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SSo, you’ll be visiting Cape Town with just one day in which to see the best that this beautiful South African city has to offer. Of course, one day isn’t nearly enough time to enjoy everything this buzzing city has to see and do, but the following “hotspot” will help you make the most of every minute!
A drive along Chapman’s Peak. Named after John Chapman, a friend of a captain of an English ship called the Consent. The captain named the bay Chapman’s Chaunce (chance) and the name stuck. This drive can be taken from the Cape Town city centre all the way through Kalk Bay, Simon’s Town passing by The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point straight to Hout Bay overlooking the quite open scenery of the Cape Town mountains and calm waters during summer. The Chapman’s Peak drive can take up to five hours if you take into account stops for photos. The road may also be closed if there are rock falls or the weather is too wet and windy.
Lion’s Head is one of the easiest hikes taking only 50 minutes to the top where you are met with a religiously, majestic view of Table Mountain as well as the city from Camps Bay to as far as Gordon’s Bay. A hike us usually complimented with a picnic at the top and sunset watching either at Lion’s Head or Signal Hill which is a few minutes’ walks from Lion’s Head. For this activity, you would need safe hiking shoes and comfortable clothes.
Paragliding is suitable for all the adrenaline junkies and daredevils who enjoy the thrill of jumping off mountains. This activity involves using a parachute as an elevating system jumping off either Signal Hill or Table Mountain to land in Camps Bay. There are different service providers who offer this thrilling experience and the fees range from R1 900 to R2 500 for an hour’s jump off.
Top 10 things to do in Cape Town
AArt & Museums
For the art and museum lovers, Cape Town has a selection of art galleries and museums to choose from and those include the Zeitz MOCCA which is free on Wednesdays (hint hint) for cheap tourists like myself. I would also advise you check their website for more details about the art on show. You can also visit the Iziko National Galleries and Museums all spread across the city with an entry fee of only R30, used to maintain the buildings. Art featured often expresses the issues people experience in their communities or in modern-day culture such as sexuality. Other museums include the Jewish Museum, the Slave Museum and the Planetarium.
It is always a great idea to take an hour’s boat ride out of the city to an island. YES! We have our own island, not for good reasons but it has then since been a heritage site. Robben Island used to be a prison where uTata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and many other struggle leaders were detained for 27 years by the apartheid government for their fight for freedom. Now the prison and island is open to the public, at a small fee, to show how life was for prisoners on the island.
Old Biscuit Mill
A favourite market among tourists from all over the world. The Neighbour Goods Market in Cape Town is owned by the same body that owns the NGM in Johannesburg, Gauteng. I would recommend a homecooked meal by Pitso’s Kitchen – the owner was once a police officer but he left the force to do what he loves, cook for the people. There is a wide selection of foods - from vegetarian to Asian food as well as cocktails and home-brewed drinks. There is no entry fee into the market.
This is the little town with a variety of colourfully painted houses formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is a historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town. Visitors are urged to be aware that this is a Muslim area and respect should be given to the residents of this town. I can recall an incident where a friend of mine was doing a shoot in a bikini and she and the photographer were asked to leave. Be mindful of other people’s cultures and religion. This area is also going through a legal battle between local investors and the current owners of the area who have asked the City of Cape Town to mark it as a heritage site in order to stop any demolishing of buildings and development that may take place by people with capitalist interests.
Sunset watching and sundowners at Signal Hill has become a tradition even in winter when the sun is shining. This activity is free and is great for meeting new people and also perfect for romantic dates, all free of charge.
I’m always asked where is the party! I am not a club person, but I would recommend Lower Main Road in Observatory. This small street is filled with affordable restaurants like the Obz Café, Mama’s Kitchen, Forex, Trench Town and. For the nightlife chasers, Long Street is the place to be. Long Street is filled with bars, clubs and restaurants which happen to be closer to a lot of backpackers and hotels to make your life easier after a crazy night of tequilas. For entry fees, please check their websites or social media.
Cape Town is a South African gem, showcasing the radiant and kaleidoscopic beauty of one of the country’s most successful tourist attractions! Just imagine having to stay in the city for a year! Imagine the places you could explore; the people you could meet; the diverse food you could eat! All it takes is courage and a love for new things. You would have a better tourist experience walking through Sea Point, than blitzing by in an overpriced Uber. Now go out there Afrika Borwa and explore. If you have extra time to spend in the beautiful Western Cape, there are many gorgeous places to visit just hours away from Cape Town. From the Stellenbosch Winelands to the Blue Flag beaches and whale watching in Hermanus, there is no shortage of things to do and see this holiday season.