A GUIDE TO CAPE TOWN
The oldest South African city is a celebration of culture, art and nature’s wonders. This is NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine’s guide to this scenic place that will make you want to map out your next adventure in South Africa
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Leo Moko
26 February 2019
One of the safest places in South Africa, Cape Town is so much fun. From a tourist point of view, the city holds a challenging charm that teases those with a sense for adventure. Whilst visiting, one can learn to surf, go hiking or even abseil from the top of a mountain. The terrain is incredible, providing endless opportunities for the place to be explored. From the locals’ point of view, Cape Town is ever-changing, alive and proud to be culturally diverse. In fact, in 2014 the city was declared a World Design Capital, so they know a thing or two about art and culture.
English is the common language in the more crowded areas, but if you wander around the smaller streets and more distant neighbourhoods, you will most likely hear locals speaking Xhosa and Afrikaans. The diversity in the South African city is beyond amazing. On a typical weekday, you will see people dressed in summer dresses, some working and looking smart in suits and blazers. The city seems to never stop, and people move to their own tempo. Locals and tourists blend, the café houses are usually full and over the weekends the restaurants are mostly fully booked.
The best time to explore the city is during the months of December to February when the summer is at its peak. The nice weather will give you the chance to explore some of nature’s wonders in the area such as the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or go hike the Table Mountain. Summertime is known to be hot, whilst during the winter the climate changes due to the close location to the ocean. The air becomes crispy because of the wind coming from the shores, yet Cape Town is a gem of a place all-year round.
In terms of accommodation, the city is no stranger to tourists. Many people plan a visit there each year, some come back and make it a regular destination. This is why, regardless of your budget, you can find a suitable place to stay at. Some accommodations have a great view of the Atlantic so make sure to make the most out of your stay and spend some lazy afternoons hanging on a hammock on the beach.
Getting around with a car seems to be the most preferred way for tourists to get around and see as much of the city as possible. We recommend mapping out your trip in the city wisely so that you diversify it. The central locations are not the most interesting part. Although a megapolis, the natives’ cultural values are on show and worth exploring. We recommend you spend some time wandering around the narrow streets and explore the corner of Cape Town that are not so popular with tourists so that you can see the place from the viewpoint of the locals.
As nature has been generous to the area and gifted the city and the villages nearby with some stunning places. You can plan to do something different every day to get to know the wild side of South Africa. For those of you, who are not afraid of sharks, you can go on an organised shark cave diving expedition. If you prefer to keep your distance, head to Hermanu, which is a popular destination for whale watching. Discover the beauty of the mountainous landscape of Cape Point, hike Lion’s Head at sunrise, one of the most breath taking hikes in the city from where you’ll see Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles or go for a surfing experience in the Atlantic. Whatever your interests are, Cape Town will deliver and leave you amazed by the natural beauty of the city.
Hanging out with penguins at Boulder’s Beach is a cool way to experience the Cape Town feel, but since you have planned a visit to the oldest city in South Africa, why not consider going beyond it? There are quite a lot of impressive activities and small corners to explore in South Africa. Recently, in 2018, co-founded by the African Development Bank, the 10 228 km long Dodoma-Babati road linking Cape Town to Cairo was completed. The road serves as a link to nine countries in Africa from South Africa to Egypt, through Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. This improvement shorthand significantly the travel time for people and the area and made it easier for families to reunite and see each other more often. The road benefits travellers as well, as you can roam from Cape Town all the way to Cairo.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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