Cape Town is for sure my favourite city in the world. It’s hard to describe why if you haven’t been there but let me try:
This city is literally the world in one country. You have the mountain guiding you throughout the city and offering you a stunning view once you are on top of it. The ocean is always ahead of you, with dolphins, whales and seals playfully showing off. The vibe is laid back, bohemian and very relaxed. And so are the people. Culture lovers can eat their heart out, and talking about eating; you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world in this city. More into nature? There’s lots to explore. And if you are active, like the Mr., you’ll find so many possibilities for running, hiking and cycling. Stay here for a week and you haven’t seen it all.
Convinced? Let me list the top 10 things to do when traveling to Cape Town with your family. Enjoy!
- If you hit the Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront, you might get some shopping time yourself too. The V&A is filled with amazing shops and restaurants. Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium and if it’s a rainy day spend a bit more time inside by letting your kid(s) having a go at the Scratch Patch. Finish the day with a glass of whisky at Bascule, the bar at the Cape Grace Hotel in the V&A Waterfront. It will make dad happy as this is the largest whisky bar in the southern hemisphere.
- Even though it’s a bit ‘corny’ and touristy to do, the hop-on, hop-off bus is a fun way to explore this diverse city, especially when the weather is good and you can sit on the roof.
- Go on a very special township tour. Do not go with a big operator for a quick busdrive through Khayelitsha, the largest township of Cape Town, but book with Uthando. Uthando is a small organisation offering specialised township tours. The owner and founder James Fernie selects different projects for each day – so a true genuine experience awaits you when you book your tour here. Talk to James or one of his colleagues and let them know what your expectations/ wishes are so he can find the best day and tour for you and your family to do. A must!
- Traveling with teenagers and want them to get rid of a bit of energy? Hike up Table Mountain! An adventurous 3 hour climb to the top of the mountain where you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view over the city and it’s beaches. Bring plenty of water!! A bit weary of doing this by yourself? Book a guide via Hike Table Mountain, and let them take you on the best route all the way up to the top.
- Rent a car for a day and drive the Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point where you’ll find the Cape of Good Hope and the Table Mountain National Park. Lots of baboons will be waiting here to snitch your apples or camera, so hold on to your valuables! On the way back, drive past Boulders Beach, a definite highlight of the day. Here you’ll find the penguin colony. Walk the boardwalk and don’t take the first but the second entrance to the beach and you’ll get to spend some quality time with these funny animals.
- Go to the beach! Clifton or Camps Bay are very popular beaches. The water is cold (you are on the Atlantic Ocean side) but there are rocks to climb and water to splash with. A bit more seclusion? The beach at Llandudno has been voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and we can only agree.
- Travelling around South Africa, Robben Island cannot be missed in your itinerary. The history of the country suffering from Apartheid is explained in a beautiful manner here. However, travelling with very young children you might have to give this a miss as it’s a half-day tour and a fairly long boat ride to get there. For kids a bit older and understanding the English language, it’s an amazing life lesson on respect and history.
- If you are not traveling any further in the Western Cape but only staying in Cape Town, and your kids are up for some adventure; block a day for some whale watching and shark-cage diving. Between July- November the whales migrate along the coast and reside in Walker Bay where they play in the waters. Can you spot the Marine Big 5 in one day?
- Visit Butterfly World Zoo, where you’ll find colourful free flying butterflies amongst other exotic animals such as iguana’s, birds and reptiles. This is a sanctuary for exotic animals and a very interactive animal attraction. Great for kids and parents alike.
- The Old Biscuit Mill can be found in the up and coming neighbourhood of Woodstock. Quirky cafes and shops are popping up everywhere and on Saturdays there is a super fun Neighbourgoods Market where you will find lots of amazing locally made presents and souvenirs to take home.