Day two in Cape Town was planned around a visit to Kirstenbosch botanical garden. The city sightseeing bus left the Long Steet bus station at around 9 am so we woke up early to explore a historical district near our hostel called Bo Kaap. It is known for its bright and beautiful buildings. It’s the Malay quarters of the city and it’s a sight to see, I suggest it. Because it was Easter Sunday not a ton of restaurants were open, but fortunately we found an amazingly adorable cafe with incredible views of the bright buildings. This restaurant was called Harvest and I definitely recommend it. I got an “avocado rose” toast, with a delicious smoothie. They even used cardboard straws instead of single use plastic ones!! They had tons of vegan options and I opted for a snickers bar to go to enjoy in the gardens later. David got a green smoothie bowl which was beautiful.
Next we headed to the My City Sightseeing double decker bus which we hopped on, for seats on the top, plugged in our headphones, and listened to the guided tour for the drive until the botanical garden. We read online that you could spend all day here, so we arrived as early as possible so we could wander around and see the incredible sights. I was a bit sick (maybe hungover…oops) but after a quick puke I felt as good as new.
The garden is huge and it takes some time to see it all, but it’s beautiful and definitely worth it. The highlight for me was this canopy walkway that takes you to the top of the trees and offers an incredible view of the mountain and area below. Along the way are signs and posters showing the wildlife to lookout for, such as snakes, owls, and hummingbirds. David’s favorite was a little dinosaur garden, talking about prehistoric plants that are native to the area. We spent more than three hours wandering the gardens and checking out all the paths along the hill. There’s a nice greenhouse building as well with plants from all over Africa. After taking our time and looking around we headed to the bus stop to grab our sight seeing bus. Although the stops say it comes every 20 minutes I’m unsure how accurate that is because we never had to wait more than a minute. They’re constantly coming and going it’s so convenient.
The ride to our next stop was quite beautiful, we lucked out with another gorgeous sunny day. We headed to the beach for a bit of the afternoon to get some sun and enjoy one of Cape Towns most famous beaches, know as Camps Bay. The tour guide on the bus kept talking about how “freezing cold” the water is, at all times of the year. We both ended up taking a swim and I can confirm that the water is indeed very very cold. After a little while on the beach (and a wave taking my backpack into the sea.. no worries nothing was damaged except my dignity) we headed onwards to Sea Point to have lunch at Mojo Market again. I ended up ordering a delicious vegan nacho meal with yummy cashew cheese and David got some ramen. I love this market there’s so many options and the vibes and atmosphere are super good. We hopped back on the bus and ended up at the famous V&A Waterfront, which is apparently one of the most visited spots in Cape Town. There’s tons and tons of restaurants and shops and local markets and music and activities! This is where we went on the Cape Wheel the day before. We wanted to use our IVenture pass for entrance to the aquarium so we went there for a quick 1.5 hours before our scheduled sunset champagne cruise (another free IVenture activity). The aquarium is pretty unique, as it’s the “Two Oceans Aquarium” showcasing South’s Africa’s two seas, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. For those who don’t know the two seas mix in South Africa creating amazing currents and marine life and a huge diversity of animals. So the aquarium shows off the ragged tooth sharks, massive stingrays, turtles, penguins, tropical fish, jellyfish, ride pools, etc. One of my favorites in all aquarium is seahorses, oh and I love watching jellyfish, I find them very mesmerizing!
After the aquarium we headed off to our cruise which departed the harbor at 5:30 and returned at 7:30. The sunset this evening was spectacular! Even better than the one the previous night that we watched from the pirate cruise. The view of table mountain was lovely and I was so happy to enjoy such spectacular views after such a great day. After we returned to the harbor we ate at the V&A food market where I got a local chickpea vegetarian meal on chapati (so delicious) and David got some poke. We are it out in the square where there were some live performances. After dinner we took an Uber home and went to bed early to prepare for an early start the next day.