Even though we have traveled and lived in Africa since 2012, we have only visited two countries (so far!)
Uganda & South Africa…specifically, Cape Town- 3 times!
Why Cape Town you ask?
Well…when you visit a place you fall in love with over and over again, it’s hard to imagine traveling to anywhere else. As I type this, I would hop on a plane and head back in a heartbeat! I can’t wait to explore more of South Africa one day soon but this city will always have our hearts. It reminds us so much of our home in California and nothing can beat when a city is filled with both ocean and mountains am i right?
TRIP ONE // January 2015
We snuck away to Cape Town on a belated honeymoon of sorts. It was everything we dreamt of and more. Within seven days, we jam packed everything we wanted to do! Turns out we hit up some of the most amazing places that we can’t help and revisit every time!
TRIP TWO // June 2017
On a whim of sorts, we bought tickets just three days before our trip. We needed to get out of Uganda and we couldn’t think of a better time after our baby girl was rushed to the hospital three hours away from the town we live in due to labored breathing and lack of oxygen. Over the course of five days, she got stronger and recovered from bronchiolitis but handling a medical emergency in a third world country was a strain on our souls to say the least.
So we went back to our favorite place in the world.
It was a completely different season as it was now considered “winter” so our baby girl was bundled up in more layers than she has ever experienced and we enjoyed the tips of our noses turning pink for a nice change from the equator!
TRIP THREE // December 2018
I texted JP in early November that we should try and go somewhere the first week of December, just the two of us. He immediately texted back “I’ll look into tickets to Cape Town right now”.
A part of me wondered if I should protest and suggest scratching off other places on our bucket list but at the end of the day, we knew Cape Town was everything we needed!
Our girls stayed back in Uganda with so many people caring for them and we took off for a five night adventure. We of course did everything we have done before because we are creatures of habit and we also know what we love, but there were a couple of new restaurants we tried out including the most incredible AirBnb!
MUST DO’S IN CAPE TOWN
Our tradition is when we arrive in Cape Town we head to Camps Bay, go to CodFather for some delicious conveyor belt sushi and then walk down to the beach to see the Camps Bay Tidal Pools and the most incredible view of Lions Head!
Yup, penguins in Africa. We went in 2015 and have yet to go back because of weather and we are holding out on bringing our oldest with us but goodness, this was so fun to experience!
V&A WATERFRONT & FERRIS WHEEL
Such a beautiful spot on the water to do some shopping, dining and get an awesome view of Cape Town from the Ferris Wheel. Be sure to check out the Water Shed to see local artisans work as well as the Food Marketplace to try some delicious food from local restaurants and bakeries.
TABLE MOUNTAIN AT SUNSET
One of the highlights from our 2015 trip was taking a cable car up to the tippy top of Table Mountain. The clouds literally passed through us while we were up there taking in the sunset. When we arrived to the cable car spot to buy tickets, there was a huge line so we hopped on our phones really fast to buy the tickets and skipping the line ensuring that we could make it up top that day.
Walking through this botanical garden in the summer of 2015 was such a dream come true! it’s one of the most beautiful & relaxing places we have ever been to and in the winter time, it’s absolutely stunning as the mountain backdrop sits in a cloud. There are some big musical guests that come throughout the summer time to perform, so before you visit, see if you can arrange your dates to match up!
This hike was absolutely beautiful but also one of the hardest hikes I have ever done before. The incline on the way up was to be expected but once we got to chains and metal ladders attached to rocks I felt a little intimidated. As soon as we got to the top, it all was so worth it! * side note: I wouldn’t personally bring our seven year old and toddler on this hike with us in the future.
Not sure how we found this place on our first trip but… OH.MY.GOODNESS. please go, will you? Even if you just head there for lunch it is so worth it! This vineyard / hotel / spa / garden / restaurant / playground really is nestled in the town of Franschhoek and is about 40 minutes outside of Cape Town proper. We have had the opportunity to stay the night and it was so worth the investment! Also, the spa treatments are absolutely incredible! We have also dined in the greenhouse many times for lunch and it’s worth it just for the lemonade & scones! Make sure you walk around the premises and be sure to swing on that beautiful big tree!
The absolute best chocolate shop in the world… sorry Willy Wonka. They use all dark chocolate which is my fav and its the most beautiful aesthetic with their pops of greens, whites, golds and wood.
THE BOTANICAL BAR
We just found this spot on our latest trip and it was absolutely delicious. I recommend going around lunch time to try their Harvest Table Lunch that is served sort of like a buffet. Everything is organic and sourced from local farms. Also, it’s just so pretty!
