South Africa offers beautiful diversity, from people, art, language and culture, to mountains, deserts and rivers that are filled with life and history.
The Cape was always a favoured landing place for the ships that brought explorers, and thus there’s a lot of infrastructure and interest points around the Mother City. We’ve roughly categorised these into indoor and outdoor pursuits, and we’ll stick to listing our favourites. Once your boots are on the ground here, we can help you discover many more.
- Take the cableway to the top of Table Mountain for amazing views.
- Enjoy great hikes on Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and in the Cape Winelands.
- Scenic cycling and mountain biking all over the Cape Peninsula.
- Surf, kayak, stand-up paddle board in the sea. Scuba dive the numerous wrecks off the coast.
- Fly-fishing, camping, paragliding, skydiving, and a number of other outdoor pursuits.
- Student bars and nightlife around the University of Cape Town. Mixed crowds in town (with Long Street and Bree Street in the heart of the action). Young professionals having after work drinks that occasionally turn into a late party in Green Point / Sea Point. Glamourous drinks along Camps Bay’s beachfront promenade.
- Fine dining and classy drinks in the V&A Waterfront, as well as exploring the harbour, taking the ferry to Robben Island, and a broad variety of shopping.
- Meetups meetups meetups, around a variety of lifestyle and tech topics.
- Explore the artsy side of town on First Thursdays or at one of the many theatres and other performance venues.
- Kirstenbosch! The outdoor cinema, and outdoor concerts (on select dates) are both fantastic evenings out.
- Cape winelands, Durbanville winelands, Constantia winelands. The viniculturalists are renowned for classy hospitality - luxurious accommodation, great wine and fine dining.
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The Cape coastline is rocky, and beset upon by cold stormy waters, which makes it a lot of fun for surfers, after acquiring a wetsuit, but also means that the sea holds many treasures under her frothy skirts, as numerous ships have floundered on these shores over the centuries. Divers, after acquiring even thicker wetsuits, will find a lot to explore off the Cape coast.
The mountains also offer a smorgasbord of delights, from wine, cheese and fine dining, to mountain biking, hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing and star gazing.
The Cederberg region is renowned around the world for its rock climbing and bouldering, but the region also caters for photographers with its tortured rock formations and dusty red horizons.
The Garden Route, all forests and misty cliffs and friendly beaches and rivers, is a mere 4 hours away, ever tempting for a weekend. Closer by, the Overberg Coastline is beautiful and offers great whale watching between July and November. Then, from August to October the flowers bloom along the West Coast.
Pretty much the only thing the Cape doesn’t offer is warm ocean water (you’ll have to head over to the Indian Ocean side of the country for that but the rivers and dams get nice and hot in summer) and “proper” safari experiences. Scroll to the end of this page for a specific note about safaris.
Cape Town is a steaming cauldron of creative juices, and within the walls of the city there are an infinite variety of experiences to be had. There are numerous tertiary education institutions in the city with strong arts departments (or even entire schools dedicated to it), so be it film, music, theatre, or whatever other expression you desire, there are often student performances going on. As students tend to do, many of these performers continue in a professional capacity, so for the lovers of fine performance there are a few excellent artistic venues in the city.
The city has always played an important role in South Africa politics and culture, and as such has a few highly significant historic destinations to explore as well.
In terms of modern amenities, South Africa on the whole is more a “shopping mall” culture than a “High Street” culture, but there are a few specialist stores off the beaten track as well.
There is a world class wine scene in the Cape, and a growing movement of excellent craft beer breweries. We also have some fantastic coffee roasteries, and a variety of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants for your culinary delight.
Although there are numerous wildlife sanctuaries and parks in the Western Cape that are attempting some form of rehabilitating the land to it’s former wild glory, there are two factors to consider before booking a safari based out of Cape Town. The first is that the flora is very different to the northern and eastern parts of the country, where warmer weather supports a bushier climate and consequently large browsers such as elephant do much better in the north and east, and on the whole the area just looks a lot more like the safari experiences you see on Nat Geo or on Discovery.
The other factor is that the Cape was the first landing point for settlers over the past few centuries, and once they started arriving with guns they pretty much hunted and ate their way through all of the Cape’s wildlife. The north was simply a bit harder to get to, and thus has had to recover less than the Cape has.
The Cape is scenically beautiful, and as locals we are absolutely thrilled with the wildlife we do get to see here because it is a sign of progress and a recovering country, and of future tourism and employment opportunities for our region, but if you were to ask us where to go for your first safari experience, we’d point you towards the Kruger or the Addo, or one of the luxurious private game reserves nearby. South Africa is quick to cross by plane, however, so talk to us and we can help you squeeze something in!