Cape Town’s natural beauty is awe inspiring. And the best thing about it, is that it’s entwined in the cityscape. Instead of roughing it up on dirt roads, you can hit a tar road and soak up the mesmerizing scenery whizzing by. But beware, you won’t be the only one hitting the road, so choose the timing of your scenic drive in Cape Town carefully.

As with all major cities, mornings and afternoons are the peak traffic times. And over the weekends roads can become heavily congested on a beautiful sunny day. But even if you get stuck in traffic, the epic landscapes will keep you entertained. Cape Town scenic drives offer you it all – meandering bends, panoramic views, and engineering feats.

The Best Scenic Drives in Cape Town

Whether you are simply driving from one activity to the next, or you plan a scenic drive in Cape Town – the spectacular views along the way are an awesome bonus!

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town - Chapmans Peak sebastian-staines-unsplash

Chapman’s Peak Drive

This one is the big honcho of scenic drives in Cape Town. The locals refer to the 15km (9 miles) drive as Chappies. It has a total of 114 curves! The road’s name is in remembrance of John Chapman, a Captain’s mate of an English ship called the Consent, which arrived in Hout Bay in 1607. In 1915 planning of the mountain-hugging road started. It was officially opened on May 6, 1922. The road was re-engineering to prevent rock falls, and reopened in December 2003. To maintain the road, a small toll fee is required, R31.00 for motor cycles and R47.00 for motors.

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town - Chapmans Peak - jacques-burger-unsplash

During turbulent weather, the road is closed for safety reasons. There is also regular maintenance projects to keep the cliffs stable. The road hugs the cliffs, with sheer drops to the expansive Atlantic Ocean on the other side. There are various lookout spots along the way for you to pause and admire the view.

Visit for more information and to keep up to date with road closures.

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town - Victoria Road - Camps Bay tobias-fischer-unsplash

Victoria Road

This winding ocean scenic drive in Cape Town lies on the other side of the Chapman’s Peak drive. It’s almost as winding as its cousin, with just as much mountain and ocean wonder. A few of the highlights include an expansive view of Llandudno near the Suikerbossie Drive, the magnificent Twelve Apostles, and Lion’s Head in the distance. You’ll catch different glimpses of the breath taking scenery in both directions.

St James Pool Beach Huts Train tracks

Boyes Drive

This is a short drive, so you’ll have to go slow to soak up all the beauty. It is an alternative to the bottom coastal road linking the little coastal neighbourhoods of Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, and Muizenberg. Elevated above the ocean, you’ll find yourself staring in pure awe at the rolling waves of Muizenberg. As you round the bend back towards the city, the Constantia valley will charm you with its own picturesque mountain views.

You can also extend this drive past Fish Hoek towards Simon’s Town, if you prefer ocean views over mountains. Although, you can’t really escape the mountains, they continue to hug the road on the one side. Follow the M65 further towards Misty Cliffs and Scarborough for a truly nature-filled outing. Here you’ll find the mountains change to rocky cliffs, instead of the rolling green hills found closer to the city. The road also leads to Cape Point and the lonesome Kommetjie lighthouse.

R44 from Gordon’s Bay

This one you can keep for a weekend getaway, or simply a daytrip. Travel on the N2 towards Gordon’s Bay and swing away from the main highway onto the R44. Another winding scenic drive in Cape Town, with the mountain on the one side and the expansive Atlantic Ocean on the other. Take your time and pull over regularly for epic Instagram shots. You’ll spot Table Mountain across False Bay. Get ready to inundate your eyes with the wild blue ocean and lush green mountains! You can follow the road all the way to Hermanus, or stop at one of the other little coastal towns along the way such as Kleinmond or Betty’s Bay.

If you want to create a loop trip, travel along Sir Lowry’s Pass on the N2, and the R43 towards Hermanus and do the coastal road on your way there or back.

Cape Town to Melkbosstrand

The West Coast road has its own unique charm. It’s not as dramatic as the other scenic drives in Cape Town, but on your way back into the city, you will be intrigued with Table Mountain following you all the way, steadily “growing” bigger and bigger as you near the city again. Stick to the R27 coastal road that will take you past the most popular kite surfing spots as well.

