Random Adventures, Excursions, and RecommendationsCape Town, Spring 2012

During my time in Cape Town I went on a couple of random adventures and excursions that I would like to share. In addition to the wonderful trips I have gone on and the rich culture I have experienced in Cape Town, these short outings really helped make my time in South Africa a lot of fun. If you are considering studying abroad in Cape Town, I would definitely recommend any of the following jaunts (in addition to all of the other stuff, of course)!

First, go to fun city events like the Taste of Cape Town and the annual Cape Town Carnival. They are a lot of fun and let you get a feel for the city as well as the diverse cultures within it. The wine and delicious food are definitely a plus, too.

Admiring the awesome floats at the Cape Town Carnival Parade.

The Taste of Cape Town was an event with great food, wine, and music. I tasted some of the best food in my life here.

Visit Bo Kaap, even if it is just to take pictures. The town is just bursting with color. Literally.

The beautiful Bo Kaap houses.

Go to Rhodes Memorial. It is a five-minute walk from the UCT campus. (Ladies, it is uphill and not paved, though, so leave the heels at home). Rhodes Memorial is beautiful, and the view of Cape Town is incredible. Get up there just before dusk so you can see the sun set over the city. The lights from the city at night are just gorgeous.

What did I tell you? Rhodes Memorial at night, folks…

Another fun outing was when we went on was High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. This hotel is one of the nicest in Cape Town; my friends and I got dressed up one random day and made an afternoon of it. One piece of advice though: do not eat before going. After several trips to the table (we’re shameless, I know), you will be full. Those cute little sandwiches and cookies were so yummy. Oh, and you can’t forget the tea. They give you an entire pot of whichever tea you’d like, so make it last and have some fun with it.

All of the delicious little treats during High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

After we were done gorging ourselves, we walked around and explored the hotel grounds a bit. The whole place was very elegant.

Posing in front of the fountain at the hotel.

One of the biggest things to do in Cape Town is go to Mzoli’s, which is in the township of Guguletu. It is essentially an outdoor party on Sundays. People dance, drink, eat, and celebrate the weekend; it’s pretty awesome. And the braai (barbeque) is delicious. It is served in a bucket and you have to eat with your hands. It’s pretty hilarious, but everyone has a good time at Mzoli’s.

Fighting for the bucket of meat.

Cold Turkey is an event that happens every other Sunday. Whereas Mzoli’s is more of a day party, Cold Turkey starts mid-afternoon and goes well into the night. They are essentially the same thing: awesome, outdoor parties to just eat, dance, and celebrate a great weekend. I definitely recommend hitting up both of these on a couple of Sundays.

The dance parties that ensue are always crazy and a lot of fun.

While on the topic of food, I might as well mention the one, the only Old Biscuit Mill now. Here is my advice: go to Old Biscuit every Saturday. Every single one. It is essentially a community farmer’s market and everything is out of this world. The food is delicious and there is always something new to try.

I will really miss Old Biscuit when I leave Cape Town!

Next up: rugby. It is a big part of South African culture, so try and get to at least one game. Whether it is a UCT, Stormers, or Springboks game, it is sure to be a lot of fun.

Cheering on the Stormers at the Stormers v. Sharks game!

Before you leave UCT, make sure you watch the sun rise from Jammie steps. It is beautiful and totally worth waking up at the crack of dawn.

Jammie steps are a big attraction on the UCT campus.

Go to at least one of the concerts at the Kirstenbosh Gardens while the weather is still warm. The summer concert series is a great opportunity to bring a picnic and enjoy some awesome music.

Get there early and walk around the Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens. They are so beautiful!

(Almost done I swear! There is just so much to talk about when it comes to what I love about Cape Town.) Explore the nightlife; all of the best clubs and bars are on Long Street. But there is one club that is not on Long St. that is totally worth making the trip to experience. It is called “ThirtyOne.” It is on the thirty-first floor of the ABSA building downtown and has the most incredible view of Cape Town at night. This is a must see!

Cape Town at night! (The view from Club ThirtyOne).

My last suggestion is Afrika Burn. Now, don’t quote me directly on this one, as I did not actually attend, but this is the one thing I might regret not doing during my time in Cape Town. All of my friends went and they still rave about it. I was unfortunately stuck home working on a politics paper that weekend, but their stories are absolutely crazy. Essentially, it is an art and culture festival where you camp in the desert and live off the land for 3-4 days. It is modeled off the US event “Burning Man.”

Camping in the desert must have been incredible.

So, if you have the time and can afford to disconnect with society for a long weekend, I suggest you take part in Afrika Burn. From what I hear it was a great experience!

Also, apparently they like burning some of the artwork at night. Cool, eh?

Well, those are just some of the suggestions I have regarding what you should do around Cape Town. Most of my other blogs cover specific events and big trips in detail, but I really wanted to elaborate on some of the fun, smaller stuff I did that also helped to make my semester in Cape Town as wonderful as it has been.

Stay tuned for more! -Rachael

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