AN OFF-THE-PATH GUIDE TO CAPE TOWN, ZA

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO EXPLORE

HIKE THE SPINE OF TABLE MOUNTAIN                                                                           [X] HIKING [X] ADVENTURE

The Twelve Apostles contain all the mystery of Table Mountain National Park: twelve peaks that rise from the coastline, with rocky faces and fynbos whiskers, basking in the warmth of the fading sun. This vigorous hike, called the Spine Route, climbs over the apostles, and is one that will challenge your mental and physical stamina, yet offer endless open trail and beautiful ocean views. It begins at Ruyteplaats/Suikersbossie. From there it ascends to look out over Hout Bay, Little Lions Head, and Llandudno. Up some scrambling and across a narrow passageway will lead you to the top of the mountain. The hike continues for 5km toward Cape Town and offers multiple exit points into Camps Bay.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Take the cable car up Table Mountain for R225 for sunset or hike up Table Mountain's frontside Pletteklip Gorge.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] From City Center, take the M6/Victoria Rd to Victoria Access Rd/Ruyteplaats Dr. At the end of the road you will see Ruyteplaats sign where the trailhead is.

[BUS] From Adderley, take My Citi 108 or 109 to Ruyteplaats. Take Victoria Access Rd/Ruyteplaats Dr. to the end where you will see Ruyteplaats sign and the trailhead.

 

Cost FREE. Time 6-8 HRS.

GET TAN EVERYWHERE                                                                                                 [X] HIKING [X] BEACH [X] CHILL

Sandy Bay in Llandudno boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of beach, tucked-away amongst a rocky and bushy coastline that one must cross in order to encounter this pure white, sandy stretch of clothing-free beach in Cape Town. The cape’s cool Atlantic current will be much relief to head and hide after the hike through the brush and over the rocks. Find a stretch of rock to stake your claim and enjoy a full-body tan, bring some friends to the beach and get over what you see on the surface, or wander through the tangled brush at the far end of the beach to get into trouble.  

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Clifton beaches in Camps Bay offers splendid shoreline, exquisite real estate, and beautiful sunset.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] From City Center, take the M6/Victoria Rd to Llandudno Rd. Take the 3rd right down Sandy Bay Rd to Sunset Ave where you will find the parking lot.

[BUS] From Adderley, take My Citi 108 or 109 to Llandudno. go down Llandudno Rd. Take the 3rd right down Sandy Bay Rd to Sunset Ave where you will find the path.

 

 Cost FREE. Time 1-5 HRS.

NELSON MANDELA'S PRISON HOME                                                                                          [X] HISTORY [X] CULTURE [X] GETAWAY

South Africa, a place colonized by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, inhabited by eight different tribes of Africans, practiced apartheid, a segregation of whites and blacks from 1948 to 1994, until Nelson Mandela became the first black president under the African National Congress party. The vestiges of apartheid can be seen in Cape Town today and to begin to understand the socioeconomic status of South Africa, one must understand how the past has shaped the country's present. Robben Island rests 7km from shore and served as prison for a number of anti-apartheid activists, including Madiba Nelson Mandela for 18 years. Robben Island is a museum today, and offers tours by prisoners that once were inhabitants.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

The District Six Museum in City Centre speaks of a part of town that demanded the removal of people of color from a neighborhood.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] The tour departs from V&A Waterfront. From City Center, take the M62 to the M6 to Granger Bay Blvd.

[BUS] From Civic Center, take My Citi T01 or 104 to Waterfront.

 

Cost R280. Time 4 HRS.

SECOND-CHANCE AT THE DANCE                                                                    [X] NIGHTLIFE [X] CULTURE [X] COMMUNITY

Did your prom result in disaster? Bad hair? Ugly outfit? Your date pukes? None of that matters (yet all might be witnessed) at Cape Town’s GAT Party, a long-arm, queer-friendly, ballroom style dance hosted in a gym. Afrikaans pop music, R15 beers at the concession stand gone bar, and twirling waltz' that take a hint from the Victorian era make this an incredible alternative to normal nightlife. Hosted The 1st, 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month in Milnerton with a crowd that is always inviting. It's also bring your own beer and do as you wish.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE 

A night out on wild Long St. in City Centre Cape Town.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Take the N1 to the M5 North to Tanzanite St. Theo Marais Park is on your left.

[BUS] Take a cab or carpool for ease and security.

 

 Cost R30. Time 2-4 HRS.

