A description like “this place has it all” is very overused in the vacation context and nearly always inaccurate. In that spirit, Cape Town, South Africa does not “have it all,” but it does have an awful lot.
For starters, the Mother City is an exotic place but almost everyone speaks English. Furthermore, the area has lots of wildlife and natural beauty, thanks to a diverse terrain. Moreover, Cape Town is a bustling urban center, so there are lots of amenities. Finally, it’s almost impossible to get further away from New York or London than a place that’s quite literally on the other end of the globe.
While you’re there, the Marriott Protea Cape Town is a great jumping-off point to sites like the ones below.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
There is something incredibly stimulating about hanging around on the extreme southern tip of Africa. You can cover the hour or so drive from Cape Town yourself or join one of the many jump-off tours and go with a group. There’s an ancient lighthouse perched atop a rocky outcropping, wildlife and plant life that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, and deep blue ocean as far as you can see.
When you stop to take in some local cuisine for lunch, watch out for the red-winged starlings. They are gentle birds, but they’re not at all shy, and they have been known to literally pluck the food from a diner’s mouth.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
This bustling entertainment area is nearly always teeming with people from all over the globe, any time of the day or night. There are tons of activities as well, from breathtaking helicopter rides to impromptu street performances. There’s also a working harbor nearby, and that’s a site you do not get to see very often.
All in all, the waterfront is a great place to spend a few hours or a few days with your family.
Back in the Apartheid days, the regime sent most of its political prisoners — of which there were a great many — to Robben Island. Most of the tour guides are ex-inmates, and that can be a very moving experience. Much like the aforementioned nature reserve, you may take the ferry to the island on your own or go with a tour group.
Each Robben Island tour includes a view of Nelson Mandela’s jail cell, where he spent some eighteen years.
First South African Perfume Museum
Yes, it sounds a little strange, but stay with me.
From the manufacturing process to the different types and bottles used over the years, the tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable. And, the sheer size of the collection is almost overwhelming. You can also create your very own fragrance and take it home with you.
There are lots of other things to see and do in and around Cape Town, so start planning your vacation today.