Rich game viewing, luxury accommodation and unique experiences are all on the menu.
Consistently named one of the top travel destinations in South Africa (and worldwide), Cape Town does not disappoint. Set at the foot of Table Mountain, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Cape Town certainly boasts the best “curb appeal” in South Africa.
The city is famous for its beaches, mountains, food and wine. Highlights include exploring the Atlantic Seaboard and the Southern Peninsula, riding the cable car to the flat-topped summit of Table Mountain, wine tasting in the Cape Winelands (or closer to the city in the Constantia Valley); strolling through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and visiting the emotionally-charged site of apartheid history on Robben Island.
Cape Town appeals to just about every kind of traveller. Couples and honeymooners will love the Mother City’s sweeping views, romantic accommodation and beachfront cocktail destinations. Families have an endless supply of entertainment available in the form of safe swimming beaches, forest trails, interactive museums and local attractions such as the V&A Waterfront and the Two Oceans Aquarium. For adventurers, there are hiking trails, dive sites, mountain biking and more on offer. And for foodies, Cape Town is a culinary nirvana – whether you’re dining at an award-winning restaurant, sampling Cape Malay cuisine, or tucking into a Gatsby (a local sandwich).
Day trips from the city promise even more things to do in Cape Town. Top of the list is wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, with the most popular vineyards found around the wine towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl. Enjoy a lunch and wine pairing at a working wine estate or have a picnic among the vines.
Just a short drive from Cape Town, the Southern Peninsula is home to quaint harbour towns, family-friendly swimming beaches, the Cape Point Nature Reserve, and a resident penguin colony! Connecting Hout Bay to Noordhoek (famous for Long Beach, the 8km stretch of powder-white shoreline that attracts equestrians and surfers), Chapmans Peak Drive, which hugs the cliffs, will thrill you with views of the bay.
Don’t miss Cape Point, the dramatic promontory where two oceans meet at “the Cape of Storms.” In Simons Town, head to Boulders Beach for up-close views of African penguins. Further delightful experiences await in Kalk Bay (ranked by Forbes as one of the coolest places to live in the world), St James, and Muizenburg.
Cape Town day trips to the West Coast are equally rewarding, especially during the flower season in August and September when thousands of Namaqualand Daisies turn the landscape into a kaleidoscope of colour.
Top Experiences in Cape Town
No trip to Cape Town would be complete without visiting Table Mountain. Reach the summit via the cableway or on a blood-pounding hike; no matter how you get there, the views of Cape Town’s City Bowl with Robben Island in the distance are unbeatable.
Explore the V&A Waterfront, the most-visited tourist attraction in South Africa, and discover fashion stores, curios, entertainment, restaurants, bars and more.
Take the ferry to Robben Island and immerse yourself in South Africa’s history. This infamous prison is where some of South Africa’s most iconic political leaders were incarcerated, including former president Nelson Mandela.
Explore the grand estates of the Cape Winelands. Sample fine wines, take a cellar tour or two, and dine out in Franschhoek, the culinary capital of the Western Cape.
Stroll through the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Marvel at the variety of plants and trees, while enjoying a peaceful and educational day.
When to Travel to Cape Town
Cape Town enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate, with warm and dry conditions from October to April. The busiest time to visit Cape Town is over the December summer holiday, when temperatures peak.
The infamous south-east wind calms down by February, when the beaches are less crowded. This is the best time to visit Cape Town if you want great weather and shorter queues at popular attractions.