Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a melting pot of cultures, food, and landscapes. The city is full of must-sees and must-do’s for both tourists and locals alike. With such a diverse mix of people flocking to the city, there is something to do for everyone.

The UK Telegraph Travel Awards voted it Best City in the World five times in a row, from 2013 to 2017. According to us it should definitely win again this year. There are so many things to choose from, but here’s the top 10 things you have to do when visiting this wonderful city.

This list was inspired by the Bucket List Journey’s post.

Annette White Profile Pic Cape Town Bucket ListAnnette White is the author of The Bucket List Adventures, exploring 10 epic adventures to experience before you die. She is also the co-owner of Sugo Trattoria, a contemporary Italian Restaurant in California, and the creator of the amazing award-winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey. She is passionate about travel, an experience collector ticking off bucket list items from around the world.

Cape Town Bucket List Adventures 10 Incredible Journeys to Experience Before You DieIn her book Bucket List Adventures , Annette takes you along for the ride, and shows you how to live your adventures, too.

It is not only a practical travel book – sharing detailed information on lodging, helpful resources. – but also an inspiration for people to step out of their comfort zones.

Buy her book on Amazon.

#1 Table Mountain

Table Mountain, flanked by both Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, is always a spectacular sight to see from anywhere in Cape Town. Whether you’re exploring the V&A Waterfront or watching the sunset from the beach, the views of the mountain are always incredible. Table Mountain was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011, and is a must-see for anyone visiting Cape Town.

There are several different ways to get up the mountain. One option is to take the cableway, which is a 5-minute trip to the top in a 360-degree rotating car. Cars depart every 10-15 minutes from the cable station on Tafelberg Road. Find more information about the cableway on our post.  If you’re more adventurous, you can hike up the mountain taking one of these top 5 hiking routes: Pipe Track, Platteklip George, Woodstock Caves, Skeleton Gorge, or Kasteelspoort. Read more about these routes in our post.

The Tranquility Cracks, one of the many hidden gems of Table Mountain, are considered one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets and are definitely worth exploring. They are a series of interlinking deep and narrow slits and fractures between rocks. Read more about it on our post here.

#2 Signal Hill & Lion’s Head

Pack a bottle of wine, snacks, and a blanket when you make the short hike, or drive, up to Signal Hill to watch the sunset and enjoy what is arguably some of the best views of Cape Town. As the sun starts to set and the city lights twinkle, a visit to Cape Town is not complete without stopping at Signal Hill.

For a more adventurous hike, you can catch the sunset on Lion’s Head. Located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill, Lion’s Head is part of the Table Mountain National Park and is considered one of the most popular hiking destinations in Cape Town. Lion’s Head offers stunning views of Camps Bay, the Atlantic, Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Sea Point, Signal Hill and the City Bowl. Starting at the car park on Signal Hill Road, the hike to the top takes about an hour and a half. Read more about Lion’s Head in our  post.

#3 Cape Point National Reserve

With dramatic and beautiful scenery, great hiking trails, and some of the best, secret beaches (which you can find in our post here), Cape Point National Reserve is without a doubt one of South Africa’s most magnificent attractions. Located an hour’s drive outside of the city, the reserve is home to both Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope.

#4 Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive, also referred to as Chappie’s by locals, is one of Cape Town’s most infamous landmarks. With 114 seemingly never-ending curves and nine-kilometers of steep inclines, the drive takes you from Noordhoek to Hout Bay. There are several rest areas along the way to take pictures, have a picnic, or to simply take in the breath-taking views. Remember to have some cash ready for the tollgate, entrance to the drive will cost you R31 for a motor cycle and R47 for a motor car. Keep an eye on the annual increases on the official Chapman’s Peak Drive website.

While driving along this iconic stretch, be sure to stay for sunset. Sunsets play a major role in the life of Capetonians, but it can be a challenge to find the best spot. Look no further—Chappie’s holds one of the best viewing points in the city. The Look-out Cave, located just below the designated viewing point, provides an unbeatable view of the ocean and the sunset.

#5 Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is a hot spot for both tourists and Cape Town natives. With various restaurants and their unbeatable views, local and international shops, and an endless variety of entertainment—the Waterfront has a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for something to do, read our post on the Top 10 Things to Do at the Waterfront here.

If you’re looking for a different way to catch the infamous Cape Town sunset, hop on board a sunset champagne cruise. With the seemingly endless ocean stretched out in front of you, the sun slowly setting in the background painting the sky with the soft glow of sunset, and a glass of rosé champagne in hand—there’s simply no better day to end the day.

#6 Boulders Beach

Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches, with even more stunning views of Table Mountain and pink-painted sunset skies in the distance. Choosing one to visit can be difficult. However, Boulders Beach has some very adorable, unique reasons you must visit—it’s home to the South African penguins. Also known as jackass penguins because of their distinctive braying, Boulders Beach has some of the only penguins on the continent. While summer is the best time to visit the beach, you can still see the penguins all year round.

Located just outside of Simon’s Town on the False Bay coastline, Boulders Beach falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, so the beach is always clean and safe. You can catch a few glimpses of the infamous inhabitants from afar, or you can choose to pay the small entry fee for access to the reserve and to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. (R75 adults and R40 for children)

#7 Kalk Bay

This little seaside village made it into Forbes list of “12 coolest neighborhoods in the world“. The other South African neighbourhood that made the cut, is Johannesburg’s Maboneng. It’s roughly a 35 minute drive from the city center. Located on the False Bay coastline, the area has a constant holiday vibe hovering in the air. Restaurants range from five-star chic like Harbour House, to down to earth like Kalky’s Fish & Chips. Browse through the little shops and galleries, or watch a show at the Kalk Bay Theatre.

