If u asked me to describe Cape town in one word, I would say magical. I lived there last year as a student and school was pretty hectic, but once all the hectic stuff was done, I put on my explorer cape and savoured the moment. As a foreign black student, it was a year of non-stop cultural shock, constant home-sickness and major exploration. The exploration kept me smiling and excited because I did not know what next-best-secret I would uncover. For the month of April, I’ll be running a series on Cape Town and two other cities that I explored in South Africa. So, let’s get this rolling.
Before visiting a new place, I always research on the major attractions and how best to get there. Cape town was no exception. When I saw these attractions repeatedly listed in several articles, I knew I had to check them out. My top (10) attractions in Cape town were;
- Table Mountain
It’s that perfect background you never asked for but always have. One look at it and I had a smile on my face. In an obvious way, it reminded me of the mountains back home, one we call Wanale. Capturing the perfect view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain is practically impossible, because they are all perfect.
- Cape Point
Standing on the hilltop at the lighthouse, the view of the blue-green ocean waters is incredibly beautiful. “Too much awesome” to experience alone, I had to take a second trip with my favourite human being. It was still as awesome as the first time, and I can do it over again. I will.
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
I took a walk through the gardens in autumn. You can guess, there were hardly any flowers to see, so I promised myself I’d return in Spring. I never did, but that never took away the green magic that this widely bio-diverse gardens had to offer.
Taking a picture on one of the most photographed streets in the world, who wouldn’t like that! The popping colours, not one, not two, not three; then how many? Let’s just say, I was standing in the “colours of colour”.
- Signal hill..sunset
A few friends had been raving about how awesome the sunsets from signal hill are. So, it was only fitting to check it out with friends. And when the sun finally kissed the waters, we all instinctively clapped, it was a real Wakanda sunset!
- Wine Tasting at Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia is one of the most visited wine farms in Cape Town, I guess that’s because of its proximity to the city and the great wine tours and tasting they offer. Its representative of the wine farms dotting the rest of the western cape, especially in the Stellenbosch area.
- Hike Lion’s head
I am not a fun of hiking. I repeat I am not a fun of hiking, but I hiked it anyway (peer pressure rocks). If you are like me and need a lot of encouragement before embarking on any hike, I am here to tell you that although it got scary and tiring at many points, its worth every second of your life. Just do it!
- Chapman’s peak drive
The most scenic drive I have ever taken and one of the most scenic in the world. Don’t miss out on this. Don’t! Occasionally, when nothing around excites me, I close my eyes and take that drive all over again and yes, it is still as beautiful as the first time. Again, don’t miss this drive!
- Victoria and Alfred waterfront
It’s more than just a shopping mall, it an experience! From the cape wheel, to artists sketching portraits, musicians blowing the air waves, the V&A waterfront kept me busy for a great part of my stay. Night strolls were always a delight!
- Robben Island
This was the last of the top attractions I visited. I took the tour on the morning of my flight back home; that was not a smart choice because I almost missed the flight! That was a nerve wrecking experience to be shared only in person, for dramatisation purposes, so come find me. Back to Robben Island. They say, “it is a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity“. I have a completely divergent view on that subject. Remember the cultural shock I mentioned up there? I guess it informed my opinion on the matter. But again, back to the Island, it was much bigger than I expected and surprisingly has an incredibly outstanding view of the city.
That sums it up!
So, you might have just a couple of days or only a weekend to explore, try to do as much as you can. The best and cheapest way to experience these activities is to take the city sight-seeing bus and walking tours. The buses make stops at most of these attractions and many others that I’ll be sharing. You could also uber or rent a car because it allows you tailor your itinerary to your liking. But it could get more expensive and tiring.
Whichever way you choose to do it, just do it!