By Matt 16 May 2019

Top 10 Things to do in Cape Town

Who better to advise you on what there is to do in Cape Town than our very own Matt W.? Matt is from South Africa, and he lived in the spectacular Mother City for over two decades. Here is his round-up of the Top 10 activities to try:

1) Sea kayaking

Spend a couple of hours on the water just off Cape Town’s stunning Three Anchor Bay, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city whilst giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some incredible marine life. Cape fur seals, Heaviside’s dolphin, and mola mola (sunfish) are commonly encountered.

Combined with the relaxing, rhythmic nature of paddling on calm waters, and the unique views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head that aren’t available from other vantage points, this is an activity that will certainly enhance any visit to Cape Town.

*Duration: 2 to 3 hours

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2) Table Mountain

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Cape Town’s most iconic attraction is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, so ascending Table Mountain is certainly a ‘must-do’ for most visitors to the Mother City.

The panoramic views from the top are just spectacular, as are the jagged rock formations seen closely from the cable car on the way up and/or down the mountain. If you’re looking to get active, there are several wonderful hiking trails to the top, ranging in difficulty to cater for most people’s fitness level. 

*Duration: 2 to 3 hours (cable car), 4 to 6 hours (hike)

3) Cape Peninsula Tour

4) Sidecar Tour

Take in the sheer beauty that surrounds Cape Town by setting out on a lovely journey around the Cape Peninsula. This tour generally includes a visit to Boulders Beach, one of the only places in the world where you can see the endangered African penguin. Wind your way around the bends and curves of Chapman’s Peak Drive for some of the most breathtaking views Africa has to offer. After visiting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, enjoy lunch in the quaint and historically significant seaside village Simonstown, and spend some time strolling around the sublime Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

*Duration: full day

If you are looking for a fun, exhilarating, and unique way to explore Cape Town, taking a tour of the city in a sidecar should be near the top of your list of things to do! With the wind whooshing through your hair, there isn’t as much interaction and talking as there would be in a vehicle, but knowledgeable driver/guides will take you to various spots over the city, stopping off at a few points for you to stretch your legs whilst they point out the significance of the places you have passed along the way. 

*Duration: flexible (minimum 2 hours, with half-day and full-day tours available)

5) Art Tour

Cape Town and its surrounding areas now boast nearly a hundred art galleries, so it is no surprise that both the popularity of and interest in art have increased rapidly over the last few years. With a blend of established museums and lesser-known galleries, as well as a great range of types of artwork, from contemporary art to classic art, and fine art to street art, there truly is something to pique any art-lover’s interest.

To that end, tailor-made tours curated according to specific interests are commonplace. With Cape Town being the cultural melting pot that she is, her artwork tells a vivid tale about the city’s and the country’s storied history. 

*Duration: full day

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6) Cape Winelands tour

One of the premier winemaking regions in the world, the Cape Winelands is famed for its number of wineries and the variety of wines produced, as well as the different charm and character of each of the estates. In addition to boasting some of the world’s finest wines, the area is also incredibly picturesque and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa. Should you feel a bit adventurous, adding a twist by cycling through the vineyards has become a popular addition to Winelands tours.

*Duration: full day

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7) Robben Island Tour

8) Culinary walking tour

Situated roughly four-and-a-half miles off the coast of Cape Town’s mainland, Robben Island once housed Nelson Mandela for 18 years in its maximum-security prison, along with thousands of other political prisoners. Today it serves as the quintessential symbol of the triumph over injustice and oppression in South Africa. Guided tours of the island will see you visit the primary points of interest concerning its multi-faceted 500-year history, including a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.

*Duration: 3.5/4 hours (including ferry trips to and from the Robben Island)

Cape Town’s inhabitants consist of an intriguing medley of cultures and ethnicities, with people from many parts of the world who are full of passion, creativity, and history. These qualities are often translated better through cuisine than any other channel. With that in mind, taking a walking tour of the city, visiting street vendors and eateries, will bring you closer to that history and culture than sitting in a restaurant would. And learning about Cape Town’s artisanal culinary trends can be just as rewarding as a multi-course tasting menu at one of the city’s award-winning fine-dining establishments. 

*Duration: half day

9) First Thursdays

On the first Thursday of every month, art galleries, retail stores, music studios, and other cultural attractions in the city centre stay open until 9pm. There is no admission charge, some of the establishments will even offer complimentary wine or bubbles to attendees, and with the trendy restaurants and bars in the area it creates quite a fun atmosphere. There is no tour, schedule, or guided walk, but you can find a map outlining the places that are open and what exactly is on offer. This is certainly something to do for anyone who is keen to explore the city on foot and catch a glimpse of the cultural wealth Cape Town has to offer. 

*Duration: 5–9pm (only on the first Thursday of each month, and not at all in January)

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10) Mountain biking

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Following the global trend, going for a ride and exploring new places from the saddle of a bicycle has become just as popular in Cape Town as it has in other parts of the world. What sets Cape Town apart are the mountains, trails, and exceptional scenery, the likes of which aren’t as common in other urban settings.

Whether you would rather go cycling through forested areas on a well-maintained single track, or have sweeping ocean views from a beach (using a fat bike), there are several different areas in and around the city that offer exceptional mountain biking catering to a variety of different preferences. 

*Duration: half day

Here at Yellow Zebra, we are happy to help arrange private tours and activities as part of your safari adventure to South Africa. Please contact our experts to start planning your holiday, or take a look below for some more inspiration: