From December to February you are almost guaranteed to experience nothing but gorgeous sun-kissed days and, especially if you are visiting from a country up north, you will want to be out in the sun as much as you can. Here are some of the most memorable activities and sites you can experience in Cape Town, to ensure you leave with a sunny glow and a feeling that you have experienced a true African summer.
- Table MountainTable Mountain is a place that is synonymous with Cape Town – this unique natural wonder is hard to ignore on entering the city. It watches over everything and commands the attention of Capetonians and tourists day in and day out.
The cable car, which was established in 1929, will take you safely up the mountain where, when on top, you will be overwhelmed by the vastness of the landscape and the breath-taking view of the city. Take a walk around or enjoy a meal at the Table Mountain Café, whatever you do, don’t forget to capture every moment.
- Camps BayWhenever you drive past the trendy restaurants of Camps Bay over looking the bright blue ocean, you can’t help but get in the holiday mood. With over 20 top restaurants in this area you are truly spoiled for choice. You can spend an entire day in the seaside town, eating out, lazing on the beach and ending the day off with a sundowner.
- Boulder’s BeachSituated just outside of Simon’s Town, this secluded beach is home to the African Penguin. Large boulders shelter the cluster of small beaches, giving you a sense of “escaping from it all”. Not only do you get an opportunity to swim in the warm, clear waters, but you will also swim amongst the penguins as if you are one of them.
- Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts
- For a musical outing that you will never forget, get yourself some tickets to one of the concerts at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. No chairs, no buildings, just nature. Pack a picnic, invite some friends, pick a spot and sit back and enjoy some of South Africa’s top musicians doing what they do best. A word of advice – come at least 1-2 hours before the show starts to avoid traffic and to get a good spot on the perfectly manicured lawn.
- The Wine RouteThe Constantia Valley Wine Route, the Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes, the Helderberg Wine Route, the Durbanville Valley Wine Route and the Franschhoek Wine Route are just a few of the most popular wine routes you can explore while in Cape Town. Enjoy a day of wine, fine food and beautiful surroundings, and make sure you leave with a couple of your favourite bottles of top South African wine for you to enjoy during the remainder of your visit.
- The Sight Seeing Hop On-Hop Off BusesThe Cape Town Red City Tour departs every 20 minutes and stops at 18 destinations around Cape Town. The best part about travelling on these buses is that you can hop off at anytime and explore the area and then hop on again when you are done and continue your tour. Learn all about Cape Town’s heritage, history, landmarks and “must do” activities while you view the city and its surrounds from a new height.
- Cape Town City Centre Walk-AboutIf you are staying near the city centre, ask the concierge for a map, step out of your hotel, pick a direction and explore the vibrant city by foot. This is one of the best ways to really feel what the city is all about. Explore all the quaint and traditional gift shops, have lunch and one of the many small cafes and restaurants, and stop to listen to the street musicians. At some point you will come across the buzzing Green Market Square where you will be able to find just about any African craft as well as clothes, shoes, jewellery and so much more.
- Robben IslandMost people associate Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and the years he spent there imprisoned for his political and moral beliefs. Visiting this historical and infamous place will be educational, emotional and unforgettable. Catch a boat from the V&A Waterfront and travel about 30 minutes to the island. Once there, you will have an opportunity to see the Robben Island Museum, which includes a tour of the prison and where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life.
- Sunset CruisesWhether you are with a group of friends or your significant other, a sunset cruise is an absolute must-do when in Cape Town. Enjoy a glass of champaign, a light snack and the magnificent ocean view while you watch the sky transform.
It is true that Cape Town’s weather can be rather unpredictable – a beautiful summer’s day is not uncommon in the middle of winter and a rainy day has been known to occur during summer. However, to experience some of Cape Town’s most enjoyable activities and sites, as mentioned above, it is best to travel during peak summer times and make the most out of those glorious sunny days.
About Author: Klara Loots, founder of Lotus Media (and a proud Capetonian), is a freelance writer for CT Accommodation sites and Cape Town tourism sites.