There is no doubt that Cape Town should be at the top of your bucket list. This magnificent South African city has something to offer to everyone including shark diving, penguins, mountains and vineyards. In 2014, Cape Town attained the top spot in the prestigious New York Times’ list of 52 Places to go in 2014. There were several reasons for this, namely the wonderful nature that surrounds the city, especially Table Mountain. It has a special place in the hearts of locals and was often a beacon of hope for the beloved former president, Nelson Mandela, when he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Check out our top 10 reasons why Cape Town should be on your bucket list:
1. Shark diving
You may not know that South Africa has a large and diverse shark population. As many as 98 species of the world´s sharks swim in its coastal waters. Around 40 of them actually call it their home. No wonder shark cage diving is a big business here, especially great white shark tours. There are several tour operators in the area, ready to give adrenaline junkies the time of their lives. Get up close to these majestic creatures in Gansbaai, the white shark capital of the world.
2. Cable Car to Table Mountain
You simply cannot spend a holiday in Cape Town without visiting the iconic Table Mountain, so called because of its characteristically flat summit. For the more eager, there is a lovely hiking trail to the top, but if you don’t fancy walking, you can easily reach the summit by cable car. Either way, the journey is worth it and you will be well rewarded with stunning panoramic views.
3. Get up close to African penguins
Penguins are marvelous creatures and although most would think they are found in the icy cold pole of the south, Cape Town is lucky to be home to some of these friends. Boulders Beach, in Simon Town, is home to a colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins. This is the ideal place to spend a day. In addition to penguins, there are family-friendly bays and safe sandy shores waiting for you. For the best experience, take a stroll to Foxy Beach, where you will be able to see the birds from only a few meters away.
4. Sample South African wine at the source
Only an hour drive from the bustling city is the famous Cape Winelands. The area is filled with vineyards and is home to most of South Africa’s premier wine estates. This is a definite must when travelling in the region, especially if you are a wine connoisseur.
5. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
A visit to Cape Town is not complete without a visit to V&A Waterfront. The city’s historic harbor was created as early as in 1860, when Prince Alfred, the youngest son of Queen Victoria of England, tipped the first stones for the breakwater. Today, the spot is bustling with things to do, like shopping, great restaurants, tourist attractions, museums and nightclubs. Close to it all, is the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, which offers amazing views over the marina, as well as Table Mountain and Robben Island. Make sure you take advantage of the complimentary shuttle bus to and from the Waterfront from the hotel.
6. Robben Island
Robben Island is easily accessible by a boat service that runs several times a day from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at V&A Waterfront. On the island, a bus will transport you around this historical site. The guides are all former political prisoners from the Island, ready to take you on a journey through 500 years of history. As the tour reaches the end, the tour also takes you into Nelson Mandela’s cell.
7. Join the Carnival Atmosphere
Experience the glamorous Cape Town Carnival, which takes place annually in March. This celebration of African identity is pulsating with creativity. The vibrant Carnival Parade includes 2000 costumed performers, giant floats and live music.
8. Museums galore
Cape Town is filled with a diverse history and interesting stories that have been collated and documented across the city’s numerous museums and galleries, including:
8.2 Slave Lodge
9. Take a trip to Cape Point
Cape Point is a World Heritage Site and the most southerly point within the Cape of Good Hope section of Table Mountain National Park. This is the perfect place for a day trip that offers breathtaking bays, beautiful beaches and scenic hills and valleys. Board the Flying Dutchman funicular to the historical lighthouse or take the shipwreck trail to see some of the 26 wrecks in the area.
10. Cango Caves
For the more adventurous, visit Cango Caves. The caves are located at the head of Cango Valley. Delve into the underground world of Klein Karoo and discover the limestone ridge, located adjacent to the Swartberg Mountains. These enormous caverns are made up of towering formations and vast halls. To visit, you must be part of a guided tour and it is recommended to book in advance. These caves are a must visit spot to get in touch with the deep rooted history and culture of South Africa.
These top 10 tips provide you with an idea of the incredible offerings Cape Town has to welcome its visitors with. Whatever you choose to do or see on your visit here, your South African adventure awaits you. Stay comfortably and conveniently at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, where breathtaking views aren't the only marvelous wonder. Wake up each day to the sound of waves crashing against the shore before you are off on your adventure to conquer your Cape Town bucket list! Make sure you fuel your stomach for the day at the in-house restaurant Tobago's Restaurant, Bar & Terrace where authentic Cape Town cuisine paired with wonderful South African wine await you.