False bay

three things I love about my favourite city

Cape Town. The Mother City. Crouching beneath the majestic backdrop of Table Mountain in the south-west corner of Africa. Once a tiny stopover for fresh supplies along the trading route between Europe and the Far East, now a buzzing metropolis where the Rainbow Nation welcome visitors with open arms and huge smiles, lots of good food and great wine. You haven’t been there? What are you waiting for?

What do I love most about this city ?

1. The Views

View to Cape Point
View to Cape Point

whether it be the sensational all round city and peninsula views you get from taking a cable car ( or climbing if you have the energy) up to the top of Table Mountain, the dizzying view of the coast from the impressive 9km Chapman Peak Drive, with its 114 curves,  where you literally hang off the cliff or the wide-open view of False Bay from Boyes Drive down in the Cape Peninsula, you cannot get enough of the scenic landscapes that this city has to offer. It must be one of the most scenically situated cities in the world.

2. The Beaches

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand

now personally I can think of nothing worse than lying on a beach and baking in the sun, but I know many people do like to do that and Cape Town  has the most incredible beautiful beaches all around – it is on a peninsula – so you get northern beaches where the wind whips the sand into a frenzy, so perhaps best suited to wind-surfing than sun-bathing; the western beaches which are on the frigid Atlantic coastline so these attract the ‘in’ people who strut their stuff along Camps Bay or Clifton, occasionally playing Frisbee, or volley-ball or more likely be supping bold espressos in the bars lining the beachfront (that’s if you can get parking) OR the fabulous Indian Ocean beaches where the water is warmer and when the surf is up is filled with surfing dudes, wind-surfers, kite-surfers (they stay on the sand not the water) and people like me, who just want a long beach to stroll along. And then there’s the penguins. Now tell me, where else in the world can you visit a beach with resident penguins? And not freeze.

3. Nature

Ostriches at Cape of Good Hope

even in the heart of the city you will find the Company’s Gardens. Once literally an allotment where fruit and vegetables were grown to feed the visiting traders, now a little oasis in the city bowl. A serene place to wander through, full of trees and plants, European squirrels and native birds. And the view of that mountain behind you. No-one should come to Cape Town and not wander through this garden. And if you are not a fan of gardens then this is where you will find the ‘Tuynhuys‘ which is used by the President on state occasions (and not open to the public), the ‘Delville Wood Memorial’ and the ‘Rutherfoord Fountain’. This area is known as ‘Museum Mile’ in that the vast majority of Cape Town’s museums are concentrated into the same small space around Government Avenue including the South African Museum and National Gallery and The Iziko Slave Lodge which lies just outside the entrance.

Cheeky Grey Squirrel
Cheeky Grey Squirrel

A little further south is Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. A must see. And you can climb up to the top of Table Mountain from here up through Skeleton Gorge. If that is too much, then feel free to wander around the acres of native flora – proteas, restios, pelargoniums. Did I tell you that the Cape is home to more than 9,000 plant species? No? Well it is.

Table Mountain
Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch

And finally, the Cape Point reserve. Where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and the waters surge and crash together making it one of the world’s most dangerous routes to navigate round. The reserve is full of the fynbos that the Cape is known for, it is also home to ostrich, kudu and sable antelope, and baboons. Watch out for the baboons!

Baboon at Cape Point

So that’s that. My favourite city and three reasons why I like it. No make that LOVE it. Cape Town. The pearl in the African Crown.

Accor Hotels are running a competition to find your favourite city. Cape Town is mine. Which one is yours?

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

68 thoughts on “three things I love about my favourite city”

  1. OMG those beaches !! Sign me up. I knew virtually nothing about Cape Town or South Africa until I met you and Susan Scott. Now I relish reading and seeing such beautiful sights.

        1. Yes, just avoid the school and university holidays or else you will find the coast a nightmare. The shoulder seasons are very good. We went in April and had brilliant weather for the majority of the time and it was easy to get into restaurants too.

  2. What a fabulous tour I’ve had Jude, thank you! I haven’t been to South Africa but I’ve been a little north of there, maybe one day if I win the lottery!
    Your ostrich photo is magic and I’d also love to see penguins on the beach. Like you nothing would possess me to lie down and do the sun bathing thing – we have so much in common! I entered the competition and read the rules afterwards. I have a twitter account and my blog is linked to it but that’s all so even if there wasn’t incredible competition like your post I have no chance either. Never mind, I finally posted on Marrakech.

    1. Thanks Gilly! I enjoyed visiting Marrakech with you. So many of these competitions depend on social media and with people having thousands of followers to retweet I’m afraid I am well out of the running. By a little bit north do you mean Namibia? And actually South Africa is very cheap for us Brits.

  3. Jude I have enjoyed many of the posts including this one of South Africa. I must say the photo of the ostriches is a real jaw dropper. Love the feel of being there watching them saunter.

    1. They were lovely to watch, though I was a bit nervous when they came rather close to me, they have big feet! I always think they are wearing tutus 😀

    1. The header? That’s where I used to live. I guess that beach is the reason why I can’t find a place to live here. I loved that beach (except in December when it was invaded by Joeys!!)

    1. It’s a vibrant city too if you want night life. And there are loads of excellent restaurants and great locally produced wine.

    1. I think the only city that comes close is probably Vancouver, but Vancouver doesn’t have quite as good beaches, though the Island does 🙂

  4. You have really captured the atmosphere and uniqueness of Cape Town. It sounds to be a perfect place to visit and your images are so good especially the ostriches strutting along, they almost flounce don’t they with their, as you put it, tutus bouncing.

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