While in Johannesburg and Durban, everyone kept telling me how much I was going to love Cape Town. They kept calling in Europe in South Africa and they just knew that I would love it. They weren't quite right, but they weren't wrong either.
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities that I've traveled to. It's surrounded by mountains, beautiful beaches and a very rich culture. But in a lot of ways, it was a lot like being in Miami, or the Mediterranean. Unlike the other two South African cities, black people took a back seat in Cape Town. It was a very interesting dynamic.
My airbnb host connected me to a company to schedule my airport pick up. The driver had picked up the other members of my group a few days before and they loved him. We ended up using the company for all of our future excursions.
We stayed in the Bo Kaap area of the city. Bo Kaap is well known for its brightly colored houses. It is a very quiet Muslim neighborhood and the perfect place to stay while in Cape Town. We were walking distance from a lot of different restaurants, shops, and clubs.
We booked a tour with the driver to go to the Stellenbosch region of Cape Town for a couple of wine tasting tours. Some of the world's best wines come from wineries in Stellenbosch. Our first tour was a wine and cheese pairing tour. The second tour took us into the wine cellars to try a bunch of different wines. After the first wine tasting, I had to stop drinking the whole glass because I was having too much fun at 11:30 in the morning. I enjoyed every wine that I tried. Wine tasting is a must in Cape Town. My favorite South African wine is a red blend called the pinotage. It's unique to South Africa. Buy a couple of bottles before you head home.
On my last full day in Cape Town, I did a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula. During the tour, we stopped at the Cape Point - the southern most tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach - home of the African point, and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful scenic route along the coast. A lot of the areas that we stopped in had animals everywhere. On the drive from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Point, we came across baboons and ostriches. The driver, Pete, said baboons were very naughty and to beware, because they are well known as sneaky thieves.
While in Cape Town, I had a dress and a pair of pants made. We were very close to Greenmarket Square, where you can buy all of your souvenirs. I overdid it and purchased jewelry, headbands, drums, masks, paintings, and more. Pretty close by, where I purchased my clothes, is the Pan-African Market. The building is 3 floors and each room is rented out by a vendor. It's a one stop shop for anything you might want to bring back home. One of my favorite items from South Africa is a bracelet that was given to me as a gift while I was in the market. He only asked that I email him when I got back home.
One night, we decided we were going to a Cuban club that we had walked passed a couple of times. There wasn't anything really Cuban about it other than its name, but we had a really great time. IT was fun to see people dancing the night away on a Tuesday night. We jammed to all of the latest South African and West African beats.
I loved Cape Town. It was lively, the food was some of the best that I had in South Africa, and it was extremely accessible. I really hated the term, but I understand why everyone calls it "Europe in South Africa." I think it was more the way of life in Cape Town. Everything is constantly in motion. There was always something to do and people who wanted to do it. I felt like there was no rush in Cape Town. We were flexible in what we did and how we did it. There was a lot to see, but I could take my time doing it, whereas the rest of my trip was very rushed as we tried to fit in the maximum amount in a small amount of time.
If you've ever been to Cape Town, how did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!