If you only had 24 hours in Cape Town, and you wanted to get an essence of what the city is all about, what would you do?
Here’s our suggestion:
Start your morning with an early breakfast in the city centre. The Green Market Square hosts a huge curio market, and there are pavement restaurants dotted all around it. Sip your coffee over bacon and eggs, and revel in the noise and the colour of traders plying their wares and city workers rushing to get to work.
Then make your way to Table Mountain and let the cable car take you to the top of the famous flat mountain. The ride to the top is an adventure in itself, with the cable car offering 360 degrees views of Table Bay, the city and the soaring cliffs of the mountain. From the top you will get a good idea of the outlay of the city and parts of the peninsula. Amble around the pathways for the views on all sides of the mountain (you’ll be able to see the two oceans that hug the Cape coastline). You will also get an introduction to the Cape Hyrax or dassie, a rodent-like mammal that loves to bask in the sun on the rocks and is not perturbed by tourists.
After your descent, hire a car or driver, or take the Hop On Hop Off bus along the Atlantic seaboard. You will go past the famous beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. The bus will take you as far as Hout Bay, where you can indulge in the best fish and chips you’ll ever have,
If by car, the route will take you over the Chapman’s Peace pass, with beautiful views over Hout Bay harbour and the spectacular miles-long beach at Noordhoek. Make your way to Cape Point where you’ll drive through a nature reserve to get to the very tip of Africa. A funicular takes you to the top of the high ridge where you can watch the ocean crashing on the rocks below. The views are breathtaking, and on your way you may be lucky enough to spot buck, ostriches, zebra and baboons.
From there, make your way to Simon’s Town, South Africa’s naval base. Continue on this route to see all the quaint little towns that dot the route. Stop off at Kalk Bay harbour, and see the seals swimming around the harbour, waiting for off-cuts from the fishermen.
Back in the city centre, the V&A Waterfront is a must. Soak up the atmosphere of this working harbour by simply walking around and taking in the local acts of acrobats, music and mine. Go for a sunset cruise, either on a graceful yacht, or on a motorised boat. From here you will experience the magnificent sunsets of Africa and you’ll get beautiful views of the city and the seaboard.
When the night lights go on, go and explore the vibrant restaurants and bars of Long Street where young and old gather to party. It’s one of the oldest streets in Cape Town and it has retained its old-fashioned charm. However, there’s nothing old-fashioned about the partying and the music, so hold onto your hat and go with the beat!
This 24-hour trip will give you just enough to fall in love with Cape Town and make you come back, again and again!