South Africa beyond safaris: 4 things to do in Cape Town

September 20, 2019

What is there to see in Cape Town? This splendid African city boasts splendid beaches and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Furthermore, it's a privileged starting point for safaris and a multi-ethnic and colorful city.

Gordons Bay in Cape Town

It is the city where the West meets authentic Africa: we are in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the continent's fastest growing nations. Cape Town is a modern and vibrant city, called "Mother City" by locals, boasting beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan atmospheres, especially on the highly frequented V & A Watefront.

Usually starting point for a safari holiday, it deserves some time to be visited. For example, you can explore the multi-ethnic and colorful Cape Malay (or Bo Kaap) district and discover its culinary delights.

You can devote yourself to an enogastronomic tour of the nearby wineries to discover African wines. Finally, before leaving, you can not forget to climb to the top of the iconic Table Mountain and admire the view from there.

If South Africa is at the top of your next trips, here are some ideas on what to do in Cape Town, its iconic city.

Wine tours

Few people know that South Africa is not only the land of safari and the Big 5, but it is also a land of delicious wines. From Cape Town you can leave with a rental car or local guides for a tour of the wine region. The first stop is Stellenbosch, the second oldest city in the country, a city of wine estates and university centers where you can taste South African wines.

From Stellenbosch take the panoramic Helshgoote Pass towards Franschoek: here a colony of French Huguenots settled and contributed to perfecting wine processing, already introduced by the Dutch. Near Franschhek you can stop at the Spice Route, a farm where you can taste wines and chocolate and where there is also a gin distillery.

Beautiful vineyards in Franschoek, South Africa
Vineyards in Franschoek.

Beach panoramic tour

Taking the Kloofnek Road, which runs along the ridge that joins Table Mountain to the smaller Lion's Head, begins the scenic journey of the coast. The first beach you meet is Camps Bay Beach, one of the most popular in Cape Town, from which you can admire the signi fi cant profile of the Twelve Apostles.

Here we visit the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost point of Africa, while to find the point where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean merge, we need to move a little further east to Cape Agulhas.

Not far from here, there is also Boulders Beach, famous for the colony of African penguins that inhabit it and that visitors can observe from a raised platform.

Penguins on Boulders Beach, South Africa
Penguins at Boulders Beach.

Climbing Table Mountain

You cannot leave Cape Town without first admiring it from its iconic mountain, Table Mountain. The advice is to leave early to avoid the crowds and get into the cable car. The rotating cabins allow you to admire the city in full.

Once on the summit, on clear days, the view ranges from the iconic points of the city (the unmistakable Cape Town City Bowl), to the blue expanses of the ocean.

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain in Cape Town.

Bo Kaap wine and food tours

Cape Town is a city where different cultures coexist: the district of Cape Malay, or Bo Kaap, is famous for its colorful houses. It was traditionally inhabited by the Java and Sumatra slaves who brought their traditions and cultures here. Later, other inhabitants of South East Asia settled in Bo Kaap giving birth to a unique minority, characterized by the fusion between Western, African and Asian traditions: for this reason the cuisine of Cape Malay is very particular.

During your stay in Cape Town, take some time for a lunch in the Bo Kaap tasting the culinary specialties: the masala, spice-based dish to flavor the dishes, the daaltjes, spicy meatballs, the samoosas appetizer widespread in India, the rootis, rolls with meat filling, and the traditional Cape Malay curry.

Bo Kaap street in Cape Town.

Cannot wait to leave now, can you?

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