Cape Town with Kids: Day Two

The breakfast spread at the Westin (there is even sushi! I told you we are a family of snobs) is just as exciting the second day. Noisette and I opt to just plow ahead with our own plan for a change, instead of opening the floor to debate. He wants to stand on the Cape of Good Hope, like I already did on my last trip, and we have a feeling that prospect won’t be so appealing to the kids. But we have at least one trump up our sleeves, in that our drive around the Cape Peninsula will take us past the penguins at The Boulders.

Our gut feeling was right: The kids are not very much on board with our plan. We have barely left the hotel when the first whiny “how much longer” issues from the backseat. Things don’t get better when we decide to stop in Kalk Bay, a picturesque fishing village on the Eastern coast of the Cape Peninsula. We drift into the same antique store my sister in law bought me the coffee mill last time, and true to form Zax and Impatience immediately want to know when we’re leaving again and why we’re here in the first place, while Jabulani and Sunshine are intently studying antique tools, books, and dolls as if that is precisely what they were longing to do all day. You wonder why I assigned those names!

At the harbor, where admittedly the smell isn’t overly pleasant, Impatience pointedly holds her nose the entire time. I’m actually with her on this one, because it is extremely windy. I HATE wind. There is nothing good about it. It’s cold, it’s noisy, and it messes up your hair. So I’m not unhappy when Noisette has finally soaked up enough harbor and boat vistas so that we can get on the road again.

Kalk Bay

It isn’t very far to The Boulders, where a colony of African penguins resides. Most people don’t  know that there even are penguins in Africa. It certainly sounds like an oxymoron. Although, if you feel the temperature of the Atlantic in Cape Town, you are not going to be surprised that Penguins are at home there. We walk around and take plenty of penguin pictures, but this time it is Noisette who isn’t eager to linger. It’s like watching monkeys at the zoo. Drives him crazy. Surprisingly, the kids also aren’t taken as much by the penguins as I thought, so after some more posing we move on.

This is how close we got to the penguins




Would you mind getting out of the way so I can pass?

Speaking of monkeys, we see those a short way down the road. Where else but in Africa can you see penguins and monkeys in their natural habitats just minutes apart? These are baboons, who never cease to amaze me, but I don’t get a good picture of the cute baby because Noisette, annoyed at the slow traffic they cause, overtakes some cars and we speed off.


Finally we arrive at the Cape, and just as last time, it is spectacular. Perhaps even more so because it is still extremely windy and images of olden-day seafarers and their struggles to navigate these treacherous waters aren’t hard to conjure. We take the obligatory picture behind the Cape of Good Hope sign. Noisette can’t get over the fact that this isn’t, in fact, the Southern-most point of the continent, and why would they put the sign here instead of at Cape Agulhas, 170 km to the East, which holds those honors instead?

See how windy it was?

Then we go climbing on the rocks for a wealth of more spectacular views. Cape Town is definitely a paradise for landscape photography. And something about those rocks inspires our kids to pose for the camera.


We couldn’t find Jabulani and got a bit panicky; this is how we finally found him

Once again I cannot wait to get out of the wind, spectacular views notwithstanding. Which is why I stay in the car to take pictures of some wind- and kite surfing action on a beach nearby, while Jabulani and Noisette take a walk. Okay, I lied earlier. There is something wind is good for, after all. But only in Hawaii, which in my opinion has the best windsurfing in the world. I do want to try out kite surfing, but somewhere warmer than here!


I am pretty amazed the kids aren’t any whinier by now, considering we’ve stopped about a million times and it is well into the afternoon, all memories of breakfast long faded. I fervently hope there will be a nice restaurant at Cape Point where we’re headed next. And yes, we are not disappointed. After some more climbing and posing and shivering in the now howling wind, we manage to prevent Noisette from taking the 1.5 hour trail around Cape Point and head for Two Oceans Restaurant instead. Hallelujah! It is wind-sheltered, with the only drawback that the one sunny spot at our table is directly underneath the overhanging roof, where it is obvious from tell-tale spots on the floor that birds like to sit and poop. But I’m so cold and craving sunshine that I volunteer for the poop-danger-spot.

Cape Point



After we’ve all had our fill, it is a long drive back to Cape Town. Since there is a little bit of the day left and lunch, even though very late, already a few hours past, we head for Kloof Road to have desserts at Cafe Paradiso, another gem in our Cape Town restaurants collection. The sun is just setting, there is a cozy fire going next to our table, and we even get blankets. The chocolate fondant is as delicious as promised. So delicious that a frenzied fight breaks out over everybody’s plates. We linger a bit more as the sun goes down and agree that it is another perfect ending to an almost-perfect day.

Previously: Cape Town with Kids: Day One
Next: Our Trip to Robben Island

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