Updated: Nov 13
Cape Town is one of the most surreal, and exceptionally beautiful cities you can ever hope to visit. Nested in the Table Mountain National Park, there is a never ending list of photography opportunities here. You can find some of the best ones below! If Cape Town is somewhere you haven't visited before I would seriously get it on your list. I can't recommend this place to you enough!
One of the first things I would like to address before I proceed is the bad press, and name that this city has received over time. Some of you reading may be familiar with various news reports condemning this city as being a dangerous place. I believe that there is danger in any city that you find yourself in, and if you aren't stupid you will be fine. I have visited this city many times without any problems at all. I know many locals (including my auntie that lives there) who will tell you the exact same thing. If you go to a township with a huge camera around your neck, flashing cash around, expect trouble! I mean, just as you would in any city.
1. Camps Bay
Anyway, with that out of the way- as unfortunate as it is, probably something you are concerned about if you have never been. Let's start off with the buzzing metropolis area of Camps Bay. This is definitely the place to be seen in Cape Town, with plenty of swanky bars, and celebs visiting regularly. The backdrop of the famous 12 Apostles is what us landscape photographers are interested in. With a beach front covered in rock pools, phenomenal sunsets/sunrises; some of the best I've seen. You can't really go too far wrong with this place. I'd recommend using a wide angle lens and a tele lens here, both work really well with the mountain backdrop.
The mixture of colours and cloud inversions over the mountains make this a perfect spot to visit. I found the beach front was one of the best areas you can frame shots in.
2. Hout Bay
20 min drive away from the centre of Camps Bay you can find another paradise for us landscape photographers. The whole area is stunning. I found it quite hard to get a good camera angle on the beach, and opted to go to Chapmans Peak Drive (pictured on the map below). From here there are plenty of opportunities to capture this fantastic area.
A wide angle lens is definitely the most essential piece of kit you can use here. There's so much to photograph here too. The mountain ranges in the area are spectacular. You could spend days exploring them and never run out of photo opportunities. Even the road- Chapmans Peak Drive is incredibly photogenic.
3. Signal Hill
This is a great vantage point to get a view of both Lions Head and Table Mountain. You can hike to Lions Head from here if you wish. There is a car park at the top so you can walk or drive there if you wish to. From the car park you are confronted with a multitude of possibilities for photographs. I found a great view of Lions Head not so far away from there, but you can also get some awesome shots of Table Mountain from here.
It can get very windy up here so come prepared, they don't call it the windy city for nothing! Especially on this exposed hill!
4. Lions Head
Pictured above, actually climbing this awesome mountain will give you some unbelievable views. The track to the top is of moderate difficulty to get up, and near the summit there are a few places you have to climb (with assistance from chains drilled into the mountain). One of the best things about this climb is the 360 path that goes all the way around the mountain, multiple times giving you a full view of pretty much everywhere in Cape Town. Lions Head is my personal favourite spot for photographing the famous table mountain. The shot below is the whole mountain range photographed from Lions Head at sunrise.
The mountain itself can be photographed from all around the city, and from Table Mountain. I found one of the best angles you can get was from a place called Kloof Neck, which is on the way up Table Mountain.
5. Table Mountain
Obviously, I had to talk about this place at some point didn't I. Table Mountain one of the main attractions of Cape Town. If not the most attractive spot for us landscape photographers. You have two options to get to the top- either climb (which will take you anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours depending on which route you take- there are many!). Or get the cable car to the top, for a return adult ticket it will cost you R180.
When you get to the top there's a nice bar, toilets even an area for wifi (if you are going there for wifi you are probably a little crazy!). Directly next to the cable car drop off point has been commercialised- it is nice to have a pint at the top though, not going to lie! There are numerous tracks you can follow from round here. Be careful though it is easy to get lost (been there done that, not fun when you miss your cable car ride down trust me!).
As you can see in the above picture; you can get fantastic cloud inversions from the top. They make for great photos. Without the cloud inversion you will get an incredible view of the city, mountains etc so either way you are good!
There are so many hiking routes and places you can go here. I could easily write a whole blog on just that. Might do one day! There are also numerous caves you can hike to which are great for framing the city in. I'd bring all your camera equipment up here because there are so many options its hard to know exactly what you will need!
A 20 min drive from the city centre you can find a beach with a great view. From here you can see the whole city in its entirety, and really do it some justice. With the sea in front of the city I would highly recommend bringing some ND filters here to do some long exposures.
Down the whole coast here you can find numerous opportunities to capture something special. I found a wide lens worked really well.
These locations are all equally unbelievable and you will never run out of inspiration in any of them. Like I was saying before, I can't recommend this city enough. I mean one of the great perks of having a city built somewhere like this is you can go get a nice meal or a drink, anything you want straight after shooting. Not many national parks like that right? Just after the shot above I went to a restaurant 2 min walk away and had a delicious meal. Let me know if you have any questions and I'd love to see your shots. Post them to my facebook group here! Thank you for reading.