Where To Go (Grilled): Cape Town
The first in a series of articles featuring cities and towns across South Africa, this article focuses on the mother city.
Cape Town, the most popular place in South Africa for visiting tourists, is every stoner’s wet dream. With mountains, oceans, rivers, dams, the cityscape, and sweet little nooks to visit, Cape Town has a lot to offer to the travelling stoner looking for an adventure. So, before I get distracted talking about all the dope things CPT has to offer, let me talk about all the dope things CPT has to offer.
There is a reason it’s first on the list. One of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Table Mountain has more unique species of Flora than the entire United Kingdom. What more do you want than to look at all the pretty flowers and plants in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, especially when you’ve just smoked a fatty?
You can choose between hiking up one of the many stunning routes to the top, or, if you’re not so athletically inclined, there are cable cars that will zoom you up too.
I hope you’re ready to say “awwwww” a lot if you go to Boulder’s beach while high. Why, you may ask? Penguins! There is a resident colony of almost 3 000 African Penguins that will keep you entertained for hours with their antics. Boulder’s beach also forms part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Area, so make sure to pick up any litter you see.
Watching penguins is not the only thing you can do here, as it is also swimming beach, with loads of boulders and rock pools to explore. There is a R65 conservation fee, so the beach is rarely packed (an anomaly in Cape Town.
You can find this beach just outside of Simon’s Town, which is also home to The South African Navy, so it is also worth paying a visit to.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Home to 5 of the 6 different South African biomes, this botanical garden won the International Garden of the Year in 2015. If you feel like eating an edible and spending a day surrounded by green, this is the place to go. There are loads of trails, including the skeleton gorge, which leads to the summit of Table Mountain.
The gardens have many sculptures and artworks to see, and you can also catch live music shows here in the summer.
Named for its shape, Lion’s Head is a mountain that forms part of The Table Mountain National Park. With a 669-metre-high peak, it makes for one lovely hike. Imagine watching the sun rise over Cape Town with a spliff in your mouth, feeling as though you’re standing on top of the world.
With three vegetation types that can be found nowhere else in the world (Granite Fynbos, Peninsula Shale Renosterveld, Sandstone Fynbos), the hour-long walk will fly by. Fun fact, Lion’s Head was known as the Sugar Loaf by the British in the 17th century.
Zeits Museum of Contemporary Art
The largest museum of contemporary African art in the world, the Zeits MOCAA (as its commonly called) is a must-see for art lovers. Opened in the silo district of the V&A Waterfront in 2017, the museum features rotating temporary exhibitions, which means that there’s always new art to marvel at.
Featuring artists from all over the continent, the museum forms an integral part of the African art scene. The experience is worth every cent of the R210 admission fee and is absolutely awesome to do while grilled.
Iziko South African Museum
Founded in 1825, this is the granddaddy of South African museums, being our first ever. There are so many cool things to see, that it would be impossible to list them all here, but I’ll give you some highlights. There is a planetarium, the Whale Well, Sharkworld (!!!!), and a section on indigenous knowledge, to name but a few. The museum is also right next to the Company’s Garden, which is itself the oldest recognised garden in South Africa and is a lovely place to lose an afternoon to.
Two Oceans Aquarium
Who doesn’t want to get stoned and stare into the eyes of a Japanese spider crab? Another location on our list located at the V&A Waterfront, the Two Oceans aquarium has over 300 species of critters to learn about.
Pre-Covid, the aquarium got around 500 000 visitors a year, and is a very popular tourist attraction, so don’t go if you’re too high and might get the parries.
Castle of Good Hope
Built between 1666-1679, the Castle is the oldest existing building in our country. Built by the Dutch East India Company to protect their interests at the important trading post, the Castle makes for interesting viewing.
The castle has previously acted as the headquarters of the South African Army in the Western Cape, but now plays host to the Castle Military Museum as well as various military ceremonies.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
There is nothing better than going for a beautiful scenic drive while blazed (as long as you’re not driving), and there are few better routes than the Chapman’s Peak drive. Considered an engineering marvel when it was opened in 1922, the road is cut into the sheer cliffs that range between Hout Bay and Noordhoek.
The road also forms part of the route for both the Two Oceans Marathon as well as the Cape Argus Cycle Race. Just be aware that it is a toll road, so remember to take your wallet with you.
The Labia Theatre
Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting stoned and just watching a movie. The Labia Theatre, located in Gardens, was originally built as an Italian embassy ballroom by Princess Labia in 1949. It has operated as a cinema officially since 1989, and you can happily watch cult, classic, and art movies with a beer or glass of wine if you want.