Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain.
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
10:00am-11:00am : South Africa Jewish Museum
Established in 2000 by members of the Jewish Diaspora, South African Jewish Museum remains part of a synagogue complex, built in 1905. The exhibits narrate the history of South Africa's Jewish community, with a special focus on their fight for equality and struggle to maintain a distinct heritage. In addition to the Jewish memorabilia, the museum also displays a large collection of Japanese miniature art.
1:00pm-2:30pm : Franschhoek Motor Museum
Automobile enthusiast flock to Franschhoek Motor Museum, a collection of more than 200 vehicles ranging from antique to modern. The museum rotates its displays, so there's always something new to see within the four spacious warehouses. In addition to automobiles, you can view a variety of bicycles, motorcycles, and motor-related artifacts.
5:30pm-9:00pm : Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Take a relaxing walk along Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a scenic harbor promenade designed in a Victorian style and featuring a variety of shops and restaurants. Named after Queen Victoria and her son, Prince Alfred, the waterfront, originally developed in the 1860s, offers postcard-like views of Table Mountain and the ocean. You can take a ride on the Ferris wheel, or just enjoy a reinvigorating walk or jog along the ocean. Boasting more than 400 stores and hailed for its exquisite dining scene, the waterfront offers visitors plenty of distractions.
10:00am-11:30am : District Six Museum
Delve into the history of the apartheid at District Six Museum, a display about an area of Cape Town declared a white-only neighborhood in the 1960s. Founded in 1994, the museum narrates the story of those who were forced out of the district through various items, photos, and videos.
1:00pm-4:30pm : Cape Point
Take a tour of Cape Point, a dramatic seaside promontory and part of Table Mountain National Park, known for its scenic landscape and hiking trails. The narrow coastline, discovered in 1488 by Bartholomeu Dias, became famous as the birthplace of the "Flying Dutchman" legend. A bird-watching paradise, the area shelters more than 200 species, including the African penguin, as well as a variety of other creatures like Chacma baboon, fallow deer, whales, and the elusive Cape mountain zebra.
10:00am-1:00pm : Blloubergstand Beach
Known for its striking views of Table Mountain, Bloubergstrand Beach, a sweeping stretch of white sand in Table Bay, attracts flocks of visitors looking to relax, surf, cool off in the chilly waters, and enjoy the scenery. Wandering the long, broad beach, the site of a famous 1806 battle between British and Dutch colonists, you might get a glimpse of the Cape fur seals, humpback dolphins, and whales. A popular recreation area, the beach boasts ample space for sports, picnicking, and barbecues, while the local trade winds provide perfect conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
1:30pm-5:00pm : Robben Island Museum
Visit the World Heritage Site of Robben Island Museum, a spit of land just off the Cape Town coast. The island's main claim to fame is rather unfortunate--it includes the prison in which Nelson Mandela served much of his sentence. Used for isolating political prisoners since the 17th century, the island also housed as a leper colony and a World War II fortress during its history. Take a boat ride to the island to delve into the history of the anti-apartheid movement and see where numerous activists, three of which later became presidents, served out their prison sentences. On a tour of the maximum-security prison, you'll most likely be guided by a former inmate who can offer a glimpse into the grueling experience many suffered here.
10:00am-11:30am : Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia represents one of South Africa's oldest wine estates, with origins dating back to the late 1600s. This fully operational farm boasts a rich 300-year history. Insired by the late Dutch Renaissance style, the site's original manor house featured white marble and red stone. You can take a bus tour to see best views of the vineyards and the estate itself, or take a guided cellar tour and experience first-hand how the wine is made. Be sure to stop at the estate's museum, which offers a glimpse into its rich history.
1:30pm-4:30pm : Grotto Beach
Grotto Beach represents an unblemished coastal beauty suited for relaxation, bare-foot walks, and recreation. Located near a whale sanctuary, the seldom-crowded beach contains all sorts of facilities and amenities, including showers, public barbeques, wheelchair ramps, and sand volleyball areas. You can wind or wave surf here, or stop by one of the restaurants offering fresh seafood and all kinds of signature drinks.
10:00am-1:00pm : Clifton Beaches
The playground for wealthy locals, Clifton Beaches include a series of sand strips divided by large granite rocks. Overlooked by Lion's Head Hill, the beaches offer a chance to cool off in the cool water, surf, or participate in a game of beach volleyball. Popular with surfers and families alike, the cliff-fringed sandy shore offers scenic views of the ocean and protection from the infamous winds that prevail in the area.
1:30pm-2:00pm : Twelve Apostles
Hike the scenic trails of Twelve Apostles, a series of twelve peaks that extend from Table Mountain, overlooking the Atlantic part of the Cape Peninsula. You can walk for hours on some of the hiking paths while experiencing panoramic views of Table Mountain and the sandy beaches below. If you don't feel like walking, you can admire the peaks from your own vehicle via the picturesque Victoria Road--it's a long, smooth drive that offers ocean views.
2:30pm-6:00pm : Table Mountain National Park
Take the cableway to the top of Table Mountain National Park and enjoy the stunning views from the top of a Cape Town landmark. The mountain's most recognizable feature, its long, flat plateau, along with its diverse wildlife, attracts visitors from all over the world. You can also hike one of the numerous mountain trails, the most popular of which is a trek along a centrally located gorge. In addition to the picturesque scenery and panoramic views from the top, the mountain offers a variety of activities, from rock climbing to exploring its sandstone cave systems.
10:30am-1:00pm : Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
Meet African penguins at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, a series of sandy coves separated by granite rocks. Part of Table Mountain National Park, the beach has had an influx of visitors since 1982, when the colony of penguins was formed. Hanging out on the picturesque beach, you can observe the charming animals at close range or snap a few memorable photos. If you come on a warm day, try swimming alongside the penguins, but resist the urge to reach out and touch them--though not considered dangerous, these animals are wild and could become agitate if you invade their privacy.
2:00pm-2:30pm : Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate
Nestled in the oldest wine-producing region in the Southern Hemisphere, Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate features a restaurant, a wine shop with a tasting room, and a bike park. Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal on the lovely patio, followed by the tasting of several different wines. You can even bring along your children--a closed play area with a jungle gym will keep them busy while you take part in a tasting session with an expert.
3:00pm-6:00pm : Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Boasting a scenic setting on the slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden remains one of the most popular Cape Town attractions, drawing visitors with its staggering diversity of indigenous and exotic plants. Founded in 1913 and now part of a World Heritage Site, the garden offers a look into five different biomes of South Africa, spread across its conservatory and picturesque exterior landscape. Don't miss the stone sculptures from Zimbabwe, and consider setting off on one of the trails leading to the top of Table Mountain.
11:30am-4:30pm : West Coast National Park
Bask in the unspoiled beauty of the Atlantic coastline at West Coast National Park. Covering 27,500 hectares (67,954 acres) of coastal landscapes, the park is known for its abundant population of birdlife, scattered across hidden beaches, lagoons, and rock formations. Explore the lagoons to spot flamingoes and dramatic coastal scenery, or venture farther into the plains to see antelopes, mountain zebras, and ostriches. Visit between August and December if you wish to spot whales.