If the first time you set foot in South Africa’s beautiful coastal capital isn’t going to be spent in the Love Island villa, you might want to try out this list for your itinerary!
- Skip the cable car, and hike up Table Mountain
Table Mountain is the most iconic feature of Cape Town’s skyline, and much of the city itself is sandwiched between Table Mountain and the coast. Characterised by its flat peak, where better to get the best view of the Mother City than here? If you’re able to do so, hiking the mountain will make you appreciate that mountain view that little bit more and you also can make a day out of the experience. Travel with a group, pace yourself and take plenty of water on your hike upwards into the heavens above the city. Once you get to the top, take in the views and enjoy a well-deserved cup of tea with a slice of cake to celebrate. Be sure to check the weather forecast as cloud cover could seriously restrict your visibility when climbing, and strong winds could mean you may not be able to take the cable car up or down the mountain. Although we found Cape Town to be incredibly windy on our visit, we’re thankful it wasn’t strong enough to put the cable cars out of action for our way back down the mountain!
- Waddle over to Simon’s Town and visit the penguins
Each Christmas, cards are produced with a variety of illustrated cartoons many with penguins and polar bears side by side. But did you know, penguins can only be found in the Southern Hemisphere and Polar Bears only in the north? These animals would never naturally cross paths in the wild! Visiting the African Penguin colony in Simon’s Town is special in so many ways, not just because they’re in their natural habitat, but also because it is a reminder that the wildlife on the African continent is so beautifully varied.
- Get out in the wild, and go on a Safari
It would be criminal to visit South Africa without going on a safari, and so we made sure we visited the Aquila Private Game Reserve. While we were thrilled to see 4 out of 5 of the Big Five (Elephants, Buffalo, Lion, Rhino and Leopard – with the leopard evading us on our visit) we were also shocked to hear that Aquila have recently had to step up their security efforts to protect their rhinos from poachers. The work they do is incredible, and our guide was knowledgeable and passionate about his work at the reserve. Two of the standout moments for us was when our guide pointed out a young orphaned rhino that he and his colleagues have carefully and dutifully raised over the past few years, and when we came face to face with both of the reserve’s only two African elephants.
- Grab a bite at The Dog’s Bollocks
If you’re looking for the greatest burger on earth, you need to get your hands on a burger from The Dog’s Bollocks in Cape Town. Not only was the burger so big that we had to share one between two, but the taste was everything. With our eyes bigger than our stomachs, we also had a taste of their pizza which made for a talented back up dancer to the star that was the burger. They also do brunch, so if you’re hoping for a breakfast spot to try out then you know where to go!
- Raise your glass in Stellenbosch
One of the world’s most renowned wine regions lies just 40km outside of Cape Town; Stellenbosch, a trendy university town that is home to the infamous wine region of South Africa, is a must visit on your first trip to Cape Town. We visited Spier Wine Farm and enjoyed a tasting of several red, white and a sparkling rose wine. Leave enough time to explore the estate, which is set in beautiful grounds, and features an interesting sound sculpture exhibition outside the main building. (P.S. If you want a glass without the jet lag, you can sip Spier in Nando’s!)
Are you planning a trip to Cape Town? What are you most looking forward to doing there? Let us know!