Things to do in Cape Town
There is so much to see and do that narrowing it down to just a few highlights is very hard. Here are a few ideas for great day trips, from exploring the region's natural beauty to experiencing some of its turbulent history. Once you've done that, there still remains some of the finest dining in the world, spectacular beaches, world-class shopping, vibrant nightlife, a thriving arts and theatre scene and fascinating museums. One visit to Cape Town is never enough!
Get back to nature
This area has some of the highest biodiversity in the world and anyone interested in nature and wildlife will be in their element here. Don't miss the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the suburbs to the south, where you will find around 9,000 different plant species. These beautiful 52,800 sq km gardens are a wonderful place to wander and enjoy spectacular views.
Say hello to African penguins
Animal lovers should head down south to Simonstown where a large protected colony of wild African penguins can be seen from the walkways on Boulder Beach. Penguins can also be seen in the centre of town at the Two Oceans Aquarium on the V&A waterfront, along with many other fine examples of South African marine life.
Remember Nelson Mandela
Boat trips run three times a day from the Nelson Mandela Gateway pier by the Clock Tower in the V&A Waterfront over to Robben Island. Here you can see the cells where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held captive. The tour of the island lasts around four hours. Tickets need to be purchased well in advance as they sell out quickly. There is a small free museum by the ticket office.
Raise your glasses
South Africa is famous for its wines and some of its oldest vineyards lie near Cape Town in the Constantia area. Only 15 kilometres away from the city is a scenic wine route that includes 10 estates. Perhaps the most famous is Groot Constantia, which was founded in 1685 and is the oldest vineyard in Africa. The Constantia wine estates have some of the best-preserved Cape Dutch architecture in the country and visitors can enjoy tastings and tours, as well as top class restaurants and beautiful scenery.
Enjoy unsurpassed views
A trip on the Table Mountain cable car will take you up to 3,500ft in just 5 minutes, where you can enjoy unsurpassed of the city and the whole peninsula. The cable cars rotate gently to give you 360 degree views as you head to the top. You'll find a small café there but you will be in a national park, so wildlife and unspoiled fauna lie all around as you enjoy one of the best views in the world. The cable car operates 7 days a week but will not run in high winds, so check the weather before you set off.