Points of interest in Cape Town
On this page you will find a list of activities and Points of interest in Cape Town.
Cape Point is one of the main Points of interest in Cape Town, it is the most south-westerly tip of Africa, a spectacular sight, covered in endemic fynbos and home to breathtaking bays, beaches and rolling green hills and valleys, as well as an emblematic light house. This beautiful landmark is found just 60km outside of Cape Town and is a declared a Natural World Heritage Site. Encompassing 7750 ha of rich and varied flora and fauna; abounding with buck, baboons and Cape mountain Zebra as well as over 250 species of birds, Cape Point is a nature enthusiast’s paradise.
Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of South Africa. It is also the country’s most photographed attraction and its famous cable car took millions of people to its top. It is much more than a scenic photograph background or a place from where you can take a breathtaking photo of Cape Town.
There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain and 1470 floral species. Many of these plants and flowers are endemic to this mountain.
This natural world heritage site, and Natural New 7th Wonder of the World. The mountain chain stretches from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the South.
Table Mountain National Park is a must-visit for anyone in Cape Town, local or international. From open access hikes and beautiful forest walks to pristine picnic and day-visit, there is plenty to do, see and experience.
Scenic Hout Bay is a lively coastal town with a lovely swimming beach and a picturesque harbour where you can buy some of the best fish and chips in the world.
The pretty town lies in a protected bay between Chapman’s Peak and Mount Sentinel. Getting there is an easy and beautiful drive from the city centre. Apart from its scenic beauty, Hout Bay is well known for its fishing prowess and is the epicenter of Cape Town’s crayfish industry. Hout Bay also hosts one of the best weekend markets where you will be able to shop for souvenirs and art craft items as well as enjoying a healthy meal while you enjoy the sounds of live music. The market runs on Friday evening and during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
Robben Island and Museum
Robben Island needs no introduction with regards to the significance of its place in South Africa’s and indeed the world’s history. As “home” to one of the world’s most famous prisoners, statesmen and leader’s in Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years of the 27 years of his incarceration imprisoned on the island. Robben Island is a unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice” with a rich multi-layered history, it is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents.
The Island has been used as a prison and a place where people were isolated, banished and exiled to for nearly 400 years. It was also used as a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost.
The Two Oceans Aquarium
Situated in Portswood Square at the V&A Waterfront, With more than 3000 marine creatures on view, including sharks, turtles and penguins, the Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the finest aquariums in the world.
This aquarium is among the top tourist attractions in the Mother City, and with over 8000 specimens representing over 300 species in their care, it’s not hard to understand why. At the aquarium, in more than 2 million litres of seawater, large ragged-tooth sharks patrol the tank as graceful rays, loggerhead turtles and shoals of giant yellowtail flash by. If you hold an open-water diving certificate and are feeling particularly brave there is also the option of getting into the exhibit. Shark sightings are guaranteed!
Penguins colony Simons Town
Cape Town and her surrounding coastline offer visitors some wonderful beaches, but none are more interesting nor more beautiful than Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town. This beach, with its wind sheltered bays and safe sandy shores, is home to a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins.
From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony grew about 3000 percent but since 2005 this number has dropped to about 2122 penguins which are spread along the coast. Seasons play an important role in terms of how many penguins you see, what they are doing and what they look like. Get close to the breeding colony of penguins, swim with them in the sea and enjoy their private sandy beach.
Seal Island – Simon’ Town
A boat trip to Seal Island in False Bay is another great way to spend a few hours. Seal Island is some 16 kilometres off the coast of Simon’s Town and is a popular feeding ground for the ultimate of predators, the Great White shark. Visitors may even be lucky enough to see these often misunderstood fish breaching, erupting through the ocean’s surface in pursuit of its prey, often the Cape Fur Seal. More than 75 000 of these seals live on the appropriately named island, explaining the presence of the large numbers of sharks in the area.
Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge is located in the Ceres Karoo, just two and a half hours from Cape Town. More than 1 200 animals roam free over 10 000 hectares of the Ceres Karoo including giraffes, hippos, zebras, meerkats, various antelope and birdlife and, of course, the big five. Inverdoorn is the largest private wildlife reserve in the area, providing sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife. The game reserve offers a premier safari experience including game drives, luxury accommodation and incredible insight into the rescue and rehabilitation of the cheetah.
Gansbaai – Shark Cage diving
Gansbaai is known as the great white shark capital of the world and is only a two and a half hour scenic drive from Cape Town. It is here that Great White Shark Tours will make your dreams come true! The experienced crew will share their vast knowledge of the water world where they operate when they take you to view great white sharks from the surface or underwater from a cage. This marine wonderland is the closest place in the world where you can safely see these apex predators in their natural environment.