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town - Tableview - clyde-thomas-unsplash

Photo by Clyde Thomas

On the lonely stretch out of the city there are various little beaches you can stop at to soak up the mountain views. If you get the timing right for your scenic drive, you’ll catch a stunning sunset across the Bay.

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town marcelo-novais-unsplash

Tafelberg Road to Signal Hill

This one is a great little mini scenic drive in Cape Town. The Tafelberg Road hugs the side of Table Mountain next to the bottom Aerial Cableway station. After the steep winding road, you will be greeted by one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in all its glory. Follow the road past the cableway station towards its end next to Devils Peak. On one side the mountain looms up next to you, and on the other the city lies in the valley.

Plan your trip just before sunset to watch the sun colour the mountain and then the city lights popping up. Or you can drive towards the other side on the Signal Hill Road, across Kloof Nek road, to watch the sun set across the ocean.

A Little Bit Further

We’ll let you in on a little secret, the mountain views outside the city are almost more mesmerizing than the ones within the city borders!

Cape Town to Worcester

The N2 highway (toll road) will take you through the Huguenot Tunnel towards the Du Toits Kloof pass. Get ready to catch your breath when you exist the tunnel, the mountains in the valley are spectacular. You can also use the alternative routes to bypass the toll road, offering you an even more scenic drive.

Worcester to Swellendam

Not as famous as its cousin, Route 62, but this scenic drive is just as stunning. The route travels through unspoiled nature reserves and the looming Matroosberg Mountain range. Eventually the road will lead you to the Bree River, with lush vineyards along the way. Create an alternative loop back to see as much as possible of the Klein Karoo on your trip.

Most Scenic Drives in Cape Town

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Share the Scenic Fun with Secret Cape Town

Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

Life does not have to come to a standstill just because you are single. Luckily there are plenty of experiences in the city you can indulge in on your own, without the fear of someone looking at you funnily because you’re on your own. And let’s face it, everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, no one will really even notice that you’re exploring on your own.

Check out our post Cape Town as a Solo Traveller for some inspiration to travel on your own.

#1 Visit a Museum or Art Gallery

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Zeitz MOCAA🌐

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Walking around alone in a museum or art gallery is a totally legit solo activity. Just make sure to assume an air of aloofness. In the City Bowl you can keep yourself busy for hours museum hopping on the Iziko Museum Mile. Museum included: Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium, Iziko South African National Gallery, Iziko Slave Lodge, Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, Iziko Rust en Vreugd Museum, Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House, Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House, Iziko Maritime Centre, and the William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope.

There are various art galleries scattered across the city. Work your way through the list of top 10 art galleries in Cape Town. Opening nights are always a fun thing to join (free wine and maybe snacks) Also, make sure you pop in at the Zeitz MOCAA. The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a world-first. It has 100 gallery spaces to explore, so get ready for a lot of inspiration entering your eyes! Read our post to learn more about the museum.

#2 Tour the City

For this one, you’ve got a few options. Firstly, you can use the City Sightseeing bus to gallivant across the city. It stops at all the major tourist spots including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Hout Bay, Camps Bay, and more. With the handy audio info on the bus, you will learn more about the Mother City while taking in the amazing scenery.

Or, you can decide to only focus on the inner city, with a free walking tour. All you have to do is arrive at the Motherland Coffee Company and join the tour. Tours are hosted every day of the year and depart at 11:00, 14:00, and 16:20. The tours work on a tip only basis. Choose between the Apartheid to Freedom Tour, Historic City Tour, and the Bo Kaap Walking Tour.

#3 Hire a Bike

Riding a bicycle is a great solo activity, and it will offer you a unique perspective on the city. UpCycles have Dutch-style single speed bikes, with back pedal brakes. Pop in at one of their drop-and-go stations and create your own route through the city, ending at another station. Start at one of the following points: The Pavilion on the Sea Point Promenade, Breakaway Café (Waterkant Street Fan Walk), Silo 5 (V&A Waterfront Silo District), and Camps Bay (Bay Hotel)

Visit for more information.

