Cape Town is often rated by visitors as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is a place where the ocean laps up on soft white sandy beaches, where the majestic Table Mountain looks over the city, where you can swim with penguins and where you can walk above the tree tops in the amazing Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The beauty of Cape Town allows for plenty of opportunities to capture special memories. So, whether you are a professional photographer or a mobile phone Instagrammer we want to ensure that you know where to go to get your iconic Cape Town photos.
We will also be giving you some photo editing tips that will take your photos from average to Wow!
Cape Town photos of Table Mountain
Table Mountain is rated as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. No one will believe you have been to Cape Town if you do not have a photo of yourself with Table Mountain. Many of the iconic tourism photographs of Table Mountain are taken from Bloubergstrand(picture above), a beach on the opposite side of Table Bay. If you are a professional with all the right gear, then you can really get some great shots at this location especially at sunset. However, if you are using a mobile phone this might not be the best place for your iconic Instagram pic.
If you want to get a really great picture with your mobile you need to get close to the action. The best place to do this is Lions Head. From the centre of town, you head straight up Kloof Nek Road towards Table Mountain. When you get to the circle at the top of Kloof Nek Rd take the road to the far-right signed Signal Hill. You will find the start of the hike up Lions Head approximately 600m along this road. Proceed up the dirt track for about 150m to some benches and you have arrived at one of the best places to capture Table Mountain.
If you feeling energetic you can hike all the way to the top of Lions Head for amazing views of Table Mountain and the beautiful city of Cape Town. The hike to the top and back will take you approximately 2,5hrs but the memories you will have are well worth it.
If you carry on along the road that brought you to the start of the hike you will reach Signal Hill. This is a famous spot with locals for sundowners. Views from the summit are spectacular especially at night with Table Mountain lit up as your backdrop. With this romantic setting it is a little like ‘lovers lane’ at night, popular with local couples. Looking out across the Atlantic Ocean you will encounter beautiful panoramic views over Greenpoint and Sea Point. You will also be able to capture some great pics of the Cape Town World Cup stadium below. At the far end of the parking lot you will find one of the large yellow frames for capturing an Instagram moment with Table Mountain as a backdrop.
Now that you have your pics of Table Mountain you need to capture that special memory from the top. You will be spoilt for choice for scenery once you get to the top. If you are visiting during summer, we would highly recommend going up before sunset. Although you can capture beautiful pics anytime of the day the sunsets from the top of Table Mountain are something special.
You will find Kirstenbosch Gardens on the M3, 13kms out of the city centre. The Hop On Hop Off Red bus also stops here and is popular form of transport for visitors. Once again you will be spoilt for choice for capturing beautiful memories of the gardens. Our recommended spot for capturing that iconic picture is on the Tree top walkway. From above the tree tops you get a beautiful panoramic view of the gardens with Table Mountain in the background, pure bliss.
Muizenberg beach is the hang out spot for Cape Town’s surfing community. You will always find surfers in the water and its gets fairly full over weekends. It is also home to the colourful beach huts. These huts have appeared on many visitors travel pics and is uniquely Cape Town.
This stretch of white beach carries on forever and if you get there early you can capture the rising sun reflecting off the soft white sand, priceless. With all the surfing action and locals around you will have plenty of great local photo opportunities.
And if you are a surfer dont worry you can hire boards and wetsuits at one of the many surf schools situated along this stretch of beach
If you are hiring a vehicle you will also want to find your way to Boyes Drive above Muizenberg Beach. On Boyes drive you will find a Shark Watchers hut overlooking the bay. This is a special place to capture the long white beach of Muizenberg below.
Photo credit: CED & the City
The experience at Boulders beach is something unique in the world. It is a protected penguin breading area where you get the opportunity to swim alongside penguins. Many tourists do the boardwalk above the beach and take pics of the penguins from a distance. We would highly recommend that you access the beach for a close encounter. You can pay cash or use the Cape Town Pass to get entry. On entering proceed across the beach to the far end where you will see a few large boulders. At the bottom of the boulders you will find an opening that you clamber through which takes you very close to the breading area. Many tourists are not told about this space. Here you will get up close to these cute animals and capture some special moments. These are unique Cape Town photos.
Photo credit: Anzhela
Chapmans Peak Drive
Chapmans Peak drive is often referred to as one of the most scenic drives in the world. When you travel along this road you will understand why. You will pay a toll fee when entering the drive from Hout Bay. While driving up you will find a number picnic spots along the way which makes for great Cape Town photos. However, your destination is further along. Follow the road along the mountain until it takes a right bend and weaves its way to the top. Just before the top where the road turns left you will find the lookout point. From here you will get majestic views over Hout Bay and the harbour in the distance.
Camps Bay is one of Cape Town’s blue flag beaches and a popular summer attraction for visitors and locals. The soft white beach is nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the glittering Atlantic ocean. If you looking to capture sunset in Cape Town this is the place to be. During sunset the Twelve Apostles mountain range and Lions Head are transformed into a deep orange colour, an unforgettable sunset on one of Cape Town’s favourite beaches. Vendors hire out loungers and umbrellas on the beach and you can pick up all your other beach requirements across the road at the beach shops. If you hungry you can also order from the numerous restaurants in Camps Bay and some of them will even deliver to you on the beach.
Photo credit: Anzhela
There are many more wonderful spots for capturing your Cape Town photos and we are more than happy to point you in the right direction. Drop us a comment below and tell us what your interests are, and we will make sure you get to the best vantage points.
Finally, I said I was going to show you how to take your pics from average to awesome. Download the app called Snapseed, which is a very simple photo editor. It has 11 different styles to suite your requirements. Once you have chosen your style you move to the tools section where you will find 28 different tools that you can play around with. I mostly use the brush tool as it allows you to change the exposure, temperature and saturation of specific parts of your photo. This is very useful especially when you have high level of contrasts in your photo.
Muizenberg Beach photo edited using Snapseed