Fun things to do in Cape Town

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    Historical Hout Bay

    by lynnehamman Updated Mar 25, 2009

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    Hout Bay, once a sleepy little fishing village,is now a popular tourist attraction attracting local and international visitors. Coffee shops and restaurants line the streets, and the two hotels (Hout Bay Manor and the Chapman's Peak Hotel) are popular watering holes. The harbour is a worthwhile visit, as there are spectacular views of the bay and boat rides to Duiker Island and around the Sentinel, a small peak that juts out into the bay.
    The Hout Bay Yacht Club is situated in the harbour and provides moorings for both recreational, fishing and sailing boats
    At the harbour, there are wonderful seafood restuarants,with the freshest seafood. Sit outside, eat, and watch the fishing boats coming home, laden with the days catch.

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    Magical Scarborough

    by lynnehamman Updated Mar 25, 2009

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    I must confess outright that Scarborough is our home from home whenever we are in Cape Town.Richards sister owns a holiday home here, and we have spent many a happy weekend in this picturesque, peaceful little seaside suburb.
    The houses are quaint, and almost all within walking distance of the beach.
    The wide,clean beach is of course, magnificent.
    Scarborough lies just beyond Kommetjie,and is one of the few places in Cape Town that remains far from busy suburbia, despite its proximity to the city .
    The houses are rustic and colourful, and in great demand.Many of the residents are artists, sculptors and craftspeople.
    The beach is a favourite surfing spot, and is popular for horse-riding.
    On New Years Eve every year there is a wonderful tradition which is so popular that Capetonians come from far & wide to witness it. As the sun is setting, a band of Bag-Pipers play stirring music, which is enhanced by sound of the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
    So if you are ever in Cape Town on New Years Eve-pack a picnic basket, go here, and witness the magic.You will never forget it.

    See 2nd photo of tha Bag-Pipers and 3rd photo for Scarborough location (map)

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    For Wine-lovers.....Groote Constantia

    by lynnehamman Updated Apr 3, 2009

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    A holiday in Cape Town would be incomplete without a visit to historic Groote Constantia, and we never miss re-visiting it every time we return to Cape Town. It gives one such a fascinating glimpse of the past, and for wine-lovers it is particuarly of interest. This is where it all started.
    Dating back to 1685, it was originally established as an area of farming- cultivating vineyards, fruit trees and vegatable gardens. The Estate became famous for its fine wines- and even today the wines of Groote Constantia are amongst the best in the world.
    The Estate was divided and sold in 1778, and the original Cape Dutch Homestead and its surrounds were purchased by the Cloete family, who extended the vineyards and improved the manor and added extensions. The architect was Louis Michel Thibault.During the period of Cloete ownership (until 1885) the estate became famous for its fine dessert wines, after which it was purchased by the government.
    There is a Cultural Museum inside the house now-focused on slavery during the early Colonial period and early life in the settlement.
    The grounds around the homestead are filled with magnificent old Oak trees, out-houses and stables. What really is striking is the architecture, which is typical Cape-Dutch, with graceful curved gables, and narrow wooden shuttered windows. Inside- the floors are stone-tiled, ceilings are high with wooden beams, and there are exhibits of everyday life dating back to the 17th century.
    Visitors are offered a choice of excellent dining on the Estate. The Tavern Restaurant (which is a traditional family favourite meeting place for us), is built in the original bottling and maturation cellar. It offers a variety of continental dishes and caters for larger functions, and alsohas an outdoor area.
    The atmospheric Jonkershuis Restuarant serves Cape Malay, traditional South African and contemporary cuisine.

    .Visitors can order picnic baskets from the Restaurants - there are beautiful picnic areas designated, under huge towering Oak trees.
    So- don't miss a visit to Groote Constantia. Not only will you fascinated by its history, charm and beautiful peaceful surroundings- you can enjoy a lazy long lunch with great food, and the very best wines- indoors or outdoors.

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    Enjoy the Scenic Drives

    by lynnehamman Updated Apr 29, 2009

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    There are many scenic drives. A lovely way to spend a day is to pack a good picnic lunch, and drive out into the countryside. The scenery along the way, wether it be to mountains or sea, is always breathtaking. The wineland area around Fransch Hoek is my favourite area for a picnic,or a long lunch under the oak trees in one of the villages along the way. See the old French-Hugeonot architecture - evident in all the towns along the way. Very distinctive, white gabled houses have all been beautifully preserved.
    The Drive around Chapmans Peak is breathtaking - see beaches, fishing villages, mountain flora.

