Boasting of breathtaking topography with steep cliffs and vast tabular summits, our city Cape Town attracts thousands of globetrotters every year.
Captivating coastlines with a dramatic backdrop of soaring mountain peaks mesmerizes onlookers and thus, making Cape Town one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
From adrenaline junkies to nature lovers and peace seekers to wildlife fans, this city is the perfect getaway for one and all. So, if and when you decide to start planning your Cape Town itinerary, these are the 10 most amazing things you can expect out of South Africa’s Mother City:
1. Spellbinding topography and exquisite panoramas
With over 300 rolling peaks and a vivid coastline across the city, Cape Town has an extraordinary landscape. Every nook and corner of this city is uniquely beautiful and a perfect place to click pictures.
Adding to the surreal panorama, the Devil’s Peak (standing at more than 3200 ft. above the sea level) and The Lion’s Head (soaring over 2100 feet from sea level) are situated at either side of the city, making the view magical by adding a dramatic background.
So, do not forget to pack up your DSLR camera with some extra batteries and SD cards. A binocular would help if you love to get a closer view of the captivating sceneries.
2. A peek into history with The Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope – a legendary fort dating back to the 17th century – is one of the major attractions of the city. A bastion fort, this building was originally positioned near the coastline of Table Bay. This provincial heritage site, now located inland, is considered to be the best standing example of Dutch East India Company’s architecture and also happens to be the oldest colonial edifice in South Africa.
Adding to the delight of History lovers, the building is home to the Castle Military Museum. Visitors also get to visit the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment – a mechanized infantry unit – located in the castle. It is advisable to book a professional guide who can give you a well-informed tour of the fort.
3. Refreshing wine tasting in Stellenbosch and cycling in the vineyards
Situated approximately 30 miles away from the main city, Stellenbosch is a must-visit during your trip to Cape Town. Known for its lush vineyards, this beautiful place is located along the coastline of the pristine Eerste River.
Tourists come here to indulge in refreshing wine tasting sessions and relish delectable local delights. You can also hire bicycles and peddle along the vineyards to explore the serene vista of this place.
Relish delectable varieties of authentic wine and enjoy the lush greenery. If you get hangovers easily, do not forget to carry some coffee, lemon, water and maybe a Disprin!
4. An adrenaline rush like never before with shark cage diving – a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Are you an adrenaline junkie in search of a top adventure travel destination? Can you handle being face to face with the world’s most dangerous predators? If yes, then Cape Town is just the right destination for you.
Indulge in once-in-a-lifetime guided cage diving experience where you get to witness a variety of sharks, including seven-gill sharks, Mako sharks, Blue sharks and White sharks, in their most natural habitat.
A dip into the ocean is in itself an amazing experience. Imagine the added spunk of being around its most powerful predator! Taking the fun to the next level is the fact that you can also buy videos of your shark cage diving experience here.
So, when preparing for your trip to Cape Town, do not forget to pack a little extra gut! Also, please remember that this activity is not advisable for the faint-hearted. Please make a note to carry extra clothes, swimsuits, towels and light jackets when you go out for this activity. Also, if you have breathing issues, do not forget to carry an inhaler and prescribed medicines.
5. Find solace in diverse flora at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Nestling at the eastern side of the Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a must visit for those who love greenery and vibrant flowers. This garden, founded around the year 1913, is famous across the globe for its unique ethos.
Spread across over 1300 acres, this lush green garden is an award-winning hub of diverse flora. Home to indigenous species and conservatory plants, this garden has numerous trails that lead up to mountain peaks.
So, if you have a thing for splendid natural beauty, you must visit this exquisite garden. It is highly recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and carry your trek-backpack as the sprawling garden is quite vast and you may want to climb up a trail or two while taking leisurely strolls there. P.S. Do not forget to take a walk through this unique Boomslang, known as the Tree Canopy
Walkway. Popularly known as The Boomslang (Afrikaans for ‘the snake’), this airy footbridge is a pathway across Arboretum treetops in this garden.
6. A hiker’s paradise: The Lion’s Head
At more than 2100 feet from the sea level, The Lion’s Head is a heavenly abode for fans of nature and peace seekers. Climb up the peak to enjoy a hot beverage amidst silver clouds floating over you!
Known for its spectacular viewpoints, The Lion’s Head is a perfect hike for one and all. The hour-long walk-climb to the top of the hill is extremely popular among visitors, especially during full moon nights. Crimson moonlight falling on the tranquil trail bedazzles trekkers.
Tourists can enjoy surreal views of the city as well as the Atlantic Seaboard while travelling up the hilltop. On one hand, the path up the peak spellbinds tourists during the night and on the other, the view of sunrise from the top offers a heavenly sight.