Fun mini roadtrip idea: take the train to Kalk Bay and continue on to Simon’s Town to go visit the penguins. Visit metrorail.co.za to plan your trip.

#8 Robben Island

The name means “seal island.” in Afrikaans. It’s situated in Table Bay, 6.9 kilometres from Bloubergstrand. During the previous political regime it was used as a prison, specifically for political prisoners. It’s most famous prisoner, was former president Nelson Mandela. Madiba was imprisoned on the island for 18 of his 27 years sentence. Other South African presidents that were imprisoned here are Kgalema Motlanthe, and Jacob Zuma.

The little oval island is 3.3 km long (North-South) and 1.9 km wide. In 1991 the maximum security section was closed, and the medium security closed down five years later. By 1999 it was declared a World Heritage Site and an official museum was created for visitors. Ferries depart from the Waterfront at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, close to the Clock Tower. Visit robben-island.org.za for more information.

Did you know? Robben Island was also a leper colony in the 1800’s and an animal quarantine station.

#9 Sipping and Exploring

Although a trip to the Cape Winelands is an amazing experience, you don’t have to drive that far to experience good wine. There is now a new special inner city wine route, hosted by Tuning the Vine. A great midweek wine tasting adventure to embark on with friends. It is hosted on the Wednesday after First Thursdays. The tour starts at 5.30pm and ends at 8.30pm. Visit tuningthevine.co.za for more information.

Not such a big wine fan? Not to fear, there’s also a gin tour or a craft beer tour for you to try. Both gin and craft beer brewing is becoming more and more popular. These tours will give you a chance to try out the special drinks, as well as find out more about the behind the scenes processes.

#10 Walking Tours

There is a variety of free walking tours throughout the city. Exploring a city by foot, is the best way to get a true feel for a place. Tour options include District Six, Historic Cape Town, and Bo-Kaap. The tours work on tips only. Average tour length is between 90 and 120 minutes. The starting point is Motherland Coffee Company, at Mandela Rhodes Place. Visit nielsentours.co.za for more information.

Another option is to use VoiceMap. The app offers you self-guided audio tours, with your own personal tour guide chatting to you in your ear. It uses your phone’s location services to guide you through the city. They offer both free and paid tours. Prices ranges from R26 to R80. Tours cover various regions including Cape Town City Center, Cape Point, and Constantia. Visit voicemap.me for more information.

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Photo Caption: Do you know where and what this is?

It was planted in 1771 and is one of the oldest of its kind. It sits right in the heart of.

Great pic by @adefina

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Snippet from our post 12 Secret Spots in Cape Town

Location: Corner of Bree and Short Market Streets

The oldest wine-producing vine in the Southern Hemisphere and the oldest vine in South Africa, the Heritage Vine is considered something of a miracle. It is one of the few remaining original French vinifera rootstock still alive. Estimated to have been planted in 1771, the vines roots trace back to the burghers of Cape Town, who planted vines in their gardens to make their own wine.

The vine has continued to thrive despite the Phylloxera epidemic that spread to Cape Town in 1866 and the car park project that left the Heritage Square abandoned for over a decade. The vine survived on rainwater alone until the Cape Town Heritage Trust took over the square in hopes of renovating and returning it to its natural beauty. Now, the Heritage Vine still thrives and produces a few litres of wine every year.

Written by Kalee LaPointe, a student from San Angelo, Texas, United States. She is currently studying English Literature at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. She is doing an internship in Cape Town during her Summer break, and the following is her accounts of arriving in Cape Town. Follow her journey on Instagram @kaleefromtexas.

Traveling Solo

My first couple of days in Cape Town were jam packed, and I was thrust into the life and beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. The thought of traveling alone, somewhere completely new, where I didn’t really know anyone was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. People warned me to be careful, to be wary as a solo female traveler (which is a bit of a daunting idea), but I’ve honestly never felt so at home so quickly and comfortably in an entirely new place.

After a few days in the city, I think I felt happier than I’ve ever been. There’s something new to see every day surrounded by friendly people, and while it’s smart to be vigilant, I have never felt unsafe. To be honest, the idea to travel to Cape Town was very impulsive, but I will forever remain grateful that I decided to embark on the adventure. While there are some nerve-wrecking aspects associated with solo travel—like asking strangers to take your picture and politely waiting to ask someone new when you want a different pose, Cape Town should definitely be at the top of your travel list.

Night 1: Cape Town by Night

I’ve been in Cape Town for exactly 3 days and I already know coming here has been one of the best decisions of my life. The moment I got off my eleven-and-a-half-hour flight—exhausted, weary, and definitely a bit nervous—I was anxious to get through passport control, find my luggage, and head out to catch my first glance of the city I had taken 3 different flights to get to.

The first thing I saw was cars. And signs. Not exactly the most exciting sight considering I was still in the airport, but it was sort of comforting. I remember looking around trying to find a sense of familiarity, a habit of mine I noticed while traveling, and there it was—signs and posters in English and even a McDonald’s and KFC along the way. That definitely surprised me, but it was something I was thankful to see. As we drove into the city and out of the airport, I found myself staring out the window trying to take in everything. It was eleven o’clock at night so everything was blurry, dark shapes. But it was still thrilling to know I was here. I made it. Cape Town was going to be my home for the next 5 weeks.

