Di’s Insider Guide to Cape Town

Diane Brown, founder of The Roaming Giraffe, is a full time, freelance travel writer and is often travelling. She is 58 years young and loves exploring and finding adventures that either terrify her or make her feel alive. She refuses to let her age define her. Her blog is about the adventures of a mature, single female traveler seeking experiences in South Africa and Africa. She is very much into beaches, forests and mountains, hates shopping malls and cooking and she is not a foodie. She spends a lot of time out and about with her camera or on top of Table Mountain.

5 things I love most about Cape Town

  1. The natural beauty on our doorstep.
  2. That unique, chilled Cape Town #Slaapstad vibe
  3. Exploring the old, original shops all along the main road in Woodstock and Salt River.
  4. Table Mountain, everything about it.
  5. The back roads , secret beaches and tidal pool at Cape Point, when it is not windy.

A few quirky/cool/fun things only locals know about

  1. Thanks to Instagram, Cape Town has no secrets. 😊
  2. The best beach ever, secluded, I won’t name it. It’s on the Atlantic Seaboard. See pic.
  3. Best food ever, in a shop you would not even notice. Andalousse Moroccan Cuisine (opp Woodstock Police Station)
  4. Milnerton Flea Market, for the best calamari and an array of new and 2nd hand stuff. Sat and Sun. Go early, be there by 9am.
  5. Got a sweet tooth? Sweeet Cillie’s on Main Road in Tokai serves 11 different types of cheesecake, cup cakes full of sparkles, all made with love. Takeaways and leftovers are put in bright pink and white spotted boxes. Go once and you will be addicted forever.

The least touristy thing to do in Cape Town

Getting Fish n chips in Woodstock, then going to the station to watch the trains (the railway tracks line up with Lion’s Head)

Best place in Cape Town to enjoy…

The water: Blaauwberg rock pools

The mountains/countryside: Constantia Nek

The outdoors: Seapoint Pavillion and Moullie Point

The food: Mojo Food Market in Seapoint

The general vibe or nightlife: V and A Waterfront

Good coffee/tea/wine: Groot Constantia

Meet locals: a rugby match at Newlands stadium, Forries pub, Olympia Café, The Fat Cactus.

What makes a city/town special for me

The people, the architecture and there must be water, a river, lake or beach.

My favourite small town in South Africa and why

Tough call, there are so many. Ladismith on Route 62, because I thought it was an ugly dump and it was awesome. Incredible architecture, culture, mountains and greenery, all hidden just off the main road.

If I were to do a 10 day road trip through South Africa, these are the stops I’d make:

Cape Town, Route 62, Oudtshoorn, Storms River / Tsitsikamma, Coffee Bay, Graaff Reinet and Nieu Bethesda, Bethulie, Joburg, Magoebaskloof, Pilgrims Rest, Durban.

The ultimate bush experience anyone can have in SA

Samara Private Game Reserve

The ultimate bush experience anyone can have in Southern Africa ( Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia)

Royal Livingstone Hotel at Victoria Falls.

My best beach/island experience in Southern Africa

Reunion Island. It has a flippen activie volcano. Aqua hiking in the rivers, exploring the underground lava tunnels, view points on top of the caldera, perfect beaches.

The most magical place in South Africa and why

The Wilderness and Sedgefield on the Garden Route. Unsurpassed beauty of beaches and forests, small towns, rivers, adventure and water activities, you could explore for a lifetime and not see it all.

The best places to visit in South Africa for…

  1. Solo travellers: The Wild Coast
  2. Couples: The Overberg, Hermanus, Stanford, De Hoop Reserve
  3. Families: The West Coast and the Garden Route.
  4. Luxury travellers: Mala Mala in greater Kruger, Grootbos in the Overberg.
  5. Those seeking off-the-grid spots:Northern Cape Kgalaghadi National Park, the Cederberg


Diane Brown, founder of The Roaming Giraffe, likes doing stuff and then sharing the stories. Gorilla trekking, white water rafting, ziplining, shark cage diving, cheetah tracking, helicopter flips, countless game drives, climbing giant sand dunes… these things make her happy. When not out of town she is in her home office writing for her blog or various publications, hustling for work, planning her next trip, researching, editing photos or reading the whole internet. Get more insider tips on Cape Town on her Facebook page.

Share your thoughts