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A LETTER FROM AFRICA – CAPE TOWN

After my most recent visit, I’ve decided that Cape Town is my favorite city in the world. And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve been six times and each time, I find something new to love. It’s beautiful, vibrant and has an underlying energy that I just can’t explain.

What to Do

First things first. Go to Table Mountain where you’ll get to see the entire city from up above.  Whether you take the cable car or hike up the mountain, I promise it is the best view of the whole city.

Once you finish, head to Camps Bay for a walk along the beach and dinner with a view.  Grab a cocktail and enjoy more of Cape Town’s nightlife, or if you’re looking for the trendiest spots in town, dinner at Test Kitchen or Potluck Club will not disappoint. Afterwards, the infamous Long Street is a sure thing for barhopping fun with other tourists and locals alike.

If you really want to see how the locals party, go to Mzoli’s in the Gugulethu township. Mzoli’s is the go-to place on Sundays for local music, dancing, food, drinks, and most of all, you get a feel for the real Cape Town.

Wine Country

Another great way to unwind and revel in Cape Town’s beauty is by visiting its wine country. There are plenty of tours available to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek that include visits to other noteworthy sites, including Boulder’s Beach (can’t miss the African penguins), Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope (most southwestern point of the African continent) and Chapman’s Peak.  This is a great way to relax, sip local or international wines and enjoy the stunning views Cape Town offers.

Looking for a touch of history? There’s no better place to learn about South African history than Robben Island.  This trip takes about a half day, but it’s worth your time as you trace the steps of Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe and other political prisoners who fought against Apartheid. Once you return, head to the V&A Waterfront for lunch or dinner and ride the Cape Wheel, which offers more spectacular views of the city.

Photo Credit: Ashlee Tuck

If you get seasick and can’t take the ferry to Robben Island, don’t worry.  You can go to the District Six Museum where you can learn about how black and mixed residents of District Six were forced to leave their homes to make way for white South Africans.  While Cape Town is a beautiful city, I highly suggest both Robben Island and the District Six Museum to get a better idea of its marred history.

Road Trip

Love a good road trip? Drive three and a half hours south to Sutherland, the best place in South Africa to view the stars. Make sure you’re there by 6 pm in the winter or 8 pm in the summer for the Sterland Stargazing tour with Jurg.  He starts the evening by showing a presentation of the stars, planets, and constellations.  I learned that stargazing is best in the Southern Hemisphere because there is less pollution and clearer skies. We ended the night by viewing various stars through two telescopes and even saw Mars, the International Space Station and a satellite!

Continue your road trip and head four hours south to Cape Agulhas.  It’s the most southern point on the continent of Africa.  You read that right.  It’s as far south in Africa as you’ll ever get.  Plus, it’s where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.  That’s cool enough to warrant a visit, I think.

The drive from Cape Agulhas back to Cape Town is only about two and half hours, which will fly by because you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful and diverse landscapes.

Whether you’re there for a week or three days, I guarantee you won’t want to leave Cape Town after visiting. You’ll fall in love just like I did.

Until next time,

Ashlee




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