While I thought 32-hours of traveling meant I’d go straight to a shower, night clothes, and a bed, I was actually in for quite a surprise. The director of the program I was traveling through, Masambeni, mentioned if I was up for it, we could go out to meet some people from the program. I was tired, but that was pushed away and taken over by a rush of adrenaline and a sense of excitement as I thought of all the possibilities lying ahead in the city. I couldn’t wait to see where I was, meet new people, and get out and explore. Although I was excited, I expected to go to a restaurant or perhaps a café—Stones was far from either. I was suddenly introduced to the vibrant, lively, and constant night-life of Cape Town. And to my seriously horrible foosball skills.

Day 1: Wine Tasting and Views in Cape Town

I definitely wasn’t expecting to do anything on my first night besides sleep, but I was glad to kick-off my stay in true Capetonian fashion. The next two days followed suit and were nothing short of amazing. On Saturday I had the Stellenbosch wine tour experience, which was filled with more words and descriptions of wines than I can remember. I also had my very first vegetarian meal in South Africa—a salad with red wine vinaigrette and very thinly sliced cucumbers. It wasn’t exactly exciting, but it was definitely delicious.

Although the restaurant was fancy and not exactly a common setting, I was definitely surprised at the options. Being at a new restaurant, much less a new country, is always a wary experience for me as a vegetarian. Based on some prior research of Cape Town, I was worried that my diet would subsist on the granola bars and Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese cups I had managed to squeeze in my over-packed suitcase. However, it was looking like that might not have to be the case after all.

Before moving on to the next winery, I had the moment. You know, the moment when you’re somewhere new and it hits you—I’m really here. As I looked out beyond the winery at the beautiful landscape with Table Mountain and Lion’s Head in the distance, which looked as flawless and picturesque as an ad in a magazine, I was amazed. While I thought the wine tour would be all about the wine, I was happy to see that it was so much more than that. There was the wine, yes, but it was the people, the view, the way you could look out and see endless beauty, that was just…wow. It was the whole experience. Perhaps it was because it was my first day in Cape Town, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful this place is. It was only one day, but I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to leave.

Day 2: Cape Town Must-Sees

Sunday only strengthened these feelings. The day was filled with several “iconic” Cape Town stops—Boulders Beach, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Chapman’s Peak Drive, and a stunning view of the sunset on the beach. Everything was absolutely beautiful and completely breathtaking!

Walking around Boulders Beach, where I did pay the optional R35 to get a closer view of its funny inhabitants, I was glad to place another checkmark on my Cape Town “Bucket List.” The penguins are a sight to see as they waddle about, and the stunning ocean around them is definitely worth the time. We visited Cape Point next, which turned into much more of a workout than I was expecting. It just so happened that the Flying Dutchman Funicular, the car that takes you to the top, was out of order the day we went. So, off I went making myself believe I’d suddenly become some sort of seasoned, champion hiker and promising myself it would be so much easier on the way down.

  

As the lighthouse at the top crept closer and closer, I was more determined than ever to see what was waiting. It was beauty. It was the clear, open skies above endless deep blue oceans. It was the steep, broken rocks and bits of green grass that jutted out at different points in different angles. It was the way you felt as if you were on top of the world. The views were without a doubt spectacular, but the hike to the top requires some definite pacing (unless you’re some sort of Herculean) and multiple stops on the way up and down to admire the vast ocean and beauty that is beneath, beside, and around you. I’m so glad I made it to the top (and not just because I needed to work off all the wine from the day before), but because, as I so lovingly kept repeating to myself— “when in Cape Town.”

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what driving on Chapman’s Peak Drive would be like. I had already seen such beauty, and I thought it would be like driving on any old highway. Oh boy was I wrong! As we drove at a somewhat alarming speed around the never-ending curves and inclines, I peered out the window to the long drop off to the ocean. Suddenly my fear of heights came rushing to the front of my mind, but as we stopped in different spots for photos it disappeared into some long-lost abyss.

 

I stood there, on the edge of the road, looking out and I was speechless. All I could think was, “how could this place be even more beautiful?” As the sun was starting to set and the sky was slowly painted with the soft glow of sunset, the view of the ocean almost enclosed by the mountains— I didn’t want to move. It may sound odd, the words “Chapman’s Peak Drive,” but it is anything but. It’s somewhere I’d go a thousand times over.

Night 2: A Cape Town Sunset

My mind was in awe and I couldn’t stop smiling as we made our way to Clifton Beach. I couldn’t help but wonder why we were leaving such a beautiful spot, but as we started driving I was distracted by the views. When we finally arrived I figured I might as well go see what this was all about. I heard that we’d end the night with a beautiful “sunset on the beach.” My mind went straight to a stroll on a sandy stretch of ocean, which I could see from a short distance, but off we went walking in the opposite direction. I was in the middle of the group, and as we started walking, climbing, and almost tripping over rocks I was very confused. There were twists, turns, and my clumsiness wasn’t exactly helping to keep me steady on the rocky path.

I was walking next to someone and noticed I had spent so much time looking down (making sure I wouldn’t fall) and looking around (making sure I wasn’t going to suddenly drop off into the ocean), that when I stopped for a moment I noticed the people in front leading us had disappeared further up the “path” (if that’s what you would call the broken rocks and boulders surrounding us). I looked behind and couldn’t see anyone following. “Crap,” I thought, “what on earth have I gotten myself into?” The girl I was walking with kept going and I was not going to let myself get lost, alone, so I followed. She assured me they kept walking “this way,” so that way I went. We kept walking for what seemed like forever, but I finally spotted the leader of our group (climbing a rock nonetheless) and the people who had kept to the front standing on a very large rock hanging out over the ocean.

