Cape Town has always been on my bucket list. At first, it was just a popular African city with good views. The more I learned about it, the more I realised there was so much more to it. Hiking, wine tasting and a beach full of penguins to name a few, this city and it’s surrounding areas has it all.
We rented an adorable Air BnB for the few nights we were there, perfect for a family or group of 4 people. It was located in the Gardens area of the city and a short walk to many parks, shops and restaurants nearby, my favourite being Simply Asia, for cheap and delicious Asian food. It was great to be in civilization!
The highlight was strolling along the waterfront. You’ve got great views of Table Mountain, lots of shopping in the V&A Waterfront mall and The Watershed, amazing food choices in the V&A Food Market and family attractions like the Aquarium and the Cape Wheel. Take a stroll through Bo-Kaap for some colourful photos.
Cape Town from above
You can climb to the top of Signal Hill for an easy view of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the city below you. Of course, you could also climb Lion’s Head, it’s short but tough, rewarding you with 360-degree views of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
The main highlight is Table Mountain itself. Because we were so short on time we weren’t able to hike it, and of course, the gondola was closed for repairs and due to open only after we had left. It was such a shame, but it’s the perfect excuse to go back! We ended our time in the city with ice cream on one of the city beaches and some epic food (try the Disco Fries) in Hello Sailor.
Around Cape Town
There is so much to see and do around this already perfect city. You can visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. You can relax at Camp’s Bay Beach or many others like it. The best obviously being Boulder Beach where you can see penguins! They are just the cutest.
As you make your way south along the Cape Peninsula you’ll find dramatic cliffs and rolling hills. Be sure to make your way down to the Cape of Good Hope, the (almost) most southern tip of the African continent where the South Atlantic and Southern oceans meet. You can walk from here to the Cape Point Lighthouse in about an hour and it’s worth it for the views.
Get wasted in Wine Country
A day (or more if you have the time) spent around the rolling hills and vineyards of Stellenbosch is a day well spent, especially if you don’t have to drive. Here you will find countless wineries and breweries each offering something special. If you don’t have a car you can book a tour, which is recommended, because what good is a wine tour when you can’t drink?
We first visited the small but beautiful Muratie vineyard, where you can sample port and chocolate together, or just get a mega cheap glass of good sauvignon if that’s more your thing. Our next stop was to the much more popular Eikendal vineyard, where it was cheaper to buy a bottle of wine than do the wine tasting.
Our last (and my favourite) was the unique Vergenoegd Wine Estate. The wine was nice, the view was pleasant, but the absolute highlight was the duck parade. A D U C K P A R A D E !? A hundred ducks take a lap around the bar while you sip your sav blanc on their way to work, to munch on the bugs that would otherwise be munching on the grapes. Fantastic.
Swimming with sharks in Hermanus
I don’t know about you but I’m really into sharks, I love them. They are gentle and misunderstood creatures, they don’t even mean to eat people, they just take a little nibble, realise we aren’t food and spit us out again. We just happen to die from blood loss, it’s not their fault they have terrible eyesight and mistake floating blobs for food.
I’ve swum with nurse sharks, dived with reef sharks, and snorkelled with whale sharks. So being given the opportunity to cage dive with great white sharks was a bloody huge deal. Hermanus is the place to go, and we checked into Hermanus Backpackers with high hopes.
Unfortunately (and of course because I have the worst luck) we weren’t able to go. Not only had the weather been so bad that the tours had to be cancelled but a pod of killer whales had been through the area and had scared the great white sharks off. See, they’re just too cute. At least we got to go for a nice walk and eat fish and chips on the beach.
Another excuse to go back. I’ll find you, Bruce.