Our boat launches from Kleinbaai, only 12km from the coastal fishing village of Gansbaai, on an exhilarating 20-minute boat ride to where we will start looking for our first sharks. During the summer months the sharks keep closer to shore and during winter they move to Shark Alley, a nearby channel created by two islands.
Known for its brightly coloured houses and situated at the foot of Signal Hill, Bo-Kaap (meaning “Upper Cape”) is the traditional Muslim quarter of Cape Town. The Cape Malay community started settling here after the emancipation of the 1830s. A stroll on the streets flanked by the vividly painted buildings is worth the time especially if you like photography and hearing about its history makes this visit all the more interesting.
There are a number of mosques in the area including The Auwal Mosque, the oldest mosque in South Africa.
There is also a small museum housed in the oldest building in the area, dating from 1763. It displays documents related to life in the area and it is furnished to depict the lifestyle of a 19 century Muslim family.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a stroll through the most beautiful garden in Africa – the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the most highly acclaimed botanical gardens in the world on the slopes of Table Mountain. The garden lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, making Kirstenbosch the first botanic garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.
This is an ideal sunset drive and what better way to watch the sun go down over Cape Town. A picnic basket packed, some snacks and arguably the best views in Cape Town stretched out before you. The hill is 300m high and offers great views across the City Bowl, Table Bay and Robben Island. It is a truly magnificent spot to sit peacefully and take it all in. Enjoy the city lights twinkling as the sun begins to set. It is also an excellent vantage point from which to admire the floodlights that light up the side of Table Mountain in the summer. This hill was used to signal the arrival of ships into the city. Today, a cannon goes of everyday at noon to signal the midday hour.
The Garden Route is probably South Africa’s most celebrated area, a stretch of coast heralded as one of the country’s highlights. A visit to Cape Town is incomplete without it. The Garden Route offers you majestic mountains, breathtaking views, a natural garden of rich colourful landscapes, with valleys and lakes, rivers and forests. A paradise for bird-lovers and nature lovers, an eco-destination like few others in the world, with miles upon miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches and uncountable things to do and explore. It is situated about 280 km from Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s richest botanical treasures.
Is considered one of the worlds most scenic drives. A spectacular road that hugs the near-vertical face of the mountain from Hout Bay to Noordhoek. Hacked out of the face of the mountain in the early 20th century. Today it is a popular picnic spot due to its beauty. With many stops and view points where you can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery of mountains meeting the ocean it will make you reach for your camera after every turn. This is an absolute must do if you are in the Cape.
The Cape Point Ostrich Farm lies on the most beautiful part of the Cape Peninsula. The farm is 50km from Cape Town, next to Cape Point National Park. The drive to the farm is one of the great scenic routes of South Africa leading to the Cape of Good Hope.
On the farm tour you will learn about the life cycle of an ostrich from egg to the adult bird. During the breeding season, quite often you will be able to experience the hatching of our ostrich chicks.
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, within a stone’s throw from the Cape Town Stadium and in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers the visitor an abundance of unforgettable experiences. Indoor shopping and entertainment venues seamlessly merge with ocean vistas and mountain views and the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere. More than 80 restaurants bring a fusion of international food, from rustic al fresco fish and chips to starched table-cloth cuisine. Cape Town’s premier shopping and entertainment destination. Other highlights and features are food markets, cruise boats, museums, and much more.
World of Birds
World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa and one of the few large bird parks in the World. Over 3 000 birds (and small animals) of 400 different species are uniquely presented in more than 100 spacious landscaped walk through aviaries, allowing you the most intimate closeness with nature.
A tropical garden setting in the Hout Bay Valley is the environment in which the aviaries are spaced over 4 ha of land. A paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
Another highlight of this visit is the monkey jungle. Home to A few dozens of Squirrel monkeys. These monkeys live in a large walkthrough enclosure, which allows visitors to enjoy direct contact with them. The World of Birds is one of Cape Town’s premier tourist attractions which no visitor should miss.
Camps Bay is the premier tourist destination in South Africa, and is magnificently located on the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and adjacent to Table Mountain.
Camps Bay is a suburb of Cape Town, with a village feel, offering a convenient location only 15 minutes drive from the city center. Camps Bay in Cape Town is well appointed with more than 20 restaurants, some internationally acclaimed and all with spectacular views to the ocean.
99 steps kramat (Kramat of Shaykh Noorul Mubeen)
Of the three prominent Auliyah buried on the hill facing the Atlantic seaboard, the one nearest to Oudekraal, appears to be the better known. The man buried there is Shaykh Noorul Mubeen. His grave is reached by ascending the 99 steps leading to it from Victoria Road up the mountain slope. The tomb, a simple, recently renovated building, stands besides a stream. Other side of this stream is another set of steps leading to the grave higher up. Those who visit the grave of Shaykh Noorul Mubeen find there is a quiet serenity, an ideal spot for meditation, away from the rigours of urban life.