They waved us over, so we started attempting to climb and figuring out the best (and in my mind safest) way to get there. We reached the last step up to the rock, which was separated by a gap and slight height difference. As I looked through the gap my stomach churned and I froze. The girl I was with seemed to jump up so effortlessly. When it was my turn all I could think was “oh no, I’m going to fall. I’m going to fall and break something or get stuck or accidentally pull the person who’s helping me down and then we’ll both fall and then it’ll be my fault and my mom will kill me and…and…” My thoughts just kept circling on for what seemed like an eternity, but as they cheered me on and assured me I’d be just fine, I repeated the mantra— “when in Cape Town.” So…off I went!

You know those moments you see in movies where the scenery is so beautiful it’s almost fake and the people are so happy and smiling you think there’s no way that could ever be real? Well, I hate to break it to you cynics, sceptics, or pessimistics (whatever you want to call yourself)—it is. It’s very real. And I, from a small city in West Texas, was taking it all in. I was standing on a giant rock jutting out into the ocean, looking out at pure beauty.

As I stared out at the sunset, watching the sun fade and the sky turn from shades of yellow and orange to pink and blue, I couldn’t stop smiling. This was beauty; this was happiness. The people around me were smiling and laughing and I knew right then and there that this was a moment I would never forget. The waves were crashing, growing bigger by the minute, and I couldn’t help but hear them roar “welcome to Cape Town.”

Have you travelled solo before? Share your experiences with us.

12 secret spots in Cape Town

Sure, a visit to Cape Town is not complete without going up Table Mountain. And there are many other must-see tourist spots to visit such as Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, and Kalkbay. But if you want to really soak up Cape Town like a local, you need to go off the beaten track.

The Best Kept Secret Places in Cape Town

Cape Town is home to some of the most beautiful and unique views in the world. And many of them are hiding in unique locations. We’ll let you in on the secret!

#1 The Heritage Vine

Location: Corner of Bree and Short Market Streets

The oldest wine-producing vine in the Southern Hemisphere and the oldest vine in South Africa, the Heritage Vine is considered something of a miracle. It is one of the few remaining original French vinifera rootstock still alive. Estimated to have been planted in 1771, the vines roots trace back to the burghers of Cape Town, who planted vines in their gardens to make their own wine.

The vine has continued to thrive despite the Phylloxera epidemic that spread to Cape Town in 1866 and the car park project that left the Heritage Square abandoned for over a decade. The vine survived on rainwater alone until the Cape Town Heritage Trust took over the square in hopes of renovating and returning it to its natural beauty. Now, the Heritage Vine still thrives and produces a few litres of wine every year.

 

#2 We Are Still Here Memorial

Location: Long market Pedestrian Mall, Cape Town Central

This powerful piece of art-work created by mosaic artists Lovell Friedman and Leora Lewis memorializes the 7,000 children that were advertised as destitute in the Cape Government Gazettebetween 1841 and 1921.

These children, some as young as eight-years-old, were often found roaming the streets of Cape Town. If no one came forward to claim or support them after the ad was run, they were sold as indentured labourers. Copies of these advertisements form the image of a child, who is surrounded by drawings and written work by current street kids.

Situated just outside the Cape Town Central Library, the We Are Still Here Memorial is a compelling must-see when visiting Cape Town.

 

#3 The Ubuntu Tree

Location: 99 Kloof Street, Gardens, City Bowl

Though to be planted over 400 years ago, the Unbuntu Tree is believed to be endowed with magical and spiritual healing properties. The tree, also referred to as “Nokuphila” in Xhosa, means “’place of the healing mother, where people gather for health and wellness.”

The Unbuntu and other trees originally marked the border of a dam that held waters from Camissa, water that ran from the mountain, and people from near and far would gather to collect the fresh water. The tree is in the courtyard of what is now a health and wellness centre, still providing a place to receive, refresh, and inspire people.

 

#4 Netsuke Miniture Carvings

Location: South African Jewish Museum, 88 Hatfield St

Located in the South African Jewish Museum, a small room houses over 200 carvings created from wood, ivory, staghorn and bone. These miniature sculptures, called Netsuke, are ceremonial carvings that were worn by wealthy male merchants during the time of the Samurai.  These netsukes were both functional, as they held containers for tobacco, money and other objects, and decorational as a form of expression of the artist with elaborate decorations, lacquer, and exotic materials such as ivory. Subjects for the work included history, mythology, religion, popular humour, and any other aspect of Japanese life.

With their intricate, life-like features, these sculptures quickly became small works of art. One of the founders of the South African Jewish Museum, Isaac Kaplan, developed a passion for netsuke after being introduced to Japanese okimono, or ornamental art, by a friend who visited Japan in the 1930’s. Although he never visited Japan himself, Kaplan acquired over 600 of these carvings through trading houses and auctions. The exhibit showcases over 200 of these sculptures and includes specific details and background information for all artwork on display.

 

#5 Beta Beach – Bakoven

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R&R #headspace #atlanticseaboard #betabeach #gratitude

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Location: Beta Beach, Beta Road, Bakoven, Atlantic Seaboard

Looking for a small, secluded, quite beach? With exceptional views of the Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head, Beta Beach is the perfect spot. Located in the heart of the Atlantic Seaboard’s Bakoven and next door to Oudekraal beach, this spot has a short bright, white, sandy stretch and big boulders to keep the wind away while you read the paper or soak up the sun.

