While listing down the cities that are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime, it is impossible to give “Mother City” Cape Town a miss. Sprawling across the Southwestern Coast of Africa, overlooking the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, the city is abundantly blessed by nature’s beauty, wildlife, and scenic hiking trails. A traveling experience that only Cape Town can offer!
While collecting cues from the internet for your ultimate South African exploration, you might have read about the comparatively unsafe environment that the capital city Cape Town offers to its tourists than famous sites in and around America or Europe. However, in the absence of vigilance and common sense, any destination in the world can pave the visitor’s way with stumbling blocks.
The list provided below covers the top ten things you must do while traveling to Cape Town. Whatever it is that you are looking for, from mountains to beaches, helicopter to buses, gardens to the island, we have got you covered. Just pack your bags, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreens, and discover the wonder that Cape Town truly is.
10 Irresistible Experiences While Traveling To Cape Town
1. Visit Table Mountain
Considered one of the seven wonders of nature, Table Mountain is the most iconic and photogenic place in South Africa. Adventure seekers can either reach the mountain top through a cable car or hike their way up to soak into once in a lifetime experience. At the top, you will find a variety of activities and services waiting to cater to your needs. It offers guided hiking tours, rock climbing, cave exploration, mountain biking, and much more.
You can take a walking tour and discover the flora and fauna of the mountain which is endemic to the Cape. From Devil’s Peak in the east to the Lion’s Head in the west, Table Mountain has a lot to offer to nature lovers. There is also a gift shop and café for you to sit back, relax and enjoy while buying some souvenirs for your loved ones back home.
2. Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Located at the eastern slope of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is home to many indigenous plants of South Africa. Declared as the International Garden of the Year 2015, this place every nature lover’s paradise. It is home to a medicinal garden, fragrance garden, protea garden, and dinosaurs (for the paleontologist in you, there is a cycad amphitheater that has life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs).
There are restaurants, tea rooms, and cafes to cater to anyone. For a relaxed afternoon, pack a picnic basket and visit the garden. If you do not have enough time, the restaurants and cafes in the garden offer picnic hampers. The Kirstenbosch Garden is the best place to have a good outdoor time with friends and family while enjoying the spectacular beauty of nature.
3. Check out the beautiful beaches
Being a port city, Cape Town is nothing short of paradise for the beach bums. From having a romantic sunset dinner to fun family time, or watching penguins and whales to swimming with dolphins and sharks, beaches in Cape Town have something to offer for everyone.
Muizenberg is a family-friendly beach and the colorful bathing boxes would serve as a good background for your Instagram pictures.
Boulders Beach is home to African penguins which are celebrities on their own.
V&A Waterfront is one of the most visited tourist attractions as it offers plenty of places for shopping and dining and to top it all, is the dolphin show (however, we must mention that Uncut Globe does not encourage the live dolphin shows as it causes a huge loss of aquatic life and animal cruelty).
If you are looking for some more thrills and adventures you can book shark diving and whale watching tours. The beaches of Cape Town have a lot to offer. You can have a good time shopping and eating at beach-side restaurants and indulge in some thrilling quests while surfing and diving with big fishes.
4. Explore the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope is only at a distance of 350 meters from Cape Town. You can take a rental car, however, we highly recommend bikes to have the best experience without any obstruction of view. Known for its remarkable scenery, bird-watching, and deserted beaches, this is a perfect place to take a break from the virtual world.
Connectivity might be a minor issue, however, the spectacular beauty would not spare you a chance to miss your phone connectivity. Cape of Good Hope, situated at one of the Southwestern points of Africa, has a lot of viewpoints. Just keep your food hidden at all costs as there are plenty of baboons.
5. Robben Island Tour
Robben Island, situated North of Cape Town, is popularly known for the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. If you want to know more about the apartheid and the political activists imprisoned there, take a tour of Robben Island.
The ferry to reach the islands leave only thrice in a day. The trip includes the Robben Island Museum and even the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. This place is a must-stop for all the history lovers out there.
You can go through further details regarding the price and schedule of the Robben Island Tour here.
This one should definitely be in your list if you are traveling to Cape Town anytime soon.
6. Enjoy the Bo Kaap Iziko
Who doesn’t like good Instagram pictures? Located on the slopes of Signal Hill, Bo Kaap is known for colorful homes and stoned streets and is also referred to as a photographer’s paradise. Some of the best places to visit in the area are Bo Kaap Iziko Museum, Chiappini Street, and Pentz Street.
Mark Bo Kaap in your to-do list if you are a photography enthusiast.
7. Wine Tasting
For a person who is enthusiastic about wines and cheese, Cape Town offers a lot of opportunities for your palate. There are Trams that offer hop on and hop off. Groot Constantia is also a very popular tourist attraction. If you are looking for some good wines then make sure to book a wine tour.
8. Try out Cape Town’s delicacies
“When in Cape Town eat as Cape Town Eats”. Food can tell a lot about the history and culture of a place. Whenever visiting a new place, make sure to taste the local dishes. Mama Africa is one place where you can experience the best authentic African cuisine. There are a lot of places that offer good food depending upon your tastes. Make sure to visit the Truth Coffee Shop, Old Biscuit Mill, and Hop on Hopkins.
9. City Sightseeing Buses
If you do not have enough time or energy to plan your trip, or just have an extra day and cannot decide what to do, hop on one of the City Sightseeing Buses to enjoy the popular places of Cape Town. The iconic double-decker sightseeing bus is perhaps the best way to explore and enjoy a new town.
10. Take a Helicopter Tour
If you have a few dollars to spare, make sure to book a helicopter tour and look at the entire city from a bird’s point of view. Worth every penny, the helicopter tours offer visitors to look at the colorful city and its splendid sites from Table Mountain to the colorful streets of Bo Kaap and the breathtaking beaches. Make sure to check this one off your list.
Cape Town is not just another tourist attraction, but an experience in itself. Regardless of whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast, or just looking for some museum visits, Cape Town has something to offer to every person. From adventitious and thrilling activities like hiking, snorkeling, and diving with sharks in a cage to simply walking with a loved one on the beach and enjoying a romantic dinner, Cape Town has it all and never fails to surprise you.