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May 14, 2009

My top five Cape Town gems

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Muizenberg Beach, photo courtesy Ian Junor

Every visitor to Cape Town will have the same things on their must-see list: Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Robben Island...

There’s no denying that these are attractions not to be missed, but there are many lesser-known gems in the beautiful Mother City that should definitely be added to that list.

Here are my top five things to do:

1. Go for a walk in the Tokai Forest.

Escape from the noise of the city for a few hours as you wind your way through beautiful trees, soaking up the peaceful sounds of the forest.

2. Walk along the promenade from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay.

With its endless stretch of white sand and colourful changing huts, Muizenberg is one of the most popular swimming and surfing beaches in Cape Town. Take a stroll along the beach and continue along the promenade to Kalk Bay. The gentle walk should only take about half an hour, and you will pass a number of other little beaches tucked away from the crowds.

3. Have a chocolate brownie at the Olympia Café in Kalk Bay.

After your walk, you might need a little sugar infusion, and there is no better place than the Olympia Café. Choose from a range of delicious treats (chocolate brownies highly recommended) and don’t forget to try their legendary hot chocolate! Once you’ve had your fill of delicious things, explore the lovely little shops in Kalk Bay and enjoy the slightly bohemian vibe of this buzzing coastal town.

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Silvermine Nature Reserve, photo courtesy Ian Junor

4. Have a braai at Silvermine Nature Reserve.

My favourite thing to do on a sunny day is pack a picnic basket and head up to Silvermine Nature Reserve (halfway up Ou Kaapse Weg) for a braai. Enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery as you relax beside the lake with the sweet smell of lunch cooking on your fire (note: made in the designated braai areas).

5. Go for a drive over Ou Kaapse Weg or Chapman’s Peak.

One of the best ways to appreciate Cape Town’s dramatic landscapes is to go for a drive over Ou Kaapse Weg or Chapman’s Peak. Stop along the various lookout points and admire the breathtaking views over the mountains and sea – and even spot a whale or two if you’re lucky! I’m sure you’ll agree, after this scenic drive, that Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world.

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