Although Beta is surrounded by several residences and thought to be private, this small beach is open to anyone. Beta Beach is the perfect, quiet, secret spot for safe swimming and beautiful sunsets.

 

#6 St Georges Cathedral in Woodstock

Location: 75 Mountain Road, Woodstock

St. George’s Cathedral, also known as the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St George, was built in 1904 for the Greek community of Cape Town. Byzantine-style frescoes decorate the vaults, walls, and apse with depictions of Jesus and various other saints and icons. This artwork, painted by the Romanian priest and hagiographer Father Nikolai during the 1990’s, is nothing short of beautiful. The domed ceilings are painted light blue and dotted with stars, and when the light shines in through the stained glass windows, it is as if you are transported east to the shining Mediterranean.

In 1968, St. George’s was accorded cathedral status and became the seat of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Good Hope, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. The archdiocese presides over the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces, the Orange Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Hidden in a little spot in Woodstock, perched almost atop the hill on Mountain Road, St. George’s is a beautiful, hidden landmark.

 

#7 The Singular Cycad

Location: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

It is one of the rarest and most highly prized plants in the world, and can be found in the Cycad dell at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. John Medley Wood discovered the plant in the oNgoye Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, where it was later identified as a new species and named after him in 1908.

When Wood discovered the plant, it was part of a clump made up of four trunks. Deputy James Wylie, sent by Wood in 1907, returned to the forest to collect two of the larger trunks, which still grow in the Durban Botanical Gardens. 5 years later, an excursion through the forest resulted in finding only one three-meter tall trunk left in the wild, which died in 1964. Searches through the oNgoye Forest have resulted in no other plants being found. Due to this, the Wood’s Cycad is considered to be extinct in the wild.

There is still hope that one day another wild, female Cycad might be found somewhere in the oNgoye Forest. However, for now it remains as the “the loneliest plant in the world.”

#8 Van Riebeeck’s Hedge

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Do you know where this epic tree is in #capetown? It is known as Van Riebeek's hedge, and has a bit of a dark history. This type of tree is called a Wild Almond but is actually part of the protea family. Read about it on our website to lean more. Follow @secretcapetown for more and tag us or use #secretcapetown to be featured. Photo by @funforlouis . . . . . #cityofcapetown #amazingcapetown #seecapetown #visitcapetown #thisiscapetown #ig_capetown #southafrica #southafricaza #visitsouthafrica #africa #ig_southafrica #thisisafrica #capetownmag #instagramcapetown #weheartsa #capetowntourism #westerncape #capetownsouthafrica #meetcapetown #capetownetc #thisisafrica #southafrica #capetowntravel #explorecapetown #kirstenbosch #kirstenboschbotanicalgardens #vanreibeekshedge #kirstenboschgardens

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Location: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Located on the lower slopes and above the stream, with its large, intertwining branches growing in all directions—lies a section of the Van Riebeeck’s Hedge.

Van Riebeeck’s Hedge, a series of indigenous wild almond trees, was planted in 1660 by the governor of the Cape to define a boundary between the Dutch and the Khoi-Khoi. The goal was to create a barrier that would prevent any livestock, or people, from getting through. The plant quickly expanded and soon became a hindrance as some of the best land for livestock developed on the other side of the hedge. For many, this separation symbolized the start of apartheid—white South Africa cut itself off from the rest of Africa, dispossessed the indigenous people of their land, and kept the best of the resources for itself.

Two sections of the hedge remain today, with one in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the other located in Bishops Court.

#9 Koeberg Nature Reserve

Location: Off the R27, Melkbosstrand

Looking for a place to bike or hike surrounded by beautiful animal and plant life? The Koeberg Nature Reserve is home to a thriving animal life with over 153 species of birds, including Ostrich and the African Fish Eagle. Although it is located around the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the Reserve was opened to the public in 1991 to stay in line with Eskom’s environmental policy.

There are several biking routes to follow. These routes are perfect for families and beginners with a flat terrain and less than 50 meters of climbing. Not into biking? The Reserve also has two different hiking trails—the Dikkop Trail, which is a 13-kilometer loop with two kilometers on the beach, and the Grysbok Trail which is a 6-kilometer, 2-hour walk. Whichever path you choose, keep an eye out for the Eland, Zebras, Angulated Tortoise, or even the Cape Cobra you might see along the way.

For more information visit click here

 

#10 Charles Darwin’s Rocks

Location: Parking lot at the South-end of Queens Beach, near the intersection of Beach and Alexander Roads in Sea Point

These striking rocks are considered a ‘geological wonder.’ They represent an impressive ‘contact’ from about 540 million years ago between granite and the sedimentary rock that forms Signal Hill.

Although the honour of discovery lies with Clark Abel who discovered them in 1818, the rocks are named after Charles Darwin who visited them on his world-wide journey in 1836. Darwin was intrigued by what he saw and decided to stay at the Cape of Good Hope, which was the second-longest of all his stops during his five-year voyage. His later accounts of the rocks at Sea Point, which he called “Green Point,” resulted from 8 years of writing and correspondence after he returned to England. Today, there is a plaque located in the parking lot that commemorates Darwin’s observations.

#11 Groote Schuur Residence

Location: Klipper Road, Rondebosch

Now the official home of South Africa’s president, the Groote Schuur Residence is a fascinating house steeped in history with a beautiful view, set against the slopes of Table Mountain. While arranging a visit requires a tour scheduled in advance and a form of identification, it is definitely worth the time and effort.

