There’s no denying it, South Africa is one of the most awe-inspiring nations on earth and is full of must-sees and must-dos. From amazing scenic views to an array of brilliant wildlife to observe, there’s so much to experience. Cape Town, the nation’s capital has a wealth of things to do and see. So without further ado, here’s our Cape Town bucket list.
Go hiking in the Cape Peninsula
What is noticeable from the off when visiting the outskirts of the city is Table Mountain, which delivers a stunning view of the capital. As well as being a great place to take photos in Cape Town, there is a rare selection of vegetation to examine. Fynbosl, an endangered type of plant life can be found around the mountain, which helps soften the aesthetic of the rockiness.
Animal life around the area is also uncommon. With rock hyraxes (known by the locals as Dassies) that are only found dotted around the continent, there are also loads of other types of reptiles (turtles snakes) and mammals (mongooses).
All in all, it is an area of hushed, breathtaking beauty.
Dine at The Test Kitchen in Woodstock
Famed for having a rich diversity due to its many cultures (hence the South African-Portuguese fusion of Nandos) there is wide selection of different cuisine on offer in Cape Town. One restaurant within the area that sticks out most is The Test Kitchen.
Opened in 2010 by highly experienced chef Like Dale-Roberts, the eatery has won many awards in its short time around. In 2011, Dale-Roberts achieved the Eat Out Dstv Food Network Restaurant Awards’ chef of the year, and the following year the eatery was awarded restaurant of the year.
Highlights of the menu include veal sweetbreads, lamb loin and the freshest pan fried fish. Reservations are available here, but it’s best to book well in advance as it is frequently over-subscribed.
See the turtles laying eggs on Kosi Bay
There are many animal-related events that one may want to cross off the bucket list. The most amazing and unusual is a nighttime viewing of turtles laying eggs. Kosi Bay, St Lucia is home to the leatherback turtle – the rarest of in the turtle species. They can lay up 100 eggs in one session, and throughout the season have been known to lay up to a 1000.
Nesting occurs between the months of November and January; Hatchlings occur between February and March.
Visit Robben Island in Table Bay
Robben Island in Table Bay is where Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in prison. In his time he was subject to such things as breaking rocks in gravel for hours upon hours a day, and assaults by white prison officers.
As a result, Mandela spent his time protesting in many different ways in order to gains in improving the conditions of black detainees. Fortunately, there were some improvements, such as black convicts being allowed to be dignified with trousers rather than shorts, and they were also allowed to engage in physical exercise.
Those wishing to visit the area can do so via boat trip (which boasts an expansive view of the isle, 45 minute narrated bus ride around the island and a walk-through of the prison by an ex-convict.
Go on Safari in Hluhluwe and Umfolozi
Considered the oldest reserve in South Africa, the park is 960km2 and is generally of a hilly terrain. As such, it is an ideal dwelling to accommodate the ‘big game five’ animals, which are: the African leopard, African Elephant, Cape buffalo, African lion and the black or white rhinoceros. In the past these were hunted, but are now well protected, meaning visitors can visit the park and expect to see a richness of wildlife.
In addition to the wealth of game animals that reside in the reserve, the area is also known for its varied plant life and trees.
It is possible for visitors to be given guided tours, guarded drives through the more dangerous areas and covert places in which to witness unaware animals.
What would you add to the Cape Town bucket list? Let us know in the comments!