South Africa is famous for its safari culture, and any visit to Cape Town wouldn’t be complete without one.
But if you’re planning to stay for more than a day or two (which we hope you are!), you’ll have to fill up the rest of your time in this incredible African city, right?
Absolutely! There are a ton of things to do in Cape Town aside from go on safari. When you’ve had your fill of lions, tigers, and bears—oh my!—hit the town with this handy list of things to do.
1.) Climb Table Mountain
If heights are your thing, but a strenuous climb sounds intimidating, Table Mountain is the perfect peak for you to summit. You can ascend by cable car—no huffing or puffing required—and reach the top in just about five minutes. You’ll have tremendous, panoramic views of Cape Town from the observation deck, which is complete with a floor that spins 360 degrees! We hope you don’t get dizzy too easily. If you’re feeling really energetic, you can rappel back down the mountain. But it’s only for the fearless—at nearly 370 feet, it’s officially the highest commercial rappel in the world.
2.) See the Victoria and Albert Waterfront
Once you’ve come back down the mountain, you’ll find the iconic Victoria and Albert Waterfront right at its base! In the middle of the harbor area, the V&A is a development of shopping, eating, and entertainment venues. Grab lunch at one of the 80 restaurants, then hit the water in one of the boats docked there—there’s even a “cigarette” speed boat if it peaks your fancy.
3.) Tour the Townships
A legacy of the apartheid era—they were created as places to live for black South Africans—townships are still lived in, and tours usually last a half day. Take these tours with caution, as you would before signing up for a favela tour in Rio or a slum tour in Mumbai.
Look for tour guides who are locals from the community, and who put your money towards supporting the people living inside. Be weary of any tours that treat impoverished communities as though they’re zoo exhibits with people on display. With the right tour guide, you’ll get a historical look into Cape Town’s legacy of apartheid, as well as a deeper understanding of the circumstances that many South Africans are still living in.
4.) See the World of Birds at Hout Bay
Just outside the southern suburbs of Cape Town, Hout Bay is home to the World of Birds—a wildlife sanctuary and monkey park housing over 3,000 birds and 400 species of animals in a natural environment. You can even walk through the enclosures! It’s the largest bird park in South Africa, but the “Monkey Jungle” is also worth seeing.
5.) Shop Century City at Canal Walk
Suburb Century City is home to the Canal Walk shopping center—which opened as the largest mall in the whole of Africa, with over 400 stores. Why the name? Because it’s built around a network of canals. Most upmarket high street brands are present, along with local designers such as Jenni Button, Hip Hop, and Mama Bayete.
Do these Cape Town activities have you dreaming of a trip to South Africa? We thought they might! Luckily, we’re giving away two tickets to Cape Town on South African Airways. Enter the contest for a chance to win before February 29th!