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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Day 264 - 277

We are busy exploring the beautiful and diverse city of Cape Town. Additional details coming soon…

Things To Do & See

1) Table Mountain

Hike or ride the cable car to the top of the mountain that provides the picture-perfect backdrop to this harbor city. Be sure to check the website for weather conditions and to confirm if the cable car is running, as weather conditions at/on the mountain can vary greatly from the city.

2) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Situated at the base of Table Mountain, these beautiful gardens were established in 1913 and are one of the best we have encountered in our travels. Enjoy wandering around the gardens, admiring the scenary on one of the many shaded benches, or pack a picnic to enjoy on one of the well manicured lawns. It is well worth the nominal entry fee to enjoy a few hours of peace in these lovely gardens.

3) Boulders Beach

Located about 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, near Simon’s Town, this boulder lined beach is home to one of the only land based colonies of African penguins. For a small fee you can walk on the beach and come within feet of the penguins. A truly unique experience. It is also conveniently located on the way to Cape Point.  There are two entrances to the National Park, the first off of Miller Street and the second is a bit further south off of Bellevue. Access directly to the beach to walk among the Penguins is from Bellevue (parking lot at end of road). Be sure to walk all the way along the beach (ducking under and navigating over a few rocks) to have the most up-close experience. Swimming is permitted, so feel free to pack your towel, swimsuit, sunblock and snacks to make a day of it. To view a significant number of penguins from the boardwalk, either enter from Miller street (with all the tour buses) or take the paved track from the Bellevue side. We arrived early (~9am) and had nearly had the beach to ourselves. However, as we were leaving there were many more people arriving.

4) Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope

Reach the southwest most point of Africa, Cape of Good Hope, on a day trip to visit Cape Point in the Table Mountain National Park. Make the climb from the visitor center to the lighthouse where the two oceans (Indian and Atlantic) meet. Additionally, we enjoyed a nice lunch with a view from the Two Oceans Restaurant.

5) Chapman’s Peak Drive

Enjoy the views along this scenic cliff-side drive that connects Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Be sure to pull off the road at the provided turn-offs to enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean and Hout Bay. (Note: Have a little cash to pay the toll for a drive on this road.)

6) Lion’s Head Full Moon Hike

Pack your headlamps or torches (aka: flashlights) and make the hour long ascent up Lion’s Head with hundreds of others, on the eve of the full moon. Enjoy the sweeping views, beautiful sunset, cities lights, and the rising of the full moon. Be sure to arrive early, bring a sweatshirt, pack a picnic, and bring along a little patience. An unique experience with breathtaking views that we would highly recommend. If not visiting during the full moon, then make the hike during the day to enjoy the unparalleled, 360 degree views from the top.

7) Cape Winelands

Within a short drive you can find yourself spending a lovely day in Cape Winelands, sipping wine, enjoying the scenery or taking a hike. Easily done as a day trip from Cape Town, or alternatively, choose to stay a few nights in the nearby towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, or Paarl.

8) Two Oceans Aquarium

Located at the V&A Waterfront, this aquarium is one of the best we have visited. In addition to an interactive “Nemo” display, you can see jagged tooth sharks, giant crabs, a large moray eel, penguins, frogs, and lots of tropical fish. We agreed that it was worth an hour of our time and would definitely recommend.

9) Robben Island

Located off the shores of Cape Town, Robben Island was a prison that held many of South Africa’s political prisoners during the apartheid years, including former South African President Nelson Mandela. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and from the tip has great views back on Cape Town.
A tour to the island includes the return boat trip, a guided tour of the prison, and a short bus tour of the island. A former political prisoner will guide you through the prison. This was the best part of our tour. The tour was crowded, the bus tour is not overly engaging, and the boat ride (especially on the older fishing boat) was not all that enjoyable. Advance reservations are advised and can be made online.

10) Blouberg Beach

The views back on Cape Town are stunning from this long white sand beach. It is no wonder that most postcards of the city are shot from this vantage point. The beach can easily be reached by car in about 25 minutes. It is popular destination on a windy day for kite-boarders. We enjoyed snapping a few photos, walking along the beach, relaxing and soaking in the city views from this vantage point.

11) Signal Hill

Drive to the lookout on top of this small hill. The views of the city are best on the way up the hill (and not from the top). It is one of the only city vantage points that can be reached by car, with little effort or time. We witnessed people starting their paragliding adventure from the top of the hill.

12) Shark Breaching & Cage Diving Tour

13) Clinton Beach & Camps Beach

14) District 6 Museum

15) The Company Gardens

16) South African Museum & Planetarium

17) Bo-Kaap & Noon Gun

18) Hout Bay & Seal Island

19) Sea Point Promonade

20) Brunch (& Live Jazz) @ Winchester Mansions

21) Long Street

22) Sunset Cruise

23) Castle of Good Hope

Accommodation Options

Westin Cape Town

We enjoyed our five night stay at this upscale hotel prior to renting an apartment in town for the remainder of our stay. The Westin is located on Lower Long Street, next to the Convention Center and not far from the V&A Waterfront. The views out to the Waterfront from our spacious room (and the executive lounge) were spectacular.

Balmoral Lodge

We spent a single evening at this residential hotel which was located within close proximity to the Cape Town International Airport. The accommodation was basic, but satisfied our simple requirements of being affordable and close to the airport.

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