Built at the very end of the country, Cape Town is South Africa but, also, not Africa. The natural beauty of the Cape Peninsula with its iconic Table Mountain frames the pastel-shaded Cuban style buildings, while luxury yachts reflect their grandeur in the cool Atlantic Ocean.
No matter how spectacular the strangely contrasting views of the natural landscape and man-made city seem in all their glittering day-time glory, there is one time when the sights Cape Town has to offer look even more impressive...at night!
Rather than attempting to do a sunset drive along the Cape Town shoreline, take the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the views on a city sightseeing night tour. While you could drive yourself and deal with Cape Town’s constantly frenetic traffic and shortage of parking areas, far better to have your own bus driver and Cape Town tour guide to deal with the hassle while you relax.
Most tours start at the Two Oceans Aquarium, V & A Waterfront and run every day. All Cape Town tour guide books will give you the specific details and possible exceptions.
Taking a leisurely drive along the Atlantic Coastline, past all the glitzy night life attractions Cape Town has to offer, the bus journey provides incredible views of the luxury suburbs of Clifton, Sea Point and Camps Bay. While your Cape Town tourist guide talks, keep one eye on this exclusive neighborhood to see if you can spot any celebrities and one eye on the sea just in case you can spot one of the few migrating whales who pass through these waters.
It is from the vantage point of Camps Bay Drive that you will be able to take in the views of both the upper Table Mountain Cableway and the unforgettable Twelve Apostles Mountains. As the wind whips across the dozen rock faces, day moves through the colour spectrum from yellow to red to blue gradually becoming night and the bus comes to rest on the crest of Signal Hill.
Here, you can spend up to an hour enjoying the 360 degree views of the city’s twinkling skyline reflected in the distant ocean. The cool breeze will certainly be a welcome change from the muggy daytime humidity. Guests are encouraged to bring a hamper and even something bubbly to toast the spectacular view.
Worth remembering too that the pleasant cool breeze can quickly turn into a cold wind once the sun has completely disappeared. If the weather is particularly bad, your Cape Town tourist guide may suggest a visit to the lower Table Mountain Cableway station. From this more sheltered viewpoint, you can still take in 360 degree views of the city.
Once it’s fully dark, it’s time to head back down the mountain and back into the City Centre. The route you take gives you an opportunity to familiarise yourself with Adderley Street. This historically significant street was named after Charles Bowyer Adderly, a British politician who put a spanner in the works of the British government’s plan to make Cape Town a convict colony. Now, Adderley Street is peppered with charming markets, shops and restaurants and, at Christmas time, has a display of fantastic Christmas lights.
Once you return to the City Sightseeing headquarters, take the opportunity to go get up close and personal with the buzzing nightlife of Cape Town you’ve seen from so far away.
Image Details and Licenses: https://flic.kr/p/5PuX7L (Derek Keats, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/e5aTxS (mikkelz, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/G2PFY (Hubert January, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/6JTfH1 (Dallas75, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/8GDqJ7 (Marc Smith, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/5dCUyY (Xevi V, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/tA7cj (Danie van der Merwe, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)