My Love Affair with Cape Town - Africa's Jewel Destination

Camps Bay beach, Cape Town
Camps Bay beach, Cape Town | Source

I must be honest, I never really saw the fascination with Cape Town when I was younger. Cape Town was always a place we went to each year on holiday to visit our Grandparents. Sure, it was a lot greener and busier than Namibia, but to me - it was just the place we came every year and nothing really special.

Today, I'd have to take that statement back. And I'm not just saying that because I live in Cape Town or because I'm South African and it's the second most populated city in the country. I'm saying it because I am deeply in love with this city and I've only just started to realize and appreciate it for what it really is - Africa's treasure.

Before I go into proclaiming my love or trying to convince you as to why you need to visit this beautiful city, I'm going to tell you why everyone else seems to have fallen in love with Cape Town, and why it's suddenly becoming the "go to" city for tourists around the world.

Why does Cape Town sound so familiar?

The name sounds familiar, but you're not sure where you heard it or where exactly it is. You learn it's somewhere at the end of Africa, right on the southern tip in fact. At this point you might start asking yourself why people would want to visit a city that's sitting on the edge of Africa.

Isn't Africa only full of lions and elephants that roam the streets and walk side-by-side next to people in the villages? I'm not saying this to be funny, believe me - this is what a lot of people all around the world believe Africa to be like! The number of people that have asked me this question, or something similar are more than I can count on my hands!

Never mind, at least now you know that we don't all live in little huts and keep giraffes and lions as pets in our backyards!

Why suddenly over the last few years has Cape Town become such a well known city? A place where celebrities seem to flock to, a place depicted in big screen movies - a place known as the "Mother City".

What Cape Town is Famous For


  1. Nelson Mandela. I don't think I need to say more here.
  2. Table Mountain, Cape Town's treasure was recently named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, beating the Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and the Dead Sea.
  3. CNNGo recently voted Cape Town as one of the Top 10 Best Loved cities of the world.
  4. One of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup games
  5. The movie Safe House was shot in Cape Town, featuring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington
  6. Sci-fi movie Chronical was also shot here
  7. Blood Diamond with Leonardo di Caprio was filmed in Cape Town
  8. Other movies shot here include Invictus, Doomsday and Endgame
  9. Gordon Ramsey opened his restaurant Maze in Cape Town in 2009
  10. Model, Caprice opened her restaurant in Camps Bay - Café Caprice (a "must see" when visiting Cape Town)



Table Mountain - one of the new 7 Wonders of the Natural World
Table Mountain - one of the new 7 Wonders of the Natural World | Source
Breakfast right next to the ocean, what could be better?
Breakfast right next to the ocean, what could be better? | Source
A lazy Sunday afternoon lunch at one of the many wine farms in the area
A lazy Sunday afternoon lunch at one of the many wine farms in the area | Source

Welcome to Cape Town!


Now that I've told you why the rest of the world likes Cape Town, allow me to share my personal reasons why I love this city.


Stand on top of the world

Climbing Table Mountain. Few things come close to hiking up this natural landmark and having a picnic at the top of the mountain with views as far as the eye can see. If you're not too keen on walking up, take a trip up in the cable car and enjoy the panoramic views as you sail to the top. You can even treat your partner to a sunset trip up the mountain - breathtaking!


See two Oceans meet

Watch the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet while standing overlooking the panoramic views. Exploring the Cape Point nature reserve and standing right at the end of Africa, is one of the most magnificent feelings in the world! There are many trails to walk up in the reserve, or down to the beach. When you're finished and exhausted, I highly recommend trying the desserts at the Two Oceans Restaurant!


Breathtaking scenery

I've already mentioned Table Mountain and Cape Point, but there are many other nature reserves to explore, not to mention the hundreds of wine farms in the area, or the vast range of beaches available to soak up the sun with a cocktail, surf the waves or play beach volleyball.


