With a 2 hour journey to go, we were just about finished our road trip ending in Cape Town. We left during kids sleep and stopped some 40km short of Cape Town centre at a cafe called Bamboo Garden Restaurant which was another example of South Africa’s wonderful child friendly cafes with an awesome sandpit and jungle gym.
Next door is the Bugz Play Park which I thought might be a great opportunity for the kids to go a little nuts. Don’t get me wrong, they had a fun time, but my daughter seemed to like the frog statues the most and hugged them for the good part of an hour. It is a glorified playground with lots of good climbing equipment, sandpits, swings, slides, and a cute water splashing station. Oh, and a train that circles the premises. After that, you have to pay extra for every other activity – face painting, water slides, petting farm, carousel etc. And I already thought it was a bit of chutzpah to charge for the adults (although still cheap by Australian standards!). I’m not convinced she had so much more fun here than in any other jungle gym. Nearby I believe there is also a lion park and a giraffe house which given the amount of animals we have already seen, I opted to go to to Bugz Play Park instead.
And just like that, we were in Cape Town and booked into our Airbnb in the City Bowl for the next 5 nights. Cape Town is perhaps the mosts spectacular city I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Simon and I have been there before but we decided hiking up Table Mountain for a day was not on our list of things to do with kids this time round. The accommodation was lovely, spacious, great location and the host even provided a cot for us, and there was a playground 20 metres away which was a big gift. But being in the city doesn’t compare to being on spacious properties on farms. Miss N started acting up in Cape Town and not sure if it was the environment or the fact that she has been on the road for 2 weeks changing houses every few days. Nonetheless, here is the list of what we did in Cape Town:
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – As advertised, it is a most spectacular botanical gardens. We ate lunch at the restaurant there (Moyo) where the waiters wear a type pf traditional African garb and did traditional face painting for those kids and adult who were game. The gardens have plenty of bird life, and there is a fun tree tops walk on a bridge. My best memory from the afternoon was allowing Miss N to go tree climbing on some fantastic trees, and playing hide and seek in one of the sections.
Noordhoek Farm Village – We drove here via Chapman Peaks Drive which is worthy of mention, as it is a most spectacular route. It is windy, slow and picturesque and rather expensive (it is a toll road). But worth it. Noordhoek Farm village is a collection of shops and cafes with most importantly an ice cream shop and a playground. It was a pleasant stop on our way to Simon’s Town.
Simon’s Town – What could be better than combining a beach adventure with penguins. We paid a small entrance fee to enter Boulders Beach and although the water is quite freezing, the penguins are fun to watch. We climbed over and under some rocks (boulders?) to find penguins snoozing, swimming, waddling and just minding their own business. It also happens to be a stunning beach with lovely lunch spots on the main street.
V & A Waterfront – Walking around here was more enjoyable for the adults than the kids, but nonetheless it was lovely. There were overpriced markets and a lovely food stall to get all different cuisines. We did some seal spotting (and smelling), climbing jungle gym equipment and contemplated playing giant chess but opted for the shade instead. We did go to the Two Oceans Aquarium – Aquariums are always a hit, and this one also had the bonus of being in a great location (V & A waterfront) and have a great kids play area where i dare say we spent more time than looking at the fish. They had activities, games, books, and a puppet show. Another fun activity was Scratch Patch Mineral World. There is an area full of these minerals that is a great sensory experience for both of the little ones. It is essentially a shop so we didn’t stay long, but it was a good place to pop in to.
We had a day exploring Sea Point. I can safely say when we met up with a friend for coffee that I did not do my research and the cafe we went to had no entertainment for kids and it made such a difference to my enjoyment of my meal! As opposed to Strolla Restaurant where we ended up going for dinner and loved it! Miss N got to make her own pizza and there was a children’s room with lots of activities. Great food (I remember the felafel burger…mmmm……) and a stunning sun set over the ocean.
We also got to a point in our trip where all Miss N wanted to do was go to a library. So off we went to Sea Point Library and boy was she excited to see so many fluffy toys! Near the library was Green Point Park which is a fun little public park where Mr. A made a South African friend.