One of the first things you might hear about Cape Town is that once you’re there you shouldn’t wander around on your own, talk with overly polite strangers or wear flashy jewellery – which doesn’t help to create the image of a safe and welcoming place to visit. But as they say, travelling is about discovering for yourself, what the true beauty of a place is.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and it is also affectionately called by the locals as the ‘Mother City’. The high season starts in November and ends in early April, but it is popular throughout the whole year as tourists are lured by Cape Town’s natural beauty and Mediterranean climate – there is no such thing as cold weather, so you can leave your gloves and woolly hats at home, even if you’re visiting in the low season.
This metropolis is also known for its religious and cultural diversity, costume-themed parties and famous wine tours. It’s a real heaven for foodies too, from traditional Ethiopian cuisine, to Australian or Japanese eateries, you can find it all with ease.
What about the local people, you ask? Capetonians are overflowing with a deep affection for their homeland and culture, and there is nothing quite like a friendly local to help you get around and see the authentic side of the city. This week’s Featured Local is Zoe – she’s an Applied Marine Biology student at the University of Cape Town. Zoe is passionate about food, language, cheap travel, sustainability and nature.
According to her, an ideal Showaround experience is a combination of good food, outdoor activities and cultural learning, then ending the day in a beautiful and relaxing place with incredible views of the city, not to mention a cold beverage in hand.
I would not encourage the typically touristy moneymaking schemes that most traditional tourists enjoy, but rather the less popular, more authentic experiences that only locals, such as myself know about.
Cape Town might seem complicated at first, but it is really not as dangerous as the media portrays it and as many people might think. The city is a truly magical and laid back place to be, and worth the time given to understand its deeper and more approachable side. Therefore, asking Zoe for advice might be your first step towards experiencing its true beauty through the eyes of a local.