Travelling with friends or family can be fun, but solo travelling opens you up to endless possibilities. Go where you want, when you want, how you want. If you plan to travel solo to Cape Town, South Africa, here’s the perfect guide to get you on your way to explore some of the places and things the city offers.
The Best Places to visit Cape Town as a solo traveller
From hiking to sightseeing to animal watching, make fun adventures happen in Cape Town.
Hike at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
As some may know, Cape Town offers many different hiking trails with varying lengths and challenge levels. While Table Mountain hiking trails are undoubtedly popular, you may also consider visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and exploring what the area offers. The fresh air, beautiful flowers, and relaxing sounds of nature make for the perfect solo activity for those 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 pretty educational. Learn about 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 fantastic scent of the sea breeze and view of the ocean, but for the fabulous Food Market! Treat yourself to a tremendous assortment of foods and drinks, 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 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 where Nelson Mandela, a significant figure in South Africa’s history, was imprisoned for his political views. Now, the location provides hope and stands as a symbol of pride.
The “Hop On Hop Off” Bus
One of the great things about Cape Town is that it’s easy for tourists to travel around. CitySightseeing offers Cape Explorer busses, which the solo traveller can easily “hop on” and then “hop off” when they’ve reached their desired location. This bus system is excellent for going to the beach one day, visiting a museum the next, going shopping the day after that, and so forth. It’s the best way for solo travellers to get the most value out of their money and time!
Meet Penguins at Simon’s Town
Simon’s Town is just a little outside Cape Town and is home to the South African Navy, making perfect sense considering the town’s proximity to open water. If you’re not a military history buff, the naval base isn’t the only major attraction in Simon’s Town.
A few kilometres 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 perks to travelling alone, everybody could use a little company. Consider checking out group walking or hiking tours in Cape Town through programs like Bo-Kaap and Woodstock, or even on online platforms like Instagram.
What’s incredible about guided tours is you’ll meet new people, make new friends, and learn a lot from your tour guides. Most notable is the Bo-Kaap Walk, which takes you to visit Auwal Masjid mosque and food markets where you can try delicious Cape Malay food.
Enrol in 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 upfront and hands-on experience in cooking typical Cape Malay dishes.
Many of these dishes are notoriously spicy and sure to put a spring in your step. For those who enjoy food but not cooking, there are alternative options to try the local specialities. 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, unique because they’re pure saltwater lagoons. Vibrant plant and animal life have flourished in these parts, which has understandably resulted in the treasured West Coast National Park.
Langebaan is an excellent place for bird watchers, as there are nearly 300 unique and exciting species of birds at this location. Ever environmentally conscious, the town has banned many industries from preserving the surrounding natural wonders.
Wineland Tours & Tastings – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch & Paarl
Cape Town has the wine, you need to find the cheese, and you’ve got 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 for travellers 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.
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