Enjoy fresh seafood and sushi overlooking the ocean at Wakame
Enjoy fresh seafood and sushi overlooking the ocean at Wakame | Source
Private, romantic tables at Moyo
Private, romantic tables at Moyo | Source
The V&A Waterfront - shopping in paradise
The V&A Waterfront - shopping in paradise | Source

More reasons to love Cape Town


Culinary Heaven

Cape Town is home to some of the best restaurants in the world - whether you're in the mood for fine dining, fusion food or to experience some traditional African dishes, Cape Town has it all! I highly recommend trying a few of the following restaurants when you are in the city:


  • Wakame - Some of the best sushi in Cape Town, right along the beach
  • Moyo - Traditional African food served in tents or in treetops!
  • Flavours - Delicious dining in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine lands
  • The Roundhouse - Breathtaking views in an historical building, offering fine dining
  • The Tasting Room - Innovative, fine dining in Franschhoek


Shopping Paradise

What holiday wouldn't be complete without doing a little shopping? You will be spoilt for choice with the number of malls, street vendors, day markets and shopping centres in every part of Cape Town. If you are the type of person who shops till they drop, I highly recommend visiting the V & A Waterfront or Canal Walk.


Nightlife and Entertainment

Cape Town offers a variety of exciting bars, clubs and restaurants. Bars stay open till late, most restaurants are open till around midnight, and clubs start picking up from 11pm.

Bars

Whether you're looking to enjoy a sundowner next to the beach at a chilled outdoor bar, or enjoy the sound of the DJ in a trendy inner city lounge, Cape Town has bars for every taste and every personality. Below are a few of the most popular bars to choose from:

  • Caprice or Sandbar for sundowner drinks on the beach
  • Baraza for drinks accompanied by local DJ's
  • La Med for their incredible views and good music right on the beach
  • Wafu boasts an incredible wooden deck overlooking the sea and Asian tapas
  • Try Po Na Na Bar for a trendy hang-out
  • For a mellow evening, visit Kennedy's Cigar Bar and enjoy bourbon and cigars
  • Planet Bar offers an ultra-cool experience and exotic cocktails
  • If you're looking for an upmarket and sophisticated lounge, try Asoka Son
  • Green Dolphin offers live Jazz
  • Visit Pulse - a trendy sports bar for live sports events
  • Cubana Cafe offers a lively Latin atmosphere
  • For a hippie type bar, try Rolling Stones
  • Brass Bell offers a casual, laid back feel
  • For a Morrocan inspired feel, try Polana in the harbour

Nu Bar
Nu Bar | Source

Clubs

Cape Town is known as a laid back city, but there are certainly no shortages of nightlife when it comes to clubs in the area. If you're looking for a night on the town, these are the places to be!

  • Opium offers a cigar bar, whiskey lounge and DJ's
  • Visit Budda Bar for a sultry Cuban feel
  • Angel is a hip Gay nightclub
  • The Ivory Room is an ultra-trendy nightclub
  • Hemisphere offers dancing with a view on the 31st floor
  • Visit The Jam for a more relaxed crowd feeling
  • Dance the night away at Tiger Tiger in Claremont
  • Decodance offers an alternative dance scene
  • Trendy clubs along Edward Street including Vacca Matta
  • Hip clubs along Long Street


Take a little tour of my city...

Have you ever been to Cape Town?

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Comments 34 comments

profile image

WhydThatHappen 4 years ago

Where are you native to? I did volunteer work in Mbekweni, with cargo of dreams, (they have their own coffee shop to support them) I went to little flower and a couple other black preschools, the children were awesome! I'd love to hear your perspective. Let's connect, for real. I believe they are based in paarl, but extend to cape town. And did you see the world cup?! Those damn sound makers! I thought an African team (think it was cameroon,) would make it Far- exciting times in SA


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WhydThatHappen 4 years ago

+shared


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I love Cape Town! I wish to return with my wife and go to the Water Front and just spend the day with her there restaurant hoping. I want to take her down town and see if we can get catch in a draft and blown into traffic, nor really--but I remember that. I want to show her the on ramps that were off the mark. This is a great article and voted up.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great pictures! Thank you for a tour of a part of the world I have never seen. Great hub!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@WhydThatHappen - I just went to have a look at the website for Cargo of Dreams - what a brilliant initiative! It just takes everyone giving back a little of their time or money, for a lot to be given to those who are less fortunate. I'm devoting myself this year to volunteering at animal shelters, and am going to start at the one near us next month.

Mbekweni is near my side of the world, near to Paarl along the wine route. We're also along the wine route!

Haha! I love how you refer to the vuvuzelas as 'sound makers" lol. They were quite loud, and carried on being blown months after the World Cup had ended!! I didn't go to any of the games, but watched most of them on TV. I was quite proud of South Africa, and especially Cameroon - they did us proud.