#4 Visit the Aquarium

Another great spot for a solo expedition. The fishies won’t judge you for arriving alone! The Two Oceans Aquarium is of world class standard, with diverse marine life to admire. Throughout the day there are different feeding sessions at for instance the penguins’ enclosure or the mantra ray tank. The exhibitions are truly magical. Walk through a glass tunnel while a tortoise leisurely swims overhead. Or wait for the formidable sharks to swim past you at the massive floor to ceiling tank.

Visit for more information.

#5 Join a Hiking Group

Cape Town is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. There are countless hiking opportunities within the city borders. Although a solo stroll through nature can be very therapeutic, it’s safer to hike with a group of people. Luckily there are so many nature addicts, you have plenty of groups to choose from. Read our post about the Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town.

Alternatively, if you do want to get your solo nature dose, why not visit one of the Top 10 Parks in Cape Town? These are also tucked away within the city borders. You need to be vigilant regarding safety, but most parks are very popular, so there will be other people also enjoying the outdoors while you recharge on your own.

#6 Go To a Book Launch

A book launch is the perfect opportunity to mingle with likeminded people in a relaxed environment. You can easily blend into the crowd, and usually there’s free wine (if you need to ease your social nerves) The Book Lounge is a firm favourite of Capetonian book fanatics. They regularly host events relating to all kinds of literary things.

Check the Book Lounge upcoming events.

#7 Watch an Art Film

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With the Academy Awards Ceremony fast approaching, head to the Labia Theatre to see the nominated films on one of the 4 screens at this independent cinema. 📷 📽🍿#letsdothiscpt #capetown WHEN: Any day. WHERE: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town. WHY: Watch a movie at an independent cinema. #️⃣ #labiatheatre #independentcinema #thingstodo #ideas #explore #adventure #activities #getoutside #discover #food #drink #meetup #squadgoals #hike #fitness #health #culture #explorecapetown #mothercity #westerncape #mzanzi #southafrica #roadtrip #unplug #letsdothiscpt #dothis Tag or email us with your tip………………… 📩 Please note – we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss of life that may occur when following the tip for the day ✌️

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Going to the movies alone for the first time will feel like a strange endeavour. But after you’ve gotten over the awkwardness of it, you will most likely be hooked on it. And going to South Africa’s oldest independent art-repertory cinema will make you feel like a sophisticated singleton. They show both art movies and blockbusters. And you can order a glass of wine to sip in the movie!

Visit for more information.

#8 Join a Dinner Club

Dine4Six is perfect for singletons! The point of the experience is to pitch alone (or you can bring a buddy if you prefer) and make new friends around the dinner table. Each table has seating for six people, creating a unique setting for meeting potential new friends. Plus, you get to dine at the best restaurants in town!

Visit  to see upcoming events.
Download the app on the iTunes store or Google Play store

#9 Go To a Dancing or a Cooking Class

Learning to dance, is a handy skill to have. And you can also use it as fun way to make friends. Plus, don’t forget the exercise factor. Que Pasa offers various dance classes including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, Cuban and Charleston. Over the weekends they host free salsa classes at La Prada (Fridays) and Jade Lounge (Saturdays).

Visit for more information

Not quite convinced about the dancing? Another fun option, is a cooking course. It’s a great skill to master, and an easy way to make friends with mutual interests. Stir Crazy Catering has created fun cooking classes that can enhance your culinary repertoire. These include Exploring Spanish Delicacies, Sushi Made Simple, Tastes of the Mediterranean, South African Cooking Safari, and more.

Check the Stir Crazy cooking class schedule.

#10 Visit a Local Market

An outing to a Saturday market is a truly Capetonian weekly event. It’s the perfect place to wander around on your own, without anyone really noticing you’re on a solo mission. You can also consider shopping for your weekly fresh fruit and veggies from a local supplier. Read our post about the Top 5 Farmers Market Experiences to see what all the fuss is about.

Bonus: Join a Meetup Group

Meetup groups are the easiest way to find your tribe. What are you into? Music? Dance? Fashion and Beauty? There are most likely already a group of people passionate about the same things you are. And if not, you can start your own group and gather people! Categories include Book Clubs, Career & Business, Film, Arts, Food & Drink and many more.

