Aerial View of Cape Town

Travel Guide for Adventurers: Explore Cape Town South Africa and its Local Wildlife

Africa is home to the world’s most famous animals. Lion, Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe and so many more. This travel guide will hopefully give you a little insight into  what you can do if you choose to stay in Cape Town South Africa. There is so much you could spend your time doing in Cape Town. From checking out Game Reserves to exploring the ocean. There is also of course the amazing picturesque view the iconic Table Mountain offers. Both from afar and when you reach its summit. 

There are so many options when it comes to how you could spend your day in Cape Town. There will obviously be many things I do not include in this travel guide so if there is something else you would like to use there are plenty of places to look. But for now here are a lot of things I suggest for those that want to spend their holiday In Cape Town South Africa. 

A Guide for those that Love the Sea & Marine Life

Scuba Diving in South Africa
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There is lots to do for lovers of the sea and all the creatures it holds. Cape point is where the Atlantic ocean and the Indian ocean meet which makes the marine life diverse and the diving experience unique. From scuba diving in the kelp forests to enjoying the antics of local seal colonies. There is a plethora you can choose from to enjoy what the ocean has to offer. I have a few suggestions below which will hopefully help you decide. 

Seal Swim

Seal Island Cape Town South Africa
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If you are up for a half day trip to Hout Bay you might enjoy an immersive and awe inspiring swim with local seal colonies. These are wild animals so make sure to be respectful and not corner them. These inquisitive creatures may well come up to you for a closer look. You might get lucky and see some dolphins or whales while you are travelling or swimming. So keep an eye out. If you are lucky enough to own a go pro or underwater camera this will be the perfect opportunity to get some amazing pictures. 

Bear in mind this will be a day trip so pack accordingly and make the best use of the time you are spending in and around Hout Bay. Prices can vary but will likely start at R900 depending on the tour guide company you go with. So make sure to shop around if this is something you would like to do. But all in all this is the perfect activity for all ages and is definitely one to remember. 

Scuba Diving

South Africa is home to a diverse array of marine life and what better way to see them than scuba diving. With enchanting kelp forests and the rare sevengill shark there is plenty to keep you on your toes. There are plenty of tour companies which will be able to take you out on these dives but remember that there is training required. As I have stated in a previous article, there is certification and training you must go through in order to scuba dive. So please be aware of this as it is not an activity you can just do. This is a cold water dive so make sure you either own or rent the proper equipment. Dives can cost from R2000 so as always make sure to check out all your options before settling on one tour guide company. 

Two Oceans Aquarium
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The Two Oceans Aquarium 

Visiting the world famous two oceans aquarium is a must if you are visiting Cape Town. It is quite literally a window into the oceans surrounding the Southern African coast. There are all kinds of creatures you can see. Ranging from large to small. Turtles, spider crabs, sharks, penguins and much much more. The cost may fluctuate but the price of admission should be around R220 but the price is well worth it. There is so much to see and learn that you could easily spend a day here. 

Great White Shark Cage Diving

Scuba diving with sharks in Cape Town
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For the adrenaline junkies out there or just those that want to look a Great White Shark in the eye, cage diving might be the thing for you. Cape Town has one of the most dense populations of great white sharks in the world. Dyer Island in Gansbaai is one of the best places to go if you want to see these majestic creatures. To get to Gansbaai you will have to drive two and a half hours from Cape Town however most companies offer a shuttle which will pick you up from anywhere in the city if you wish.

Cage diving is something you can do all year around however breaching expeditions only take place during the winter months between June and September. If cage diving is something you are brave enough to do then please make sure to do your research but most of all enjoy yourself and take care.

Surfs Up

Colorful beach houses of Muizenberg beach as a surfer passes by.
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Whether you are a beginner or a pro there are plenty of options for you if you want to pick up surfing. Muizenberg beach is said to be one of the best places in the world for beginners because of the waves it produces. Not only that but there are so many things that are situated around you that make it an excellent place to learn. Lessons usually start from about R200 so take care to shop around so you can find the bay fit for you. Experienced surfers are spoiled for choice, you could enjoy Muizenberg’s waves or find another beach that is more your speed. There are places for all skill levels out there. All it takes is a little research.

