Travel Tips / 8 of the Best… is a brand-new feature in Mzanzitravel in which we will bring you some fun or informative travel tips in each edition. We kick off the series with the 8 best spots for taking your selfies in the Cape Peninsula. In other editions we will cover things such as the 8 best beaches, or 8 best hikes, etc.
We want your selfies…
We will also be featuring more selfie spots in other parts of the country in future editions, so if you have any selfies taken in truly amazing places across South Africa that you’d like to share with us for publication in the magazine, please email them to email@example.com. Provide your full details, a description of the place, and type “8 of the Best” in the subject line. Pictures must be your own (no copyright restrictions), high-resolution, good quality colour pictures of 1MB in size or more.
1. Table Mountain
Always a favourite with visitors to Cape Town, the mountain, and the adjacent Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, offer an abundance of fantastic spots for taking selfies with a dramatic and panoramic backdrop. Take them in the cable car going up, or hiking up Platteklip Gorge, anywhere along Tafelberg Road (passing the lower cable station), or on one of the many spots on top, but be careful not to fall. On Signal Hill there’s a big yellow metal picture frame with Table Mountain behind it. The top of Lion’s Head – an easy climb with chains – offers stunning 360-degree views of Cape Town. Around the upper cable station, you can pick spots that show the Cape Flats, the city and the bay with the harbour, Sea Point or Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles.
2. Clifton Beach
To capture that truly international jet-set feel in your selfies, there’s no better place than the world-famous Clifton Beach (actually 4 different beaches). Close to sunset or very early in the morning makes for truly great pictures when contrasts are high and the beach is bathed in golden sunlight and the sea is azure blue, with seagulls and other birds lazily lounging about. Behind the beach the sharply slanting mountainside is covered in luxury villas and apartment blocks that give the beach its cosmopolitan French Riviera feel.
3. Chapman’s Peak Drive
This is probably one of the most photographed selfie spots in South Africa. There are numerous parking spots along the route that offer different settings. However, the most popular spot is the highest point of the pass with its large parking area and a dedicated, railed area for taking pictures. From here you have a choice of the dramatic ocean towards Noordhoek, or looking the other way, Hout Bay with The Sentinel peak, or Hangberg, across the bay.
Just a short walk up from Cape Town city centre, on the slopes of Signal Hill, you’ll find the historic Bo-Kaap, also known as the Malay Quarter, with its steep cobbled streets, brightly coloured houses, mosques with their turrets, and friendly local people. The colourful homes provide a cheerful background for any selfie. This is one of Cape Town’s most distinct neighbourhoods with a character all its own where a stroll around will offer you much to experience, including some exquisite Malay dishes in the local eateries.
5. Cape Point & Boulders
The Peninsula’s most southern tip where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans come together, is another firm favourite with visitors and locals alike. Here too you will be spoilt for choices. It is probably the only place in the world where you can stand in one spot for a picture and simply by turning around you can have two different oceans in the background. What you won’t see in the selfie is Antarctica, some 6,000 km away to the south. The higher located old lighthouse offers a range of panoramic views and backdrops for your picture, but the really dramatic ones are to be taken near the new lighthouse, which is lower down a short walk away along a good pathway. On your way to or from Cape Point, just as you enter Simon’s Town, stop at Boulders Beach for a happy selfie of you and the penguins.
For a selfie with that world-famous postcard view of Table Mountain in the background, the village of Blaauwberg is just the spot. Actually, it offers quite a number of good spots. On the south side of the village is an excellent spot on the beach. Or you can have sundowners at Ons Huisie or the Blue Peter Hotel with that stunning view in the background. At Big Bay there’s another of those big yellow metal picture frames for selfies with Table Mountain in the background.
7. V&A Waterfront
No visit to Cape Town is complete without spending time in the V&A Waterfront with its entertainment, malls, upmarket shops, pubs, restaurants, art galleries, harbour cruises, buskers, curios shops, museums, aquarium, crafts market and, of course taking some unforgettable selfies. A big favourite for taking those stunning selfie pics, is of course the Cape Wheel…a giant, 40m-high observation wheel with 30 airconditioned cabins from which you have 360-degree views of the entire Waterfront, the larger harbour area, the city and the mountain.
8. Robben Island
As the ferry to Robben Island leaves the Clock Tower precinct of the V&A Waterfront, go to the stern of the boat for some awesome pics with the Waterfront complex in the background. Once the ferry leaves the harbour altogether the background changes to the entire harbour area and the city including Table Mountain. And as you approach Robben Island, go to the bow for those romantic Titanic style selfies with the island as your backdrop. Of course, on the island itself you can take some stunning pics of the 360-degree view around it, or of the prison complex, or you can pose next to what was once Nelson Mandela’s prison cell to take home with you some of South Africa’s history.