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First Time in Cape Town

12 best things to do to experience the city like a local

If it’s your first time in Cape Town and you’re wondering where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. Located at the edge of the African continent, Cape Town is a characterised by the unsurpassed beauty of mountain and sea, exceptional food and diverse culture.
Showcasing of some of the best activities and attractions the city has to offer, here’s a list of 12 things you have to experience during your first visit to Cape Town.

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Enjoy the most amazing views of the city from the top of Table Mountain.
#1: Get to the top of Table Mountain

Getting to the top of Table Mountain is a compulsory activity when visiting Cape Town for the first time. Instead of simply hiking to the top or taking the cable car like everybody else, put on your explorer’s boots and venture upwards under the trusted guide of an accomplished mountaineer. The best part is you’ll be able to abseil back down the mountain before enjoying a delicious picnic and some of the best views around. 

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Meet Zainie Misbach and visit her house for a cooking class
#2: Learn to cook Cape Malay curry (and eat it afterwards)

Cape Town is renowned for its diversity of tastes and gastronomical delights. Discover the fresh flavours of Cape Malay cuisine when you sign up for a Bo-Kaap cooking tour hosted by a lifetime resident of the this iconic and colourful neighbourhood. 

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Ride the waves with the best views in the world
#3: Go surfing in the Atlantic ocean

A short drive from the city takes you to the warm waters of Muizenberg - a sanctuary for surfers of any rank, set against an epic mountain backdrop. Whether you’re looking to improve your own wave-riding skills or simply looking to get started, why not sign up for a surfing lesson that can be tailor-made to suit small groups or one-on-one private lessons.

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Visit the jazz musicians in their homes and share a meal together
#4: Explore the jazz scene

Cape Town has a rich history of jazz, a genre that has played a pivotal role in bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate their stories through the uniting power of music. Music lovers and culture fiends have a unique opportunity to go on a Jazz Safari, embarking on an unforgettable journey of Jazz in the Cape.

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A well-kept city secret: ocean safari on a kayak
#5: See dolphins and whales up close on a kayaking trip

Paddle out on the ocean and experience the beauty of Cape Town from the unique vantage point of an ocean kayak. Guided by a pro, expect close encounters with dolphins, seals and other magical marine life. 

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Craft beer and food pairing can easily substitute lunch
#6: Taste local craft beers from family-run microbreweries

The microbrewery scene in Cape Town has exploded in recent times.  Embark on a full-bodied experience of Cape Town’s emerging craft-beer industry through a tasting expedition set in some of the city’s trendiest locations.  

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When choosing a shark cage diving company, make sure it is environment friendly
#7: Get up close and personal with the Great White sharks

The Cape’s coastlines are considered some of the best in the world for Great White shark watching and diving — it is their feeding ground. Add extra value to your encounter with these gentle giants by going on an unforgettable cage diving adventure with an eco-friendly company that does not simply perform the tours but also takes care of the marine environment.

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There is hardly anything better than an alfresco lunch on a summer afternoon
#8: Taste local wine, cider, cheeses and meats in Elgin Valley

Immerse yourself in a full day of food and wine in Elgin Valley, the picturesque apple-growing region of the Cape. Think lush gardens, quaint farm stalls, historic vineyards and family-run estates, not to mention a taste of some of the best locally produced cider in the region. 

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Get a real insight into the design scene of the most creative city of South Africa
#9: Visit the galleries and meet the artists of Woodstock

If you’re mad about architecture, design and all the interesting angles in between, then an urban design tour should be high on your list of things to do. Discover the urban landscape of Woodstock through a guided design-orientated excursion through the city’s new center of creativity. 

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The Cape of Good Hope is on everyone's bucket list but very few saw it from a bicycle
#10: Explore the Cape of Good Hope by bicycle

Cycling enthusiasts will be delighted to discover that the mighty Cape of Good Hope can be experienced on 2 wheels. This cycling adventure, accompanied by fine wine and food, explores a cross-section of the region's history and beauty, tracing the navy suburb of Simons Town, Cape Point Nature and the mesmerizing route through Chapman’s peak. 

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Discover Cape Town's history from the underground tunnels
#11: Walk around the ancient underground tunnels and see the secret river

There is a lot more to Cape Town than meets the eye. Discover the city’s historic underground network of tunnels and dungeons and the centuries old lost rivers of the city. 

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See the mountain peaks from above
#12: Fly over the city

Cap off a day of fun, food and adventure with a sunset beach flight along the coastline. As you watch the sky turn golden, take in the splendor of the city below and keep a birds eye open for any whales that might be frolicking in the last light of day. 

Visit Gummie travel website for more great things to do and see in Cape Town.


Text by Megan King.



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Author Gummie
Date 08 December 2015

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