Cape Town

View from the cable cart in Cape Town.
 

Travel to Cape Town - The dynamic Mother City

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in South Africa. It's located next to the extraordinary Table Mountain and from the top of the mountain, you see a simply breathtaking view all the way to Cape Point. The city is both lively and modern with lots of good entertainment options, trendy restaurants, fashion shops, vivid nightlife.

Due to its location on the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town's harbor is one of the most important harbors in all of Africa. It is also here that you can take a boat trip to see one of the most interesting sights around Cape Town, Robben Island. The island is a must see for anyone visiting Cape Town, as this is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years! The guides are former prisoners and they take you through a journey reliving the tragic past of South Africa. 

The city's waterfront is nice and cozy to chill out with a good dinner in a nice restaurant, maybe with some live jazz. This area is also good for shopping. 

The well-implemented District Six Museum in the center of Cape Town is also worth a visit. 

Table Mountain

Another "must-see" in Cape Town is the amazing Table Mountain. Therefore you must, preferably on a sunny day, take a daytrip to the mountain. The easiest way is to hop into a cable car, but if you want to get closer contact with the mountain, there are well-marked hiking paths, which should take a couple of hours. From the top of the mountain you'll see a view that you'll never forget. It will make you get butterflies in your stomach because it is simply magnificent! 

The dramatic coastline

If you haven't had enough of the wild and beautiful views of the rocky coastline and the roaring waves, a ride on the famous coastline, Chapman Peak Drive, is highly recommended - it is one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world. Don't forget to go all the way past the Cape Point, Africa's southernmost point and where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean.

Townships and vineyards

Cape Town is so much more than just beautiful facades and scenery. The city is famous for its many townships, a kind of slums that are largely operated on its own terms and with a local government. The township of Khayelitha is one worth a daytrip. You can take a guided tour that offers mind broadening experiences and gives a glimpse into another side of Cape Town; a contrast to the modern city center with fancy sushi bars. Knowledgeable guides will explain "ubuntu" - the special attitude in townships, as well as tell you about their ordinary lives.

You should also take a trip to the many vineyards just outside Cape Town. South Africa is generally known for good and relatively inexpensive wines, and several of them can be tasted and purchased, for example, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, which are all excellent wineries and affordable for backpackers.

Activities in Cape Town

The ultimate adrenaline kick is the popular shark dive you can embark on in the sea just outside the city. It is of course with a guide and in a cage, so you are safe and come back with your arms and legs intact! One thing is certain: you will (hopefully) never again come this close to these wild and dangerous animals, and never forget this horrifying experience.

The area around Cape Town also offers some great surf beaches. You can rent a surfboard and possibly an instructor for a day or two.

Transportation

There is no public transportation, so take a taxi or walk during daylight. Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, because not all parts of the city are safe. 

There are safe bus firms operating between main cities and towns. You can also use the Baz Bus, which is a well functioning hop-on hop-off, door-to-door backpacker bus service operating between about 180 backpacking hostels around South Africa. Ask for more info at KILROY! If you want to get the most out of your trip, we suggest you rent a car; it's quite safe to do in South Africa.

Accommodation

KILROY highly recommends the Drifters Inn Hotel, which is located at Sea Point and is close to all major attractions. There are also other good hostels to choose from, for example, Big Blue Backpackers is close to the Water Front shopping area.   

KILROY tips to Cape Town

Cultural life and music:

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Best beach:

Clifton Beach

Food:

Try ostrich burger and anything made of biltong meat

Best shopping:

Water Front area