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A pulsing energy enchants visitors and draws them into a world filled with stunning vistas, fabulous food with adventures waiting in the wings.
One of the most spectacular cities to explore is Cape Town, the second-largest city in South Africa. It offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities amidst a myriad of breathtaking vistas.
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I started by viewing the scenic backdrop of Cape Town, which is Table Mountain; it has a perfect view of all the areas of this beautiful city. If you face north from the top of the mountain, you will find the city center, where you can see the sea and the docks filled with ships. On the west side there is a magnificent mountain range known as the Twelve Apostles. It borders a beautiful beach called Camps Bay, which is filled with bustling bars and restaurants.
South African Tourism
On the south side, the mountains are filled with historic vineyards and the gorgeous, must-see Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, which is one of the most magnificent gardens in the world. Beyond the gardens and the Constantia suburbs is False Bay, which curves toward Cape Point.
There are a few spectacular hotels to stay in. Be sure to check out the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay and the The One & Only at the Waterfront. Both boast magnificent views and desirable locations.
On the south side, the mountains are filled with historic vineyards and the gorgeous, must-see Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, which is one of the most magnificent gardens in the world.
Also for a memorable meal that showcases the best that Africa has to offer, check out The Test Kitchen, which offers mouthwatering options like smoked scallop sashimi or bibimbap (a Korean rice dish) all served with gourmand or iconic wine pairings. Visit the Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia, which boasts phenomenal views of Cape Town and an ever-changing menu, which is filled with eclectic and delectable options.
Cape Town is a city filled with outdoor activities. There are adventures waiting to be had, such as windsurfing or sailing around Table Bay, or climbing to the top of Lion’s Head and paragliding from Signal Hill into Sea Point. There are also a myriad of paths for mountain biking and hiking all over the city, and of course, you must visit the famous Clifton Beaches.
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While staying in Cape Town, you can take a few day trips to breathtaking areas to tour, either by driving yourself if you feel confident driving on what for many visitors is the other side of the road or by taking an organized private tour.
I explored South Africa’s world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschoek; which boast stunning scenery and spectacular wines. The enormous mountains are boast valleys full of vines. There are dozens of wineries in Stellenbosch and Paarl, where you can go wine tasting, have lunch or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.
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Franschoek is in a beautiful valley, and has lots of great restaurants and wine farms where you can take the Franschoek Wine Tram and visit a variety of wine farms for the day.
One winery called Spier is particularly worth a visit, it has a beautiful outdoor garden filled with couches where one can relax and have lunch. If you are interested, women will paint your face with traditional African symbols. Spier also has a gift shop filled with interesting African items.
There are many wineries to see like Delaire Graaf, whose restaurant is superb. While I would recommend Spier, definitely continue site seeing because the landscape changes and becomes more beautiful as you drive.
Another day trip you may consider is to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic. The winding roads are filled with glorious views of green mountains with steep drops into the blue ocean. This is where sailors rounded Africa en route to India. It’s not the southernmost point, which is at Cape Agulhas, but the gorgeous scenery makes it a must-see.
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On the way you will pass Muizenberg, a beach town with enormous stretches of white sand. It is also known for being the area where Agatha Christie went surfing 80 years ago. On this side of the peninsula, known as False Bay, the sea is warmer and some of the best whale-watching spots can be found.
This drive is dotted with little markets on the sides of the roads, filled with beautiful carvings. The vendors sell a variety of African goods, such as soapstone statues from Zimbabwe, which are gorgeous, as well as jewelry and wood items.
One of my favorite stops on this day trip was Boulders Beach. It is past Fish Hoek and south of Simon’s Town. Historically an important naval base for the British, it’s now the principal South African Navy base. The well-preserved 18th-Century streets are filled with shops and are architecturally enjoyable, but you can’t beat the penguin colony just south of town at Boulders Beach.
South African Tourism
Boulders Beach has a nature reserve set aside for the penguins. For a small fee, you can get a wonderful view of them marching out of the ocean and playing on the beach. However, nearby at a small beach, penguins were resting on the rocks and swimming alongside people in the water. I wandered over and sat next to the penguins, close enough to touch them.
Cape Town is a very special city with lots to offer the discerning tourist, plan on spending at least five to seven days to experience this magical part of the world, and bring your adventurous self with you.
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