The Best Views in Cape Town
Everywhere you look in Cape Town, you are bound to exclaim “Wow”, “Oooh” and “Look at that!”. This city is not considered one of the world’s most beautiful for no reason. The combination of stunning natural scenery and a vibrant, diverse culture makes it a visual treat in every way. But, in order to really take in the beauty of this unique African city you need to go up, up, up. Here, we’ve collected a list of amazing spots where you can take in the breathtaking views of Cape Town.
Yes, it may be a bit of a cliché but there is a reason why this is top of most tourists’ to-do list when in Cape Town. It just is that amazing. The unusually shaped Table Mountain is the backdrop to almost any activity you do in the city. This means your trip really won’t be complete until you’ve been to the top and felt what it’s like to stand on this ancient mountain.
Luckily, you can choose between several methods of getting to the top. For the fit and ambitious visitors with time on their hands, the hike to the top via Plattekloof is a rewarding experience. For the pressed-for-time or less energetic, the Table Mountain Cableway is a thrilling way to get to the mountain in a jiffy. It even rotates, so you get to see as much as possible en route.
Once at the top, take your pick of view points! There are so many fantastic views of Cape Town as you walk around the pathways at the top. You’ll count yourself lucky we are past the days of cameras with film and only a limited amount of frames.
If you use Instagram, chances are you will have seen an image from the top of Lion’s Head at some point in time. This hotspot for both locals and tourists is the perfect place to take a shot that brags about what an amazing holiday you are having, as well as how incredible you are for having made it to the top.
Lion’s Head may not be as tall as Table Mountain, but it does involve a lot of walking and some climbing with the use of ladders, so it’s not for the fainthearted. But the reward is waiting at the top, where you’ll take in the breathtaking views of the Cape Town City Bowl below you. Lion’s Head is also popular as an early morning sunrise hike, sunset spot and there are even hikers who brave the trip to appreciate the full moon.
A trip to Cape Town really isn’t complete unless you’ve been along Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most scenic seaside roads in the world. The road takes its name from the imposing mountain which the road hugs as it meanders above the crashing sea below. But once you’ve seen the view from the road, imagine how much better the view is from the top of the mountain!
It’s a long, winding way up and you’ll be exposed to both sun and wind, so it’s important that you dress appropriately. Along the way, you’ll see all sorts of interesting fynbos, the plant life native to this region of South Africa. And once at the top, you can climb onto the the very top boulders to take in the views of Noordhoek, Noordhoek Beach, Kommetjie Lighthouse and Hout Bay. It’s a truly extraordinary sight and more than makes up for the effort to get to the top.
And we’re staying with the views that take a bit of effort and sweat to get to. Elephant’s Eye is so named because it is a cave opening on a mountain which, with a bit of imagination, could be said to look like the head of an elephant. Regardless of whether this is a suitable name, there is no denying that this is a stunning place from which to appreciate the view of Cape Town’s southern suburbs below.
To get to Elephant’s Eye, you need to go to Silvermine Nature Reserve, a beautiful and rugged reserve which is usually less frequented by tourists than the locations closer to the city bowl. From Silvermine, you take the marked route to Elephant’s Eye cave, which should take about an hour to get to. The fern-clad cave will offer you some lovely shade and even lovelier views. Once you have made your way back to Silvermine, why not reward yourself for your efforts with a dip in the Silvermine reservoir?
Boomslang means tree snake in Afrikaans but, hopefully, you shouldn’t encounter any snakes at this view point. The Kirstenbosch Boomslang is a tree canopy walkway created in the stunning botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch. Its long, winding shape through the trees has given it its name and it’s an entirely unique way to appreciate the splendor of the gardens.
This is one view point that is easy to access for all ages and fitness levels, so don’t hesitate to take the whole family. The rest of the gardens are really worth exploring, so throw in a picnic and make a day of it.
For many visitors to this beautiful African city, it’s essential to see the view from the tip of the peninsula where Cape Town is placed. Although Cape Point is not the southernmost point of Africa, there is no doubt that you feel like you’ve made it to the end of the Earth as you gaze over the vast ocean.
Part of the pleasure of Cape Point is that the drive there will take you through a wild and unspoiled nature reserve full of wildlife. It essentially feels like a mini-safari on the outskirts of the city. If you’re lucky, you could see ostriches, various antelope, zebras, baboons and tortoises. Once you reach the car park at the view point, it’s a fairly short but steep walk up to the view point. There is also a little cable car which can take you up and down should you prefer the easy route. Once at the top, you are sure to be blown away by the view, literally and figuratively – it can get a tad windy! Cape Point also has a restaurant and a souvenir shop, so you don’t have to leave hungry or empty handed.