As you all probably may know, I love to travel. In fact a massive reason for my moving to the UK was to give me the chance to travel to more places, more often for less money. With that being said welcome to my mini-blog series Trip’N Tuesdays where by every Tuesday I’ll knock off one of my favorite travel spots that I’ve been to or want to go to.
This week? Has to be Cape Town, South Africa; the location of the heading photo of this blog.
I went to Cape Town 2 summers ago as part of my World Cup Trip to South Africa. Cape Town was my first stop on the trip and ended up being, by far, my favorite spot. I try to liken it to Southern California without the attitude. It’s culture is based around being outdoors during the day and putting back a few pints at night. Not to mention everyone is ridiculously friendly and to be honest pretty good looking too. Add to those facts that the exchage rate is so favorable you can get a 5 course meal with a couple bottles of wine for less than $20 a person. Needless to say I was home.
On a serious note, the culture in South Africa is really interesting. After the fall of apartheid, the Mandela election, World Cup Winning Rugby Team (don’t want invictus), and now the World Cup of Soccer – South Africa has pulled itself together into one of the most proud and colourful cultures I’ve ever experienced. You can still see the after-effects of the atrocity that was apartheid at every turn; and you’ll hear plenty of locals speaking Africaans, the former national language of South Africa. While Jo-burgh is definitely a better place to learn about the history and culture of South Africa, if you get out in town everyone is very friendly and rather open to discussing their past and present… and have rather high hopes for the future of the Rainbow Nation.
The following are a few tips, places to go and things to do when in Cape Town.
1. Rent a Car: This is not a mobile transport city. There’s so much to do, but it all ranges from 15-40 minutes from any point in town. Car Rentals are cheap, traffic isn’t too bad, and honestly driving on the wrong side of the road is really fun.
2. Where to Party: On any night of the week you can go down to Long Street and it feels like college all over again but if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale (Miami/Vegas not Monte Carlo) then you have to head to Camp’s Bay on the south side of Table Top Mountain in Cape Town. Caprice is awesome for Sunday Funday with Mojitos flowing like the Salmon of Capistrano. Don’t worry about prices though a bottle of Vodka costs about 180 Rand which is like ohhh $18.
Don’t you love how I said rent a car and followed it up with how to get drunk?
3. Where to Eat: I’m not going to lie we didn’t eat much during the day, and I was drunk half the time at night but the one meal I do remember was at Bukahara aka the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. Go there, don’t ask questions, and order everything on the menu (especially the Vindaloo and Paneer).
4. Where to Do: This is where Cape Town just absolutely dominates every place I’ve ever been – the versatility of things to do.
– Drive the coastal route to Cape of Good Hope, but watch out for the Baboons one chased me off a cliff (long story, not joking).
– Sky Diving – Yup, nothing different than sky diving anywhere else but the views are amazing.
– Surfing – Multiple surf spots up and down the surrounding coasts, but about a 5 hour drive away is one of the most epic breaks in history – Jeffrey’s Bai. But watch out for great whites, a surfer was eaten whole just a few weeks ago :-p
– Table Top Mountain – Cape Town is built up and around this massive mountain that seperates mainland South Africa from the actual cape. Climb the mountain or take the cable car up, but it’s a great afternoon. Me? I reccommend jog/hiking your way up then popping a couple beers once you get to the top (obviously cable car down).
– Wine Tasting – South Africa is actually really well known wine. The Stellenbosch region, famous for their Pinotage, is about 40minutes from downtown Cape Town. The wineries are beautiful, and really cheap – we came back with 21 bottles of wine between 3 of us haha.
– Bungee Jumping – About 2 hours from Cape Town is the highest bungee jump in the world. I’ve sky dived 5 times and never been scared, I’ve now bungee jumped twice and it I still want to shit myself. You walk out this narrow walk way under a bridge to hear loud club music blaring. And then you jump. It’s about an 8 second freefall, and by far one of the gnarliest things I’ve ever done… that is until..
– Great White Shark Diving – Hands down the greatest thing I’ve done in my life. The best time of year to go is apparently the fall, but we went in June and didn’t miss a beat. You hop on a boat about 5am and take the dark cold boat ride to False Bay/Seal Island. The spray of the water, the eerie fog on the bay, the smell of the chum on the boat and the sound of the cage rattling just builds such a sense of tension you’re ready for a Great White to Jump right on the boat. The first have of the trip is trolling a dummy seal behind the boat and hoping to witness a breach (the Great White launching itself fully out of the water in attack, something unique to Seal Island). The second half of the trip they give you a wetsuit and a snorkle, drop you into a 3” steel cage and lure the great whites all the way up to the cage. The sharks are so much bigger, faster and more graceful than Shark Week makes them seem. The 3-4 times the sharks rammed the cage or grabbed onto the tuna head the captain threw would send absolute shivers down your spine. But the good kind, the kind that makes you not want to come up for air or miss a moment of the action. Your excited, scared, amazed… you are awake.
Awake. That is how I’d describe my trip to Cape Town. While I didn’t eat much, I felt like I was gorging on life. I met amazing people, had some of the most ridiculous experiences you could imagine, and oh yea I was there during their WINTER! I can’t imagine how crazy the trip could be during their spring or summer. And if you’re looking for a more chilled out trip you can absolutely have it by renting a home in Camps Bay and just chilling on the beach.
But chilling? That’s not Trip’n.
Next Tuesday… Capri Italy.
Brunch @Caprice – Camp’s Bay – $1 Mojitos.
World’s Highest Bungee Jump
Island Vibes Surf Village – J Bai
Holiday Antics – Taking over the Barber Shop
Cape of Good Hope
The Baboons looking through my back pack after they chased me down
Table Top Mountain
My Adopted Family from Cape Town
Great White Shark Diving