Cape Town: A traveler’s ultimate outdoor adventure

South Africa ticks all the boxes for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and outdoor exploration.

Ask any traveler which African countries are the best to visit and they will surely mention South Africa right away.

Cape Town is the country’s oldest city and the seat of South Africa’s Parliament. Due to its combination of culture and architecture, Cape Town offers travelers a unique experience that other cities in the country lack.

Cape Town provides a cosmopolitan feel, but within minutes visitors can be exploring Table Mountain or walking down long coastal stretches. Cape Town’s natural beauty brings visitors from all over the world. In 2016, it welcomed 1.56 million travelers with many of those exploring the entirety of Cape Town.

Birdseye view of Cape Town on a beautiful sunny day.

The number of visitors to Cape Town is expected to increase in the coming years and many of the city’s tourist attractions will be overrun with visitors. A CityPals’ guide can make a trip to “The Mother City” much more pleasant as travelers skip the tourist traps and find some hidden treasures.

Table Mountain

Okay, Table Mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town, but there is good reason for it. Table Mountain is a splendid natural attraction that gives visitors the chance to hike, bike, and climb it.

Travelers can also take the Table Mountain Cable Car to the top and enjoy great 360-degree views as they ascend to the summit. The mountain overlooks Cape Town and the views from the top are breathtaking.

Not only can travelers get exercise by hiking and biking up Table Mountain, but there are local groups that offer yoga classes. Visitors can do their downward dog pose while high in the clouds above Cape Town.

The view from Table Mountain in Cape Town

The view from Table Mountain

Robben Island

No trip to Cape Town is complete without visiting Robben Island. The island lies just over four miles off of the South Africa coast. The prison on Robben Island was first used in the 1600s and it is unknown just how many political prisoners passed through its gates.

It was here, Robben Island that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18, of his 27 year imprisonment during the country’s Apartheid era. Since Mandela’s release, Robben Island has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significance in South Africa’s history.

 The entrance to the infamous Robben Island - Cape Town

The entrance to the infamous Robben Island

Springbok Experience Rugby Museum

Rugby and cricket are the two most popular sports in South Africa. Travelers may have the opportunity to see both sports played during a trip.

True rugby fans will want to see the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum. Located in the gorgeous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, an area that has been rejuvenated in recent time, the rugby museum gives visitors the chance to experience the country’s trials and tribulations through the sport.

There are a number of informative exhibits housed inside the museum and each gives plenty of detail on rugby’s history in South Africa.

Picture of the yard at the entrance to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum in Cape Town

The yard at the entrance to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum

Galileo Open Air Cinema

Travelers can feel like a Cape Town local at the Galileo Open Air Cinema. During the warm summer months, the Galileo Open Air Cinema launches a number of open-air locations around Cape Town.

The open-air cinema shows a variety of films, many of which are cult classics or favorites that have already been released in traditional cinemas. Moviegoers will find food stalls, seats, and tasty local beers served during a film showing. The Galileo Open Air Cinema is a perfect night out for couples or solo travelers.

Picture of the Galileo Open Air Cinema in Cape Town

Beaches

Anyone visiting the city must take advantage of the great outdoors and there is no better way to do that than visiting the beach. According to Capetonians, there is a beach to suit every mood in and around Cape Town.

In January 2019, Cape Town had 10 beaches awarded Blue Flags for the season thanks to meeting strict standards for safety, hygiene, and beauty.

Clifton Beach is the most popular in the city and is located near Cape Town’s most wealthy neighborhoods. It is a picturesque beach perfect for water sports and sunbathing. Surfers Corner is another great sandy, sunny stretch. It is considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa. Tourist looking to hang 10 will find no better place in Cape Town.

Beautiful day in Camps Bay in Cape town, South Africa

Clifton Beach

Crystal Pools

The Crystal Pools offers another extraordinary outdoor adventure to travelers. Crystal Pools is located near Gordon’s Bay and lies about an hour outside of Cape Town.

To reach Crystal Pools, visitors must complete a 45-minute hike through the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. Upon reaching the pools, hikers can cool off with a dip in the water. One of the coolest aspects of Crystal Pools are the baboons, who hikers will come contact with.

The Crystal Pools hike is a great day trip, but visitors must get a permit to experience the unique adventure. A CityPals guide can help travelers get a visitor permit and share an unforgettable day out at Crystal Pools.

Picture of the the Crystal Pools near Cape Town South Africa

Cape Town is an untapped city full of rich natural scenery. The Mother City as it is called, has been presented with many challenges lately, with water shortages high on the list.

Of the 1.7+ million foreign arrivals to the Western Cape, just over 94 percent chose Cape Town as their holiday destination in the previous years. Cape Town has experienced steady growth in tourism numbers, and continues to grow every year! Do not miss this beautiful gem of a destination!

Thank you very much to CityPal Alex from Cape Town for helping us edit this blog post and offer her insight and local knowledge.

Feel free to add your own suggestions for places to see and explore in Cape Town in the comments section below.

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