

This is Cape Town’s main landmark and the image that appears in my head whenever the words ‘Cape Town’ are mentioned.

It has such a distinctive shape and on a clear day it makes for a gorgeous picture.

Table Mountain is 1086 metres tall and used to be named ‘Ocean-emerging Mountain’ by the area’s original inhabitants about 2000 years ago.

The mountain is part of Table Mountain national park, on the east side is Devils’ peak on the west, Lion’s Head.

The park itself is home to a large array of fauna and flora such as lizards, snakes, antelopes and birds and Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos (endangered), Peninsula granite Fynbos and Peninsula Shale Renosterveld (all flora).

There are 2 ways to reach the summit:

1 – Hiking (make sure you have good walking boots)

2 – Cable car (book a ticket and time slot in advance)

Both of these have weather issues – more about this later!

Once at the top of the mountain you can try your hand at rock climbing, caving and mountain biking among other things.

If you aren’t feeling too energetic, it can be nice to choose a path and have a leisurely walk, taking in the brilliant views of the ocean, beaches and the city.

Table Mountain is also home to the Rock Hyrax, known locally as the Dassie, which is an extremely cute, squat little mammal.  They love to bask in the sun so be careful where you step.  They might try and help themselves to your food, so if you are feeling peckish, don’t eat too near them!

The only downside of this beautiful mountain is the weather.  Even in summer there can be some very cloudy days where the summit can’t even be seen, making it pointless to try and reach the top.  The other unfortunate factor is the wind.  Depending on the wind strength, the cable cars are unable to run.  The mountain has its own microclimate.

You’ll be pleased to hear that there is a licensed cafe at the top of the mountain for that well deserved drink or that much needed sustenance.  There is also a gift shop!

Top Tip: It can be cold at the summit so go prepared

View from Table Mountain
Looking over Cape Town
A Rock Hyrax (Dassie)
A Rock Hyrax (Dassie)

2. The V & A Waterfront

This is an amazing 123 hectares of pedestrianised area situated on the Atlantic and designed by Adrian van der Vyver.

The area is split into 5 shopping districts (Victoria Wharf, The Watershed, The Alfred Mall, The ClockTower and Breakwater Point) and you are spoilt for choice by all the cafes, bars and restaurants available.  Do try a steak!

There is a giant picture frame, which perfectly frames Table Mountain and on a clear day this looks picture perfect!

The V&A is also home to lots of small piers and jetty from where many tour boats depart.

Look out for the cute, colourful rhino statues which are dotted around the area.

The V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Rhino

3. Beaches

Cape Town is home to some stunning beaches but I will just mention my 2 favourites.

Camps Bay:  This is a small bay on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula with white sand as far as the eye can see and surrounded by breath taking mountainous scenery.

Camps Bay, Cape Town

Just back from the beach is a street with restaurants and bars and lots of stalls selling African crafts.  It’s a beautiful place to spend a day.

Boulders Beach: This beach is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town and can be found in a sheltered cove between Simon’s Town and Cape Point.  This beach has become world famous for its thriving colony of beautiful African Penguins and is one of the few sites where these endangered birds can be viewed from a close range.

It is amazing sight to walk down the boardwalk and straight in front of you is this lively penguin colony.  I could (and did!!) spend hours watching them.

Top Tip: Arrive at Boulders Beach early and you will probably just be sharing it with the penguins!

Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach

4. Bo Kaap

This area, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, is an old township full of brightly painted houses that is situated on the slopes of Signal Hill.

Bo Kaap’s origins can be traced back to the 1760s when these cheerful brightly painted houses (known as rental houses), were built and leased to slaves.  The slaves had been brought from what is now Malaysia , Indonesia and other parts of Africa.

The houses are a mix of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture and the colours are said to be attributed to the fact that while they were leased, they all had to be white.  When this rule was lifted and the slaves were allowed to buy their properties, they were all painted in bright colours to express their freedom.

The Aural Mosque, which is the first established Mosque in South Africa can be found in Bo Kaap along with a fascinating museum on the local history.

To see Bo Kaap you can either take an audio tour, which starts from the museum or get a map and do a self-guided tour.

The area is brimming with little restaurants and where else could you try a traditional Cape Malay meal?  If you’re feeling adventurous you could even sign up for a traditional cooking lesson with a local expert.

Top Tip: Take heed of what is on the map as some of the streets in this area can be dangerous

Bo Kaap, Cape Town
Bo Kaap, Cape Town

5. Wine Tasting

With all the delicious wine that is made in South Africa, it would be a sin not to do a wine tasting tour and to choose your favourites to take home with you.  As well as lovely wines to try, there is stunning scenery to look at while you savour those sips.

There are daily wine tours from Cape Town to the winelands: Stellenbosch, Franschloek, Constantia, Route 62 and Hemel-en Aarde Valley.  It is possible to book all types of tours including a private tour, a custom made tour, a honeymoon tour, a historic tour and a boutique tour.

Treat yourself!

Wine Tasting, Cape Town
Just remember….

Cape Town can be a very dangerous city so check out my safety tips page

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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