Check out the Meetup Groups in Cape Town
Download the app on the iTunes Store or Google Play Store

Share the Solo Fun with Secret Cape Town

Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

Cape Town Culinary Tours

Cape Town Culinary Tours are dedicated to showcasing the flavourful history that Cape Town has to offer. On these 3.5 hour tours, your guide, Ellie, will take you to taste your way through this strikingly unique and multicultural city. You will learn about Cape Town’s rich cultural history through the wide variety of flavours that the Mother City has to offer.

You will get to engage with local food producers, sampling the foods which makes Cape Town a world renowned destination. Enjoy tastings from some of Cape Town’s hidden culinary gems, from the edges of the BO Kaap down into the heart of the De Waterkant and end of in the vast history and culture of the Waterfront.

On this tour, you will become an expert on how the city is pieced together between the delicious tastings.

Tours run Tuesdays – Saturday’s, with the option to book a private tour on Sunday’s and Monday’s. Book today as spots are limited to 10 people per tour!

For further details please contact Cape Town Culinary Tours at:

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Travel Blogs are a source of inspiration, entertainment, and shared experiences. Some people travel as a career, some do it on vacation, and for others, it’s simply a lifestyle.  The following travel bloggers, from solo females to couples and families, are some of our favorites who love to visit Cape Town. Through their stories, tips, and pictures they inspire us to explore this beautiful city.

#1 Bucket List Journey

Creator of the amazing, inspirational, and award-winning travel blog Bucket List Journey, Annette White has developed one of the best travel blogs around. She has an Instagram that has been named one of the best travel accounts to follow, and her blog gets over 500 000 monthly views. Annette has been recognized by and partnered with various companies including TripAdvisor, Chase, Sandals Resorts, and LAN Airlines. She has explored more than 50 different countries on 6 continents. Annette is also the author of the popular book Bucket List Adventures, in which she not only shares helpful traveling information, but also inspires people to step out of their comfort zones.

With her passion and adventurous spirit, Annette will inspire you to pack your bags and start checking off your own bucket list trips in her blog Bucket List Journey.

#2 Getting Stamped

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This Valentine’s Day skip the flowers & chocolates and make real memories. We decided early on in our relationship that we didn’t want to give gifts but instead take trips together. For Valentine’s Day this year we got a great deal on @hoteltonight and are in Tulum staying right on the beach at Mi Amor, which means My Love in Spanish totally fitting for the occasion. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one? It’s not too late to score a great deal on @HotelTonight for a romantic getaway! #HotelTonight #GettingStamped #Spon #tulum ⋯ ⋯ ⋯ Photo Location: @miamortulum, Mexico Dress: ⋯ ⋯ . . .. . #tulummexico #VisitMexico #pitusa #Sonya7riii #SonyAlpha #TravelCouple #CoupleTravel #ValetinesDay2018 #global_hotshotz #beautifulmatters #discoverearth #beautifulplaces @sony @sonyalpha @visitmexico #sheisnotlost #sidewalkerdaily #exploringtheglobe #worldplaces #wonderfuldestinations #theweekoninstagram #beautifulexplorers #bestvacations #discover_vacations #bdbucketlist #influencer #beautifulhotels @beautifulhotels @beautifuldestinations

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The daring travel blog duo Hannah and Adam started travelling full-time about 6 years ago. They created the compelling travel blog Getting Stamped. After selling almost everything they owned, the brave couple took off on a Round the World Trip that went from a 1-year planned trip to a 5-year journey. To date, they have traveled to 75 countries with some of the most beautiful Instagram posts to prove it.

Their adventurous story and passion for following their dreams will amaze and inspire you as you follow their journey. Read about their Cape Town experience in the post 10 Places That Should Be On Every RTW Itinerary.

#3 Adventurous Kate

Kate McCulley quit her job 8 years ago to follow her dreams and to travel the world. She created the honest and inspirational solo-female travel blog Adventurous Kate, and she has lived up to the name since. A 6-month trip turned into 7 years travelling across 75 different countries over 7 continents. Adventurous Kate shows what it’s really like for women to travel solo around the world. As a result, her honest and informative posts inspire all solo travelers to follow their travel dreams.

