5 Awesome Places to Visit in Cape Town, South Africa (and Why I Loved the City)
I just got back from one of the best trips I have ever taken. My jaunt to South Africa for 6 days (2 in Cape Town, 4 in Johannesburg) was one of those experiences that I want to call “epic” but since that word is so overused, the meaning has been watered down. But truly, it was a trip worth talking about at length.
I was in SA because I was speaking at Social Media Week Johannesburg. I decided to get there 2 days early just to check out Cape Town and it was the best decision I could have made with this trip.
After 16 hours of traveling (6 hours to London, then 10 hours to SA), I landed in the Mother City. I took y’all along on my journey because I want people to see the beauty of one small piece of the continent. I was using the hashtags #CapeTownLuvv and #JoburgLuvv because I wanted to share what I was learning and show that it was a place that folks need to visit more often. The diversity of cultures, the beauty of the land and the people are worth spotlighting. I was only there for 6 days but they were full and I’m already looking forward to going back.
I was only in Cape Town for a couple of days but I made the most of the time I had there because I went on a day long guided tour. Below are 5 places I visited while there.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a gorgeous harbor with restaurants, small local shops and even a huge mall (with a range of stores from the Zara to Gucci). There’s entertainment (I watched a live band doing remixes of popular reggae songs), a ferris wheel and stunning views of Table Mountain. In fact, one thing I loved about Cape Town was how no matter where you looked, there was a mountain serving as a fierce backdrop. The entire city is a post card.
The V&A Waterfront is also where the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island is. Robben Island is where they imprisoned Madiba for 18 years. I really wanted to visit while I was in Cape Town but tickets were sold out. On my next trip to South Africa, it is on my MUST GO list. Apparently, I need to make sure I book tickets for that 2 weeks before I go. So tip for those who plan on going. Do not expect to just show up and get tickets to Robben Island. Book in advance!
My hotel was 5 minutes from the Waterfront so naturally, I cabbed it (that bum life) there. I spent 4 hours walking around, taking pics and shopping. Since it’s currently early spring in CPT, it was colder than I expected (like 55 degrees). I dipped into Zara and bought a light coat and a pashmina from one of the local carts. Besides the nippyness, it was perfect.
I went on a tour of the Cape peninsula the 2nd day I was there and it was the tour that allowed me to hit up the highlights. Our first stop was Camp’s Bay, an area of Cape Town where there’s beaches, shops and stunning views of the 12 Apostles (see the mountains below and you can see 8 of them).
We got there around 9am and the place was already action and people-packed. Folks were on the beach playing with frisbees, people were grabbing breakfast and the sun was all “HEY BOO!” It was still kinda cool, though, which is why I had on my jacket. Camp’s Bay was 360 degrees of gorgeous. I mean everywhere I turned was a picture worth taking (with no filter needed).
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is the most South western tip of Africa and it’s always been on my bucket list. Cape Point is the area it’s in and being there made me feel closer to God. I could not stop saying “Wow. God is good.” I was full of wonder and was all verklempt at the beauty of that place. The blue water (Atlantic Ocean) and the mountains got together and showed out for glory!
We went up to the light house at Cape Point for an even more spectacular view. Chile, I got my life. Then we had lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant, which overlooks the ocean. I have never had seafood that was so fresh. My meal of choice was a Prawn and Avocado salad and it was just absolutely delicious.
After that awesomeness, I would have been happy even if I saw nothing else. But there was more!
Boulders Penguin Colony
Did you know that South Africa has penguins? If you didn’t, now you do! Boulders Beach is where you can go to see them and lemme tell you. THEY ARE SO FREAKING CUTE!!! They waddle and I thought I was in a live showing of “Happy Feet.” I even saw some baby ones and learned that the ones who aren’t full grown are super fuzzy and fluffy.
There were penguins all on the beach.
I seriously kept giggling when I watched the walk. Funniest thing ever.
I didn’t get a chance to go to the top of Table Mountain and that is my only “aw man!” moment for Cape Town. Again, it’s another thing that I must do next time.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
The day ended at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and by that point, I was all overwhelmed in the best way and the only thing I could muster was “WOW” over and over again. They call this “the most beautiful garden in Africa” and I will have to take their word for it because nothing I saw in there made me doubt that fact.
LAWD! The first picture I took while in there knocked me off my feet.
Mind you, most of these pics were taken on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and I am NOBODY’s photographer and they still came out looking superb. You have to make an effort to take a bad picture in these beautiful places.
I know I only scratched the surface of places to visit in Cape Town, especially since I didn’t really explore the city much so I am really looking forward to going back. I want to spend a week or more there seeing what it’s like away from the peninsula, going to some dope restaurants and learning about more of the history. There’s layers and layers I didn’t even peel so in 2015, I will make it happen.
Also, the city is not even expensive at all. The tour costs R87, which is like $8, and none of the places I visited cost more than R6. I didn’t have break the bank to have a ball. Anywho, CAPE. TOWN. IS. TOO. PRETTY. I’ll post an album on Facebook and I will be back with a post on “5 Places to Visit in Johannesburg.”
To my readers who live there, I promise to do a meetup next time. Anyone else been to CPT? Did you love it as much as I did?