Six Things to Do in Cape Town
When it comes to finding things to do, Cape Town is bursting at the seams. With the ocean on one side, looming mountains on the other and the bustling metropolis somewhere in the middle there are a smorgasbord of attractions to keep visitors entertained. Everyone has their own favourites when visiting iKapa, and this is just a small selection of not-to-be-missed sights worth checking out when visiting The Mother City...
For more information on Cape Town’s top attractions and a comprehensive guide to everything Cape Town, please visit My Guide Cape Town.
There are several trails to choose from, each with varying degrees of difficulty, steepness and length. The trails are narrow, rocky staircases that have been built into the side of the mountain. Bring plenty of water for the climb as well as a jacket since the weather can change very quickly up the mountain and while it may be sunny at the bottom, mist and clouds often lurk higher up. Be sure to read our basic safety hiking tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike.
While the hike up is an experience in itself, the spectacular view from the top is an even greater reward. The city of Cape Town lies far below, nestled between the mountains and the glistening Atlantic Ocean.
After reaching the top, there is the inevitable dilemma of how to get back down. There are two options: flit down in the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, or hike back down the way you just came up. While taking the cable car is an inviting prospect, try to summon up your remaining energy and climb back down since the route in reverse provides a very different experience to climbing up (and you’re probably better placed to enjoy it!)
Boulders Beach is one of the few places in the world to see penguins in their natural habitat. The beach is home to a colony of African penguins that are given free run of the sand and surrounding vegetation. A wooden walkway down to the beach takes birdwatchers into the habitat of the penguins. Keep an eye out for stray penguins on the way out of Boulders, as they sometimes like to sit in the shade underneath cars!
Located just 13kms from the Cape Town City Bowl, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are worth a visit. The gardens boasts almost 90 acres of plant life native to South Africa, and is awash with colour.
Kristenbosch is also home to a wide variety of animal and bird-life. Blue-headed Guinea Fowls and dazzling Sunbirds are common sights. Small antelope, foxes and the occasional porcupine roam the lawns at night, and a host of frogs reside in the ponds and streams that run through the garden.
Stellenbosch wine farms are known to offer some of the best wines in the world and there are plenty of local wineries willing to showcase the fruits of their labour. With almost 200 wineries crammed into the small town, choices are plentiful and many visitors choose to make a day out of wine tasting.
Tastings range from R15 - R30, and many wineries offer picnic baskets to enjoy along with a glass of red or white. Be sure to visit our Cape Winelands page to find the estate that most grabs your interest.
Just 30 minutes outside Cape Town's city center, Spier Wine Estate is one of the largest wineries in the Stellenbosch area. The wine tasting is excellent, but it's Spier’s Cheetah Outreach Programme that's one of the biggest draw-cards for visitors.
A small entry fee allows visitors to walk past the cheetah enclosures and take photos of the spotted residents. For a more up close experience, visitors have the option of paying for a supervised visit inside the enclosure where they can view the cheetahs up close, and even pet them.
The program focuses on preserving hand-raised cheetahs born in captivity. These animals are not able to be released into the wild, and so rely on their caretakers to survive. All money from the program is put towards the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Make sure you find some time for a meal at Moyo Restaurant, one of the eateries on the Spier Winery grounds. Moyo serves African cuisine with an upper class twist. The chain has several locations in South Africa, each with their own eclectic outdoor ambiance.
The food hails from all corners of the continent. North African cous cous and curries are popular dishes, alongside local fresh fish from the Cape waters. Even South Africa's favourite sausage, boereworse makes an appearance on the menu.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the Robben Island Museum. What was once a prison that housed many political prisoners during the apartheid era, including former South African president Nelson Mandela, is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Visitors to the island arrive by a ferry that departs daily from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. The ride to Robben Island takes half an hour each way, and the tour itself lasts approximately 2.5 hours. Tour guides are often former political prisoners who willingly share their experiences on Robben Island. The tour includes a visit to the prison and a 45-minute narrated bus tour of Robben Island. One of the main attractions on the tour is the cell in which Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life. The small, two-square-metre cell has remained largely unchanged since Mandela occupied it.