Chapman's Peak is a mountain on the Cape Peninsula, with a 5.5-mile road known for its scenic beauty. The road winds from Hout Bay to Noordhoek, clinging to the side of the steep mountain almost the whole way. The road was built in the early 20th century, and boasts 114 turns in its short 5.5-mile distance.
The road itself may not be long, but you'll want to take your time – not just because of the many curves, but also because of the gorgeous views. There are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.
This quaint harbor on the western side of the Cape Peninsula has a seaside charm that attracts both travelers and locals to its sheltered shores. Whether it’s sampling ocean-fresh seafood from one of the restaurants lining its harbor or exploring the shelves of world-class antique shops, Hout Bay has proved itself a worthy destination despite its small size. Visitors love wandering along the bustling docks where commercial fishing boats unload their daily catch, and its close proximity to Seal Island and World of Birds makes it a perfect lunch stop on a tour of the Cape.
There are a lot of beaches in Cape Town that are likely to be on your must-see list - from surfing meccas to nightlife hotspots - but one beach in particular attracts countless visitors even though they can’t even walk on the beach itself. You may not be able to stroll on Boulders Beach, but it’s the place to go to see wild African penguins up close.
The colony of African penguins that calls Boulders Beach home first settled there in the early 1980s, and has grown to a population of more than 3,000. The area is protected - it’s part of the Table Mountain National Park - and visitors are encouraged to visit the part of the beach where raised walkways keep people away from the penguins and their nests. The walkways are only a few feet off the ground, however, so you still get a great view of the birds. The restricted area of Boulders Beach with the raised walkways is actually called Foxy Beach.
The brightly colored houses of this lively neighborhood in the Central Cape are perched among the rocky crags of Signal Hill. Cobblestone streets wind through the multicultural township where freed slaves and Muslim immigrants settled. Visitors can follow guided walking tours through Bo-Kaap’s major sites, or delve into the history of the area on their own.
The Bo-Kaap Museum, which examines the contributions made by Muslim settlers, is housed in the quarter’s oldest home. It is the ideal place to start exploring the culture of this colorful neighborhood. Afterwards, check out the historic Mosques that dot the streets of Bo-Kaap, including one built in 1844, before visiting the well-known Karamats. The township is home to three of these burial sites that honor saints of Islam. Travelers can also learn to make famous Malay Curry during a traditional cooking class, or sample local fare and purchase traditional works of art at the food and craft market.
The Cape Point Nature Reserve sits on Cape Point, at the tip of the Cape Peninsula, and features a great variety of animal and plant life. The reserve occupies more than 19,000 acres of Cape Point, including nearly 25 miles of coastline. The old lighthouse, built in 1859, was replaced in 1911, but it still remains standing and is a popular attraction. The Cape Point Nature Reserve is part of the larger Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest floral kingdom in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, Cape Point is not the southernmost point of Africa – nor is it the point off which the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Still, the point is an absolutely beautiful spot to visit, offering spectacular views, great hiking, and excellent bird-watching.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is a nature lover's paradise. See fynbos, Dutch for "fine bush," and indeed, the native flora is as spectacular as it is varied, as well as the native flora, which includes zebras, elands, ostriches and baboons. Further south is Cape Point, where you superb bird watching, whale watching and breathtaking ocean views in some of the cleanest air in the world - the visibility is bar none.
While the Cape of Good Hope is famous for its wildlife, humans have near-limitless options for recreation. South Africa is famous for its fantastic surf, and Cape Point has some of the best breaks in the world. Scuba aficionados have access to spectacular dive sites - the treacherous rocks of the reef are home to 26 recorded shipwrecks, and many more are yet to be discovered. If ocean activity sounds a little rough, the action on land is sure to pique your interest. Cape Point is great for shopping and dining; in particular, the Two Oceans Restaurant.
The Camps Bay suburb of Cape Town is all about beaches and nightlife, whether you're a Cape Town resident in search of a weekend getaway or you're a visitor.
The wide, white sand beaches of Camps Bay sit beneath the imposing Twelve Apostles peaks and Talbe Mountain itself. Vacationers play beach volleyball, go surfing, and simply relax in the sand. By night, Victoria Road hums with activity – it's the place to see and be seen, lined with trendy nightclubs and restaurants. Camps Bay Beach has been listed as a Blue Flag Beach since 2008, meeting strict environmental standards.
De rijkdom, invloed en zijn fanatisme voor de Wedloop van Afrika waren van groot belang voor de vorming van het moderne Zuid-Afrika. Rhodes stierf in 1902 en tien jaar later werd het Rhodes Memorial gebouwd en geplaatst aan het begin van de Kaap naar Caïro, waarmee de Britse invloed over Afrika moest worden getoond. Het monument is gebaseerd op de Griekse tempel in Segesta en heeft 49 massief granieten treden, gedolven uit de nabijgelegen Tafelberg. Daarnaast staan acht bronzen leeuwen en aan de onderzijde van de trap staat het bekende ruiterstandbeeld, Energy, als herinnering aan zijn daden.
