Here are 6 secret or unique attractions in and around Cape Town
We all know about the regular shmegular top attractions and activities to do in Cape Town.. Table Mountain, boat trips and tours to Robben Island, V&A Waterfront, hiking Lions Head, Cape Point, right? While I'm not undermining these attractions in any way because they are all AWESOME, I'm here to let you know that there happens to be so much more to Cape Town than most blog articles will tell you.
Here are 5 hidden treasure in Cape Town that you just have to experience!
Silvermine Waterfall Walk
The Silvermine Nature Reserve falls part of Table Mountain National Park and can be accessed from Ou Kaapse Weg, which is the winding mountain road that takes you from the area of Westlake into Noordhoek. The Silvermine Reserve makes for a beautiful day out with friends, family and even your dogs! Gorgeous, indigenous flowers and plant species litter the ground and the views from the slopes are to-die-for. The trail takes about an hour (minus chilling, picnic, sightseeing or shenanigans time) and is fairly easy and well-marked however the walk down to the 30m waterfall itself is slightly steep and narrow but not too challenging. The best time to see the waterfall in all its glory is during the winter months of July to September (remember, Cape Town's rainy season falls under winter, unlike a lot of the other South African regions).
Dappat Se Gat
Just outside the area of Gordons Bay in the Cape is a hidden beach spot that mainly the locals know about. This beach is called Dappat Se Gat which boasts unrivaled views and scenery. It's situated off one of Cape Town's most beautiful roads, Clarens Drive. From the parking lot, you'll walk down a bushy and rugged path (be careful of the thorns!) leading down to the white sandy beach. This hidden gem is situated away from the hustle and bustle which avid surfers and body boarders love. There are a few sneaky caves amongst the rocks which are exciting to explore at low tide (keep an eye on the tides as they can trap you on one of the beaches if you aren't paying attention). Caution to the swimmers: the rip current can be extremely unforgiving so it's advised to not swim out too far.
Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is situated in the Franschhoek Valley, which falls under the famous Cape Winelands, showcasing vast vineyards, premium wine estates, magnificent mountain ranges and quaint Cape Dutch villagesque settings. Passengers on the hop-on-hop-off tram experience warm hospitality and a unique way to explore the Franschhoek Valley while wine tasting, doing cellar tours, having a delicious lunch or simply going for leisurely strolls through the magnificent vineyards. When you're ready to set off to the next destination in Franschhoek, you'll simply hop back on the open-air, double-decker tram to your next exciting destination in the valley. Can't life be like this everyday..?
Scootour down Table Mountain
As I mentioned in the intro to this article, Table Mountain falls under one of the classic attractions in Cape Town but this activity takes it to the next level of UNIQUE. Jump on a Monster Mountain® Scooter and freewheel down a 5km track from Signal Hill into a historical neighbourhood called Bo-Kaap, famous for its distinct, colourful houses. You'll then be transported to Table Mountain where you'll freewheel down into the city bowl. The scooters are non-motorized and propelled by gravity, leaving your experience up to the FUN forces of nature! It's definitely a must when in Cape Town. whether you're a local or a visitor, a child or a pensioner!
Explore Cape Town from below! Did you know that Cape Town has underground canals and tunnels which used to act as routes of travel to supply the Company Gardens and ships with fresh water (I didn't until doing research for this topic today)? These canals and rivers became an unofficial waste disposal system which was covered up during the late 19th century and they're now currently lying under the busy streets of Cape Town's city centre. You can explore these canals on a guided underground tunnel tour, where you'll be given a permit, a hard hat for safety and a rescue medic to accompany the tour to ensure everybody's safety - all you'll need to bring along is a headlamp, some water and suitable rubber shoes to avoid slipping. Suitable for kids aged 10+ under parental supervision.
Crystal Pools Hike
Ok, so I'm a born and bred Capetonian (proudly) and Crystal Pools has been on my bucket list for YEARS. I still haven't managed to make a day to go hiking up to these hidden treasures but it's definitely still somewhere near the top of my to-do list! Just like Dappat Se Gat, the Crystal Pools hike is accessed from Clarens Drive and boast world-class views. The hike requires you to have some sort of fitness, comfortable hiking shoes, sunblock, drinking water and a permit which you must book beforehand. You'll reach the first pool after 45 minutes of hiking where you can cool off in the refreshing water, have snacks and bask in the sunlight. Please take extra care to not dive into any underlying rocks. The second pool is another 10 minute walk away and has a lovely waterfall. The third pool is another short hike away, with this stretch being the most challenging but most rewarding when you get to the final pool - the view is breathtaking and the water is deeper, offering more adventure and fun! Note: The hike is open from the beginning of November until the end of April.
So there we have it, folks! Have you experienced any of these hidden treasures in Cape Town? We'd love to hear all about your adventure in the comment section below, or if you know of any other secret spots in Cape Town, please do share that with us, too!
If you enjoyed this article and want to read more about the exciting things we get up to in Cape Town, follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page. If you'd love to have your own Cape Town experience, contact us at Riverlodge Backpackers to book accommodation, or book online.