Greetings, Internet Stranger and welcome to a Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour! Tell me if this story sounds familiar. Every day you get up in the morning and see the same thing. The same miserable commuters, cantankerous coworkers, and gloomy next-door neighbors. Don’t you get sick of it?
But if you go to Cape Town South Africa, you can live it up and go on a Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour to see Cape Point and the famous South African penguins. I recommend taking a guided tour in order to see as many of the Cape’s wonders as possible. The tour I took was a real once in a lifetime experience full of penguins, seals, rare plants, beautiful ocean waters, and penguins.
Lucky for you, you can book the exact same tour I took just by clicking here!
That way you’ll be able to follow in my footsteps on this fantabulous Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour!
Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
Where to Stay?
Cape Town is a stunning city, and no matter where you stay, I’m sure you’ll love your Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour. But my most recommend hotel in Cape Town is the lovely Cape Heritage Hotel, which has the perfect location. It’s in an extremely safe and well-traveled location, and the 24 hour front desk is available to answer any questions.
I haven’t convinced you to stay here yet? Fine, here’s more! The free breakfast every morning was scrumptious and decadent, and the staff couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. There was turndown service every evening, and the toiletries in the room all smelled delicious and were locally made. Plus the hotel is home to the oldest vine in Cape Town!
Click here for a great deal on this hotel. Or if it’s out of your price range and you want to explore other amazing hotel options in Cape Town within your budget, click here! There are so many choices that I’m sure you’ll be able to find something you love, whether you are as poor as a churchmouse or as rich as a penguin.
Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
What to Pack
Since Cape Town is on the coast, it can sometimes get rainy, and it is usually very windy. So the two most important things you’ll need to bring are an umbrella and some rain boots. My favorite travel umbrella is the Repel Teflon Waterproof Umbrella. It is strong enough to stand up to those powerful Cape Town winds! You’ll thank me later when you see all those tourists throwing their useless umbrellas in the trash because their’s wasn’t tough enough.
For rain boots, I recommend the Asgard Rain Boots. They are comfy/cozy and keep my feet dry all day. Plus they’re cute enough that I can wear them to dinner without feeling like some gauche American with gross feet.
If the weather is sunny, I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes. Plus they go with basically every color except orange.
Finally, if you’re not from South Africa, you need a universal adapter if you’re going to plug in electronics. South African electrical outlets don’t work with American plugs. I suggest the NEWVANGA travel adapter. It’s usable with any electrical outlet in the world, so you won’t need to keep buying new adapters. I always carry two with me, just in case something happens to one.
Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
Morning and Afternoon: Explore Nature!
Cape Town, despite its tragic history, is a city of remarkable beauty containing stunning flowers, penguins, mountains, architecture, and penguins. An ideal trip would combine exploring the countryside and drinking wine with seeing penguins, taking a Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour, visiting penguins, lying on the beach, looking at penguins, climbing Table Mountain, and gawking at penguins.
Also, don’t forget the penguins.
But before we get to the penguins, it’s important to take the time and explore the other natural beauties that you can experience on the Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour. That’s why I recommend…
Approximately Top 5: Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
1) Duiker Island
Our first stop was Duiker Island, which is an island entirely coated in living seals. We were going to get on a little boat and sail past the island because apparently there were too many seals for even one human to set foot on the island.
The only problem was that we were running late, so our tour guide, whom I shall call Charlize, called the men running the boat to ask them to delay it for us. She kept pleading with them to hold it as our tour bus sped along closer to Duiker Island. It was such an adventure! Either we were going to get our seal watching, or Charlize was going to cry. I, for one, would be satisfied either way.
Anyway, we made it just in time, and I think in the long run I am happier having seen all the seals than I would have been watching Charlize’s tears. Be warned, the boat ticket costs a few bucks extra, but I think those seals are worth it.
2) Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope Preserve is home to many wild animals, such as the baboon. Charlize warned us that though the baboons are furry, they are not friendly, and we shouldn’t attempt to approach them.
She didn’t need to warn me twice because we passed a car that was getting savagely jumped on by an angry baboon. I choose to believe that those passengers did something foolish to provoke the beast.
3) See Cape Point
Our next stop after the Cape of Good Hope Nature Preserve was Cape Point, the meeting point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We paused for a while here to have lunch at a seafood restaurant called Two Oceans and explore.
You can also take the Flying Dutchman funicular up To The Lighthouse. You can pay for a round-trip ticket or just a one way. I suggest taking the funicular up and then walking down for more photo ops. Don’t miss the post near the lighthouse that shows you how far you are from many major cities. Of course finding the sign for New York City made me feel a little homesick.
