5. Toast your way through South Africa’s vineyards
South Africa is famous for many things, but one of the country’s most famous exports to Europe, America and the world (besides its people) is fantastic wine. South African wine is drunk all over the world, and the Cape Vinelands surrounding Cape Town is where the magic happens.
If you drive from Cape Town to these vineyards, you’ll find rolling grape fields and historic estates as far as the eye can see. Stop off at practically any one of the dozens of farms to enjoy a free wine tasting and history lesson on some of the world’s most famous and popular beverages.
4. Be Bond, James Bond at the country’s best casino
Cape Town’s and in fact South Africa’s largest casino and entertainment venue is the Sun International Grandwest, the only casino in Cape Town and a source of 24/7 entertainment, fine dining and award-winning bars.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the many casino games on offer, including blackjack, roulette, slots and poker, there is always something to do at Grandwest. Try out some of the fantastic cocktail bars or highly-rated restaurants, or even catch a live performance from some of the world’s most famous acts.
Of course, these days there’s no excuse not to hit the tables and try your luck at least a little. Don’t know the rules? Just log on to one of many online casinos and take a spin at some of the world’s most popular classic casino games like roulette or slots for free. By the time you hit Grandwest, you’ll be an expert.
3. Get up close and personal with nature’s most fearsome predator
There is simply no greater adrenaline rush than this ultimate animal sightseeing thrill. The ocean’s most fearsome, terrifying, magnificent and indeed misunderstood creature is without a doubt the mighty Great White Shark.
South Africa, with its warm waters and expansive coastline, is known as the Shark Capital of the World, with more than 400 species of shark – including the infamous Great White – swimming around the African coast.
If you’re an action junkie, nature lover or deep-sea aficionado then you absolutely have to take a shuttle service from Cape Town to nearby Gansbaai and cross this off your bucket list. You’ll be taking the plunge into shark-infested waters inside a cage to observe and interact with some of the world’s most formidable apex predators.
2. Eat the world’s best barbecue food – South African Braai
If there are any Americans reading this, particularly from Texas, Louisiana, Georgia or any of the other southern states whose pride and joy is their (admittedly delicious) barbecue food, they’re probably apoplectic with rage at the title of this entry. Sorry, ya’ll – South African Braai is the indisputable king of grilling dead animal flesh.
The word braai comes from the Afrikaans for barbecue or grill, brraivleis. Traditionally made with wood, the word braai refers generally to a casual gathering of people for grilled meat, just like an American or European barbecue. They are similar to potluck parties, with everyone encouraged to bring their own, often marinated, cuts.
There is quite simply no barbecue like South African barbecue, which fuels several of Cape Town’s best restaurants. We can’t possibly list them all here, but there are many spots in Cape Town featuring fantastic music, meat and mood that you won’t want to miss.
1. Climb Table Mountain and then jump off (seriously)
Just outside Cape Town is one of South Africa, and indeed the world’s, most iconic landmarks. The flat-topped Table Mountain overlooks Cape Town and anyone visiting South Africa will be missing out if they don’t take the opportunity to gaze from the plateau over the city and lands some 1,055 metres (3,461 feet) beneath them.
The mountain can be climbed on foot with no equipment, though the way up (despite being beautifully and breathtakingly scenic) is not for the unfit. Fortunately for those of us who ate a little too much braai, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway can take you up the mountain.
Of course, if you want a faster way down, you can simply jump off. No, we’re not kidding; a quintessential part of the Table Mountain experience is the 112-metre (367 feet) abseil down one of the mountain’s many sheer cliff faces.