I love Cape Town and in December I had the opportunity to eat my way around the Mother City on assignment for AFKTravel. My job was to review restaurants for a month with my best friend Nel. I must admit it was a sweet gig. Especially since Nel and I first met while studying abroad in Zimbabwe just before the country fell apart, and had last been in Cape Town together during our spring break at the tail end of the last century (although we’d both subsequently spent a lot of time there on separate trips).
As a travel writer, it is rare to 1) get an assignment where you only have to eat to be paid and 2) get to spend a full month in one destination, let alone city. In fact, this was the longest I’d ever spent in one place, so I was beyond excited the destination was Cape Town. Here are five things I really love:
1. Driving from Camps Bay to Hout Bay
I’ve traveled much of the globe, and I’ve experience no city more beautiful city than Cape Town — although I’ve heard Rio is comparable, but I’ve never had a chance to visit that side of the planet. And my favorite thing to do on a warm summer day is to drive been Camps Bay and Hout Bay on Victoria Road, which runs parallel to the sea. There are pull-outs along the way for photo ops and also plenty of excellent beaches (just beware the water is freezing despite looking tropical), including the ultra trendy Clifton Beaches pictured above.
2. Diverse Sleeping Options
If you don’t want to stay in a hotel, you don’t have to in Cape Town. I spent the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice (my second of the year) shacked up in Penthouse II, which is the crown jewel of the Blue Views collection of private villa rentals. It’s located right off the beach in Bakoven, just a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of trendy Camps Bay.
3. Amazing Live Music Scene
Cape Town has fantastic sound when it comes to live music, but the band du jour, without question, are The Rudimentals, who are coincidentally headlined by two guys from Zimbabwe (one of which I actually used to hang with in Harare back in the day) and a third from Jamaica (who I met on this last adventure). What’s cool about this band, however, is its made up of 14 members who span three continents, multiple generations and include everyone from two international fashion models to real life medical doctor. You can watch their first music video for Sound Boy Killa, which was #1 on the charts in South Africa, here.
4. It was named World Design Capital
In 2014 Cape Town was named the World Design Capital, which was a special honor that was well deserved. From the block lettering pictured above on Camps Bay Beach to the World Cup Soccer Stadium in Green Point, Cape Town is filled with unique architecture and design. It has evolved a lot since I first visited in college at the end of the last century. An impressive achievement in a short amount of time.
5. It’s Affordable
And the fifth best reason to visit Cape Town right now? Especially if you’re coming from the U.S. or Europe? It is super affordable. You can eat and drink very well and still be hard pressed to spend more than $20 per person. Don’t skip out of eating fresh seafood.