To Cape Town!
Now that you've settled into the South African pace of life, it's time to head to the Mother City: Cape Town.
It's about a 2-hour drive from Gansbaai to Cape Town, so you'll want to start off early in order to make the most of your first day in the city. Start your Cape Town explorations at the V&A Waterfront, home to South Africa's oldest working harbor, a huge shopping mall, a Ferris wheel, and a large collection of shops and restaurants, all within view of Table Mountain.
One of my favorite parts of the waterfront is the Watershed, which is essentially a large converted warehouse that now houses more than 150 vendors selling everything from original art to vintage clothing.
The V&A Waterfront is also where you'll find the ferries that will take you out to Robben Island, which is home to the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of political imprisonment. Ferries depart every 1-2 hours from Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront, and tours of robben island are conducted by former political prisoners.
Whether you decide to spend your afternoon in the city or touring Robben Island, I suggest ending the day watching the sun set at Camps Bay, one of the more affluent areas of Cape Town. The beach at Camps Bay is nice, but at sunset the dying light paints the looming Twelve Apostles mountain range opposite the bay an otherworldly orange. It's absolutely beautiful and is a great way to end your first day in the city.
Where to stay in Cape Town: I stayed at three different hotels in Cape Town:
The Taj – The Taj is a 5-star hotel in the heart of downtown Cape Town. Normally I would never stay in a hotel this nice, but right now it's actually not exorbitantly priced. My dad and I were upgraded to a huge 2-room suite here, which was bigger (and way nicer) than my apartment at home.
Where to eat in Cape Town: There are tons of great restaurants in Cape Town to choose from. If you're looking for something quick and nearby, though, V&A Food Market is a great place to find delicious street-food-type fare.