The penguin colony on Boulder Beach is one of the rare places where you can watch the African penguin. The beach in Simon's Town is part of Table Mountain National Park, where around 2000 penguins live. The beach is protected, the tourists walk along a wooden walkway above the beach, where there are several viewpoints from which you can watch the penguins up close. Simon's Town is on the east side of the Cape Peninsula on False Bay. At Seaforth Beach there is a large parking lot from which you can walk to the penguin colony. Here you will also find restaurants right on the beach.
Table Mountain is the landmark of Cape Town. The mountain range, up to 1,087 m high, dominates the cityscape. You can climb Table Mountain but you should note that the temperatures can be significantly colder than in Cape Town. The suddenly occurring fog can become a problem for mountain climbers who are not familiar with the area. Inexperienced hikers should join a guided tour and take enough drinking water with them. You should expect 3 hours for the ascent.
The cable car takes you to the summit quickly and easily, but the cable car only runs when the weather is good. Operation is stopped when strong winds or fog is expected. You can find out about the current situation on the website of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (link below).
On the summit there is a rocky plain on which you can walk to different viewpoints. The panorama is breathtaking. There is a cafe at the mountain station of the cableway.
The 669 m high Lion's Head is the most striking mountain of Cape Town beside the famous Table Mountain. The name was given by the Dutch, who called the mountain Leeuwen Kop. Lion's Head has the best view of the city center and the neighborhoods surrounding the peak. From here you can also see the Cap Town Stadium, which was built for the 2010 World Cup. If you don't want to climb the steep mountain, you can also reach the Signal Hill viewpoint by car. The Lion's Head Hiking Trail runs parallel to Signal Hill Road and offers spectacular views of the sea and coastal mountains. The trail begins at the Camps Bay Drive / Signal Hill Road intersection.
The National Botanical Garden Kirstenbosch is one of the main attractions of Cape Town. The enchanting garden shows the full bloom of the lush Cape region. In the Kirstenbosch garden you can see many Protea species. The botanical garden was founded in 1913 after Cecil Rhodes bequeathed the property to the state, on condition that it should not be built on. The name probably refers to the Kirsten family and means Kirsten's forest.
In Kirstenbosch, native plants are mainly grown, in contrast to European gardens, where plants from all over the world are collected. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is particularly interesting for tourists because it is here that one can admire the most beautiful plants of South Africa. The garden is located in the Newlands district, in the southeast of Table Mountain.
For admission prices and opening times ckeck the link.
Cape Point is the southernmost point of the Cape Peninsula but not the southernmost point in Africa, which is located at Cape Agulhas. At the Cape of Good Hope, the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. Here is the Cape Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1919. It replaced the lighthouse on Cape Maclear, which was put into operation in 1860. This cast-iron tower is known today as the Old Lighthouse (photo). It was replaced by the new lighthouse because of its higher location, it is often covered by clouds. From the parking lot stairs lead up to the old lighthouse, you can also take the Flying Dutchman Funicular, but the way is not far. At the lighthouse there is a viewing platform from which you can see the Cape of Good Hope.
The Twelve Apostles are a mountain range with several peaks that stretch from Table Mountain to Hout Bay. The mountain range belongs to the Table Mountain National Park and is located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, south of Cape Town. The impressive coastal mountain range begins in Camps Bay, which has a very beautiful sandy beach. The Twelve Apostles end after around 6 kilometers at the village of Llandudno. There are only a few parking bays along the road, from which you can enjoy the view of the steep rocks. From the Oudekraal car park you can walk down to the beach, where large boulders lie in the water.
Hout Bay is a district of Cape Town, which is located on a beautiful bay. Hout Bay has a fishing port, a beach, and some seaside restaurants. The landmark of Hout Bay is the bronze leopard, which sits on a rock on the beach. This is where Chapman's Peak Drive begins, the most beautiful coastal road in the world, that leads from Hout Bay to Chapman's Peak. The toll road offers magnificent views of Hout Bay (photo). From Hout Bay you can go on tours to the seal island Duiker Island or visit the bird park World of Birds.
If you drive from Cape Town along the coast 15 km to the north, you will reach Bloubergstrand. From here you have the famous Table View. Cape Town is on a long bay and Bloubergstrand is just opposite. This gives you the famous Cape Town panorama with the skyscrapers of the city center, Lion's Head on the right and the Table Mountain in the background. In the posh suburb of Bloubergstrand there are many kit surfers and restaurants on the waterfront. A good point for the table view can be found at the intersection of Marine Drive / Blaauwberg Road, this is where the picture above was taken.
Nature and gardens in Cape Town
The southern end of Africa offers an incredibly beautiful landscape of mountains and oceans. The highlight is "Table Mountain", with a wonderful panoramic view of Cape Town and the Cape Province. Whoever wants to admire the blossoms of the local flora should visit the botanical garden "Kirstenbosch" which is well worth seeing. It is also worth driving a day along the coastal road to "Cape Point". The route is one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world.