Africa, Blog, Travel

January 16, 2019

Destination Guide: Cape Town

There are so many incredible things to do in Cape Town. It is a city that holds so much in one place – sports, beach, extreme adventure, Michelin-starred dining, incredible wine, hiking, iconic sites and more. Here are some of my personal favorite things to do in Cape Town.

Cage Dive with the sharks

You can read more about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here!

*One thing to note before booking this experience is to ask the provider (or your travel advisor!) when was the last time they saw a great white shark. A few years ago, a pack of orcas killed a few great whites in the Cape Town area and it has scared the population away from returning. While the cage diving tours are running, the chances you see a great white shark could be slim so make sure to ask the right questions.

Cage Diving with Great white sharks

The Winelands

Because everyone loves wine. The heart of South African wines lies just an hour outside of Cape Town in Stellenbosch and Franschoek. The settings are picturesque and the wines are stellar. You can read more about the wine lands here.

Cape Town Wine lands

Hike Table Mountain

This is not a hike for the faint of heart. There are two options to get to the top of Table Mountain, one of the wonders of the world. You can hike it or ride the cable car. Naturally, we chose to hike on my latest trip. Although, hike is a loose term. I would say it’s more of a straight climb. For 2 hours. BUT the view on top is worth it! You can see ALL of Cape Town as well as the ocean for miles. It’s gorgeous, jaw dropping, and magical. It makes it even better to know that you earned your views. We took the cable car down to avoid damaging our knees. It is actually a cool experience if you time it right. The cable car spins as it declines so that you get a 360 view of the entire setting.

Cape Town hike table mountain
Cape town table mountain view

Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope is the south-westernmost point of Africa! It’s known for rough waters and storms because of the convergence of the Indian Ocean and Antarctic waters. It is now a protected Nature Reserve, booming with bio diversity and unique animal species. You can see many of these sites on a full day tour of Chapman’s Peak, Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach – it’s one drive around the area where you can cross each off your list. You might even see an ostrich or baboon – they love to hang around the cape!

Boulders Beach

One word. PENGUINS. The main place African Penguins can be spotted are on Boulders Beach. It’s cool because you can get up close and personal with these fun animals. Summer is supposedly the best time to view them because they are the most active on the beach as opposed to in the water. You can get fairly close to them on the beach with an entrance fee. You can also view the penguins on Betty’s Beach. This is a good route to take if you are on the way home from Gansbaai bay.

*make sure to check seasonality when you’re visiting the penguins. There are certain seasons where they are out and certain seasons where they hide away.

Cape town Boulder's Beach penguin colony

Bike Tour on the Promenade

Have you gathered that we’re an active group? We’re firm believers that the best way to see new places is by exploring them actively. I love a good bike tour or walking tour. In Cape Town, we selected a bike tour along the promenade and the heart of the city. We rode by historic art installations on one side and crashing ocean waves on the other. Then, we veered off the coast to see the World Cup stadium and important government buildings. Finally, we made it to the crazy Waterfront, where it’s way too busy to bike. We settled for ice cream instead. It was the best way to get a quick glimpse of the history and culture of Cape Town.

Cape Town biking along the promenade

V & A Waterfront

This is an exciting area with lots of restaurants, shopping and even seals! Every city has a tourist center, and this is where many of the tourists congregate. Many of our Virtuoso hotel properties are also located along the Waterfront such as Cape Grace, One and Only and The Silo Hotel. One of my favorite things at the V & A Waterfront is the Watershed. It’s an authentic artisans market with cool African jewelry, art, fashion and home décor.

Cape Town V&A Waterfront

Ready to go to Cape Town and beyond? Fill out the contact form and let’s get to planning!

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