A Cape Town Travel Guide: Black Girl Edition
Life & Travel

A Cape Town Travel Guide: Black Girl Edition

If you haven’t been to Africa, this is your sign to go. My first time visiting the continent of Africa also happened to be my first time working on the continent of Africa. I worked there for a little over a month and did minimal research before I went. I was very well aware of the picture that America has painted of Africa since I was a child, so I wanted to go there without any additional preconceived notions, and I’m glad I did.

I learned so much, saw so much, and unlearned even more. Africa is so rich in culture, views, and traditions. In talking to the citizens there, it is clear that their love for the U.S. runs deep. I am so thankful to have experienced Africa first-hand and that so many of my previous understandings were debunked and replaced with new, more accurate depictions.

Most people who’ve visited the motherland will talk highly about Ghana, Kenya, and Liberia (as they should). But Cape Town, South Africa, should be held to the same standard. From the food, the views, the activities, and most importantly, its citizens, Cape Town has fast become one of the most popular places to visit in Africa. If you need a good head start on where to go, this list of places below should give you a good head start.

Places to visit in Cape Town

Aquila Private Game Reserve

Photo courtesy of Chivone Smith

Bo Kaap – This beautiful residential neighborhood in Cape Town has quickly become an Instagramable favorite for many tourists visiting the capital city. Many people enjoy taking pictures in this neighborhood because the homes are so colorful and vibrant. Visitors are also welcome to tour Bo Kaap and learn about the neighborhood and its history.

Aquila Private Game Reserve – What’s a visit to Africa without touring one of their most notable safari’s? Aquila Private Game Reserve is also where they house “The Big 5;” elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. This location also offers horseback riding, among other festivities.

Quad Biking – ATV’ing is one thing in the States, but in South Africa, it’s a whole other experience.

Newlands Forest – If you’re looking for a good walking/biking trail or for some good views, Newlands Forest is a must-stop. If you’re driving, just be careful. The street entryway is right off the street and can get a little dangerous if you’re not careful.

Kloof Street – Kloof Street is a popular street in Cape Town. It’s full of various restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and so much more!

Soi Bar – A personal favorite of mine, Soi Bar is a semi-new bar spot infused with various Asian dishes. If nothing else, you must try their creative drinks. Be sure to ask for the drink they offer on the hidden menu. Included with the drink is a security escort.

Green Street Market - talk about supporting Black businesses. Be sure to stop by Green Street Market to find the latest jewels, hand-stitched fabrics, and more! Cause what’s a trip without souvenirs?

Table Mountain

Photo courtesy of Chivone Smith

Chapmans Peak - Be sure to take your time and drive slowly as you’re en route to Chapmans Peak. Also, note that it will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Table Mountain – You’ve not been to Cape Town if you haven’t visited Table Mountain. For all my SpongeBob Squarepants fans, you’ll also be able to learn a little back story about The Flying Dutchman. Most, if not all, people who’ve gone will tell you to take the cable car up the mountain. One, it’s a five-minute glide-up, and the view is worth it. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike up the mountain. And I mean hike! Depending on where you start, hiking up the mountain will take a minimum of 2 1/2 hours up, and be sure to release your inner Meg knees for that walk down. It’s the hardest part!

Canal Walk Shopping Center - If you’re looking for more urban or modern attire, then head on over to one of, if not the biggest mall in Cape Town, which is located at Canal Walk shopping center. It’s even got a grocery store inside.

Banana Jam Cafe – As for late-night festivities or if you and some friends just want to wind down for some drinks and good food, Banana Jam Cafe is a great place to start. It’s a nice Caribbean vibe. They brew their own beer, and the music is just right. You won’t be disappointed!

Boulders Beach – I’ve heard of horses at the beach, maybe even pigs, but have you ever seen penguins on the beach? You will at Boulders Beach!

Whether you’re traveling solo or with some friends, you’ll get bonus points if you know some phrases and words to help you along your journey. Here are a few words and phrases that I picked up while in Cape Town:

Quad biking

Photo courtesy of Chivone Smith

  • Kushushu (Koo-Shu-Shu)- Hot
  • Iza (E-za) - Come
  • Izapha (E-za-puh) - Come here
  • Imma (Ee-ma) - Wait
  • Bamba (Bam-Buh) - Hold
  • Tata (Tah-Tah) - Carry or take
  • Langa (Lan-guh) - Sun
  • Amanzi (Uh-man-zi) - Water
  • Puza (Pu-zah) - Drink
  • Ewe (Eh-wei)– Yes
  • Hamba (Ham-ba)/ Vaya (Vi-ya) – Go
  • Ke Sharp (Ke-Shap) – It’s good
  • Ndilambile (Dee-lam-bee-leh) – I’m hungry
  • Lala (La-la) - Sleep
  • Mzanzi (Mm-Zan-zee) – South Africa
  • A con (A-con) - Air conditioner
  • Dankie (Dan-kee) - Thank you
  • Chomey (Cho-me)/Mikey (Mikey) - Friend
  • Baie (Bai) Dankie (Dan-kee) - Thank you very much
  • Cheers – Goodbye

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Feature image courtesy of Chivone Smith

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