They have a lot of penguin items for sale in the gift shops near the lighthouse, even though there are exactly zero penguins at Cape Point. I feel like I’m making Cape Point sound not that exciting, but it really is! Allow my camera lens to speak instead of my fingers.
See! You really feel like you’re on the edge of the world, which you sort of are. (Cape Point is the southwestern tip of Africa.)
4) Penguin Colony at Boulder’s Beach
After the lovely views of Cape Point, we traipsed along to see the Boulder’s Beach penguin colony. Keep in mind that you have to pay an extra fee to enter the penguin colony, but once again I think it is worth it.
It’s so amazing to see these sharp-dressed men and women in the wild! I’ve just seen them in aquariums like the one in Melbourne! They look much happier than the penguins at the Central Park Zoo. And look how many of them there are!
There will probably be lots of crowds there looking at the penguins, so just be patient and wait for a space to open up so you can take your photographs. I was traveling with an Irish couple on their honeymoon, and the lady hopped over the fence to get a better photo with the penguins. Everyone rightfully booed her. Do not hop the fence! It’s very bad for the penguins.
This type of penguin used to be known as the Jackass penguin, and I think that’s very mean. They looked extremely well behaved to me. Now they call them African penguins, which is much more civilized.
If you are lucky, you will not only see penguins, you will also meet an exotic South African creature known as the dassie. The dassie, aka the rock hyrax, is a special kind of mammal with sharp incisors that roams around Table Mountain and other South African parks. Apparently the dassie’s closest relative is the elephant, which confuses me because it looks like a Rodent of Unusual Size, except that the dassie is of Usual Size.
5) Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch is the prettiest botanical garden I have ever seen. It specializes in local South African plants, which are called fynbos. Fynbos look like shrubbery of varying heights, but their flowers come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Here was one fynbos (fynbo?) that I spotted in its natural habitat.
Even if you are not interested in fynbos, you will still get extraordinary views of Table Mountain, so it will be worth the trip.
Also, it has a magical wishing well shaped like a key that will supposedly grant you any wish. That sounds like one of those ridiculous fun facts I am always making up, but I promise you this one is real. After all, my one wish was that you would read this blog, and look! My wish came true!
Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
Late Afternoon: Dinner at Saigon
I’m a big believer in taking the time between 5 and 7 to relax back at the hotel, in a park, or, if you are a troll, under a nice bridge. But sometimes it’s better to use this time for an early dinner so you can take in a film or show in the later evening instead. Kloof Street is probably the number one restaurant street in Cape Town, pound for pound, so I suggest starting there. It’s right near the Company’s Gardens, so you might want to go for a stroll in the Gardens before your repast.
If you want a casual dinner before seeing a movie, you can’t do better than Saigon. It has tasty and authentic Vietnamese food with great views of Cape Town. The service is crazy efficient so you won’t miss your showtime.
I recommend the light prawn crystal spring rolls for an appetizer and the steaming hot pho for the main course. But the next time I go, I want to try the Angry Duck. What is the duck so angry about? (Probably about being killed, covered in sauce and eaten.)
Just remember that in South Africa they use the French word for eggplant: aubergine. So you won’t need to ask what it means if you see it on the menu.
Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
Evening: Catch a Movie at the Labia
The extremely unfortunately named Labia movie theater is the oldest art-house theater in South Africa. It was named after an Italian count, but I really think they should have named it after anyone else in the world, except for Cecil Rhodes.
The concession stand also sells delicious baked goods–I especially recommend the brownies. There are some tables out in the open air where you can sit and watch the sunset. This made for a delightful evening except for one night when the sunset seemed to frighten a flock of birds who all flew up suddenly and hit me in the face. So if you have TippiHedrenphobia and are scared of birds, I suggest staying inside the Labia to eat.
Further Reading: Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour
Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Cape Town right now? Here are some further reading suggestions to help you get started. I always get good ideas from the Lonely Planet guide to Cape Town. They divide the book into chapters based on neighborhoods, which is very helpful.
If you want to read something about modern South African history, I suggest Playing the Enemy about the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Oscar-nominated film Invictus was based on this book, but the book is much better than the movie. If you are interested in injustice, police brutality, rugby, good-looking men, and learning why Nelson Mandela was probably the greatest diplomat of all time, this is the book for you.
And speaking of Mandela, no trip to South Africa is complete without reading Long Walk to Freedom, the biography of South Africa’s revered first democratically elected president. It’s astonishing how, even after everything Mandela went through, it still didn’t break his spirit. I recommend this book even more highly than I recommend penguins, which is saying a lot.