Cape Town

Cape Town is distinctly exotic looking with flat-topped Table Mountain jutting above the city and palm trees lining the white sand beaches. The city is a melting pot of Afrikaans, Khoisan, Muslim, English, Indian German, Xhosa and Zulu people and customs. This is a family friendly city to its core, so plan to spend as many days in the area as you can.

Two Oceans Aquarium - On the waterfront in Cape Town, this top-notch aquarium showcases the Cape's convergence of cold Atlantic and warm Indian Ocean marine life with separate ocean exhibits and a kelp forest display. View playful resident Cape fur seals, a colony of African penguins and check the schedule for the popular shark feedings. The aquarium is very focused on kids with crafts, puppet shows, and a treasure dig in a huge pile of polished gemstones.
Slave Lodge - Families with older kids will appreciate the significance of the original Slave Lodge in the city's oldest area. The lodge is a raw testament to the realities of two centuries of slavery in the region. It also explains the blending of original immigrant slave cultures that make Cape Town the city it is. The historic Company's Garden near the lodge is a stunning city garden in the middle of this historic district.
Greenmarket Square - A few blocks from the Slave Lodge, this historical market is set on cobblestones in the heart of town and is a great spot for kids to pick out local crafts and as well as crafts from all over Africa.
Beaches -
Cape Town's Atlantic seaboard beaches are easy to get to and perfect for toddlers and small children (but slightly chillier water). Camps Bay is always busy with families, but is fabulously scenic with gentle tide pools for kids, palm trees and lots of beachfront dining.
Along the False Bay (Indian Ocean side), the beaches are protected from the Cape's rough winds and weather and boast warmer currents. Muizenburg has white sand beaches and turquoise waters, plus, a small water slide park.
Table Mountain - Tours to the top of the 3,559-foot Table Mountain are easy via a cable car. Kids will be fascinated by the fishbowl shaped cars that complete a 360-degree rotation on the way to the top. Once at the peak, you can hike around the plateau for views of the peninsula and glimpses of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner.
Cape Town weather controls the gondola, so check the forecast to plan your Table Mountain visit as soon as you arrive. The cable car won't run in the often-windy weather, nor will you want to go when clouds shroud the top.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens - On the backside of Table Mountain, the gardens feature indigenous flora of South Africa - the “Cape Floral Kingdom” is the smallest and richest of only five floral kingdoms in the world. This is a great place for kids to run free and explore (and where strollers have a path). In the summer months there are sunset music concerts and the kids have their own play area complete with magicians. Bring a picnic for one of the most scenic hillside meals.
Party with the penguins - Not to be missed is the colony of wild African Penguins at the picturesque Boulders Beach on the False Bay seaboard. The shallow warm-water coves are dotted with waddling tuxedo-clad creatures - it's a child's beach paradise. Swimming is easy in this spot and the penguins are ever-present across the large, round rocks. A good viewing spot is a protected, fenced beach (Boulders section of Table Mountain National Park).
Tip: In Cape Town, if the weather isn't cooperating for cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain, simply drive or hike to the top of Signal Hill with the whole family. Amazing views of the city and the mountain for free.
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