Cape Town, Cape Town, Cape Town.
A fortnight ago I was on a plane heading for this beautiful city for work, feeling excited and incredibly fortunate… It was my first time back in South Africa since living there in 2010-11, though my home was in the Eastern Cape and vastly different from cosmopolitan Cape Town, and I was totally thrilled to be going again. As I caught my first glimpse of Table Mountain from the air, I realised how much I’ve missed this country. It’s incredibly diverse; a melting pot of cultures, where Africa meets the West. It is home to some truly amazing people, wonderful places and jaw-dropping landscapes. It was so good to be back.
I was there to work with one of our sister charities on a project for emerging filmmakers. It’s an amazing project that we already run here in the UK, and their vision and enthusiasm for how the programme could work in South Africa was so encouraging. It’s going to be really exciting to see it develop over the next few years.
Outside work, it was lovely to be able to introduce my colleague [who had never visited South Africa before] to the city.
The V&A Waterfront:
A tourist favourite but for good reason, the docks are a great spot for shopping, eating and people watching. In the shadow of Table Mountain, the V&A is beautiful and definitely atmospheric. Don’t miss the artisan craft and food markets at the Water Shed [separate blog post on this coming soon!].
A must-see for visitors wanting an insight into life under the apartheid regime and – of course – to see the place in which Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. It’s a moving experience as you’re shown around by former prisoners, who tell you their story along the way. Well worth the trip.
Driving the Cape peninsula:
If you’re self-driving in Cape Town then this is a must; the road weaves around precarious mountain passes, past stunning beaches and through pretty towns packed with colourful colonial architecture. You can sample delicious fresh fish in Hout Bay, paddle with penguins in Simons Town and enjoy the surf in secluded bays. It’s great!
Watching the sun set over the Cape of Good Hope:
At the very tip of the Cape peninsula lies Cape Point; the most south-westerly point in Africa. It’s stunning but slightly eerie, with a definite edge-of-the-world feeling about it. Sunset is a beautiful time to visit, as the crowds have all but disappeared and the view is incredible. Just make sure you’re out of the National Park before dark.
As you can see – it’s beautiful! I absolutely love it. South Africa will always feel like home.
Check back soon for more on the city and other great spots in the Western Cape… but in the meantime:
Have you been to Cape Town? What are your recommendations? Where did you love visiting?