Cape Town is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa with a diverse landscape you’ll definitely want to take plenty of pictures for social media. Mr. O and I first visited Cape Town for 3 days on the last leg of our honeymoon. Because we didn’t stay long enough, we decided to go back and invite 12 of our friends for New Years. This is a great trip for a group, guys/girls trip, or baecation. I’ll list the top things to do and see while visiting the city of Cape Town.
If this is your first time in Africa, you’ll want to go on a game drive. If you’ve been on a game drive in Africa, you can skip this excursion. Two hours outside of Cape is Aquila Private Game Reserve. They advertise hosting the Big 5. You’ll only really see an elephant, lion, and rhinoceros and not the leopard and buffalo. Either way, it’s still a great experience to see these animals up close and not in a cage. This property has a spa, hotel, and restaurant. With your safari ticket you can enjoy some of the hotel amenities. The price was around 70 USD for a 3 hour game drive and snacks. The price goes up for earlier in the day game drives and if you want lunch.
For my foodie’s, you’ll quickly fall in love with Cape Town’s diverse cuisine. Tigers Milk is a local chain with several locations and has a wide variety of excellent food at affordable prices. I was proud of myself for trying Springbok which is an Antelope. It looked and taste similar to beef carpaccio. Another adventurous dish that our group tried was Ostrich burger. I was told this taste pretty gamey.
For a sexy dinner spot try Asoka. There is a house dj every night and a great place to get dressed up and be seen. You’ll definitely need to book at least a week in advance for the weekend. Also depending on how large your party is, it’s customary to pay a deposit around 100 USD that will be used on your check. If you are on a budget or have some Benjamin’s to spend, your appetite will match your budget.
There is no shortage of nightlife in Cape Town. If you are looking for a sexy day party with table service then Shimmy Beach Club is the spot. Our group went here for a New Year’s Day party. For a party of 12, we paid 300 USD and that included 2 bottles of liquor and food. You would never pay that price in the U.S. We were able to get our section on the stage which offered an exclusive VIP experience. If you want to bar hop then head over to Long Street. There are lots of bars and clubs that host foreigners and locals all ready to party in a casual setting. You can also find fun party boats. Since we had a fun group, I chartered a catamaran through Cruise IQ. Their prices were reasonable and had great customer service.
To fully be immersed and understand Cape’s culture, you’ll need at least a full week. The Apartied is still fresh on most minds with Robben Island in the distance. There is an obvious class system that you’ll instantly noticed, the city is still pretty segregated. Most of your hotel, store, and restaurant workers will be what we would call “African-American”. You’ll noticed the working demographic change once you enter the wine regions of Stellenbosh and Franschhoek. Where you’ll see mainly white patrons and workers. For those visiting that are Non-Caucasian, be prepared for constant glaring. No one will say anything or be rude but it’s just something to be prepared for.
With the favorable exchange rate, your money can go a long way at local shops. You’ll find the usual stores like Zara and H&M all in the VA Waterfront. Each day Mr. O and I had to purchase items because the airline lost our luggage for 5 days! If it does happen, just save your receipts for a reimburse claim by the airline AND credit card company you used to purchase your flight. We also purchase some great pieces of African art. You can’t go to Cape Town without purchasing local crafts.
If you are into wine, then you’ll love the winelands of Cape Town. The 2 most popular wine regions are Stellenbosh and Franschhoek. You can’t go wrong with visiting either one. Each winery tour is around 10 USD to taste 3-4 different wines. If you have a large group, it is recommended to book a few days in advanced. The great thing about visiting Franschhoek is the hop on hop off wine tram. The picturesque vineyards views from the tram are gorgeous.
The winelands is only 1 hour outside of Cape. You’ll be in awe of the lush green hills and wine estates. You’ll really understand the segregation of Cape Town caused by generational wealth.
With all the great attractions Cape Town has to offer, it’s hard not to be affected by the obvious segregation that is still prevalent, even with Apartied ending 25 years ago. There is no other place where you can see the poor townships where the Afrikans live, to the Cape Coast and see penguins in their natural habitat. I would highly recommend everyone to visit this gorgeous city. You’ll be able to say you’ve visited the southernmost city of Africa.
I’d love to hear your experiences of Cape Town. If you haven’t visited, is it on your list to visit soon?