Information on Cape Town
Guide to Cape Town
Beautiful Cape Town is so much more than just the mountain and the sea: it’s a vibrant and bustling city bursting at the seams with exciting sights to discover. Around About Cars is dedicated to delivering quality service and affordable rental cars, both of which will make your exploration of the Mother City that much more comfortable and enjoyable. Follow this GUIDE to CAPE TOWN and make sure you visit all the must-sees this city has to offer.
Kalk Bay is a charming fishing village situated on the False Bay coastline and a place that will undoubtedly find a special place in the hearts of all those who visit. The iconic harbour is fully functional and continues to be the livelihood of local fishermen today, whilst the bustling Main Road is an exciting mix of stylish galleries, gorgeous antique stores and trendy restaurants and watering-holes. Read More on Kalk Bay
Canal Walk Shopping Centre
Calling all fashionistas and retail therapists: Canal walk Shopping Centre is one of Africa’s leading retail malls, and with over 400 shops, together with its stunning architecture, offers shoppers a unique and exciting shopping experience. It also boasts the widest range of speciality shops in the Southern Hemisphere, which ensure that you can find everything you need under one roof, from international brands to South Africa’s best loved stores. This retail mecca is situated in the ever-expanding Century City, midway between Cape Town and Bellville, putting it in a prime position with easy access from the N1 highway. Apart from a world-class shopping experience, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining and entertainment, thanks to a spacious food court, an array of top-quality restaurants and state-of-the-art cinema complex. It’s no wonder that Canal Walk draws thousands of tourists and locals through its doors each year.
The Old Biscuit Mill
Nestled in the heart of up-and-coming Woodstock, this trendy village sees some of Cape Town’s most talented people come together to showcase their wares and exchange ideas. It’s a creative space with a palpable, unique atmosphere, one that has become a popular and enjoyable way for Capetonians and tourists to start their weekend. The Old Biscuit Mill is, as you’ve guessed, situated in an old mill and is an eclectic mix ofoffices, designer stores and workshops. This urban, hip space is also home to a selection of market stalls that sell everything from crispy almond croissants, to home-made ice tea and mouth-watering gourmet burgers. The food at the Old Biscuit Mill is spectacular, as are the goods sold by the local designers and artists. You’ll find some vintage gems, as well as hand-made jewellery, unusual accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces. Exploring the Old Biscuit Mill is nothing short of a treat.
This quaint, coastal town on the shores of False Bay is not only charming, but also home to the South African Navy, with the harbour having played a significant role in naval history for more than two centuries. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, window-shopping along the main road before enjoying a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants dotted along the water’s edge. There are also museums that can be visited for a dose of culture and for a great opportunity to learn more about the rich history of Simon’s Town. Maritime enthusiasts will love the South African naval Museum, whilst the kids will enjoy looking at toys from long ago at the Warrior Toy Museum.
Boulders Beachis located in sleepy Simon’s Town, and is a special place as it is home to a colony of endangered African penguins. Being one of only a few in the world, the area is a protected one and every precaution is taken to ensure that the penguins are taken care of and treated well. It is, of course, a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to catch a glimpse of the intriguing tuxedo-wearing birds strutting their stuff on the beach. Viewing is done from carefully constructed boardwalks put in place for the safety of both onlookers and birds. The sheltered beach consists of three pristine beaches, with imposing granite boulders dotted along the shore. Swimming is permitted on Boulders and kids will love exploring the nooks and crannies between the granite giants. The penguins are best viewed from Foxy Beach though.
Further along from Boulders, at the tip of the Cape Peninsula, you’ll find the nature reserve and Natural heritage Site that is the mighty Cape Point. The reserve forms part of the exquisite Table Mountain National Park, and is rich in the natural vegetation of the area: fynbos. Cape Point also has a rich maritime history and was named the “Cape of Storms” by famous explorer Bartolomeu Dias. Sailors have always treated Cape Point with the utmost respect, using it as a navigational landmark when out at sea. The dangerous rocks combined, with thick fog and violent storms often resulted in many a shipwreck in the past, making the Point infamous within the maritime community. The lighthouse, perched 249 metres above sea level, can be reached by a three minute funicular ride. Cape Point is renowned for its natural beauty, sweeping cliffs and breath-taking views of the peninsula.
Flanked by Table Mountain and Signal Hill, Lion’s Head forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. The mountain is a popular hiking option, and the hour long walk to the top culminates in spectacular views of the city and Atlantic Seaboard. The trail gets especially busy during the full moon, when people use the natural light of the moon to light their way up and down the mountain. The slopes also provide a launching point for paragliders. Lion’s Head is home to a variety of fauna and flora, many of which are endemic to Cape Town, such as fynbos. Those who love the outdoors and especially a challenging hike, will inevitably find that this mountain, shaped like a lion’s head, is one of Cape Town’s natural gems.
Camps Bay is the glamour suburb of Cape Town, enticing thousands to its white shores with its celebrity culture and affluent hotspots. The Mediterranean atmosphere is only made more apparent by the palm trees that line the main thoroughfare of Victoria Road, shading the street that holds many cafes, delis, restaurants and clubs. Once the beautiful red sun sets behind the deep blue waves, Camps Bay twinkles once more into life beneath the stars. Clubs like Caprice and Dizzy’s offer something for everybody, ensuring a great night to be had by all as you drive your car up to a lookout point to gaze out across the beautiful evening sky.
