Robben Island and V&A Waterfront
The Robben Island tour offers a unique insight into recent South African history. The tour guides are former political prisoners themselves and have personal and knowledgeable stories about the island, the prison and the conditions during the Apartheid era. The whole experience is thought provoking and emotional.
Please bear in mind that the ferry crossing out to the island can be uncomfortable in rough weather.
The ferries and tours depart from the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Waterfront, and this area is worth exploring during your stay. There is an array of local markets, shops, bars and eateries in the area, and can make for a very pleasant afternoon.
Other than the famous Table Mountain hike, there is an abundance of beautiful walks and hikes in and around Cape Town. Lion’s head, Table Mountain’s smaller brother, is a relatively easy 2-hour hike, offering stunning views to the ocean, Cape Town and the surrounding beaches. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset over the ocean (just keep an eye out for the Baboons, who are always on the lookout for some human food!).
Helderberg nature reserve, near Somerset West is an alternative hiking option, perfect for bird enthusiasts, as the wild fynbos is full of native birds and wildlife. Other nearby hikes worth attempting are the stunning Wolfberg Arch Trail in the Cederberg Mountains and the comfortably short Chapman’s Peak hike between Fish Hoek and Hout Bay.
The Western Cape is one of the famous vineyard regions of the world, producing plentiful harvests of juicy grapes and creating globally acclaimed fine wines. Heading east out of Cape Town, the urban landscape quickly transforms to rolling hills, covered on the north-facing slopes with row after row of beautiful vines. If you fancy sampling some of the products of the area, there are a variety of guided tours available to some of the most iconic vineyards of the region, from Paarl to Stellenbosch and Franschoek. Some of the buildings alone make the trip worthwhile, a throwback to the colonial era.
If you feel particularly adventurous, take a drive around Stellenbosch and stop in at any of the wineries that take your fancy! Many will offer options to ship the wine back for you, avoiding the challenge of filling your suitcase with rows of wine, or attempting to finish them all before leaving!
Cape Town Gardens and City Centre
Downtown Cape Town is a lively, fun and relatively small city centre. Walking around is safe and enjoyable, with plenty to do in a short distance. Cape Town Gardens offer a relaxing stroll in some welcome shade, and connect directly into streets full of bustling cafes, bars and shops. If you are searching for a souvenir or two, then Green Square Market, in the heart of downtown, is full of options. Although catering for tourists, there are some fine hand crafted wooden pieces and a variety of leather and artisan crafts (top tip: bartering can knock a good percentage off the initial price!)
Visit The Beach
The variety of beaches in the Cape Town area offer plenty of activities for beach loving folks. The proximity of restaurants, shops and bars near the beaches ensure that there is something for everyone, even if you are not a watersports fanatic.
Surf boards, paddle boards and kite-surf gear can be hired in Blouberg, Big Bay and Muizenberg and cater for all abilities, including lessons for beginners.
For wildlife enthusiasts, you can visit the local penguin colony at Boulder Beach, or if you are lucky enough to be visiting during November, Hermanus is the place to be to view the annual Whale migration. Shark-Cage diving is also a popular activity, with guided trips out, usually departing from the V&A Waterfront – note that the waters can get very choppy and this wouldn’t be recommended for those who suffer from sea-sickness.
The Guide includes:
- 30 pages of Cape Town tips, tricks, and secrets
- Detailed information about the best resorts, restaurants, and activities
- And MORE!