Thanks for your comment and for sharing, appreciate it! :)


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Rodric29 - Haha! Cape Town is known for it's winds, especially in winter and in the middle of town! I'm glad you had a chance to visit, and definitely make a turn to the Waterfront the next time you're here. It's beautiful, and there are so many restaurants to try and boat trips to take. Thanks for your comment :)


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@billybuc - Thank you for your comment and checking out a piece of Cape Town! Glad you enjoyed the tour ;)


jeanihess profile image

jeanihess 4 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

Love Cape Town:)


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great written hub. Your hub will encourage lots of hubbers to go to South Africa.

I was thinking of going there way back in the 70's. I was told by a man from Johannsberg it wasn't safe. Of course I let this comment put me off.

I eventually came here in 1980.

Voted up and awesome, Joyce.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for taking us on this interesting tour..


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@writer20 - I'm so glad you had the chance to come to South Africa for a visit! I'm sure a lot of things have changed since the 80's - it's definitely not how it used to be around the apartheid era. Might be worth visiting for another holiday! Thanks for your comment :)

@Mhatter99 - I'm glad you enjoyed the tour, thanks for visiting and your comment! :)


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

WOW Cape Town sounds real awesome. Great photos and video. Enjoyed the trip, voted up.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Vellur - Thanks for visiting Cape Town, and for your comment! ;-)


Lightshare profile image

Lightshare 4 years ago

Excellent Melchi. U r d best promotor for your country. Wouh!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Lightshare - thanks for your kind words! :)


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

You write in such an engaging style MelChi, it makes for very enjoyable and fun reading. Great work and the pictures were gorgeous. Voted up, shared, beautiful, awesome, and interesting :)


snowdrops profile image

snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

i think i'm gonna love Cape town. The views are stunning, the places looks specatular!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Olde Cashmere - Wow, that's such a great compliment - thank you!! :)

@snowdrops - I know you'll love Cape Town! There is just so much history and beautiful scenery in this place, it's hard not to fall in love with it. Thanks for reading :)


Johan Smulders profile image

Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

I hope Cape Tourism is paying you big bucks! I love Cape Town for the great scenery and birding spots.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Johan - Oh, I wish! ;) Thanks for taking time to read and comment, I appreciate it!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Mel you make Cape Town sound like a tiny taste of heaven! Absolutely spectacular! Well done!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Thanks Linda! It really is like a tiny piece of heaven! :)


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I have read and heard about Cape Town, but never been. This will be on my bucket list.

Good Hub, good photos. I voted it UP, etc.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi Mary - You won't be disappointed, I promise you! If you can do Puerto Rico, then Cape Town should be a cinch!

Thanks for stopping in to read and comment - much appreciated :)


profile image

KDuBarry03 4 years ago

I got caught up looking at the new list for the 7 wonders of the world. I have to go and visit Table Mountain now; I absolutely love nature and the beauty it holds. By how you describe it, I must try this little piece of heaven :)


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

The view from atop Table Mountain is spectacular! I'm sure you will love Cape Town if you ever have the chance to come and visit. Thanks for taking time to read and comment - much appreciated :)


samsymmonds profile image

samsymmonds 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is certainly one of the best cities in the world! Try the stunning beaches along the Southern Peninsula coastline too!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Hi samsymmonds! Great to meet a fellow Capetonian! :) We do have some of the best beaches in the world, don't we? :) I think this weekend especially calls for a little R&R on one of them. Thanks for your comment.


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

I was set to go to Africa after leaving New Zealand and Australia about 6 months ago but that fell through. Reading this makes me want to visit even more so now. You've really done a great job with the pictures and the descriptions. I also love how you categorized everything....I didn't know that Africa had such good food available to it. Awesome hub, voting this up big time and sharing Melchi!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

Wow, thank you Kasman! I hope you do get the chance to come to Cape Town, or anywhere in Africa someday! I think everyone should try and visit Africa at least once in their life. :)


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

I plan on it, thanks for invite!


MelChi profile image

MelChi 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

@Kasman - awesome! :)


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

People from Africa or in Africa never have any trouble finding a topic to write about at HUBPages. :)


MelChi profile image

MelChi 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa Author

cmoneyspinner1tf - Yes, you're right! ;) Thanks.

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