Cape Town, South Africa
My 6 Week Cape Town Adventure. Find Inspiration For Your Trip!
“As I look out into the night sky, high above the clouds, it hits me that I am going to be in Cape Town for six weeks. I look forward to a South African Christmas and New Years, hanging out at the beaches and hoping to see animals out in the wild. It will be an adventure of a lifetime!”
I wrote this in my journal as I flew from London to Cape Town. I had no idea what to expect and did little research as I was going to spend the trip with a friend and his family. Upon arrival, the blistering heat, compounded with jet-lag, knocked me out for the first few days. By day three I was into the swing of South African Life: braiis (bbq) in the backyard, drinks at the beach bars and afternoon pool parties. I visited wonderful places that describing everything in detail would turn into a novel. Instead, I have put together a visual diary with a few descriptions popped in for good measure. Grab a coffee, put your feet up and enjoy the picture show.
Cape Town’s icon flat-topped mountain hugs the downtown area of this vast City. Whether you hike or take the cable car, you will be rewarded with the most spectacular 360-degree view. Bring a picnic and admire the many plants and flowers that grow here.
Robbin Island was where the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars. The prison closed in 1996 and has become both a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is easily accessible by ferry from the Victoria & Albert Waterfront.
NEW YEARS CELEBRATION
Driving two hours from Cape Town into the wilderness of South Africa was the perfect location to ring in the New Year. Staying in a rustic cabin with Zebras and Springboks grazing in the backyard felt like a true South African experience. We had a few Braiis, played drinking games and I attempted to shoot down beer cans with a bb gun. We did leave the cabin a few times to taste chocolate, sample the local cheeses and cool down in the community pool.
What is a Braii you ask? It is the most common social occasion in South Africa. Family and friends come together for hours of Braiing and drinking. It’s like a potluck in that everyone usually brings their own meat to be grilled. The difference between a BBQ and a Braii is we use gas or coals here in North America and they use wood. The wood burns slowly and a pile of grey pillowy ash is left in its place. After a black well used grate is placed over the ashes, the food slowly cooks. Braiis are all about the meat: lamb, sausage, steak, and chicken. Really, any meat would suffice. And the more there was the happier people were.
The most famous South African wineries line The Stellenbosch Wine Route. Within a 45 minute drive from the center of Cape Town I was drinking smooth reds, crisps whites and getting tipsy on sparkling wine. I had a wonderful lunch of pâté, smoked snoek fish cakes and a refreshing glass of rose. I wanted to take a gigantic bottle of wine home, but my suitcase was not big enough, sadly.
Many wonderful beaches dot the coast of Cape Town. Whether you boogie board or windsurf, lay on a plush white sandy beach or take a quiet morning swim, you will find a beach that suits your needs. I was shocked to discover that the water is icy cold, therefore I did not have the guts like everyone else to take a dip. Putting my feet in was all I could handle.
Sadly Tygerberg Zoo is now closed. However there are many petting zoos and farms within a few hours of Cape Town. At this zoo, I witnessed Tigers mating, heard monkeys screeching and saw lions basking in the sun. I did not get a chance to see the ‘Big 5’ (African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros) at a game park, but wandering the zoo was perfect for me.