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    The Old Malay Quarter

    by lynnehamman Updated Oct 14, 2009

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    This colorful old neighborhood , situated near the city centre, was once the home to the Malay community in Cape Town. It is now called "Bo Kaap", and has undergone a restoration.It is considered to be one of the 'in' places to live in Cape Town. The houses are colorful, the streets and lanes are still cobbled, and there are mosques and cafes with outdoor seating. It has immense charm, and a stroll through this area is a great way to spend a few hours.There are good restuarants and coffee shops in the area.

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    Wine fans! Don't miss these tastings!

    by Bunsch Written Dec 29, 2006

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    The Stellenbosch region has dozens of wineries, some very small farms and others which are, like the Ernie Els plantation, quite overwhelming. After spending three days visiting and sampling, here are some of my favorites.

    Waterford -- a beautiful, Tuscan-style mansion set in an orchard of clementines, what really distinguishes this place (aside from its double-gold Kevin Arnold Shiraz) is the wine-and-chocolate tasting. If you're looking for something a bit different, Waterford is a great stop.

    J.C. Bredell -- a small farm with great wines, an affable owner, and a dog who will chase anything for as long as you care to throw it. Don't miss the port-that-isn't-because-of-Portuguese restrictions!

    Sylvan Vale -- camped on the grounds of a hotel with unbelievably beautiful vistas, this was a great "finisher" with a peerless cheese tray to go with the creditable wines. "Jewel of the Valley" is worth bringing home to someone special.

    Vergelegen -- glorious wines, glorious scenery, VERY hard to find unless you've got a current Pletter.

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    Where shall we worship this Sunday?

    by Bunsch Written Feb 20, 2007

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    For many of us outside South Africa, the first we heard of St. George's Cathedral was during the reign of the Rt. Rev. Desmond Tutu as Archbishop. I love the stories told about his preaching during the era of apartheid. Although he has retired, his spirit still seems to permeate the cathedral and its pleasant grounds, including a labyrinth. Walking it provides a lovely contemplative meditation. At any rate, I can highly recommend spending a Sunday with this multicultural congregation, where the lessons and prayers are read in Inkosi, Afrikaans and English. You may also be delighted by the stellar music, as I was. Sunday services are held at 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:15 AM, and at 11:00 (Solemn Sung Eucharist, only on the last Sunday of each month). There is a coffee gathering afterwards where friendly folks make themselves known to visitors. Weekday services are held at 7:15 AM and 1:15 PM, daily except Saturday, at 8:00 AM Saturday, and at certain other times.

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    On a Clear Day you can see Forever

    by lynnehamman Updated Oct 14, 2009

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    Table Mountain - Cape Towns Breathtaking Landmark. You can climb it, photograph it,gaze at it at night, when it is flood-lit - but the best way to appreciate it is by going to the very top - by cable-car. Its a 10 minute unforgettable ride to the cable-house, at the top of the mountain.The car holds about 60 passengers, and offers a great aerial view of Cape Town.Be warned, though. Should the "table-cloth" appear (clouds can cover the top of the mountain) the cable coes not run.
    Best time to go up is just before sunset. There is a cosy restuarant on top of the mountain.

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    Paarl Winelands

    by cokes Written Jan 10, 2005

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    The Paarl Wine Route is also called the 'Red Route' for its legendary red wines.

    Cabernet Sauvignon, port and Shiraz wines have established Paarl's place on the global wine map and the region has repeatedly received international awards for these wines.

    The Paarl wine district lies to the north of Stellenbosch, and is bordered by the town of Wellington to the north east, and the mountains of the Groot and Klein Drakenstein and Franschhoek ranges to the south east.

    The Berg River, which rises in the high mountains overlooking Franschhoek, winds its way to the sea through an ever widening valley, flanked by the majestic Groot Drakenstein and Wemmershoek Mountains, on through Paarl and past Wellington.

    This is the life giving artery of one of the country's major wine producing areas. The most important areas situated along the upper reaches of the river are: Franschoek, Groot Drakenstein and Paarl.

