Cape Town, South Africa occupies the bottommost part of the African continent and is well endowed with natural beauty featuring different shapes of Mountains and rocks, the rolling winelands, a striking coastline and fantastic weather.
If you are a seasoned traveler or are just about to take your first trip, below are 8 reasons why you should visit Cape Town before you die!
Read more: Visitors guide to Cape Town
1. Table Mountain
Where else in the world would you be able to see this prominent landmark if not Cape Town? One can choose to either use a Cable car or go hiking. The Cableway is the easiest and quickest way, taking around 5 minutes and costs 255 South African Rands (ZAR) for a return ticket. This cable car gives a great 360 degrees view of Cape Town city, Robben Island and part of the Peninsular.
Be sure to check the weather before you book online as the cableway operates only when the weather is conducive and money is not refunded.
If you plan to hike, it takes about 2-4 hours to get to the top of Table Mountain depending on your speed and level of fitness. For a photographer like me, it’d take the 4 hours to get up since the hiking trails offer beautiful views of the Mother City, as well as interesting Flora and Fauna.
Read about the essentials of hiking Table Mountain
2. Seal Island
Located in Cape Town’s False Bay, Seal Island is famous for the Cape Fur Seals and the Great white sharks hunting each other like something in a romantic Mexican Telenovela. A 40 minute glass-bottomed boat cruise to the seal island costs around R40, most of the tours starting from 9.00am daily, all hours subject to favorable weather conditions.
If you feel beachy, walk down to the sand on the far left side and enjoy the African sun with great views of the Table Mountain and False Bay.
3. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Named one of the most beautiful gardens in Africa, Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which offers a perfect city escape. Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, this garden offers diverse species of Flora and Fauna, most of them being indigenous.
During summer, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens hosts various events ranging from open air cinema to concerts and shows. Since these events are very popular with locals and visitors alike, it’s advisable to book as early as possible before tickets sell out.
It’s easier to drive there or one can use the Blue Sightseeing Bus or if you plan to do the Cape Peninsular tour, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will be included in the package.
4. Amazing Shopping
Cape Town is a well-known shopping destination especially popular with other African citizens. Many international brands which may not be available anywhere else in Africa find their way in Cape Town.
The most popular shopping mall is the Victoria & Alfred or popularly known as the Waterfront. Located a few minutes’ drive from the city centre, Victoria and Alfred mall is easily accessible using Taxi or walking or the Red Sightseeing Bus. It also features various restaurants and food markets serving international cuisines.
If the waterfront is too touristy for you, then Canal Walk Mall in Century city is your other option. This shopping city is located about 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town city centre and opens 9am to 9pm daily.
A point to note; many shops in Cape Town city centre close at 5pm but these two shopping malls open until 9pm.
5. Colorful Streets of Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarter)
South Africa is nicknamed the Rainbow Nation due to its cultural and ethnic mixture. These beautiful houses in the Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town are just another reason why South Africa is a rainbow nation.
This culturally diverse neighborhood on the foot of Signal Hill consists of Malaysian people, African, Indian and Sri Lankans who settled in the 16th century after being ferried by the Dutch from their original homes to work as slaves.
Sign up for a Cape Malay cooking classes and polish your cooking skills by adding Asian flavors to your kitchen expertise.
Read about Quick Things to Do in Cape Town
6. The Best Wine in the World?
Visit the great Winelands of Constantia, Stellenbosch, and Paarl among others and treat your taste buds to different flavors of authentic African wine that Cape Town has to offer.
Just so you know, South African Chardonnay was named best in the world in 2013 during the annual Chardonnay du Monde competition. Thank me when you down a glass while in Cape Town ☺
7. Stunning Food Anyone?
Savor the traditional dishes spiced and stippled with a global influence from Europe, Indian, Malaysian and original taste of Africa, all in the Mother city. The Victoria & Alfred Food Market caters for both young and old. Serving authentic South African craft beers all at a pocket-friendly price, this market will tempt your eyes but hey, give your taste buds a chance to prove your eyes wrong.
The Victoria & Alfred Food Market hosts various events in different days of the week like live music, beer tasting and shows hence without a shadow of a doubt your whole family would be kept entertained.
8. Brilliant Nightlife
Cape Town never sleeps. Long Street is arguably the most famous street in the whole of Cape Town, popular with revelers and night wanderers. Located in the City Bowl district, Long Street offers fun vibes to suit your taste ranging from comedy shows, people watching, wine and booze and food.
This guest post was kindly provided by Carolina who writes an excellent blog called My Global Attitude. Make sure you check it out!