Month 12…wow…I can’t believe it!

And damn….did we end things with a bang! We’d been told basically the whole year that we had a great city to finish off the year with. And damn where they right! I’d been looking forward to Cape Town all year and though it didn’t end up being my favorite city, it was definitely amazing! Let me highlight some of my favorites moments, activities, etc.

All the hiking…

One of the absolutely unbelievable things about Cape Town is the sheer amount of wonderful hikes in the area. And I’m from a place with a ton of hiking. But, Cape Town’s hiking and the accessibility of it was unreal!

Lions Head…Lion’s Head is one of the quintessential Cape Town hikes! We woke up bright and early one morning to hike it at sunrise – I’m talking like 4:30am! But, unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and the peak ended up being shrouded in clouds. But, that being said, Lion’s Head is a great little hike. Not particularly long, but a bit challenging, especially at the top. Give yourself about 2 hours for the hike. About 50-60 minutes up and about the same back down, just because some of the terrain is a little tricky to navigate. Whether you go for a sunrise hike or not, plan on going early to beat the crowds!

Devil’s Peak….Of all the hikes I did this month, this one was my favorite! It is appropriately named though – it’s a bitch! There’s a lot of uphill and the weather in Cape Town, even in summer in December, is unpredictable. So, dress accordingly. I had all the layers on this hike and I used all the layers at various times. But it was beautiful at the top and the clouds cleared enough for us to snap some fabulous photos! Give yourself a few hours, plan for cold,  and lots of hiking straight up! It’s a tough hike, but the beautiful view at the top is 1000% worth it.

 Table Mountain…I really wanted to hike this one, but it was a hell of a month, so I didn’t! But a bunch of my friends climbed it. The neat part? There are tons of ways to hike to the top with an option of taking the cable car back down to the bottom. Some of these hikes include the Pipe Track, which tends to traverse Table Mountain more than summit it, Platteklip Gorge, which is the most popular and arguably one of the more difficult because it’s basically straight up for an hour, and Skeleton Gorge, which is a long, strenuous hike but arguably worth it for the views! Or…you could do what we did and be lazy for the day and just take the Cable Car! Either way, pack layers. Because even if it looks like the weather will be nice at the top, it will probably be windy af.

Signal Hill…This is much less of a hike than a nature walk. Signal Hills the last of the big scenic over looks surrounding Cape Town. It’s a great place to check out for sunset, which is exactly what we did! And damn was the view unreal!

all the animals you could ever want to see…

One of the other amazing things in Cape Town is all the animals around. Arguably, Jo-Burg has way better safaris. I mean…Kruger is world renowned. But, Cape Town still does pretty well for itself. Here were some of my fave animal experiences…

Penguins at Boulders Beach…We took a road trip down Chapman’s Peak Drive and the Cape of Good Hope (more on that in a second) before stopping at one of two penguin colonies in South Africa and, I believe, on the African continent. The Boulder’s Beach Penguin colony was so freaking adorable…seriously! The photographer in me had so damn much fun taking pictures of these little buddies. I mean, look at that second picture below?! “Come at me, bro!” Seriously, if you’re in Cape Town, check this place out! It was one of the highlights of my month!

Overnight Safari at Aquila Game Reserve…There may not be full-blown safaris in the Cape Town area, but if you, like me, want to see some animals while you’re in Cape Town, I highly suggest going here. Why? Firstly, the experience at the Aquila reserve was amazing. We were given transportation all the way from Cape Town, plied with sparkling wine upon arrival, and given a buffer lunch before being given our room assignments. Then, we had our first game drive. We saw elephants, hippos, flamingos, lions, rhinos, zebras, wildebeest, baboons, springboks and many more animals. The highlight for me? A 14-day old baby rhino which you can see in the third photo below! SO STINKING CUTE! Also, can I just say, I’m not a baboon fan! They’re assholes! They stole our food, they kept getting way too close for comfort….ugh…baboons! And yes, they were in the game reserve, but they were also all over the Cape Town…so beware of the signage that warns about baboons! It’s legit!

 

and so much more, including…

Cape of Good HopeWe took a beautiful scenic drive down to the Cape of Good Hope, which was one of the first moments when I realized how unreal the waters around CApe Town were. Seriously, looking down into the crystal clear, teal water…you seriously felt like you were in the tropics! And the beautiful walk up to the lighthouse? Oh goodness, all the views…I highly recommend it! 

Bo-Kaap…We had the pleasure of being treated to a cooking class in the home of a local in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood. On the way, we were shown a local spice shop with all sorts of delicacies, the famous colorful houses of the neighborhood, as well as how to make all sorts of treats! It was amazing! Be careful in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood – it’s generally not a place where it’s recommended that you walk around. Heck, that’s true for the entirety of Cape Town…

Stellenbosch Wine Region…Last but not least, we had an amazing trip out to the Stellenbosch wine region. It’s the most famous wine region in the Cape Town area and it was an unbelievable trip! We stopped at a number of incredibly scenic places. One in particular, Tokara, is a highly respected winery where I bought my wine snob mother a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for Christmas, which she loves! So, if you’re a wine love too, you best check this place out!

 

So, that’s my Cape Town Recap…

And that’s my final recap of this amazing year! I loved recapping this whole experience for you guys, sharing my experiences, sharing my favorite places/experiences, and the dislikes of these different places as well. So, what’s next? 

Well, I’m still going to do a review of Remote Year, including my favorites, my perspectives, etc. So, stay tuned for that! And once that’s over, who knows! Who knows where my next adventure will take me! It’s as much a mystery to you as it is to me. So, comin’ atcha from Seattle and my first time stateside in over 12 months, I’ll just say until next time!

 

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