The coastal city of Cape Town is considered a major destination for tourists and expatriates in South Africa. From its beaches and South Atlantic waves, to the vast vistas of inland South Africa, Cape Town offers more than a few thrills and sights to marvel at. If you want to get away from the crowds, check out our list of non-touristy things to do in Cape Town.
1. Shop at Local Flea Market
Skip the usual shopping spots and head to the Milnerton flea market. You’re bound to find great bargains due to the sheer amount of second-hand goods you’ll find here. Score some vintage South African music on vinyl or a cool pair of boots, or perhaps just chat with the vendors with a view of Table Mountain. You’ll certainly learn a lot of things about Cape Town just by checking out the goods that they have on display.
2. Relax at Smitswinkel Bay
The beaches in Cape Town are often packed, so if you want to enjoy a view of the sea without brushing shoulders with other tourists, you might want to consider heading to Smitswinkel Bay. The bay lies just before the Cape Point Nature Reserve. You will have to do a bit of uphill trekking and the bay itself is not the best for swimming, but the tranquility and views once you get there are definitely worth it.
3. Watch a Game at The Cape Town Stadium.
The people of Cape Town are mad about sports. This was very evident after the city hosted the World Cup in 2010. In fact, the World Cup helped promote Cape Town as a tourist destination. A rundown by Ladbrokes on the World Cup’s illustrious history states that South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup in 2010 made history as it was first time that the tournament was held on African soil. Since then, Cape Town Stadium has become a mecca for sporting events, and is the perfect opportunity for you to see how important sport is to the country.
4. Take a Dip in The Crystal Pools
While most tourists rave about the beaches, Cape Town is also blessed with gorgeous waterfalls and rock pools. A 45-minute hike after taking the N2 from Cape Town will lead you to the Crystal Pools of Gordons Bay. Cool down in the pools while taking in the scenic view and don’t be surprised if some of the local baboons get down and pay you a visit. Don’t forget to get a visitor’s permit from the Crystal Pools Car Park or from the Department of Parks and Forests at the Cape Town City Council if you’re planning to go.
5. Dive With Sharks – in a Cage, of Course!
If you are planning to go during winter, which is usually from June to September, you are 99% guaranteed to spot great white sharks in the False Bay and Gansbaai areas. Aside from clearer oceans, seals are also most abundant during winters. This means higher chances to see one of the most magnificent living predators in the flesh. And before you ask, shark diving is perfectly safe. Popular Mechanics noted that most cages are made up of strong aluminum material that sharks cannot bite through. The big fishes also don’t fancy the taste of metal, as you might expect.