If you have a plan on visiting South Africa, but you still have no idea where to go, you should consider Cape Town. One of the most iconic spots in the city is the flat-topped Table Mountain. When comparing the South African rand against the American dollar, traveling in the country is quite affordable. Most main meals will cost you approximately $8 each, and a glass of wine will be around $2. Staying in a boutique hotel will cost you about $60-$70 per night.
It is a fascinating country to explore. Just a few days in South Africa is never enough to enjoy the diversity it has to offer. If you plan on visiting the city soon, here is a list of 6 fun things to do in Cape Town, South Africa.
1. Exploring Central of Cape Town
Exploring the central part is a must-do thing when you arrive in the city. In just a day, you can explore as many places as you can if you leave early. There is an area called Bo-Kaap, which features colorful buildings and a fascinating history. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch brought in slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other African countries to the Cape of Good Hope. Eventually, these slaves stayed in an area and became permanent citizens. Nowadays, most of the residents in Bo-Kaap are the descendants of these slaves. We recommend taking some good photos of Bo-Kaap or try some Malay South African food before you move on to visit other tourist attractions.
Next, you should depart from the Victoria and Albert Waterfront for tours to Robben Island. If you don’t mind the poorly organized tours to this infamous World Heritage Site, a visit to the island is entirely worth it. Robben Island is well-known as the prison complex that once held the prominent South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, first black president and activist, Nelson Mandela. Even though you are not allowed to get out and explore by your own, you do get to view the cell of Nelson Mandela.
2. Stay at Camps Bay
If you are looking for a great location that offers excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, you should stay at Camps Bay. It is a safe seaside suburb with a long stretch of beach lined with bars, restaurants, and cafes. You will also be able to drive to the center of Cape Town for 10 minutes from Camps Bay. A trip to Cape Town is never complete until you spend as much time as you can by enjoying the outdoor activities. That is also why this suburb is a perfect location to stay at during your trip. One of the best local recommendations will require you to drive along Camps Bay Drive, and stop at the Hussar Grill. We can assure you won’t be disappointed by the steak at this restaurant!
3. Watch Penguins at Boulders Beach
Have you ever dreamed of watching the penguins happily hanging out on the beach? There’s a town near the city which is a location of the South African Navy called Simon’s Town. It is also home to Boulders Beach, and it is undoubtedly a must-visit place if you enjoy watching a penguin colony. You get to observe these little guys surfing into the water or even climbing around on the rocks. We suggest walking your way down towards the beach along the boardwalks. Although sometimes the sidewalks can get somewhat crowded with visitors, try to take your time to watch the penguins at the beach and walk your way casually towards the end.
If you feel like having a coffee break, you should stop at a small car park where you can relax at a little cafe. Then, drive past the first access point to the beach and keep your direction going to the second. This small cafe offers a great view of the Atlantic Ocean. Other than that, you are also able to swim at a beach not too far from this area.
4. Spend a Day Driving Around Cape Peninsula
Driving around is one of the things to do in Cape Town. To see as many iconic attractions of the city as possible, you should rent a car during your trip. Head over to the unspoiled and remote peninsula of the Cape of Good Hope to view rugged scenery and beautiful beaches. Once you are in this region, you will feel as if you are a million miles away from the urban area. The cape is the only part of the Table Mountain National Park that is fenced. You do get to see some animals including eland, zebra and red hartebeest that call this cape as their home.
To reach the Cape of Good Hope, begin your drive on the peninsula’s Muizenberg side. This journey will allow you to bask in the setting sun on your return trip along the Camps Bay side. You will be awed by the beauty of the unspoiled Atlantic side’s beaches. One of the most famous South African drives is Chapman’s Peak. If you are driving along this journey, you will get spectacular views of the country’s outstanding tourist attractions.
5. Hike Your Way up Lion’s Head
Among all of the best places to hike, Lion’s Head offers a spectacular view. This trail is the most popular hike in the city and with good reason. Every traveler who went to Cape Town swore that to get the best of the town, you should try to get outdoors as much as you can. The trail up Lion’s Head circles the mountain, and it will give you fantastic views of the city from all different angles. You will get to see the Table Mountain itself, Green Point and Camps Bay.
However, be prepared to face challenging sections of the hike because it is quite steep. Along the rocky parts of this walk, are ladders and chains to help you climb the mountain. Once you are on top, you will get the views that you usually don’t get to see from the upper part of the Table Mountain. This hike is worth it, and if you love going out in nature, you should try it!
6. Try Wine-Tasting Session
Do not leave South Africa without trying wine. Just a 45-minute drive from the city, there’s a wine region which is recognized as a paradise for all real food lovers. This area boasts an outstanding selection of wine and food. Instead of staying in the famous university town of Stellenbosch, we suggest staying in a smaller town called Franschhoek. It is set among the Groot Drakenstein Mountains, and Franschhoek offers more picturesque views of the region. It is also a home to an incredible amount of excellent cafes, restaurants and of course, wineries.
If you would love to explore as many wineries as you can, a great way to do this is by booking a ticket on the Wine Tram. It will take you on a shuttle to and from most of the wineries in the region. You don’t have to worry about driving around while you are sampling plenty of good wine and food. Besides that, you get to enjoy the beautiful views!
If you want a superb lunch, you can try the La Petite Ferme or even Le Bon Vivant. The menus are fantastic, and the experience will be an unforgettable one. Finally, make sure you visit a lovely restaurant in Franschhoek called Grande Provence Estate Restaurant. This award-winning restaurant is a historic place with various menus and wine cellar which is a great spot to have an outstanding fine dining experience and taste one of the best local wines in this South African region.
Just like in any major city around the world, you should always be aware of your safety. Wherever you go, you should still use your common sense, and this also applies while traveling in South Africa. Be sure not to walk by yourself in the dark and try to avoid some areas which are commonly known for crimes. When you are carrying a bag with money and necessary documents, always make sure you keep it by your side. Do not accept any offers from strangers without consulting professionals who work in the tourism industry.
Cape Town is a spectacular place to explore. It has something for everyone, and this city is affordable to explore. The scenery is fantastic; the wines are tasty, and the foods are delicious. With so many things to do in Cape Town, it is not a surprise to find out that it is one of the best places in the entire Republic of South Africa. If you are looking for a perfect place to relax and explore, you should buy your flight ticket to Cape Town now.