Monday, August 7, 2017

72 Hours in Cape Town

Africa is something that gets in your blood. I can't really explain it until you visit. But I want to come back every single year for the rest of my life. We have been to South Africa twice now and Cape Town was absolutely magical.

Before reading this, I wanted to point out that we paid for ALL of these activities, hotel, and excursions. No one is paying us to say any of these things or post their links. I simply am doing it because I know it's expensive to travel half way around the world and if someone can give someone else a helpful recommendation- it's worth it!

Day 1: We landed in Cape Town at around 11:30am. Directly from the airport, I had arranged for our private tour guide to meet us in order to get the day started immediately so no time was wasted. We did not go to the hotel beforehand so we made sure we were wearing the outfits we wanted to be wearing for the day on our last flight. For months, I had been planning on what we should do and what we should see, so I had my list ready. Most tour guides will make suggestions along the way but I had very specific points of interest that I wanted to experience.

Our first stop was the colored houses on the beach in Muizenberg. We enjoyed the beach for a short while, got coffee at a local restaurant called Knead, and were on our way to see the penguins at Boulder Beach.

As soon as we got to the beach, it started pouring rain (so it was quite empty, which was extremely nice to experience the penguins without a ton of people around). We stayed there for about an hour until the rain got too heavy. We had an absolute blast with the penguins and getting to see them and their babies up close in that environment was amazing.

After we left the penguins, we made our way to Cape of Good Hope. Along the way, we saw a ton of animals, including baboons, ostrich, eland, and antelope.

The rain really started to pick up for the afternoon and the sun sets around 6pm during the winter Africa months so we drove down Chapman's Peak before the sun went down. It was the most beautiful drive and scenery I have ever seen. It was absolutely magical!

After the drive, we went out for a wonderful seafood dinner downtown Cape Town. We got to our boutique hotel, unpacked, and got everything ready for the next morning.

Guide Service:
(Both booked through Expedia, which I would highly recommend)

Day 2: The day started off extremely early. Our driver picked us up at 5:15am and we headed off the cage dive with great white sharks! We met everyone at the office, signed our paperwork, and off we went. We enjoyed the sunrise from the boat as we headed towards Seal Island. On the way, we ran into about 350 dolphin that were swimming along the boat for about 25 minutes. It was an extremely magical experience. We then also saw a few large whales on our way to the shark spot!

We were on the boat for about 5 hours and unfortunately did not see any sharks. We heard a report for another ship that a whale had died in the harbor so we think all of the sharks were there instead of the island where we were. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time getting to watch the whales and the dolphins!

Cage Diving Excursion:

After our driver dropped us back off at our hotel, we grabbed a quick nap, changed into hiking gear, grabbed some lunch at our hotel, and met our hiking guide for our sunset hike up Lion's Head!

We started our evening hike around 5pm and made it to the top just as the sun was setting. It was absolutely breathtaking to view Cape Town from that peak and watch the sun go down. It took about an hour as well to get down in the dark (our headlamps saved us, so please- make sure you pack one if you are planning a hike)

We got back to our hotel room around 8pm (our guide took us to run a few errands that we needed to do), we ordered a pizza and got to bed early again because the next morning, we were hiking up Table Mountain.


Day 3: Our third morning started around 6am when our guide picked us up from our hotel and we headed to Table Mountain. We began the hike up the India Venster trail. It was not easy. It was not for a beginner. We had to scale rocks and climb ledges and walk very small, small paths. But 5 hours later, it was all worth it for the incredible views. We watched the sunrise from the side of the mountain!

Words can't describe it and it's something that I hope all of you experience in person, I truly do!

Normally, there are cable cars working that would have taken us back down the mountain (you can also take them up but we would have hiked regardless). Unfortunately for us, they were undergoing scheduled maintenance so we took another path down that took roughly 2 hours.

It was around 1pm and we headed about an hour away to sand surf in the dunes! Yes, it's a real thing and it was AMAZING! We had such a wonderful time on the dunes and luckily we were the only ones on the dunes. We had an incredible few hours of sand surfing! It's definitely something I would recommend for all adventure seekers!

Sand Surfing Excursion:

We arrived back to our hotel room around 7pm and we were EXHAUSTED! We order sushi and stayed in the for the night! We unfortunately were leaving early the next morning so we got everything packed up to be ready in the morning. We had a very short time in Cape Town and I wish we had several more days but we got to experience so much and I wouldn't change it for the world