What to do in Cape Town? The unmissable activities

Written on : 18 September 2017

Guide to activities in Cape Town

Adventure, culture, nature, history, culinary, arts... Difficult to answer this question as the possibilities are numerous in Cape Town! But as usual at Villanovo, we have selected the best things to do during your holidays!

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Climbing Table Mountain

"Table Mountain" overlooks the city of Cape Town, culminating at 1,086 metres above sea level. The name comes from the form which, by far, seems as flat as the top of a table. When the clouds cling to it, it is even said that the tablecloth is set! To discover it, venture on the many paths that cross the mountain or go for the breathtaking cable car! Its nacelles rotate 360º, providing passengers with spectacular views of the city and the ocean. At the top, restaurants and stalls of souvenirs await you. Tip: online reservation of your place is strongly advised.

Diving with sharks

Did you know that a quarter of the world's shark species swim in South African waters? Enthusiasts will not resist diving with the great white sharks! For this, head to Gansbaai, 175 kilometres from Cape Town, where many companies offer this activity safely. After watching the teams attract sharks with fish, you will dive inside a protected metal cage, watching for the sharks coming and going. Thrill is guaranteed! Another option for the less adventurous: admire them in their basins at the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Focus on the South African past

To better understand the dark period of apartheid, Robben Island and District Six Museum are unavoidable. Off the coast from Cape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island is infamous for its prison, where Capt. Nelson Mandela was held. Today, it is converted into a museum, offering guided tours of the site. Created in 1994, the District Six Museum makes its visitors aware of the life of District Six, a neighbourhood decreed "white" in 1966, in full expansion of apartheid. More than 60,000 people were forced to migrate to the slums on the outskirts of the city; the museum commemorates their history.

Going out on Long Street

Long Street is the street to party in Cape Town! Along this artery, you will only find good excuses to stay out all night! Restaurants, bars and clubs of all styles follow one another in this street, partly lined with Victorian buildings, with beautiful wrought-iron balconies, reminiscent of New Orleans. Some good addresses: Mama Africa, an African cuisine restaurant, Neighbourhood, a lounge bar and the Julep, a bar with delicious cocktails!

Walk to the Cape of Good Hope

The most Southwestern point of the African continent is rich in its cultural and natural heritage. Lighthouses and impressive cliff-side landscapes are among the treasures to be discovered. To do this, bus tours are possible but the best is still to take a walk or bike. The wildlife of the Cape of Good Hope is extraordinary: some 250 species of birds live here, such as cormorants, penguins or ostriches.

Visit the Bo Kaap area

Bo Kaap is the Malay district of Cape Town, home to descendants of slaves brought by Dutch settlers from Malaysia, Indonesia, and many African countries. At the foot of Mount Signal Hill, immerse yourself in the heart of this multicultural neighbourhood, characterised by its cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses. If you want to know more about the origins of its inhabitants, visit the Bo Kaap Museum, located in the oldest building in the district.

Go on the Wine Route to Constantia Valley

South Africa is the ninth wine-producing country in the world. The first vines were planted in Cape Town in the middle of the 17th century in the valley of Constantia. The area offers charming landscapes, with its lanes lined with oaks and overlooking stunning historic homes. On the tasting side, white grape varieties are still dominant, even though Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, red par excellence, have taken off in the last twenty years. Take the opportunity to discover Pinotage, a typically South African vine, invented in 1925, a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir.

Stroll through the Good Neighbours Market

Every Saturday at the Old Biscuit Mill in the industrial district of Woodstock, the gourmet meeting point is the Good Neighbours Market. In total, more than 100 specialised traders offer you product bios, fresh and seasonal, local crafts, wines, clothes...on their stalls! There is something for everyone, all in a friendly and gourmet atmosphere: A delicious surprise!