The vibrant city of Cape Town! – October 2018
It’s around an 11 hour flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg O.R Tambo airport. Then a short flight to Cape Town. The currency is Rand (1 Rand = £0.053). It’s very cheap so make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase for all the lovely things you’ll buy. We pre-booked a transfer from the airport into Cape Town and this worked well. The weather was great in October and reached highs of 27 degrees.
The first thing you will see when you leave the airport is the 2nd largest township in South Africa. It’s approximately 30km long. It’s unbelievable.
We stayed in an apartment in the Waterfront Village. Table Mountain behind us and the beautiful marina on the other side. The apartment was incredible and the village has five swimming pools. If you book an apartment with marina views you’re more then likely to see many seals. You’ll see them…but you’ll also hear them. It was also fun to watch the marina guards trying to move past these massive seals that were chilling on the piers throughout the day.
If you go to Cape Town you must take a trip up Table Mountain. We caught a Sightseeing Bus and headed up to the mountain. It wasn’t too busy and we managed to get to the top within around 20 minutes. You catch a cable car with a rotating floor as you head up the mountainside. It does go up vertical near the top which had a few people in tears (including myself…nearly). The views are totally worth the climb. When you get to the top there’s a cafe and you can enjoy a drink whilst admiring the spectacular views.
We pre-booked a private taxi to take us on a day trip to Hermanus, which stopped at a few places along the way. The first stop was to see the the penguins at Stony Point Penguin Colony. It was such a windy day and we were nearly knocked off our feet when we got out of the taxi. I don’t know how the penguins didn’t get blown away!
Our journey continued to Hermanus via a cheeky wine tasting session at Whalehaven Winery. I hadn’t eaten much that day and after a few wines we started to get a bit giggly.
The next stop was Hermanus. We were told that it’s whale watching season and we could potentially see whales swim past in the bay. However, we didn’t hold much hope. We had some lunch in one of the few cafes in the area and then saw a lot of people gathering looking down onto the bay. We ran over and to our surprise we saw 3 whales!!
Hermanus is a lovely place, but quite small and a few hours drive from Cape Town, so I recommend that you use a full day and make the different stops along the way to see the penguins and try some South African wine.
We nearly didn’t make the trip over to Robben Island to visit the prison that Nelson Mandela was locked up in for 18 years of his 27 years as a political prisoner. When we went to get tickets it was booked up for a few days and we luckily managed to get the last few tickets the day before we left Cape Town. It was an eye opening experience and we were shown around the prison (now museum) by an ex political prisoner. It was interesting that some staff choose to also live on the island and there is also a chapel where on Valentines Day couples are allowed to come to the island to get married.
The Sightseeing Bus stops at Camps Bay (celeb hot spot). Although, we didn’t see anyone famous; we saw beautiful beaches and it oozes trendy vibes. We ate dinner here and wished we had more time to relax on the beach and swim in the blue sea. Camps Bay is full of palm trees and people with lots of money.
It is now one of my my favourite places to visit. The V&A Waterfront is vibrant and beautiful. Take a trip to the Watershed to buy handmade arts and crafts and go for dinner at the local food market. You can hear singers and watch dancers all over the streets of Cape Town. It’s very clean and the people are all warm and friendly. Also make sure you go to the African Trading Port and stock up on gifts. You can find everything here, from handmade giraffe spoons to colourful works of art. It’s very cheap and I came home with a suitcase full of goodies.
Until the next time Cape Town…