by Chris Walker Bush
June 12, 2017

Coming Soon: South Africa!

For a long while now, Shadows of Africa has specialised solely in East African destinations such as Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

However, this year sees our company expanding into some of Southern Africa's hottest destinations such as Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Today, we're looking at one of South Africa's most popular destinations: Cape Town!

cape town Gorgeous Cape Town, South Africa

Introducing Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa's most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities.

A city blessed with natural beauty in spades, Cape Town compliments its many blessings from Mother Nature by being a diverse and fascinating city in its own right.

From the heights of Table Mountain to the dramatic stretches of coastline, Cape Town’s wonderful weather year-round makes it a popular destination for beach lovers and wine aficionados alike.

Its world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Green Point Park compliment these natural blessings wonderfully. The nearby Boulders Penguin Colony is also a popular spot due to its cute but loud jackass penguins.

Cape Point Cape Town

A proudly multicultural city, Cape Town blends Afrikaner, native, and European sensibilities in an intoxicating blend of architectural, musical, and culinary styles. The colourful neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap perhaps best epitomizes this, but the city’s diverse roots can be seen in every bar, restaurant, and boutique. Elsewhere, museums such as the South African Jewish Museum and the District Six Museum offer more quantifiable insights.

Day trips from Cape Town include visits to the world-renowned wine regionssuch as Stellenbosch, whale-watching from the shoreline at Hermanus, experiencing the stark beauty of Clifton Beaches, and exploring the wonders of the Garden Route – one of South Africa’s most picturesque drives.

10 Reasons to Visit Cape Town

There is no shortage of things to do in Cape Town.

Below, we've highlighted ten of the most appealing reasons to visit this breathtaking city!

Table Mountain

Defining the Cape Town cityscape, Table Mountain is one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in the entire world.

Far more than just a mountain, Table Mountain has attracted more than 25 million visitors since it opened as a tourist attraction in 1929.

table mountain national park cape town The view from atop Table Mountain is one to be remembered.

Its panoramic views of Cape Town and its surrounds are without a doubt its bigger draw card, but there is more to the mountain than simply soaking in the vista. The Table Mountain Cable Car offers up stunning views en route to the mountaintop, where you can take in a 360 degree view of the city, Table Bay, and the rest of the national park.

The more adventurous can choose to take guided or unguided hikes along the mountain’s three hiking trails, and abseiling is also on offer.

For those with kids or with less adventurous tastes, a restaurant, WiFi lounge, and a number of boutique stores also offer something to do.

Beaches

Cape Town is home to some of Africa's most beautiful beaches.

From the sunbathing haven that is Clifton Beaches to the penguin playground of Boulders Beach, there is an abundance of options for those wanting to work on their tans and have a little fun in the sun.

boulders beach cape town Boulders Beach is famous for its penguins, but it's beautiful in its own right.

What gives Cape Town such a unique variety of beaches is the fact it marks the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. A beach on the western Cape is something entirely different to one on the eastern side.

You could spend a week in Cape Town and not manage to fully explore all of its beaches!

cape town beach Cape Town is the perfect place for a little fun in the sun!

Robben Island

South Africa's apartheid history is an element of the nation's past that cannot be overlooked, and many visitors to the rainbow nation are interested in learning more about this dark period. Visitors to Cape Town can learn more about this period with a visit to Robben Island.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Robben Island served as a prison for over two hundred years – most famously housing inspirational South African president, Nelson Mandela.

robben island entrance Robben Island is a somber window into South Africa's past.

Established as a prison by the Dutch in the 17th century, Robben Island has a rich and sordid history as a maximum security prison, whaling port, and leper colony. As if these weren’t dark enough, the island is also a notorious site for shipwrecks.

Robben Island is primarily visited by those wishing to learn more about its history as a prison and to follow in the footsteps of its most famous prison, Nelson Mandela. Multimedia tours and explorations of the former prison facilities offer an education into South Africa’s apartheid history.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Boasting as 'the most beautiful garden in Africa', Cape Town's Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens definitely has a right to the claim.