 

 

TRAVERSE DEVIL'S PEAK                                                                                      [X] HIKING [X] ADVENTURE [X] FITNESS

Climbing Devil’s Peak is a rewarding and daunting feat, as upon reaching it’s peak (or as close as you can get given Cape Doctor winds and Tablecloth clouds) will offer panaroma views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill all encompassing City bowl. Most ascents are rather difficult and require rock scrambling and risk getting lost. It is recommended to do with someone who has climbed the trail before. Hikes to do are Newlands Ravine (moderate) and Mowbray Ridge (difficult). For those more daring, a trail begins behind the King’s Block House, above Rhodes Memorial. From behind the Block House, follow the path to the left 20km where you will find a path cutting up through the trees and then to the left. Follow this path along until you reach a ravine with mossy cliffs and a slight waterfall. It will require some hand climbing. Continue the climb up for 1hr until you reach the top of the mountain, with Devil’s Peak to your left and beautiful views all laid out before you. From the top you should see a path, the Upper Traverse, which is 100m down through the bush. This path to the left will lead you up a set of switchbacks to the final climb to Devil’s Peak or to the saddle where you can descend.Beware of snakes, wear sunscreen, come with plenty of water and always have an exit route

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Tafelberg Rd. hike offers a wide stretch of path carved by car, going across the entire Table Mountain with great views into City Bowl.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] From City Center, take the N2 to the M3 to Rhodes Dr to the King's Block House.

[BUS] From Civic Center, take My Citi 102 to Upper Mountain. Walk towards the mountain. Take first left to Rhodes Ave, then take first right to Kylemore Rd to deadend. Run across the highway to the trailhead.

      

Cost FREE. Time 4 HRS.

THE BITCH'S TITS                                                                                                          [X] FOOD [X] CULTURE [X] CHILL

Walking along the streets of Cape Town yield limitless discovery. One of these, located in Gardens is The Yard, a converted warehouse boasting 3 different menus: Mucky Mary’s for breakfast, The Bitch’s Tits for lunch and The Dog’s Bollocks for dinner. The lunch menu offers tacos, world-famous sandwiches, and the dinner menu delivers over-the-top hamburgers and wings. Sneak around the corner for a cafe located in the rear, No. 9 Cape Town, a unique clothing company across the street sells exclusive single-item garments.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

The Mount Nelson Hotel has a well reputed tea time.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] The Yard is at 6 Roodehek St. off Buitenkant St. in Gardens.

[BUS] From Adderley, take My Citi 103 to Roodehek. Location is at 6 Roodehek St.

 

Cost R50. Time 1 HR.

SECRET SWIMMING SPOT AND LOOKOUT KLOOF                                               [X] ADVENTURE [X] CHILL [X] GETAWAY

Tulbagh, a town colonized by Dutch settlers in 1795, is a town hidden in a breathtaking valley with nearly nothing around it. Good for a day trip to get-out-of-town and see the historical Cape Dutch architecture. Tulbagh is accessible via Bain's Kloof Pass, a narrow, winding 30km road through the mountains that leads from Wellington to Ceres. Below the pass is a precipitious cleft that leads down to a stretch of rapids, waterfalls and rocky shores brushed smooth by years of passing water. Park at one of the few pass’ pullofs, find a path down that is safe and enjoy a tucked away secret swimming spot. Finally, end the day at the top of Bain's Kloof Pass, overlooking the mountains, South Africa, your company, and savor the moment.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Explore the famous winelands territory of Franschhoek.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Bainskloof Pass is R301, accessible via N1 to the R43 to R301.

[BUS] Unfortunately unaccessible via public trans.

 

Cost FREE. Time 4 HRS.

 

LION'S HEAD AT FULL MOON                                                                  [X] HIKING [X] NIGHTLIFE [X] ADVENTURE [X] FITNESS

As the full moon rises over Cape Town, Lion’s Head draws a large crowd of outdoor enthusiasts atop it’s 360-degree viewpoint peak. One minute watch the sunset over the ocean and the next turn around and see the moon rise over the city as the lights of night begin to shine. The hike is doable for all hikers with only a small part of ladder climbing and chains that get rather congested on the exit route. Make sure to bring a headlamp to see after sunset, and make sure that on Full Moon nights you look up at Lion’s Head and spy for the headlights to see those faithful ants marching.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Drive up Signal Hill and have a sundowner.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] From City Center, take Buitengracht St. to Kloof Nek Rd. At the top of the hill turn right onto Signal Hill Rd. Trailhead will be in 200m.

[BUS] From Adderley, take My Citi 106 or 107 to Kloof Nek. Walk up Signal Hill Rd til you see the trailhead.

 

Cost FREE. Time 3 HRS.

