Cape Town is a frenetic city, with so much vibrancy and vivacity at every twist and turn. Coming off of three peaceful days in the Winelands, Cape Town was a welcome jolt of energy. It was on my list of cities to visit, as I have many friends from Cape Town and have heard the most amazing things about the city.
Cape Town is a city filled with culture, located at the most Southern point of South Africa. The coastal city is the second most populous in South Africa after Johannesburg. It is known for its harbor, Table Mountain and Cape Point.
My family and I decided to stay at the One & Only in the Waterfront District, which is where all of the action is. Situated on the bay, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is home to many historic hotels, restaurants, shops, and nightlife. The Waterfront was filled with energy and people, and felt completely safe to walk around.
One our first day, we stayed close to the hotel. We explored the V&A Waterfront, visiting the famous food market, consisting of stalls of fresh fare, grabbed lunch at one of the local stands, and shopped for handmade art and souvenirs in the bazaar.
That night, we ate at The Pot Luck Club, which is rated one of the best restaurants on the African continent. If you would like to try The Pot Luck Club, I suggest making reservations at least two months in advance as they book up quickly!
We woke up early on our second day, eager to visit Table Mountain, one of the new seven wonders of the world. Table Mountain is a flat topped mountain which is the focal point of Cape Town, perhaps the landmark which the city is best known for.
The conditions at the top of the mountain can be temperamental, so it’s best to do this on one of your first days in Cape Town, in case it is too fogged in and/or windy and the mountain is shut. If you put off going, you might run the risk of not being able to go up the mountain at all.
After our hike up the mountain (we took the cable car down) we decided to relax by the hotel pool and have a casual dinner that night at a sushi restaurant called Willoughby’s.
Another day of early rising! At 9am we set out to see all of the top sights of the city, enlisting the help of a highly recommended private tour guide/driver.
Our itinerary for the day trip was as follows: Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach, Cape of Good Hope, Chapman’s Peak, Signal Hill, and Hout Bay.
My favorite parts of the day (which was a long one!) was firstly the Chapman Peak’s drive, by far the prettiest coastal route I have ever driven. A combination of Big Sur’s Highway 1 and the Amalfi Coast, the crystal blue water and charming bays and beach towns were absolutely breathtaking. Secondly, visiting Boulders Beach, a breeding colony for over 2,000 African penguins.
I could not visit Cape Town in the summer without having a beach day at the famous Camps Bay Beach. The beach, located between Bakoven and fashionable Clifton, reminds me of my hometown of Malibu.
Later that day, I was invited to visit a ranch called Cornellskop Animal Encounters, which is 90 minutes outside of the city near a town called Bot River.
I took my sister on this adventure with me, as she and I both share an equal love and enthusiasm for all types of animals.
Cornellskop is set on 345 acres, owned and operated by Luke Cornell. Luke is a seasoned animal trainer, who trains both wild and domestic animals for television, film, and photoshoots. The ranch and reserve serves as a full working farm, studio and training facility.
The owner, Luke and his staff were so incredibly welcoming and hospitable, allowing my sister and I to interact with each and every animal on the ranch. That included, but was not limited to, running with cheetahs in an open field, taking lions on an afternoon stroll in the park, petting zebras, running around an open field with ostrich, and holding baby goats and lambs.
Our experience at Cornellskop was unforgettable, the memories from this day my sister and I will cherish for a lifetime.
It was our last evening in Cape Town, so to celebrate an unforgettable adventure, my family and I ate at Nobu, which is located in the One & Only Hotel. Nobu is one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, and it was great to have a little slice of home while on vacation. My family and I reminisced over dinner about our time in the city, how excited we were for our upcoming first safari, and how we wish to return to Cape Town again very soon. We were all in agreement that is is one of our newest favorite cities, and were all so impressed by not only the beauty of it, but the incredible food, warm people, and unbeatable weather.