Things To Do In Cape Town
In Cape Town, stunning scenery awaits as you ride a vertical lift to the top of the Table Mountain National Park. Go the minute the sky is clear and when there are no clouds over the mountain, because if you wait for another day you might miss the chance to see the spectacular views of the city. Make good memories and great photos during a tour to the Cape of Good Hope. The sea has an intense blue and climbing to the highest point is well worth the effort. It's amazing how South Africa can preserve nature and leave every guest in awe of its grandeur and beauty.
When To Go:
Cape Town's summer humidity rules from October to March/April. Temperatures reach their highest from the middle of December through February, and this is the right time to hit the beaches and surf the waves. The most suitable time to visit Cape Town is during the months of January to April because the Easter period is especially pleasant and the climate is agreeable. There's still a lot of blue sky and daylight at this point, and the southeasterly wind is not so strong -- which means more time to frolic on Cape Town’s sunny shores (Clifton and Camps Bay).
The fall months of April and May have fresh, sunny mornings (the perfect climate for trekking on top of the Table Mountain) while the winter months of June to August get the most rain - in the event that you go on a Cape Town vacation at this point, you may get a few days of overwhelming rain and constant winds despite the fact that when it clears its truly wonderful. Blustery days in Cape Town additionally have their hidden benefits, as indoor markets become livelier and just about every restaurant has an extraordinary menu to offer its guests.
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After September, the climate starts to improve; migrating whales arrive directly off the Whale Coast and rows of colorful blossoms light up the West Coast side of the city.
These are the exciting things to do when in the city of Cape Town:
Cape Of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is situated at the lowest point of the Southwest side of the African continent. The place is characterized by a famous signboard written in English and Afrikaans with its designated coordinates. Aside from exploring the immediate landscape, it is advisable to climb the lighthouse at Cape Point where the entire city really dominates the view. This is where you realize that everyone should, once in their lives, make a trip to Cape Town. It has breathtaking scenery, especially at the Cape of Good Hope, which is such a magical place. The view of two vast oceans meeting (Atlantic and Indian) and the feeling of being at the very end of Africa are indescribable. Also do not forget the South Africans, who always appear happy, friendly and helpful.
This nature reserve also has fantastic scenery and a chance to see some baboons, ostriches, and antelopes. The paths are excellent but to get there you will need to have a car or join organized tours. The restaurant that is at the end of the path with the funicular machinery has a spectacular view. See the two oceans that meet, then do the walking path and ride the mini cable car. When you get to the top be very careful because the wind is really strong! After your tour you can visit one (or all) of three gift shops.
The vertical climb on the chairlift when ascending the peaks of the Table Mountain and the spectacular views of Cape Town and the surrounding cities from the top are remarkable and not to be missed. This is really a unique place. Although it is possible to climb up, most people begin the journey on the cable car that transports you a mile above Cape Town. Table Mountain is a fantastic place to experience and it dominates the landscape in all directions.
However, be sure to check whether it is open when you want to visit -- high winds can change the normal schedule. Cape Town is a city that is already very windy and a mile above the city the winds can be much stronger. If you see dark, heavy clouds you can be sure the attraction is closed.
Also, if you go in June/July/August, watch out for the cold (it is winter). But any time of the year, this famous symbol of Cape Town cannot be ignored. Table Mountain leaves you breathless, offers a spectacular view, and if you are lucky enough to go up when the sky is clear and you will not regret it.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is the ideal place for relaxation in Cape Town. It is well maintained with many paths and manicured lawns on which young couples and families with children can spend time connecting with nature. The botanical garden is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of local flora and fauna. Its location, size, and diversity are incomparable.
The landscaped gardens and water ponds are impressive, but the absolute highlight of any visit will be the concert in the late afternoon. It is here where you can enjoy great music in a relaxed atmosphere and a magnificent setting. The garden is filled with various points of interest around the grounds. While you need to pay a high entrance fee to get in, it is worth it because that helps to ensure the outstanding maintenance of the park.
The Lion’s Head peak near Table Mountain is an excellent attraction that allows every traveler to understand the exceptional panorama of Cape Town. From the top there are great views of Signal Hill, Robben Island, Camps Bay, Clifton Harbor, and Table Mountain. You can take a long walk along the steep end and have a great view of the city. There is another lovely view from higher up -- if you really want to give your muscles a workout! The ascent is mostly vertical and you have to climb rocks using hands, ladders, and chains provided for this purpose. It is separated from the rest of the other attractions in a way that is very simple to distinguish. It has paths but you should really go with a trained guide. It is a pretty small mountain with quite an uncharacteristic shape.
