Whenever I travel to a new place I usually have an expectation of what it’s going to be like. Cape Town however, blew these right out of the water.
I expected it to be beautiful, I’d heard the food was incredible, the landscape breathtaking – but I had no idea how hard I’d fall for this city. There is something magical about Cape Town, and that’s the best way I can describe it.
WHAT WE DID
Climbed Lions Head – This took us 3 hours. We’d been told it was roughly a 90 minute round trip and perhaps this is true if you’re Edmund Hillary, but for the rest of us you’ll need three solid hours. Take water, wear proper shoes and be prepared to break a sweat. This climb is no joke. Also, brace yourself for literally being “on the edge” – parts of this trail will have you 600m up with only few inches between your feet and the cliff. It’s fantastic.
Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain – You can hike Table Mountain but as we’d already done Lion’s Head we were happy to pay the 290R (about $20USD) and hop on the 5 minute Cable Car ride to the top. The view from up here will absolutely blow your mind.
Cage Diving with Sharks – First off, its advertised as “Cage Diving with Great Whites” but the Great Whites are few and far between these days, so we saw Copper Sharks instead and as I’ve never seen a Great White in the flesh, they weren’t missed. The experience was still incredible. We did our dive in the town of Gansbaai, which is about 2.5 hours outside of Cape Town.
Day Safari at Aquila Private Game Reserve – This was an interesting one for me as it wasn’t actually a safari. Game Reserves are designated protected habitats and the animals are free to roam the 10,000 hectare conservatory that is Aquila, however it’s just not the real thing. We were told the ‘true’ safaris are inland, about a 5 hour drive outside of Johannesburg.
Coastal Walk from Camps Bay to Sea Point – This takes about an hour and is filled with great scenery. I really enjoyed doing it late afternoon.
Visited the Penguins at Boulder Beach – This was a learning experience as we hopped the fence to take pics with the little guys, and copped a 500R fine (about $35USD). The confusion is that you can walk onto the beach about a km up from where we entered, and play/take photos amongst the penguins from that end, so we didn’t realise that our short cut wasn’t allowed. At any rate, though the fine seems relatively low, the real concern is not upsetting the penguins or their habitat, so follow the signs!
Drove Chapman’s Peak – This is a must. It’s a winding road that is perched literally on the edge of the mountain on the western side of the Cape Peninsula, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Apparently the road can get quite congested, particularly at sunset, but I think we lucked out going around 10am – there were hardly any other cars. You can stop at view points along the drive.
Visited Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – You can do tours of the garden, or just pay the 70R (about $5USD) to enter the garden and walk around yourself. You can also take a picnic and spend the afternoon hanging out in some pretty insane greenery. Next time I visit Ill be taking a picnic for sure.
WHERE WE STAYED
Elements Total Stay – Serviced apartments in Sea Point. The apartments were massive, brand new and centrally located in the heart of Sea Point, just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. I have to say the staff at Total Stay were incredible – so warm, accommodating and genuinely concerned that we enjoyed that we enjoyed our stay. Check out their website here.
AirBn – There are a ton in Cape Town, you won’t have trouble finding one!
WHERE WE ATE (and I recommend them all)
Thyme at Rosemary’s (in Gansbaai after our Shark Dive)
Llandudno – The beach itself is beautiful, the surrounding suburb is adorable and the sunsets here are my favourite. Next time I visit Cape Town I will be renting an AirBnb in Llandudno.