You are in the Mother City and looking for things to do in good old Cape Town? Have a look at these Top 10 suggestions.
1. Table Mountain
Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most famous landmark and is definitely something you cannot miss doing. For all those who don’t enjoy hiking, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain and all its glories by taking a ride in the Cable Car with its revolving floor that ensures all passengers get a 360 view up and down the mountain.
If you are into hiking, there are many trials and treks to find and explore leading you to all parts of Table Mountain including Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. While hiking you will be able to view the mountains extraordinary floral biodiversity where over 1500 species of plants are found.
NOTE: The Cable Car is highly subjective to the weather, as the car cannot operate in bad weather. For this exact reason, visitors should always check whether or not it is running on a given day.
Location & Contact:
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway General Enquiries:
Weatherline: (021) 424 8181
Office Number: (021) 424 0015
Physical Address: Lower Cable Station Tafelberg Road, Cape Town 8001
2. Kirstenbosch Gardens
Kirstenbosch Gardens lie on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and cover an area of 528 hectares with 36 hectares of cultivated garden. The Gardens are one of the eight National Botanical Gardens in South Africa and are also home to five of the six biomes in South Africa.
The Garden is filled with indigenous South African plants, showcasing fynbos, proteas, cycads and rolling lawns all for your enjoyment and appreciation. The Gardens also host two tea rooms as well as art galleries and many pieces of art situated throughout the gardens. Lending itself to a gorgeous and relaxing picnic area, it is definitely a place you do not want to miss out on.
Location & Contact:
Telephone: +27(0)21 799 8783
Ticket Office: +27(0)21 799 8782
Gardens Office: (weekdays only) +27(0) 799 8899
Fax: +27(0)21 797 6570
Sep-Mar (Summer) Mon-Sun 08h00-19h00
Apr-Aug (Winter) Mon-Sun 08h00-18h00
Conservatory Mon-Sun 09h00 -17h00
3. Bloukrans Bungy
Ready, steady, JUMP! Its only the worlds highest Bungee Jump, so you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Situated at the Bloukrans Bridge, near Plettenberg Bay, thrill-seekers have the opportunity to bungee from the 216 metre high bridge plummeting down towards the river below. If you are afraid of heights or are known to puke in fear, we suggest you do not try this. But other than that, everyone should at least try this once in his or her lifetime!
Location & Contact:
+27 71 248 5959
+27 73 124 1373
Rainer Steinhagen, BusSci, UCT:
“For all the adrenalin junkies amongst you, the Bloukrans Bungee Jump is an insane activity that will get your heart pumping out your chest and leave you clutching for your breath. With a 216m jump, this bridge features as the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, therefore it should be high on everyone’s bucket list.
The jump also provides the perfect excuse for one to grab a group of friends and head up the scenic garden route for an unforgettable road-trip.”
4. The Cango Caves
Situated about 28km just outside Oudtshoorn is the wonderful Cango Valley, home to the Cango Caves. The Cango Caves, along with its many tunnels and chambers, stretches for approximately 4 kilometres of which only a very small portion is open to visitors. Visitors are taken on a guided, informative tour of the caves where they are lead through a series of chambers and tunnels varying in different sizes. The standard tour lasts approximately one-hour and for those more daring explorers the “adventure tour” of 90 minutes takes visitors on a tour in which they are able to experience and crawl through and up the Devil’s Chimney and Devil’s Postbox.
Location & Contact:
“The Cango Caves is an awesome experience, as the caves are so beautiful and majestic. However, if you are afraid of heights and small spaces, we do not suggest you go anywhere near them.
The caves, although perfectly safe, do test your ability to stay calm and maneuver your body in positions you are definitely not use too. It is an awesome experience and something that we would like to do again!”
5. Ride an Ostrich
Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo are home to the world’s largest bird, the ostrich. It is here that also a number of ostrich farms housed. Visitors are able to spend time with the birds, interacting and feeding these unusual and long-necked birds. And if you up to the challenge, you could even try riding an ostrich and even take part in an ostrich race!
Location & Contact:
6. Have a picnic at Spier
Need a getaway spot – somewhere to relax and chill, just soak up the sun and have a great time? Then Spier is the place for you. Spier Estate is situated just outside of Stellenbosch and is one of the oldest wine farms in Cape Town. But it is far more than just wine-tasting.
Accompanied by beautiful picnic spots and a deli to chose from, top-notch restaurants including Eight and Moyo as well as live music, Spier Estate is majestic and surreal. Visitors are also able to experience birds of prey at Eagle Encounters as well as encounter the magnificent cheetahs and spend the day with them.
NOTE: Picnics need to be booked 24hours in advanced. For more information, please visit: www.spierpicnics.co.za
Wine Tasting bookings should be made at least 48hours in advanced and are open daily from 10h00 to 16h00 where sales are open from 09h00 to 17h00.
