Although every sightseeing point in Cape Town is timeless and there are some spots like Hout Bay and Signal Hill that are literally fardh (compulsory) stops that you just cannot leave out during a visit to the city, once in a while, change is good. Post-Covid, some new activities have been launched in the Mother City so on your next trip be sure to check out these latest spots.
Image Credit: @makerslanding and @makershalaalmarket on Instagram
This revolutionary foodie haven can be found adjacent to the V and A Waterfront. The concept began pre covid but was brought to a halt during the pandemic. Fortunately enough it was revived soon after with the founding idea being that restaurants would be able to tell their origin stories from farm to plate. The stores make use of fresh produce and the space also promotes a platform for young entrepreneurs. Novice chefs are given an opportunity to grow their business ideas and there is also a demo kitchen that allows for interactive classes for guests.
Apart from being home to the best koeksister in Cape Town and a number of other decadent sweet treats, it also houses the trending Conscious Carnivore that offers a halaal option for curated meat and who also specialize in karak-inspired desserts. If fortunate enough you may even get a glimpse of a docking cruise liner which also uses this warehouse as its boarding port; while you enjoy a cup of Java on the balcony.
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Usually classified as a middle eastern pastime, quad biking has become relatively popular in Cape Town. This reasonably priced adventure offers you a fully guided tour along the notoriously white and soft sands of Cape Town as you enjoy epic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the iconic Table Mountain. About an hour away from Cape Town this hour-long adventure meanders through an area of preserved habitat showcasing Cape Town’s best. This activity is suitable for 16 years upwards however children between 6-15 years can ride if accompanied by an adult. Apart from the dunes, locations include Hermanus and Caledon both known for their unspoiled and natural beauty. Additionally, the endurance level is minimal so it makes for a fun and nontaxing day out.
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This activity is relatively common along the Garden Route however has seemed to have made its way to Cape Town. Kayaking can either be done at Hout Bay which I would personally advise against unless you have the arm strength and enjoy the adrenaline as the ocean in Cape Town is cold, filled with seals, and quite rough. However, you will see marine life at its best and may enjoy the ocean with the likes of dolphins and perhaps even whales. Alternatively, a safer choice especially with kids is the option available within the harbor. This option is guided by a professional so at least you have the piece of mind that you are within a designated area and with help close by. The best option though would be Intaka Island Kayaking where you kayak through the canals at Century City. It's inland and not as volatile as the open sea. An added plus is that after you’ve enjoyed your time in the paddle boat, the mall that is adjacent to the activity awaits you for an afternoon of good food and shopping.
Nestled in the beautiful suburb of Newlands is this hidden gem. Paradise park is a great place to venture to with kids with its abundance of play areas, a tree house, and something kids love best—open space. The tree house said to be the biggest tree house in Cape Town is an epic adventure for the kids as it creates the illusion of a forest in the city with its many platforms, ladders, and bridge.
The facilities are well maintained consisting of two playgrounds, where you’ll find swings, slides, roundabouts, balancing beams, climbing structures, see-saws, a wooden plane, and even a small stream within the vicinity. During the summer months, the shade offered by the multitude of trees makes it a pleasure to visit and the minimal traffic makes it even more enjoyable. Obviously, you will not find vendors or stores here so be sure to take a little picnic with you. The best part though is that it’s free!
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Safaris are usually synonymous with Limpopo and the like but recently safaris have been making an appearance in the southern part of South Africa as well. Due to the vegetation and extremely windy conditions, the big five are not usually found in Cape Town. However, a two-hour drive towards the karoo will allow for live sightings within a private reserve. The safaris range from day to overnight stays and are a bit more exotic than those further north as they feature options such as quad and horseback safaris and are not just limited to the traditional 4x4 drive. Apart from the expected and much anticipated Big 5, you will also see other wildlife such as ostriches and zebras on the way.
On a much sadder note, another major change in Cape Town is the closing down of the much-loved and uber-busy V and A Food Market. The market that has been open for 10 years will be closing this year and making way for an international brand. In South Africa we inhabit the phrase Local is Lekker…so it’s terribly disheartening to see the local disappear.