Visit Cape Town: Where Beauty Meets Adventure

Oh South Africa… you stole our hearts. We were fortunate to visit Cape Town on the tail end of a magical African Safari. We flew on a little hopper plane from Limpopo airport to Cape Town, picked up our rental car, and headed to our hotel on the Cape Town wharf.

Headed from our safari to Cape Town!
This little brick strip was airport security!
small plane in Africa
I prefer my planes to be much bigger than this!

After weeks of meticulous planning and endless research, I felt confident that with our jam-packed itinerary, we would discover the magic of Cape Town.

Here Are Our Favourite Things to Do In Cape Town!

Here Are Our Favourite Things to Do When You Visit Cape Town!

Shark Cage Diving in Cape Town

Both boys wanted to shark dive in Cape Town so desperately, yet the mom voice in my head said “Are you freaking crazy?” Regardless, at our family meeting, I was unanimously outvoted, and we had a shark dive in Cape Town as a line item on our itinerary (gulp). We (they) felt that if we were in South Africa, we (they) just HAD to take this opportunity and cross off our family bucket list.

You’ll be able to find a boat to take you to Shark Island in Simon’s Town, which is about an hour south of Cape Town when driving.  You’ll have to get up early, but it’s an adventure you’ll never forget.

To experience this as a family was incredible… was it scary as heck…. YES!

 

Would I do it again? Probs not…

But I’m so glad I took the plunge into the ice-cold bay and saw massive great white sharks in Simon’s Town, South Africa.  Read about the complete shark diving experience here.

 

Check Out The Penguins At Boulder Beach

Penguins boulder beach, south of Cape Town
Look at this little guy hiding!

After shark diving we headed to Boulders Beach, to see hundreds of African penguins in their natural habitat.  It was the cutest thing ever, although the smell was quite ripe!

Penguins in Africa - who knew?

Visit Cape Town with kids to see penguins
We saw these sneaky little fellows as we were walking down to the beach just minding their own business! 

Cape Point with kids in Capetown, South Africa

Hike The Cape of Good Hope with Kids

You cannot visit Cape Town without taking the 2 hour drive from the wharf to the Cape of Good Hope.

 

 

The drive was staggeringly beautiful with beauty, and there were lots of cute little towns on the way to explore.

cape point hike in south africa
We decided to hike to the summit of the Cape of Hope – and while it certainly tested our limits, the breathtaking 360 degree views that were waiting at every turn, made it all worthwhile. You would not want to miss these views.

Cape point with kids
Sitting on the edge of the world

We were fortunate to be there on a clear day, and could see across the whole cape.

South Africa with kids - you must visit cape town
You are able to hike all around Cape Point and get pretty close to the very tip!

hiking in cape point africa
We were at the end of the world. Literally. The southernmost tip of Africa! 

Drive up Chapman's peak when you visit cape town in south africa
The craziest drive ever

Experience Chapman’s Peak Drive When Visiting Cape Town

As we made our way back to Cape Town from Simon’s Town, instead of taking the inland highway, we thought we’d take the scenic route along the coast. We didn’t know it when we set out, but we braved the daring roads of Chapman’s Peak Drive.

This is a road that hugs the cliff face at a dizzying 500 meters above the sea. It’s an adrenaline-inducing experience, but the stunning views of the ocean below made it a drive we’ll never forget. If you get vertigo, you might want to keep your eyes closed.

Chapmans Peak drive, connecting Simon's Town to Cape Town
south africa sketchy drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive is a 9km route from Hout Bay to Noordhoek full of hairpin bends, sheer drops, and is widely regarded as one of the most scenic stretches of road anywhere in the world.

Chapman's Peak drive in South Africa

The sun, fog, height and narrow roads with no barriers, are definitely not for the faint-hearted of drivers!

scary chapmans peak drive
You probably wouldn’t want to have a tire blowout on this road either!

Hot Hubby is a pretty seasoned driver, but even he was sweating a little on this road with the sun shining into his eyes – one wrong move and we’d be over the edge.

when you visit cape town what to expect in Langa, a south african township

Visit A Township Near Cape Town with Kids

We visited the Langa Township, only about 25 minutes outside of Cape Town city center. Langa is one of many areas in South Africa that was designated for black Africans before the apartheid. Townships in South Africa are usually underdeveloped segregated urban areas that were reserved for non-whites until the end of the apartheid.

Langa township, near Cape Town in South Africa
For a little while it was just a bunch of teenagers hanging out and shooting the breeze

Under apartheid, black South Africans were forced to live in these townships that were built as far away as possible from the city centers, and were very run-down.

Sheep's heads are delicious (so I've heard)

This lady cooks sheep heads all day to sell. She shared with us that the tongue and the cheeks are the best part, but Jules didn’t want to try her free sample!

Visit a township near cape town township with kids
Julian’s blonde hair was quite the hit in South Africa!
township with kids
Soccer – the international language

The boys played soccer with some local kids and we gave them all of Julian’s clothes from his bags and left him with one outfit to fly home in. We often do this when we travel, and it’s always fun to see the boys around the world in Hermosa Beach t-shirts!

