Summer is in Cape Town and the days are long and beautiful. It is warm and sunny and the mother city’s outdoors are bursting with opportunity to explore and experience. Even locals working the nine to five, have plenty of day light to enjoy the magic this summer. Here are 1o reasons to shut your laptop, throw down your Xbox controller and open your curtains, doors and venture outside.
- Award Winning
We are globally famous! Media 24 reports that the 2015/2016 Telegraph Travel Awards chose Cape Town as the Best City in the World for the fourth year running, dusting out Vancouver and Venice, which took second and third place respectively in the Best City category. It does not stop here. This are only one rating of many travel magazines with millions of readers voting, including the well-respected Conde Nast.
The most famous icon of Cape Town is unarguably Table Mountain. This natural marvel is ginormous and diverse, luring nature lovers from all over the world. Take a hike! Literally, get out and see for yourself. There are many trails that lead up Table Mountain. A web of beautiful hikes that showcase the best views in the Cape and that have made this mountain a memorable adventure. In 2012, Table Mountain joined the Amazon rainforest, Vietnam’s Halong Bay, Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, South Korea’s Jeju Island, Indonesia’s Komodo and the Philippines’ Puerto Princesa Underground River as the newly listed seven natural wonders of the world.
The Cape, undeniably, has some of the best vistas in the world. Rather than towering concrete, Cape Town and her suburbs are guarded by ancient rock giants, surrounded by pristine ocean. Looking out from East or West you can enjoy some incredible ocean views, mountain backgrounds and cityscapes. The best perspective of the Cape is from her cliff side drives, and panoramic mountain trails. Drive or hike the peninsula and see for yourself!
Sunset over the Cape Atlantic is the best way to end a day in Cape Town. Go alone to find your soul, cherish the moment with friends or flatter your sweetheart with this romantic activity. There are many spots along Cape Town’s western shore line. To mention a few: Blouberg Strand, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Clifton and my favourite, the summit of Lions Head. Crack open a beverage of your choice and cheers to your beautiful city and inspired soul. Lions head is a great activity to be outdoors at night and watch the moon rise and city lights glimmer.
I am not only talking about the famous Camp’s bay or Clifton. In my adventures around the Peninsula, I have found some amazing nooks that are peaceful and give me the feeling I am on a deserted island. My most recent was Windmill Beach, next to Simonstown. Refreshing water to swim or snorkel, seals and penguins and giant boulders to launch yourself off into the crystal water below. Another isolated beach on the Indian Ocean Seaboard is Smitswinkel Bay. On the cooler Atlantic side you can enjoy tranquillity at Glen Beach and Oudekraal, to mention a few.
The summers in Cape Town are hands down the best in the country. The days are sunny and warm as the winter rains leave a dryer heat than the humid tropics. A “Mediterranean climate”. Those who are bothered by the wind have the options to go to the “other side” of the mountain that is sheltered from one of our two prevailing winds, the South Easterly and South Westerly.
The wildlife in the Cape is special. One of six floral kingdoms in the world boasts more plant species than the whole of Europe. With this habitat comes an array of beautiful bird species. Birding has become one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in South Africa. With a vast ocean habitat, the Cape is also home to some of the best pelagic birding trips. From this ocean has come a special animal, the endangered African Penguin. Boulders Beach is a rare land based penguin colony where you can actually swim with these amazing creatures.
Cape of Good Food & Drink
Picture vineyards that stretch to mountains and oceans. Deliciously bold and crisp wines that tantalize your palate. Pair these with mouth-watering dishes that boast on international standards. Not surprisingly, Cape Town has been rated South Africa’s best food city for 2016 form numerous sources. Almost every outdoor activity around Cape Town is near a delicious winery, restaurant, bar or coffee shop. A short drive from Cape Town is Franschoek. This village nestled in a wine valley, has eight of South Africa’s one hundred best restaurants, winning South Africa’s culinary capital year after year. Not to mention, Cape Town and her surrounds are quickly becoming the home of South African micro-breweries. Sit back in the sun or shade and sip on a range of hand crafted beers fit for the adventurous traveller.
South Africans are the friendliest people in the world! Having travelled globally, I agree. According to Trip Advisor’s head of destination marketing and sales in Europe, South African friendliness “comes from the heart and this is why you need to visit South Africa”. We love our tourists and showing people our land. The conversations I have had with tourists in the Cape Town outdoors have been enlightening and memorable. Dressed in my outdoor gear, I am often mistaken for a tourist and am offered tips by a local wanting to start conversation. It is wonderful and restores hope in humanity.
Cape Town is officially the Legislative Capital of South Africa, however, Wildthings Outdoor has unofficially named Cape Town is the best outdoor city in South Africa. It is iconic in the minds of many local and abroad. When travellers think of Cape Town they remember an incredible journey. Memories of landscapes, wildlife and people. An easy drive in all directions to a plethora of outside options. After reading this publication from Travel Start, it is pretty obvious that the Cape takes the majority of places of interest in South Africa. It is without a doubt that this summer should be the one that you step out into a city of possibilities and enjoy the adventure.