There are many things to do in Cape Town and the nearby areas to keep vacationers entertained throughout a South Africa vacation, from the local attractions to the mountain summits. Travelers of all ages will find plenty to keep them busy, and there are numerous Cape Town activities for kids, including visits to the aquarium, exploratorium, and the maritime museum, which has interactive displays and artifacts about early explorers at the Cape of Good Hope.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
One of the most fun things to do in Cape Town is visiting the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The area is the place to go for shopping, designer boutiques, craft vendors, restaurants, pubs, sunset cruises, and tours to Robben Island. With more than 250 venues for entertainment, there is something for everyone. The waterfront is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm.
One of the historic Cape Town attractions is Robben Island, the site of the jail where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The prison was the holding area for political activists and freedom fighters, and it is now a World Heritage Site with daily tours showing what prison life was like during the apartheid era. Access to the island is by ferry from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and allow three to four hours for the tour. Visiting Robben Island is one of the best things to do in Cape Town for visitors who are interested in the country's complex history.
Two Oceans Aquarium
The Atlantic and Indian oceans converge at the tip of Africa, and one of the interesting activities in Cape Town is making a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium, which focuses on the marine life of these two bodies of water. One of the top Cape Town attractions for tourists, the aquarium features a variety of more than 3,000 sea creatures that include turtles, penguins, sharks, and an array of different fish.
World of Birds
Another of the interesting Cape Town activities, especially for bird and wildlife enthusiasts, is the World of Birds sanctuary. The natural habitats and aviaries house more than 3,000 birds and animals including monkeys, owls, cranes, meerkats, and eagles. Visitors walk through the area, which allows up-close observation and makes this another of the fun things to do in Cape Town with kids. The sanctuary is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope is one of the Cape Town attractions that vacationers interested in history won't want to miss. The castle was constructed in the 1600s and the oldest building in South Africa. Guided tours will take you through the dungeons and provide a historical overview of the culture and military history of that period, and visitors can also observe the Key Ceremony at 10 am and the Changing of the Guards at noon.
Additional things to do in Cape Town include visiting the Rhodes Memorial and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Built from granite removed from Table Mountain, the memorial has 49 steps, a bronze statue of a horse and rider, and eight bronze lions. The forest area provides plenty of trails for hiking and picnicking, and it offers spectacular views of the city.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
One of the favorite Cape Town activities for flower enthusiasts are a visit to the gardens, which are filled with lush lawns, and plants and flowers native to South Africa set amidst streams and ponds. They provide an ideal location for leisurely strolls along the pathways, picnics, and bird watching. The gardens are located close to the Rhodes Memorial, making it easy to combine these two attractions into one excursion.
One of the most popular things to do in Cape Town during a South Africa vacation is visiting Boulder Beach, part of Table Mountain National Park and home to an African penguin colony. South Africa is known for its lovely beaches, and this one is no exception; in addition, the penguins make it an interesting stop for any travelers interested in the native wildlife.