Cape Town, South Africa: The V&A Waterfront

I traveled to Cape Town between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It goes to show how crazy life has been that I’m now getting around to sorting through photos of my trip.

My time in Cape Town started with a day at the V&A Waterfront, a short walk from the city center. While I would definitely describe this area as a tourist trap, it was a beautiful day nonetheless.

If you haven’t already planned and booked all of your activities, there are a plethora of opportunities advertised along the docks. From short trips in a boat around the bay to swimming with sharks to paragliding, vendors will be advertising their trips and are open to bartering for the best price.

During the short walk to the waterfront, I was adopted by an older German couple after some unsavory characters attempted to swindle us out of a few hundred Rand. In their broken English, Claus and Connie invited me to take one of the boat tours around the bay. I agreed, expecting to go out in one of the many motor boats swarming with tourists.


I should have expected more from my stubborn German adopters. As we approached one of the vendors, Connie told me to just let Claus talk. After ten minutes of arm waving, threats to find another vendor, insistence that a senior discount be applied to our rate, and an exchange of who knows how much money, Connie, Claus, and I boarded a sailboat with a maximum occupancy of 50. Instead of crowds of tourists, there was just me, Claus, Connie, and the 3-person crew. Instead of a short trip around the bay, we spent 2 and a half hours sailing in the South African sun.


It was an amazing experience, and the highlight of my visit to the waterfront. However, if you’re in the area, I’d also recommend checking out the shops and boutiques at the watershed. If you need a quick bite to eat, head to the V&A Foodmarket for a variety of fast, tasty options. If you have more time to sit and enjoy, there are plenty of more formal restaurants as well. Many of them are good and reasonably priced; I’d recommend trying some seafood.

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