Cecil John Rhodes, who became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in 1890, was the first to rent the property and bought it in 1893. He then hired Herbert Baker, a British architect visiting Cape Town, to renovate the building. The style he created became known as the ‘Cape Dutch Revival Style.’ After a fire in December of 1896, Baker and Rhodes reconstructed and modernized the building using handmade ironmongery and antique Dutch and Spanish tiles, bricks and lanterns.

Rhodes released his estate to the nation, and it was used as the official Cape residence of South Africa’s prime ministers and presidents from 1911 to 1994. In 1990 FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela signed the ‘Groote Schuur Minute’, an historic commitment to peaceful negotiations.

 

#12 Paulsberg Cannon

Location: a 45-minute walk up the path behind Bordjies Rif parking lot along the Farmer’s Cliff Trail in Cape Point Nature Reserve

Located on the Eastern seaboard of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, a black-painted, 4-pound, Dutch cannon stands on top of Paulsberg. It offers you beautiful, uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean, False Bay, and Cape Point. The cannon was once a signal cannon, created by the Dutch to warn people if an enemy ship entered False Bay and posed a threat to anchorage.

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restaurants with fireplaces in Cape Town

Cape Town is well known for its unpredictable weather, and winter is no exception. From rainy days to summer-like warmth, venturing out for a meal can be a challenge. After experiencing four seasons in one day, these restaurants will draw you in with cosy fireplaces and delicious food.  There’s something for every taste bud. From high tea, to burgers and three-course meals – escape the winter chill at one of these amazing restaurants.

Top 10 List sourced from the exciting new Dineplan app

#1 High Tea at Truth

Steam punk mixed with high tea seems like an unlikely pairing, but Truth effortlessly fuses the two to create a unique and fun experience. High tea options include a Classic non-alcoholic version for R360, Pol Roger Champagne High Tea for R480, or Pol Roger Winston Churchill Champagne High Tea for R990. Everything is served in three different courses prepared by French-born chef Kamal Hamzaoui, starting with the Amuse Bouche, followed by the Café Course, and finishing off with Le Grande Révélation.

Your choice from an entire selection of Single Origin and Nigiro Teas are perfectly paired with nine different Petit Fours including a chocolate éclair, cream scone with homemade jam, or a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. With its edgy vibe and inventive taste combinations, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

High Tea: Sunday 1 pm and Monday—Saturday 3 pm-5 pm

36 Buitenkant Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 200-0440 | za.truth.coffee/pages/high-tea

#2 Homage 1862

Homage isn’t just a restaurant—it’s an immersive dining experience. The handmade crockery, dining tables made out of salvaged ceiling wood, and plants on the wall accentuate the warm ambiance. With a large wood fireplace located in the open space and comfortable, retro furniture it feels like you have been transported back in time.

The menu features flame-grilled South African favorites combined with Asian undertones to create small plates. With an attentive staff and seasonal menu, Homage creates a unique and delicious experience. A secluded area is located upstairs and is the perfect place for cocktail hour. The music and comfortable furniture create a relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

Hours: Tuesday 12pm-4pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11:30am-11:30 pm, closed Sunday & Monday

168 Loop Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27 (0) 422-0900www.facebook.com/homage.1862/

#3 Aubergine Restaurant

The eclectic restaurant has simple décor yet sophisticated vibes. German chef and owner Harald Bresselschmidt prepares innovative dishes with Eastern and Western influences that combine fresh, local ingredients sourced directly from farmers and trusted suppliers with seasonal flavors.

Dishes include lunch, dinner, and vegetarian options with either an A la Carte or Degustation Menu with optional wine pairing. Offering hand-selected local and international wines that are sure to compliment your entrée, Aubergine is all about creating a unique and sensory dining experience.

Lunch: Wednesday to Friday (October to April) 12noon-2pm

Dinner: Monday to Saturday (closed two Mondays per month) 6pm-10pm

39 Barnet Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 465-0000www.aubergine.co.za

#4 Lou Lou’s Bar

Classy, trendy, and unique—all three words perfectly capture Lou Lou’s bar. Whether you’re stopping by for an after-work drink, a night out with friends, or a romantic evening with your partner – you’re greeted with good vibes and a welcoming atmosphere. The dim lighting, golden accents, and leather-back booths transports you to a simple, happy time.

The fresh and flavourful food is hand-crafted to bring a new-age take on tapas, fusing Asian, Italian, and contemporary cuisines. After dinner, the music gets louder and the party vibe is pumped up. With unique food and great drinks, the fun vibe escalates on Friday and Saturday nights with “Dinner and Dance.” A live DJ plays some of your favourite oldies, blues, jazz, and dance music to get you bobbing to the beats.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-2am; Sunday closed

10 Jarvis Street | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 418-0015 | www.loulous.co.za

#5 Rick’s Café Américain

 

Looking to have a comfortable meal out? With three open fireplaces and Moroccan-themed decor inspired by the film Casablanca, Rick’s is a great homey spot. No matter what your dietary preferences might be—vegetarian, omnivore, or straight-up carnivore—you’re sure to find a meal you love with Rick’s eclectic menu options and warm atmosphere.

With its vibrant, happy atmosphere and 600 different beverage options the bar is ranked among one of the top drinking spots in Cape Town. From wines to whiskies, beers to cocktails, aperitifs to brandies, and more than 30 different types of tequila in between Rick’s has something for everyone.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am- 2am; Sundays closed

2 Park Road | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 424-1100 | www.rickscafe.co.za

 

#6 Toni’s on Kloof

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Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine and cooking at this local favourite spot. The relaxed and warm atmosphere create a comfortable environment to dine with friends and family. The vibrant yellow and blue traditional Portuguese colours paint the outside of the restaurant and accent the decor inside.