Situated on the eastern side of Table Mountain, this luscious green paradise is a haven of cool in sometimes hot Cape Town.

Far more than just a garden, the 528 hectare estate is home to a startling variety of plants, birds, and animals.

kirstenbosch botanical gardens cape town Kirstenbosch is worth a look, even for those who don't normally find gardens that interesting.

The Colours of Bo-Kaap

A former township that was once known as the Malay Quarter, colourful Bo Kaap is now one of the trendiest districts in an already trendy city.

Perfectly exemplifying the multiculturalism that makes South Africa "The Rainbow Nation", Bo-Kaap is a perfect place to see a different side of South African life.

Whether you're taking a Cape Malay cooking class, exploring the bustling markets, or immersing yourself in the region with a homestay - there's plenty to see and do.

bo kaap cape town As colourful culturally as it is in appearance, Bo-Kaap is a fascinating melting pot of cultures.

Wine Tourism

South African wine is rightly viewed as some of the finest wine in the world, and Cape Town is right on the doorstep of South African wine country.

The Cape Winelands is home to some of the nation's most scenic wine country.

stellenbosch wine country Enjoy world class wine against a stunning backdrop in the Cape Winelands.

With eighteen official wine routes (and two brandy routes), this historic region is an area of exotic flavours, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious foods just begging to be explored.

Duck out of Cape Town for a day of wine tasting or extend your stay in one of the region's many gorgeous B&Bs and boutiques.

south african wine cape town Fancy a drop?

Whale Watching

It's not just Big Five Safaris that draw tourists to South Africa every year. You can have a fascinating wildlife experience beneath the waves as well!

Every year, Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales make their migration into the warm Cape waters where they put on a spectacular show for those in attendance.

A huge variety of tour operators are on hand to help in arranging Cape whale watching tours, and Shadows of Africa is here to help you find the absolute best whale watching experience.

whale watching cape town Lions and elephants aren't the only big game in South Africa!

Shark Diving

For those with a taste for adventure, shark diving in Cape Town is one of the more extreme wildlife experience you'll ever have.

It takes a special kind of crazy to lower yourself into the deep blue waters with man-eating Great White Sharks, but for those with a taste for it, there are plenty of operators willing to lower you into the cage for an up close and personal shark encounter.

Hit the Garden Route

Stretching for a shade under 300 kilometers, South Africa's famous Garden Route nonetheless packs in an astonishing variety of landscapes, wildlife, and activities.

The scenic coastal drive is dotted with isolated beaches and lagoons, towering mountain ranges, ancient forests crisscrossed with hiking trails, rivers to kayak, and towns to explore. The drive itself could be done in a single day – but visitors often take several days or even weeks to do the route justice.

garden route Just one of many stunning views along the Garden Route.

Highlights along the way include the Garden Route National Park for hiking and marine wildlife, Robberg Nature & Marine Reserve for its rugged coastline, the stunning views of Knynsa Lagoon, and private reserves such as Knysna Elephant Park or Botlierskop Private Reserve for a more up close animal experience.

Cape Town is a perfect starting (or ending) point for your Garden Route experience!

Take a day trip to see the penguins and seals

Whales and sharks might not be your cup of tea, but there are friendlier marine animals to see without even having to set foot on a boat.

Boulders Beach is a haven for the young and the young at heart wanting to see Africa's adorable jackass penguins,

penguins cape town boulders beach African Penguins (or Jackass Penguins) are a popular sight in Cape Town.

If you'd like the chance to see or even swim with Cape Fur seals, a visit to Seal Island is also a great option.


And so much more!

We've highlighted ten of our favourite things to do in Cape Town here, but there are certainly far more than ten!

Speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert to learn more about how you can make Cape Town a part of your African experience!

seal island cape town Seal Island is home to... you guessed it... seals!
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