Cape Town Attractions
Cape Town is blessed with a diverse array of beautiful scenery and attractions. It is a mixing pot of numerous cultures which lends an exotic touch to the cuisines on offer. Visitors even have the chance to experience traditional villages, along with the vibrant city life on offer. Here are our top 5 picks of things to see and do if you visit.
The most prominent landmark in Cape Town is the towering Table Mountain, which is home to a National Park, wildlife, and an overabundance of flora. In fact, there are more flora species within the 22 000 hectares (ha) of the park than in the entire British isles! You can catch the cable car up, and enjoy a meal at the restaurant on top, or else try hiking to the plateau from one of the many access points. One of the more challenging but visually appealing trails on offer is Skeleton Gorge, which can be accessed from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Thousands of years ago, the island was inhabited and joined with the Cape Peninsula. The waters rose and covered the strip of land connecting these two areas, and when the Dutch settled here they turned the secluded island into a prison. Today, it is a World Heritage Site and a monument to hard won freedom. Cell number 46664 was Nelson Mandela’s living space before his release in 1994, and visitors around the world have been moved to tears when entering. The stark colours and minimal space must have been a nightmare indeed for a man who has a love of open skies, and endless plains. The on-site museum is fascinating to walk through, and has many interesting exhibits.
The fertile farmlands of Stellenbosch onwards have the perfect conditions for growing grapes, and a thriving wine industry was born. The valley of Franschhoek, meaning French corner, has many beautiful restaurants tucked away that often sell their fresh produce. The Cape Route 62 encompasses numerous wine farms, and currently stands as the longest wine route in the world. Along the route, you will find many historical and fascinating wine estates, places to enjoy a quiet picnic in the shade, or even enjoy a river cruise combined with a deli lunch, and wine, of course.
For many visitors, the townships that have sprung up and now encircle the road to the airport, are eye-sores; but it is called “home” by the people who travelled far and wide in hopes of a better life. On township tours you’ll experience what life is like for those who struggle under the bread line, see their unconquerable spirit, and even share a meal with them. The Khayelitsha Township offers a great variety of experiences, from having a beer at a shebeen, to browsing traditional outfits, to sitting and chatting with the friendly residents, who will share their rich culture with you
Cape Town has a great variety of beaches available to tourists. From the cliffs and narrow beaches at Scarborough, to the trendy Camps Bay strip, there’s a spot for everyone in the sun. For surfing, Muizenberg beach offers decent waves, and a surf shop on the beach rents equipment and offers lessons to beginners. Fish Hoek beach is great for families as there are some small tidal pools the little ones can splash in, and Blouberg beach is a must for kite surfers.
Author Bio: Roseanna McBain is a Cape Town resident who is constantly inspired by the beauty all that surrounds her. She writes for TravelGround, a CapeTown accommodation and booking website.