Why I fell in Love with Capetown, South Africa
I had no intentions of going to South Africa. Everyone talked about the dangers of traveling and I never imagined I’d be allowed to go. You see, that’s one proof that that statement is a fallacy. A lot of us are held back by the news saying “it’s dangerous” to visit this place and that. I can imagine, everyone I meet would ask me one question ? Is it safe to travel the Philippines? Well, I got mugged and scammed more in Europe than I was here in my home town. That’s how South Africa was for me. Of course, there are places where you have to be wary but if you stay in the safer side of town, you’ll be fine. As in any country, shouldn’t you always have your wits about you anyway?
Summer of 2012, I met a total of 5 South Africans during my tour in Europe. 3 of them were from Capetown and 2 of them from Johannesburg That was a clear sign for me to go, after all I had people to host me.
2014, Capetown was labeled as No1. bucket list destination by New York Times and how lucky was I to be going.
Capetown was mesmerizing. I did a lot of research prior to going but nothing prepared me for the experience of being there. Our host lived in Blouberg, in an apartment by the beach. Best of all, it has the best view of Table Mountain and all of its grandeur. Fancy waking up every day having the best view of Table Mountain.
As tourists, we first went to the normal tourist stops. Hey, this is actually one of the few times I appreciated the Hop on Hop Off City Sightseeing bus. I am not a fan of it. I fall asleep in busses and in some places, I don’t get to make the most out of it. My friend and I bought a 2-day pass for R260 (19 USD) and believe me it wasn’t enough. We wanted to go down in every stop and not because we were eager beavers but because there was A LOT OF REASONS to go down. Of course, that was not possible so we had to make tough choices on where to go.
Tip: If you book online you get a discount. Check it out here.
We started our mornings in The Promenade, Victoria Wharf and Waterfront. This is where we get on to the city busy. The wharf itself was really vibrant. Lots of restaurants by the sea, museums, ferris wheel, at night, they even have live bands. What else is there to ask for?
You must be wondering, what’s there to do in Cape Town?
Visit Kirstenbosch Garden,
One of the biggest Botanical Gardens I have been to. We spent more than 2 hours here where we not only appreciated the pathways, the cactus and the park but my friend even had the time of her life jotting down notes on the medicinal plants ( she works in a health industry, let’s just say that’s her line of work). Nonetheless, I tthoroughlyenjoyed the park. I saw lots of families hanging out by the fountain, couples by the benches and the others just taking a stroll. It’s not named International Garden of the Year in 2015 for nothing. You can also try the canopy walk, unfortunately, it was closed when we were there.
Wine Taste in Groot Constantia
We joined a wine tasting tour here and they served us top quality wine. Riva doesn’t drink so I had 10 glasses all to myself. Oh boy!
Shop in their street markets and go crazy with the unque trinkets that you’ll find.
Really, there were lots of interesting finds.
Check out Bo Kaap, a street with colorful homes displaying the Cape Malay culture.
Eat Seafood in Oceans Basket or Anywhere for that matter.
This was my first meal in Cape town and it was good. Capetown is filled with ambiance and atmosphere. They have long stretch of beaches that its not hard to find a place to just , eat, chill and relax. Feels like Greece doesn’t it? Only much cheaper. You can also book a food tour here.
Visit Camps Bay and Sea Point
We enjoyed this place a lot. Houses by the cliff, amazing beach, best view. OMG, we had our sunset session here and we braved the cold only because it was worth it.
Visit Boulder Beach at Simon’s Town and watch the penguins play in their natural habitat.
Drive up to Cape of Good Hope and get mesmerized by awesome views and well, as the name says, perhaps have some Hope.
Cape of Good Hope is also the southernmost part of South Africa
Go for sunset in Chapman’s peak.
I can’t explain how romantic this place was for a sunset session. Capetown is just full of it.
Those colorful houses usually seen in Cape Town Tourism Photos . We had fun watching surfers here . I wanted to surf but the water for a girl who lives in a tropical country, the water in Capetown is a bit too cold.
Go on a bucket list adventure and do the Shark Cage Diving in Gaansbai
I tell you this was one of my memorable moments. There’s nothing scarier and more fascinating than seeing a great white shark so close. For once, I felt like we humans, are in the aquarium and they are the ones looking in. I went on a day where my tour would be the last to sail out as bad weather was coming. No tour would be allowed to go out in a week. On our way back, the captain started handing out life vests, in my mind, boy if this ship capsizes life vests won’t do anything we just saw 8 great white sharks in this area and there are more below.
Go Sailing and catch yourself a pirate.
This was one of our “lucky moments when we were there”, the boat was already leaving with no passengers in it. We happened to be passing by ad just for the heck of it, they gave it to us for almost nothing. We paid Php 500 each for an hour sail that was way more than 50% off but better leaving with people than without. We had a gorgeous day out at sea and a bonus, we met a hunk, who asked us to be his girlfriend ( haha) for fun.
Drive to Kalks bay and try the fish and chips ( the best fish and chips ) .
I loved Kalks bay, it is an old quaint seaside town known for fishery. We also went to a bar named cuba, feels like we were trasnsported to Mexico. Better yet, we were away from the crowds.
On some lazy mornings I would just take a stroll down Big’s Bay and watch the people engage in Stand Up paddle Board, Surfing and other water activities. You can also go jogging or biking. I love how Capetonians are very friendly. I always found myself talkiing to someone while going on my daily walk around Blouberg.
Go hike up Lion’s Head and see a good view over the city.
Pride rock literally, you can see the whole of Capetown. Beware though, its completely open so equip yourself with Lunch, sunblock, and a hat. I probably burned up there.
Last but not the least, the no brainer, Don’t miss Table Mountain.
You can either take the easy way up which is thru the rotating cable car or if you are in for an adventure, go hiking. There are many different routes to get to the top. My friend said we picked the best day to be on top of Table Mountain. We had the really nice sunset, exploding with pink, orange and purple. It was the clearest day there ( despite the cold) . The following days, no one was permitted to go up due to weather conditions. We were so lucky. The easiest hike/ trek you can do is get to the top and walk the whole place… it’s huge…. We walked for a little more than an hour and there was still enough to explore. You MUST SEE Table mountain.
I fell in love with Capetown, it was my city. As a combination of both a city girl and an adventurous girl , it had everything I ever asked for. The beach and the mountain was 15 minutes away. The views were more than amazing, the people were friendly. It has both a vibrant city and a vast stretch of beach where you could pick you little spot to reflect and be one with nature. I fell in love with Capetown and all it’s sights, I bet you would too. I found and lost my heart to Capetown, I guess, for now, its till we meet again ?
I too would love to visit Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe and more. Africa, you are love.