Posted: June 23, 2017
South Africa is an incredible country that should be on everyone’s travel list. Called the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities and is home to some of the nicest people you will ever meet. You’ll likely get invited over for dinner or a braai, which is a great time to test your skills at learning one of the country’s eleven official languages.
Check out all of our projects in Cape Town here!
South Africa has a rich and proud history and it is must-visit for everyone. A good place to start is in one of its three capitals – Cape Town. GVI’s community development projects are based in this awesome city and you can contribute to various initiatives; like women’s empowerment projects or work with disadvantaged children. The Mother City has so much to offer that it will surely be a favorite for everyone, no matter what their interests. The foodies, shoppers, wine enthusiasts, adventurists, outdoorsmen, and beachgoers – you name it, Cape Town has it!
There are fewer places more beautiful than Cape Town and its surrounding areas. You can go for a stroll through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (or go see a concert there!), hike up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head (check out the full moon hikes too!), or head down south to visit the Boulder Penguin Colony and walk to the tip of the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Whether it’s the beaches, mountains or the forest, Cape Town
While you’re outside, you might as well get adventurous. There are plenty of activities to do, from kayaking, paragliding, scuba diving, surfing, and abseiling. Adventure is out there!
There is no shortage of coastline around Cape Town. Take the time to enjoy a warm, sunny day by heading to the beach. Clifton Beach, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Boulders Beach and even Noordhoek beach are among the more popular! Prefer something off the beaten path? Check these out.
A trip to Cape Town would not be complete without enjoying a day in wine country. Even if you don’t drink wine, the vineyards are nestled in some of the most beautiful valleys and farms, and the views themselves will make a trip worthwhile. Whether you stay close in Constantia Valley or venture a bit further to Stellenbosch, you will have a fantastic time to sample some of the region’s best wines.
Whatever type of food you might like, you will find it in Cape Town. The great thing about Cape Town is that the prices are fairly low, even for quality meals. While you can get a lot of the foods you’re used to, venture out with new foods or even variations on classics (banana pizza anyone? It’s amazing!). Check out the V&A Waterfront, the Old Biscuit Mill, Mama Africa, and Mzoli’s. Need a caffeine or sugar fix? Check out Truth Coffee, and Charly’s Bakery!
Interested in soccer, rugby or cricket? Why not see a game or two? Even if you’re not a sports buff, these games are a fun way to experience Cape Town and get involved with the local culture. It’s also a great way to see and enjoy the Cape Town Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Cape Town’s has a long and rich history, and it is one learning about, especially as it informs the country’s and city’s current politics and culture. Leave with a better understanding of the history, culture and art of the city and its people. Be sure to check out Robben Island, the District Six Museum, the Castle of Good Hope, Bo-Kaap Museum, Iziko South Africa History Museum, and The Springbok Experience!
You can’t leave Cape Town without experiencing some shopping, especially for souvenirs to commemorate your time there. There are plenty of places to shop at, like the V&A Waterfront and Green Market Square, but there are also smaller street vendors situated near many of the tourist sites who sell beautifully crafted pieces of artwork. It’s worth taking a look!
One of the best things about Cape Town is that so many cultures are represented – it really is a multicultural city, and there is so much to explore. Places like the colorful Bo Kaap, cultural museums, and experiences like musical performances and ethical township tours (see the Department of Coffee) will bring the Cape Town to life for you. Don’t forget about all of the wonderful street art around town as well!
Cape Town has so much to offer that it’s impossible to see everything in such a short period of time, but it is also worth taking day and weekend trips to the surrounding areas. Hit up the Cederberg Mountains to the north for a camping getaway, the Garden Route to the East for some stunning views and incredible water activities, or even to some of the inland towns such as Franschhoek.
Whatever you decide to do, your time in Cape Town will surely be unforgettable – the people, the food, and the scenery leave little to be desired and will make you want to come back again and again.
Feel ready to start making a difference? Find out more about GVI’s international, award-winning volunteering programs and internships, and choose from community development, animal care, teaching, women’s empowerment, and conservation projects worldwide.