In September, one week before my 29th birthday, I fly from Ghana to South Africa–the 5th country I’ve visited in as many weeks.
It’s my second visit to South Africa this year. The first one–a brief 3-day affair that barely allowed time to leave the airport hotel in Johannesburg–was in March. Work travel goes like this. While it’s an excellent opportunity to visit new (or well-loved) places, it depletes me. Tedious nine-hour days meant all I wanted to do after sunset darkened the sky was eat and sleep.
I replicate the same pattern from March: work, eat, sleep, repeat. By the end of the week, mild altitude sickness and a demanding work schedule leave me drained. Regardless, I take this second visit as a good omen–a sign that I was not only supposed to work, eat, sleep and leave. So on the weekend, as my colleagues fly home to their respective parts of the world, I board a flight to the coastal capital of South Africa: Cape Town.
The 2hr flight is quick, but too early, so I sleep through the entire journey, only waking as the plane nears a waiting jet bridge. The pilot is announcing something inaudible over the airplane’s P. A system. A distinct ding signals the seatbelt sign going off. Passengers crowd the aisle haphazardly, reaching over each other to pull down bags from the overhead compartment in preparation to disembark. I wait until most of the seats are empty before walking out, smiling a thank you to the waiting flight attendants as I leave.
I may have forfeited an aerial landing view for sleep, but it hardly matters. From ground level, the landscape is astonishing. In the backseat of a taxi, I press my phone against the glass window pane to film the scene: shadowy peaks of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, and Signal Hill (where paragliders start their flight) loom protectively over the city, stark against an azure sky. I know then, even before my trip is over, that this scene, this place, will leave a lasting memory, as inerasable as tattooed ink.
Cape Town In Photographs
Good to Know
Flights: Cape Town is a 2hr flight from Johannesburg. I always book flights with Google Flights, but sometimes the website will direct you to a third party to book. In this case, that was “Travel Start”; a trusted booking service.
Accommodation: Atlantic Beach Villa via Booking.Com
This place was lovely but not within walking distance [about 15 min drive] of restaurants and attractions. Ubers are accessible and affordable but if I had a do-over, I would have stayed in the areas near the V&A waterfront.
Wine Tip: Whether you’re in Johannesburg or the wine lands of Cape Town, South Africa is an excellent place to purchase affordable and exquisite wine, so keep some room in your suitcase to do so.
Food Tip: Cape Town is well known for its seafood! I ate fish and chips as often as I could and it was always fantastic.
Tours: I booked my Sunset Sail and Cape Point tours via Get Your Guide. Their service was excellent and I had a fabulous time on each tour.
I spent 2 full days in Cape Town, but I suggest spending at least 3+ days if you can. It’s a city I would revisit in a heartbeat.
As always, thank you for reading! Happy New Year!
To read another story from Cape Town, you can click here.
“T in Transit” is an 8-part series featuring stories from some countries I enjoyed visiting this year. Click the “follow” button to subscribe to this blog and receive part V as soon as I hit publish.
Same Footprints, Different Sands
Cape Town is magical! Truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
Truly truly magical! I cannot wait to go back. What a place!