Perhaps the most beautiful, romantic and most visited city in South Africa – you could easily spend weeks enjoying this coastal city.
Unfortunately, you only have 24 hours.
Not to worry! We’ve put together a guide when time is not on your side, and you need to take in all of Cape Town’s in-your-face beauty in just a day.
First things first. No trip to Cape Town is complete without a panoramic view of the glorious Table Top Mountain. For those brave of heart, you can abseil (or rappel) down from 1000 meters above sea level – the world’s highest commercial abseil – and take in the stunning view of the Atlantic.
Those less adventurous can catch the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway up and down for a more leisurely view, which will give you a bird’s eye view of the City Bowl. You can also reach the summit on foot through a multitude of rather rugged (but beautiful) trails.
Dive into Shark-Infested Waters
Did you know a quarter of the world’s shark species (98 to be exact) call the waters around South Africa their home? 40 of those species can then be found swimming in the waters around Cape Town.
In fact, just a mere 175 kilometers (110 miles) south east of Cape Town is Gansbaii – the white shark capital of the world. Those with nerves of steel must take the plunge and swim with the ‘fishes’. Most shark cage dives charge around R1,100 for a session, but feel free to shop around to find one the suits your needs. Great White Shark Tours, Marine Dynamics and Shark Diving Unlimited are just a few of the companies offering specialized packages to suit your adrenaline needs.
For those who prefer a tank between them and the sharks, the Two Oceans Aquarium has plenty to see and do. Be sure to visit around feeding time (3pm) to see the blue stingrays, ragged tooth sharks and black mussel crackers especially active.
Toast the Town
Wine lovers and sommeliers rejoice – Cape Town is your paradise on earth.
Just a very scenic hour drive outside of Cape Town you will find the famous Cape Winelands. Imagine rolling vineyards, imposing mountains and picturesque wine estates…and you’ll have a good idea of the rich variety the Cape Winelands have to offer you.
What’s more, nearly every farm and estate offers wine-tasting so be sure to find a designated driver for your excursion. Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are the largest and closest towns in the regions but if you can spare the time, be sure to venture farther off the beaten track. Rural gems such as Robertson and Montagu have unique treats for those willing to make the trek.
Explore South African history
South Africa may look like paradise, but has also experienced turmoil over the years. History buffs can visit Robben Island and the District Six Museum for well-informed exhibits on the apartheid period in South Africa’s history which ended in 1990.
Robben Island is a unique symbol of both hope and oppression. The prison located on the island is perhaps best known for holding the former leader of the free and democratic South Africa – Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years detained in its maximum security section.
The community museum, District Six walks you through the time when the ruling government made some areas ‘whites only’. Many of its 60,000 residents were forced from their homes out to the Cape Flats before their homes were completely destroyed.
Unwind on Long Street
What better way to end your whirlwind tour of Cape Town then with a cocktail on Long Streets. Visit Julep and enjoy the exposed brick walls, comfy couches and fabulous drinks. The Waiting Room is an unpretentious hang out with a stunning roof deck for hot summer nights; while Neighborhood’s laid back vibe and balcony is ideal for those who like to people watch.
Of course you need a home base to rest your head before heading off on your next great adventure. The Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel’s elegant décor and convenient location make it perfect for those who want to travel in style, but still need to be close to the action.