I made 2018 my year of not going on a long-haul flight. It is November now and it looks like I’m going to make it! Having been on a ten hours flight once a month for the past nine years took its toll on me. Traveler burn-out is a real thing. Moving back to Cape Town a year ago and escaping the concrete urban jungle that is Johannesburg, made me wanting to explore my old new hometown more. It is after all one of the most beautiful places in the world with an influx of hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. If they all come to see what is so special about Cape Town, I can as well stay and discover that too.
Besides the bucket list items of every visitor, like a helicopter flight, a paragliding tandem jump, shark cage diving and having dinner at Africa’s only restaurant that made it into the top 50 restaurants worldwide, there is plenty of free (or at least free’ish) stuff to do. Here are my top 5:
#1 Lion’s Head
My number one activity has to be a hike up Lion’s Head. No doubt! I prefer the views to those from the top of Table Mountain, you get a bit of exercise in and it’s a perfect second date activity.
The hike up is very popular with locals as well as with tourists. So, choose your depature time carefully if you want to avoid masses of hikers which results in queuing and trying to ditch trailrunners and suicidal selfie takers. Never go up for a full moon hike! You have about 2000 people trying to squeeze in on narrow pathways. (Tip: get a tripod, head towards Vredehoek side of town and take a long exposure photo of those masses of people all equipped with lights making their way down).
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Incredible long exposure shot of hikers on Lion's Head, shot by @dolfieman on Wednesday evening👏👏👏👏👏. What are your hiking plans this weekend? 📷/Featuring @dolfieman _________________________ Share your adventures in Cape Town! #capetownmag has been used over 300 000 times to share discoveries with us, Cape Town and the world. Use #capetownmag and be part of the family of discovery
If you go for a sunset on any other day, don’t forget headlights or at least a fully charged phone with a torch function.
#2 Promenade Walks
Take a long walk along Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade. Restorations and construction work have almost been completed. If you start at the public swimming pool in Sea Point and you go all the way past the Mouille Point Light house, you can stroll a good 5km along the Atlantic Seaboard. There are different sculptures displayed along the way and the fresh sea air is definitely a goodie on top. If you are an eager jogger, it’s a popular route to go. You even have some outdoor gym facilities waiting for your if you want to push a bit more.
#3 Yoga on the beach
Get over your weekly hump with YogaLife, Cafe Caprice, Havaianas and Savanna!
Wind down the day with a free sunset yoga class led by The YogaLife on Camps Bay Beach. After your bodies and minds have been stretched, float over to Cafe Caprice for a healthy meal and complimentary Savanna Dry.
Bring along a towel, your swim wear, friends and family. All levels welcome! It happens every Wednesday during the warmer season. Check out their Facebook Page for all the details (and cancelations in case the wind blows too strong)
One of Cape Town’s main attractions must be its beaches. You don’t have to drive far out to find the most pristine beaches. Clifton (all 4 of them), Camps Bay, Glen Beach are super close to the City Centre and the neighbourhoods surrounding the City Bowl. Parking can be a nightmare and it gets full quite quickly. If you don’t want to lie on the sand like sardines in a tin, choose your beach times accordingly.
Just a short drive out of town is Llandudno beach – another one of these white sandy beaches. A little longer drive out is Boulders Beach in Simons Town. In case you are keen to swim and sunbath with some Penguins than that’s the place to go. If Penguins are not your thing but you are already on the False Bay side of the Peninsula, then head out to Fishhoek, Kalk Bay or St. James.
For the surfers or aspiring surfers amongst you, Muizenberg Beach is probably the beach to go to.
Kite surfers and those braving the wind should head out to Big Bay, Blouberg and Table View. Guess where the name Table View comes from? The view of Table Mountain is one of the best.
#5 Sightseeing walking tours
You probably know of the red City Sight Seeing (CSS) busses that you see around Cape Town or any other major city around the world. But did you know that CSS also offers free walking tours? You can choose between the The Historic City Walk and Vibrant Bo-Kaap Walk. They are for free and the guides work on a tip basis. Each tour is about 90min long and they offer morning and afternoon tours.
Enjoy your stay in Cape Town! Use #lovecapetown to spread the love.