There's no place like Cape Town. The 'Mother City' offers you everything, from white sandy beaches to stunning landscapes to beautiful vineyards and of course rich african culture. I had the most amazing time discovering this wonderful city and I'm sharing my top experiences with you in this guide to help you plan your holiday!
WHAT TO DO
Aquila Private Game Reserve
Even though it’s a long two-hour drive from Cape Town, it is worth every mile. Plan to spend to your whole day here. The 10,000-hectare reserve features the Big 5 and so many more animals. I had a 3-hour ranger guided tour (I learned so much!), booked with the reserve for R2460 (£148). This included breakfast, a lunch buffet, all-day pool access, pickup and drop-off from my hotel. I’d say it’s worth it.
Wine and Cheese Tastings
The wine and cheese tasting tour was definitely the most exciting experience for me. I visited two wine estates in Stellenbosch, a historic town approximately 45 minutes outside Cape Town. Read my previous post for all the details on it.
Scenery: Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay
The Chapman’s Peak drive is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It’s on the Atlantic coast and reveals breathtaking views of sandy beaches below. The route can be accessed from Hout Bay, a quaint fishing harbor. The bay is full of pretty craft shops and cute cafes. From Hout Bay, there are ferries to Seal Island. I booked a full-day tour with Hylton Ross Exclusive Touring for R990 (£60), which also included a visit to Cape Point, Simon’s Town and Kristenbosh Botanical Gardens.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is scenic and also great for shopping, restaurants and street entertainment. On my last day in Cape Town, I watched a vibrant traditional street performance by a local traditional group at the waterfront. It was so much fun, it made me fall in love with South Africa even more.
Of course! My only advice for Table Mountain is not to book tours in advance. The weather is pretty unpredictable, especially if your visit is not during the summer time.
Simon’s Town: African Penguin Island
If you’re in Cape Town for up to a week, I recommend a visit to Simon’s Town, which is a 45-minute drive from Cape Town. It’s one of the oldest towns in South Africa and home to the African penguins. I combined my visit here with a day tour to Hout Bay and Cape Point.
Camps Bay Beach
A day out at the stunning Camps Bay beach would be perfect. I visited Cape Town in springtime so I couldn’t enjoy Camps Bay beach as much as I would have loved to but the stunning view of the Twelve Apostles Mountains was captivating enough!
WHERE TO STAY
I stayed in a serviced apartment, De Waterkant Village in De Waterkant, a sub-district of Green Point. It was close to perfect and worth the price for two persons - R1, 200 per night (£70). The only problem was that there was no Wi-Fi in the rooms. We had to stay in the lobby area to use the Wi-Fi. Regardless, I’d still recommend them. Colourful semi-detached quaint cottages and cobbled streets preserved from the 1760s make the De Waterkant area unique. There are several cozy cafes, restaurants and bars close for comfort. Although I never stayed out too late, the area looked safe throughout my stay. In terms of proximity to tourist attractions, I don’t think where you stay matters because Cape Town has so much to see. It really depends on the kind of holiday you want to have. For a quiet and scenic holiday, Constantia, Muizenberg and Simon’s Town are great options, although they are quite a drive from the city centre. In the city centre, popular areas are Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, De Waterkant, Clifton, Green Point, Sea Point, Camps Bay. No matter the area you choose, you will always be close to an interesting attraction or breathtaking view. The most important thing is to stay in a safe area. Although Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, some areas of the city are known for petty crimes. For example, Long Street is quite popular for petty crimes like pick pocketing on tourists at night.
WHERE TO EAT
The Africa Café
When I travel to place, I love to try the local food. One thing I couldn’t find in Cape Town was a restaurant that actually served local South African food. The funniest thing happened when I asked my cabbie to recommend a restaurant where I could try South African food. He looked so confused as he said, “what do you mean?”
However, he recommended The Africa Café for dinner. It was South Africa’s first African restaurant. What I loved the most about this restaurant was the modern-traditional décor and that dinner was accompanied by an interactive traditional entertainment. It was so traditional, I even got a face painting – absolutely loved it. The food was also great, although the menu mostly featured dishes out of Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Morocco, etc. Not particularly from South Africa. My favorite was the Ethiopian Salad.