The other day I received an email from a new reader, where she asked for advice on activities and must see places that she and her family can visit when they are in Cape Town. She then proceeded to ask if I would suggest flying to Port Elizabeth or if the drive there was worth it. Of course it sparked some ideas and my recommendations are actually ‘no brainers’. As the summer holidays are fast approaching and there are less than 2 and half months left until Cape Town becomes one of the busiest cities in South Africa, I decided to share my recommendations in a blog post.
Seeing that the December holidays are family time, I decided to list the most family orientated activities and must see places but definitely do keep in mind that Cape Town has some of the best wine tasting/farms (I don’t drink but I do know that it is a popular opinion) this side of the hemisphere and also quite a few adrenaline pumping activities that caters to people from all walks of life. In today’s post – I will give you the best from the land, sea and sky!
AccommodationBefore you do anything, I would suggest getting a handle on your accommodation. I am not gonna lie – accommodation in Cape Town around the December/January holiday period is quite pricey. Even more so if you visiting with your entire family. Well, I have you covered… somewhat. I would suggest that you book an apartment as it is much more affordable than a hotel. My top choice is always the Lagoon Beach/Milnerton area as it is quite close to Town and the V&A Waterfront and you can enjoy catching the beautiful sunset while taking a walk on the beach. You can always go the Airbnb route where you can filter out exactly what it is that you are looking for when booking accommodation, including prices and which area in CPT you want to stay in. Ps if you sign up using my code you will get R600 off (WWW.AIRBNB.COM/C/TASNEEMT56) your first stay when booking via Airbnb which in my opinion helps you save some moola.
Hop on the City Sightseeing Red BusOkay, now if you’re a regular then you’re probably sick of me recommending the red bus already. But I can’t even stress it enough how amazing it is to experience it at least once in your life. If you’re new in Town, you’re going to love Cape Town’s red bus. There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to the City Sightseeing routes and tours, you should definitely give their website a read to see which one tickles your fancy. When you are are on the red bus, you really get to witness all the beauty that the Mother City has to offer. You can hop on and off the bus anytime from 08h00. In a nutshell: the red bus is an open top bus that explores different parts of the city (there are different buses for different locations) and you get to hop off the bus when you reach your chosen destination. After you’ve explored, you can go back to the City Sightseeing bus stop where a bus comes around every 15 minutes. The red bus also offer an array of day tours and packages, from full-day guided tours to Cape Point and the Cape Winelands, to harbour cruises and multicultural township experiences.
Visit World Of BirdsOne of the stops that you can hop off when you’re on the red bus, is World Of Birds. WOB is such a great place to get lost in and not only will the kids love it but you will too. Make sure that you’re wearing some comfy shoes as there are lots of walking and seeing to be done, WOB is the largest bird park in Africa. In the park there are over 3000 birds and small animals. Visiting the park is definitely a nature lover’s heaven. You can get up close and personal with squirrel monkeys and you get to see birds (like flamingos) that you wouldn’t normally see in everyday life. World Of Birds are open 365 days a year from 09h00 – 17:00. Bring your camera along, there’s loads of picture taking opportunities!
Cruise to Seal IslandWhen you hop back on the bus, I would suggest you hop off at Hout Bay and take a boat trip from Hout Bay to Seal Island. Now this is a must! You get to see the Cape Fur Seal in its natural habitat and I can guarantee you that you will be in awe! When deciding to do this activity, it is a 40 minute cruise from Hout Bay to Seal Island. The last time I went, I paid under R100. If you suffer from motion sickness or you get sea sick, then this activity is not for you… not to worry though, you could always settle down for a lovely lunch at the many spots available in Hout Bay. You simply cannot leave Cape Town without having our famous Fish & Chips.
Stroll through the Hout Bay MarketI have to say, Cape Town is synonymous for its markets. I am such a frequent market goer, I would suggest it to anyone coming to visit. As soon as you return from your cruise from Seal Island, I would suggest you take a stroll through the Hout Bay market where you get to witness the handy work of the crafters that sell their goods at the market. They make the most beautiful souvenirs or gifts. Or you can always buy something to take with you home that will remind you about your holiday in the Cape.
Have a picnic at Green Point Park I would mark this day two of my itinerary as after all of the walking and exploring on the red bus, you’re bound to need some snoozing. Just last week I mentioned Green Point Park in my top picnic spots in Cape Town and today I just had to highlight it again. This is such a lovely spot for some family time, where I would highly recommend that you grab a picnic basket and settle under the trees for a yummy breakfast or brunch. Green Point Park is also situated quite close to the V&A so you can be rest assured that you won’t have to be burdened with figuring out how to get there. One of my favourite things to do was feed the birds… maybe it was a bad idea because they wouldn’t leave us alone 😀 . Entry into the park is completely free and there is a play area for the kids.
Experience the Cape WheelFor your last day in Cape Town, I say spend it at the V&A Waterfront. Gosh, there is so much to see and do and it is basically tourist paradise. If you want a birds eye view of the Mother City and see the city in all its glory, then you need to experience the Cape Wheel. When you’re in the cabin, you get a 360 panoramic view of Cape Town – where you spot some of the Cape’s gems such as Lion’s Head, Robben Island, Cape Town Stadium, The Clock Tower and the Two Oceans Aquarium. The cabins are equipped with aircon and there are two cabins that are wheelchair friendly.
Explore the marine life at the Two Oceans AquariumSeeing that you are already in the V&A Waterfront, no matter the season or the day – I would always recommend the Two Oceans Aquarium. At the aquarium you will find over 3000 marine life species which includes sea turtles, sharks and penguins. It is fun for the whole family, no matter your age. I have been to the aquarium more than five times this year and there is always something that I haven’t seen before. My favourite thing about the aquarium is when the divers feed the stingrays. If you want to read more about my experience at the Two Oceans Aquarium, give my post a read.
Take a sunset cruise on a catamaran in the V&A WaterfrontYou simply cannot leave Cape Town without doing a sunset cruise. Sailing into the sunset on the 90 minute cruise with Table Bay as the perfect backdrop, is definitely the ideal way to bid farewell to the Cape. When cruising the open waters, you might be lucky and spot some dolphins or whales.
These are only a few of the activities and places that I can positively say is at the top of my list if I were to play tour guide for 48 hours. Cape Town and its surrounding areas, combined with the warm welcoming of its people is always a cherished experience. If you do find yourself in the Cape, give a few of my recommendations a go.