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Surprising South Africa: Part 2, Cape Town

I first shared with you Part 1 of my journey to South Africa, as we visited KwaZulu Natal, including Durban and the South Coast for wild adventure and a taste of Zulu culture. Today I’m taking you to Cape Town undeniably and inarguably the most beautiful city in the world… and I’ve been to a lot of cities. With each new vista, from Table Mountain, to Hout’s Bay, to Chapman’s Peak, to Cape Point at the Cape of Good Hope, to sandboarding on the white dunes, to visiting the townships your heart will expand until you feel your ribs might shatter and implode from all the amazingness.

  • Cape Town 1 of 20
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    The people of Cape Town are indescribably lovely and welcoming, and the activities and sites add up to the ideal vacation for friends, family, or even the solo traveler. Come along with me, Isoul HarrisColleen Friesen, and Chadner Navarro as we visit Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Bay Hotel 2 of 20
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    We stayed at the absolutely beautiful Bay Hotel in the Camp's Bay area of Cape Town.

  • View from the Bay Hotel 3 of 20
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    It's right on the beach, so lovely, and all the rooms are suites, with a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean. We had our first Cape Town dinner at the new Shimmy Beach Club, which was literally, not exaggerating, a 6-foot-long slab of wood coated in every kind of seafood you could imagine. 

    Head on over to Pretty Prudent to see more.

  • Table Mountain Aerial Cableway 4 of 20
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    We set off for a tour of the beautiful sights of Cape Town. Because the morning was so clear and lovely, we headed right to Table Mountain to go up the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and look down on the gorgeous city.

  • Beacon of Hope 5 of 20
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    In the distance you can see Robben Island, where Nelson spent 18 years of his imprisonment looking up to Table Mountain as a "beacon of hope." So moving. Of course I had to pause for a portrait. Look how happy Table Mountain made me!

    Head on over to Pretty Prudent to hear more about the legends of Table Mountain.

  • Hout’s Bay 6 of 20
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    From Table Mountain we headed with Shaheed (our guide) to Hout's Bay. 

  • Lunch 7 of 20
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    At Hout's Bay there is a man who is best friends with a seal. He is quite famous for his "seal whisperer" skills. His seal-friend's name is Chippy. They have been friend for nine years, but before Chippy he had another seal friend who has since passed. Chippy lives in the bay and swims over every morning to hang out with his human BFF and eat fish.

    Check out Pretty Prudent to see how this all turned out.

  • Chapman’s Peak 8 of 20
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    After washing away our fish-mouth-breath with ice cream, we continued along Chapman's Peak drive to overlook the cove. Stunning.

  • Boulder’s Beach 9 of 20
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    Our next stop was definitely one of my very favorite moment's from the trip Boulder's Beach.

  • Penguins! 10 of 20
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    What makes Boulder's Beach so amazing? The comorants pictured above are quite wonderful, but the real draw is the African penguin colony.

  • The Penguin Way of Life 11 of 20
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    African penguins split the parenting duties 50/50. So that's mom or dad, with baby penguin. Another cutie. Fun note, there are gay penguins in this colony. All the other penguins are chill about it.

    See more photos and learn more about these darling penguins at Pretty Prudent.

  • Simons Town 12 of 20
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    After I was dragged kicking and screaming away from the penguins, we stopped in Simons Town for lunch, where we were serenaded by the lovely ladies and their musical DIY ankle instruments…

  • Victoria and Alfred Waterfront 13 of 20
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    After a long day like this we skipped wine country and high tea (in retrospect, we should have rallied! How often are you in South Africa?), we ate at the famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and I fell asleep at the table and everyone got drunk and took pictures of me sleeping. Oddly, I am not sharing those, ha. 

  • Noordhoek Beach 14 of 20
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    In the morning we woke up for a leisurely horseback ride on Noordhoek Beach.

    Check out more of this stunning horseback ride at Pretty Prudent.

  • Our Morning Ride 15 of 20
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    I adore horseback riding. It's therapy, but prettier.

  • Langa 16 of 20
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     Then we headed to the township of Langa for a tour and lunch. During apartheid, black South Africans were sent to live in townships outside of big cities, and it can be kind of shocking to see the townships at first, and honestly a little bit frightening. It's just so different from any way of life we are familiar with here at home. They are places that are obviously poor, reeking of poverty, but at the same time, full of joy and welcoming people.

    See more at Pretty Prudent.

  • Lelapa Restaurant 17 of 20
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    I ate a bunch of meats that are common fare in South Africa but new to me, including Ostrich and Kudu. Pictured here are some yummy bread treats, including this fried dough ball that is a local Langa specialty. I asked Monica for the recipe and she said she would email me, but she likes to share them on her own site.

    Go check it out at lelapa.co.za!

  • A Lesson from Langa 18 of 20
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    Love Your South Africa.

  • Atlantis Dunes 19 of 20
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    Our last adventure stop in the Cape Town area was to try sand boarding at Atlantis dunes. You set up your sandboarding trip in advance, then meet your dude at the dunes. There's a parking area where you leave your vehicle, then he lets out some of the air in his tires (so they will drive on the sand better), and you climb in the back of his pick up to head onto the dunes.

    See more at Pretty Prudent.

  • Next Stop… 20 of 20
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    Then to the airport to hop our flight (you can go direct from Cape Town to Limpopo on SA Express plane, FYI) to Kapama Private Game Reserve.

Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman), follow up fill-in journal My Prudent Advice, and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family.

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