Victoria, has been living in Cape Town, South Africa for the past three and a half years. We are super excited to share her inside scoop of the things to do once you land in Cape Town.
What is your family country of origin?
My entire family is originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but we immigrated to Providence, RI when I was 2 yrs old.
What country did you travel to?
I’ve traveled and lived in Gaborone, Botswana and Cape Town, South Africa
Think back to your time in Cape Town. Describe 24 hours of your time there? Sights, sounds, atmosphere, foods.
Cape Town (CPT) is a bustling city, especially during the summer seasons (December-March). Many tourists visit the motherland due to its beautiful mountain landscape and picturesque sunsets, which you can catch from any point in town.
In between the tourist season, the city is home to many nationality and cultures. A day here in CPT starts very early! The roads are lively with workers heading towards the CBD (town center), Summerset West and the South Suburbs starting from 6 am. If you’re not working that early, CPT is great for early morning hikes up Table Mountain or Lions Head (which are accessible by public transport), road runs in the Rondebosch Commons, or breakfast in the CBD, Sea Point and Camps Bay.
After the morning rush, the roads and shops are taken over by the large student population, which mostly consist of pupils from UCT (University of Cape Town, Southern Suburbs) or CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CBD area). The Southern Suburbs are very modern, so there aren’t many places you can buy cooked food along the side of the road. However, there are many sidewalk stalls where you can pick up fresh fruits & vegetables, sweets, airtime (prepaid phone data) and soft drinks. If you’re in the CBD that’s a whole different story. In town, there are many stalls selling goods from headphones, jewelry, Pap, meat and vegtables (local food staples), dresses and beauty supplies. On the top of the CBD train station where most commuters travel through you can find affordable places to get your hair braided, trendy clothing and tailors.
Rush hour starts from 3-5 and can be especially jammed up on the main road heading away from the CBD to Muzinberg. If your not in a rush to go home, you can find great happy hour and dinner spots in little suburbs like Observatory and Woodstock which has become the new art scene.
What ties the city together are its 360 views of table mountain and lions head, which change according to the weather and where you stand along the main road. It’s easy to forget they are there, but every now and then you will catch yourself gazing and taking pictures of the landscape.
What was your most memorable experience on the trip?
My most memorable experience on my trip here to CPT is when I went through the garden route. This route takes you along the south eastern coast of South Africa where I did a few amazing things like swim in a fresh lagoon, visit the Congo caves and most especially bungee jumping off of the Bloukrans Bridge! (Amazing views if you just want to walk the bridge). I enjoyed the two day travel and sites of the country while learning about its history.
When traveling to CPT there are a few things I highly recommend taking time out to do.
- Robben Island. Full tour of the old prison grounds where Tata (meaning father) Mandela was imprisoned. It starts off with a 15 min boat ride to the island and a 2 hour guided tour by a former prisoner who shares his experience with you.
- Red City Bus Tour (audio tour which takes you to all the popular spots in CPT) you can hop on and off.
- Hiking up Table mountain (or taking the table car), Lions Head and sunsets on Signal Hill.
- Going to the beach, preferably in the summer, the most popular are Camps Bay and Clifton.
- If you have a car, drive down the coast toward Blouberg and go whale watching (summer seasons).
- Shop local! There are so many craftsmen here who make really great recyclable art, bead work, jewelry and paintings. I would suggest Green Market Square (or) the Old Biscuit Mill.
- Go through Garden Route! If not the full trip, then a few stops along the way.
- Definitely eat where the locals eat, Truth Cafe, Tri bakery, Mama Africa, M’zoli’s (Gugulethu Braai spot), anywhere in Sea Point (Fuego especially. Serves amazing Latin American foods), Plant, anywhere on Bree Street and the Cape Town Fish Market!
- Wine tours through Stellenbosch Wine estates.
- Hout Bay Market ! This is a hot spot for Sunday brunch goers. It’s an indoor market with great food, art, crafts and live music.
What country is next on your list?
The next countries on my list are Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria which I should be visiting at the end of the year!
Lastly, if we want to follow your adventures around the world. Where can we find you?
I can be found on Facebook: Victoria Didine Jusme (or) on I.G : @mrs.chocolatemuscle (my personal health and fitness travel account)