Known affectionately to millions of South Africans as the Mother City, Cape Town is as colourful and flavourful as the spices that were responsible for its founding in 1652. The city is now the vibrant legislative capital of the land that gave birth to the likes of Nelson Mandela.
Its incredible climate, natural beauty, restaurants and wine estates known for fine food that’ll make you feel good, and other attractions make it a destination worthy of being added to the bucket list of Canadians bitten by the travel bug.
Plenty to Keep You Busy
It doesn’t matter if you’re an adrenalin junkie, a culture vulture, or someone who simply enjoys the good life, because Cape Town has something for you. Winters can be a bit cold and wet but are still quite mild and the rest of the year is perfect for all kinds of fun under the sun, much like exotic destinations such as Tamarindo in Costa Rica.
Table Mountain, one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature, dominates the landscape. You can explore its flat top by taking the cable car, or, if you are blessed with excess energy, go on a guided hike up the mountain.
Other ways in which you can work up a healthy appetite include visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, Robben Island, where Mandela and other political prisoners were held; the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope; the renowned Kirstenbosch Gardens’ treetop canopy walkway; and the many museums and galleries such as the SA Cultural History Museum, and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
You also have the options of touring Cape Town’s 19th-century water tunnels, cage diving with sharks in Gansbaai, marvelling at the Two Oceans Aquarium’s marine life, and a whole lot more.
You can go abseiling and kite surfing, ride bikes or horses on golden beaches, and even enjoy a full-moon hike up Lion’s Head for a completely different view of the city at night. If more sedentary pleasures are your poison, you could always spend the day on Camp’s Bay beach, or check out the beaches from Simons Town to Cape Point, all of which offer stunning views.
Food for the Good Life
Prior to the arrival of the spice-hungry Dutch more than 300 years ago, the only cooking in the area that would later be within Cape Town city limits was the simple fare of local nomadic pastoral tribes. This was later supplemented by that of French Huguenots, Malay slaves, and others who ended up at the Tavern of the Seas.
South Africa’s oldest city now boasts a plethora of globally famous eateries. You can satisfy your hunger at spots as diverse as Kalk Bay’s harbour-side Kalky’s serving up the best snoek (a type of fish) and fries, to the award-winning Test Kitchen, and African-themed Moyo’s gorgeous Blouberg and Kirstenbosch venues.
No visit is complete without sampling the delights of Cape Malay cuisine, such as that prepared by the Bo-Kaap Kombuis, or a wine tasting and meal at one of the near-by historic estates, such as Boschendal or Groot Constantia. You also have plenty of opportunities to sink your teeth into a Gatsby – a bread roll filled with anything from fries, sausages, salad, masala steak, calamari, and goodness knows what else.
Good Vibes After Dark
The good vibes continue long after sunset. Once you have wrapped up the day’s activities, you can freshen up with a shower and then head out to the crowded, colourful bars of Long Street and beyond.
You could also pay a visit to the top-class Arcade Café, surfer-themed Surfa Rosa and the waterfront-hugging Shimmy Beach Club or Grand Cafe, or you could enjoy a lager at the Cape’s oldest bar, the Perseverance Tavern.
Like other popular destinations around the world, Cape Town has plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from backpacker hostels to luxury boutique hotels. Add to this a cosmopolitan culture and so much to see and do, and it’s easy to see why Cape Town is well worth a visit. Be prepared to fall in love with it anew every day of your stay.
Visit Cape Town
To learn more about visiting Cape Town, see: http://www.capetown.travel/
All photo credits in this article are to Pixabay, under a CC0 license, with one stock photo, as identified above. The article is in partnership with Sophie, a freelance writer from Cape Town, South Africa.
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About the Photo
The photo is in the header is of the waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, with Table Mountain in the background. It’s reused from Pixabay with a CC0 Creative Commons license, as are all of the images in this article.
About the Author
This article is in partnership with a freelance writer, Sophie, who lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.