Read about her journey around Cape Town in her post Adventurous Kate’s Offbeat Guide to Cape Town.


#4 Camps Bay Girl

Carline Meyer is the creator and author of the charming and motivational blog Campsbay Girl. She created the blog to detail her travel experiences. As a Cape Town native, she provides useful insight and stunning views of the city. Since starting, she has gathered over 1.7 thousand loyal followers and readers. With her blog and Instagram, she not only captures the beauty of Cape Town, but also other striking locations around the world. Her mesmerizing photos will have you out and about exploring the beauty of Cape Town.

Read her post about 10 Things to do in Cape Town in Winter.

#5 The Travel Manuel

The adventurous power couple Lauren and Vaughan Manuel McShane are creators of the cleverly named, award-winning travel blog The Travel Manuel. Both Lauren and Vaughan are Cape Town natives. While they both agree there’s no place quite like the Mother City, they have a passion to travel around the world. Although their journey started with just the two of them, they now have 2 kids. However, this has not slowed them down one bit, and instead their blog and  Instagram are an informative and encouraging source for families and couples alike.

Read about their various Cape Town posts here.

#6 Mzansi Girl

Creator of the inspiring and powerful blog Mzansi Girl, Meruschka Govender has been blogging since 2010. She is a South African native and is passionate about traveling around Africa, exploring its vast culture and hidden treasures. Meruschka is also the founder of the Afritravel hashtag on twitter, which she founded to help curate African travel related content. Follow her honest and adventurous journey on Instagram.

You can read her posts on Cape Town on her blog.

#7 The Incidental Tourist

Named the best SA Travel Blog in 2016, The Incidental Tourist is a powerful and compelling blog created by South African Dawn Jorgensen. She is a conscious traveler who has a deep love for Africa, its people, and the environment. Through stories and posts, her blog and Instagram focus on sustainable tourism, highlighting eco and conservation issues. Dawn’s immense passion for the world can be seen through her journeys, and will inspire you to travel consciously.

Although she enjoys traveling around the world, Dawn loves coming back home to Cape Town. Read about her experiences and suggestions to enjoy the city.

#8 Love My Cape Town

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#cablewaykidz #lovemycapetown

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The informative Love My Cape Town Blog was created by parents, for parents. The Pattendens and the Fouries are two married couples with two children who love to explore Cape Town. The blog aims to provide fun experiences for families. By providing insight into family and parent-friendly activities, the goal is to show how even families can travel and have fun. Cape Town is such a big, diverse, and beautiful city—exactly what the Pattendens and the Fouries portray in their experiences. Check out their website for kids-friendly ideas around Cape Town and follow them on Instagram to follow their adventures.

#9  The Average South African

Tebogo Sethokga is the adventurous creator of the insightful food, travel, and lifestyle blog The Average South African. The blog explores all of the amazing food and travel destinations in South Africa. Tebogo is a native South African, who provides a lot of personal experiences and useful information about Cape Town. Native Capetonians and travelers alike will find The Average South African a useful and inspiring site.

For engaging photos and a constant source of information, follow the blog on Instagram.

#10 Boring Cape Town Chick

Boring Cape Town Chick is a personal lifestyle and travel blog by South African native Megan Peta. While she’s lived in a few different places throughout the world, Meg is passionate about sharing information on the “most beautiful city in the world!” Her honest, funny, and insightful blog has everything you need to (and didn’t even know you needed to) know about Cape Town. Check out her blog posts and follow her on Instagram.

They all agree, Cape Town is an amazing city to visit or to live in. Which one is your favourite blog to follow?

Cape Town as A Solo Traveler: Part 2

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 has been doing an internship in Cape Town during her Summer break, and the following is her accounts. Follow her journey on Instagram @kaleefromtexas

Traveling Solo

As I sit here writing this, I honestly cannot believe my time in Cape Town is coming to an end. I know people told me 4-weeks would go by fast, but I just can’t believe how fast they really did.
When I think of my time here, I remember what it was like the first time I traveled alone. It was when I moved off to college, over 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers) away from everyone and everything I knew. I was terrified to be quite honest. But I’d honestly never been so exited or felt so exhilarated in my life. A year later, I took off again to study abroad in Greece for four months. Now that was over 6,400 miles (10,000 km) and an ocean away, but I wasn’t as terrified so much as nervous.

