I have a special place in my heart for Cape Town, it’s beauty is enchanting, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and there is plenty to see and do. It is my second time visiting this beautiful city and it won’t be my last! The 10 reasons you should visit Cape Town are based on my personal experience, these are all things I have done and enjoyed.
Cape Town is the perfect stop before or after an African Safari, we did both and preferred ending with the Safari. Dealing with jet lag is a little easier when you don't have to wake up at 5am.
Londolozi Game Reserve, where we went for our Safari, have a partnership with Icon Expeditions, they specialize in luxury, tailor-made travel to Southern and Eastern Africa. Samantha, senior travel consultant at Icon Expeditions, was instrumental in planning our entire stay, this included coordinating our online grocery delivery, restaurant bookings, villa and safari arrangements and much more.
She organized private guided tours with Rhino Africa, and tailor-made our itinerary for our entire stay. Carel, our Rhino Africa Guide-Savant, not only entertained us during our tours but also shared all he knows about Cape Town and surrounding areas, it was a pleasure having him as our guide and I would recommend asking for him should you book with Rhino Africa.
Here are some of the pros of having a private guide; pick up and drop off to/from your hotel or villa at your chosen time, you are not on someone else' schedule, you can modify your itinerary, within reason, based on weather or unforeseen closures and you don't have to worry about being stuck with annoying tourists.
Without further ado, here are the 10 reasons you should visit Cape Town:
#1. Home to one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants
The Test Kitchen was ranked no. 22 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016. Bookings open on the 1st of the month at 8:00am GMT+2 for a reservation the following month, if you don’t set a reminder and/or wake up extra early to make this reservation, chances are you won’t get a table. Simply put: You snooze you lose!
#2. African Penguins
Formerly known as jackass penguins because they sound like donkeys with their distinctive braying, the African Penguins are the only penguins found on the entire continent and can be viewed at Boulders Beach. Take a stroll on the boardwalks and admire these adorable little creatures while they nap or waddle their way around. If you want a close-up look at the penguins, the beach area is where you’ll want to go! Just keep in mind that like with any other wild animal you should refrain from getting too close, those little beaks are razor sharp! https://www.sanparks.org
#3. Cape Winelands
If you love wine as much as I do, this should be reason enough to visit Cape Town. Stellenbosch, located just 45 minutes away from Cape Town, offers amazing wine routes and if you want to experience the ultimate in luxury, the Delaire Graff Estate is a must with its outstanding restaurants, breathtaking landscape, Lodges & Spa, luxury boutiques and of course you will also find a state of the art winery. My favorite wines at The Delaire Graff Estate are: The Terraced Block Reserve (Chardonnay) and the Delaire Graff Botmaskop (Red Blend).
Franschhoek offers village shopping, a food and wine route, a Wine Tram, golf, mountain biking and beautiful scenery along with much more. There are also several Art Galleries along the main road where you can find beautiful contemporary art as well indigenous.
In sticking to the wine theme, I thought it would be important to share another great reason to visit Cape Town: Pinotage. South Africa is the birthplace of Pinotage, a grape crossing of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, dense in color and bold in flavor with notes of plum sauce, tobacco, blackberry, tar and licorice. It is an incredibly underrated wine and deserves way more credit! Go get yourself a bottle or enjoy my new favorite, Kanonkop Pinotage 2014 at the Kanonkop Estate in Stellenbosch.
#5. Table Mountain
Table Mountain, one of the “new” 7 natural wonders of the World, towers over Cape Town and offers spectacular views of the entire city and its surroundings. If hiking is not your thing take the 5-minute cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain and enjoy the magnificent view and if you pick the right time you can also watch the beautiful African sunset.
#6. Camps Bay Beach
You’ll find millionaire’s mansions, fashionable people, a beautiful beach and over 20 restaurants and cafés. Enjoy a fresh seafood platter while sipping on champagne and watch the sunset after a day at the beach. You can also rent a cliff-side house or penthouse with priceless views over the Atlantic and live like a local. We rented a beautiful villa during our stay and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
#7. Robben Island
Considered a world heritage site, Robben Island is very rich in history and is known most recently as the place where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner. Robben island represents the struggle for freedom against oppression of basic human rights and a place where great men were held captive. There are two parts to the tour, when you arrive on the Island you will be escorted to a bus that will take you around the island, be sure to sit in the middle of the bus (that is where the guide stands) and the second leg of the tour is given by a former inmate, our guide was ZoZo inmate 45/77. Listening to someone who was held prisoner for five years share their experience is far more impactful than listening to an audio recording. This tour is an absolute must!
#8. Cape of Good Hope
Take the scenic route from Camps Bay that takes you to the Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. During this scenic journey, you can stop at the fishing village of Hout Bay and the old Naval station at Simon’s Town. You can also swim with the African Penguins on Boulders Beach on the way back to Camps Bay.
#9. Cape Point – Flying Dutchman Funicular
Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular and save yourself the uphill walk to see the old light house at the very top and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. We decided to take the funicular up and walk down, a great way to enjoy the views without all the uphill walking.
#10. Chapman’s Peak Drive
This is probably one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world. Yes, even nicer than the Amalfi coast. The route begins at the fishing harbour of Hout Bay and makes its way to Chapman’s Point where you can take in breathtaking views and finally the road ends at Noordhoek.
These are just a few reasons to visit Cape Town, one of my favourite cities in the world!
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