THE LOADING BAY
We have gone here for brunch on all three trips and it never disappoints. They have
fresh pressed juice ready for you as well as the most creative and delicious dishes. Upstairs you will find an Aesop store too!
GARDEN COLLECTORS CLUB
We stumbled upon this spot around lunch time and it’s just the cutest thing in the world.
Right off Kloof street, you can stop in and grab a bite to eat and a cocktail in the middle of all of your shopping for the day. I highly recommend the fish tacos and mule!
Right next to GCC you will find UNFRAMED ice cream which might be the best ice cream either JP and I have ever tasted. There is another location in the Food Marketplace down at the V&A so make sure you try a scoop or two!
Clarkes Bar & Dining Room- delicious breakfast & lunch
CodFather- this is our spot for conveyor belt sushi!
Didis Mexican- burritos & tacos
Hemelhuijs- brunch is incredible! » Superette- great restaurant in Woodstock » Downtown Ramen- enough said » V&A Food Market- you can try so many different dishes from around the world
Espresso Lab Microroasters
The Old Biscuit Mill Saturday Market
V&A Waterfront has shops like Zara & H&M
The Water Shed at V&A all local artisans
Mungo & Jemima on Long St.
Purr on Kloof St.
Indigenous in Woodstock
The Old Biscuit Mill
This loft is nestled in Woodstock and owned by the loveliest couple! It is equipped with an incredible shower & bathtub as well as access to the rooftop! Parking is located on the street and easy to access.
The dreamiest airbnb we have ever stayed in by far! Has the most incredible views of Lions Head AND Table Mountain and is situated so well in an open format with two amazing bathrooms, awesome kitchen, dining table and two comfy beds.
QUESTIONS FROM INSTAGRAM
Q: Did you feel safe?
Definitely felt safe! Never felt like I had to watch my back or that we were in harms way. Cape Town is a very westernized and bustling city so it felt more familiar to me than traveling through the city in Uganda. People are so friendly and it’s a melting pot of so many cultures.
Q: How is it cost wise?
A: FAIRLY AFFORDABLE!
The flights to get to Cape Town are the most expensive part of the trip. We have always been shocked at how affordable food, accommodations and shopping were in Cape Town. For example a sushi meal that would normally cost us around $50 in the states costs us around $12 in Cape Town and that’s for reaaaallll good sushi! We like to eat so our dollar definitely goes real far in Cape Town!
Q: Did you rent a car or use Uber?
A: RENTED A CAR!
Cape Town is a very easy city to drive around in. You are driving on the opposite side of the car and road but this is something that we have gotten used to living in Uganda. I think with a little bit of practice and taking it slow, you could easily rent a car! We just used Hertz and rented it ahead of time to pick up and drop off at the airport. Uber is also available and is very affordable!
Q: Is Cape Town safe to visit with kids?
We traveled with our 3 month old baby girl in June of 2017 and it was such an easy experience. We dream of bringing our girls there as soon as our adoption is finalized! There is just so much to do and see!
We hiked Lions Head this past visit and it was reallllllyyyy amazing but also challenging! You can read about it up above! We wanted to hike to the top of Table Mountain and take the cable car down but the day we planned to it had rained. Also Elephants Eye is an amazing hike we did back in 2015! There are so many options if you search “Cape Town Hikes” on the good ol’ google!
Q: Best neighborhoods to visit?
A: ALL OF THEM!
We loved Woodstock, Camps Bay, Sea Point & Cape Town City Centre but they are all so great!
1. Download a currency app on your phone to be able to pull out and check the exchange rate for items.
2. As soon as you get the airport, go to either Vodacom or MTN to buy a sim card and load up on data. We bought 5GB each for $35 and it lasted us the entire trip. This was using google maps, instagram, FaceTime and google a whole lot.
3. Try to have small bills and coins on you at all times. When you are parking your car there are parking attendants that will help you and loyally watch your car. It’s always nice to give a small tip for their help!
4. Cape Town is on the up from a serious water shortage, although it has improved a lot. Just be cautious of your water usage when taking showers, flushing and washing dishes. Also it’s encouraged to buy bottles of water when you are dining out.
5. I believe the perfect amount of days to stay would be seven nights if you want to see it all and drive around all of Cape Town but if you are looking to experience more of the city life, four nights is perfect!
6. The most used language is English so don’t worry about not being able to communicate.
7. For everything I shared above, you can easily find it by entering it into your google maps.
SO EXCITED FOR YOU TO VISIT CAPE TOWN!
Feel free to search our hashtag on Instagram
#onmcleodnege to see more of our Cape Town highlights!