1. Take the cable car up Table Mountain
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa with Table Mountain towering over the city like a watchful, protective, gentle giant. When visiting Cape Town, the number one experience that you just have to do, is take the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain. The cable car rotates, providing panoramic views of the Table Mountain National Park, Lions Head, Devils Peak, the Twelve Apostles, depending on visibility; Robben Island, the harbour and city below. It would be a good idea to watch what the weather forecast predicts and choose the clearest day to enjoy unprecedented views while walking, or having breakfast or lunch atop the mountain. The busiest time of the day is certainly sunset and it’s no wonder why – the view is absolutely spectacular as the city is dripped in a golden light, with the sun resting on the horizon across the Atlantic ocean.
2. Visit the wine farms of Constantia
Cape Town is known for its beautiful wine farms in and around the city. The wine estates of Constantia are the closest to the city and takes about 20 minutes from the CBD. In fact, it’s so close to the centre, we’d recommend you stay there while visiting the city – there’s truly amazing Constantia accommodation on offer. The estates in Constantia have a rich heritage of wine making that dates back to the late 1600s. The area is natural and all-round stunning, with lush landscapes, mountains with vineyards that stretch up the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountainside and jaw-dropping views of the winelands. The wine routes include: the oldest estate, Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Eagles Nest, Constantia Glen, Steenberg and High Constantia. Visiting the wine farms can be a whole day experience spent with family, friends and children, some even allow your furry family members. Most of the estates have restaurants for either breakfast and tea where others now include lunch and even elegant evening dining.
African Penguins or commonly known as the Jackass Penguin, are a huge attraction for both locals and tourists and can be found at Boulders Beach, near Simon’s Town. The beach is rather small but it’s rarely overcrowded but to get a ‘good’ spot to set up your blanket and picnic basket, you should get there early on a still, wind-free morning. Most parts of the beach are fairly protected from high winds, though it depends on direction. When it’s a still day it really is a perfect place to swim and relax no matter which side you’re on. Summer time, during December to February is the best time to visit Boulders because the weather is balmy and the penguins enjoy basking in the sun.
4. Take a trip to Robben Island
Robben Island with its historical heritage has become very popular to both locals and visitors. This is not your typical island filled with palm trees and blue waters, but is an iconic landmark because of the prison, where freedom fighter and former president, Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 28 year sentence. The tour of Robben Island will take you to the tiny cell that he called home, as well as the different areas he was made to work under gruelling conditions for the good of South Africa. Ferries leave the V&A Waterfront at 9 and 11am and again at 1pm daily, weather permitting. The trip to and from the island, including the tour will take about three and a half hours but the time is well worth it. You will not only get to see the prison but also the leper graveyard and the lime quarry where Mandela and other prisoners were forced to work.
5. Have a picnic at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
If you are wanting a quiet day away from the sandy beaches but to lie on a blanket on the soft green grass, with a good book or planning a family picnic, being surrounded by the perfume of flowers and the sounds of twittering birds, then Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is just for you. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is world reknown and has been recognised as one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. With Table Mountain as its backdrop, very few gardens can match this picturesque setting. Here you can relax and be one with the peace and beauty around you, the day is yours to do with it as you like, there are beautiful walks, calming streams, a shop, conservatory, a restaurant and more.