Checklist for your next trip to Cape Town

Eunkyo Jo/Staff

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Summer after freshman year, back in 2019, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. I spent six weeks immersing myself in local attractions and the natural beauty of the city. The balance between nature, sea and city life reminded me of familiar cities on the coast such as San Francisco and port cities on the Korean peninsula, yet the South African culture and history added a unique, beautiful twist.

There were many traces of the British colonization and apartheid that added to the city’s unique characteristics. While racial and social equality is still in the works and the poverty and crime rates are considered to be high, booming arts and technology make Cape Town worth a visit. My six weeks flew by — there is something about knowing that you have limited time in a city that hustles you to make use of every free time you have. Here is a list of things I explored in and near Cape Town that you need to check out when you visit!

photo of capetown

Cape of Good Hope, Eunkyo Jo/Staff

  1. Hike up the Table Mountain (and ride the cable car down)
  2. Watch the sunrise at Lion’s Head
  3. Visit a winery or two in Constantia
  4. Eat an ostrich burger
  5. Visit art galleries for free on First Thursdays
  6. Walk on the beach at Camps Bay
  7. Enjoy a cup of rooibos tea (available in most grocery stores)
  8. Go on an overnight safari (make sure to see the Big Five: elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceroses and African buffaloes)
  9. While out in the wild, enjoy stargazing under the clear sky
  10. Enjoy a night out at a club on Long Street
  11. Have a glass of champagne on a sunset cruise
  12. Try koeksisters (fried pastries available at local markets)
  13. Go surfing
  14. Befriend penguins at Boulders Beach
  15. Rent and ride a bike up the shore from Camps Bay Beach to Sunset Beach
  16. Enjoy food and live music at Mojo Market
  17. Zipline through the Cape canopy
  18. Try exotic barbecue meat (ostrich, warthog, zebra and springbok)
  19. Drink Amarula, a South African creamy alcoholic drink
  20. Have a photoshoot with the colorful houses in Bo-Kaap (and learn the history behind the neighborhood)
  21. Eat Ethiopian food
  22. See the seals up close at Hout Bay (but don’t approach them!)
  23. Enjoy drinks at the Silo Hotel bar (rooftop for hotel guests, 6th floor for non-guests)
  24. Have a picnic at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  25. Tour the Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned under apartheid)
  26. Grab samosas (Indian-fusion fried savory pastries) as a quick snack
  27. Visit the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of the Cape Peninsula
  28. Shop the Oranjezicht City Farm Market on a weekend
  29. Explore the port, mall and market at V&A Waterfront
  30. Go on a scenic drive through Chapman’s Peak
photo of capetown

V&A Waterfront, Eunkyo Jo/Staff

If you enjoy extreme sports, paragliding, skydiving and shark cage diving are popular activities many enjoy. To get around, Uber is usually a safe, affordable option, but if you want to drive yourself, remember that you drive on the right side of the car on the left side of the street. Through my summer study abroad experience, I made unforgettable memories in the artistry of Cape Town’s people, city, nature and history. South Africa is a country that will always have a special place in my heart and is a place that is definitely on my revisit list.

Contact Eunkyo Jo at [email protected].