There are dozens of terrific destinations in Cape Town, South Africa that every visitor must see. The bustling, seaside city is the Legislative Capital of the African country. Also known as South Africa's "mother city," it has a modified Mediterranean climate that's perfect for vacation getaways. The weather stays between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 55 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The coastal location offers travelers a variety of things to do such as visiting the city's botanical gardens, strolling along the boardwalk, and lots of opportunities to take a break on the beach.
One of the more popular oceanside locations to take a dip is Boulders Beach. Not only is it a peaceful area with secluded, private covers, a colony of African penguins also enjoy the warm waters of False Bay. If you don't mind sharing the beach with these well-dressed birds, then this is a great stop to make while visiting Cape Town. You may even get a selfie with one before the day's over.
Cape Town is more than mountaintops, penguins, and beaches. For a casual day, take a stroll along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The expansive place is divided into five shopping districts.
You'll also notice it's a working harbor area with incoming container ships and fishing boats. The draw of the destination is the more than 450 unique shops, several eateries, and plenty of entertainment for visitors of all ages. Enjoy more penguins, a kelp forest exhibit, and a predator exhibit at the Two Oceans Aquarium or take a spin on the Cape Wheel before heading home.
With 7,000 species spread throughout 89 acres on the eastern slope of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are a must-see stop on any trip to the South African city. Explore the natural beauty yourself or sign up for a 90-minute guided tour. The gardens also feature several shared bike trails.
Not far from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a different place to shop. Greenmarket Square is a cobblestone marketplace that was the slave market in Cape Town. In modern times, it's a festive location where local vendors come to sell different types of handcrafted merchandise. Musicians, dancers, and other African entertainers perform freely throughout the area.
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky formation with a semi-flat surface that protrudes over the ocean below. The picturesque location has a fantastic view of the ocean and is an excellent location for viewing local wildlife. Here you can also look down at the colony of African Penguins at Boulders Beach. Anyone who visits during their breeding season that runs between February and August may get a chance to take a peek at fluffy, baby penguins waddling around. Other animals you may get to see include antelope, baboons, and the occasional Cape mountain zebra.
Visitors looking to see more of seaside wildlife may want to catch one of the several boat rides that pass Duiker Island. The small plot of land off Hout Bay is also referred to as "Seal Island" because it's home to more than 6,000 sunbathing Cape Fur Seals from January to March.
On the other side of Cape Town, away from the ocean is another mountain top destination. Table Mountain offers a fantastic view of the whole city to the sea. Don't worry if you're not up to climbing to the top. The Table Mountain Arial Cableway transports visitors up and down the mountain giving them unobstructed, 360-degree views of the entire area.
Great wine grapes aren't limited to France and California. Some of the world's finest wines come right from outside of Cape Town. The region is home to hundreds of wine and grape producers that are divided into "wine routes." The oldest and most popular is the Stellenbosch Wine Route with 148 wine grape farms.
The Castle of Good Hope is also one of the oldest structures still standing in South Africa. Built in the late 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, visitors can schedule a guided walking tour of the castle and grounds or take a horse-drawn carriage tour. If you go during the week, you can watch the daily Key Ceremony that includes the firing of the fortress's cannon. The property is also home to three museums.
Away from the ocean is another body of water with more wildlife to view. Sign up for a two-hour double-decker boat cruise through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Guests are likely to see hippos, crocodiles, and dozen of bird species including African broadbills, eagles, and vultures. The boat also has a full bar, coffee, and snacks on board.