Cape Town: The Best Things to See & Do

Regularly voted one of the best travel destinations in the world – most recently scooping up the Cultural Destination of the Year Award for the incredible Zeitz MOCAA – Cape Town is as diverse as it is beautiful. As locals ourselves, the Timeless Africa Safaris team is perfectly placed to offer you our personal insight into the best of the rest; the lesser-known gems of the best city in the world. We can tell you where the locals go to drink great coffee, where to find the secret beaches and what time is best to visit the most popular attractions. We can also tell you all of the facts about the water shortage which is now well under control, thanks to good winter rainfall, diligent water saving by residents and the implementation of long-term alternative water sources by the local government. Find out more here.

As well as being a playground of fun and adventure, Cape Town also serves as the gateway to the rest of Africa, acting as an exciting starting point for greater exploration of the continent. Whether you’re planning a classic Big 5 safari, a bucket list visit to see the Great Migration, a trip to the tropical island paradise of Zanzibar or an unforgettable adventure in Botswana, our experienced team are here to craft the ideal itinerary just for you.

Nature & adventure

For many visitors to the Mother City, no trip is complete without going to the top of Table Mountain to get a birds-eye view of the city below or catch a spectacular sunset. If you’re feeling adventurous, then a hike up Lion’s Head gives a similar perspective while the white sands of Clifton Beach and Camps Bay beckon for those who are less energetic. Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to Boulders Beach to see the penguin colony which is a short drive away from majestic Cape Point; a ruggedly beautiful nature reserve at the tip of the peninsula where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The rolling lawns and lush indigenous vegetation of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens offer respite to weary travellers and provide a peaceful place to escape the bustling energy of the city.

Art & culture

Cape Town’s rich historical and cultural significance is an important part of the fabric of the city. The moving experience of going to Robben Island, the prison in which Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, is not to be missed. Those seeking a deeper understanding of our history will find the District Six Museum extremely interesting and enjoy the Bo-Kaap Museum, which honours the local Islamic culture and heritage that dates back to the times of slavery. The latest addition to the local art landscape is the opening of the striking Norval Foundation; a research and exhibition space for 20th and 21st-century artworks, as well as a platform for music and cultural expression. Timeless Africa Art Experiences, our specialist team dedicated to creating luxury art and cultural tours to South Africa, can put together a bespoke tour of the city’s best galleries according to your interests, allowing you to see African art in its original context. Of course, the jewel in the crown of Cape Town’s art scene has to be the Zeitz MOCAA; the result of a R500 million redevelopment project in partnership with German entrepreneur and philanthropist Jochen Zeitz and a stunning overhaul by British industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town

Wellness

Health and wellness is a hot topic in Cape Town – here you’ll find hundreds of yoga studios, smoothie shops, vegan eateries, luxury spas and cutting-edge treatments all over town. One of our favourite wellness destinations is Babylonstoren; eight acres of formal gardens in the Cape Winelands filled with over 300 varieties of edible plants, and home to an incredible Garden Spa set within a forest of bamboo. Next door is the tranquil Healing Garden which you browse at your leisure or stop to experience the weekly tea ceremony where medicinal herbs are brewed and served alongside a selection of savoury and sweet confections. Within the city itself are plenty of other options for getting some R&R while on vacation – simply tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll find the right experience for you.

Shopping

The V&A Waterfront is easily Cape Town’s most picturesque shopping destination, perched on the harbour’s edge at the foot of Table Mountain and attracting roughly 24 million visitors each year. Covering 123 hectares, it’s divided up into five shopping districts: Victoria Wharf, the Watershed, The Alfred Mall and Pierhead, The Clock Tower, and Breakwater Point. With more than 450 stores, you’ll find everything from local designers to big international brands. If more a more casual shopping experience is more your speed, there are a number of great markets to choose from. The weekly Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay is great for excellent food and organic groceries, Mojo Market in Sea Point combines live music, diverse food stalls and chic gift shops, while The Watershed at the V&A houses a huge selection of high quality local fashion, crafts, jewellery, art and more.

Food & wine

If you’re a foodie or a wine-lover then you’ll be spoilt for choice in Cape Town. There are a large number of award-winning fine dining restaurants for formal occasions as well as more laid-back locations for casual meals. Provenance and sustainability are high on the agenda for most Capetonian chefs so it’s also easy to find dishes made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients that celebrate farm-to-table cuisine. Wine is a huge part of the culture here, not least of all because of the proximity of the Cape Winelands; one of the oldest and greatest wine-producing regions in the world. The lush vineyards of Constantia are easiest to get to as they are tucked away within the city’s suburbs, although the 60 minute drive to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is well worth the effort for a leisurely day of wine tasting and good food, or even a few nights stay to explore the region fully.