Cape Town: 9 Quintessential Things You Must Do

Cape Town is the legislative capital city of South Africa, and a world travel destination everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime.

Cape Town is a beautiful vacation spot, thanks to its diverse terrain, welcoming locals, and booming tourism industry.

There are many things to see and do in Cape Town. Below are nine quintessential activities you have to try when you visit the “Mother City”.

1. Visit Table Mountain

Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain where you can admire the stunning views of the whole region. See the whole town, the peninsula and the sea in all directions. Adventurous visitors can then abseil back down – all 112 feet!

2. Take a swim

Swimming in this beautiful sea does have its risks. There are 98 species of shark in South African waters and 40 of these live off the coast of Cape Town. For those who really want to get close and personal with a shark then it is worth taking a trip to Gansbaii – known as the white shark capital of the world. There, you will be able to dive in a shark cage and get up to these fearsome predators.

3. Enjoy fine dining

Cape Town has a wide variety of delicious local dishes and fantastic eateries all across town. Indulge in Chalmar beef fillet with oxtail, West Country crayfish risotto, or even the more discerning taste of springbok medallions with celeriac puree in a rich port and truffle sauce.

There are also establishments which offer the traditional African food. Eating at these venues will be an eye-opening experience worth a try. Menus range from Xhosa Fare like samp — which is crushed maize used in porridge — to African spinach or Ethiopian flatbreads.

4. Explore history

South Africa only recently ended its struggle with Apartheid. The District Six Museum and Robben Island are both must-see places for history buffs. District Six focuses on when the white government established a white-only area and forced 60,000 residents out of their homes. Robben Island on the other hand was home to Nelson Mandela for eighteen years – in the South African maximum security prison. The island is a symbol of hope to many people around the world.

5. Long Street

Party animals and nightcrawlers will love the atmosphere on and around Cape Town’s Long Street. It is full of secret hideaways, good music and great company. Enjoy the live performances, world-class cocktails, and be ready to party up to the early dawn.

6. Admire penguins

Just a short drive from Cape Town is Boulder’s Beach, home to a colony of jackass penguins.  They’re named after the jackass because of their singing – a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

7. Something fishy

Adding to the culinary delights of the city is the huge variety of fish available in a huge variety of restaurants. Some are on the docks and others dotted around the town. Whichever you choose, you will not regret ordering the freshly-caught South African Tuna and enjoying it just seared to maximise the flavor.

8. Bling, bling!

Africa has plenty of precious gems and metals and this has resulted in some of the finest craftsmen in the world. Born and bred in Africa they will make you a unique and stunning piece of jewellery, customizable to your tastes.

9. All about that Jazz

Jazz as a music form represents struggle with oppression. There are many musicians who used jazz to inspire and uplift spirits during the Apartheid.  In the last twenty years the jazz has evolved into jazz with a distinctive African spice. Cape Town hosts many jazz festivals and concerts that has a deep root in South African history and daily life.

We love Cape Town because it is diverse, entertaining and cultural. The Mother City truly has something for everyone. From beautiful mountains to perfect beaches, Cape Town is a travel destination that will take your breath away.

About the author

Edward Francis is a regular travel blogger who writes here on behalf of!