colors of cape town

we saved the best for last for the final stop on our african getaway: cape town! once we arrived to our hotel (although i wanted to stay here but they were completely sold out), i was so happy to finally have stable access to air conditioning, plumbing, and wi-fi! i unpacked all of my things immediately when we got to our room and my family and i started planning out our agenda. my brother and i went down to the concierge prepared with a list of dinner recommendations from our friends but little did we know that the weekend before new year’s eve was going to be one of cape town’s busiest! oopsies! so instead of dinner at places like the pot luck club and the test kitchen, we kind of just got whatever was available…and there weren’t many options.

our lack of food options aside, we had a guide from abercrombie and kent (the travel company my dad used to do the planning…aka the ones i wasn’t impressed with) who was going to drive us around be our tour guide for the two full days that we were in town. i informed the team (my family and our guide) that i only wanted to go to four places: muizenberg beach or st. james beach (either were fine), bo-kaap, boulder beach, and the kirstenbosch national botanical garden…that was it. so the first morning the guide took my family to robben island where nelson mandela was imprisoned with the intention to go to table mountain and boulder beach in the afternoon. i decided that i needed to finally sleep in so i sat out robben island and rejoined the family for the afternoon. after this point everything ended up being a mess and without getting into the nitty gritty, basically our guide took us to all the wrong places at all the wrong times. not really how i wanted to spend my few days in cape town seemingly driving around aimlessly. every place he brought us to was either packed or not what i wanted and i was getting incredibly frustrated. our only two fully days were essentially wasted and i wasn’t going to accept this for an answer. god bless my mom because she was truly a trooper in helping me figure out a plan b. we had one more morning left in cape town and it was basically go time to hit up the spots that i still needed to get photos at. we went to the concierge at our hotel and hired a separate driver to take us to what was left on my list and were scheduled to leave at 6:00am. yup…thanks mom! by some miracle we completed everything on our to-do list before our flight back to nyc at 2. so where did i manage to go during the three days in cape town?

lion’s head and table mountain
for stunning views of cape town! we were planning on going to the top of table mountain (because that was what the guide recommended) but even when we got there 30 minutes before the cable line opened to get to the top, there was already a 3-hour wait! there was no way we were going to do that and were completely okay with the view from the entrance anyways haha!
we then drove over to lion’s head to get a view of table mountain which was actually a better view anyways! and it was free…bonus!

a stunningly colorful neighborhood but it didn’t come without packed streets with other instagram seekers! my dad and i took a taxi there before dinner one night and i would strongly suggest going at a different time (preferably the morning)

muizenberg beach
an beach just a 20-30 minute drive from our hotel that sported the cutest colorful changing huts! on one of the days with our guide, i had him go to st. james beach and when we got there at 9:30am it was already packed! like what!? this is why my mom and i left so early the morning before our flight in the hopes to not run into any crowds!

kirstenbosch national botanical garden
this place was stunning, stunning, stunning! i really wanted to spend more time here (and also stay longer so the sun wasn’t as harsh for the photos) but time was running up with the guide for that day so i felt rushed. definitely worth spending an entire morning or afternoon here!

boulder beach
this was where i really began to realize our guide didn’t know exactly what i wanted (even when i showed photos of where i wanted to go). while there is one boulder beach, we were initially taken to the section where you couldn’t walk on the beach with the penguins…and i was very adamant about hanging out with some penguins. thankfully this was another spot where i was able to get the morning before our flight and my mom and i got there right as they opened the gates. we may have had to fight some children and families around us but at least we got the shot, right? haha
(no children, families, or penguins were harmed in the making of those photos)

if i was to go back to cape town again, i would also add some vineyards to this! cape town as some of the best wine in the world and some of the most beautiful vineyards to accompany them! and i also wouldn’t just want to explore the vineyards but the surrounding area of cape town in general! my friend audrey (who studied abroad in cape town in college) recommended babylonstoren and the photos simply look fabulous! i guess i’m just going to have to make this 16 hour journey again asap!


we definitely made many mistakes in planning this trip but i think everything kind of worked out in the end! i just don’t think i am going to leave the panning to anyone else for future family vacations…sorry dad! thank you all so much for following along on my african adventures and i hope my posts help you plan your trip if your travels ever take you to africa (and hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes we did)!