Consistent and loyal Portuguese dishes, made on order with quality, fresh ingredients are created with great care and passion. Enjoy local favourites such as Peri-Peri Chicken, Mozambican Curries, Feijoada, Prawn Rissoles, Portuguese Seafood Rice, and many more.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 12 pm-3 pm, 6pm-11 pm

88 Kloof St | Tamboerskloof | Cape Town | +27 (0) 423-7617  | www.tonis.co.za

#7 Den Anker Bar & Restaurant

The spectacular setting in the V&A Waterfront offers unparalleled views through floor-to-ceiling windows. With exceptional seafood creatively prepared it makes it easy to understand why Den Anker has been around for over 24 years. Tasty local South African specialties, which change weekly, give visitors and locals alike a wonderful and fresh experience. Their menus are centred around local, seasonal foods and offer specialties such as fresh crayfish, imported shrimp, foie gras brûlée, and decadent chocolate desserts.

Paying homage to their roots, the Den Anker Bar has six different imported Belgian beers, imported from small breweries and ensuring many different flavours and styles. These are brewed on tap and include De Koninck, Vedett Extra White, Liefmans Fruitesse, La Chouffe, Maredsous Blond, and the exclusively brewed Anker beer made in Lochristi by Den Anker’s Belgian founder, Denis Bouckaert. With one of a kind tastes, friendly and attentive staff, and picturesque views, your experience at Den Anker is sure to be unforgettable.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 am-10 pm

Pierhead | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 419-0249 | www.denanker.co.za

#8 Life Grand Cafe Waterfront

With the motto, “Food you want to leave home for. Food you feel at home with.” you get a sense of what the Life Grand Café is all about. Its intriguing design and open, bright space creates a decadent dining experience.  Inside you’ll find a salad bar, crudo bar, coffee bar, and cocktail bar which offers a variety of creative and interesting cocktails, such as the Love Potion and Youth Elixir.

The menu offers over 100 entrees, ranging from Mediterranean-style food to classic entrees with a twist – all prepared in a wood-burning oven. With five fireplaces and beautiful views of the vibrant Waterfront Pier, it is an ideal location for great food and a warm atmosphere.

Hours:  Monday to Sunday 7am-11pm

2 Pierhead Road | V&A Waterfront |Cape Town | +27 (0) 205-1902 | www.facebook.com/lifegrandcafesa/

 

#9 Dash Restaurant & Bar

Reportedly named after the Queen’s favourite pet, Dash offers panoramic views of Table Mountain and a live pianist during dinner from Tuesday through to Saturday. Although it sits in the Queen Victoria Hotel, the restaurant and bar are open to the public. With a menu that changes every few weeks and a dedicated chef, you are sure to have a unique and exquisite dining experience every time you visit.

Looking for a place to have drinks after work? The bar at Dash, with its signature royal purple bar stools, offers an extensive selection of single malt whiskies and wines. Mirror ceilings reflect the double-sided fireplace and remarkable artwork, surrounding you with feelings of warmth and elegance.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 6:30am- 10:30pm

Queen Victoria Hotel | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 418-1466 | newmarkhotels.com/places/restaurants/dash/

 

#10 The Stud Burger & Saloon

Enjoy great vibes, good music, and delicious burgers at this trendy bar and burger spot. With a focus on gourmet burgers and grills plus true dedication to their mantra “preparing quality food,” this eatery is a great local favourites. Creative themed dishes add to the relaxed and fun environment.

There is something for everyone at The Stud Burger & Saloon with great vegetarian and vegan burger options as well. Complement your burger with one of the wide range of craft beers on tap, bottled beers and ciders, or a glass of red or white wine. Stay warm at a table inside near the fire and enjoy the view of the vibrant Woodstock street life.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm-4pm, Sunday 4pm-11pm

Happy Hour: 6pm to 7pm Tuesdays & Thursdays

76 Roodebloem Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 447-4613 | www.facebook.com/thestudburgersaloon/

How We Discovered Our Top 10 Restaurants with Fireplaces in Cape Town

 

Dineplan was launched on December the 1st, 2012. In 2011, Greg Whitfield and Martin Rose, started dreaming about creating software that would revolutionize the South African restaurant industry. They went to school together and with their solid friendship as foundation, they started an exciting entrepreneurial journey together.

The dynamic duo approached local restaurants to find out more about their reservation needs. From their finding they created software to help manage bookings. Restaurants across the country use their innovative system, from the Cape Peninsula to Phalaborwa.

After six years of finetuning the reservation system, they launched the Dineplan app in early 2018. They already have access to the behind the scenes booking information and can now offer dining patrons the ability to tap into this information and make instant bookings at the Dineplan restaurants. Restaurant lovers can pick and choose from 1000’s of Dineplan restaurant users.

Using the Dineplan App

 

If you are looking for restaurants with a specific feature, Dineplan has categorized their vast database. Choose between a variety of filters including cuisine, price, attributes, and rating. The attribute options range from child friendly, romantic, and great views to sunsets, serves Halaal, and pet friendly.

Step 1: Select a Location

You can either use your current location or type in the city/suburb

Step 2: Access filters

Click on the menu icon at the top right

Step 3: Select Attributes

Click on the filter option to categorize the results

Download the app now on the iTunes or GooglePlay store

 

 

 

Photo Caption: Well, back to the work week! Seal you later weekend 👋 .
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Kalk Bay Harbour is a lively, picturesque harbour. With beautiful views of the mountains in the distance, the blue, outstretched ocean in front of you, and the refreshing sea breeze – it’s easy to understand why the harbour is a must-see. The harbour is one of the last working fishing harbours in the Cape Peninsula, and is located about 30 km from Cape Town.

