Best Photo Locations in Cape Town

by | Jan 24, 2018 | Africa, Latest Posts, Photo Locations, Photography, South Africa | 0 comments

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Cape Town in South Africa is one of our favourite places on the planet and it also happens to be one of the most photogenic cities in the world with an abundance of stunning photo locations. With each visit we fall a little bit more in love with its dramatic coastline, colourful streets and beautiful sunsets. We’ve put together this list of where to take the best photos in Cape Town to help you find some of the best photography locations in the city.  From dawn hikes to relaxing sundowners by the beach, we hope you have as much fun as we did visiting the best photo spots in Cape Town!

 

The best photo spots in Cape Town

We had a lot of fun exploring all the spots on the list. Cape Town is a photographers dream and many of the spots are perfect for capturing stunning Instagram photos. We’ve also included an interactive map of our favourite photo spots which you can save for your trip at the end of the article!

 

Kloof Corner

Kloof Corner, a rocky ledge on the edge of Table Mountain, is a super easy 30 minute hike which will reward with one of the best spots to get shots of Lion’s Head and Camps Bay.  It’s accessed via a stepped gravel path and, despite its relatively short length by Cape Town standards, is one of our favourite hikes and views in Cape Town.

Cape Town photo tip: Be sure not to confuse this with the Kloof ridge hike or you’ll set off on one of the most challenging hikes on Table Mountain!

With panoramic views of Lion’s Head, Camps Bay and the Mother City, Kloof Corner is one of the best sunrise and sunset spots in Cape Town. Sunrise is our favourite time for photos at Kloof corner. The hike is cooler in the shade the morning light breaks over Table Mountain illuminating Lions Head in the warm South Africa sun.

The rocky ledge allows for some epic shots across to Lions Head.

A beautiful Cape Town sunrise from Kloof Corner

Cape Town Photo Tip: While the hike is relatively easy take care when photographing around Kloof Corner as there are steep falls over the edges around the photo spot. Don’t even take a step without looking where you’re going, especially when you’re framing a shot and need to adjust!

Taking in the view from Kloof Corner

 

Lions Head at sunrise from Kloof Corner

Signal Hill for Sunset 

Signal Hill is one of the most popular spots in Cape Town to enjoy the sunset with some sundowners while waving goodbye to another glorious South African day. It’s also one of the best places for stunning photos in Cape Town.

To really get a good angle on both Lion’s Head and Table Mountain you need to move a little away from the sunset crowds on the hill and wander down the hiking trail that leads away from the car park and towards Lions Head. From here you’ll be able to get some stunning shots of the two peaks in the evening light. The yellow Cape Town photo frame, with Table Mountain and Lion’s Head in the background, is another great photo opportunity.

Cape Town sightseeing tip: get to Signal Hill at least an hour before golden hour in advance of the sunset. It’s a popular spot, the traffic gets a little crazy and parking is limited when the tour buses and sunset seekers arrive.

The sunset rarely disappoints in Cape Town

Table Mountain and Lions Head from Signal Hill

Sunset over Table Mountain

 

Our Photography Gear

 

My main camera is a Nikon D7200 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lenses. Elaine uses the compact Fuji XT-10 for all her shots.

 Check out our gear page to see whats in our bag.

We also use Adobe Lightroom for editing all our photos and highly recommend it The combination of Lightroom and Photoshop for a small monthly fee is a fantastic deal – Check prices now!

Click here for the best Adobe Lightroom prices

Signal Hill for sunrise (Alternative Car park)

I spotted this smaller car park close to the top of Signal Hill one evening when we drove up for sunset and returned the next morning for sunrise. This smaller car park leads to a number of hiking paths and is much quieter than the larger car park at the top. After leaving the car park, walk along the hiking trail and you’ll come across this postcard perfect panoramic vista of Lions Head and Table Mountain with the beautiful Cape Town bush in the foreground.

The path quickly leads to views like this

The slopes of Devil Peak bathed in early morning light

 

Beautiful view of Lion’s Head

 

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to witness the magical table cloth cloud that flows over the top of Table Mountain and drapes down it’s sides. We were lucky enough to return to this spot one afternoon when the table cloth aopeared and managed to capture a few great shots of this stunning phenomenon.

Cape Town Photo Tip: Using a good quality ND filter will allow you to take longer exposure shots during daylight hours. I used my 10-stop NISI filter with a circular polariser to capture a long exposure of the table cloth in the bright sunshine, while the polariser helped to reduce the glare on the surface of the mountain. These combined allowed me to capture the cloud flowing over the mountain in perfect detail.