Spier Hotel also offers a stunning alternative where visitors are able to spend a few days in the winelands. For more information, please visit: www.spier.co.za or call: 021-809-1100
We get it. You are a thrill-seeker. You’ve already bungeed, squeezed threw the Letter Box and ridden an ostrich – the next thing is to swim with the sharks!
Well here it is; 8km off the coast of Gansbaai, very close to Hermanus, the waters around Dyer Island are filled with seals, penguins and seabirds and of course, this attracts the fearsome yet majestic Great White Shark. For those who don’t know, Great White Sharks are the ocean’s largest predatory fish. They can reach up to 6 metres in length and are powerful enough to launch their 1-ton bodies clear out the water, no problem.
The best time to go shark cage diving is definitely between April and October. Being in the cage allows you to have an intense and “too-close-for-comfort” encounter with these majestic beasts as well as giving you the adrenaline rush of a life-time.
If you’re not too set on the idea of being in a cage in the water, boat viewing is also something quite rewarding, giving onlookers the thrill and excitement of seeing these 6-metre predators. It also lends itself to excellent photographs.
(Fees are subject to the company you book with.)
Location & Contact:
Marine Dynamics Shark Tours: http://www.sharkwatchsa.com/en/home/
White Shark Ecoventures: http://www.white-shark-diving.com/dyer-island.htm
Dyer Island Cruises: http://www.whalewatchsa.com/whales-birds-sharks/great-white-shark/ White Shark Diving Company: http://www.sharkcagediving.co.za/
8. Robben Island
Robben Island is located just 12km off the shores of Cape Town, and is famously known owing to the number of political figures, most importantly former South African president Nelson Mandela, that were imprisoned there during the Apartheid era. Nowadays, Robben Island is a World Heritage site and a very popular tourist destination.
Tours to the island regularly depart from the V&A Waterfront and last approximately 3 and half hours. The tour itself includes two half hour ferry rides to and from the island across Table Bay. Once visitors have reached the island, they are given a guided tour of the Maximum Security Prison by an ex-political prisoner. The tour is also accompanied by a 45minute guided bus ride around the Island taking in the animal and bird life.
Going on a tour like this allows one to really appreciate where our country has come from and where we are now, it also allows visitors to be grateful and thankful for South Africa and her people today.
For more information, please contact: http://www.robben-island.org.za/
9. Knysna Elephant Park
Knysna was once home to herds of Knysna elephants who wandered freely in their forested habitat. However, due to man, it is believed that the number of elephants have decreased from close to 500 to only three elephants nowadays. Owing to these numbers, the Knysna Elephant Park is now a sanctuary for orphaned elephants and visitors are able to experience the majestic creatures and all their glories up close and personal.
The park offers daily tours, every half hour, where visitors are able to learn bout the elephants as well as spend an hour or so interacting with them by means of feeding, touching and taking photographs.
Visitors are also able to go on elephant back rides, nature walks, as well as sunrise and sunset safaris (booking must be made in advance.) There is also an on-site restaurant for your enjoyment and a Curio Shop for the ultimate souvenir.
The park is open seven days a week from 08h30 to 17h00 and is situated on the N2 in Harkerville. For more information, please contact: Tel: 044 532 7732 or visit http://www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za/
10. Monkey Land
Okay, so maybe elephants aren’t your thing but monkeys are! Lucky for you, the Western Cape is also home to Monkeyland – a unique sanctuary that houses several species of monkey allowing them to move freely and happily within their surroundings. Monkeyland allows its visitors to get close and personal with the monkeys, giving them the opportunity to see them playing in the trees and enjoying their natural surroundings.
Visitors go on an hour long, on-foot guided safari hike through the forests where monkeys such as, Gibbons of Asia, Howlers from South America and Lemurs from Madagascar can be seen. If this sounds like an adventure to you, be sure to check it out: http://www.monkeyland.co.za/
11. Beach BONUS
There is something about the Western Cape that cannot be forgotten – its beautiful BEACHES: The Western Cape has way too many beaches to just name one and each is even more beautiful then the previous. Here are a few beach spots that you definitely check out!
Boulders Beach: Home to the Penguin Colony. Visitors are able to follow the wooden boardwalk over the dunes in order to have a great view of these beautiful birds while they burrow and nest along the beach.
Camps Bay Beach: One of the most popular beaches in Cape Town, Camps Bay is the place you want to be. Not only does it have beautiful beaches and is an awesome swimming location but it also lined with restaurants, cafés and bars that offer a great place to relax and sip on a cocktail while you enjoy the sunset.
Clifton Beach: Did someone say Blue Flag? Yup, that’s right – just behind Lion’s Head lies Clifton Beach, one of Cape Towns best beaches (hence the Blue Flag rating). Another bonus? Clifton is very well protected, and visitors are often unaware of the infamous south-Easter wind blowing around Cape Town while on this beach. The beach itself is divided up into four coves, known as first, second, third and fourth. Most popular is Clifton 4th. Each beach is unique and has its own character; you will definitely not be disappointed when visiting.