About Ronnie G
Lives in Cape Town Central, South Africa
Since Jul 2013
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Lookouts
Marinas, Piers & Boardwalks, Shopping Malls
Points of Interest & Landmarks
History Museums, Speciality Museums
Other Outdoor Activities
Cape of Good Hope, otherwise known as Cape Point, is a lovely reserve which occupies the southern part of the Cape Peninsula. The reserve boasts wonderful walks, including a rather steep uphill walk to the summit (or for the lazy or unfit, use the funicular). From the lighthouse on top, look out at the point where traditionally (though dubiously) the two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) are said to meet. Cape Point would usually be included as the end point of a day trip across the peninsula, stopping off at other sites such as Boulders Beach, to view the penguin colony.
The V and A waterfront is a reclaimed docklands area, which has become the heart of Cape Town. The main shopping centre (mall) has a large variety of shops and restaurants to choose from, as do the outside areas. Outside areas include an amphitheatre where there is often free entertainment, a giant wheel offering views over the city, the Nelson Mandela gateway to Robben Island, a selection of boat trips and short cruises, and much more. Don't forget to look at the statues of South Africa's peace prize Nobel recipients. Local crafts can be bought in the watershed, adjacent to the water. There are also many hotels in the waterfront area.
From the Hout Bay harbour, you can take a short trip on one of the boats that take you from the harbour to Seal Island, just off the coast. The name speaks for itself- hundreds of seals huddled together on a rocky outcrop island.
Rhodes Memorial is a rather pretentious Greek style temple built in honour of the erstwhile imperialist Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, later part of the Union of South Africa. From the memorial you have a great view over the southern suburbs of Cape Town. A good place for breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea and scones.
The first Holocaust Centre in Africa, the CTHC is a small but powerful museum, which commemorates the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis. The museum has a special focus on communities and survivors especially close to the lives of the South African Jewish community. The CTHC is part of the Albow Centre, which also incorporates the South African Jewish Museum and the Gardens synagogue, the oldest synagogue in South Africa. (The original synagogue is part of the museum).
The world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are a showcase inter alia for the Fynbos indigenous vegetation. Fynbos (which includes for example, the protea family and the Ericas) is a unique indigenous vegetation, which makes the area around Cape Town one of the world's six botanical kingdoms. Best during the flowering season but wonderful at all times, thanks to the incredible mountain setting.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without going up the iconic flat-topped mountain. The easiest way up is via the cable car but there are also many routes for the more intrepid and fit. The most popular route up is Platteklip Gorge, which is the crack in the front face of the mountain. The views from the top are spectacular and look out in all directions across the peninsula.
The 4 Clifton beaches are Cape Town's most popular beaches- the place to see and be seen. The setting is magnificent and the beaches are protected from Cape Town's strong south easterly winds. However, the Atlantic water is "refreshing" i.e. very cold!
For the reasonably fit, a walk up Lion's Head (about 1-2 hours) offers spectacular views over the city.
A drive up Signal Hill offers beautiful views over the city bowl towards Table Mountain in one direction and over Sea Point in the other direction.
The two best places to view these entertaining creatures are Boulders Penguin colony, near Simonstown, and in Betty's Bay, a bit further afield, en route to Hermanus.