Het Rhodes Memorial ligt in het Table Mountain National Park en biedt bezoekers een adembenemend uitzicht over Kaapstad, de Kaapse Vlakte, Helderberg en het Hottentots-Holland gebergte. Wandelaars kunnen er in 3 uur naar toe wandelen vanaf Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Het is ook bereikbaar per auto.
The exclusive coastal town of Clifton lies on the northwest tip of the Cape Peninsula. Elaborate homes of some of South Africa’s most famous celebrities and wealthiest entrepreneurs line the rocky hills of this affluent suburb. The impressive architecture makes for a uniquely scenic drive, but it’s the beautiful beaches that draw visitors away from Cape Town to the picturesque shores of the Atlantic.
Four distinct beaches make up Clifton Beach, which attracts a ritzier crowd full of scenesters eager to see and be seen. Year-round rigid water temps keep sunbathers firmly on the shores, but rented chairs, multi-million dollar yachts and tasty cafes along the main drag offer plenty of opportunities for people watching, as well as a chance to brush elbows with Cape Town’s most elite.
The Kirstenbosh National Botanical Gardens, established in 1913 to protect indigenous flora, was the first gardens of its kind in the world. It covers five of the six of South Africa's unique biomes; many of these are found inside an indoor greenhouse. The Kirstenboash gardens are also home to various exhibitions of sculpture ranging from Zimbabwean stone sculptures to the world-famous bronze animals of Dylan Lewis.
Nature lovers are bound to enjoy the gardens and so will hikers. Near the Gardens are a series of trails that lead to Table Mountain and the pass at Constantia Nek, which is the site of the oldest restaurant in Cape Town. From Constantia Nek, hikers can reach Constantiaberg, the reservoirs of the "back-table" of Table Mountain and Cecilia Forest. Following the same path north leads to the Rhodes Memorial and the slopes of Devil's Peak.
When people talk about wildlife in Africa, they usually mean the Big Five: Elephants, rhino, buffalo, lions and leopards. But World of Birds, a unique park just outside Cape Town that’s home to more than 400 different species of wild birds, proves there’s more to this diverse continent than just its massive mammals.
More than 3,000 birds and other small animals call this aviary home. Visitors can explore their well-kept habitats, which spread over a generous four hectares of land. The scenic backdrop of Table Mountain, Little Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles makes it an ideal spot for photos, too.
Meer dan 300 jaar lang was Robbeneiland een gevangenis, waar politieke gevangenen, waaronder Nelson Mandela, vastzaten en afgezonderd werden van de rest van de wereld. Daarnaast was het een vrijwillige opvangplek voor melaatsen. Ondanks dit smakeloze verleden, neemt Robbeneiland een belangrijke plaats in de geschiedenis van Zuid-Afrika in. Het is een duidelijk teken van de moeizame weg naar democratie in Zuid-Afrika en de strijd tegen apartheid.
Robbeneiland werd in 1999 uitgeroepen tot Werelderfgoed en het Robbeneilandmuseum heeft als doel de herinnering en bijdragen van de vrijheidsstrijders levendig te houden. De tentoonstellingen vertellen het levensverhaal van de gevangen, in het bijzonder dat van Robert Sobukwe en zijn strijd voor Pan Afrikanisme. Een multimedia-expositie leert bezoekers over de geschiedenis van de democratie in Zuid-Afrika.
When the Dutch East India Company arrived in the area of what is now Cape Town in 1652, one of the first things they did was create a garden to help feed the settlers. The Company's Garden still exists, today as a public park.
Company's Garden covers a whopping 19.76 acres in the middle of Cape Town, near the parliament building, and includes a fish pond, rose garden and multiple statues and monuments. There's a tea room restaurant on the grounds, and an 18th-century sundial. Attractions near the garden include the Iziko South African Museum, St. George's Cathedral and South Africa's National Library. Of particular note among the many historic trees is the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, planted around 1652.
Originally a jetty built in 1654 to refresh sailors for the Dutch East India Company, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is now one of the most-visited attractions for foreigners in South Africa. The area is a development consisting of two harbors, retail shops and museums, seascapes and mountain views, and plenty of places to bed down, drink up or eat away.
The V&A Waterfront describes itself as a "Haven for Sailing Enthusiasts" and offers full amenities alongside historical charm. Walking and bus tours, sports and mind-blowing boats are sure to cast a hook for visitors of all types.
A former Cape Town neighborhood is remembered in the District Six Museum, built in the neighborhood itself.
District Six was created in the 1860s, but by the mid-1960s the government began forcibly removing the non-white residents to a slum-like township miles away in order to make the neighborhood whites-only. In all, some 60,000 people were relocated, and their homes destroyed. Very little development was ever started in the area, however, and post-apartheid the government said they would recognize property rights of former residents. The District Six Museum was founded in 1994 to honor those who were forcibly removed from their homes. Some fragments of the former neighborhood are on display, and there is a district map on the floor where former residents have noted where their houses once were. The museum and District Six Foundation also exist to help people moving back to the neighborhood develop the area into a thriving community again.
