Friday 23 December 2016


So over summer I worked in Cape Town and whilst I was there I made sure that I got to experience as much of the City as possible, after work or over the weekends and so here are my top recommendations.

1. Surfing at Muizenberg beach
This beach was so perfect that I think I'll be dreaming about it for the rest of my life.  It is a bit further outside of Cape Town and takes about 20 minutes on the train but it is so worth visiting.  Not far from the shore there are restaurants and cafes and also a surf shop where you can rent a wetsuit and surfboard.  The view from the water is amazing, whilst all you can hear are the waves, you look up to see the most vivid view of a mountain right at the edge of beach. Beware however, as the water is supposed to be shark infested, which I was not aware of when I surfed but it does not seem to bother the locals.

 2. Wine tasting
I did wine tasting at Groot Constantia, which is a winery that was founded in 1685.  It had the most unusual and amazing tasting wines. There are so many wineries in and around Cape Town with fresh grapes vines growing and it is such a fun experience.  There are even wine tour busses that take you around some of the different wineries.  Just prepare yourself however, as they will make you drink all of each glass that they pour.

3. Visit Camps Bay beach 
This beach is a lot closer to Cape Town itself and is in one of the most expensive areas of the city.  It is home to the most expensive mansion in the whole of Cape Town, which is worth around £50 million.  This beach is a romantic spot to watch the sunset over the horizon from.  You can even do this from one of the local cafes or restaurants alongside the beach. The water was slightly colder in the evening but I couldn't help but go for a swim.

4. Hike Lion's Head mountain 
In all honesty, I found this hike quite difficult, especially considering I was up at 4am the morning after surfing all day in order to be able to make it to the top for sunrise.  It also didn't help that I was with a bunch of extremely fit people.  The view and experience was so worth it.  I felt like a fairy or an angel dancing above the clouds and the city.  I think the pictures speak for themselves. Be prepared to scale rocks with chains nearer the top though, as it gets very steep.

5. Visit Cape Point 
This is the most south western point of the entire continent and the entire walk to and around it so beautiful.  It is quite a long walk around so it is definitely a day trip.   Also be sure not to take any food out whilst you are there as there are baboons walking around everywhere! If you are lucky you might see an ostrich too.

 6. Visit Boulders Beach in Simons Town 
Okay, I promise this is the last beach that I will be recommending but this one is quite literally paradise. The water looks like clear tap water and the sand is so white.  Simons Town is quite far outside of Cape Town so is definitely a day trip as well.  You can see penguins walking around freely on this beach so if you try to go and see penguins, don't make the mistake that many others make if you are told to pay R60 to see them at a specific area, just keep walking further past that 'official' place for around 30 minutes and you'll come to the beach and see them for free, even closer up. 

7. Visit Kristenbosch botanical gardens 
The scenery at these gardens is amazing and you can walk around for ages just taking in all of the nature. It is so relaxing and also the perfect place to go for a picnic or to sunbathe.  There are also a lot of Guineafowl birds running around, which I find hilarious considering they can't fly and just run around all day.

8. Chapman's Peak Drive 
The drive up Chapman's Peak is claimed to be one of the most scenic drives in the world and I'm not surprised why.  It is the perfect date idea and if you don't have access to a car whilst you are in Cape Town then you can always get an Uber or walk as it is not that long.  Each part you stop at has an amazing view and if you climb down the side of the rocks there are caves in the mountain too that overlook Hout Bay.

9. Visit the Waterfront 
The Waterfront is probably one of the most typical tourist areas in the City.  This also means it is one of the more expensive areas.  It is normally very busy and has a rather expensive mall but is perfect for buying souvenirs as it is full of little gift shops. There are restaurants and live music and also sail boats if you want to go sailing.  This area is perfect if you have more money and want to experience a more luxurious day out. 

10. Go to Mzoli's 
Mzoli's is definitely a place to go if you have a group of people who all love music and meat.  Definitely not suitable for vegans/vegetarians.  This is a large scale BBQ party where you basically order, for example, 3 steaks, sausages, 4 pieces of lamb, 8 pieces of chicken, etc.  You then pay and take your raw meat (in a plastic bucket) through to the braaier (BBQ man), who cooks it for you.  You return around 30 minutes later to collect your cooked meat.  In the room where everyone eats, there are large speakers playing African beats and people dancing, drumming, drinking and eating and it is the best time ever. However, be prepared for absolutely 0 health and safety regulations. You get your meat on a tray or in a bucket, no knives, forks, plates or napkins (unless you bring your own), and you literally just eat it as it is and it is an amazing experience, everyone is having an amazing time.  You must be careful when visiting this area/place however, as although it is famous in Cape Town, it is in a township and therefore can be extremely dangerous/unpredictable. Be sure not to take any valuables with you or at least do not have them on show and you will be fine. (Hence why I don't have a lot of photos to show of the place) 

11. Hout Bay Market and the Old Biscuit Mill Market
I am listing these two together as they are quite similar.  Hout Bay is another expensive but stunning area and the market there is incredible.  It is an indoor market that takes place on a Sunday.  There is all the food you can imagine freshly made at all of the stalls and most of it is miniature so you can try many different things.  There are also many handmade gifts and stalls of clothes and jewellery and gifts, although this is once again quite a tourist area so things are more pricey!
Old Biscuit Mill is the perfect little indoor food market that is on every Saturday morning at breakfast.  Once again, with all of the food you can imagine.  It is slightly smaller and a bit cheaper than Hout Bay but is only open in the morning.  All the food is again fresh and across from the food market there are also little shops and stalls to look at too.

12. Visit Robben Island 
This is the Island where Nelson Mandela was kept in prison for 18 years.  Here you are given a tour of the island and it is beautiful.  So much of it is historical untouched and you can see Cape Town in the horizon, as you stand on the edge of the island.  The first part of the tour is by bus and the second part is of the prison itself and the cells.  I found it amazing that previous inmates/prisoners of the island were the ones giving the tours.  They were able to share their stories and explain/bring to life the tragedies that really went on in the prisons.  Tickets can be bought online or from the Waterfront area and the boats depart from the Waterfront. 

Of course there are still many many more things to do such as visit all of the malls, hike up Table Mountain, skydive, visit to Access Park, go for a night out on Long Street, drink coconut beer, play beer pong at Forex in Observatory and also importantly, visit all of the family run, unique coffee shops and cafe's. 

Let me know if you have been or where you would like to go! These were all of my personal favourites that I really enjoyed but I am sure if you are a local then you will know far more than me! 

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