To add to the fun during this visit, the slopes of this peak are amazing launching points for paragliding – a treat for adrenaline junkies. For those who are not huge fans of night treks, sunrise hikes are amazing options to enjoy a refreshing trip up the mountain. Do not forget to carry extra clothes, an extra jacket, eatables, energy drinks, torch, drinking water and a stick. You are also advised to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
7. The serenity of vast beaches, peace of secluded reserves and calmness of exquisite islands
If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle and are seeking peace, Cape Town is the perfect destination for you. There are several vast beaches along the pristine ocean.
You can bask in the sun here or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll at the beach. Natural Reserves like the Hottenhots Holland Nature Reserve and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve offer picturesque sceneries, dramatic pathways and extraordinary coastlines.
If you are a fan of the sea and the marine life, you will get more than you expect here at Cape Town. Tour boats to islands take you to a whole new world. From Fur Seals to exotic aquatic plants, you get to see them all.
So, pack a waterproof carry bag to keep your mobile and essentials safe, wear the most stylish shades and set off to an amazing trip to the marine world.
8. Vibrant culture, rich heritage and Nelson Mandela
Being the second most populated city of South Africa, Cape Town is culturally rich and diverse. The kind of socio-cultural exposure that you get here is incredible. So, if you love meeting people from new and different beliefs, this is the place for you.
A popular destination for expatriates and immigrants, Cape Town is among the most multicultural places of the world. Dating back to the late 14th century, Cape Town is literally a cultural melting point with a vibrant population comprising of Xhosa, Zulu and other African tribes. People of Dutch, German, British, German and Indonesian origins also live here.
Be prepared for a rich cultural education during your trip. In addition, Cape Town has a history that dates back to more than 12000 to 15000 years ago. From museums to forts and war lands to memoirs – Cape Town has it all for history lovers. In a nutshell, a history, which dates back to several thousand years and culture so diverse that its essence spreads across the globe – Cape Town is an explorer’s dream come true.
Nelson Mandela – a name that tops the list of the most renowned and inspirational leaders of the world belonged to this great city. A pioneer of the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela made his first public speech, on 11th February 1990 from the Cape Town City Hall, since his imprisonment. Tourists can visit the Cape Town City Hall – a large Edwardian edifice – located on the Grand Parade. This building, made using oolitic limestone, was built in the year 1905 and has extreme historical importance. Today, it is a symbol of strength and Mandela’s unique philosophies.
9. Flexible budget
Last but definitely not the least, when you travel to Cape Town, you can expect a flexible budget range, which means that this city gives you the scope to plan a lavish holiday when you are ready to loosen your pockets and lets you be within budget restrictions, when you do not want to spend much . From posh helicopter tours to budget boat rides, this destination offers it all.
The amount of money you want to spend during the trip depends entirely on you. From basic and minimalistic tour packages to high-end travel guides, this destination can be covered in both ways. Home to various luxury as well as budget accommodations, this city is flocked by people from different backgrounds and is easily manageable if planned properly in advance. It is highly recommended that you go for advance bookings of package deals to get the best offers.
10. Expect unpredictable weather and carry essentials accordingly
Cape Town has unpredictable weather – one moment it could be considered warm while another moment a cool breeze might make you shiver! Although the official rainy season is between the months of June and August, it is advisable for you to pack a raincoat, jacket and an umbrella when embarking upon this trip because a drizzle could start whenever, wherever.
If you are travelling in the months of January and February, you can expect warm to very hot days and pleasant evenings, sometimes even a little chilly. So, carry a thin sweater or cardigan even if travelling during summers.
Be weather ready so that your mood and trip are not spoiled by sudden climate changes.
To conclude, if I say that Cape Town is indeed quite a perfect amalgamation of everything a traveller wants from a destination – I won’t be wrong.
Cape Town’s secluded beaches and serene islands, such as Robben Island, Seal Island and Duiker island to name a few, are the most romantic destinations for your honeymoon.
If you happen to be an adrenaline junkie and love indulging in adventurous activities, this city offers it all. You can enjoy various heart-pumping activities – from paragliding to parasailing and shark cage diving to scuba diving – to name a few.
For nature patrons, this place has a mesmerizing landscape with pristine beaches, exquisite coastlines, verdant hills, lush green forests and captivating hiking paths.
People who dote over wildlife can enjoy day and night safaris here at various natural forests and reserves. In a nutshell, for every globetrotter, Cape Town offering so many fun things to do is a must visit.
And before you come to conclude that this city is meant only for leisure, let me inform that this place is a commercial as well as an industrial hub. This city is the main economic hub of the province of Western Cape. It also happens to be the second major economic centre of South Africa as well as a significant manufacturing point in Western Cape.
Cape Town was recently given the name of the most entrepreneurial place in South Africa as the percentage of inhabitants of this city rose to three times higher than the country’s total average in terms of people pursuing business opportunities. The city is frequented by corporate travellers as well, and thus has accommodations well-equipped with all business needs.
So, be it the next holiday or an upcoming international conference, pin this city on the world map and enjoy an unforgettable time!
Browse our self-catering rentals in Cape Town to find upmarket holiday accommodation for your visit.