South Africa is increasingly well-known for its wines, with the wine country near Cape Town being a particularly popular stop with oenophiles and foodies alike. One highlight of any wine tasting trip near Cape Town is to the oldest wine estate in South Africa at Groot Constantia.
The property in Constantia was given to Simon van der Stel in 1685 by the Dutch East India Company, which had an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope. At the time, van der Stel was the Dutch East India Company’s Governor of this area, and it’s his name that later was used at Simon’s Town south of Cape Town. He built a manor house and began farming grapes for wine production. In 1779, a wine-making family purchased the part of the Groot Constantia estate that included van der Stel’s manor house. It’s that family, the Cloetes, who is to thank for making Groot Constantia one of the area’s top wine estates, especially noted for its Constantia dessert wine.
Just beyond the peaks of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, lies the Twelve Apostles, a range of rocky cliffs that line the coast of the Cape Peninsula. Travelers can enjoy the views during a scenic drive from Cape Town, or while relaxing on the sandy shores of Camps Bay. Grab lunch along the bustling promenade and then head to the trails, since a climb to the top of the Twelve Apostles offers an unmatched view of Clifton and the bay. Afterwards, relax with a sun downer at the Leopard Lounge, known for extensive collection of South African wines and its famous Twelve Apostles cocktail.
In the small town of Betty's Bay near Cape Town sits a colony of African penguins at a promontory called Stony Point. The colony is not as well-known as the one at Boulders Beach, but there are thousands of the little penguins in Betty's Bay – and, usually, fewer tourists. The colony is fenced in to protect it from predators, and there are raised walkways that allow visitors to watch the birds without disturbing them.
African penguins – also called Jackass penguins for their donkey-like braying – typically nest on islands, and the Stony Point colony is one of only three mainland colonies in South Africa. The penguins have also been known to make themselves at home in Betty's Bay residents' backyards.
If you're visiting Cape Town, Table Mountain is a must-see. Whether you choose to hike or drive to its flat-topped summit (hence the name) or take the Aerial Cable Way, you'll be treated to spectacular views of the city, Devil's Peak and Lion's Head.
Once you're at the top, there a 3 different walking paths to take: the 15-minute Dassie Walk, the 30-minute Agama Walk (providing you with a panomramic view of Cape Town and the peninsula), and the Klipspringer Walk, which ends above Platteklip Gorge. All of these provide you with plenty of photo opportunities, especially if you are into animals; rock hyrax, porcupines, mongooses and more live on the mountain, as well as some poisonous snakes (don't be afraid, just be careful).
Greenmarket Square in Cape Town's city center is an historic square which has served many purposes over the years. The square was built in 1696 in front of a burgher watch house. Today, the square is overlooked by the Old Town House, built on the site of the burgher house in 1761, which once served as the city hall. In different years, the square has been home to a slave market, a produce market, and even a parking lot.
Today, Greenmarket Square is the setting for a popular craft and flea market, including a wide variety of African art, clothing, music, and jewelry. There is a nice selection of restaurants, cafes, and hotels lining the square.
Located on the Victoria & Albert Waterfront in Cape Town, the Two Oceans Aquarium is - as the name suggests - a celebration of the unique collection of marine life that lives off the coasts of South Africa. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet off the country's southern shore at Cape Agulhas, 138 miles from Cape Town.
There are two galleries in the aquarium, one for each of the two oceans in the name, among seven total galleries with large windows to see the sea life. Among the creatures in the Atlantic Ocean Gallery, there are rare Knysna seahorses, and in the Indian Ocean Gallery you'll see clownfish. There is also a penguin exhibit, an activity center for kids, and a predator exhibit with sharks and stingrays. Certified divers can even dive in the tank with the sharks.
Simon's Town has long been an important military base and, more recently, a popular tourist destination near Cape Town. Sitting on False Bay, the town has been home to the South African Navy since 1910 and was even founded in 1680, with many of the historic buildings dating back to the Victorian era.
The most popular attraction in Simon's Town is the penguin colony at Boulders Beach – one of only three mainland colonies of African penguins in the country. Other things to see in town include the Simon's Town Museum and the picturesque St. George's Street.
Cape Town's Diamond Works offers a glimpse at South Africa's diamond mining industry through the eyes of a custom jewelry maker. Yes, Diamond Works is essentially a jewelry store, and you can certainly visit with the intention of buying some custom-made diamond jewelry. Even if you're not in the market for diamonds, however, a visit to Diamond Works is worth it to learn more about this fascinating industry.
Diamond Works offers what it calls a “Sparkling Tour,” during which you'll see diamond cutters and jewelry designers at work, you'll learn about the history of diamonds, and find out what to look for when evaluating a diamond.