Natural beauty and Sundays by the sea: What expats miss about Cape Town

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a temporary hold on international travel and naturally we miss welcoming you to Cape Town for that much needed vacation. While we wait to have you here, we’ve checked in with Capetonians living abroad to tell us why they feel Cape Town is worth waiting for.

Mountains, beaches, friends, family, good food, adventure, and the diverse culture are just some of what makes this city so unique.

Read what these expats miss about the Mother City. It might just convince you to add it to your travel bucket list.

Natural beauty

“Having left Cape Town for proper city-living in Berlin, it reminded me how many things I took for granted. Not only is Cape Town a real contender to these old European structures (churches and castles) – we have natural beauty. I miss the beach, the mountains, the sun and our nature filled with fauna and flora. Hiking especially – which was a frequent weekend activity along with taking strolls along the beach. The air is also cleaner, the water softer on the hair and skin. I miss Cape Town!”

– Thurlo Cicero, now living in Berlin, Germany

Hiking lion’s head

The culture

“I miss my family and friends and the Cape Town culture. I can’t wait to dig into a gatsby, proper boerewors rolls, and eat at Spur, Ocean Basket, and Wembley again. Being able to buy akhni and koeksisters on a Sunday morning is something that doesn’t happen where I live now. Cape Town is worth waiting for and when you get there, visit the V&A Waterfront and Cape Point. You won’t regret it. I can’t wait to come for a home visit.”

– Nawaal Jappie Hendricks, now living in Sydney, Australia

A gatsby


“I miss driving along De Waal drive, sandwiched between the delicious duo of mountain and water, watching the evening sky play tricks with colour. I miss the streetlights and the curves of Nelson Mandela Boulevard as I cruise towards Woodstock. Those decadent dark brown rolled-in-coconut koesisters. The M3 toward Muizenburg and Fish Hoek and Simons Town and The Cape of Good Hope…an ongoing love affair of sights. Sunsets at Noordehoek beach. The view from Boyes drive. My birthday cable car trip up Table Mountain. Walking through Company’s Garden amidst squirrels and supermodels mid photo shoot. Ending off an adventure with a New York Slice or two. Always taking the long route home because the scenic blessings is a promise Cape Town never breaks.”

– Kivithra Naicker, now living in Chungbuk, South Korea

Chapman’s Peak Drive

‘Ja that’s lekker’

“When I think of home there are many things I miss. I miss the smell of the ocean when taking a post brunch walk on the Sea Point Promenade. I miss the suburbs and my flat in Newlands overlooking the mountain. I miss taking long drives into the mountains. Most importantly I miss the food – from a Sunday braai to Nando’s and of course Wembley. Sometimes I find myself saying “howsit” (how are you) or “ja, that’s lekker” (yes, that’s nice), while everyone around stares at me blankly. It’s those small moments where I feel innately connected to my African roots, and it’s why I will always miss home and miss Cape Town!

Tahiya Moosa, now living in Istanbul, Turkey


Outdoor Adventures

“I can’t wait to jump on a flight to enjoy Cape Town’s breath taking outdoor adventures. A run up Lion’s Head, or down Beach Road towards Camps Bay. It’s definitely worth waiting to be surrounded by the friendly nature of the Capetonians as well as local restaurants and the cuisine they have to offer!”

– llze Wakefield, now living in Singapore

Friendly Capetonians hanging out

A taste of home

“For me Cape Town will always be worth waiting for as it’s the place of my birth and where all my friends and family still are. It’s the opportunity to have home-cooked foods and take away foods often only known to the people of Cape Town. It’s also the opportunity to visit special sites, like Boulders Beach and Table Mountain, that I have come to know and love whilst growing up!”

– Roekshana Shaboodien, now living in London, England

A feast of chicken curry, roti and yellow rice

Beautiful wine farms

“I miss the wine farms, especially their tastings. They’re always really nice and usually come with delicious pairings, plus the estates are beautiful.”

– Laura Shortridge, now living in Edinburgh, Scotland


Friends toasting at a wine farm

Caring communities

“Living in Istanbul has been an adventure, but not being able to fly home has been a big gut punch this year. I miss my friends and family and of course my beloved Cape Town. I miss my old suburb in Vredehoek where the community takes care of each other. I miss seeing the sun set behind Lion’s Head. I miss being able to go for a mountain hike in my backyard and being a 20-minute drive away from somewhere breathtaking. I miss our beautiful beaches and a good old fish and chips take away. And don’t forget the wine. Oh my word what I would not do for a glass of wine from home. The list is endless; stay safe mother city, you are missed beyond measure.”

– Amalia Engelbrecht, now living in Istanbul, Turkey

Lion's Head Cape Town
Lion’s Head

Wide open spaces

“Apart from people, miss two things most: long walks on the Sea Point Promenade, with the fresh sea air and wide open spaces and seeing everyone out enjoying it too; and the familiarity of my hood: knowing where to get what and just knowing my way around.”

– Roy McKenzie, now living in Hong Kong

Camps Bay Beach

Sundays in Sea Point

“I miss Sundays in Sea Point. The day is full of promise; no dread ahead of the impending work week. Bright blue skies blanket the Promenade. Squeals of delight invite passers by to check out the swimming baths. Paragliders and seagulls compete for your attention overhead. And as the day winds down and the sunset showers us in pink rays, salsa dancers and skaters remind me the story hasn’t ended; night’s chapter has just begun. After dinner, finally, the Sunday blues arrive courtesy of the saxophonist outside Posticino’s, playing the day’s closing credits.”

– Sam Brighton, now living in Liverpool, England

Skating on the Sea Point Promenade

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Cape Town Tourism is the city of Cape Town's official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for tourism marketing, visitor and industry services.

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