Cape Town hidden gems

Friday, 10 September 2021 06:01 AM

As one of the world’s most beloved cities, Cape Town is always abuzz with explorers. Unfortunately, its most well-known sights and attractions can be a bit of a hairy nightmare for those looking to enjoy the Mother City’s marvelments, unbothered by crowds. Luckily for you, we’ve unearthed some of the city’s finest hidden gems, places of wonder that you won’t find in your regular guidebooks.

 

Discover a Secret Waterfall

While Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most scenic drives in the world, is certainly not hidden, one of it’s most lovely waterfall walks sure is. Just before the toll gate on your way towards Noordhoek, on the left side of the road, you’ll see a picnic table set at the end of a river. Follow the river up into the mountain and you’ll find an almost fairy-like forest scene, undisturbed by modern civilization. If you venture about 10 minutes up, you’ll get close to the water’s source, a mini waterfall surrounded by a thicket of green trees. It makes for a romantic place to take your lover, or an ideal spot to enjoy a prepacked sarmie with a friend.

A Cavernous Secret in Fish Hoek

Nestled above the rolling Fish Hoek dunes, is an exquisite overhang that boasts intricately detailed rock faces that makeup part of Peers Cave. It’s an easy summit if you’re relatively fit and can take just twenty minutes. As you get closer to the pinnacle, the path becomes less obvious and notably rockier, so decent hiking shoes would be ideal. The incredible cave at the top makes any scrambling on the way up well worth it. Up here, you can enjoy protection from north-easterly winds and sweeping vistas of Noordhoek, the azure ocean, and beyond. The cave also has an interesting history; it was excavated in 1927 by Victor Peers and his son. During their digging, they discovered a 13 000-year-old skull!

Lichtenstein Castle: A Fairytale-like Experience

Step into a scene that seems literally snatched from the pages of a Disney fairy tale, as you venture onto the Karbonkelberg Mountain overlooking the Hout Bay Harbour to see the breath-taking Lichtenstein Castle. A replica of the Gothic Schloss Lichtenstein Castle found in southern Germany, Hout Bay’s castle can be rented out to function as your own royal villa. It has four bedrooms and a honeymoon suite complete with all the medieval magic you’d expect from an ancient castle.

Cape Town Culture: Vannie Kaap Souvenirs

If you’re looking to take home some souvenirs that are anything but the usually overpriced merchandise, look no further than Canal Walk’s Vannie Kaap store. It all started with one man from the Cape Flats making jokes online. Now, Vannie Kaap is a fully-fledged brand that offers apparel that truly expresses the uniquely Capetonian culture and narrative. Think affordable, homegrown designs doused in a healthy helping of humour that comes in the form of t-shirts, mugs, caps, hoodies, and more. Make sure to check out vanniekaap online to see what all the hype is about.

Sandy Bay Exploration

Fancy seeing an ancient shipwreck from picturesque beach shores? The Sandy Bay Shipwreck Hiking Trail is what you seek. Set within the lesser-known Karbonkelberg mountain range between Llandudno and Hout Bay, this three-hour hike (four hours if you stop to enjoy a picnic – highly recommended) takes you from the famous nudist beach at Sandy Bay to the Oudeschip Peninsula via nature-dense paths and stretches of impossibly fine beach sand. Don’t get a fright when you see nudists enjoying the sun during the beach stretch of the walk; you can either join in or focus on the sand in front of you until you’re in the clothed clear.

Once you’ve crossed the beach, you’ll find a little path to your left through thick bush. As there is no signage, your best bet is to stick to the path that runs closest to the ocean. After an hour of leisurely strolling, you’ll reach the awe-inspiring Oudeschip Peninsula, where you’ll see the Harvest Capella, a ship that wrecked back in 1986. With rocky outcrops bordering wherever you look, stretches of inviting sand, and a refreshing ocean, this makes the ideal spot to explore, picnic, and swim. If you don’t want to hike but still want to see the wreck, you can book a boat tour through Drumbeat Charters at Hout Bay Harbour. 

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