Before we get into Cape Town Itinerary, let me tell you that Cape town is the most famous and beautiful city in South Africa. I was very confused while finalizing my cape town itinerary as I wanted to tick my bucket list of a wildlife Safari, shark cage dive and famous table mountain along with many other things. I did a lot of research to make a perfect Cape Town itinerary myself but then my local/south african friend designed an itinerary for me that blew my mind. And, today I thought to share with you my perfect Cape Town itinerary that is not any ordinary itinerary but a well thought and carefully curated plan.
This special Cape Town itinerary includes beaches, penguins, great white sharks, table-mountain, coastal drive, beautiful beach towns, world famous vineyards and alot more. And, trust me when I say A LOT! If you are looking for something like that then don’t look further, save this Cape Town itinerary, trust me you will thank me later.
My recent trip helped me get a perspective why Cape Town should be in your bucket list too. Cape Town has it all from dramatic landscapes, blunt panoramic views and serene beaches to wildlife adventure. And, I bet you will add this cape town itinerary in your bucket list by the end of this post.
Table of Content:
- Why to travel to Cape Town
- Best Time to travel to Cape Town
- Getting around in Cape Town
- Where to stay in Cape Town
- Cape Town itinerary by my Local friend
- Places to see in Cape Town
- My worst experience of getting Robbed twice
- How to be safe in Cape Town
- Tours to take from Cape Town
In a rush? Save it for later
Why to travel to Cape Town?
Cape Town is a very happening city and I have grown up watching this city in Bollywood movies. It is known as the “Mother City” in South Africa and no doubt why it’s given this name. How many cities are there which have so much to offer like famous botanical gardens, pristine beaches, prominent mountains, Vineyards, beach towns, delicious food with affordable prices. You can choose from plethora of options to customize your Cape Town itinerary.
Best Time to Travel to Cape Town?
As you might know that South Africa lies in Southern hemisphere on the globe. For that reason, the climate in the country ( with other countries that fall under this geographical location) is completely different from rest of the world. When the world experiences cold weather, it is summer in these countries and vice versa.
Best time to travel to South africa depends on what you expect from your trip. Based on that, you can choose the most suitable month (Sept – Nov) for your travel. For activities and month wise details, you can check here.
As per my experience, October is the best season as it is not too hot or too cold and thankfully, I didn’t experience any rain during my stay in Cape town.
Getting around in Cape Town
Due to high crime rate in South Africa, it is not a good idea to travel around the city by public transport. As my friend advised me to rent a car, I would pass on the same to you. For the best rent a car deal in cape town, click here. Otherwise, pre-book all your tours from a well recognised company like this one.
Where to stay in Cape Town
We took a flight from Johannesburg and I was electrified to explore this very famous and happening city in South Africa- ‘Cape Town’. We rented our car from airport and went straight to our hotel in Woodstock. The Woodstock area is popular for its artistic beauty on the walls and the hotel was equally artistic and modern. Since it’s not safe, guests are advised to return to the hotel before the sunset. Therefore, we got plenty of time to interact with fellow travellers and share experiences with them.
Spending evenings at the rooftop sports bar and playing snooker with fellow travellers, was another great experience.
Cape Town Itinerary
Day 1 in Cape Town
Our first day in Cape Town started with a hiking to Lion’s head which was 2 hours up and down. Don’t judge me for taking the cable car and not hiking to Table Mountain. Because, my logic says that one should hike those mountains where there is no cable car 😛
After a sumptuous lunch we went to the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden that costs ZAR75 (INR338). This is one of the largest gardens in the world and has unique flora from South Africa’s territory. We took the guided tour and it was so refreshing knowing about those plants. I will definitely recommend, if you are a plant lover.
Or you can take a tour to Robben Island from V&A waterfront where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and you can learn about South Africa’s revolutionary history. A ferry ride costs ZAR320 (1434 INR) and departs from V&A Waterfront at fixed timings.
Places to see in Cape Town
- Table Mountain
- Signal Hill
- Lion’s Head
- Robben Island
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- V & A Waterfront
Tip# Try to reach early morning to the Table Mountain and buy tickets online to save time. A return ticket to Table mountain will cost you ZAR 285 (INR 1277) and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden costs ZAR75 (INR336)
Day 2 Explore Cape Peninsula
Cape Town is beautiful, and I know you can’t get enough of this city but you shouldn’t miss Cape Peninsula for its postcard looking locations. Cape Peninsula is a must in your cape town itinerary as it’s the most gorgeous region in South Africa with geographically world famous places like ‘Cape of Good Hope’ and Cape Point where you get to see ‘Penguins’ face to face, Yayyyy !!
Tip #Keep the cash handy as you will have to pay at every spot in Cape Peninsula!!
We started off from Hout Bay to which gives some outstanding viewpoint from the cliff and the coastal drive is mesmerizing. We drove to the Cape of good hope and it felt like we were driving in Iceland due to similar flora.
