Cape Town is stunningly beautiful. One of the world’s most iconic cities, it is vibrant, modern and has a spectacular mountain right in the middle. With beaches and vineyards contrasting with galleries bars and nightlife, this city lives up to its hype.
Understand the history
You don’t need to explore too far to understand that Cape Town is a city of contrasts, where the memory of South Africa’s dark past and apartheid history still runs fresh in the minds of some. Rich meets poor, as areas like Camps Bay are not too far from impoverished townships.
For those interested in history and want to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles the country has endured, head to Robben Island. Located just off the coast from Cape Town, this was the holding place for Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners during the apartheid days. Take a guided tour around the island, see Nelson Mandela’s cell and meet a former political prisoner.
Explore and see the beauty
The true beauty of Cape Town is seen by getting out and exploring. On a clear day, when the clouds are high, take a cable car or if you’re feeling adventurous climb to the top of Table Mountain. The views over the coast and city are breathtaking. Take a walk and look out for the cute rock hyrax (also known as a dassie) and other native fauna.
Hire a car or join a tour and take a day trip down to the Cape of Good Hope. Stop at Simon’s Town and the African penguin colony on the beautiful Boulders Beach. Explore Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park and keep watch for cheeky baboons and ostriches. Head back to Cape Town via the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive – one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world, and stop at the trendy Camps Bay or Clifton for beach strolls and people-watching.
Experience the city and nightlife
Cape Town has a vibrant music and cultural scene, with late-night cafes, lively bars, and great live music. There are also many restaurants offering delicious cuisine from not only South Africa, but all around the world. For shopping and entertainment head to the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour. With more than 80 restaurants – including the perfect al fresco fish and chips place – there is something to suit all tastes.
Get lost in the vineyards
If you travel to Cape Town, visiting the CapeWinelands is a must. Even if you aren’t a wine-lover, the awe-inspiring mountains and green fields should not be missed. Join a tour and travel the ‘wine route’ through Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, explore the beautiful vineyards and sample some of the best wines South Africa has to offer.
Cape Town is an extraordinary city and one of the most exciting places to visit – cultured, modern and stunningly beautiful – with a touch of adventure to add spice to your trip.
Featured images:License: Creative Commons image source
About the author: Lea Phillips+ spent 4 months exploring and photographing Africa and can’t wait to visit again.