Five Days in Cape Town
This August/September I travelled through South Africa for six weeks. Mostly I stayed with friends and discovered rather “untouristic” parts of the country. The last five days I was in Cape Town together with a friend and had such a good time! In this post I’d like to share some stuff we did and share some tips about Cape Town.
Roadtrips along the Coast
You probably heard it all before, Cape Town and its surroundings are well known for their beautiful roads along the coast.
The most famous one is Chapman’s Peak Drive, so many movies show the beautiful scenery with Cape Town in the background. It’s also well known as a cycling or running route. Especially during sunset time, you’ll find heaps of people running along the sea. If you take the route with a car, you will need to pay a toll.
Apart from Chapman’s Peak Drive I did Clarence Drive which is south-west of Stellenbosch. You see Cape Town in the background, at the other side of the bay, and a lot of untouched nature.
Both times I went with friends. We did Clarence Drive in the afternoon with some good music, wind in our hair, way too much sweets and some tasty wine afterwards. For Chapman’s Peak Drive we waited for sunset and just sat down on a rock to watch the sun sink over the ocean and Cape Town being illuminated golden. It just looks surreal and is definitely worth the waiting!
Some general tips:
- All the streets have viewpoints every few hundred meters where you can stop to take pictures. However they can be quite busy, especially when the light is good. So be prepared to spontaneously catch a free spot behind a curve.
- If you leave your car, take your valuables with you!
- Don’t forget some good tunes & some snacks!
Stellenbosch is about 50km away from Cape Town but absolutely worth a visit! On the drive out of Cape Town you’ll see how the landscape changes. Stellenbosch is surrounded by the coast and the mountains and has heaps of vineyards.
The city centre is small but well accessible by foot. Stellenbosch has some pretty old architecture and beautiful old university buildings.
If you like wine, definitely go for some wine tasting!
The Twelve Apostels form the typical background of Cape Town. One of the peaks, Table Mountain, is one of the most known spots in the city and it’s probably a must-do to view Cape Town from above at least once.
For those of you that are lazy there is a cableway going up to the top and back down. However I can totally recommend hiking or climbing the mountain. There are heaps of different routes available. The most popular one leads you along the cableway and is rather easy and long.
We took the “Pipe Track” up, which is shorter (we needed around 1.5h) but also way steeper. You definitely can’t be afraid of height, sometimes we were rather scrambling up the route! When we arrived at the top, we walked around in the Nature Reserve for around an hour. If you’re keen to go even higher there are many different possibilities to hike around the plateau.
For our way down we took the “Diagonal Route” which is great for hiking down and offers a spectacular view on Cape Town and the coast during the whole way down.
Make sure to take enough water and snacks, especially on sunny days!!
Easier and faster to hike than Table Mountain but definitely also worth it: Lion’s Head.
The hike is relatively easy, you begin with a steep road with turns into some flat stairs. Later you can decide whether you wanna take a longer way with less ladders or you can take the funny way up. It includes several ladders that are easy to climb though. However if you go during a busy time of the day, be prepared for longer queues in front of the ladders. If you’re super fit, you can also run the way up or down.
When you arrive on top you will have a fantastic view over the twelve Apostels, Cape Town, Robben Island and the bay. Make sure to bring some water for the top and maybe some snacks.
You can take the same way down. During sunset, it’s usually quite busy.
Located directly near Lion’s Head, Signal Hill is a well known spot for sunset watching or paragliding.
It’s easy to access with a car, however I definitely wouldn’t recommend to go there on a Sunday afternoon! We didn’t have too much time so we had to go on the weekend but it was super crowded. There are just people literally everywhere haha.
Although it’s quite nice to see the sun sink over the ocean, I definitely prefer to watch Cape Town on the other side, first being painted orange by the sun and then slowly turning all the lights on underneath the purple sky.
Be aware that especially in winter, it gets dark directly after sunset and Signal Hill is definitely not the best place to be when it’s dark. We were rather just lucky than clever that day that nothing happened!
Muizenberg is around 25km outside the city centre of Cape Town. It has a nice beachfront with the famous coloured houses and swimming & surfing opportunities. We saw a warning sign that said sharks aren’t untypical for that region however the last one was seen a year ago. In summer there are also some cute cafés near the beach.
Although I didn’t have a lot of time in Cape Town it was such a nice experience and I cannot wait to be back for more adventures! If you have any questions, just hit me up.