“Collect memories, not things!”
5 really fun things to do in the Mothercity
1. Waterfront / Watershed
The V & A Waterfront is a pretty big place but well worth visiting with all its stores, curious, its ferry’s wheel and its great selection of restaurants and cafés. There is always a colorful crowd, some music, and salt in the air.
Yes, it is pretty touristy. I love checking out all the boats, I enjoy people watching from one of the comfortable sofas of the Vista Marina, while breathing in the salty air and YES I just adore window shopping.
Not to mention the view of table mountain- if the clouds allow it 😉
The Watershed and the Foodshed both are special places to me. I made a lot of memories there, several times and I left a lot of money there as well 😀
In the Watershed you’ ll find a lot of unique, handmade stuff, wether its for yourself or souvenirs, wether its clothes, purses, scarves, shoes or jewelry.
And well “Foodshed” says it all 🙂 Give their chocolates a go as well as their different beers and all the interesting food, that is displayed there. Bon Appetit.
Who does not love penguins? Of course you must go and see these little guys.
They will make you laugh and have you smile for the rest of the day. They also smell horrendously ;).
Sometimes they are coming really close and it is so tempting to reach out, but note: They do have a vicious bite and don’t forget that you are in their territory and only a visitor.
Boulders Beach near Simons Town has a lot going for it: the ancient granite boulders protects it from the wind and large waves. The beach is always clean and safe as it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. The soft white sand and warm(ish) waters as well as the little penguins have all the ingredients for the perfect day trip.
African Penguins used to be known as jackass penguins because of their distinctive braying, and they’re the only penguins found on the continent.
Viewing them here is extra special, because you are in the middle of a huge conservation effort and a breeding colony- so keep your eyes open, you might see little ones around.
3. Table Mountain
A visit to South African’s most iconic landmark is a MUST. When its not covered in moody clouds, this mountain is simply spectecular.
Flanked by Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, Table Mountain makes up the northern end of the Cape Fold Mountain range. It’s hard to imagine, but the mountain’s distinctive flat top – a three-kilometre level plateau – was once the bottom of a valley!
Its crowded, it can be freezing up there and clouds can arrive as fast as they are gone and still- this place is magic.
The views are well worth it: The city below, the hustle and bustle and the glittering ocean.
Leopards used to roam the mountain but nowadays you might bump into caracal (if you are extremely lucky), dassie- sneaky little creatures, they do like to pose for pictures, the occasional porcupine, tortoises, mongooses and snakes, sunbathing on the rocks.
Keep your eyes open while walking the trails.
There are several dams on top- bring a snack or two, or buy lunch from the shop and enjoy a bit of wilderness.
The easiest and most hassle free option to get up the mountain is the revamped cableway.
Cars depart from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road every 10 to 15 minutes, but you can expect to spend a fair amount of time in the queue during peak season.
So bring a healthy dose of patience with you, should you decide to join the crowds.
The cableway doesn’t operate if the wind is too strong or the visibility too poor, so check in advance if the conditions seem unfavourable.
You want to hike up the mountain?
It certainly is a richer and more exciting experience as opposed to the short fun on the cableway.
You can either take the most popular route which leads up a prominent gorge, which is quite steep, or you can take a trickier route around the side of the mountain which requires a fair bit of scrambling. This route should only be taken by people who are fit and familiar with it.
The easiest way up is on the Atlantic side, with stunning views of Camps Bay.
There have been robberies and attacks on the hiking routes in the past so please adhere to some simple rules.
Weather changes very fast, be aware and bring sufficient clothes.
- Never hike alone. Bring only necessary things and leave high end equipment at your accommodation.
- Always tell someone where you’ll be and how long you expect to take.
- Make sure you have plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, waterproof clothing, and a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
- Wear appropriate shoes.
- Pick a route best suited to your fitness level and experience. Preferably hike with someone who is familiar with the route.
- Don’t take short cuts or stray off the path.
- If visibility is poor, don’t continue climbing. Find a spot that offers some sort of shelter.
Thank you to “<3 Capetown” for this list!
4. Cape of Good Hope
My favorite place in the whole, wide world. My Narnia.
Rugged rocks and sheer cliffs towering above a foaming ocean provide a spectacular background to a small nature reserve, where the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, bucks, baboons and 250 species of birds roam.
Endless and often lonely beaches are found along the coast, you’ll observe the occasional surfer, riding waves, while dassies sit next to you, trying to have a chat (or some sort of food).
Ostriches might cross your path or you’ll catch the occasional oryx antelope watching your shenanigans, while baboons use your car as a sentinel post. Narnia.
Another name is “Cape of Storms”. It was called that by the sailors in times past, who used it as a navigational landmark by day; By night and in fog, it was a menace of violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline.
To get to the old lighthouse, one can brave the uphill walk or take a comfortable ride in the “Flying Dutchman”.
(Are you afraid of heights? 😉 )
Legend of the Flying Dutchman 🙂
The ghostly galleon known as the Flying Dutchman has been immortalised by mariners’ accounts and by a number of sightings over the past three-and-a-half centuries. As legend has it, the Flying Dutchman was captained by a Dutchman, Hendrik van der Decken, and was headed home from Batavia (now Jakarta) to Holland in 1641. As Van der Decken approached the Cape, typically stormy weather shredded the ship’s sails and waves flooded the deck. The captain had rounded Cape Point on several occasions previously, but this time, a terrified crew implored him to turn back. He refused to submit to the elements and lashed himself to the wheel, swearing that he would sail around Cape Point, even if it took him until Doomsday.
One version of the story goes that an angel appeared on the deck and the enraged captain drew his pistol and shot her. Van der Decken’s wish to round the point was granted that night, but he and his crew were doomed to sail these waters for ever more. Over the past three-and-a-half centuries a ghostly sailing ship, that glows red in the night and has a mad, bald captain, has been sighted by a number of mariners. Those who have seen her say she lets down row-boats that approach with ghostly men aboard, desperately seeking a Good Samaritan to take their letters back home, where they haven’t been for more than 300 years. But those who entertain these approaches are doomed…
5. A different kind of Whale Watching
There is no doubt in my mind, that Hermanus is the whale watching capital of South Africa.
We decided to stay overnight to try and get on one of the boats for an encounter with the gentle giants of the sea and one of my favorite species- the Southern Right Whale.
But it was too windy and no one could tell wether a trip would be possible.
It was chilly, the air tasted of salt and the ocean was rough- we were lucky enough to spot a blow in the bay and the back of a whale gently rocking in the water. That might be all we will see, we thought.
Over dinner, we contemplated other options and stumbled over African Wings.
I contacted the company via WhatsApp as no one was picking up the phone. It was actually already past office hours.
It was meant to be- the pilot got back to us and we had a rendezvous at his landing strip on a farm outside town at 08:00 o’clock the next morning.
Making memories and collecting moments!