Cape Town, South Africa
(7,805 miles from the GWB)
Upon my arrival at the airport I happened to notice the vibrancy of the city and how it was mostly composed of tourists and even foreign migrant workers. This gives Cape Town a special edge and touch of different backgrounds. Well known as the “Mother City” it is definitely the place to visit it has the worlds most astonishing views, poetic sunsets along the beach front and the most authentic history. This makes the city more diverse and rich with culture indeed one can be spoiled for choice from the Cape Malay cuisine, spicy Indian curry not forgetting the most delicious African variety of dishes.
The “Mother City” is very eco-friendly and family oriented, there are many free outdoor activities such as the green point park which stays green all year round and there are many sections for all age groups and lots of child friendly restaurants at reasonable prices. Most activities are affordable you don’t necessarily need to pay to have fun. There are many jungle gyms by the sea front, the city invests a lot on outdoor infrastructure activities there are also outdoor gym facilities and safe parks.
When driving out about 30 km out of the city one can experience the most eccentric mountain views and beautiful accessible wine farms where families can host picnics, gathering and garden events where adults can taste wine while children play in the kids facilities. There are different modes of transportation such as Uber, taxis and city bus which takes you to many places.
11 THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO IN CAPE TOWN
- Take a helicopter ride with the city’s TripAdvisor-rated number-one operator, Cape Town Helicopters, and see the Mother City like never before (ranked in the top three must-do tours in Cape Town). Using state-of-the-art, quieter and more eco-friendly (not to mention wider 270-degree window view) Airbus craft, you easily get the most Instagrammable views in Cape Town on the Cape Point flight or sweep that special someone off their feet and into the air on the VIP Winelands flight. Forget the ferry and see the historic Robben Island from a perspective-smashing new vantage point. And, get the full experience for a lot less than you think: the Hopper flight keeps you within budget with an extraordinary helicopter adventure for around the cost of two dinners at a city restaurant.
- Go wine tasting, of course. But there are over 2000 vineyards and wine estates in the Western Cape, so where to start? Book a wine tour with Wine Flies, the boutique touring company invites you to explore the province through wine. You can visit up to five wine estates a day – and even more if you choose to go on a weekend away.
- Visit the Zeitz MOCAA Museum, which houses the largest collection of contemporary African art. Marvel at the architecture, get lost in the art or just explore the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront where the museum building is located. Or try out our alternative bucket list item: It’s a one-of-a-kind museum in Khayelitsha, which gives a fascinating insight into gang culture.
- Soak up “Cape Malay” culture and history through the sensational food by taking a Malay cooking course. Or try out our alternative bucket list item: Get out-of-town, for a change, and cook in one of the most interesting Karoo towns.
- Be a beach bum. We have gorgeous stretches of sea and sand at every turn. Or opt for a thrill of a different kind and take a dip in one of our natural rock pools, dotted around the city and surrounds. Or try out our alternative bucket list item: Have you visited this often-overlooked, sheltered beach that sports impressive views of the False Bay coastline? There’s a clean smell in the air, it feels clean and welcoming. When walking on the beach there’s a beautiful glaring sun, fresh atmosphere.
- Take a Hop On Hop Off City Sightseeing Bus – this service is a tried, tested and very fun way of seeing the city’s main attractions. Or take an urban tour with Kiff Kombie.
- Langebaan is a popular weekend destination for relaxing and unwinding. Rather than the usual holiday home accommodation, why not spend the weekend (or longer) living on a house boat in the West Coast National Park.
- Join the Mother City’s favorite weekday past-time, First Thursdays when, on the first Thursday of every month, city sights, particularly art galleries, restaurants and shops, stay open late into the night for all to enjoy the urban vibe after dark. Try out our alternative bucket list item: Join in on this walking art tour of a bohemian suburb every second Thursday of the month.
- Sundays are about long lazy brunch’s and driving along our 9km stretch of paradise, namely Chapman’s Peak – it’s a must-do with breathtaking views.
- Wile away the day at a tshisanyama, there’s a spot in any one of our townships. It’s where locals go to eat good meat, listen to music and chill with friends.
- Collect a few of your friends to visit some of the very interesting caves we have around the city.
Best places to eat:
*Prices can possibly change as its peak season however they won’t be far off.
The negative aspects for a tourist
There is a huge racial economic divide and so many racial undertones which are evident everywhere you go. For example if one is looking for a place to stay or rent the agent will first find out what race you are and they will only set up an appointment based on your being “white or colored” in South Africa “colored” is the term used for mixed race. Even though you happen to have seen an advert for an available place the agent will make excuses to meet you and say someone else took the place or they will tax you by doing a credit check which could take weeks and only then do they send you an application form and by the time it’s cleared someone would have taken the place.
Historically Cape Town has been known for the “south side” being predominantly preserved for the whites even now till date they try to keep it that way by not leasing out or renting any property to black people. Property prices in the south are extremely high this also creates barriers of entry for black people to own homes or any property on the southern “opulent” parts of town like the garden’s area, Sea-point, Claremont, Green-Point, Bishops Courts and so forth… all these areas have always been reserved for white people since the apartheid times while the black people are placed much further away from the city center and the harbor, basically where there is a lot of economic activity. You find people who work in town but live 50-70 kilometers out-of-town in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu. People travel 2 hours to get to work this is 8 hours at work plus another added 4 hours added traveling in the road decreasing their ability to spend time with their loved ones. These workers are not able to live in town mainly because they cannot afford it and the fact that they are elected based on their skin color. That’s why you never see black peoples spending time in town or in the southern suburbs because it’s not user-friendly for them.
This I personally experienced when I visited a restaurant I was told it was fully booked even though I could evidently see that there are open seats so I intentionally said I’ll wait, then I see white people who didn’t even make a reservation get placed so that’s when I became aware it’s a racial situation, then once I was seated the waiter only visited my table once when taking my order but checked on the white people more frequently evidently giving them the best service.
Article Written by Rito Madingana. Rito is social entrepreneur and professional model. She currently splits her time in Welkom, South Africa and NYC. Not originally from New York or New Jersey, but she is enjoying all that the city has to offer… great food, countless option of the arts, and the amazing diversity of this fabulous city! She is looking forward to traveling and exposing herself to the wonders of the world more often!! Follow Rito on Instagram and Twitter.