For the Adventurers Out There

If you want to take a hike up table mountain or a long scenic drive along the coast. There are plenty of things you can do that will slake that adventurers spirit you may possess. Cape Town and its surrounding area offer many activities and trails you might want to do on your vacation in Cape Town South Africa. This travel part of the travel guide should give you at least a few ideas on what you can do if you are one who loves to get out there and see the sights and climb the mountains. There is something for everyone out there all it takes is finding the right thing. 

Table Mountain

Hiking up Table Mountain Cape Town South Africa
Credit: hikeaddicts.com

If you are visiting Cape Town South Africa climbing its iconic flat topped mountain is a must. There are a few ways to get to the top of Table Mountain. One being the cable cars which run up and down the mountain and the hiking trails. The hiking routes can take about one and a half to two hours but it is well worth the walk. It costs about R200 to take a cable car up the mountain so if that is what you would rather do there is that way. 

What I would recommend is to take the trails and walk up and take the cable car down. There is a restaurant at the top of the mountain so there is certainly motivation to get to the top if you are hiking. Not only that but the amazing views from Table Mountains summit is breath taking and not something you should miss. Of course if you are hiking up this mountain I recommend you pack appropriate gear. Your shoes should be robust and appropriate for the terrain and you should always bring water with you as the heat can be extreme. Because of the intense sun you should protect yourself from its rays and bring sunblock and a hat if you can. You don’t want to be out for the count because you got a little burned. 

Scenic Helicopter Flight

Scenic Helicopter flights in Cape Town South Africa
Credit: TripAdvisor

Cape Town is such a beautiful city with a truly unique setting. The best way to appreciate the splendorous view is by seeing it the way a bird would. But how? There are a few ways you would be able to appreciate the views. The one I am recommending here is a scenic helicopter flight. 

With various routes to choose from there is plenty to suit any of you. Flights usually start at thirty minutes but can be longer depending on the route you pick. During your flight you should be able to see the famous Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Robben Island and of course much more. These flights can be expensive starting at R2000. This can vary depending on the company and route you choose for your flight. So please shop around and if this interests you be aware that it can be a bit pricey.

Paragliding

Another way you could experience the stunning views Cape Town South Africa has to offer is paragliding. If you are brave enough this is a great way to enjoy the vista. You can enjoy tandem flights from Lions Head as well as acrobatics during the flight . 

This really is something you should experience if you enjoy exhilarating activities. Prices for this activity can start at about R1300 but of course this varies from place to place. But if you are one for adrenaline pumping activities this one’s for you. Not only do you get the thrill but also a once in a lifetime view you can talk about for your whole life. 

Mountain View Horse Trails

Couple people horseback riding in South Africa
Credit: South African Tourism, Flickr

If you are a horseback rider The Mountain View Horse Trails will suit you. They offer scenic trails in the Western Cape a little ways from Cape Town itself. You will most likely have the option of a one or two hour trail both with relatively fair prices. 

  • One Hour Trail – R400
  • Two Hour Trail – R600

You will be guided by an expert if you decide that this is the kind of activity you would enjoy. The horses are good natured and the best part is that you do not need experience to enjoy the trail ride and scenery. So if this is for you then please give the mountain view horse trails a look. It is definitely something fun you could enjoy with your friends of family.

Also read: African Horseback Safaris Share Stunning Wildlife Encounters

Check out the Local Wildlife

Africa is home to some of the most famous animals in the world. Because of this fact it is imperative you experience just some of the wonderful and impressive wild animals it has to offer. There are many places you could visit that would definitely help you experience the various creatures. This is a list of just a few places you could go to and see some of them. 

Wild Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach

African Penguins on Boulders Beach Cape Town South Africa
Credit: capetown.travel

Cape Town South Africa is one of the few places home to a colony of wild African Penguins. The boulders colony settled years ago in 1982 and has been an attraction ever since. If you are willing to pay the R152 fee you will be allowed on the beach and meet the penguins. You can also see them from the boardwalk if you like.  There are also lookout points which allow you to see the main colony from a distance. Now, it is important to realise that these are wild animals and you should not corner them or get too close. So when you visit the beach be respectful to them. But this is definitely something you must do if you are in Cape Town for your vacation this year. 

