Hello, I’m Namreen. Welcome to my Blog!
If you look around this space of mine, you will notice that I write a lot about family. Our lives are entwined and interconnected and inextricably linked in infinite ways, and a lot of it is documented over here – which may make you wonder how exactly I’m linked to the WFOT Congress of 2018. With two of my sisters being Occupational Therapists, and both of them presenting at the WFOT Congress next year – and since we’ve also never really outgrown doing almost everything together- I’ve hopped on board the WFOT Congress train as the official Blogger in an effort to showcase our beautiful city and all it has to offer during your stay here!
Cape Town is an eclectic city found at the very tip of the African continent with a rich history and a unique, laidback and quirky charm. It prides itself on its diversity and is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. If the WFOT Congress wasn’t enough reason to visit our city, then maybe the fact that it is currently one of the top tourist destinations in the world could help lure you here. With the iconic Table mountain as its backdrop, some of the most cinematic landscape and views you will ever see, and the tranquil setting of the surrounding Cape Winelands; Cape Town is up there as one of the most beautiful cities in the world! If you’re still doubting whether or not it will be worth travelling all the way to the tip of Africa for the congress, then maybe this list of the top 6 touristy things to do while here (and also in close proximity to the Congress venue) may help make your decision a little bit easier.
When you’re living in one of the notoriously most beautiful cities in the world and the backdrop is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World; you tend to take things a little for granted! It’s impossible not to gasp at the beauty that is the ionic Table mountain in all its glory and splendour irrespective of the season or time of day…Whether it’s basking in the red and orange hues of sunset, or draped in clouds on a cold wintery day; like a seasoned model, it has the ability to look good in just about anything, any time of the year!
For us living here, the site signals home; but for many tourists, visiting this landmark is a bucket list destination that they simply can’t leave out! Table Mountain operates throughout the year (weather depending), and the panoramic views of the city from the top are just spectacular.
Known largely as being the tip of the Cape Peninsula and the African continent, it is also the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet! Cape Point is a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park and is often referred to as the Cape of Good Hope. There’s a lot of history revolving around this area that I won’t really go into over here; but it’s significant to us in more ways than just two oceans meeting!
On the most part, the park is generally unspoiled and undeveloped. The main attraction here is to head up towards the old lighthouse and marvel at the spectacular views and obviously get to see the actual tip of the continent. If you’re fit enough, there’s a pathway and a couple of hundred stairs to climb – but the views make it worthwhile. Or you can save yourself the strenuous uphill climb by taking the Flying Dutchman Funicular. But for me, the best part of this reserve is the little hidden beaches! Cold Atlantic waters on the one side, and warm Indian ocean on the other…if you have the time, then a dip in either side of the ocean isn’t a bad idea!
THE V&A WATERFRONT
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is up there with the best in the world and is frequented by both locals and tourists. It lies at the foot of Table Mountain and houses a wide variety of indigenous plant life and flora. Look out for labels on trees and plants with all the information you need to know about them and take a walk on the relatively newly added Boomslang Canopy Walkway to get a panoramic view of the garden. Pack a picnic basket…or, put on your hiking shoes and tackle one of the several hiking trails leading to various parts of the mountain! You can get a better idea of what Kirstenbosch looks like from this video I’ve posted here .
South Africa is a country with a rich history and a dark past! Nelson Mandela is probably one of the most iconic and well known figures of our modern history, and his struggle to help end Apartheid is widely documented. It’s for this reason that many tourist make the trek to Robben Island and visit the prison cell where he was kept for 18 of his 27 years behind bars. Believe it or not, I’ve never yet been there myself, but this is a picture I took from Signal Hill.
THE V&A WATERFRONT
Cape Town definitely has it’s own unique, laidback charm, and one of the best places to visit when you’re a tourist, is the V&A Waterfront. With all the luxuries of a general mall on the inside; and a host of fun activities on the outside; you will be guaranteed to always have a good time. There’s the harbour where you can catch one of several different boat rides, the Cape Wheel where you get great views of the city, a wide range of eateries, live African music, The Aquarium, The Watershed and the Red Bus Tours also leaves from here…there’s just such a vibrant and tangible energy about the place that makes it a compulsory stop off for tourists.
RED BUS TOUR
Probably the best way to see a lot of the city in one day and also learn a lot of its history, is via the hop on, hop off Red Bus Tour. Not only do you get to see a lot of the natural beauty of the city, but the commentary while on board is very educational. The commentary is pre-recorded and you listen at leisure via earphones while you get to relax and soak up the scenery (commentary comes in different language options as well). There’s an option of a few different tour routes to take – a Winelands option or a trip around the Peninsula where Kirstenbosch is also one of the stops, and various others…but be sure to get an early start if you’re keen to hop off and properly explore all the places en route.
This post only covers the top touristy, must see and widely known spots we have to offer! If this hasn’t yet convinced you, then do follow along as I share some of the lesser known, but equally beautiful destinations we have on offer in our beautiful city; in future posts!
Thanks for reading!