4 Days in Cape Town

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Cape Town in an interesting and beautiful city that reminds me of Los Angeles because of the weather, beaches and artistic culture. The beauty of this seaside and bustling city is in stark contrast to its recent history of apartheid, which has many decades of healing ahead of it.

After a Kenyan Safari, we decided to explore Cape Town after hearing lots of great things about it. We were originally supposed to spend 6 full days in Cape Town, but after many travel hiccups, our trip got cut short to only 4 days. We made the most of it and did most of the must-see activities in Cape Town!

Tip: If you’re flying from Kenya to South Africa you need a yellow fever vaccination. Otherwise you’ll end up getting one in a shady airport garage in Kenya. Yes that happened. And we missed our flight.


Sea Point Airbnb

We arrived in Cape Town a day late after missing our flight from Nairobi, and drove to the airbnb in Sea Point. Cape Town is very cheap compared to U.S. Vacation destinations, so we opted for a beachside condo. Our rooms featured spectacular views overlooking the Atlantic ocean, with waves lapping at the rocky beachside. It was near sunset when we arrived, so after a quick trip to the grocery store, we sipped on rosé in the living room watching the sun fall below the horizon.

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Hike Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a must-do in Cape Town, whether you hike it or take the gondola up to the top. We wanted to get the full experience (and a work out), so we took Pletteklip Gorge Trail to the top. We started the trail around 2pm, which was a huge mistake because it was hot, and this trail is no joke. It’s an 1800 foot climb of mostly stairs and some loose rock. I love hiking and I also love a challenge, but I just wasn’t mentally prepared for such a tough hike. If you’re planning on this one you should definitely be in good hiking shape, and have great balance to climb over some of the uneven rock. We were rewarded towards the top with a family of mountain goats sighting, which a guide told us is very rare! It’s amazing how much balance they have. They can jump from tiny ledge to tiny ledge, while hundreds of feet off the ground! No fear of heights for these little creatures.

Once at the very top of the mountain, there are incredible views of both False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. We also got to see more animals at the top, little furry creatures called Rock Hyrax’s. They looks like gophers and will beg you for food.

The major plus of the hike is you don’t have hike down! There is a gondola at the top you can pay to take up or down, and it’s a beautiful ride. They are have beer, wine, and snacks for purchase if you’re ready for a drink after all that hard work. We opted for a sunset glass of wine.

Tip: Do this hike early morning to avoid the harsh sun

Incredible views from the top.

Incredible views from the top.

Little furry creatures called Rock Hyrax’s

Little furry creatures called Rock Hyrax’s

Can you spot the mountain goats?

Can you spot the mountain goats?



Wine Tasting Tour

Most things in Cape Town remind me of things back home in Southern California. The wine country there was like visiting Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. It was great weather, rolling hills, good wine, and of course, lots of vineyards.

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We took a day tour of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. We started the day at Zevenwacht Wine Estate, pairing wine and cheese. Then we stopped in Stellenbosch to wander around a grab a bite. We got a bottle of Pinotage to split at Basic Bistro in town, in the open air overlooking the glistening white NG Kerk Stellenbosch-Wes church.

The Marianne Wine Estate was my favorite of the three places we visited, with an open air tasting room overlooking the vineyards, and different types of dried beef to try with our wine selection which was unique experience.

Next we took a short trolly over to the Rickety Bridge Winery, where we hopped onto a tractor to head to the tasting rooms. The especially loved the South African Pinotage, which is what they are known for. I also really enjoyed the South African rosés. The day trip was overall nice, but it was slightly awkward because they put us on a multi-language tour. I love getting to know people from other countries, but it’s difficult when there isn’t a common language and your all sitting sipping wine at a shared table. My tip to you would be to ask about this before you book your tour.

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Woodstock Airbnb

At the 2nd airbnb we decided to stay in Woodstock, a cultural hub for the more artistic crowd. Our airbnb was really eclectic and hipster, with interesting artwork, funky furniture, a gorgeous tiled staircase, and an open air rooftop patio. I really loved the atmosphere here.

Tip: Don’t wander Woodstock at night, there are still frequent muggings. We we warned many times by the locals. We wandered by day and it felt perfectly fine, but be aware of your surroundings.


Old Biscuit Mill

Old Biscuit Mill is a gorgeous old building converted into a artsy place where you can find hip restaurants and beautiful local goods. We visited here twice, once for breakfast at Redemption, and once for dinner at The Potluck Club.

Redemption is a cute music themed restaurant with an outdoor patio. The food was incredible, and the menu are cleverly made from records.

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The Potluck Club was incredible. It’s located on the top floor with views of Table Mountain, and is a classy 5 star restaurant with Asian inspired cuisine, tapas style so you share all small plates. I tried a spicy Thai martini drink that was delish, a martini with a little sweet and a little spice. We tried quite a few dishes, and they were all unique and had incredible flavors. When we got the bill, we were all shocked at how affordable it was for such an amazing restaurant. It also had tip already included. I 100% recommend going here during your stay in Cape Town.

Other restaurants in this group include:

The Test Kitchen

The Short Market Club

Salsify


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Boulder Beach Penguins

I been seeing images of penguins on the beach for a loooong time! So when we decided on Cape Town, I was ecstatic to find out the penguins were only a 30min drive away. I think these penguins are smart, choosing a life of sun and beaches over the bitter arctic cold. These penguins are currently endangered, but there are great conservation efforts going on today to repopulate. There is a small charge at Boulder Beach to go to the viewing decks. This money is used to help with conservation. These little animals are fast swimmers and can hold their breath over 2 minutes and dive over 400 feet deep to catch prey like sardines, anchovies and crustaceans! They are a little smelly, but the cuteness makes up for it.

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Truth Coffee

Truth Coffee is leading the wave of the Steampunk scene and great coffee in Cape Town. As soon as you walk into the large steel doors, you’ll notice this place is so much more than a cafe. Designer Haldane Martin designed a space that feel otherworldly, blending leather and steel into a hip and unique industrial setting.

The coffee-obsessed founder David Donde handpicks single-origin coffees. They all have great names like Resurrection blend, Deep, Dark and Twisted, and Vengeance blend. Truth also has a in-house patisseur Kamal Hamzaoui, so you can pair a delectable treat like a chocolate éclairs or a lemon meringue pie with your coffee. We had coffee, brunch, and a treat while visiting. All 3 were delicious!

Address: 36 Buitenkant St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

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Truth Coffee is leading the wave of the Steampunk scene and great coffee in Cape Town. As soon as you walk into the large steel doors, you’ll notice this place is so much more than a cafe. Designer Haldane Martin designed a space that feel otherworldly, blending leather and steel into a hip and unique industrial setting.

The coffee-obsessed founder David Donde handpicks single-origin coffees. They all have great names like Resurrection blend, Deep, Dark and Twisted, and Vengeance blend. Truth also has a in-house patisseur Kamal Hamzaoui, so you can pair a delectable treat like a chocolate éclairs or a lemon meringue pie with your coffee. We had coffee, brunch, and a treat while visiting. All three were delicious!

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House of Machines

I particularly enjoy The House of Machines because of the attention to detail with design. It has an industrial moto vibe, and is a great spot to grab delicious coffee or a smoky manhattan.

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Overall Cape Town is a lovely city, where you can find beaches, great food, hiking, bars, wine, penguins and more. We wish we had a few extra days to do all the activities we wanted, like the beach music fest we missed out of due to flights. If you’re in the region on safari at Kruger National Park, take a stop here. If you’re a west coast American like me, it’s a long way to go for a city that is very similar to home.