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point Nature Reserve a view from above.
Credit https://www.travelground.com/ @Vaizha

Just an hours drive from Cape Town is the famous Cape Point Nature Reserve. This reserve is declared a world heritage sight due to it being situated on the southern section of table mountain. Also along the coast, the rugged rocks and sheer cliffs make this place make for a gorgeous place for photo ops. 

Not only are the hiking trails beautiful to walk you will also see a variety of animals and birds on your trail. Lizards, ostriches, baboons, eland, mountain zebras and more are there for you to see and enjoy. Once again be respectful of them as they are wild animals. Additionally you should make sure to bring something warm with you as this area is known for its strong icy winds. Being on the Atlantic ocean the area can get cold. But this is definitely worth the trip if you want to spend a day hiking and seeing the game available to see around Cape Town Area. 

World of Birds

One of the largest bird parks in Africa the World of Birds is an amazing place to go for the day. With over three thousand birds and several monkeys and other animals you will be stunned by the diversity. At this park you will be able to walk through the aviaries and tropical gardens which will allow you to get close and personal with the animals. 

The World of Birds is a paradise for those that love nature or photography. There is a reason it is one of Cape Town’s prime tourist attractions. Price of admission is about R130 for adults and R50 for children. So this is an affordable and fun attraction you definitely should check out if you are a lover of birds and animals. 

History & Culture

Of course you must explore the diverse culture and history Cape Town holds. Visiting the market, wineries and places like Bo Kaap. There is a lot you can spend your time doing. Don’t forget the history there is to explore in and around Cape Town. Home to Robben island, Africa’s only castle and much more. There is plenty to explore and learn about South Africa’s history. 

Visit Robben Island

An Aerial View of Robben Island Cape Town South Africa
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If you want to explore the dark history of South African history Robben Island is a good place to start. The famous first black president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated here before he became president. You can take a ferry to view the island from the water which costs about R600. But you can also take a tour on the island itself but the prices vary depending on the times and what tour guides you go with. Overall this is something you simply must do if you are visiting Cape Town for your vacation. There is plenty to learn and plenty of sights to take in if this type of activity suits you. 

Wine Tour

South Africa produces a lot of world class wines and as such there are a lot of wineries to visit. If you want to have a relaxing day sipping wines and eating food this type of activity will suit you. Spending the afternoon in the sun is definitely a good way to spend your day. One of the most popular wineries in Stellenbosch. With one of the best known wine estates which is steeped in history this is definitely somewhere you need to check out. 

This wine estate is about 25 miles east of cape town. Wine tours cost about R1500 so the price is quite steep. But it is worth spending the money to explore the making of the wines and getting to taste a selection. Overall if you are a wine lover and enjoy relaxing activities this is something you would enjoy. 

Castle of Good Hope

Castle of good hope from above
Credit: Eric Nathan/age fotostock

Built in the 17th century by Dutch colonists this well known landmark is a famous central piece to Cape Town. This castle was used to serve as the seat of the government and military operations for two centuries. In the castle there are two museums and expansive grounds for you to explore. Of course you will have to pay for tours inside the castle however at about R60 per adult. 

Victoria & Albert Waterfront

Victoria and Albert Waterfront Cape Town South Africa
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In the center of Cape Town is the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. This is one of Africa’s most visited cultural and historical locations. The waterfront is set in a working harbor and with the iconic Table Mountain backdrop. This place is picturesque and fun to visit. So if you are in Cape Town South Africa you should certainly visit the V&A Waterfront. 7

Green Point Markets

Green Point Markets
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Of course you have to spend at least one day browsing the various markets Cape Town has to offer. Cape Town is a foodies paradise, with stunning and delicious foods for you to try. It will not be a day you regret. Trying a few of the local favorites like biltong is definitely one way to get involved into the cultural cuisine of Cape Town and South Africa. So if you want to spend a day trying various foods and buying souvenirs this is definitely something you need to spend a day doing. 

Final thoughts

So if you are going to Cape Town South Africa for your vacation this year there are obviously plenty of things for you to do. My travel guide has detailed a few things you can do to really enhance your time here. There is obviously a lot you can do and I have only detailed a few. So if you want something else to supplement your list of activities. There are plenty of things I have not mentioned. Have a great time visiting Cape Town and don’t forget to have fun my dudes.

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