5 steps to showing a foreign tourist the best of Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the most popular travel destinations for travellers all over the world.
This comes as no surprise as the Mother City is a very visually appealing holiday destination, boasting a wide variety of attractions ‒ from mountains, forests and beaches to wineries, restaurants and markets.
So, when a friend gets in touch to let you know they’re coming to town for the first time, there’s really no shortage of places to take them. As a proud Capetonian, you’ll want to show off the best your city has to offer.
If you’re racking your brain to try and figure out how to impress an upcoming visitor, try this guide to a perfect day in Cape Town:
Stop one: Cape Point
Your first stop is all the way at the end of the Cape Peninsula. Cape Point boasts a wide variety of walking and hiking trails (for spotting shipwrecks, wildlife and beautiful fynbos), beaches, tidal pools and braai facilities – filled with a backdrop of gorgeous views.
Cheeky baboon fine dines on Cape wine farm
This cheeky baboon scored a free lunch at Groot Constantia wine farm in Cape Town. He finished two dishes of spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread at the Jonkershuis Restaurant.
For a fun activity, take a trip on the Flying Dutchman Funicular to visit the lighthouses. After exploring the lighthouses and taking in the spectacular views from the top, why not grab some lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant where you and your friend could enjoy scrumptious seafood dishes while overlooking the stunning views of False Bay? (This must be one of Cape Town’s best spots for a stunning view of the magnificent ocean!)
Remember to bring along your South African ID so you can enter the Reserve at a discounted rate.
Stop two: Boulders Beach
If you didn’t get a bite to eat at the Two Oceans Restaurant, there are plenty of food stores in Simon’s Town, on the way back towards the city along the scenic peninsula. While in this seaside village, a visit to the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach is not to be missed.
You can see these tuxedoed seabirds from the Boulders Beach viewing platform and learn more about them at the visitors’ centre. You could also introduce your friend to good old slap chips or get an ice cream cone to enjoy as you stroll along the seafront.
Stop three: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa)
For a completely different take on your average city tour, why not visit the Zeitz Mocaa? It is the largest museum in Africa and the largest museum in the world showcasing the art of the African continent.
You and your friend will have the opportunity to look through 100 different galleries showcasing a stunning array of artwork. There is also a restaurant, a bookstore and a rooftop sculpture garden where you can see some work done by award-winning artists like Mary Sibande, William Kentridge and Frances Goodman.
Stop four: Kirstenbosch Gardens
Late afternoon is a beautiful time of day to visit the glorious Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, one of the great botanic gardens of the world. It’s great to visit the Garden on one of Cape Town’s brilliant sunny winter days (boasting the Goldilocks of weather and perfect blue skies).
Take a stroll through the gardens, set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, and take in the wide variety of Cape trees, fynbos, and other flora. While there, be sure to visit the Kirstenbosch Tree Canopy Walkway, fondly known as “the Boomslang”, for incredible views of the gardens and the southern suburbs.
Stop five: Sundowners on the mountain
Yes, Table Mountain is an obvious attraction and it is firmly placed on the well-worn tourist trail. But there’s a reason for that and it should not be missed by any visitor to Cape Town.
You’ll be doubling back a bit here, but it’s worth it to take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in time to be on the mountain at the best time of day: sunset. As a local, you’ll also know where to pick up the makings of an awesome sundowner picnic to take along and enjoy at the top, overlooking the city as twinkling lights begin to appear in every direction.