Cape Town in South Africa is a remarkable city. With a spectacular coastline, a bustling city centre and some incredible sites both in town and a short drive away. If you find yourself in this beautiful part of the world, here’s our top 5 things to put on your list of things to do.
See the penguins at Boulders Beach
Take a day trip out to the spectacular Boulders Beach in False Bay and be greeted by their friendly resident penguin colony. The beach is home to over 2000 African Penguins, and is the only place in the world where you can get close to this species. Take a stroll down the long boardwalk along the beach and spot these funny little creatures waddling along amongst the bushes and burrowing into the sand. At the end, you’ll be greeted by hundreds of them swimming in the ocean and playing on the shore. If you’re lucky they may even wander up to say hello.
Along the way to Boulders Beach, there are plenty of little seaside towns to stop and explore – Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Simon’s Town and Hout Bay to name a few! Or you can tie it in with your day trip to Cape Point as well.
Ride the Cable Car up to Table Mountain
Table Mountain is a must do attraction in Cape Town! Ride the cable car up to the top of the mountain for spectacular views overlooking Cape Town! The cable car holds around 60 people at a time as it makes its 1200m ascent, taking roughly 5 minutes to reach the top. It also rotates, allowing visitors a 360-degree view (unless you’re afraid of heights, then you may just have your eyes closed for most of it). Once at the top, there are plenty of walking paths to follow that can take you around the top of the mountain to admire the incredible views. We recommend allowing at least an hour at the top to have a good wander and take photos, but you can easily spend more time admiring the view or having a coffee in the café overlooking the coast.
This activity is heavily dependent on weather – if it’s extremely windy the cable car may be closed. Similarly, if it is a very cloudy day, the views may be obstructed at the top making the journey not as worthwhile. We recommend pre-purchasing tickets before you arrive to avoid having to line up twice, the line for pre-purchased tickets can still be quite long especially in the peak season.
Visit Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a scenic drive to take in the incredible views at Cape Point. Known for its rugged cliff views (200m above sea level), dramatic ocean and spectacular surrounding scenery within Table Mountain National Park. You can choose to walk the journey up to the top where the old lighthouse sits (238m above sea level) and offers spectacular views or you can take a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular, an environmentally friendly tram, that will take you to the top in a couple of minutes. There are cafes, a restaurant and gift shop at Cape Point as well.
While visiting Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope is also a stop worth visiting in your travels. It is situated at the junction of two major ocean currents (the warm Mozambique-Agulhas current from the Indian Ocean and the cool Benguela current from Antarctic waters) and is within the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve – a great spot to admire some local flora and fauna!
Take a walking tour in Bo Kaap & the city
The city of Cape Town itself is very interesting, with a lot of history. A walking tour is a great way to take in the local sites; including the Waterfront and the distinct neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap. You may recognise Bo-Kaap from its unique colourful houses that line the streets, but this neighbourhood located on the slopes of Signal Hill, has a lot more to it than picture perfect streets! A walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide means you’ll get the chance to see everything up-close and get to learn about the fascinating history and meaning behind places like Bo-Kaap and other neighbourhoods of Cape Town.
Head off to the winelands for the day (or weekend)
South Africa is home to some amazing wine regions, and most of these are easily accessible from Cape Town. You can head off for a day trip, or if you have the time spend a weekend in one of these peaceful regions. Groot Constantia winery is the oldest wine estate in South Africa and is only a 25min drive from the city of Cape Town. A great option for those who only have a day or half day, enjoy a tour of the winery followed by a generous tasting. If you’ve got a little more time on your hand, a weekend in Stellenbosch or Franschoek is a fantastic option. Franschoek is a small town, with peaceful villa accommodation options available and a wine tram that departs daily to explore the surrounding vineyards. With 8 different tram line options to choose from, visitors will find no shortage of delicious restaurants to choose from, wines to sample and tasting plates to enjoy along the way. It really is a unique way to escape the hustle of the city and take in a different side of the country!
If you’d like to know more about visiting Cape Town, sightseeing tours, or would like our consultants to help you put together the perfect South African itinerary, contact our team of expert consultants today.