To climb Lion's Head you must walk from Cape Town at the Kloof Nek Street and from there climb all the way up. At the roundabout, take the cable car to Table Mountain and Lion's Head. From there you go a few feet down the road until you reach a parking lot; from there you must climb the rest of the way up. The first part of the climb is very easy. For the second part you have to be a little more fit and wear good footwear as it has narrower roads and parts with metal ladders and ropes to hold. It is rather strenuous but not extremely difficult and the ascent takes 1 hour or so until you reach the top part with the most wonderful views of the city. People also go just to the first section and take the walk in the afternoon to see the beautiful sunset.
One of the exciting things to do if you are into extreme sports is to try the various activities offered on top of Signal Hill. If you like paragliding, it is impossible to miss the visit to this famous hill. It is close to Table Mountain, and if you could not climb Table Mountain because of the wind, this is a good choice with excellent panoramic views. From Signal Hill you can also check out the Lion's Head, it is a beautiful mountain especially when the moon is full.
If the circuit is closed to the plateau (high winds), it is interesting to walk along the edge because of the pleasant views of Cape Town. You can see for example the stage of the world, the sports fields, and the island where Madiba (Nelson Mandela) was imprisoned. Ideally at around 5 pm you can see the best sunset in Cape Town. You can bring a bottle of wine if you go for a romantic stroll, but remember not to leave waste on top of the mountain to avoid altering the ecosystem.
There are four beaches (1-4) to explore at Clifton Beaches and all are equally beautiful. Beach 1 and 2 are often besieged by many Cape Town locals, and beach 3 seems to be preferred by couples. Since parking is limited, you should go fairly early. The beaches are protected and ideal on a windy day. Everything is clean and well maintained but there are no restaurants here.
Because the area is so large, there is no problem on weekends; the crowds are truly manageable and the place is safe to explore. The area is more suitable for sunbathing as the Atlantic is usually very cold, but there are loungers and umbrellas available for hire, and there are drinks and ice cream available from hawkers roaming around the beach.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
The Cape Point Nature Reserve is very large and within the premises of the Cape of Good Hope and the lighthouse. Even these two points are approximately 45-60 minute walk away from each other. You can easily spend a half or whole day there. There are many trails and incredibly beautiful beaches. The cape itself and the lighthouse are very crowded at lunchtime. It is an impeccable place with very good focus on protecting nature, and excellent views. As an added bonus you can have the chance to ride the park ostrich, admire the mountain zebras and fur goats, and meet the unique looking baboons. The lookout point and observation deck is a must see.
Old Biscuit Mill
The Old Biscuit Mill is a street market that provides a nice shopping atmosphere, great food, and live music. At very good prices you can buy souvenirs and gifts here as well as trying everything South Africa has to offer. The atmosphere is extraordinarily cool and a lot of people wander with family or friends in the middle of the many stands of freshly baked goods and pastries.
Everything is tasty and the large tables installed in the center reinforce a natural air of friendliness. Everyone relaxes and discussions will quickly occur with the neighboring tables. Some booths offer samples of food or even a sample glass of local wine. This market with 50 stalls opens only on Saturdays but it is loaded with interesting features that always leave every guest satisfied and impressed. You can meet all kinds of sellers and producers and everything is homemade, delicious, and placed in a nice location with free parking.
Anyone who arrives in Cape Town recommends a look first at the Bloubergstrand Beach. This is the best observation deck on the Cape and its attractions. Here you can admire the views, watch the surfers and listen to the sound of the waves. It lies about 15 miles north of Cape Town and has very white sand and ice-cold water even in summer.
The best part is the fantastic view of Table Mountain from this point. It is a beach located on the opposite side of the bay from Cape Town. The beach itself is also very beautiful. The trip takes about 30 minutes from the city and the beach is easily accessible by car.
To observe and hear the stories of the people in Langa Township is a great way to know more about Cape Town and the everyday existence of many of its people. It is a great experience and you can feel the real story on this off-the-beaten-path adventure in Cape Town. The townships of South Africa are immense and vast and very diverse. There are cardboard shacks but also brick houses with sewage and drinking water. You feel the true story of apartheid and you also get to understand the more subtle inequalities suffered by the ordinary people of South Africa.
Every face shows strength and courage. Ask your hotel to arrange a local guide that will certainly take you to visit this place. A little trip to this great world will open your eyes to another reality. You will be able to appreciate and be thankful for what you have. It is important to visit the cultural center, a museum housed in a prison, and an asylum filled with volunteer teachers who educate the children.
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