FARMER'S MARKET AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE                                              [X] FOOD [X] CULTURE [X] COMMUNITY

Helen Zille, the Premier of the Western Cape and leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance political party, heard the people’s complaints that Saturday’s farmers market in De Waal Park was too congested and didn’t offer enough parking. Her solution? Have the market at my house. Saturday mornings at the Oranjezicht City Market from 9 to 2 make Friday nights on Kloof St. look like amateur happy hour. Fantastic food offerings from fresh bread baked in town to fish pulled from the ocean that morning, lox spread made just right, pate for you and your mate, figs by the kilo, a stroll through the Premier’s own property, surrounded by staggering views of Table Mountain and a fine feast for the eyes in people-watching. Bring wine made local also!

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Brunch at Café Paradiso.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Premier’s house is on Hof St. near Kloof St. in Oranjezicht. Street parking available.

[BUS] From Civic Center, take My Citi 103 to Rayden. Follow Hof St. to the entrance.

 

Cost FREE. Time 2 HRS.

 

 

 

DINNER AND A MOVIE                                                                               [X] FOOD [X] NIGHTLIFE [X] CULTURE [X] COMMUNITY

If you like delicious food, great film and fine-looking people, then a night to The Labia Theatre could become a weekly ritual. The oldest independent art theatre in South Africa, opened by Princess Labia in 1949, calls a great creative crowd out for a nightly showing at the venue’s four theaters. Movie tickets cost only R40 and a popcorn for R18. Many nights of the week the theater, in collaboration with local restaraunts, offers a Movie Meal Special for Two. Just visit one of the restaraunts listed before the movie, tell them you are there for the special for R90-R99, and have a meal for two before. Bring your receipt and enjoy a free movie. Offers great film and charming theatre experience.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Enjoy First Thursdays Cape Town and visit art galleries open late all evening on the first Thursday of the month.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] The Labia Theatre is at 68 Orange St in Cape Town.

[BUS] Take My Citi 101 at Michaelis or My Citi 106 and 107 at Kloof St. Theatre is at 68 Orange St.

 

Cost R40. Time 3 HRS.

 

BROOKLYN IN CAPE TOWN?                                                                                         [X] FOOD [X] CULTURE [X] CHILL

Harrington St. is a street just outside of City Center that is blossoming with unique shops, hip restaraunts, and cool culture. Lefty’s is a bar/pub playing new wave music, dishing out a fresh crowd, serving up ribs and pizzas, and generally being gregariously cool. A lounge on one side offers smokers and drinkers a place to hang, and the opposite side offers a restaurant with indoor booths and outdoor patio. A fantastic menu with a heaping plate of ribs in classic South African meaty style or a pizza covered in anchovies delivered with a craft beer to leave you to let loose. On the street find a concert venue, performance theatre, boxing gym, New York Bagel shop, cupcake bakery, great street art, and anything else left for you to discover.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Carne should satiate your meaty desires and Cape Town has an abundant and diverse nightlife.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Lefty’s is at 105 Harrington St in City Center.

[BUS] Take My Citi 103 to Lower Buitenkant. Harrington St. is one block to the east.

 

Cost R100. Time 1 HR.

EDGE OF AFRICA                                                                                                [X] GETAWAY [X] AVENTURE [X] HISTORY

Cape Point is the Southwesternmost point in all of Africa, discovered in 1488 by Bartolomeu Dias as ships began to explore alternative routes to reaching East Asia and the treasures and riches that awaited them. Thus, this cape peninsula’s tip was coined The Cape of Good Hope. This National Park includes untouched fynbos, unique to the cape, babboons scrounging for food, a nice path to the old lighthouse which blasts light to a range of 101km, hopefully assuaging those ships passing The Cape of Storms. Some great stops along the way: Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town to see the African Penguins, world famous Café Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay, Muizenberg for beachspots, surfing and colorful houses, and Hout Bay and infamous Chapmans Peak Dr. lookout points. Do you know the origin of Cape Town was a refuel station for ships traveling from Europe to East Asia? Hence, the Company’s Gardens near Parliament, Cape Town.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

A day in Hout Bay.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] From City Center, take the N2 to the M5 to the M4 to Cape Point.

[BUS] No bus, however there is a train to Simon's Town.

 

COST R110. Time 4 HRS.

ROADTRIP THE SOUTHERN COAST OF AFRICA                                                            [X] GETAWAY [X] ADVENTURE

South Africa’s magical prowess can hardly be contained to one sickle of land. There’s the great desert of the Karoo, the Eastern Coast and their Indian Oceanic tides, Jo’burg and it’s high-paced, fashion crowd, and endless bits more. However, a route similar to the CA 1 in majesty and tucked-away gems, SA’s Garden Route, stretches along the bottom coast of Africa from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and is home to a number of national parks: Wilderness, Knysna, and Tsitsikamma. Rocky cliffs, beachy shores, timber forests, a number of small towns with charming auras, the world’s highest bridge bungee jump, and escapes to wonderland are some featurettes of the 5-10 day getaway on the Garden Route. Highlights include: Mossel Bay for antiques, coffee, and beach going, Wilderness Ebb & Flow Restcamp for canoeing, a waterfall hike and camping, Knysna for boating, Nature’s Valley for the most beautiful ravine leading to the ocean, and Tsitsikamma for the acclaimed Otter Trail, and narrow, rocky spits that fall into the sea.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Jo'burg offers bustling city life and the East Coast offers warm Indian Ocean current beaches.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Take the N2.

