The Best Way to Spend Your “Day Off” in Cape Town

Abigail Jeffrey is a student at the University of Nebraska, and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Cape Town, South Africa.

Hike to the peaks of the city.

In the first two weeks I have been living in Cape Town, I have swallowed the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean, walked between the walls that enclosed Nelson Mandela, and hiked to the top of the world. The crazy part is that I’m living in the most southern country on the continent (the tip of the world).

“Soon you will be sitting on the top of the world.”

Not two months after my friend Eliza opened this script in her fortune cookie, the two of us were standing on top of Lion’s Head looking out over the seaside city. There’s something about looking out at the highest point, as far as your eye can see, and thinking “this… this is where I am”. Standing tall and realizing all of my decisions in life have lead me to this point.

Eliza and I had decided to climb the mountain that morning. We looked up the nearest hiking trail and trekked to the peak of the land mass known as Lion’s Head. The two of us were dropped at Signal Hill, a small peak that overlooks Camps Bay. From there we meandered our way across level ground to commence our upward hike.

The walk was steep at some points, more horizontal at others. As we neared the sky, the trail split into two directions. Left, longer and easier. Right, consisted of chains and handles nailed into the side of the rocks. Using our childhood tree climbing skills, we monkeyed our way up the “more daring” option.

As we reached the highest point, we were feeling worn. Our energy had been drained. The two of us collapsed on a rock overlooking the bay. For a long while we simply rested and took in the scene. Processed, took some pictures, chatted with fellow peak achievers, then made our way back down.

Devil’s Peak, the Back Mountain, and Muizenberg Mountain are a few of the other hikes I hope to take on while I am here. There are several ways to making your way up the mountain, whether it is with a guide, group of friends, skipping the hike all together and taking a cable car, or embarking solo. I have been assured all these hikes are worth the view one is granted at the top.

A few recommendations I have when venturing out on one of these hikes:

  • Always bring a jacket (the temp/wind will be different at the peak)
  • Bring your go pro!
  • A speaker to blare some tunes doesn’t hurt
  • More fun with friends
  • Water, water, water
  • Wear the proper shoes
  • Hang out at the top for lil’ bit. Soak in the sight

The world awaits…discover it.

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