Would you trust a Cape Town to-do list if it didn’t have Table Mountain as the number one thing to do? Cape town has so much to offer for tourists, however Table Mountain is arguably the main attraction. Labelled the seventh wonder of the world, it is probably the most iconic landmark in South Africa. A Cape Town visit won’t be complete without at least one photo of this amazing mountain in the background, who wouldn’t want to claim the bragging rights to seeing one of the wonders of the world in person.
If you are planning to go to the top of Table Mountain, there are a few things you need to know.
Plan out your day beforehand. A trip up the mountain usually doesn’t take up an entire day, but it can easily end up that way. Don’t make other arrangements that you can’t get out of for the afternoon, set the entire day aside. Quite often, tourists miss their other appointments or tours, because they underestimate the time it takes to complete this trip. No one wants to be rushed when you’re on holiday anyway, so take your time and enjoy a drink while you are up there. I would recommend starting your venture to Table Mountain in the morning.
There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain. You can either go up with a cable car or you can hike up. If you’re a real outdoorsy kind of person or into fitness, the hike will probably be a perfect option. However, if you just want to enjoy the views without breaking too much of a sweat I would recommend the easy way up (cable car). The cable cars are unique as the floor rotates 360 degrees while it goes up and down the mountain side. Never hike alone, safety must be your number one priority. Make sure you take enough water, especially if you are hiking.
ALWAYS buy your tickets online before you get to the mountain. There are long queues and you don’t want to be stuck in a second queue just to buy a ticket. No matter what the weather looks like, take a warm jacket. As a local, I have ended up underestimating the weather far too often. It may be warm in Cape Town, but it can get quite chilly on the mountain.
While you are on the mountain you can enjoy a beer or beverage at the café or for those of you who are more adventurous you can also do some abseiling. Make sure you take as many photos as you need, but always watch your step.
Please be aware that the weather in Cape Town is rather unpredictable and on days where it is too windy, they close the cable car station.
You can book your ticket online here: http://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=681080
This distinct neighbourhood is situated at the foot of Signal Hill. The bright colourful houses and rich cultural background makes this place a unique part of Cape Town’s history. The houses were once leased to slaves and all of them had to painted white, when the slaves could finally buy the houses their first act was to paint them bright colours. Today many tourists take the most amazing pictures with the multicoloured houses and cobblestone streets in the background. As a part of your tour you can also take a Malay cooking class or have some traditional Malay food at a local restaurant. You can also purchase a wide variety of fresh spices at Atlas Spices. Be sure to look out for the unique beadworks at local craft stores and if you’re looking for that perfect piece of jewellery you can stop at the Diamond gallery.
If you want to learn more about the history of the Bo-Kaap you can visit the Bo-Kaap museum.
Be sure to wear some comfortable shoes as this venture requires some walking.
Book your Malay cooking tour here: http://www.bokaapcookingtour.co.za
This beach is perfect for a family beach trip, the large granite boulders acts as a wind barrier as well as a playground for the children. What makes this area famous is the colony of penguins that inhabit the beach and the surrounding area.
The penguins aren’t always on Boulders beach, but the beautiful boardwalk on Foxy Beach will ensure that you will be able to spot at least a few of these handsome birds. These penguins are African penguins, they are now on the endangered species list and they are the only penguins found in Africa. This area is also the only place where you could get face to face with the African Penguins, but don’t try to touch them as they can snap at you with their sharp beaks.
There is a R65 conservation fee you need to pay before you can enter. However, this means that the beach is less crowded than the other beaches on the Cape Town coastline. Be sure to take sunscreen and a hat as well as a jacket as the weather can quickly change.
A helicopter tour is the perfect way to see the entire city in less than an hour. You can get the perfect vantage point for pictures of all the iconic landmarks such as Table Mountain, Green Point Stadium, the Green Point Lighthouse, Lions head and Signal Hill, etc. Be sure to ask your pilot questions and to point out the destinations or landmarks that you are interested in. Sport Helicopters in the Waterfront offers a wide variety of flights to suit everyone’s needs and budgets.
From a twelve-minute city tour to a one our Cape Point flight, there is more than enough tours to choose from. You can save time on transport by taking a helicopter ride to a Game Farm like Aquila or go Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai. They also offer lunch flights to popular wine farms in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. If you’re in a rush and want to avoid traffic to or from the airport you can easily take a helicopter ride to get you to where you need to be.
Be sure to charge your cell-phones or cameras as this will most likely be the most photographic part of your holiday.
You can conveniently book and pay online with Sport Helicopters here: http://sporthelicopters.co.za/shop
Cape Town Beaches
In summer the place to be is on the pristine beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. It is the perfect way to melt away your worries and get some well-deserved sunshine. Enjoy sunset cocktails on the Camps Bay promenade overlooking the beautiful beach and oddly shape boulders. These beaches are safe as it is a major tourist attraction and filled with tourists.
See the best restaurants in Camps Bay with a view here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Restaurants-g312658-zfp43-Camps_Bay_Western_Cape.html
This hill was a site for flying flags that communicated the weather conditions in Cape Town and that is where the name Signal Hill originated from. The sunsets and city light views as seen from the top of the hill is breath-taking. You have a 360-degree view of the city, with Table Mountain, Lions Head, the Atlantic Seaboard as well as Robben Island. Due to the popularity of this site the parking is limited, thus I would recommend taking a taxi or Uber to the top of the hill. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy the views with a glass of wine. You can also book a paragliding expedition from the top of the hill to the Sea Point promenade at a reasonable price.