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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is such a beautiful place nesting between the backdrop of Table Mountain and the stunning Waterfront, and for a tourist there is so much to see and do here. Having spent a week here back in 2007, we had already enjoyed so many beautiful sites so this time around we were fitting in a few new things.

However in saying that if you are going to Cape Town for the first time, we definitely suggest you do the following:

The walk (or cable car) to the top of Table Mountain is a must – walking around on top allows you to see spectacular views of the entire Cape.

Panoramic View of Table Mountain... You can trek up to the top or if you want an easier option, there is a cable car to get you up, down or both...
Panoramic View of Table Mountain… You can trek up to the top or if you want an easier option, there is a cable car to get you up, down or both…

The nearby wine regions – Stellenbosch are an absolute must; and we highly recommend hiring a car and driving along the coast to see the penguins in Boulder Bay and onto the Cape of Good Hope where you can take various walks and again see incredible viewpoints.Township tours are also possible from Cape Town.

Another of our highlights 4 years ago was a day trip to Gaansbai to dive with the Great White Sharks. This can be a little hard going if you suffer seasickness but overcome that and the experience is thrilling.

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During our 3 days here on this trip we spent time at the following places:

The Waterfront is a huge attraction. There are some exquisite shops to look through and a variety of restaurants that allow you to sit back and overlook the rest of the action. There is also usually some live act on stage to entertain the crowds.

One aspect of the Waterfront...
One aspect of the Waterfront…

Beautifully lit up at night...
Beautifully lit up at night…

This guy was entertaining everyone with his unique rendition of Toto's song - Africa...
This guy was entertaining everyone with his unique rendition of Toto’s song – Africa…
Dinner with our Overland Friends at Meloncino Restaurant with Dave, Bron and Diana... The cocktails at happy hour were delicious and the views of the Harbour were beautiful...

Dinner with our Overland Friends at Meloncino Restaurant - Dave, Bron and Diana...The cocktails at happy hour were delicious and half price during happy hour and the views of the Harbour were beautiful... For details on Meloncino see: www.meloncino.co.za

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We also took the tour to Robben Island – the island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life (in this particular prison alone) as a political prisoner. This tour is fascinating and all the guides that accompany you are ex political prisoners. The tour leaves by ferry from the Clock Tower (at the Waterfront). We recommend that you book one day prior either through your hotel or at the actual Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.

Robben Island Prison
Robben Island Prison
The limestone quarry where Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates spent many years working in and for the first few years were subjected to mindless tasks without sunglasses. The sun glare was unbearable for us in the few minutes we spent there...
The limestone quarry where Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates spent many years working in and for the first few years were subjected to mindless tasks without sunglasses. The sun glare was unbearable for us in the few minutes we spent there…

Once arriving at the Island you are taken around the perimeter by bus before arriving at the compound. At the time Elissa was reading Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom and so to actually walk the grounds where this man were subjected to such cruelty and inhumane conditions was confronting . The tour takes about 3 hours and costs approximately $30 AUD per person. It is well worth the time although you could definitely spend a few more hours there in particular in the actual cells as there are plenty of incredible inmates stories to read.

Our guide was an ex political prisoner that spent 8 years inside Robben Island. He was convicted for being a member of the ANC (African National Congress)...
Our guide was an ex political prisoner that spent 8 years inside Robben Island. He was convicted for being a member of the ANC (African National Congress)…

The cell where Nelson Mandela spent his years. Although locked up he continued the fight against Apartheid within the walls of Robben Island...
The cell where Nelson Mandela spent his years. Although locked up he continued the fight against Apartheid within the walls of Robben Island…
The courtyard where inmates were able to spend a short amount of time exercising. The wall seen in this photo is also the area where Nelson Mandela planted his vegetable garden (in the later years of his imprisonment)...
The courtyard where inmates were able to spend a short amount of time exercising. The wall seen in this photo is also the area where Nelson Mandela planted his vegetable garden (in the later years of his imprisonment)…
When the political prisoners were finally freed from Robben Island, they were returned to Cape Town on this very boat...

When the political prisoners were finally freed from Robben Island, they were returned to Cape Town on this very boat...

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The actual city centre of Cape Town is bustling. Long Street is filled with clothing stores, cafes, bars and souvenirs – its a very trendy area to hang out in. We wandered through Greenmarket Square and bargained for African trinkets. We also visited the small Apartheid Museum – District 6.

African Souvenirs in Greenmarket Square... What to Buy, What to buy?
African Souvenirs in Greenmarket Square… What to Buy, What to buy?

Inside the Apartheid Museum... District 6

Inside the Apartheid Museum... District 6

To get another perspective of Cape Town we recommend having dinner at ‘Top of the Ritz’ Revolving Restaurant. Just to clarify this is not The ‘Ritz’ Ritz. The meals are reasonably priced, food is delicious and it’s quite a novelty to be circling this beautiful city . We had a fabulous night out with Tess, Dan and Dave – friends from our first Overland Tour.

We stayed in two fabulous places while we were in Cape Town. The first was Ashanti Lodge (we stayed there one night with our Overland Crew) and our next few nights was at Harbour Bridge Suites and Hotel which was close to the Waterfront and absolutely gorgeous. We would recommend both places. Our Accommodation page will be updated soon so you can check out more information on these hotels.

For a few more photos of our time in Cape Town, please see our Gallery:

  • Rhino

    Hey guys, howzit?

    Back home in raining Austria! But great to be home again and looking forward to something new …
    Where are you?

    Have a nice travel and take care,
    Rhino

  • Hey Guys,
    Glad to hear you made it home safe and sound.. Good to hear from you.
    I am currently in India looking for Tigers and Elissa is in New York with her mum spending up a storm in the shops there.
    Thanks for checking our site – I wm trying to update it now, been a bit long.
    Hopefully finish my video on our overland trip too in the next day or so, so stayed tuned…
    what are you guys getting up to. Are you doing some research for http://www.la.com?????
    stay in touch

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