The Ultimate 10-day South Africa Itinerary
Big Blog Exchange 2014: I decided to enter this year’s Big Blog Exchange competition – giving winning bloggers the chance to swap countries and blogs for 10 days. Besides being an awesome way to discover and connect with other bloggers from around the world, it is also a great way to share what makes your country AWESOME. And let’s face it South Africa is pretty freaking awesome!!!
Hostelling International (HI)- the kind sponsors of this amazing competition – created a pretty sweet South Africa BBE 2014 10 day itinerary as a taster of what one blogger could win. Here are some of my tips for this ultimate 10-day South Africa itinerary and some things to add to the to-do list for the next trip.
(I decided to split this post into three parts – there is just too much awesomeness for one single post).
Part 1: #LoveCapeTown
My obsession with my home town, Cape Town, is no secret. It seems that most of the items on My Cape Town Bucket List made it into the jam-packed Cape Town itinerary HI put together. Ticking off all/ most in 3 days? Challenge accepted 🙂
Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town
HI: “Arrive in Cape Town, affectionately known as The Mother City. You will be transferred to your accommodation in the city centre where you have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure.”
The city centre is the ideal tourist base – bustling with activity during the day (including loads of tourist sites) and offering up Cape Town’s finest bars, restaurants and clubs at night all concentrated on Long Street or within walking distance.
Do a City Walking Tour
A perfect way to orientate yourself in the Cape Town city centre and see some historic sites is on a FREE Cape Town walking tour. Departing from in front of St George’s Cathedral every day at 11am or 2pm, you will spend 1,5 hours being guided to the following sites:
- St Georges Cathedral
- The Parliament and presidents house
- The Old Strand and Old Mutual Building
- City Hall
- Green Market Square
- The Parade and the Castle of Good Hope
- District Six
- The flower market
- The Slave Lodge
- Company Gardens
Do a Bo Kaap Cooking Tour
The Bo Kaap (previously known as the Malay Quarter) is definitely a must-see. Located on the fringes of the city centre, on the slopes of Signal Hill, the colourful houses and cobble stoned streets are perfect for any would-be photographers.
But instead of just photographing the houses from outside, The Bo Kaap Cooking Tour let’s you into one of the homes to learn how to cook authentic Cape Malay food like a real “Auntie”. Choose between a full cooking tour (R600, 3 hours) or a tour & lunch (R350, 2 hours).
Day 2: Cape Peninsula Tour
HI: “Today you will be taken on a full day guided tour of the Cape Peninsula, visiting Camps Bay, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Penguin Colony, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg, a township tour and a wine estate.”
Be prepared to have your mind blown. Also be prepared to take millions of photos (cameras charged and memory cards empty). Start at the beautiful beaches of Camps Bay then take one of the most scenic drives in the world along Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point (where two oceans meet) (Also read: #22 Cape Point). Meet penguins in Simon’s Town, local fishermen in Kalk Bay and surfers (and sharks) in Muizenberg.
Day 3: Cape Town for the Lazy & Crazy
HI: “You have the choice today of going on a wine tasting tour, shark cage diving, paragliding or a host of other fun tours and activities OR you can spend your day sightseeing, visiting the local markets or just lazing at the beach.”
For the Lazy:
Go on a wine tour of Stellenbosch
There are few things as Capetonian as hitting the wine farms. Located 45 min from Cape Town you will find the beautiful wine region. Expect delicious wine served in world-class restaurants looking out on Cape Dutch houses and endless vineyards.
Picking my favourite farms is a bit tricky because they are all just so amazing. But I know the guys at EatOut know what they are talking about and these wine farm restaurants have made it onto their list of top restaurants, so they must be pretty amazing:
If you are not in the market to break the bank but still looking for a foodie experience in Stellies check out EatOut’s 20 foodie things to do in Stellenbosch.
Go on a horseback ride on Noordhoek Beach
See Cape Town from Above
See Table Mountain from Afar
Visit Robben Island
Watch the Sun Set from Signal Hill
For the Crazy:
Go Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai
Not really for me but if you like the idea of coming face-to-face with a great white while trapped in a little metal cage – go for it 🙂
Go Paragliding off Lion’s Head
Definitely still on my bucket list.
Go Sand boarding on the Atlantis Dunes
Been there, done that… on my bum. Check out my blog post here.
Climb Lion’s Head (sunrise or sunset)
Cape Town’s Best
Best restaurants in and around the city centre:
- Best of the best: The Test Kitchen in Woodstock
- Best steakhouse: Carne SA in the City Bowl
- Best pizza: Posticino’s in Sea Point
- Best burgers: Royale Eatery in the City Bowl
- Best breakfasts: Clarke’s in the City Bowl
- Best sushi: Willoughby and Co at the Waterfront
- Best dim sum: South China Dim Sum Bar in the City Bowl
- Best Indian: Bukhara in the City Bowl
- Chocolate chill steak! : Bombay Bicycle Club in Gardens
- Bacon croissants!: Jason’s Bakery in the City Bowl
Best bars/ clubs in and around the city centre:
- Best pub atmosphere: The Dubliner on Long Street
- Best cocktails: Orphanage Cocktail Emporium on Bree Street
- Best beach bar: The Grand Cafe and Beach at the Waterfront
- Best rock music: Aces N Spades on Hout Street
- Best club with a view: Club 31 on Riebeeck Street
* Featured image credit: combination of the Big Blog Exchange 2014 logo and a South African flag artwork available on Deviantart