Things to do, Places to See – Cape Town: This is a guest post by a lovely lady who I met online a few years ago. We became Facebook friends via a page I used to manage at the time and since then have remained online friends.
She happens to be a blogger for the love of writing and wonderfully expresses herself in this manner. You can tell by the impressive engagement on her posts, that many enjoy her style of writing. She has established a wonderful following in the bloggersphere on WordPress.
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For now, let’s have a look a Things to do and Places to see in Cape Town from Kavitha’s point of view…
See why South Africa’s is the place to be this Festive Season!
Our beloved country, our land of freedom, rich in culture has magnificent beaches, wildlife and warm hospitality. Steeped in history, it is the land of anti-apartheid heroes Nelson Mandela, Alan Paton, and our own sporting legend, Hansie Cronje.
For the ideal holiday destination, embrace the relaxed currency, bask in our sublime climate that is a cocktail of sub-tropical and splendiferous sunshine and we say that confidently because our days are blessed with sunshine.
Now that your location is chosen, to make the most of your stay, plan ahead. There are fun times and memories to be made. Exactly where to though? Cape Town? Durban? A Midlands retreat? There are just so many options. If you’ve chose the Cape, let me help you with your planning:
When in Cape Town consider:
The V&A Waterfront
The V&A’s slogan “Come and spend the day with us – there is just so much to do, so much to discover”, is exactly that. The V&A Waterfront comprises residential and commercial property with fine dining hotels, retail and leisure escapes. It is the ultimate hub for retail therapy.
Begin the day by watching the black shiny seals dance through the blue from the deck. Watch their brazen inquisitive nature as they beg for scraps. Make your way across from the Waterfront area via a pedestrian swing bridge to the Victorian Gothic-style Clock Tower, an important focal point in the Waterfront’s urban design. Shop at this quaint shopping area for genuine African artefacts and paintings and mementos.
The City Walk
Experience the true Cape Town walk. Make time for the City Walk from the gardens down to St George’s Mall, Waterkant, up to the Fan Walk and then to St Andrew’s Square. From Green Market square, a tip, purchase exquisite sterling silver jewelry and scrolls of painted work. It is good value and the vendors will be happy to pose for a selfie with you. The City’s history is rich, the architecture unique yet humbling.
Too tired to drive? Definitely consider a good tour guide. Standard terms and a generous tip would apply. The mountain of information of a local guide is worth every cent. A good guide will take you on a scenic route of coves and beaches and slices of land brimming with flora and fauna. The Cape Point was named the “Cape of Storms”. It commanded respect by sailors for its navigational landmark and menacing storms and perilous rocks. The wind can be biting and the waves furious, easy to imagine the shipwrecks of the past.
The lighthouse is an imposing structure and can be reached by way of the Flying Dutchman Funicular. Satiate your hunger at the Two Oceans Restaurant. View the two oceans, from more than 800 feet high, where the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the warmer Indian Ocean waters meet. “”Veni, vidi, vici”. You will be glad you did.
Visiting Robben Island is a priority for obvious reasons. Our own anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there. Rough seas, small boat, not the ideal passage. If you have kids with you, skip the seat high on deck and settle below.
Wear comfortable shoes, the walk to the island is long, the prison enclosures stark, bare and cold. The single plate, cup and standard prison issue grey blanket speaks volumes. There is a bus ride around the island was brief, the history indelible and the sighting of the rabbits happy. It is truly a triumph of human spirit
Either hike up to the mountain or like more than 26 million people, experience the 360° views of the Cape Peninsula from the wheelchair accessible Cable Car. It is the easiest way to get to the top of the Mountain. The more audacious may be inclined to abseil down the mountain.
Generally, a forest poor country, loads of rainfall contribute to the lushness of the Garden Route, a 300km stretch of coast famous for its widespread indigenous forests rich in plant diversity. Look out for gems like Knysna, a picturesque holiday town in the heart of the Garden Route. On the other side of the mountain, Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves stalactites will appease the children’s sense of adventure.
Whatever you do, do not forget the wine! Wine connoisseurs head out to the Groot Constantia, a national monument reputed to be South Africa’s oldest wine producing “elysian” state for internationally acclaimed wines by poets and royalty. Like Napolean Bonaparte, you too, can have your bottles of wine shipped home.
Table Mountain has views that have been widely broadcast and documented. The summit of the mountain offers stellar views as the sun’s rays blanket the city. Even more glorious, watch the clouds drift past and darkness set in 1089 metres above Cape Town. Savour the mountain air, indulge in gourmet cuisine and stock up on memorabilia at the Shop at the Top. Mark this momentous occasion by purchasing postcards franked with the Table Mountain Stamp.
Travel and endless beaches
Cape Town is best explored in the hop-on-hop off, family-friendly sightseeing red city bus. Catch the open top double decker bus. Discovered the history of the museums and Signal Hill. On your more lengthy drives, spot the King Proteas, our national flower reigning over his floral kingdom. Identify our national bird, the blue cranes. Discover the legends and stories associated with landmarks by listening to audio applications onto your mobile device.
Do the lazy day bus tour. Hopping on and off through town in search of good food and white sandy beaches. Tantalise your tastebuds with lunch from popular seafood eateries. Extract the binoculars and find hidden in the hills, sprawling, extravagant residences amidst Cape Dutch houses, Forget Hollywood’s glamorous, from Clifton, Jeffreys Bay surfing paradise to Camps Bay beaches, Cape Town’s beautiful elite comes out to play.
There are hosts of activities to suit every person
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens : For the nature lovers, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens offers concerts, restaurants and a Vida e caffé for the best espressos and quality coffee and delectable treats
- Shark Diving : For the adrenaline junkies, Gansbaai is the shark capital of the world, with as many as 95 types of sharks. Book the ultimate shark diving experience and tick that off your bucket list.
- Cape Fur Seals : For something relatively safer, consider diving with the gleaming colony of Cape Fur Seals in Hout Bay.
- Mariners Wharf : While away the afternoon at Mariners Wharf, famous for its fresh fish and chips. Mind the greedy seagulls, they snatch the food out of your hands. Superstition has it that if a bird poops on you, you are destined for luck. That may be true because we were blessed with a long slash of rainbow that had everyone reaching for their cameras.
- Boulders Beach : Adults and kids alike will love socialising with the 3000+ penquins. They are almost close enough to touch and pose for pictures too.