My second true love (after Taro) is Cape Town, South Africa. I studied abroad in this incredible city 6 years ago and I have yet to find a place that compares! Check out my top reasons why you need to go there ASAP!
When I first arrived in Cape Town I got irritated because I felt like all the people around me walked painfully slow. Was it just that I was an east coast girl who was always on the move? A few weeks into my stay in Cape Town, it hit me! Everyone walks so slow because there is so much to look at! The city is built around Table Mountain so it feels like wherever you go there is always an incredible view. This is, by far and away, the BEST reason to go to Cape Town.
For outdoorsy folk such as myself, Cape Town is paradise. Take a morning surf in the cold water to wake you up, then head for midday rock climb, and top it all off with a sunset hike up Lion’s Head. It’s all there within minutes of each other. You’re only problem will be that you feel like you have too many things to do so how will you choose? Also, if you’re an adrenaline junky, you’ll love it here. Tourists can skydive, cage dive with sharks, bungee jump and more, just take your pick!
Who needs Napa? Cape Town has its very own wine country a half hour away from the city center. Meet Stellenbosch. There are over 100 wineries in Stellenbosch alone. Not to mention dozens more in the surrounding areas. If you’re into sipping some good wine set in a peaceful countryside, with beautiful mountains as your backdrop, DON’T MISS THIS! Stellenbosch is not your only option. You should also check out some of my other favorites: the Franschhoek Wine Route and the Constantia Valley.
In addition to your travels being fun, they should also be informative as we all know South Africa has had a complex history. During your visit to Cape Town you’ll learn about the era of Apartheid. Visit Robben Island and see the very jail cell that Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in. Visit the District Six Museum and learn about the flourishing, multicultural neighborhood that was torn apart by Apartheid.
In South Africa, you don’t barbecue, you Braai! The Braai is the go-to function for any South African occasion. Just moved to a new house? Let’s Braai. Your cricket team won the championship? Let’s Braai! It’s an average Saturday night and we’re about to hit the bars on Long Street? Let’s Braai! If you want to experience a traditional Braai head to the township of Guguletu and visit Mzoli’s. It’s a pretty interesting cultural experience and you’ll get a heaping helping of barbecue on the side. Take note: Mzoli’s is not for everyone. If you are vegetarian, and/or you don’t like loud, raucous, places, this is not for you.
I am a beach girl. I love the ocean. Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Camps Bay is where people most often start. A beautiful beach with a main street packed full with trendy bars and swanky hotels. If you are looking for a quieter option, visit my favorite beach in Cape Town: Llandudno. For all those aspiring surfers out there, if you are looking for some easy surfing, Muizenberg is for you. Just watch out for the sharks!
Cape Town is a great starting point for your journey. You should start in Cape Town and take a few days to drive the beautiful roads of the Garden Route. Just make sure you take turns driving so you can each take in the scenic views on the trip. The Garden Route is a “must” but if you are looking for another trip, head north to West Coast National Park making sure you stop in Blouberg and Langebaan along the way!
There you have it, my 7 top reasons to go to Cape Town. Truthfully, I could go on forever but here at New Routes we try to keep it concise.