Thousands of people will be travelling from all over the globe to South Africa this summer to watch the football World Cup 2010. The football may be the main attraction, but there will be times when visitors are looking for other things to do in this great country. So this is a guide of things to do in Cape Town when there is no football to watch.
The most iconic symbol of Cape Town is, of course, Table Mountain. Visitors who are feeling energetic can walk up the steep paths and will be at the top in approximately two hours. Everyone else can take the cable car for a relaxing ride and truly spectacular view. There are several warnings at the bottom of the mountain warning visitors that weather conditions at the top are often very different from those at the bottom. Warm and dry clothes are a must, no matter how warm it may feel in the city. There is a network of paths at the top that allow for limited exploration so you can easily spend half a day before or after a match looking down on Cape Town from your lofty perch before heading back down feeling refreshed and relaxed.
One of the most politically significant sights around Cape Town is Robben Island, situated just off the coast. The island became famous as the site of the prison that held Nelson Mandela in the days of Apartheid. The prison is today a museum which is open seven days a week and is highly recommended. The insight available to the incarcerated life of one of the twentieth century’s most heroic figures is awe inspiring and some of the tour guides are former prisoners, which adds greatly to the experience. Tickets can be bought on the internet and booking ahead is advised during busy periods, such as the World Cup.
For a less meaningful, but undoubtedly lighter experience, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a huge shopping mall and entertainment complex. Visitors could spend days in this enormous complex so it is ideal for football fans who have time to kill. As well as the extensive shopping possibilities, the Waterfront also contains cinemas and restaurants as well as a top class Aquarium and Marine Museum. The Waterfront is also from where boat tours of the Cape Town harbour and trips to Robben Island set off, so most visitors will pass through it at some point.
The final suggestion is probably the most relaxing. Cape Town is surrounded by many excellent beaches which offer a whole range of leisure activities. The more relaxed visitors can stroll along the coast paths or sit and relax in the sun. More active people can surf on some world famous breaks, or have lessons on how to do so from locals. You can also kite surf or simply swim in the warm, clean water. It is suggested that visitors check which beaches are best for their preferred activity, swimming on beaches with enormous breaking surf is not recommended, and it is also important to check the local weather conditions before setting off.
Top 3 hotels in Cape Town, South Africa
La Splendia Luxury Suites is a deluxe hotel in Cape Town located in Mouille Point beachfront, just minutes away from the Victoria and Alfred shopping mall. This peaceful and quiet Cape Town hotel offers rooms from €62,1/£54,2/$83,1
Housed in a renovated Cape Dutch cottage, Morningrise Cottage offers deluxe accommodation in Cape Town’s Tokai. The outdoor swimming pool and the lounge’s fireplace will let you enjoy a relaxing stay. Rooms start from €53,4/£46,5/$71,4
Located in Fish Hoek, right in the Table Mountain Cape Town’s National Park, Clovelly Lodge Guest House offers 4-star accommodation in a scenic location. Double rooms can come with or without private balcony and room rates start from €56,5/£49,2/$75,6
Photo of Cape Town’s waterfront by slack12.