There’s always something going on at the harbour. You can see the fishing boats docking about midday and fish traders appraising their catch of the day. On a sunny afternoon stroll, you can watch seals playing in the water, swimming, or sunbathing. You can see seabirds all along the way, and you might even be able to spot whales during whale-watching season!

If you get hungry, you can buy fresh fish from the fishermen. However, if you prefer just to order your food already done, you can also visit one of the restaurants and pubs nearby. There you can look out at the stunning ocean views while relaxing with a meal. Polana is a must- stop, they offer some of the best seaside fish and chips in Cape Town! Or for a truly local experience, visit Kalky’s on the harbour side.

 

 

Photo Caption: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”—Nelson Mandela.
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Today marks 100 years since Mandela’s birth!
How are you celebrating Mandela Day today?

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Located between the V&A Hotel and CD Wherehouse in the V&A Waterfront is the Nobel Square which pays tribute to South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize laureates. One of these laureates is Nelson Mandela. At the feet of the slightly-larger-than-life-size statue of Mandela is an engraved notable quote which reads “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will experience the oppression of one by another”.

In his younger years, Nelson Mandela led the civil resistance, helped organize strikes, protest marches, demonstrations, and encouraged people to defy discriminatory.laws. His rebellion resulted in a sentence of life imprisonment at the Rivonia trial in 1964. Despite imprisonment, he didn’t waver in his devotion to learning, democracy, and equality.

A Long Walk To Freedom

In 1993, together with Frederik Willem de Klerk, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime. And for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.

In 1994, he became South Africa’s first democratically elected president and led democracy with pride and grace. He tackled institutionalized racism and fostered racial reconciliation.

After one term as President, he stepped down in 1999 and continued his compassionate humanitarian work. And fought tirelessly for justice, peace and human understanding beyond the borders of South Africa. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995. He also established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Nelson Mandela’s life and work truly serve as an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived.

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This colorful neighbourhood situated at the foot of Signal Hill is one of the oldest urban residential areas in Cape Town. Bo-kaap has been home to people of various origins and religions. Many of the families in the Bo-Kaap have been living there for generations. Most of them are descendants of the slaves who were imported by the Dutch during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These slaves were from Malaysia, Indonesia, other parts of Asia and the rest of Africa. And because the majority of them came from the Malay Archipelago, they became known as the Cape Malays and the Bo-kaap was called the Malay Quarter.

The long history of the Bo-kaap dates back to the 1760’s when Jan de Waal built several small rental houses, which he rented out to his slaves. At that time, all the houses had to be white. When the slaves were freed and were allowed to buy their own properties in 1834, all the houses were painted in bright colors as an expression of their freedom.

Since the second half of the eighteenth century, the Bo-kaap has been the traditional home of Cape Town’s Muslim community. There are at least nine mosques in this neighborhood. The oldest is the Auwal Mosque in Dorp Street, built in 1794. This community is not only a symbol of freedom but also has invaluable historical and heritage value.

The vibrant picturesque terraced houses and steep cobbled streets make it a very popular spot in the city.

Photo Caption:#throwbackthursday to warmer days 🌅 can you #guesswhere this beautiful view of table mountain is? 📸 @maggiestp

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Located in Cape Town’s Milnerton suburb, Lagoon Beach is the ideal destination for travelers looking to relax with unbeatable views of Table Mountain. It’s close to the city center, ideal for a quick trip to the beach to watch the sunset. With long stretches of sand, the beach is perfect for long strolls along the water or picturesque moments against the pink-painted sunset skies.

After strolling on the beach, visit the Lagoon Beach Hotel. It is the only hotel in Cape Town with direct beach access, and has 3 different food and drink spots to choose from that all offer free Wi-Fi to guests. La Mizu Beach bar has a variety of drinks and small dishes to choose from, with an outside seating area that offers unbeatable views. The Brasserie provides a fresh and simple experience with menus that change seasonally and options such as half or full-sized portions. Wang Thai, located just around the corner, boasts exceptional Thai dishes prepared by trained chefs with authentic, imported spices and the freshest locally-sourced ingredients.

Whether you’re looking for an unbeatable beach, beautiful views, a nice dinner, or a drink after work – Lagoon Beach is the ultimate spot.

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Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders situated in False Bay, just outside Simon’s Town. It is the penguin paradise of Cape Town as it is home to a colony of thousands of African penguins. Boulders Beach is the only place in the world where you can get close to these aquatic flightless birds. The beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is one of the most visited beaches in Cape Town.

The African penguins are formerly known as jackass penguins because they make distinctive donkey-like braying sounds to communicate. They are covered in dense, water-proof feathers to keep them dry and insulated in cold water. They also have distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes which help them cope with changing temperatures.  The African Penguins have been classified as endangered species as their population declined over the years due to habitat destruction, over-fishing, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities. Nevertheless, these African penguins are seen in Boulders Beach throughout the year.  They usually breed during the African winter when temperatures are lower and on summer months, you can see them preening and sunning themselves. You can observe the penguins’ daily activity in the boardwalks specifically built to facilitate safe penguin viewing.

Aside from the resident African Penguins, Boulders Beach is also known for its pristine white sand and crystal clear waters. It is a popular family-friendly swimming beach and a great place for a leisurely picnic. This beach must definitely be on your bucket list!

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