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Lifestyle: CT City Guides: 5 unmissable things to do in Cape Town

by Birgit Martin
6 February, 2013
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Well travelled adventure seeker on her second stint in London. A lover of weird food and the good life, Birgit previously worked as a section editor for Kerrang!, Britain’s best-selling music magazine . Born and raised Capetonian but a grown-up Berliner.

Cape Town

With so many wonderful watches that we showcase daily on Click Tempus, we thought it was a shame not to show you some incredible places on this beautiful planet where you can be seen wearing them. In a new series we give insider guides to some of the world’s most desirable towns and cities.  In this our our first city guide, Capetonian Birgit Martin shares local knowledge of Cape Town’s hotspots – strap on your watch and put down your guide books.

Known as the mother city, Cape Town has always been the easy going, liberal, safe, and incredibly good looking (the locals, and the city) outpost on the southern tip of Africa. Nestled at the majestic feet of Table Mountain and surrounded by the fierce Atlantic Ocean. Mayhem ensues every December when the entire country comes for a beach-y seafood and wine-fuelled summer. Outdoors paradise with endless hiking, spectacular rock climbing, scenic cycling, golden tanning, bad-ass surfing all framed with easy smiles and spectacular sunsets. This is not a tourist guide. This is a guide to the top things locals love to do.

Lions Head

Coastal view onto Lions Head Mountain

Lions Head is the smaller mountain favoured by locals for quick morning/weekend workouts, that most tourists avoid in favour of taking the cable car up Table Mountain. But it is an easy, scenic and unforgettable hike up! The easy trail loops around Lions Head once giving you 360 views of Cape Town as you ascend. It takes between 45 -120min depending on fitness, and is a lot more fun than the steep monotonous stairmaster-like trek up Table Mountain suitable for tourists called Platteklip. Most fun are the full moon hikes when the mountain is crawling with locals and brave tourists with sundowners in hand. Picnic up top while waiting for the full moon to rise essential.Excellent night vision and/or torches essential for descent. Just follow the crowds.

Oudekraal

Oudekraal nature reserve

This is is a nature reserve close along the scenic coastal drive from Camps Bay to Hout Bay. You will pay an access fee, but the views from the two small alcoves-  which you will most likely have to yourself – are priceless. Bring with a traditional South African lunch of meats or fish to ‘braai’ in the boma/fire pits. Avoid on weekends and public/school holidays. Follow a day of relaxation with sundowners (alcohol not permitted in Oudekraal) at the Twelve Apostle Hotel a stone’s throw away.

Llandudno Beach

Llandudno Beach

This beach with its Welsh name  is gorgeous, especially at sunrise and sunset. This is where the local surfers come for pre/post work rides. If you prefer to get your tan while watching some wave action, this super fine white sanded beach with turquoise waters is hard to beat in Cape Town. Harder to access by the masses, this bay of ‘lucky bastards who live here’ is the perfect way to spend a day on the beach. Glen Beach (next to Camps Bay beach) is also a surf spot, although very territorial.

Mzoli’s Meat

Mzoli's Meat

Mzoli’s is a butchery in Gugulethu, a township in Cape Town. Sure, even Jamie Oliver has been there, but this is an experience everyone loves. A bare bones, hands-on meat lovers paradise. You pick the meat you want, and Mzoli and crew braai (local BBQ style) it for you. You can’t beat the enthusiasm and kindness of the locals. A true township experience for everyone. Find directions here: http://www.capetownmagazine.com/mzoli-directions

Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren

One of the oldest wine farms nestled in the winelands surrounding Cape Town, a short 40min drive from City Centre. What sets them apart from all the other wine farms is their focus on local. For their award winning restaurant they grow almost all their own produce (the exquisitely designed garden is a delight to tour pre-lunch while staffers harvest your salad), and that which they don’t, they source form local farms. Booking is essential, but early birds are likely to get a first come first served outdoors seat, or a light snack in the atrium.

Birgit Martin | Website

Well travelled adventure seeker on her second stint in London. A lover of weird food and the good life, Birgit previously worked as a section editor for Kerrang!, Britain’s best-selling music magazine . Born and raised Capetonian but a grown-up Berliner.

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