Essential things to do in Cape Town

Aimee Spicer / 29 May 2015 ( 20 December 2016 )

Cape Town is full of fabulous things to see and do while on holiday in South Africa. Here's our list of the essential things to visit on your trip.



Indulging in street treats like bunny chow, or hitting those golden shores for some sunshine, are not the only things you can do in Cape Town. 

There are nature reserves galore for animal spotting, and one of the most gorgeous coastlines in the world, meaning the city is an ideal base for those who want to explore South Africa’s wildlife, flora and fauna.

Discover more about South Africa, a whole world in one country Find out more here.

South African safari

The quintessential South African holiday experience involves heading out on a wildlife safari. Seeing the majestic predators and gentle herbivore species that roam the Rainbow Nation is an incredible life experience. 

Though we know how these animals live, nothing really prepares you for an encounter with the Big Five. See elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions and buffaloes, plus many more fantastic and mystical animals in the South African wildlife and game reserves.

Where to see wildlife on a holiday to South Africa. 

Table Mountain hike

Lace up your hiking boots and journey to Table Mountain, the most famous landmark in the city, which offers the best views in town. See all of Cape Town from the top of this peak. 

If you don’t want to hike to the summit, but you don’t want to miss out on the vistas across the skyline, simply climb aboard the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to the top. 

Enjoy the panoramic views of the Cape Peninsula of South Africa without using up all of your energy!

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Pacific Ocean shark dive

Not for the faint of heart, one of South Africa’s most daring draws is the opportunity to dive with great white sharks. This involves sailing out to sea before stepping inside a protective cage that is attached to the side of your boat. 

Shark diving is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have with the local sea life in South Africa. Remember to investigate ethical diving companies to keep these fantastic creatures protected through conservation.

Top 5 foods to try when you next visit South Africa. 

Cape Town beaches

If you’d rather enjoy the coastline from dry land, there is no better place than the beaches of Cape Town. 

Try Camps Bay if you’re after some sunbathing, beach volleyball, or cocktails in one of the many restaurants, bars and cafes that line this stretch of sand. 

Or, if you’re keen on water sports, the quieter (but windier) Blouberg Beach offers some of the best panoramas of Table Mountain.

See South Africa’s penguins

One of the most fun things to do in Cape Town is to visit the Boulders African Penguin Colony, which is part of the marine protected area of the Table Mountain National Park. 

See these cute creatures waddling between giant boulders and little rock pools, and swimming in the crystal clear waters of South Africa.

If you want to explore the natural side of the cosmopolitan and vibrant city of Cape Town, you don’t have to go far in the area to find it. Whether you want to visit a national nature reserve or simply sunbathe on magnificent beaches, there are plenty of options.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.