Cape Town is an old city, with much history, a lot of attractions, and offers a lot to do and see. There is no way that one can visit the Mother City for 2 weeks and see and do all she has to offer. Here are our top places to visit and things to do while you are there:
1. Go up Table Mountain via the Aerial Cableway
Going up Table Mountain via the Aerial Cableway is a must for any visitor to the city. Only a stone throw’s distance from the see, yet Table Mountain reaches over 1 000 meters into the sky. At this height, so close to the city, you are guaranteed of spectacular views of the city and Table Bay.
If you feel like doing some hiking while up there, you can visit the site of the “old cableway”, enjoy the views over Constantia, Kirstenbosch, New Lands and much more.
Just be warned, even on a hot day, it can get cold on the top of the mountain, so take a jacket or something warm with you.
In the case that you are afraid of going up with cableway, there are hiking routes up to the top. Estimated time to reach the summit is 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Unfortunately for us, the time we were in Cape Town, the cableway was closed for most of the time due to bad weather. The one day that it was clear, by the time we got there, the que was so long, we would have had to sacrifice a couple of other things to be able to make it to the top.
HINT: Go on the first sign of clear weather (Check on the official website https://www.tablemountain.net/ for details.) and make sure you are there early to avoid a long waiting time.
2. Visit Signal Hill
As the name suggest, Signal Hill was once used to signal ships in the bay with a variety of flag signals for weather conditions and anchoring instructions. It was also used to indicate 13:30 Cape Mean Time with a “time ball” for ships to set their marine chronometers. This practice was continued from the installation of the time ball in 1836 until radio signals made it obsolete in 1934. It is also known for the “Noon Gun” that is fired everyday at noon, since they were brought to the Cape in 1795 during the British occupation.
From Signal Hill one can enjoy views of Green Point, the Cape Town harbour, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town CBD, Lion’s Head, Table Bay, Table Mountain and much more.
Signal Hill is also sometimes referred to as The Lion’s Rump as it forms part of the ridge on which Lion’s Head is located.
3 Hike up Lion's Head
With the summit 669 meters above sea level, Lion’s Head is almost as impressive figure in the backdrop to Cate Town, as Table Mountain itself. As with Signal Hill, Lion’s Head form part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The walk up Lion’s Head is popular with tourists and locals alike. The +/- 90-minute walk, depending on your fitness level and route you choose, include some flat areas, ladders, staples, chains and here and there some rock climbing.
There are two different starting points for this hike. One on the Table Mountain side of Lion’s head, the other on the Signal Hill side. The first mentioned is the one favoured one as it is a lot smoother and shorter than the second option.
As you get close to the summit, again you will be given two routes to choose from, one a longer easier route, the other a much shorter, but almost vertical route where you will have to make use of the staples and chains to get to the top.
Make sure to take some water with you, maybe a sugary snack for some energy and a jacket, as it can get cold at the top.