The wind was crazy that day and sea waves were 5 ft high. We then drove to Cape Point lighthouse which is a good 20 minutes trekking to the top of Lighthouse. Don’t give up as the view from the stairs and the top of Lighthouse is breathtaking. You can literally see the end of the earth.
Places to see in Cape Town
- Hout Bay Harbour
- Chapman’s peak
- Cape Point lighthouse
- Cape of good hope
- James Beach
- Muizenberg Surfers Paradise
Tip# If you have passport from certain countries or a stamped visa then you can ask for discount on tickets to Cape of Good Hope, Boulder’s beach and other locations of SNBI.
Day 3 Cape Point
On the way back we stopped at Simon’s town where we had the best fish & chips, then stopped at Kalk Bay which is an interesting bohemian town with beautiful artifacts to buy.
Our Next stop was Boulder’s Beach which is home to imperiled African penguins, this was the highlight of day as I saw penguins face to face, touched them, walked with them and swam with them. The beach is full of penguins and you will feel as if penguins have invaded the town.
Tip #Don’t miss the Hake Fish and Chips in Kalk bay as its extremely fresh and tasty, I still miss that taste.
Places to see in Cape Town
- Boulder’s beach
- Kalk Bay
- Simon’s Town
- Cliffton 2nd beach
- Camps Bay
- Twelve Apostle Coastline
Day 3 Vineyards- Constantia & Stellenbosch
Let’s accept that South Africa is more popular for its wine than its natural beauty and there are some of the prettiest wine regions near cape town. If you are a wine person you can spend a full day sipping and tasting some best wines and if you are not into wines, then you can enjoy the mesmerizing scenery and picture-perfect sunset in this region. The one close to Cape Town is Constantia where you can go for a morning or evening tour but if you have a spare day then you must drive to Stellenbosch for a stunning view which is about an hour drive from Cape Town.
Tip# Don’t drink too much and drive rather take a day tour and give yourself a day off to enjoy and relax, or hire a driver or even find a friend who doesn’t drink 😛
Day 4 – Shark Cage Tour in Gansbaai
Yes, it’s the final day to make your Hollywood dream come true and experience the scariest survival thrill which we all have grown up watching. I am talking about the Shark Cage dive and I am sure some of you who have watched “47 Meters Down” would never want to try this and I completely understand why. Ever since I have watched that movie, I wanted to do this tour while having nightmares about it.
Unfortunately, the great white sharks are getting extinct in South Africa but we saw some Hammer Shark and big Turtles. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to do the same tour in Australia but if you get to see these great white south african sharks, do let me know in the comment box.
Day 5 Departure to home(UAE)
We kept our last day to walk around the market, little shopping and see the locals. Though I am not a shopping lover but I do buy souvenirs for myself and for gift purpose.
Tip# Go to green market (flea market) to buy beautifully made handicraft items, decorative pieces and much more at cheaper price.
For the first time in my life I was a little happy leaving for home from South Africa. After the robbery incident we were drained emotionally and were praying for reaching back safely ASAP. Also, I feel living in Dubai has spoiled us as we are not used to face any crime or violence. That’s why it was heartbreaking and disappointing for us to come across such a horrific incident especially on vacation. Anyways, No complaints as they say ‘ALL WELL IF ENDS WELL’ !!!
Tours to take from Cape Town
- Free Walking tour in Cape Town
- Table Mountain
- Franschhoek Wine Tram
- South African Winelands
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
- Robben Island Tour
- Shark Cage Tour
My experience of getting Robbed in Cape Town- twice
On our first day in cape town, we were enjoying the colonial buildings and hustle bustle of a modern city. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the mid of a day robbery. It was like straight from a movie-set, I will write a separate blog on it later. I don’t want to demotivate anyone from going to South Africa and only sharing my personal experience.
Well, we didn’t let that incident affect us and we went to the police station, filed FIR and continued our day as it was planned in our cape town itinerary .
How to be safe in Cape Town
- Do not talk to any stranger in the city, if anyone wants to talk to you or wants to take you somewhere just say NO. It’s better to take precautions than being sorry later.
- If you want any help take it from government appointed people like police, city supervisors etc or from your hotel staff.
- Always keep the car locked and windows closed while driving .
- Never leave anything in the car, not even a jacket, cig packet, or car charger if you don’t want to find your car windows broken.
- It’s not safe to walk alone in the streets after sunset or any area where you don’t find more people.
- Don’t roam around with your camera in hand, rather put the strap around your neck. And, don’t keep anything on the next seat in your car or in a cafe, as it will be disappeared before you realize it.
- Keep all your valuables stuff and passport in your hotel safe or locker.
- Don’t carry cash, pay by cards. And in case of withdrawing money from ATM, use only in Mall and bank offices.
Be safe and Happy Travelling 🙂