Cape Town is the safest city in South Africa, and we certainly had that feeling when exploring the area. We scored a great price on an AirBnb property in the Bloubergstrand area, close to the beach and some nice cafes and restaurants. We were about twenty minutes from the centre of Cape Town, but that was fine as we felt very safe in this area.
The obligatory Table Mountain visit was much anticipated, and despite a rather large queue for the cable cars we didn’t have to wait much more than 30 minutes to board our cable car. The cars actually rotate as they are pulled up the mountain giving some wonderful 360 degree views. At the summit there is a shop or two and a couple of restaurants / cafes.
Between us arriving at the foot of the mountain and reaching the top a band of cloud cover had moved in and covered the top of the mountain. From a distance this white covering looks like a table cloth laid out across the top of the mountain. However, for us it was bad news because the view was completely obscured. It seemed like we had a visibility of less than 50 metres, giving an impression of us being contained within the clouds. Very surreal, and perhaps on reflection a better experience than we would have had on a clear day.
One of our days in Cape Town was taken up by a visit to the Stellenbosch wine region (about an hour’s drive out of Cape Town). The regions surrounding around Cape Town are famous for their wineries, from Franschhoek, to Constantia, to our destination, Stellenbosch. We first had lunch in the town at a delightful restaurant called, appropriately enough, Stellenbosch Kitchen. I would say this was our best meal in South Africa.
We visited by far the most luxurious winery I have ever seen that afternoon, The Delaire Graff Estate. The whole estate, and the surrounding views were magnificent. How the other half live.
If you are in Cape Town and plan to visit Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated) be sure to book your place a few days in advance. We didn’t, and so missed out an opportunity to visit this little piece of modern history. When I called to make a reservation I was told that they were fully booked for the next few days.
The V & A Waterfront is tourist central in Cape Town. You’ll find dozens of restaurants and touristy shops here (at tourist prices) as well as some entertainment. If you visit Robben Island, the ticket office and departure point is within the V & A.
About 30 minutes out of Cape Town you will find the quaint little Hout Bay. They have a lovely market here every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (until 9pm on Friday). Bay Harbour Market has a mix of food stalls, crafts, beers, wines and touristy gifts all set to live music (on a Friday at least). The atmosphere is great and worth the drive out of Cape Town. If you are coming for the afternoon try the local fish (Snook) with some chips just around the corner from the market at Snoekies. It doesn’t look much from the outside but it is cheap and delicious.
Have you been to Cape Town? Let us know below what you loved, and didn’t love about this great city.