10 Best Things to do in Cape Town Before Your Safari

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cape Town before embarking on an exciting safari adventure. Let me tell you, Cape Town did not disappoint! If you’re planning a similar trip, I highly recommend spending a few days in this vibrant and picturesque city. In this article, I’ll share my top 10 best things to do in Cape Town to help make your visit unforgettable.

1. Take in the Views from Table Mountain

View from the Table Mountains
Photo by Tom Podmore

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a trip up Table Mountain. This iconic landmark offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscapes. You can hike to the top or take the cable car, which offers equally stunning vistas. Be sure to bring your camera, as the photo opportunities are endless.

2. Explore the V&A Waterfront

the V&A waterfront
Photo by Sebastian Canaves

The V&A Waterfront is a bustling hub of activity, with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. You can take a sunset cruise, visit the Two Oceans Aquarium, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll around the harbor. If you’re looking for souvenirs, this is the perfect place to find them.

3. Discover the History of Robben Island

Robben Island
Photo by Grant Durr

Robben Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for anyone interested in South African history. This former prison was where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held for many years. You can take a guided tour of the island and prison, led by former inmates.

4. Take a Scenic Drive Along Chapman’s Peak

View of the Atlantic ocean from Chapman's Peak
Photo by Zander Janzen van Rensburg

Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most scenic drives in the world, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding mountains. You can stop at one of the many lookout points to take in the scenery and snap some photos. This drive is not for the faint of heart, as it features numerous hairpin turns and steep drops, but it is well worth it for the views.

5. Visit the Cape of Good Hope

Man looking at the ocean from the Cape of Good Hope
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty

The Cape of Good Hope is a natural wonder that should not be missed. This rugged coastline offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes. You can take a hike to the lighthouse or simply relax on one of the secluded beaches. This area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including ostriches and baboons.

6. Explore the Bo-Kaap

Photo by Madiba.de African Inspiration

The Bo-Kaap is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood in Cape Town’s city center. The brightly painted houses and cobbled streets make for a picturesque setting. You can take a walking tour of the area to learn about its history and cultural significance. Be sure to sample some of the local Cape Malay cuisines while you’re there.

7. Indulge in South African Wine

Bellingham The Bernard
Photo by Luke Downing

South Africa is renowned for its excellent wines, and Cape Town is the perfect place to sample them. You can visit one of the many wine estates in the nearby Winelands region, or simply enjoy a glass of local wine at one of the city’s many bars and restaurants.

8. Take a Dip in the Atlantic Ocean

Llandudno Surf Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Photo by Louis Smit

Cape Town’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, with crystal-clear water and soft white sand. Whether you’re looking to surf, swim, or simply sunbathe, there is a beach for everyone. Some of the most popular beaches include Camps Bay and Clifton.

9. Learn About South African Art

Zeitz MOCAA museum
Photo by Grant Durr

Cape Town is home to a thriving art scene, with numerous galleries and museums showcasing local and international artists. You can visit the Zeitz MOCAA, which houses the largest collection of contemporary African art in the world, or take a stroll through the trendy Woodstock neighborhood to explore the street art scene.

 10.  Experience Cape Town’s Nightlife

Night in Cape town, from the Lions head mointains
Photo by Anthony Tuil

Cape Town is a vibrant and lively city, with a nightlife scene to match. Cape Town has a diverse and exciting nightlife scene that caters to a range of interests and tastes. From trendy rooftop bars to underground music venues, there is something for everyone.

Long Street is perhaps the most famous nightlife destination in Cape Town, with a plethora of bars, clubs, and restaurants lining the street. Here, you’ll find everything from backpacker bars to upscale cocktail lounges. The street is particularly lively on weekend nights, with live music and DJs playing into the early hours of the morning.

If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, head to the Camps Bay area, which is known for its chic beach bars and restaurants. The views of the ocean and the Twelve Apostles mountain range are breathtaking, and the atmosphere is sophisticated and elegant.

For those interested in underground music and alternative culture, the Observatory neighborhood is a must-visit. Here, you’ll find a range of live music venues, including the legendary Mercury Live and The Armchair Theatre.

If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, head to the trendy Woodstock neighborhood, where you’ll find a range of hipster bars, craft breweries, and live music venues. The area is known for its street art scene and alternative culture, and there are always new and exciting places popping up.

One thing to keep in mind when exploring Cape Town’s nightlife scene is safety. As with any city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. Stick to well-lit areas and don’t walk alone at night. It’s also a good idea to use a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Taxify to get around.


Overall, Cape Town’s nightlife scene is vibrant, diverse, and exciting. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet cocktail with friends, you’re sure to find something that suits your style.

In conclusion, Cape Town is an incredible destination with something for everyone. It’s a great place to visit before heading out on a safari, as it offers a unique blend of culture, nature, and adventure. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s history, trying out new foods, or experiencing its exciting nightlife scene, Cape Town is a must-visit destination


Featured image by Tobias Reich on Unsplash 

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