After discovering Cape Town recently (where we saw an overload of cute penguins in Boulders Bay, enjoyed the breathtaking coastline of Cape Peninsula and ate our weight in some of Cape Town’s best restaurants), we knew it was only a matter of time before we would have to plot our return to one of the most exciting countries we’ve visited!
In our flurry of planning for our next trip we decided to call upon the help of one lovely gal we know we can rely on – Annika (a long-time Cape Town local) from Midnight Blue Elephant Blog. Take a look at some of her unique suggestions that we’re just itching to try on our next trip!
I have lived in Cape Town for many years and consider it my second home. Whenever I go for a visit now it is partly holidays and partly a homecoming event. When I am there I usually spent my time doing local stuff with friends and family, without having a care whether that is particularly ‘South African’ however, on a recent trip, I decided that it was time for a little staycation and to do a few things that Cape Town is famous for. With that in mind, I give you the top activities in Cape Town for visitors, current residents and everybody in between (like me).
1.) Paraglide from Signal Hill
Paragliding has been a dream of mine for a long time and Cape Town is a perfect destination for it. You take off from Signal Hill and glide around Lions Head, the Atlantic Seaboard and over the ocean, offering the most spectacular view and a perfect adrenaline rush. I booked mine here.
2.) Peruse the galleries during First Thursdays
Like pub crawls? Then how about the more artsy version in form of a gallery crawl? First Thursdays has quickly become an institution when local galleries in the City Bowl will stay open late on every first Thursday. Meander from place to place, discover new African talents, and don’t worry – there will be wine… after all, this is Cape Town!
3.) Experience a secret South African Sunrise
What could be better than an awesome sunrise? A secret sunrise of course! What’s a secret sunrise? It’s a sunrise dance party and it’s so much fun! Sign up for the newsletter, get your clues on the secret location, put on headphones and welcome the sun dancing.
As if I haven’t given you enough tips on where to find the best grub in town, here is another one. Reverie Social Table is a new restaurant in the hip suburb Observatory and offers exactly that – one big dining table to be social. While you don’t exactly need to share your food (it is pretty brilliant food so you really wouldn’t want to), you share a communal dining experience – talking with your neighbour is highly encouraged, looking on your cell phone is not.
Want to give back and maybe offset your carbon footprint from flying here? Contact Greenpop, a local crew of awesome tree-huggers who’ve made it their mission to re-green Sub-Saharan Africa one tree at a time. Join one of their planting days and get down and dirty in the name of nature.
Beaches in Cape Town are amongst the most stunning in the world. I, however, recommend you take a trip to the West Coast National Park for an, even more, beautiful option – Kraal Baai. The water is actually turquoise here and warm-ish thanks to it being a shallow bay. The drive is stunning too and if you get lucky, you will get to spot a few turtles.
If there was a national sport that was equally liked by all it would be braaiing and so Heritage Day is also lovingly called Braai Day. South Africans love meat and their Webers, so a braai is a must-do activity when in town. Head over to Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants for some awesome, free range cuts and find yourself one of many public braai areas with a view (I recommend Oude Kraal beach). Oh and what’s a braai? A good old fashioned cookout session!
Capetonians love music and nature so it is no surprise that the two are often combined. During the summer months, there is a concert every Sunday evening with the stunning backdrop of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Local bands, the Philharmonic and international acts play in this beautiful setting while you get to watch and dance on your picnic blanket.
Who doesn’t love markets? Locals and visitors alike usually flock the mother of all markets, the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays. If you can’t make it I recommend the V&A Waterfront Food Market which is open every day and which also brings you the best of local foods and flavours.
The marine life in South Africa is world famous not only for its sharks but also for the Cape Seals (they often go hand in hand, sharks like seals too!). A snorkel or diving trip to various seal colonies is an unforgettable experience: seals are friendly and curious all without having to be fed. Grab their attention with a swift clap of your hands and a bark for good measure! 😉