From the towering mountains that ring the area, to the sweeping coastlines and abundance of natural beauty, it seems fair to say that Cape Town has it all. If you’re planning to holiday here in the near future, you’ll be bombarded with options, specifically what to see and do. Apart from mentioning that Table Mountain should already be on your to-do list, here are three other great attractions you shouldn’t miss out on, while in the city that I love.
- Smallest Floral Kingdom
Home to part of the world’s smallest floral kingdom – the fynbos kingdom – Kirstenbosch gardens, offers visitors many unique sounds, sights, and smells. This treasured national heritage site stretches over 36 hectares and has a diverse array of plants, including a smelling garden for the blind. While here, have a picnic on the lush lawns of Table Mountain’s eastern slope, or head to the on-site tea house which serves a variety of wholesome foods. The aviary next to the tea house never fails to delight all ages, and there are weeping willows dotted about the gardens which youngsters can play hide-and-seek in. If you’re an avid outdoorsman, or women, try one of the plentiful hiking trails available, including a scenic but steep trail known as Skeleton Gorge, which can take you all the way to Table Mountain’s plateau.
- Ocean Experiences
From around mid-August through to October, the whales come out to play, giving visitors a chance to glimpse them. Along the coastal areas, such as False Bay and Boyes Drive, there are whale watching sites – so bring your binoculars! Whale watching isn’t the only ocean attraction available so if you’re hoping to spot other sea life, then head over to Duiker Island. Tours are usually offered from Hout Bay harbour and last for approximately one hour, though longer tours normally combine the seal experience with viewing a shipwreck in Maori Bay. Where there are seals, there are usually sharks, and Cape Town has plenty of shark cage diving tour operators for those who seek the thrill of danger. If you’re a bit nervous about being in a cage in the open water, then diving with sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront may be a slightly safer option.
- Right in the middle
There is little one could want after visiting Cape Town’s vibrant city centre, or the V&A Waterfront. Everything is within reach here, so take to the streets like a local and walk through the various districts to soak up the culture. Or pop into one of the numerous Iziko museums and learn about the heritage and wildlife. The Cape Malay quarter below Signal Hill provides amazing culinary delights – from well-known dishes like bobotie, to spicy curries and meat-filled rotis. If you fall in love with the flavours, go on a cooking tour and surprise your loved ones when you return home. If you’re looking for some nightlife, head to Long Street in the evenings and check out the various clubs and pubs. For the romantic among you, a cruise in the harbour is never amiss, and feeding the squirrels in the Company Gardens makes for a great memory.
Author bio: Roseanna McBain writes for the Cape Town accommodation and booking website, TravelGround. She enjoys exploring all the wonderful offerings of the Mother City, and is currently attempting to learn some local recipes.