On the tip of South Africa, Cape Town is a beautiful tourist destination and one ready-made for a great photo shoot. Regardless of what time of year you come, you’ll find amazing sites to capture stunning images, as well as historic areas that sit in memorial to the troubled past the city has faced.
9 Top Photo Spots in Cape Town
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Known as the cultural and entertainment section of Cape Town, you’ll always find some fun and excitement at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Most of the shops are owned by locals, and many of them occupy restored historic buildings, giving the area a unique atmosphere. In between getting pictures, you can visit some of the museums in the area, and at the Two Oceans Aquarium you’re guaranteed to get some unique shots since over 300 species of fish are kept here, some of which are quite rare and beautiful. The waterfront itself also makes a good photo site, and especially in the evening the whole area takes on a more romantic charm, excellent for pictures.
By far the most recognizable natural landmark, Table Mountain attracts photographers to Cape Town from all over the world. There are numerous places from which you can capture images of the flat mountain top and see the city spread out below. Check the weather when you’re planning your photo shoot; sometimes you can see a special sight of clouds just touching the top of the mountain, forming what the locals refer to as a “table cloth.” If you want to explore the area more, there are walking and hiking paths around the mountain where you will find over 1,400 species of wild flower, each a beautiful addition to your photo shoot. Table Mountain also has a cable car ride to the top, so you can get your picture with the spectacular view from this amazing high vantage point.
Another great spot for panoramic views, Signal Hill is an easy drive from the center of Cape Town, and one of the top photo sites in the city. From the top you’ll be able to see all the city as well as Table Bay. It’s known for its beautiful sunsets, and it’s well worth planning an evening to get a spectacular shot of the sun dipping below the horizon and lighting up the sky in brilliant colors. This is also the site of the famous Noon Gun, which fires a shot at noon every day of the week, except Sundays. The cannon is a good element to include in your photo shoot if you’re wanting sites characteristic of Cape Town.
Castle of Good Hope
Combining British colonial style and Italian Renaissance architecture, the Castle of Good Hope is a beautiful place to use for photographs. The great clock mounted on the tallest peak is a model of London’s Big Ben and is an iconic setting for photographs. Inside you’ll be amazed by the intricate mosaics, elegant marble staircases, and numerous works of art. It is also an important historic site for Cape Town, since it was from the main balcony that Nelson Mandela addressed the nation after being released from prison. Due to the significance of this site, your photo shoot in Cape Town wouldn’t be complete without images of the Castle of Good Hope.
Marking a difficult point in Cape Town history, Robben Island is now a museum commemorating the time Nelson Mandela spent in prison. It is a more somber place to visit, but an important one to include in a photo shoot of Cape Town because of the historic significance. It is a very popular tour to take, so make sure you get tickets in advance.
For those who experience sea-sickness, it is good to note that the tour requires an hour long boat trip to reach the island. Poignant and moving, your photographs of Robben Island will truly capture an emotional part of your Cape Town photo shoot.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
Known as one of the most scenic drives in the world, Chapman’s Peak is a must for any photographer coming to Cape Town. A short distance from the city, there is an approximately 9- kilometer stretch of highway with fantastic curves into the mountain side and beautiful views of the coast. Over 500 meters above the sea in some places, those afraid of heights may not enjoy this particular attraction. If you have the courage though, the pictures you get from the drive are guaranteed to be some of the best from your trip. You can make it a full day adventure and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants along the route selling fresh seafood dishes.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
To preserve the flora of the Cape Town area, the larger area of the Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most popular place for tourist to visit here are the Botanical Gardens, located on the side of Table Mountain, giving it a very natural setting. The flowers, trees, and shrubs are all native to the area, and provide one of the best opportunities to enjoy the amazing wildlife of the area. Another great attraction is the Sculpture Garden where you can also include local art into your photo shoot. Easy walking trails offer the opportunity for you to venture deeper into the wilder region of the gardens, and on the Tree Canopy Walkway you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the flower covered hillside.