Touring Destination – Cape Town, South Africa
Capetown has something for everyone! Whether you’re backpacking on a shoestring budget or after a lavish and luxurious break, you can be sure you’ll enjoy your trip to Cape Town.
You can really use your rental car while in Cape Town! Visit attractions like Table Mountain, taste wine in the beautiful Cape Winelands or maybe you’d prefer to take everything in on a scenic drive. If you’re the more adventurous type take advantage of the numerous water sports available, or discover South Africa’s unique terrain by bike or on foot. No matter what you do in Cape Town you’ll bring cherished memories home with you.
With its wide variety of activities one could easily spend a week or more in Cape Town. So it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what you would like to see and do while in the area and plan a rough itinerary before you arrive. That’s where we come in! Here are just a few of the things you might like to do while in Cape Town!
No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Table Mountain – it’s the city’s most prominent feature after all! Table Mountain provides breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding beaches. It’s also home to some of the most amazing flora and fauna in the world – some of which is unique to Table Mountain!
You can get up to the top of the peak by cable car – this will give you a 360o view of the surrounding landscape. When you reach the top you’ll be quite taken aback by the beauty that surrounds you. I think a bite to eat or even a cup of coffee would be in order after that! Luckily there’s a restaurant on the top of the mountain for you to dine in and when you’ve your belly full you can buy a few keepsakes of Table Mountain in the souvenir shop next door.
If you want to climb the mountain, you can, but please make sure you get an experienced guide to bring you up to the summit. Climbing mountains you’re unfamiliar with can be dangerous.
You’ve probably already heard of Robben Island – after all it’s the place that is most synonymous with South Africa’s struggle for freedom. Situated 12km into the sea in the middle of Table Bay this is a very remote place and has even been referred to as the “Island of Exiles” in the past.
This island was primarily used as a prison and in WW2 it was a training and defence station for the allies. The island was used as a jail to keep political prisoners with even Nelson Mandela doing a spell in here.
Since 1991 much has been done to restore the flora and the fauna that once covered the island. It’s now a quaint little village with a thriving population – not to mention one of Cape Town’s main attractions. If you visit here you can avail of an island tour, which are given by former political prisoners of the island.
Set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is the National Botanical Gardens of South Africa. It’s famous for both its beauty and the diversity of flora that it displays. Visit the various gardens here and be sure to visit the conservatory. In here you’ll find plants that should only survive in certain habitats but are all found together here under the one roof – amazing.
If you’re interested you might like to catch a sunset musical concert, which are held in the lawns of the gardens in the summer months.
Why not go white shark cave diving? Cape Town is one of the only places in the world you can do this so cease the opportunity. If you’re not into diving you can still avail of the viewing tours. Along with white sharks you’ll also see pur seals and African penguins.
Just 15km from the centre of Cape Town is Ratanga Junction Theme Park. There’s something for everyone here with rides being segregated into adult and junior, and there are water rides too. You’re guaranteed an action filled day when you visit this amazing theme park. And not only can you avail of all the amazing rides, there are also shopping outlets here along with a place to eat!
Cape town, South Africa - the town that doesn’t sleep! Cape Town has many bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from creating a vibrant nightlife that caters for a variety of tastes. Bars stay open late and clubs get going from 11pm, many restaurants are open till midnight, some later.
Loads of bars can be found along Long Street, or if you’re after a few cocktails head to Camps Bay. Many bars can be found in the city’s suburbs too but locals mostly frequent these.
Cape Town’s locals are relatively laid back and prefer to stay in a bar all night than head to a club. Don’t worry though there are enough of clubs offering a spectrum of music to keep party seekers happy!
Cape Town is an affordable shopping destination with a wide variety of goods on offer. From hand-crafted jewellery, and traditional African art to designer labels, diamonds and precious stones, Cape Town has a shopping experience for everyone.
Visit one of the trendy shopping malls that can be found on the V+A Waterfront, Cavendish Square and Canal Walk or hit the local flea markets and the stalls that can be found on the streets. Here you’ll get great gifts, souvenirs and a piece of Cape Town to take home.
Nearby Towns to Explore
So you’ve picked up your car in Cape Town and you’ve seen all of what it has to offer why not visit the surrounding towns which are great for art and crafts, hiking, wine tasting or history. Why not choose to tour one or two of the following areas?
The Breede River Valley towns are set amongst majestic mountains, vineyards while the Overberg Region stretches from mountains to amazing orchards and crop fields as far as the rugged coast. On the West Coast a more rustic coastline dotted with fishing communities and small holiday towns offers a host of water activities, excellent bird watching and scrumptious seafood.
I hope this article has given you more of an idea of what to expect in Cape Town. I’d most definitely advise you to rent a car as a lot of the attractions and things that you might like to do are outside of the city centre. Look at Nova’s fantastic offers on our Car Hire in Cape Town page – it’s never been cheaper to drive in South Africa!
If you’ve been to Cape Town or if you’ve experienced driving in South Africa, please let fellow readers know how you found it and where you found best to visit – just leave your story, comment, tips or advice in the box below.