Reasons to visit Cape Town on the southern coast of South Africa are so numerous that it is almost impossible to know where to start. One of the most popular reasons to visit Cape Town, apart from the incredible weather, is the breathtaking scenery, majestic mountains ranges, and epic beach sunsets. Rich in cultural heritage with a dynamic mix of interesting and friendly people, this world class destination is just brimming with delights that will engage the senses. There are so many choices and so many amazing reasons to visit Cape Town. To help you work out where to start, here is a list of 8 Compelling Reasons To Visit Cape Town:
1 Table Mountain
There is a saying that Capetonians have no sense of direction, and cannot find their way without their mountain, and although in jest, might actually be true. Using the mountain as a weather report (if the ‘’table’’ is laid with a ‘’tablecloth’’ i.e cloud cover, it is going to get cold) and as a suburb locater (we live on the other side of the mountain) is common practice.
As the pinnacle landmark, peering down over the coastline at the surfers and home to an entire biome ecosystem, this majestic lady has cracked the nod for the short list for one of the Wonders of the World. Take a trip up in the revolving cable car and be prepared for the experience of a lifetime – surely one of the best reasons to visit Cape Town..
2 Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Founded in 1913, this unbelievable testament to bio diversity languishes gloriously against the slopes of Table Mountain. More than 528 hectares of garden, displaying over 4700 indigenous South African flora and fauna, visiting is a once in a lifetime chance to experience something of this nature, on such a vast scale. The National Botanical Institute based at Kirstenbosch, has managed to preserve an enormous 250 000 specimens of South African flora and fauna, as well as its very own collection and the collection of the South African Museum, dating as far back as 1825.
Enjoy a performance from the summer sunset concert program, have lunch at the Silvertree restaurant, meander through the gardens and ponds, it’s easy enough to take kids and Granny along as well. There is plenty of space to take prams or wheelchairs, so the entire family can join in for a leisurely day at the Gardens.
3 Boulders Beach, Simonstown
This amazing, completely unspoilt and picturesque beach, is a perfect reason to visit Cape Town and is home to a colony of African Penguins. Join them on the beach with your picnic, and watch the kids swim safely in the crystal clear and shallow pools. The friendly penguins are happy to mix with visitors and will even swim alongside them in the sea; as long as you remember to be respectful of their space and also that they are wild animals in their natural habitat.
Cape Peninsula National Park runs the area, and there is a small fee to enter the beach. When the beach reaches capacity, they will close it to further visitors for the day.
Named after the Dutch Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, Simonstown started off its life as a safe winter harbor in the late 1600’s. Home to the Royal Naval Base, The Dutch East India Company Hospital and the alleged haunted Wesleyan Chapel, the town is literally heaving with culture, heritage and history.
Walk through the cobble town Jubilee square, and see the statue of legendary Able Seaman, Just Nuisance, the only dog ever in history, to be enlisted in the Royal Navy.
Still home to an important naval base today, the town is full of mystery, legend and history and worth a trip out the harbor town, buy fresh fish and chips and walk along the jetty, take a guided kayaking trip into the bay, or book a whale watching tour that takes you out to sea.
5 Cape Point
At the most southerly point of the Cape Peninsula lies the nature reserve of Cape Point, which is part of the Natural World Heritage Site, the Table Mountain National Park. For nature lovers all around the world, this location is pure paradise and the ultimate reason to visit Cape Town.
Heaving with South African flora and fauna, wild buck, baboons, Cape Mountain Zebra and more than 250 different species of birdlife, this 7 750 hectare reserve is perched majestically along the rugged sea cliffs, some 200 meters above sea level.
6 Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
The V & A, as it is more fondly referred to, is not South Africa’s most visited destination for nothing. Situated right in the middle of a working harbor, this historic waterfront has been going strong since 1860. The gorgeous waterfront has some of the best restaurants, world class hotels, shops that will make you want to part with all your hard earned money, excellent local musicians, and gumboot dancing displays, museums and the launch site to the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute)
Live entertainment, outdoors in the arena, helicopter flips, a micro brewery and a favorite spot for festivals and exhibitions, such as the hugely popular Good Food and Wine Show, make this a location that must definitely not be missed. Don’t forget to go the Two Oceans Aquarium, where you can literally eyeball sharks and get up close and personal with some seriously amazing aquatic life.
7 The Castle of Good Hope
Completed in the late 1600’s, The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest remaining colonial building in all of South Africa. Originally built they the Dutch East India Company as a naval replenishment station, it became the hub of military, civilian and administrative life at the Cape. Today, the Castle is still the seat of the military and is home to two museums, the Military museum and the Iziko Museum of Cape Town.
8 Long Street
Huge amounts of fun, electric vibe, funky vintage shops and cobbled street side cafes, tucked away alongside walkway markets, buskers and retro Cape Town life. For those die hard party animals who are looking for the best excuse to stay out all night, this will be your best reason to visit Cape Town. Once the coffee shops have packed up for the day, the street literally comes alive with lights, music, people and parties. Some of the most uniquely Cape Town restaurants, like Mama Africa, where the bar is painted to look exactly like a snake, Long Street Bar and plenty of backpackers, as well as up market places to stay where you will be forgiven in thinking you are on a movie set, as you hang out on your balcony and check out the parties and people below.
Where ever you go in Cape Town, you can be sure to be blown away by the experience. Gorgeous surroundings, unbelievable sunsets, excellent food, brilliant people and a laid back atmosphere, will ensure that you don’t need to make up reasons to visit Cape Town ever again. Although these are just 8 Compelling Reasons To Visit Cape Town, you can start your own list, so what will be on your reasons to visit Cape Town’s list?