From Kruger National Park we drove to Nelspruit to catch a flight to Cape Town for the weekend. The four of us were curious about Cape Town and didn’t want to skip it even though we only had eight days to spend in South Africa.
Here are the brief highlights from our full and fast paced weekend. You’ll notice how overcast the weather was in late November (I know, I’m so behind on this blog!).
First stop was strolling through Bo-Kaap. The neighborhood is characterized by a pocket of colorful houses which make the perfect backdrop for any photo.
Walking around Bo-Kaap was not quite as rosy as it appears. After a few strides we were immediately approached by small children walking barefoot and begging for money while Porsches and Ferraris passed us by on the street. It was shocking for me as I processed the juxtaposition staining South Africa where the wealthy live exorbitant lifestyles yet the majority don’t even have their basic needs met. I saw countless examples of this disparity over the weekend and it was heartbreaking. It’s important to mention (and hard to believe) it took until the 1990s for apartheid to finally end in South Africa.
The V & A Waterfront is where many of the name brand hotels are planted and some would equate it to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The options for seafood were plentiful but overall it lacked charm and felt overly touristy.
Camps Bay is one of the more affluent areas of Cape Town with boulders to climb and a promenade full of action. We took a walk along the beach and watched the sunset from a restaurant overlooking the water. The clouds were merciless and I wish we could have seen Camps Bay on a sunny day.
Penguins at Seaforth
You can go to a couple places near Cape Town to see penguins, one of them being Seaforth Beach. I think we landed here on accident despite telling our taxi driver we wanted to see the penguins on Boulder Beach. Boulder Beach is the more popular spot where you can interact with the penguins up close. It worked out because we were able to peek at them behind a wire fence and still get a good look at them and their behavior. I was surprised by how little the penguins did. They occasionally took a dip in the water but mostly just stood on the rocks loitering and looking rather lazy. Nonetheless they were entirely adorable covered in their tuxedo feathers.
Chapman’s Peak from Hout Bay
In Hout Bay you can get a breathtaking view of Chapman’s Peak. South Africa takes the cake on overall most staggeringly beautiful country I have laid eyes on. Check out the coastline!
Many of the wineries closest to Cape Town are in Constantia and we visited two, Steenberg and Constantia Groot. Constantia Groot is famed for being the oldest winery in South Africa. The scenery may or may not have been better than the wine.
Our final item to cross off our list was taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. The alternative is a hike but we were running low on time. We made it before sunset and I felt like we were above the clouds. The view was truly astonishing and I have to see it again someday.
Of all the countries I have traveled to I feel most compelled to return to South Africa. We only had eight days there and it was not at all enough, leaving us with regret and a lot of reasons for a repeat visit. I didn’t anticipate how the country would leave a searing impression on me.
Have I convinced you South Africa could be voted best looking country on the planet? It has everything you could want from beaches, mountains, wineries, exotic safaris and penguins! Truly something for everyone. I hope we’ll be back sooner rather than later.