If you are planning a trip to South Africa, you can enjoy unique vegetation with fantastic hotspots. With the variety of activities and leisure activities on offer, it can be difficult to keep track, after all, there are so many places that are worth a detour. For all those who find it hard to decide, we have put together our Top 20, because these are things you should definitely have done in and around Cape Town.
1. A ride with the cable car up to Table Mountain
One of South Africa's landmarks is Table Mountain. With the cable car you have an indescribable view of the skyline of Cape Town and the surrounding area, which you won't forget so quickly! With the gondola, which by the way rotates around 380°, you comfortably cover 704 meters of altitude difference.
2. Take a snapshot of the "Dassies”
High up on Table Mountain live the small marmot-like Dassies. Simon van der Stel, first governor of South Africa, first reported in his diary in 1790 about frequent encounters with "dassies", which means "badger". As with many other names in South Africa, the Dutch term for the creatures that belong to the genus hyraxes was retained. One of their main occupations is dozing on a sunny rock, so you are very likely to take a great memory photo of these small animals.
3. Swimming with the penguins at Boulders Beach
Penguins at the beach? That's almost only in South Africa! The absolute highlight at Boulders Beach, a coastal strip in the South of Simon's Town, are the penguins that have settled here in large numbers. From a single pair of penguins in the 80's, a rapidly growing colony has developed, which can now be admired by many visitors.
4. Climbing the top of Lion’s Head
If you already know Table Mountain or don't really feel you want a lot of tourists, you can plan a hike to Lion's Head as a wonderful alternative. From a distance it looks like a lying animal body, which is what finally earned its name. After the approximately one and a half hour ascent, you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Read more about the best hiking trails of the Cape here.
5. Searching for old treasures in second-hand shops
If you are looking for hidden treasures and cheap bargains, numerous small shops in Cape Town invite you to take a leisurely stroll.
6. Culinary delights in one of the French restaurants in Franschhoek
Take a trip to the "French Corner" and explore Franschhoek. The rapidly growing city experienced an economic flourishing due to the exquisite wine growing of the winegrowers. Enjoy a light lunch or an exclusive dinner in one of the many restaurants that exude French charm due to South Africa's significant immigrant history.
7. Visit the harbour market in Hout Bay
A lively little harbour town with a dreamlike scenery invites you to stay. All kinds of delicacies from the sea can be enjoyed here in this picturesque place. By the way, it is worthwhile to take the approximately ten kilometre longer drive from Cape Town, which on the last stretch leads over the impressive Chapman's Peak Drive.
8. Driving along Chapman's Peak Drive in a convertible
Your heart will leap with excitement and the breathtaking view. The road was built in the rocks and runs right along the cliffs and is definitely the most spectacular coastal road in the world for us. Rent a convertible and let the sea breeze blow around your ears.
9. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and feel very British
The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel rings at "tea time". Cozy lounges invite you to enjoy a morning or afternoon tea. But you can also enjoy teas from all over the world on your own terrace or in the beautiful garden.
10. Purchase of a special handicraft from a street vendor at the roadside
Cape Town's street corners are full of colourful and unusual handicrafts. Creativity and joie de vivre can be found in every single piece. A short walk along the stalls, past bead and jewellery work, embroidered fabrics or small ceramic figures will make every heart beat faster. Here you will certainly find nice little souvenirs that will always remind you of the unique South Africa trip.
11. Hang- gliding at Blouberg Beach
The beach section in the North of Cape Town is a mostly windy place. If you love hang-gliding, you will enjoy this place. By the way, the first-class view of Table Mountain can also be enjoyed from the surfboard, as the restless waves create perfect conditions for kite or windsurfing.
12. Enjoy an original South African Braai
You love barbecues with friends? Are you in love with beautiful beaches? Why not enjoy both at the same time at Langebaan Lagoon! With a view of the crystal clear water you can enjoy the typical South African barbecue which is called Braai. Braai means more to the South Africans than just "barbecuing", it is a real celebration. It stands for unity, tradition, solidarity across all skin colours, ethnicities and societies and definitely belongs to a very special culinary culture.
13. A jogging round on the promenade from Sea Point to Green Point
Don't forget to pack your running shoes in the suitcase. You start at Sea Point and walk leisurely along the beach promenade to Green Point. On one side you can enjoy the fantastic view over the South Atlantic Ocean and on the other side you can enjoy the numerous shops, hotels and restaurants.
14. Drinking a sundowner at the trendy Camps Bay
For quiet moments after an adventurous day, enjoy a sundowner, which can be sipped at sunset at the picturesque village of Camps Bay. In the idyllic dim light, you will have a spectacular view of the mountain range also known as the Twelve Apostles.
15. A cellar tour with extensive tasting at one of the many wineries
A trip to Cape Town without a detour to the surrounding vineyards? Impossible. Adjacent to Cape Town are some excellent vineyards. Our favourites: Klein Constantia, Steenberg or Buitenverwachting, for example, are within 30 minutes drive. Experience the high quality wines, which have been produced with passion and love. Discover the different facets of the great wines during a wine tasting and enjoy unique moments. Would you like to learn more about the wineries at the Cape? Then take a round trip through the winelands and read more about the best hotels.
© Klein Constantia © Steenberg © Buitenverwachting
16. Going to a party on Long Street
On the party mile Long Street, countless bars, clubs and restaurants border each other. Dive into South Africa's nightlife and dance until dawn.
17. A visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Discover the native biodiversity in one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. The most colourful and exotic plants and flowers grow on about 36 hectares. The protected area is a World Heritage Site and is intended to preserve the natural flora and fauna. A walk is worthwhile, if only to admire the beautiful Protea, the national flower of South Africa. Read more about the most beautiful gardens around Cape Town here.
18. A boat trip to Robben Island
Robben Island, which is about twelve kilometres from Cape Town was used as a prison island. Surrounded by the sea, it was once supposed to be made impossible to escape. The most famous inmate was probably Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison here. Take a boat trip to Robben Island and immerse yourself in the history of South Africa and this exciting, historic place.
19. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk
Relax and stroll along Cape Town's beautiful, approximately six-kilometre-long riverside promenade. Let yourself drift and experience the joy of life of the locals.
20. Take a photo behind the sign "Cape of Good Hope
One of Cape Town's most popular photo motifs is the sign "Cape of Good Hope", which is located between the rocky cliffs of the peninsula. Once you are there, you can make a detour to the lighthouse, which is clearly visible to ships further up the cliffs. Here you can experience the Cape of Good Hope in the truest sense of the word.
©Text Louisa Kulke