Cape Town is the site of the oldest port in the southern regions of Africa, and this city is known as one of the most beautiful in the world. Located in the far south-west of the continent, the city and the surrounding regions are tucked behind a mountain range that includes the massive Table Mountain. In spite of its location, the city enjoys the type of weather you might expect in a Mediterranean region—the summers are hot and dry and the winters are wet and cool. The city is simply beautiful all year round.
Things to do in and around Cape Town
The city has a complex colonial history that is reflected in its architecture, with Dutch homesteads, Gothic churches, as well as traditional English Victorian buildings. The variety of attractions and sites on offer in the city is even more varied, with gorgeous beaches, wineries, museums and historical sites, as well as plenty of restaurants and bars for evening entertainment. There are fun activities for the kids, too, and there’s even more on offer outside of town, with wineries to visit and the opportunity to go on safari less than a couple of hours away.
Cape Town Sightseeing Attractions - What To See
Table Mountain is perhaps one of Cape Town’s most well-known attractions, and it’s certainly the most visible. The summit is reachable by cable-car, and it’s well worth the trip. The cable-car trip provides stunning views of the city and coast, and the view from atop the mountain is even more spectacular. There are plenty of pathways laid out on the summit, and in the spring there are gorgeous displays of wildflowers that make Table Mountain an unforgettable experience.
Table Mountain also provides views of Robben Island, once used as a prison island by the Dutch East India Company beginning in the seventeenth century. This island is, in fact, where Nelson Mandela spent most of his imprisonment, and the museum on the island is definitely a must-see for anyone interested in his life. Be sure to book if you’re interested in visiting Robben Island—this is one of Cape Town’s most popular attractions.
If you’d like to spend some time visiting the wineries in the area, one that’s not to be missed is Groot Constantia, built in 1685. There is plenty to see here, including a Cape Dutch homestead, museum and gardens, and a restaurant where you can sample some fabulous cuisine. There are numerous other wineries to visit near Cape Town, many of which offer wine-tasting and vineyard tours.
Looking for something more adventurous? You’ll find it in Cape Town, where there are opportunities to go on safari not too far from town. Less than two hours from Cape Town you’ll find the Highlands of the Southern Karoo, a private game reserve that is home to a diverse range of habits, animals and plants. All the well-known African game can be seen here—elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. With the choice of safari drives with a tour guide or horse-back safaris that are a great way of getting close to the wild-life, a safari is an incredible experience.
Don’t hesitate to bring your children if you’re looking for a great place for a family vacation. In Cape Town you’ll find the Two Oceans Aquarium, a fantastic aquarium and activity center with sharks, penguins and seals in addition to the usual marine life. There are pony and camel rides at the Constantia Craft Market in Cape Town itself, and this is a great place for shopping, too. The Castle of Good Hope is another fun place to visit—this 350 year old castle is replete with battlements and dungeons that will fascinate the young and old. The best beach to take the kids is definitely Simon’s Town Boulders, with lovely sandy beaches, warm water and the chance to swim amount the African penguins that make their home there. A great place to dine with your children is the Spur Restaurant on Victoria Warf, with a relaxing atmosphere and food your kids will love.