Our time in Cape Town has been nothing short of amazing, I think it’s safe to say it’s one of our favorite places we have travelled to. It’s even become a regular topic of conversation as to how it will be a yearly spot we come to live for 2-3 months each year. Although Cape Town is an absolutely enormous city, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. We kept thinking how it reminded us a lot of the Okanagan with it’s beaches, hot summer heat and enormous wine region.
Our House & The Water Crisis
We stayed in the center of town in an old Victorian House which was beautiful. The location was amazing, just off of Kloof street where there are tons of bars, grocery stores and restaurants. But what everyone wants to know is “what about the water crisis”?
The water crisis is very real in Cape Town and the residents have taken it very seriously. Here’s a few examples of the changes we noticed.
- At most of the restaurants the bathrooms are all equipped with waterless hand sanitizers
- Some restaurants operated on the concept of “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”
- Every shower was equipped with a large bucket, to capture any excess water. This “dirty” water is then used to flush the toilets with.
- Showers are meant to be 2 minutes long... Rinse, turn off the tap and soap up, rinse, turn off the tap and condition, rinse. That was probably the hardest to adjust to because we are all so used to standing underneath the hot water for the whole duration of our showers.
We had the pleasure of spending many days in Cape Town at one of the 4 Clifton Beaches that are all equally breathtaking. They all have amazing white sand beaches with very little shells or rocks and massive boulders surrounding the beaches. Not to mention the blazing sun that helped us with our tans! There’s something we love about laying on the beach all day taking naps and reading that keeps us coming back every time.
Table Mountain – a must-do we were told while we were in Cape Town. One of the New 7 Wonders Of Nature we knew we didn’t want to miss. Accessible by either climbing the mountain to the top or taking the cableway, we opted for the latter. After a pretty incredible ride up, the top did not disappoint. You were able to see as far as the eye could see, in every direction around Cape Town. It was pretty stunning to say the least. Our favorite view.. Looking out over top of lion’s head towards the ocean.
We spent an incredible afternoon at Boulders Beach, a suburb just outside of Cape Town, famous for it’s penguin colony. Now we know we got to see penguins up close and personal in Betty’s Bay but this was 100x better. After taking a 45 minute train we arrived in Simons Town and headed straight to Boulders Beach. It was a beautiful sunny day and as soon as we arrived we sort of got that “awe” moment because the water is amazingly clear in that beautiful turquoise colour and there were penguins scattered all around! We arrived at high tide and there wasn’t much of the beach left so we got into our swim suits and started trekking around the boulders, just checking out all the penguins. We even came across one penguin who had a tiny little baby penguin in her nest. She was quite alert and defensive of her area but the rest of the penguins didn’t seem to be bothered by us in the slightest. It was such an awesome experience!
Check out the video we put together from Boulders Beach below!
Kirstenbosch is probably one of the most beautiful botanical gardens we’ve ever visited. You could wander around for hours and hours as it is absolutely huge! Some of the gardens are built up on a hill so you can bring your own blanket and picnic basket and wine and sit and enjoy the view of Table Mountain on your left and Cape Town down below.
Even better, on Sundays during the summer they hold summer concerts! We were lucky enough to attend one and it’s pretty magical sitting in the gardens, listening to the music as the sun goes down around you!
Stellenbosch Wine Region
We decided to rent a car for a day and head out wine touring just like we love to do back home in the Okanagan. The wine region is about an hour drive outside of Cape Town and reminded us a lot of back home. The valley is almost identical and the wineries all have their quaint looks and atmospheres that make us want to come back and explore them all. Each winery seems to have massive properties that include their vines, gardens, and tasting rooms. One thing we loved is with each wine tasting we had it was paired with a local cheese. A litle different then back home as we usually only have wine and crackers while tasting. While we were only able to spend a day exploring the area, there were so many wineries that we could probably spend weeks exploring them all.
Sunset at Signal Hill
We loved being able to watch sunset from a ton of different places along the water but one of our most favourite sunsets was at Signal Hill. We drove up to the top of the mountain (along with a lot of other people!!) in anticipation of an incredible sunset- and we were not disappointed. From this height, we watched as the sun slowly came down and basked the whole town in a beautiful warm glow as it was setting.
We had some incredible meals while we were in Cape Town. You can pretty much get any type of cuisine you wanted or were craving. One of our favourite spots was right on the water with the most delicious mussel pasta we have ever tasted! Plus in comparison to North America, the food prices were so much cheaper so a lot of times it was easier to just go out for food than cook! Cape Town also has these awesome food markets like at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock or Hought bay Harbour. Tons of different food stalls to choose from and some of the best eats we’ve ever had!
Uber has been one of the best things we got to experience. Its unfortunate it has not been adapted across Canada and even more so in the Okanagan. The price to get a ride is less then half of a taxi and much more convenient being able to track down a ride by clicking a button on your phone and it be there within minutes. The other great feature is you dont have to exchange credit cards, cash, or even directions as everything is done automatically on the app. We have met a lot of people who also drive for Uber full time and have transitioned from employee to entrepreneur which we highly support.
After a whirlwind adventure for the past 9 weeks we are headed back home to Kelowna, BC where we will be settling in for the next 5 months. Stay tuned for some of our adventures this summer!