Outdoors in Cape Town – Things you can do for free

Cape Town has something for everyone; good food and wine, beautiful beaches, great shopping, museums and beautiful nature spots.  When the weather is good most Cape Townians head outdoors to experience the best the city has to offer without spending a penny.  Here’s some of the best outdoor activities for everyone in Cape Town that you can do for free!

Hike up Lion’s Head

This moderate hike up Cape Town’s iconic Lion’s Head Mountain is one of my favorite outdoor activities in the city.  Start your hike early to avoid the heat in summer, or do the full moon hike at night.  You’ll be rewarded with the best views of the bay, for free.  For more details and tips on the hike, read my full post here.

View from the top of Lion's Head. Robben Island spotted in the distance
View from the top of Lion’s Head. Robben Island spotted in the distance

Picnic on Signal Hill
If you’re not up for a hike, you can drive past Lion’s Head on to one of Cape Town’s other landmarks, Signal Hill.  This is the perfect spot for a picnic and to watch the sun go down over Table Bay.

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Down Town Ramen

 

During my preparations for my trip to Japan in next week I’ve looked at many, many websites and blogs stating where to find the best Japanese cuisine.  This includes sushi, ramen, oden, udon, okonomiyaki, hot pot, izakaya (bar) snacks, kaiseki, tofu, street food, wagashi, desserts and many more.  With each new review I read an increasing crave for all these delicious dishes started to appear as I scrolled through my notebook screen.  One particular dish that I plan to eat bowls of in Japan is…RAMEN.  Finding a place to inhibit my craving until April proved difficult, until I came across the hip and somewhat secretive little joint, Downtown Ramen, in the Cape Town Fringe District.

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Cheese and Wine tasting at Fairview

Fairview wine estate is located in the Paarl wine region of the Western Cape.  I recently had the opportunity to do a bit of barrel tasting during a wine festival in Autumn.  Fairview also specializes in cheese, especially goat’s cheese which are delicious.  If you’re traveling on the Cape Wine Route, this is one wine estate you just have to visit!

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Road trip around the South-Western point of Africa

Staying on the Southern part of Africa can provide one with some impressive scenery.  Cape Point, the most South-Western tip of Africa, is an easy drive from Cape Town with beautiful views of the ocean lapping at jagged cliffs.  The blue waters laced with green currents sparkles in the sun with a slightly ominous glare that will reach the depths of your soul.

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The echoes of African mountains

The Cederberg mountains and nature reserve boasts with impressive rugged rock formations, streams of fresh mountain water, centuries old rock art and delicious wines.  Located approximately 300 km from the mother city of Cape Town, a weekend camping, hiking and swimming is the best getaway from the city one could ask for.

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Comfort food at a Slow Market: Belgian flavours

Slow food markets has become a huge trend over the last few years in South Africa.  Exploring different artisan foods is a brilliant way for me to spend some of my weekends.  The food quality and locations of the markets are excellent.  Some are held in the city center of Cape Town while others lurks on the outskirts at small bay towns or deep in the wine country on some of the most pristine wine estates.  You can taste flavors from all over the world.  I usually enjoy Asian with freshly made dim sum and soft pork buns.  The other day I had a toasted haloumni wrap of sorts made Cretan style.  Lately I have noticed a pattern though.  I always seem to track down the same BELCROQ stall and end up with a delicious cheesy Belgian croquet on my plate…The last time this happened, at the Blaauwklippen family market on the Blaauwklippen wine estate in Stellenbosch, I made a few notes.

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Beijing Opera: Where they don’t sing opera and you can eat dim sum

Sometimes my soul craves for something different, foreign, new or strange.  I then tend to react impulsively and go off in search for some unique experience to satisfy my wandering whims.  When I don’t have the chance (or leave) to travel to some exotic location, I tend to search for local places I haven’t discovered yet.  More often than not, I get satisfaction through enticing views or in this case…food.

I love Asian food.  I’m definitely not an expert in it though, but I know what I like.  I’ve had dim-sum before, but nothing remarkable enough for me to remember.  Steamed Asian food, instead of fried is a concept I have only come to terms with the last year.  So on a chilly winter afternoon in the Mother City of Cape Town, I went to search for something interesting and flavorful to brighten up my day (and my off weekend).

 

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