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10 Reasons Cape Town, South Africa Is Basically National Geographic IRL

Things To Do In Cape Town

cape town cover

Vibrant and cosmopolitan, Cape Town should definitely one of the top contenders in our bucket-list. From climbing mountains to diving with Great Whites, there are so many things to do! Here are some of my favourite must-dos in the second-most populous city in South Africa.

1. Find the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet

Cape of Good Hope

This is an obvious one, as the Cape of Good Hope is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and is commonly thought of as the Southern-most point of Africa. Good views are guaranteed.

Cape Point

If you’re feeling a little peckish you might also want to try out Two Oceans Restaurants. A nice cool Sauvignon Blanc with your seafood maybe?

Don’t forget to climb up – or the take the tram, no judgement here – to the lighthouse at the very top.

Breathtaking views at Cape Point

The views are truly breathtaking.

A little word of advice though, the ostriches can be rather feral, use caution to approach or end up like this:

2. Find wild penguins on Boulders Beach

Penguins at the Beach

What? Penguins in Africa?! As you can see, Boulders Beach is literally littered with penguins. These African penguins are also smaller than the usual ones you see on the television, which only makes them extra wobbly and stubby.

Penguins at the Beach

June is also the season for hatchlings so keep your eyes peeled for them and their newly-bulimic parents. Watching the little birds feed can be a little gross, seeing how food is regurgitated, but hey, penguins are still adorbs.

3. Find plants you never knew existed at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Birds in the Botanical Gardens

Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch gardens boasts of a diverse collection of indigenous plants, covering five of six biomes – a fancy science word for habitat – in South Africa.

Botanical Gardens and a Sunset

Not only does the garden offer stunning sunsets, rumour has it that there is a secret opiates garden hidden around. More elusive than a Dragonair, you might have to comb around the entire garden for a truly out-of-body experience.

4. Make it rain at the V&A Waterfront

Victoria and Albert Waterfront

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is situated in South Africa’s oldest harbour and is home to 450 retail outlets selling everything you could possibly need. For the foodies, the V&A waterfront is also home to a gazillion seafood restaurants, each one better than the last. At about SGD15 a pop, the seafood platter across various restaurants rewards you with an incredulous amount of seafood and the best mussels you have ever tasted in your life.

5. Find out why Table Mountain is featured on the flag of Cape Town

Table Mountain top

I began my journey by performing the grueling task of hailing a cab to the base of Table Mountain cable car station. Of course, for the garang and physically fit, there is an option to hike up this mammoth.

When you reach the top – either SGD24 poorer or post-intense lactic muscle build-up – the view will all be worth it.

Table Mountain Top - breathing views

Table Mountain Top

Jumping for joy at the Table Mountain Top

You can really be on cloud 9.

Table Mountain Top view

After soaking in the panoramic views of Cape Town, you could take a walk along the 3km wide plateau, on the off-chance that you haven’t hiked enough already.

6. Watch the Sunset at Camps Bay

Camps Bay

Camps Bay is the South African version of Sentosa Cove. Well, you can see why rich white people would want to live here, because who wouldn’t? For the rest of us peasants, Camps Bay is a good option for some sunset margaritas.

In the day, it is immensely beautiful as well. You can try taking a dip in the icy waters that have travelled all the way from the Antarctic, or make friends with some dogs.

7. Refine your wine palate at the Winelands

Home to over 700 wineries, Winelands definitely has something for your refined palettes.

Range of wines at Winelands

The main grape variety planted at the Winelands is the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is important to note that while the main focus of wine production in the past was quantity, many vineyards have since shifted their focus to quality. As a result, you can find some internationally recognised brands in South Africa as well.

Wine harvesting

What’s more, the mountains constantly in the backdrops make for some absolutely incredible views.

Mountains near Wineland

I mean just look at that.

8. Take a dip with the fearsome Great Whites 

Caged shark experience


I don’t want to be the photographer of this photo. Goodness me. If ice cold water doesn’t put you off, then maybe the fact that Great Whites have three rows of teeth will.

However, if you’re one of those adventerous types, you’ll be happy to know that, Great Whites are often seen along the coast of Western Cape through April to December.

9. Hang out with seals at Hout Bay Harbour

Boats at Hout Bay Harbour

Home to an assortment of seafood restaurants, Hout Bay Harbour also gives you the opportunity to see sea lions (hurhur, geddit).

Seal and seagulls busking in the Sun

Here is Mr Flipper, the King of the Seals, First of his Name, Caller of the Waves, Master of Seabirds and the Mother of Seadragons!

Fair warning though, the boats to seal island are known to be quite touristy, which means vying for that photo spot might turn into a blood sport. That being said, I think it was well worth the time to go and have a look.

10. Feel distinctly at home in Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap is home to many Indonesian and Malaysian immigrants who have made South Africa their home during the Apartheid. It was quite surprising to smell the familiar whiff of Malaysian curry along the streets, and interesting. Multiculturalism is not just alive in Singapore guys.

Bo Kaap Cars and Houses

Disclaimer: I know that Bo Kaap is always looking very picturesque in those “50 places to visit before you die” lists but I’m not sure why there were so many cars parked outside when I was there. Maybe the universe just hates me.

So there you have it! 10 things you won’t regret doing in Cape Town. Say hi to the sharks for me.

*All images were taken by unless stated otherwise 

About the author: 


Hi, I’m Lynn and I’m an travel addict. I like shiny things (aka luxury travel), photographing animals and ticking places off my bucket-list even though I hope not to die so soon. If you liked this article, do visit my website at thetravelynn.