Take your kids to africa and visit cape town
Playing football in Langa

The children play with a flat ball, and the goalposts are two rocks in the road. No private coaches, matching backpacks, or turf fields here… but these kids didn’t care. They just wanted to kick a ball around with their friends and laugh.

kids in Langa township, South Africa

We are fortunate that our boys can experience other cultures and we hope we are raising global children. For this brief moment in time, it’s just a bunch of kids hanging out together doing what kids do. I spent time chatting with their mom in her 10 x 10 room that her family of 4 shares with another family. For that hour it was just two moms, with the same worries and concerns, talking proudly about their kids.

south africa with kids
african kids

I always want to bring home each and every sweet face with me… seriously, those faces get me every time!

Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch

Yes, you can bring your kids to Stellenbosch…but there’s a good chance they’ll get bored.

Stellenbosch wine tasting is a must-do when you visit cape town
As you leave the Cape Town Wharf and drive about 45 minutes, you’ll arrive at the picturesque town of Stellenbosch.
It feels as though you’re transported to a different world entirely with charming streets lined with quaint cafes and boutique shops. Stellenbosch is known for its stunning vineyards, delicious wines, and world-class restaurants, making it a paradise for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike.
Stellenbosch wine tasting when you visit Cape Town
We enjoyed rolling hills, stunning vineyards, mountains from every view, and great places to grab some food. We had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Blaauwklippen Vineyards, a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of South Africa’s wine country.
From the moment we arrived, we were struck by the vineyard’s natural beauty, with its rolling hills stretching as far as the eye could see. And of course, we couldn’t leave without sampling some of their exquisite wines and tapas.
We found an amazing restaurant. The Sweetwell Butchery and Restaurant was delightful. I won’t spoil anything, but urge you to visit if you’re a non-vegetarian.
Stellenbosch south africa - Visit Cape Town
This place would not suit my Vegan friends, as it primarily serves bacon and pork!

Cape Town Street Life

We felt safe and comfortable the whole time we were in Cape Town, even traveling with two blonde kids.

We found the people to be welcoming and as curious about us as we were about them. We wandered through local food and craft markets, art districts and found many local restaurants to sample delicious local food.

district six south africa
District Six was particularly moving – it’s a residential area where over 60,000 of its inhabitants were forcibly removed by the apartheid regime when it was declared a “whites only” area. It was empowering to learn all about the history of District Six, learn about Nelson Mandela, and for all of us to understand the devastating impacts of the apartheid regime a little more.
 
District Six - Cape Town south africa
Cape Town is filled with beautiful street art

Wander around Victoria Wharf

Victoria Wharf is the shopping hub of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The mall is a series of huge warehouses that have been converted into super hip shops and restaurants. There are tons of opportunities to buy African arts and crafts from local artists, and the many restaurants will definitely not disappoint with the many food options available.
victoria wharf, capetown, south africa
The fog is so crazy when you visit Cape Town… you never know when it will roll in or roll out! 
Capetown Views

Climb Table Mountain National Park

We drove to Table Mountain on a clear (ish) day, and since the cable car was closed until the fog cleared, we decided to hike up the mountain. 

Table mountain in Capetown south africa
The fog is just starting to lift
table mountain south africa when you visit cape town

Important to note that the cable car ascent to the mountain’s summit is often closed due to fog. But don’t let that deter you, even if the cable car is out of commission, there are lots of other ways to experience this iconic mountain. I’d recommend you check with your hotel whether the cable car is running before you make the 40-minute drive to the entrance.

table mountain south africa with kids

The cable car opened up as we were halfway up the mountain… as we were hiking up Platteklip Gorge – figures!

table mountain south africa views when you visit cape town
Sitting on top of the world
table mountain south africa scenery
We had a clear view of the whole of Cape Town
It felt like we were perched on the edge of the world, as we soaked in the awe-inspiring views and endless ocean that seemed to go on forever.

Visit the Cheetah Rehabilitation Center

Visiting a cheetah

We had a few hours to kill before our loooooong 32 hour journey back to Los Angeles, so we decided to visit the Cheetah rehabilitation center since it’s close to the airport. The boys learned how cheetahs live, how fast they can really run, and were able to get up close and personal with them.

Flying from Cape Town, South Africa on British Airways
I strongly recommend you make time to visit Cape Town – we’re already counting down the days until we return! The effortlessly cool atmosphere, breathtaking countryside, and warm, welcoming people stole our hearts. Here are

What are your favorite things to do when you visit Cape Town
with your family?

Let me know by leaving a comment below or DM me on Instagram or Twitter

About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

2 COMMENTS

  1. annpappas | 1st Dec 17

    Glad you enjoyed Cape Town – I’ve lived in CT all my life. Where I live and work, there are growing numbers of refugees from other parts of Africa who feel a lot safer living in what used to be ‘all white’ areas. If you want to have a look, here is a link to my blogs: https://wordpress.com/posts/annsblog2015.wordpress.com

    • Samantha Kuhr | 1st Dec 17

      HI Ann! Thanks for sharing… Cape Town is so interesting! I will definitely check out your blog.

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