Seeing the Jewel of South Africa
- Cape Town is unlike every other city. Along with its controversial history and culture this has an edgy vibe that attracts, fascinates and divides people in equal measure. From my experience, and therefore of others i understand who’ve been, it is a spot you quickly fall in love with.
- Cape Town is full of vibrant and fun people and, above all for backpackers, lots of epic activities. To aid narrow your choices down, here’s your ‘absolute must’ list.
- Bo-Kaap could be the Malay Quarter of Cape Town, set regarding the slopes of Signal Hill. It’s a colourful area with quaint houses painted in a number of shades – think Balamory but better. The multi-coloured dwellings regarding the cobbled streets are a giant draw for anyone travelling through, along with such a multicultural community the region is also full of flavoursome must-eats.
- Sample among the better bites by firmly taking a food tour where you’ll end up with a meal in someone’s home – I decided to go to ‘Zainie’s’. In addition to assisting you to put on the pounds, the tour also introduces one to some friendly locals who’ll teach you more about the area’s past, present and future.
- There’s also the Malay museum and South Africa’s first mosque to see in Bo-Kaap too.
- Think grime, dirt and whole lot of awesome. It has to be one of the most original restaurants around – although ‘restaurant’ is a slight exaggeration. Mzoli’s is an iron shack with plastic tables and chairs stuck from the region of the local butchers in the area of Gugulethu.
- While it doesn’t sound so glam, the food is among the city’s tastiest and a little bit of grunge is often fun.
- The theory is quite simple: you pile your plate filled with meat (there’s a ridiculous level of choice), wait for it to grill on the big BBQ, grab a beer and dance to your butcher’s DJ pals as you do.
- No knives, no forks, no messing at Mzoli’s – pure, hedonistic indulgence, and a veggie’s worst nightmare.
3. Wine tasting
- It’s a well known fact that South African wine is some of the best and so it could be rude never to indulge in a number of the region’s favourites.
- There are many vineyards it is possible to journey to through the city by bus, and with bottles as cheap as £3 they’re well worth the fare. Most vineyards offer tours of the land where in fact the winemakers will explain the grape to glass process. They’ll also share some samples to you, provide you with a nibble and sometimes offer you a room for the night if you just can’t stumble home. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are among the biggest vineyards in the area but I went to the lesser-known Constantia Winery and sampled as much wines as possible, at about 10am.
- Cape Town has a great amount to offer when it comes to shopping which can be unfortunately bad news when it comes to banking account but very good news for the wardrobe.
- The Watershed has over 150 stalls offering food, clothing and art, while designer boutiques and local marketsare dotted across the city. Greenmarket is ideal for picking right on up the ethnic goodies and exotic jewellery, and Long Street is the spot to go with all things retro. It’s here that the budget is in real danger with vintage shops in succession – an Instagrammer’s dream.
5. Climb Table Mountain
- Significantly more than 20 million men and women have climbed up Table Mountain in Cape Town but none associated with photos taken could ever do the view justice. It’s already been voted one of several New 7 Wonders of Nature – the views from the top are incredible.
- It’s easy enough to climb up and you can go unaided, however, if you’re feeling lazy or perhaps you don’t have much time, like me, there’s always the cable car. It’ll whizz you to definitely the top in a few minutes for only 185ZAR (£11.75).
- If that is simply not fast enough, you are able to go on it one step further and view the mountain by air from a helicopter. At around 1600ZAR each (£100) it’s quite the investment, but if you have the cash, the experience is well worth it.
6. Do an extreme sport
- Cape Town is a hub for all those who love a little adrenaline, can stomach heights and have that crazy aspire to jump away from things. Although you may not be in a position to cram in just about every nail-biting experience the city is offering in a single trip, you should certainly sample some of the city’s extreme sports. You are able to literally bring your pick with several companies offering everything from paragliding on the mountains, kite surfing regarding the waves or kayaking the Cape Point.
- While often a little pricey, these experiences can be a way to see a few of the city’s best views and produce a day to keep in mind.
7. Shark cage diving
- Heart beating already? Yeah, shark cage diving isn’t one for the knee wobblers.
- There are many companies within the city that provide you the opportunity to head down into the deep waters to check out a shark close up. You are able to usually book the excursion during your hotel or hostel for around ZAR 1650 (£ 78), but shop around for the greatest deal and make sure you will do your organization research.
- Seek out a firm that takes its responsibility towards the water plus the sharks seriously. They ought ton’t overfeed the shark (a danger whenever there are tourists to please), they should seek out areas free of other deep sea delvers so as not to ever disturb the exact same areas and they should only take out small groups at any given time. All this will be protect the sharks and make certain minimal obtrusion towards the marine environment.
Be sure that you read our full article about activities in Cape Town!