Cape Town, or Kaapstad in Afrikaans, with a population of about 4 million is the second largest city by population in South Africa. This city was founded in 1652 and is famous for its beautiful scenery. Summer temperatures average about 25º C (77º F) in the day time, and in winter about 18º C (64ºF). Total annual rainfall is about 500 mm (20 inches).
If you are planning a visit to this city we suggest you check our list of the top 10 things to do in Сapetown.
1. Table Mountain
One of the most famous sites in Cape Town has to be Table Mountain. It rises 1085 metres (3559 feet) above sea level and has an very interesting feature, an almost flat top, that is approximately 3 km (2 miles) in width. Quite often the top is shrouded in cloud, which, from a distance, gives the appearance of a ‘tablecloth’.
The mountain is located in Table Mountain National Park, in the area known as the Western Cape. This area is famous for its incredible array of flora and has many different activities such as hiking, swimming, kayaking.
One of the most popular ways to reach the top of Table Mountain is by cable car. With stunning views on your way up or down you don’t want to forget your camera! The first cable car up is at 8.00am and the last one down is between 6.00pm and 9.30pm depending on the season.
2. Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden
Many people mark among things to do in Cape Town South Africa visiting Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden. Millions tourists consider these gardens are some the most beautiful in the world. They were founded in 1913 with the idea to have a special place to preserve the amazing native flora in this area. They cover an area of over about 36 hectares (90 acres) and form part of a 520 hectare (1300 acre) reserve that is on the slopes of Table Mountain.
There are about 7000 species of plants here. One section known as the Peninsula Garden has 2500 species that are found in the Cape area. If you feel hungry there are restaurants and cafes. There are shops too. The address is Rhodes Drive, Newlands.
3. V&A Waterfront
If you love shopping this is the place to go. It’s known as the most popular shopping area in South Africa. There are over 450 outlets selling almost everything you can think of. Clothes, jewellery, food, computers, televisions. There are also many specialist shops selling handmade African jewellery and souvenirs. In this area you will also find markets with many different stalls.
Not only is there an amazing array of shops but you can find many different activities here. One example is the many different scenic helicopter flights available that depart from the V&A Waterfront. This place is open daily 9.00am – 9.00pm.
4. Two Oceans Aquarium
If you are looking for things to do in Cape Town with kids, visit Aquarium. Situated at the V&A Waterfront is this wonderful aquarium. Opened in 1995, it gets its name because of its position being approximately where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. There are more than 3000 marine creatures living here.
There are several different galleries showing creatures from a certain part of the ocean, such as the Indian ocean gallery that shows marine life from that particular ocean. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends at 11.00am there is a special show where you can meet the aquarium’s Rockhopper Penguins. Bookings should be made at least 24 hours in advance.
5. Cape Point Nature Reserve
This reserve is part of the Table Mountain National Park. It is about 60 km (37 miles) to the south west of Cape Town. This is probably one of the most naturally beautiful areas in South Africa and one of the most romantic things to do in Cape Town. There are many beautiful beaches and some of the most wonderful mountainous scenery you will ever see. It’s a great area for flora and fauna too.
There are more than 1000 species of native plants that only grow here. You will also find hundreds of bird species and animals, such as the antelope and mountain zebra. One of the most popular ways to reach the higher parts of this area near the old lighthouse is to ride on the ‘Flying Dutchman’. This is a funicular, similar to a small train, which can carry 40 passengers in each carriage.
You shouldn’t leave this area without dining at the Two Oceans Restaurant. It is located above False Bay and has the most incredible views of the surrounding area. This restaurant has won awards for excellence and should not be missed. It’s open daily from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
6. Robben Island
This island is situated about 7 km (4 miles) off the coast of Cape Town. Its major claim to fame was, of course, where the late Nelson Mandela spent 18 years as a prisoner. The island is now a popular destination for tourists and there are multiple tours departing from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront.
Each tour lasts about 3.5 hours which includes the ferry ride in both directions. The tour guides are ex political prisoners who give an interesting insight into prison life on the island. Tours also visit the maximum security area of the prison and visitors also get to view the cell of Nelson Mandela.
7. Bugz Family Playpark
Don’t miss one of the most fun things to do in Cape Town with children, especially the younger kids. There are many different activities to keep them amused for hours. For example: water slide, merry-go-round, train rides, horse rides, row boats. There are magic shows too!
The park is located about 30 km from Cape Town in Joostenbergvlakte. The park is open daily from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Please be aware that some rides are only available on weekends so please call the park for information.
8. Signal Hill
This is a hill with a flat top that rises about 350 m (1100 feet) above sea level. This hill lies in between the city centre and the harbour. A long time ago signalling flags were waved to warn of bad weather. Ships in the area would also receive information on where to drop anchor from these flags.
It has long been an important site for shipping and today a symbolic gun is still fired at noon each day and can be heard from many kilometres away. Signal Hill gives amazing views of Cape Town and is a very popular place for walking or having a picnic. So, if you are cogitating about what to do in Cape Town this weekend, we can offer to visit this lovely place.
9. South African Museum
This museum has a collection of about 1.5 million items. Some are a few weeks old and some hundreds of millions of years old! The museum has been in its present location since 1897.
There is also a planetarium at the same site giving visitors an interesting insight into the wonders of the solar system. Both places are in our list things to do in Cape Town today. The address is 25 Queen Victoria Street.
10. Extreme Scene
If you are a thrill seeker then you should contact Extreme Scene and see what amazing “thrills” this company has on offer. I’m sure, they have a lot of cool things to do in Cape Town and you will be impressed. Perhaps you would like to go tandem paragliding and see the views below as you fly peacefully from Signal Hill or Lion’s Head?
Maybe you would prefer tandem parachuting? If you are a water person how about descending below the water in a shark cage for a close-up of these amazing creatures? These and more adventures are available. Their address is 1 Vrendenburg Lane.