Cape Town when you are not paragliding...
Cape Town is a vibrant city with many restaurants, bars, beautiful white beaches, and what we paragliders pilots are looking for, mountains. When visiting Cape Town, you are spoiled with choices on how to spend your days. We love to fly the different mountains daily, but there are some days that the weather doesn’t allow us to paraglide or days that we want to do something else than flying.
The city of Cape Town is on the foot of Table Mountain, which is one of the official 7 Wonders of Nature, mainly because of the extremely high amount of plant species that grow in a small area. There are over 1500 species of flora on Table Mountain and more than 2500 species within the Cape Peninsula. The Western Cape province is the smallest floral kingdom in the world with the most plant species in that area. The top of Table Mountain can be accessed by making use of the Cable Car or by hiking up one of the many hiking trails that runs up the mountain. 2 main hikes run up the front (NE facing) slope, Platteklip gorge is the busiest, easiest, and most accessible hike up to the top, the other route, which is one of my favorite hikes up is India Venster. India Venster starts below the cable car station and the well-marked route runs almost straight up below the cables until you get to Kloofnek Corner where you have to walk around towards the Western side, this hike offers great views of both Cape Town city, Lion head (the most hiked trail in Africa), Camps Bay and the Twelve apostles. It is a high and steep mountain, allow 2 to 4 hours to hike up, depending on your level of fitness. Also, remember to take at least 2 liters of water. Another hike I can recommend within the Cape Town area is Devil’s Peak, which stands 1000m asl next to the main face of Table Mountain. One of my favorite hikes is Kasteel Poort, which goes up almost in the middle of the twelve apostles, from the top walk past the dams and down Skeleton gorge into Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Cape Town is also surrounded by many white sandy beaches, From the city, it is about 10 minutes by car to Clifton beaches, which is on the foot of Lions Head. South of Clifton is Camps bay beach, apart from the very nice beach there are also many restaurants and bars overlooking the beach, a great place for a sundowner drink. Llandudno beach is about 25 minutes from the city and is a beautiful bay also hidden from the strong South Easterly wind that blows almost daily in Cape Town during the summer months. Another beach that is worth visiting is Muizenberg beach, which is known for consistent waves for surfing. And to the north of Cape Town, Bloubergstrand, which is known to be one of the best kitesurf destinations in the world, especially if you are into wave riding.
When you had enough of hiking up mountains and relaxing on the beaches then take a drive to the South of the cape peninsula. Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve is well worth visiting, it offers beautiful views of the cliffs and the untouched flora in the area, on the route also stop in Simons Town to see the African penguin colony at boulders beach.
Cape Town is also a great place to do wine tasting, there are over 300 wine estates within 1-hour drive from Cape Town. The main areas to visit are the Constantia wine valley, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, and Durbanville.
Cape Town also offers very good restaurants, markets, and historical sites and museums. It is easy to stay busy here, or if you come here to paraglide only, there are lots of activities and attractions that will keep your family busy and entertained.