For the first Risky Jackal City Guide, it made sense to profile Cape Town, South Africa. It’s probably my favorite city I’ve ever been to and close to my heart. It’s an African gem with breathtaking coastlines and the beautiful Table Mountain. Cape Town has such a rich culture (11 official languages!) with amazing food, wine, and wonderful people.
Cape Town is one of the most westernized cities in Africa. It was a very “west coast” vibe and reminds me so much of the of California.. the whole coast, just squeezed-down into one city. The beaches and much of the houses along the coast have a very “Malibu” feel, and Camps Bay is a must-hit. Within the city, the hills and colorful grittiness of the buildings remind me of San Francisco. Table Mountain backs right up against the city, and much like the canyons of the Hollywood hills, a hike is just minutes away! Just on the other side of Table Mountain lay hours of the Cape Town Winelands, and feels much like northern California’s Napa Valley. While there are similarities I’m drawing to California ~ you really can’t compare to the unique city that is Cape Town. If this city hasn’t made it onto your bucket list already, you’re going to need to add it – you won’t want to miss everything Cape Town has to offer!
- Willoughby and Co. – Don’t be off-put that this sushi spot is located in a mall and at first glance looks more like an Irish pub than a sushi restaurant.
- Nobu – get that Crispy Rice!
- Harbour House
- Pot Luck Club
- 95 Keerom
- Lola’s Cafe
- Honest Chocolate Café – One of my favorite coffee shops I’ve been to. Pro-tip: there’s a secret gin bar in the back!
- Yours Truly
- Some other favorites: Savoy Cabbage, The Test Kitchen, Royale Eatery, Café Caprice, La Perla, Cafe Manhattan, Grand Café, La Parada Del Mar, Azure, Blues, Bacon on Bree, Scheckter’s Raw
- Fairview Wine Tasting
- Groot Constancia – The oldest wine estate in South Africa!
- Waterford Wine Estate – One of my favorites, with a beautiful orange orchard in front an atrium inside.
- The Spice Route – The Spice Route is kinda your one-stop-shop for all things made in South Africa. Along with wine tasting, there’s Cape Brewing Co, a deli, artisan chocolate factory, beer garden with biltong, a cafe, grappa distillery, and even a glass blowing workshop.
- La Motte – Be sure to go on the hike on the estate grounds!
- Some other favorites: Steenberg Farm Wine Estate, Delaire Graff Estate, Klein Constancia,
Similar to Napa, California – the best way to see the Winelands surrounding Cape Town is by renting a private driver to bounce around to the desired vineyards. If you’re trying to cut costs and streamline the vineyards, the Franschhoek Wine Tram is a great alternative.
- Table Mountain – In the summer months, the mountain is covered with a “table cloth” of clouds. Hike or take the Aerial Cableway
- Lions Head Hike
- Boulder Beach – See the African Penguins that inhabit the beaches of Cape Town. They’re the only penguins found on the continent of Africa!
- Bo Kaap – Formerly the Malay Quarter, it’s a diverse neighborhood featuring bright painted walls and houses
- Sunset on the Boulders looking onto the 12 Apostles
Adventures outside of Cape Town:
- Cage Diving with Great Whites – South Africa is one of two places you can dive with Great White Sharks. I’ve gone twice and have had a lovely experience with Marine Dynamics both times!
- Zip Lining – In need of an adrenaline rush? A drive outside of Cape Town to Elgin Cape Canopy Tours
- Cape of Good Hope – View the dangerous and rocky Cape Point and climb up to the lighthouse atop the rock. One of the windiest spots I’ve been. The photo above shows the view – you’ll truly feel like you’re at the edge of the world.
- Hike in Greyton – The Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail from Greyton to McGregor was a great hike. Pitstop at Breakfast Rock and take a dip in the waterfall located at the halfway stop. Recommend staying at the cutest B&B, Old Potter’s Inn!
- Cape Agulhas – The actual ‘southern-most point of Africa’ and also where the Indian & Atlantic Oceans meet. There the lighthouse and maritime museum to also see there!
Please message me if you’re heading to Cape Town and have any questions on restaurants, the layout of the city.. or any other inquires!
I’m in the process of planning a trip that includes Cape Town. This is super helpful!