[BUS] The Baz Bus is a backpacker bus offering hop on-and-off bus service throughout South Africa. 1 ticket from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth is R1940.

 

Cost DEPENDS. Time 5-10 DAYS.

 

GUESTHOUSE LUXURY                                                                                     [X] ACCOMMODATION [X] CULTURE [X] CHILL

Let’s say you want to pretend you’re a movie star who is taking a break from filming a movie about geurilla warfare in the congo. You’re exhausted, dead from heat and can’t pretend to be anyone else anyone longer. You need to be yourself and reimagine your existence. A stay at Joerg Muelverstedt’s Camps Bay Ridge Guesthouse could be the cure. Inspired by a Mexican adobe hacienda and palapa, this Camps Bay B&B with four bedrooms offers an above-the-earth existence. Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles envelope around you and the Atlantic Ocean lies just before your eyes, placating, relaxing, reimagining possibilities. Magic hangs in the air at this reality envisioned and created by Joerg. Enjoy a stay at this guesthouse to alleviate the weights on your mind that cuase us to forget to look up and give thanks.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIE

A stay at the Cape Town Ritz Hotel.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Camps Bay Ridge Guesthouse is at 28 Atholl Rd.

[BUS] Reachable via My Citi 106 or 107 at Dal. Walk down Dal Rd to Atholl Rd No. 28.

 

Cost UPON REQUEST. Time AS NEEDED.

EAT LOCAL, BRU                                                                                                      [X] FOOD [X] COMMUNITY [X] CHILL

How often can a supermarket inspire you? Is it the choice of local, organic food? The delicious pre-prepared meals? The bakery smells just tickling your nose? An amazing group of employees? Or, most importantly, is it prices that make your tongue drool and eyes drop? Fruit & Veg City is just a grocery store, but theres an essence of life that one only gets from food that you find there. Barbecueing is a way of life, called a braai, a very social function inspired by meat. Boerworst, ostrich hamburgers, lambchops, steaks, spareribs, are the makings of a good braai as well as a handful of local wines from the Western Cape and a handful of friends. No trip is complete without making new friends and having a fantastic boozy, foody night around a fire. Bruh=bro.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

Pick N Pay, Checkers, Kwikspar, sure not to disappoint.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Fruit ‘n Veg City is on Roeland St and McKenzie St.

[BUS] Take My Citi 103 to Roeland.

 

Cost R25. Time 1 HR.

 

 

GET ACTIVE LIKE A VIRGIN                                                                                              [X] FITNESS [X] COMMUNITY

Cape Town is a mecca for beautiful, fit people. Since you can't beat em, join em, at Virgin Active Health Clubs. A spawn of the Virgin group by Richard Branson, this hotspot destination offers pulsing beats, pumping bodies, private fitness instructors, group classes, lap pool, predesigned workouts sweat galore, and the classic vista of Cape Town’s Lion’s Head cheering you on as you go. While this isn’t any activity out-of-the-ordinary than your average chic gym, it’s a cool dip into the culture of South Africa. Ask to share a machine with someone and you may even end up sharing  conversation or some exercise outside of Virgin’s walls.

 

A MORE NORMAL ALTERNATIVE

A run along Victoria Rd. from Bantry Bay to Camps Bay offers some of the best views, well, in the world.

 

GET THERE

[CAR] Virgin Active is in Greenpoint and Gardens.

[BUS] To reach Greenpoint, from Adderley take My Citi 108 or 109 to Hill. To reach Wembley Square, from Adderley, take My Citi 103 to Roodehek.

 

Cost R1000/month or R200/day. Time 1 HR.

 

 

GET OUT THERE AND DO IT                                                   [X] ADVENTURE [X] CHILL [X] GETAWAY [X] CULTURE [X] COMMUNITY

Traveling and experiencing somewhere new is all about discovery. Learning about yourself, finding a culture that seems vaguely familiar but also entirely foreign, challenging your preconceived perceptions of people, ways of life, and modes of being, traveling is one of the most enriching things one can do to further their personal journey. No advice anyone can give you or no food item you eat or bar you go to will inspire you more than something you discover yourself. So, get out there and do it! Talk to someone you find intriguing, befriend a stranger at the grocery, take a moment to slow things down and relish in the charming, charismatic, hospitable nature of South Africans and see where it leads you. There’s no better way to discover something new then to simply go out and take a look.