Cape Town as A Solo Traveler: Part 2
Fast forward another year and I was jetting off here to Cape Town—over 8,900 miles (14,000 km) and 2 oceans away. While each experience has taught me something new (including how to break the news to my supportive but ever worrying mom) and my anxiety and nerves have definitely gone down – something about Cape Town just felt different. And it has been.

This experience has opened my eyes in ways I never expected; perhaps it’s the time in my life where the future is such a daunting idea, maybe it’s the way I started this journey completely on my own, or perhaps it’s just Cape Town. Perhaps it’s just…everything. Regardless of the reason, I’ve learned how to be myself because of it.

That’s the thing about traveling solo. While some people find it intimidating and others might think it’s scary, it can definitely be both, you truly learn more about yourself than you ever even imagined was possible. If you’re even the slightest bit interested in traveling to Cape Town on your own, I have just two words for you…DO IT! You will be so glad you did.

When in Cape Town

Like everyone I spoke to beforehand, I had some preconceived ideas of what Cape Town would be like. Every single one has been wrong except for one— “I’ll have some new adventures.” Which I most definitely have! Although they haven’t all been good or exciting, like the time my phone suddenly malfunctioned and I had to walk up and down Signal Hill to try and get a signal (and yes, my friends thought this was ironically hilarious), they have all taught me something valuable.

At times I was worried, like when I went zip lining for the first time in my life or climbed through caves, but every day I kept repeating my ever-standing mantra— “when in Cape Town!” It has been the most welcoming, friendly, and honestly most amazing place I’ve ever been. I’m beyond thankful I have had such an incredible experience here. I’m so grateful to all of the amazing people I’ve met along the way who have helped me to make memories I’ll never forget.

Cape Town as A Solo Traveler: Part 2

While traveling solo means you start off on your own (completely and utterly alone), it really frees you to meet new people. Not saying that traveling with people is in any way a bad thing, but I do think it’s a completely different experience. When you’re on your own, you’re just that—on your own. Free to go at your own pace, explore on your own schedule. This allows you the opportunities to really bond with other people, especially those who are in the exact same situation.

Most of the time it’s people you wouldn’t have otherwise even talked to, much less, in my case, built strong connections with. As a solo traveler, you get to meet people from all walks of life. And if you’re in Cape Town, you get to meet the most diverse, fun, adventurous range of people.

Well, This Is It

From last-minute adventures around the city to late nights out on Long Street and weeknights at Stones, Cape Town has been somewhere I’m proud to call my home away from home. It’s a funny thing, the word home. Everywhere I’ve travelled and lived, even school, I’ve always been reluctant to call it home. Home was San Angelo, Texas.  A grey-blue house with a white door and 2-windows. It was my mom, my dog and cat, my family. Home was…is…a feeling, I think. I don’t know what it is, but from the first few days I arrived here, I’ve just felt so at home in Cape Town. I’m honestly so sad to be leaving; I feel like I’m really leaving home.

Cape Town as A Solo Traveler: Part 2

I truly made the best decision of my life coming to Cape Town. It was never a grand plan of mine to come here, but now it’s my main plan to come back some day (probably in summer for all of you telling how much better it is then, although I honestly don’t know how it could be any better than it already is).
Traveling alone is so many things (you can choose which words you’d like to use), but traveling solo to Cape Town is something I think everyone should do. It’s amazing, so beautiful, fantastic—all of the words you might find as an exaggeration. But here, they’re just the plain truth. As I leave Cape Town, I’ll always treasure not only the experiences I’ve had here, but also the person I am in this very moment, and all of the adventures that have led me here.

So, I guess this is it. Thank you for the seemingly never-ending sunsets. Thanks for the breath-taking mountain views. And thank you for the bright lights and lively vibes. Goodbye, Cape Town. Adiós. Αντίο. Sala Kakuhle!

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.