The city of Cape Town has a deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a stunning natural landscape of pristine seas, rugged coastlines, rolling forest and mountains that form the spine of the entire Cape Peninsula. Many visitors to Cape Town will follow a well-worn path of the most common sights to see, such as Table Mountain by cable car, the Robben Island museum, Camps Bay’s sunset strip, wine-tasting in the Winelands and shopping in the Long Street markets like Greenmarket Square. These are all great attractions, but if you would prefer to discover more of Cape Town without the tour buses and queues, check out our list of alternative, fantastic places to see.
Silvermine Nature Reserve is part of the greater Table Mountain National Park, sitting roughly in the middle of the iconic Table, and the deep south Cape Point peninsula. The area is rich in indigenous ‘fynbos’ vegetation, and the circular walking trail offers stunning views from the False Bay, Cape Point, Noordhoek valley and beaches, and over Chapman’s Peak to Hout Bay valley. There is a nice picnic site around the reservoir at the start of the trails.
Oudekraal is a picturesque meeting of giant granite boulders, pearly white sand and the icy blue Atlantic. One of the most sheltered from the dreaded South Easter that blows in the summer months, Oudekraal is a lovely place to catch the sun perform its light show whilst slipping into the Atlantic ocean. Very popular with divers, there are some great caves and shipwrecks to explore in freezing but clear conditions.
Just before you get to the Cape Point entrance, whilst enjoying the sheer coastal roads and sweeping views along the False Bay from Simonstown, it’s easy to drive past the little hamlet of houses nestled below the cliff. Smits, as it’s known to locals, is a stunning cove set on steep cliffs in a virgin natural environment. The peace only disrupted by the baboon populations that often cruise these slopes, so remember to lock your car and not carry any food down with you.
Another awesome sunset viewing spot. Signal Hill is a mound below the Cable Car peak, and overlooks Green Point and Sea Point, with excellent views out over the ocean and of Robben Island. There are several look-out areas along the road to the main parking area, pick a spot and enjoy the view.
If you’re in the wine country, take a leisurely drive to Gordon’s Bay and along the coastal route. You will come across a stunning whites and beach with a magnificent view of the Helderberg Mountains. In the far-right corner of the beach are some interesting sandstone caves right on the beach, and swimming here is a strange novelty, as the water is usually 3-5 degrees warmer than the rest of Cape Town. Parking can be a problem, so don’t leave valuables in the car.
This article written by Jamie as information to our Cape Town Backpackers guests