Cape Town, South Africa, Travel

48 Hours around Cape Town – Day 1

48 hours around Cape Town (and I say around, rather than in, because we barely visited Cape Town proper on this particular trip) is long enough to pack in an enormous amount of fun.

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View of Cape Town from Table Mountain.

We managed to keep the adults AND the children happy, which is no easy task.  Read on to find out how we filled the first day.

Day 1 Itinerary

  • Breakfast:  At Hotel
  • AM:               Table Mountain
  • Lunch:         Bistro Sixteen82
  • PM:               Kirstenbosch Gardens
  • Sunset:        Paddling and sunset at Camps Bay
  • Dinner:        The Codfather, Camps Bay

Table Mountain

Voted one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural world, this is THE must see attraction.

There are two schools of thought on planning a trip to the Tabletop.

  1. Book in advance and avoid the queues.
  2. If you wake up and the tablecloth is off GO! (The tablecloth is on when mist is tumbling down the sides and the tabletop becomes invisible).

Being a spontaneous, last-minute kind of bunch we were banking on option 2 and we got REALLY lucky. We had arrived late afternoon on a Friday and awoke on the Saturday morning to clear blue skies. We quickly gobbled breakfast and raced to the cable car station to buy tickets. Because we were there more or less at opening time, there wasn’t much of a queue and we were soon on our way up the mountain.

You can also hike up and down Table Mountain, but with kids in tow and limited time, we opted for the cable car.

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At the top.

Ready to explore the Tabletop, we quickly realised that any whinging from the children (cold, hungry, tired, bored etc) was best countered with “If you whinge we will make you walk back down”. For possibly the first time ever we found a threat that absolutely worked. In fact this Ace up our sleeve lasted for the entire 48 hours, any hint of a whinge and the long hike was threatened. The kids were good as gold.

Apart from the stunning views, there are flowers, birds and lizards and you will almost certainly spot some dassies. These rodents are unbelievably the closest relative of the much larger elephant. Sweetpea was first to spot one.

A “rabid” dassie. Looks JUST like an elephant…

It was only just out of reach. I overheard a South African father telling his kids to stay back because “those dassies look cute, but they are vicious and will attack you with their razor teeth”. Just as I was discreetly hooking my fingers into our children’s collars, ready to yank them away from this unexpected danger, the dad turned and winked at me presuming I was already in on the joke.  

There are free half hour guided walks leaving on the hour – they are family friendly and it’s the easiest way to find out a few interesting titbits. If you want to spend the whole day up there, you can follow one of the hiking trails.

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Tip: Don’t leave it to the kids to take the photos.

Table Mountain should probably be at the top of your list if you’ve visiting Cape Town. If you are more organised that us and want to buy your tickets in advance, visit Table Mountain’s Website.

Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg

We couldn’t resist buying some local produce.

Lunch at a vineyard was sky-high on my list, so Mr I had booked us a table at Bistro Sixteen82 in the Steenburg Estate. It’s 15-20 minutes from Cape Town. It‘s a chic little place and not specifically child friendly, but children are clearly welcome and there was a nice green area for the kids to run around. Thankfully our two are passed the age where they could accidentally end up in the water features. It doesn’t mean they don’t end up in the water features, just that when they do it’s their choice and the consequences of wet clothes are theirs to manage.

Bistro Sixteen82 has won a number of accolades and the food and wine were divine. Highly recommended. It’s a gem.

We also sampled some wines before buying a couple of bottles to take home. The kids were beginning to get impatient with this dull adult activity when a genius barman gave them a plastic bag each and told them they could help themselves to as many corks as they liked from the display.   I can’t believe quite how quiet it kept them or for how long. However, packing two bulky cork filled bags in our case in addition to the wine and various other purchases on the return journey to Jo’burg was a bit of a challenge.  To find out more or make a reservation, click HERE.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens 

Next we headed back towards Cape Town to Kirstenbosch to walk off our lunch, with Table Mountain as the backdrop.

If you go, keep your eyes open for Golden Orb spiders, their webs are out of this

Pickle fruitlessly chasing a Hadeda.
Pickle fruitlessly chasing a Hadeda – Kirstenbosch.
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Golden Orb Spider – Kirstenbosch

world, you can read more about them and some of the other spiders we’ve met in South Africa in previous post Cute as A Button Spider.

Kirstenbosch is often referred to as the most beautiful garden in Africa.

Camps Bay and the Codfather

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Paddling at Sunset – Camps Bay Beach

Late afternoon we headed to Camps Bay beach, which is just around the corner from Cape Town proper.

We paddled and watched the sunset before gorging on a fish and chip supper at The Codfather. The Codfather is a relaxed and unfussy restaurant famous for its seafood, you’ll find it tucked away on a street just off the main drag. Choose your fresh prawns or fish or squid from the fish counter, where it will be first weighed, then grilled, then – most importantly – eaten. Definite crowd-pleaser.

Check back tomorrow for Day 2’s activities.

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