Cape Town Bucket List: 9 Things To Do

Cape Town is the legislative capital (one of three capitals) of South Africa. It is the second most populous area of South Africa and the 10th most populous city in all of Africa. In 2014 The New York Times named it the best place in the world to visit, and we’re going to give you 9 reasons why we just crossed it off our bucket list and you should too.

Victoria Alfred Waterfront

1. Stop and shop at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and shops at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and even a giant ferris wheel! We walked about 3 miles from our hotel to the waterfront and it was well worth it to be on foot.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Breakwater Blvd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa | Website | Map

2. Get a private tour

There are essentially 3 types of city tours available: bus, group, and private. Our private tour guide was amazing, and we wouldn’t have seen half of what we saw without his help. The tour started around 8am and was supposed to end around 4pm, but our guide kept us in the city an extra 2 hours to see the sunset.

Ilios Travel | Website

Cape Point National Reserve in Cape Town South Africa

3. Drive through Cape Point National Reserve

Many people believe Cape Point to be the most southerly tip of Africa, but it is actually the south-westerly tip. Either way, driving through the park is absolutely gorgeous. You’ll pass two navigational beacons erected by the Portuguese–Dias Cross and Gama Cross–to commemorate Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias as the first explorers to reach the Cape. Most famously though, are the Chacma Baboons that aren’t afraid to come right up and say hi.

Cape Point National Reserve | Cape Point Rd, Cape Town, South Africa | Website | Map

Cape Point Lighthouse in Cape Town South Africa

4. Hike to the Cape Point Lighthouse

A quick 20 minute hike to the old lighthouse will give you a gorgeous view of the Cape of Good Hope, which also happens to be the infamous crash site of the Lusitania.

Cape Point National Reserve | Cape Point Rd, Cape Town, South Africa | Website | Map

Read More > Best Short Walks and Hikes Around Cape Point

Cooks Bay in Cape Town South Africa

5. Eat an early dinner at Kalk Bay

There are several restaurant’s right on the water of Kalk Bay, we chose to eat at at the Harbour House. The food is great, and if you get there early you can get a table with a gorgeous view of the coast. Plus, it’s a great place to stop on your way back from a morning trip to Cape Point.

Harbour House | Main Road, Silver Mine (Nature Reserve), Cape Town, South Africa | Website | Map

Read More > 20 Best Kalk Bay Restaurants

African Penguins in Cape Town

6. Visit the African Penguins at Bolder Beach

The African Penguin is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa. They can be found in various beaches along the coast, but mainly at Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town. Years ago you were able to walk amongst the penguins, until a tourist decided he would try and steal an egg. Now you have to stay on the boardwalk, but it’s still worth the trip.

Boulder Beach | 1 Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa | Website | Map

Read More > Boulders Penguin Colony

Seal Island in Cape Town South Africa

7. Take a boat trip to Seal Island

Technically it’s called Duiker Island, but you’ll find out quickly why everyone refers to it as seal island. Take the first boat in the morning, before the crowds and Keep your eyes peeled on the way out because many of the seals have their own little spot in Hout Bay Harbor.

Seal Island | False Bay, South Africa | Website | Map

Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa

8. Drive up to Signal Hill

Bring a sandwich and have a picnic at the top of Signal Hill where signal flags were once used to communicate weather warnings to the harbor. Once you’re done with your sandwich, you can walk a few minutes down the road to see a spectacular view of Cape Town and Cape Town Stadium that was built solely for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Signal Hill | Cape Town Central, South Africa | Website | Map

Table Mountain in Cape Town South Africa

9. Hike Table Mountain

The locals will tell you that if it’s clear out head to Table Mountain right away. Clouds will move in and out of Table Mountain obscuring the best view in all of Cape Town. There are hiking trails on top of the mountain, as well as some longer trails up to the mountain if you don’t want to take the aerial cable car.

Table Mountain | Plateau Rd, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa | WebsiteMap

Wesley Banks

Guest Author

Name: Wesley Banks

Wesley Banks is the author of Hope In Every Raindrop, and blogs at when he’s not out exploring the world with his wife and two dogs.


2017-12-16T08:06:58+00:00June 6th, 2015|Categories: BUCKET LISTS, South Africa, TRAVEL|Tags: , , , |


  1. Clay June 8, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Thanks for the ideas. I keep hearing about Cape Town, so I should probably go!

    • Wesley June 9, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Clay, Cape Town is definitely a must at least once. Just make sure you hit up a safari in Kruger while you’re there!

  2. Felipe Alvarez June 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    As I planned already to visit Cape Town, this guide will definitely help me. I hope that one of those monkeys will jump over during my ride too. Thanks

    • Wesley June 11, 2015 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Felipe, that’s awesome. My understanding is the baboons are almost always waiting on the side of the road. You’re not supposed to feed them, but someone always does. Just be careful though, we watched one jump on the hood of a car and start eating the windshield wiper, haha. Have fun on your trip!

  3. Isaac June 15, 2015 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Amazing amazing Capetown! I wish to experience a thrilling encounter there.

  4. Maddie June 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Nice list! I will be sure to keep this mind if and when I pay a visit to Cape Town. I definitely would like, as it seems like a fun and undeniably beautiful place to go. Seal Island looks especially cool! Thanks for sharing your wisdom, haha. 😉

    • Wesley Banks June 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Maddie, seal island was amazing, but make sure you bring a jacket. The boat ride was cold!

  5. Aaron June 21, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Thanks, some great ideas here to put on my to do list when I visit South Africa.

    • Wesley Banks June 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Aaron, make sure you don’t miss Table Mountain. It was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.

  6. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home June 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    You can check the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. It’s a huge shopping and entertainment area at the slopes of Table Mountain, next to the harbour. Also you can purchase a sunset cruise, it’s great.

  7. Rashedun Nabir July 4, 2015 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Cape town is the name of heaven on the earth. Ocean, island, wild life, animals and so on are the best part of this locality. Specially wild life is close to you. So anybody who like to explore about wild life together with ocean and island, get ready to journey to cape town. Don’t worry all the facilities such as residential and security is available. Just think about to cape town, South Africa.

  8. Tajirul Haque July 6, 2015 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I never knew there were penguins in Africa. Would love to check them out. Also I am a big fan of African wildlife. Would love a tour Through the Cape Point National Reserve.

  9. Tez Ferguson July 26, 2015 at 6:11 am - Reply

    No trip is complete without seeing the penguins on the beach. Fantastic write up!

  10. Veronica October 3, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Cape Town has been my favourite city by far! I have to add another bucket list must: FRESH OYSTERS! Even if you dislike them, or have avoided trying them in the past, this is something that cannot be passed up while in Cape Town. 🙂

    (I also think self-driving is a must, too. What an adventure!)

    • Annette White October 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      That is good to know! I typically don’t eat oysters, but I will make an exception while in Cape Town!

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