Hout Bay is a favourite destination for those looking for an enjoyable family drive on one of those lazy Sunday afternoons. If you are coming from the Atlantic Seaboard, you will watch as the ocean’s waves crash in swirling silvers and whites against the rocks of the craggy shores below the mountain roads. Coming through the valley from the Constantia side is a completely different experience altogether. Winding roads make their way through beautiful forests and copses, trees climbing up a mountainside that is interspersed with numerous wine farms. The long rows of the vineyards curl their way across the low hills in pretty green stripes. Upon arriving, you can park off at the harbour where you can grab something to eat, or perhaps sip on a deliciously refreshing pint.
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens sit nestled upon the lush green hills that tumble down in cascading greens and browns from its steep mountain sentinel. Make your way to this world-renown sanctuary of beauty and nature conservation. Be serenaded by a wide array of birds and wildlife as you stroll across sweeping lawns, explosions of colour greeting your eyes in all directions from the flowers and brush that flourish so strongly in this floral haven. There is no doubt that this is truly one of Cape Town’s jewels. The Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts have also become a hit and has proven to be a great day out for the entire family.
The Company’s Garden
The central business district of the Mother City is not quite a complete celebration of manmade structures. Within its mazing streets and below the skyscrapers that claw at the white clouds above sits the green haven of the Company’s Garden. Established when the first Europeans arrived at the Cape in 1652 under the order of the Dutch East India Company, this paradise sits outside the entrance to the Iziko Musuem, its leafy shadows guarded by the looming figure of the planetarium. Pigeons and other wildlife thrive in this green town amongst the urban jungle. Often you can hear the joyful cries of schoolchildren as they play and frolic on school fieldtrips, whilst studious academics and civilians alike create a steady stream through the museum’s doors.
Muizenberg is the preferred destination of surfers and regular beachgoers alike. This particularly long beach stretches well over 20 km down the coast, making it perfect both for driving and for stopping off for a bit of fun. Armed with their buckets and spades, kids squeal with delight as their parents playfully chase them around the dunes and their sandcastle works of art. Couples sit and munch on snacks, while many a game of beach volleyball and beach tennis dot the sands. The water is not too cold either, so you can be sure that people will enjoy taking a dip or two, diving beneath the waves in jest or dropping in on the swell on a surf or bodyboard. The colourful beach houses also make for quite the sight, adding nostalgia and beauty to an already pretty part of Cape Town.
Shark Cage Diving
It has to be said that sharks are fascinating creatures but ones that are very often misunderstood. Shark cage diving in Cape Town offers the perfect opportunity for people to learn more about these interesting marine animals and to interact with them in their natural habitat. Once you see a Great White shark up close in the watery depths of the sea you will undoubtedly find a new-found respect for them. Read more on Shark Cage DIving Here
Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean some 9km offshore from Cape Town, Robben Island welcomes visitors from across the globe all year round. “Robben” is Dutch for “the place of seals” and the Island is a reminder of both South Africa’s past struggle during the Apartheid era, as well as being a shining beacon of the country’s freedom. Find out more about Robben Island
Table Mountain cradles the Mother City in its nurturing arms, having seen it grow from a small colonial port in the 1600s to a thriving centre of tourism and iconic visuals. The mountain itself is a wonder of natural beauty and majesty with its trademark flat top so often lightly covered by the gentle “tablecloth” of cloud that forms over its flattened heights. These clouds can turn into heavy, strong banks of white and grey as a typically unpredictable change in Cape Town’s weather takes over an unexpectant but grudgingly expecting public. Read more on Table Mountain
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is the main port of call when it comes to high-end shopping and iconic Cape Town settings. Indeed, no other spot in the countries receives more foreign visitors. Set in the picturesque Table Bay, seagulls flock above its white-tiered buildings and all manner of boats and vessels lie docked in its harbours. There is a large focus on the rich history of the port stemming from its origin as the first colonial settlement in South Africa but it is also a main tourist hub, sporting diverse craft markets, popular entertainment and numerous art and museum exhibitions at the Chavonnes Battery Museum. Read more about the Waterfront
Cape Town for the Family
There’s nothing like a fun family outing to bring everyone together for a good laugh and a great time. Cape Town offers a variety of options to delight the whole family, especially the kids. Find out all you need to know about keeping the entire clan occupied and happy with these fantastic Cape Town spots for the family. Find out more here
Cultural Cape Town
Whilst the Mother City is famous for its majestic mountain and pristine beaches, there’s a whole other side to it as well. From museums to theatres and art galleries, Cape Town is teeming with a variety of options that are sure to tickle your cultural fancy. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list to help you navigate your way around Cultural Cape Town. Read more about Cultural Cape Town
Restaurants with a view
Cape Town is known for her stunning views of rolling mountains as well as sunsets over the ocean. How about enjoying these views while eating a beautifull prepared meal and a glass of wine? Have a look at these restaurants for a guide
Exploring Cape Town is a wonderful experience and with these beautiful seaside drives you will not be bored or left wondering while driving your hired car.