Driving from the airport to the coastal Camps Bay, I was struck by sadness as we passed through the shanty towns on both sides of the motorway. Thousands of tin houses on top of each other, then after a mile or so you have your first view of Table Mountain and affluent houses. The divide was shocking! such wealth and poverty lined up alongside each other.
On arrival to our hotel, we were advised to take taxi’s everywhere and be very vigilant. I went to bed wondering why I had decided to come here? until I woke up, stepped outside of the B&B and seen the mighty waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing in front of me, Lions Head mountain to the right and Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles behind. Far removed from the shanty towns, all I could see was beauty everywhere. Mother nature at her best.
Clifton was voted 8th on Forbes top ten topless beaches. And houses South Africa’s most expensive real estate. The homes around Clifton are next level! (No shanty towns here). I found myself wondering what the people did that were housed behind the grand walls. Whilst others lived so badly, and how was this allowed to happen?
I’ve never seen a bigger advert for ADT alarms. Not one house is without it in Cape Town along with gated walls. Security is high.
This was my downfall I must admit. We loved the beach at Camps Bay so much that we did miss out on some touristy day trips (I’m ashamed to say Robben Island and Cape Point), as laying in the sunshine was the order of the day.
Where to begin? There was not one dud meal in two weeks. The quality of food is next level!
The best Sushi I have ever had was found at the Cod Father in Camps Bay. Made fresh in front of you. The perfect lunch!
At dinner you select your fish, sauce, and what you would like as an accompaniment. If fish is your dish, then this restaurant will not disappoint.
There are numerous restaurants located along the seafront offering happy hour cocktails and food that ranges from pizza, blue cheese burgers, Asian you name it and you will find it, hence why we struggled to go elsewhere daily.
Long Street isn’t that Long, but it’s where you will find all the best bars. In the day time it is alive with vintage shops and market sellers, then at night time you will see all the balcony’s come alive as the party’s start.
Fiction is the place to dance. With diverse music genres such as indie, hip hop, drum & bass and live bands. Pick the night that’s to your taste and dance the night away!
Waiting Room was my favourite! With its eclectic look, laid back vibe and a great roof terrace to hang out; it ticks all the boxes. And like Fiction the music is diverse.
For all the fun on Long Street, do not deviate down the alleys, and always take a taxi in and out as there are some shady parts, but really don’t let this put you off. Have your wits about you when you party.
Seeing the sites
As mentioned I’m ashamed to admit I did not make it to Robben Island, where former President Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. We had not booked in advance, so make sure you do, as its extremely popular and sells out. There are 3 departures daily.
Standing at 1085m Table Mountain is well worth the knee knocking cable car ride up (yes, I’m a wimp! See previous post- Layover tours). At the top its beautifully landscaped and there is a café and souvenir shop. The views are spectacular. Especially the 12 Apostles. If you’re not a wimp, then you can abseil down.
Lions Head is a great unguided trek you can take on a bright day. The path up is easy to follow and should take approximately 90 minutes. Do make sure you have sturdy footwear on though as I twisted my ankle on the way down.
We went with an organised group for the day, where we drove to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. It was a pleasant day but in hindsight I would rather hire a car and stay over to properly explore all 3 areas. You can imagine being In South Africa the wine is the best and very reasonably priced.
Bo-Kaap formally known as the Malay Quarter. A former township that has seen the effects of gentrification. With brightly coloured homes and cobbled streets, people have been pushed out as it is becoming one of the most sought out areas to live. Depending on your views you will either love it or hate it, but its worth a visit either way.
When asked where is my favourite place I’ve visited? Its such a hard question to answer. I’ve been to so many great places. But if pushed then Cape town would have to be at the top.
I need to go back so that I can tick off Cape Point, Hermanus Bay, Robben Island and you guessed it ... lay back on that beach with a bag of Simba crisps! All in the name of research of course!
My one hope for this amazing place, is for proper housing to be created for all those family’s living in the townships.