The Mother City offers you endless exploration opportunities. There’s enough things to keep you busy 24/7! We’ve decided to offer you small chunks of exploration options, the top 5 of everything that you have to see when visiting Cape Town.
Whether you are a hardcore outdoor junkie, or more of a cityslicker who wants only a small dose of nature, Cape Town will not disappoint you either way!
The Big 5 Nature Activities in Cape Town
Without further ado, here’s our suggestions of the must-do outdoor activities.
#1 Table Mountain
The formidable mountain has been included in the new list of 7 Wonders of Nature. And we fully agree with the inclusion! It’s almost as if the mountain creates a special energy, which draws you in. You can either hike your way to the top, or take the fun rotating cable way. Read more about the hiking routes in our post about the Top 5 Hiking Routes Up Table Mountain. Or take a guided Table Mountain hike.
#2 Lion’s Head
It’s the most-climbed mountain in the city. You can meander your way around the mountain in a circular route to the top. Or if your fitness level allows it, you can tackle the chain ladders and scurry your way to the top like a monkey.
The view from the top is priceless. A 360° vantage point of the city will offer you a great picture of how the urban and the natural jungle intermingle in Cape Town. Read our post about what you need to know about hiking up Lion’s Head for the full moon. Or take a guided Lion’s Head hike.
#3 Kirstenbosch Gardens
It is the most famous of South Africa’s botanical gardens, there are nine in total. The popular garden was founded in 1913 and covers five of South Africa’s six biomes. You can view plants from the Karoo, savanna, the indigenous fynbos, and more.
Kirstenbosch has a strong focus on the native Cape region plants, such as a formidable collection of Proteas alongside the fynbos. The “Kirsten” refers to the original manager of the area, J.F. Kirsten. He was in charge of caring for the land in the 18th century. And the “bosch” refers to a bush. The gardens also include a Provincial Heritage Site. You can still view parts of the Wild Almond and brambles hedge ordered by Jan van Riebeek in 1660. Van Riebeek’s Hedge protected the boundaries of the original Dutch colony. In 2013 a special tree canopy walkway was built to celebrate the garden’s 100th birthday. A visit to Kirstenbosch is not complete without a photo from the Boomslang.
Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens website for more information.
Grapes are part of nature, right? So sipping wine definitely counts as a nature outing! The Constantia Valley is a vineyard nestled in between the Southern suburbs. It is the oldest wine-making region of the southern hemisphere.
It lies at the foot of the Table Mountain National Park and the Constantiaberg. Select a VoiceMap Constantia tour to guide you more constructively through the beautiful landscapes. You can also book a Constantia Wine Tour if you are in the mood for wine tasting after meandering through the vineyards.
Visit constantiavalley.com for more information.
#5 Cape Point
Two oceans meet at this rugged outcrop, the Indian and the Atlantic. The area is part of the Table Mountain National Park and boasts with a formidable array of fynbos. The Cape of Good Hope nature reserve and Cape Point was declared a World Heritage Site. Bartolomeu Dias dubbed the area the ‘Cape of Storms’ in 1488. In the daytime sailors could use the prominent point as a handy navigational guide. But at night the waters around it became treacherous, fog masking the dangerous rocky outline.
By 1859 a lighthouse was built to steer ships clear of the danger zones. Till this day it keeps watch over the area, at 238 metres above sea-level. The area features wide pathways leading up and down the side of the rocky point. If your legs feel too tired for the climb back up, you can take the Flying Dutchman Funicular. After visiting the lighthouse, stop at one of the beaches inside the reserve for a leisurely picnic lunch.
Visit capepoint.co.za for more information.
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