If you’ve never been to Africa, this is your sign to go. The first time I visited the continent of Africa was also the first time I worked on the continent of Africa. I worked there for just over a month and did minimal research before going. I was very aware of the image that America has had of Africa since I was a kid, so I wanted to go there without any additional preconceived notions, and I’m glad I did.
I have learned so much, seen so much and unlearned so much more. Africa is so rich in culture, views and traditions. Talking to citizens there, it is clear that their love for the USA runs deep. I am so grateful to have experienced Africa first-hand and to have had so many of my previous beliefs challenged and replaced with new, more accurate ones.
Most people who’ve visited the motherland will speak highly of Ghana, Kenya and Liberia (as they should). But Cape Town, South Africa, should be held to the same standard. From the food to the views to the activities and, most importantly, the people, Cape Town has quickly become one of the most popular places to visit in Africa. If you need a good idea of where to go, the following list of places should give you a good head start.
This beautiful residential neighbourhood in Cape Town has quickly become an Instagrammable favourite for many tourists visiting the capital. Many people enjoy taking photos in this neighbourhood because the houses are so colourful and vibrant. Visitors are also welcome to tour Bo Kaap and learn about the neighbourhood and its history.
Aquila Private Game Reserve
What’s a visit to Africa without visiting one of its most remarkable safaris? Aquila Private Game Reserve is home to the ‘Big 5’; elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards and rhinos. Horse riding is also available here.
If you’re looking for a good walking/biking trail or some great views, Newlands Forest is a must. If you’re driving, be careful. The entrance is right off the road and can be a little dangerous if you’re not careful.
Kloof Street – Kloof Street is a popular street in Cape Town. It’s full of different restaurants, nightclubs, shops and more!
Soi Bar – A personal favourite of mine, Soi Bar is a semi-new bar with a variety of Asian cuisines. Last but not least, you must try their creative drinks. Be sure to ask for the drink on the hidden menu. The drink comes with a security escort.
Green Street Market – Talk about supporting black businesses. Be sure to stop by Green Street Market for the latest in jewellery, hand-stitched fabrics and more! What’s a trip without souvenirs?
Table Mountain – You haven’t been to Cape Town until you’ve been to Table Mountain. For all my SpongeBob SquarePants fans, you’ll also be able to learn a little back story about the Flying Dutchman. Most, if not all, people who’ve been there will tell you to take the cable car up the mountain. For one thing, it’s a five-minute glide and the view is worth it. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike up the mountain. And I do mean hike! Depending on where you start, the hike up the mountain takes at least 2 1/2 hours, and be sure to release your inner Meg knees for the walk down. It’s the hardest part!
Canal Walk Shopping Centre
If you’re looking for something a little more urban or modern, head to one of Cape Town’s, if not the city’s, biggest malls, the Canal Walk Shopping Centre. There’s even a grocery store inside.
Banana Jam Cafe
For late night celebrations or if you and some friends just want to unwind with some drinks and good food, Banana Jam Cafe is a great place to start. It’s got a nice Caribbean vibe. They brew their own beer and the music is just right. You won’t be disappointed!
I’ve heard of horses on the beach, maybe even pigs, but have you ever seen penguins on the beach? You will at Boulders Beach!
Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, you’ll get bonus points if you know a few words and phrases to help you along the way. Here are some words and phrases I picked up during my time in Cape Town: