CAPE TOWN! What an epic city! We spent 3 weeks here all up and could’ve stayed for agesss, a very liveable city!
We stayed in Camps Bay which is just over the hill from the city- 10min drive or a smidge longer on the bus. Definitely would stay there again! We actually scored a really cool air bnb for cheaper than a hostel! Was with an elderly couple in a massive house, the only bugger was we couldn’t use the kitchen too much-then we found out just how dirt cheap it is here!! More often than not it’s cheaper to eat out than to buy stuff to cook anyhow! Initially we booked 4 nights at the place just to see how we liked it, then booked another 12! Unfortunately it was booked out after that so we swapped to a place in Bo Kaap which is on top of the hill overlooking the city and waterfront…also a good spot with an amazing view!
If you are into climbing mountains and hiking and a multitude of other activities to keep you going Cape Town is a great place to visit! We loveeeed it. We hired a car for one week, YAY you can hire a car here without paying the young driver fee as long as you are over 23 😀 😀 woo! It was like $15 a day, fully insured! Definitely recommend hiring a car even for a short period, there is SO much to see and do it’s epic. The my city bus system was good for us when we first got in, there was a stop just outside our house that would take us to the beach, waterfront, city centre, table mountain and so on! Cheap too but a car is the way to go.
The weather is back to front and upside down, we soon learnt to dress for sunshine/moderate warmth but pack for freezing cold icy Antarctic conditions too, the weather seems to change it’s mind every 30mins and when the wind blows ooooooh it blows straight through you. So cool being back into nature though, look around and you’re surrounded by such an epic backdrop 🙂 We went up Table Mountain for sunset (weren’t prepared for the freezing cold up there!!!) but it was really neat. There was a sunset special-half price on the cable car, $12 each return instead of $24. With the toe injuries between us there’s no way we could’ve handled the climb!
The beaches are gorgeous, the shark signs are everywhere and pretty freaky! But the water is SO SO SO COLD you can’t swim for longer than 10seconds anyway 😛 Even surfing Dan got cold! Heaps of really neat surf spots around but after our shark dive it’s suddenly a whole lot more scary 😛 I think Western Australia has had more shark attacks/fatalities in the recent years than here though!
We were quite lucky to experience Table Mountains table cloth! It’s like a dry ice experiment, soooo cool to just sit and marvel at mother nature! The old story goes that the tablecloth is caused by a smoking contest between the devil and a legendary local pirate known as Van Hunks.
We drove Chapamans peak in both directions on different days and were fortunate enough to see a mother and calf Southern Right Whale only about 50m offshore just outside of Witsand beach. We cruised with them following them around the coast watching them breach and play, so magical 🙂 Shame the water is so icy cold, the sounds they would’ve been making would’ve been so neat to listen to ^_^ Baboon signs everywhere but we didn’t meet the critters!
We continued around the Boulder Beach to see the African penguins hanging out 🙂 Saw a few babies that were starting to lose their fluff in the bushes! Too cute. We then kept driving the coast and did a big loop back to Camps Bay. So picturesque.
We spent a day at World of Birds animal sanctuary, I was a wee bit worried as I couldn’t find much about what they stand for and was hoping I wasn’t paying for them to continue exploiting animals like so many places and was SO happy to see they are legit. Their story is really neat, the animals they rescue and look after are very happy in their permanent homes and oh my god the squirrel monkeys are SO cute!!!!! We spent the whole time their sanctuary was open to the public (1.5hrs in the morning and afternoon) hanging out with them. So freakin gorgeous, I’ve only known the evil scary Bali monkeys so never really liked them much but oooooh these guys changed everything. We also saw a couple with pet monkeys in the supermarket that day ha.
Diving with the Great Whites in Gansbaai was such a surreal experience. We drove the coast (roughly 2 hrs) to get there, you could get a shuttle service from Cape Town but it was an extra $35 per person…Car hire for the day $15 + petrol = still not $70. Plus the drive is really nice even if I did fall asleep for basically the whole drive home 😛 😛 Also back to driving on the left (normal) side of the road, thankgod Dan can flick so easily between the two, my brain still freaks out trying to work out when walking to the car doors/which way the traffic is going >_< 😛 We stopped through Hermanus on the way home to try and spy some whales again but just saw this gorgeous little family of hyrax (Dassie) instead hehe, so cute!
Kirstenboch Gardens are really neat too, spent an afternoon wandering about, soaking up natures goodies and getting close to all the baby guinea fowl around! I also led us mega off the track but all part of the adventure 😛
We did the Robben Island tour as well. It’s $30 but we highly recommend it. It’s where Nelson Mandela and many other political prisoners were held. You get off the boat and hop onto a bus that drives around the sites with a host explaining the areas etc. You then head to the prison and the tour through it is run by former prisoners which is truly amazing. Everyone seems to focus all their attention on Mandela (don’t get me wrong he was incredible!) but it’s really interesting hearing other inmates’ stories, remembering the others and their experiences. Former prisoners and prison guards also live together on the island now……big, open hearts here, something I think the rest of the world needs to pay attention to! If you do make the trip over be sure to pack for freezing cold winds-super icy there too! The view of Table Mountain is pretty damn wicked.
We thought we ought to visit the beaches near the suburb Table View purely because of the name and yea the view is pretty schweet.
We ventured up to Signal hill for the sunset quite a few times which is cold but so neat. Somehow we got lucky and could park in the perfect ocean front spot and watch it all from the window and warmth of the car 😛 We also had a few killer sunsets from our place in Camps Bay.
You really should try to climb Lions Head if you visit Cape Town (which I think you should-pretty expensive to fly here from other continents but very cheap once you’re here!) the view from the top is soooo wicked. It’s a neat climb too. Pretty easy most of the way up then there are staples, chains and ladders to help you climb the rocks the rest of the way up. We were higher than the helicopters zipping around ! (We were actually going to do a flight but 10mins in the chopper is around the same price as a whole day shark diving and I think I’d rather do that again!!) Heapsssss of paragliders launch from sort of near the start of the track (Uncle Lyn you would loveeeeeeee it, I might have to go tandem with you next time I visit, looks so majestic gliding off the side of a mountain 😛 )
There are plenty of things to keep you busy here. We felt quite safe the whole time too but obviously didn’t go into shady areas/stay out mega late, basically use common sense and be aware of the fact you are in Africa…. Jumped on the Intercape bus and 8hrs later we arrived into Knysna, which has been our home for the past 5 weeks at an eco lodge! Back to basics 🙂