This is a guest post by Bianca Knauf.
Travelling with friends or family can be fun, but solo travelling opens you up to an entire world of endless possibilities. Go where you want, when you want, how you want. And the next time you get the chance to visit Cape Town, South Africa, here’s the perfect little guide to get you up and on your way to exploring just a few of the fantastic things that the city has to offer.
From hiking, to sightseeing, to animal watching and more, make fun adventures happen in Cape Town.
Hike at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
As some may know, Cape Town offers many different hiking trail options with varying lengths and challenge levels. While Table Mountain hiking trails are certainly popular, you may want to also consider visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and explore what the area has to offer. The fresh air, beautiful flowers, and relaxing sounds of nature make for the perfect solo activity for those of you looking to get away and melt away stress.
Kirstenbosch Gardens is the largest of nine National Botanical Gardens in South Africa. Not only is hiking great for your health, but the botanical gardens as a setting can be quite educational. Learn about useful plants or smell aromatic fragrances. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will take your breath away.
The V&A Waterfront – Food Market
The next time you’re in Cape Town, take the opportunity to visit the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, not just for the amazing scent of the sea breeze and view of the ocean, but for the amazing Food Market! Treat yourself to an amazing assortment of different foods and drinks ranging from fresh seafood, hand-made ice cream, out-of-the-oven pastries, craft beers and ciders, and so much more. It’s a win-win situation when you shop at the Food Market – you get to try delicious dishes, and you also support local businesses in the community.
Visit Robben Island
Robben Island is just off the coast of Cape Town, and tours to the island happen seven days a week (so long as the weather is good). With nearly 500 years of rich history, Robben Island attracts thousands of people every year. If you’re on a solo adventure, you can easily hop on a boat at the V&A Waterfront. Robben Island was once the location where Nelson Mandela, a significant figure in South Africa’s history, was imprisoned for his political views. Now, the location provides both hope and stands as a symbol of pride.
The “Hop On Hop Off” Bus
One of the great things about Cape Town is that they have made it extremely easy for tourists to travel around. CitySightseeing offers Cape Explorer busses, which the solo traveler can easily “hop on” and then “hop off” when they’ve reached their desired location. This bus system is great for when you want to go to the beach one day, to a museum the next, to go shopping the day after that, and so on and so forth. It’s the best way for the solo traveller to get the most value out of their money and time!
Meet Penguins at Simon’s Town
Simon’s Town is actually just a little outside of Cape Town and is home to the South African Navy, which makes perfect sense considering the town’s proximity to open water. If you’re not really a military history buff, the naval base isn’t the only major attraction in Simon’s Town.
Just a few kilometers south of the town is Boulders Beach, home to a unique colony of African penguins. These happy little birds are ideal for animal lovers and enthusiastic photographers. Observe these cute animals in a truly exceptional environment.
Bo-Kaap and Woodstock Walking & Hiking Tours
While there are definitely perks about traveling alone, everybody could use a little company. Consider checking out group walking or hiking tours in Cape Town through programs like Bo-Kaap, Woodstock, or even on online platforms like Instagramers.
What’s awesome about guided tours is you’ll meet new people, make new friends, and learn lots from your tour guides. Most notable is the Bo-Kaap Walk, whose route takes you to visit Auwal Masjid mosque and food markets where you can try delicious Cape Malay food.
Enroll in a Cape Malay Cooking Classes
Speaking of Cape Malay food, it’s one thing to try it on a guided tour, but have you ever considered learning how to cook it? The Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour gives you an upfront and hands-on experience on how to cook distinct Cape Malay dishes.
Many of these dishes are notoriously spicy, and they’re sure to put a spring in your step. For those of you who enjoy food, but not the process of cooking, there are also alternative options to try the local specialties. The Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town is the perfect place to wow your taste buds!
Langebaan & The West Coast National Park
Langebaan is a town located north of Cape Town along the Western Cape. The town is directly next to several lagoons, which are unique in that they’re pure salt water lagoons. Vibrant plant and animal life have flourished in these parts, which has understandably resulted in the treasured West Coast National Park.
Langebaan is actually a great place for bird watchers, as there are nearly 300 amazing and interesting species of birds at this location. Ever environmentally conscious, the town has banned many types of industries to preserve the surrounding natural wonders.
Wineland Tours & Tastings – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch & Paarl
Cape Town has the wine, you just need to find the cheese and you’ve got yourself an ideal wine tasting in the afternoon. If you’re on a solo adventure and are hoping to treat your sophisticated palate, signing up for a wine tour and tasting is a sure way of trying regional wines from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Paarl.
There is so much to do in Cape Town that it would take more than a few days to truly appreciate everything. Hopefully this list has inspired you to pursue a grand and wild adventure, as well as the appreciation of the freedom that independent travel can achieve. Let Cape Town welcome you in.
About Bianca Knauf: Living in Cape Town, South Africa for just under a decade has allowed Bianca to explore every corner of this beautiful city. Not only does it offer easy access to an endless coastline, but the in-lands are lined with majestic mountains to explore. She is still to find a place on her travels that tops this magical part of the world and writes about its hidden treasures to inspire others to visit the most southern jewel Africa. You can follow her on mywildheart.com
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