Essential Cape Town experiences

Enjoy nature, wildlife, history and culture in South Africa’s second city.

Spectacular nature

You can start your visit to Cape Town at Table Mountain. At over 1000m high, it provides a spectacular view over the city and sea. To get to the top, you can take the famous cable car or hike up, with the shortest summit route taking about two hours. Reward yourself for your effort at the cafe at the top.

Cable car on Table Mountain

For a great view, climb to the top of Lion’s Head (45 minutes) for views of the city, sea and Table Mountain.

Learn about South Africa’s incredible diversity of plants at the Kirstenbosch Gardens. These beautiful botanical gardens feature 9000 of the 22,000 plant species in southern Africa.

View of the boomslang walkway in the Kirstenbosch botanical garden in Cape Town

The 52,800 sq-km grounds are well cared for and significant effort has gone into making the gardens engaging. There’s an elevated fragrance garden, a sculpture garden and a Braille trail. In 2013, a tree canopy walkway was built to wind through the trees, providing fantastic views.

You can’t visit Africa without seeing some of the wildlife, and you can view African penguins close to the city. Head to Boulders Beach and see a colony of 2100 African penguins from a raised boardwalk.

History lessons

The former political prison on Robben Island is not to be missed if you want a deeper understanding of South Africa’s history. Museum guides are recruited from the ranks of former inmates, giving you an incredible opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the prison. It’s especially moving to stand in the place where Nelson Mandela wrote his autobiography.

Learn more about the Apartheid years at the District 6 Museum, which celebrates and preserves the multi-racial area that was destroyed during the 60s and 70s. 60,000 inhabitants were forcibly relocated and the museum tells their stories.

Unforgettable experiences

The colourful Cape Malay neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap was once home to Cape Town’s slave populations, before becoming the centre of the city’s Muslim residents. There’s great food to be had in this neighbourhood but the real draw is the houses painted in bright hues of orange, pink, blue and green.

Pick up souvenirs at the Bay Harbour Market, where artisans and vendors from all over the city converge to sell their wares. You’ll find jewellery, art and clothing, plus live music and food. It’s a lively experience.

Another great souvenir is the South African wines. The famous Stellenbosch wine region is just 45 minutes from Cape Town, and is home to hundreds of vineyards. Consider taking the Vine Hopper, a hop-on, hop-off bus, so you don’t have to worry about driving.

Explore Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch and more on a 13-day Spectacular South Africa Tour from $5799pp twin share. Book now and take advantage of this special RACQ Travel price. For more information visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.

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