February 11, 2017
I Loved my Three Day Trip to Cape Town, South Africa
Straight to the Point
This time around I wanted to do a bit of a crazy trip, so I booked a flight from Singapore to Cape Town on the new Singapore Airlines A350. I spent three beautiful days exploring Cape Town in January 2017 before heading home to Boston. Cape Town is right next to the ocean and surrounded by stunning mountains. The local food is great, the people are friendly, and there’s so many great activities to do! It’s also a very clean and modern city that resembles parts of Europe and is full of nature. I’ll definitely be making time to go back and explore more of the city.
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a peninsula about an hour drive from Cape Town. It one of the spots where the cold Atlantic ocean meets the warmer Indian ocean. It was discovered by Portuguese sailors in 1488, who believed it was the southernmost point in Africa and regularly navigated those waters on their way to the East. The southernmost point is actually Cape Agulhas, about 90 miles south. To fix the error, Cape of Good Hope has been re-labeled as the most south-western point in Africa.
The drive down from Cape Town is beautiful! We drove along the mountainside right along the ocean and got to snap tons of photos of the landscape.
Cape Town is also flush with African wildlife. We drove by a family of baboons walking along side of the road and also saw an ostrich farm along the way.
The actual tip of the Cape of Good Hope was insanely windy as it’s a peninsula with vast ocean winds all around it. So be careful when taking photos as the wind was strong enough to periodically blow the sand in our faces.
Go to Boulders Beach to see the only penguin colony in Africa! There appeared to be hundreds of penguins hangout out on the warm beach. You can find some burrowed in the sand, standing around with their mates, or waddling into the ocean for a swim! The actual beach area is blocked off so you can’t touch the penguins, but you can get fairly close on the boardwalk. The penguins were insanely cute in person and looked to be enjoying themselves.
Hike Table Mountain
A trip to South Africa isn’t complete without hiking Table Mountain. This is the iconic flat-top mountain you can see from pretty much anywhere in Cape Town. It looks amazing from afar and even better from the top.
I hired a local guide to hike up with me as I don’t hike regularly, but if you’re an experienced hiker you should be fine going up alone. It took us about three hours to get the top. Once you get there, you can take great pictures from all sides of the flat top and then enjoy the free wifi and the restaurant available for guests.
If you don’t want to walk all the way down, there’s rotating glass cable cars that take you back to the bottom and give you panoramic views of the city.
Victoria & Albert Waterfront
V&A Waterfront is a beautiful spot along the Atlantic Ocean full of local stores, international stores, restaurants, activities, and street musicians. If you’re done sight-seeing and want to shop, this is the place to go. The food here is excellent and you can soak in beautiful views of Table Mountain and the water.
I always try the local food when I visit a new part of the world. My only rule is that if I’m trying unusual food, I don’t buy it from street vendors. Victoria & Albert waterfront is full of great restaurants. Being that it’s Africa, you can find a lot of game meat on the menus that you can’t find in other parts of the world. In that spirit, I tried Zebra, Wildebeest, Ostrich, Kudu, and Springbok steaks-and they really weren’t that bad! All the game meats were quite lean (as game meat usually is), but my favorite was the Kudu and Springbok- two types of antelope. Pair that with some excellent South African wine. They typically eat steaks medium-rare here so if that’s not what you like make sure to tell your server!
If you’re feeling adventurous, book a cage diving tour with great whites sharks! There’s several of these operators in Cape Town which offer similar services. I used Marine Dynamics and loved the experience and the service they provided. They picked us up in a van at our hotel in Cape Town around 4 AM (yea, that’s early) and drove about two hours to the shark diving site in Kleinbaai. Once we got there we were given a great breakfast buffet including eggs, potatoes, bacon, cereal, fruits, coffee and tea.
After watching a brief safety video we boarded our boat and sailed for about 30 minutes to our shark diving site. The crew chummed the water to attract sharks and once we started seeing them, we took turns getting in cage on the side of the boat. We all had our thick Marine Dynamics wetsuits on so the cold ocean didn’t freeze us. Unfortunately the underwater visibility wasn’t great. We could only see the sharks if they came right up next to the cages, which the crew tried their best to accomplish through floating bait in the water.
Can't believe I was cage diving with Great Whites in South Africa just about a month ago. Time goes by fast!
Posted by ArisTravels on Saturday, February 11, 2017
I got much better views of the sharks from aboard the ship as the crew would call out when the animals were coming and try to get them to jump at the bait. Overall the shark diving was a lot of fun and I felt perfectly safe the whole time. My only complaint was the poor visibility underwater, but this is the ocean so, not much you can do about that.
How to Pay
- Chase Sapphire Reserve– 3X Ultimate Reward points on Travel & Dining.
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express-2X SPG points on Starwood & Marriott spend.
How to Redeem
- Stay at Westin Cape Town from 10,000 Starpoints per night.
- Stay at Hilton Cape Town City Centre from 40,000 Hilton points per night.