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    The Castle

    by jo104 Written Mar 8, 2005

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    The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 upon establishing a maritime replanishment station art the Cape of Good Hope for the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (Verenigde Oos-Indische Compagnie).

    On 26 April 1679 the 5 bastions were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange. The Western bastions was named Leerdam ; followed in clockwise order by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau and Orange.

    The Cape of Good Hope houses the regional headquarters of the Army in the Western Cape, the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks, the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments.

    Entrance and Bell Tower
    The main entrance to the Castle bears many reminders of the nearly 1.5 centuries of VOC presence at the Cape. This entrance is a unique example of 17thC Dutch classicism. The bell, cast in 1697 by Claude Fremy in Amsterdam, still hangs in the tower from its original wooden beams.

    Fortification
    The Castle of Good Hope was built in accordance with 17thC European principles of fortification comprising strong bastions from which the outside walls could be protected by cross-fire.

    Het Bakhuys & Dolphin Pool
    During restoration of the inner courtyard, the foundations of the early 18thC bakery and pool were discovered. The building, currently known as Het Bakhuys ('t Bakhuijs), has been reconstructed on these foundations.

    Castle Military Museum
    This museum depicts the military history of the Cape, the Castle and Cape Regiments.

    William Fehr Collection
    This collection consists of artworks reflecting many aspects of cultural life at the Cape from the early VOC days until the end of the 19thC. Exhibitions of a contemporary nature are occasionally presented.

    Moat
    Sections of the moat, once a part of the Castle's system of defence, were rebuilt restorations

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    Cool outing for the family

    by cokes Written Dec 10, 2004

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    For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society.

    During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs.

    Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.

    Prices for tour available at Cape Tourism Board.

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    Gordon`s Bay

    by cokes Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    This is a very nice place to go and relax. Its situated next to Strand.

    Bikini Beach in Gordons Bay is absolutely tiny but its a real pleasure to swim there. Its situated next to the harbour. Make sure you go there early as parking can become a real problem sometimes.

    The Mountains that you can see in the background in picture is the Hottentots Hollands which is really beautiful. The road from here to Hermans via Kool Bay and Betties Bay is absolutely beautiful, kinda like Chapmans Peak Drive.

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    Strand

    by cokes Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    He Guys , if you love spending time on the beach then I highly recommend the Strand.

    Just driving along the beach gives you this great Holiday Feeling. This is a long stretch of beach and when driving along , everyone seems to be having fun. You just gotta stop and enjoy yourself.

    Well like I said before in my Gordon`s Bay review parking can be a problem in the peak season so always try to go early.

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    Wine Estates at Paarl

    by cokes Written Jan 10, 2005

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    Wine is a driving force in South African tourism and it's easy to understand why. Relatively short distances between wine estates allow energetic enthusiasts to explore well-signed routes by bike or car throughout gorgeous countryside. Currently, a dozen wine routes offer easy navigation of tasting rooms, restaurants and bistros where the diversity of wine styles - from sweet to dry, nervy whites to dense reds - cater to every occasion and taste.

    Well Paarl is about 30 mins or so away from Cape Town. Its a small town but yet very nice. I guess if you visiting the wine route , this is alovely place to go to.

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    Devil`s Peak

    by cokes Written Nov 7, 2004

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    When going to Table Mountain , before going up the Cable Car just continue driving on that cliff side road until you reach the end. You will get a spectacular view of the whole of the Cape from here. I know that the view is absolutely beautiful from here but just keep your eyes on the road as its a long drop down.

    You will see from my photo how breath taking the view is.

    This is a must see.

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Comments (1)

  • DanieP's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Ummmmm, please review the dates of the insert re Bartolomeu Dias. From the date of him rounding the Cape of Good Hope (1488) to his appointment by King John II in 1847 is a lapse of 359 years...

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Jan 6, 2014 at 4:04 AM

      Welcome to VT. All VT content is written by individual locals and visitors. If you think there is an error in one of the pages or tips then it would be a good idea to send a message to the member who wrote it. Just click on their username and then on 'send message' under the smaller photo to the right of their profile page.

      Even better....why not write your own VTCape Town pages and tips?

Cape Town Things to Do

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Must See

Table Mountain

Cape Point

V&A Waterfront

Castle of Good Hope

Groot Constantia Wine Farm

Hout Bay

Kalk Bay

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Map of Cape Town