Cape Town’s City Bowl is remarkably properly called. It lies cosy in the enormous arms of Table Mountain. The centre of Cape Town is neatly tucked between the harbour and the mountain, resembling a bowl. The city bowl is a self-contained entity with nowhere else to move and expand its boundaries, almost like a martini before it is poured, all shaken up and tingling with flavour. Some of the most fascinating and historically significant neighbourhoods can be found in the city bowl, and areas like the Bo Kaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, and Gardens offer hours of leisurely meandering, dining options, and historical attractions.
The suburbs that surround the city centre are steeper the closer one gets to the mountain, so Higgovale and Oranjezicht are right up on Table Mountain’s slopes. There are many things to do in the city bowl besides taking in the atmosphere, which is typical of Cape Town. It is mandatory to ride the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain, although it is safer to wait for a clear day without any indication of the tablecloth. Another mountain worth climbing is Lion’s Head, the conical-shaped mountain close to the tabletop, especially on full moon nights. It is preferable to time the 1.5-hour ascent such that the summit is attained just as the moon begins to rise.
One of the well-known Atlantic Seaboard beaches that extends to Llandudno and Hout Bay is Camps Bay, which is reached by crossing the Kloof Nek chasm between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Or head to the well-known suburbs of De Waterkant, Green Point, and Sea Point by going around the western corner of the bowl.
Every third Saturday, the Cape Town Partnership offers a free walking tour of the Cape Town City Bowl that travels from the Company’s Garden through St. George’s Mall, Waterkant Street, the Fan Walk, and St. Andrew’s Square. Through storytelling, the walk connects locations, history, art, and music, bringing the city’s public spaces to life.