The beginnings of the table cloth

A close up of the table cloth draping across Table Mountain

Lions Head

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a hike up Lions Head. The hike is relatively easy, however it does get a little technical with ladders and chains near the peak. While the view from the top is amazing, we found the best photo spots are actually dotted along the trail on the way up. It gives a much better sense of scale to have some of Lions Head in the foreground of shots, and this isn’t easy to capture from the top. Sunset was definitely our favourite time to hike: there are lots of people and there’s a great atmosphere on the climb and descent.

Cape Town tip: Park your car at the Lions Head car park on Signal Hill Road but make sure nothing valuable is left in the car or visible from the windows. Like most cities, break-ins can occur at hiking spots in Cape Town so don’t leave anything in your car that you’re not prepared to lose!

We love the impact of the bench in the foreground

 

Stunning views of Table Mountain and Camps Bay

Where to stay in Cape Town

The Cape Town sights are spread across the city and its suburbs. Our favourite locations are the Waterfront for sightseeing, Camps Bay (swoon!) for views and Long Street when you want to be in the heart of the action. Here’s our top hotel picks for a Cape Town stay:

  • Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge: we stayed at the Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge.  This waterfront hotel is an excellent choice if you want a V&A location at a lower price. The rooms in the main hotel building were our favourites and we loved being two minutes walk from the waterfront – Check prices now!
  • POD Camps Bay: Camps Bay is a stunning Cape Town suburb within easy reach of the city and an awesome alternative to staying in Cape Town itself. The rooms are compact but gorgeous and the views are incredible with miles of ocean, a mountain backdrop and magical sunsets. – Check prices now!
  • Long Street Boutique Hotel: if you want to be in the middle of the action Long Street, surrounded by restaurants, shows, cafes and bars is a great option. This quirky hotel is a fab boutique choice for leisure travellers and is good value by Cape Town standards – Check prices now!

Click here for the best Cape Town hotel prices

Wally’s Cave on Lions Head

While you are climbing Lions Head it’s definitely worth a small detour to one of the lesser known spots on Lions Head. Wally’s Cave is one of a a number of hidden caves which have spectacular views of Table Mountain and make for great pictures! Aim to bring a wide angle lens and a tripod to really capture the view from the Wally’s Cave.

Cape Town photo tip: if you’re planning on hiking Lion’s Head click here to check out our guide on finding Wally’s Cave.

 

Wally’s Cave

 

|  Bloubergstrand

You’ll need to drive around 20 minutes out of Cape Town to find one of the best photo locations in Cape Town! Bloubergstrand is a seaside area just north of Cape Town and the views back to the city are simply breathtaking. It’s possible to capture some beautiful images of the iconic Cape Town peaks of Table Mountain and Lions Head with the waves crashing against the rocks in the foreground.

Cape Town Photo Tip: Photographing at Bloubergstrand was one of the most challenging locations we’ve shot. High winds, spray from the sea and sand in the wind made getting clean shots extremely difficult.  Have a stable tripod, air blower, microfiber cloth and patience with you to make the process much easier but in the end its definitely worth it.

One of our favourite shots from Cape Town

 

7 |   Camps Bay

Sitting at the foot of the Twelve Apostles and adjacent to Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, Camps Bay is one of our favourite suburbs of Cape Town. From the beautiful beach to the stunning surrounds and awesome beach town vibe, we simply love everything about it. For photos, we prefer Camps Bay at sunrise but the sunset views are incredible too. As the sun crests above Table Mountain amazing shafts of light stream down into Camps Bay. It’s some of the most beautiful morning light we’ve ever shot and we could easily spend a week here just shooting this location.

Cape Town Photo Tip: Shadowed by Table Mountain, it takes around 1.5 to 2 hours after sunrise for Camps Bay to be illuminated. It’s possible to catch the sunrise from Kloof Corner or Lion’s Head and still have time to make it to Camps Bay before the morning light hits.

The morning light breaking over Table Mountain into Camps Bay

 

Camps Bay Tidal pool at dawn

 

Drone shot of Camps Bay beach

Camps Bay Tidal Pool

Another great photo spot in Camps Bay is the large tidal pool located at the end of the beach. The tidal pool is a great location for drone photos and video and we spent an early morning here with our DJI Mavic Pro drone. The tidal pools at Camps Bay have incredible views of the Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles backdrop and lends to some beautiful shots.

A drone shot over the tidal pool

Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pools

Maiden’s Cove is a hidden gem for anyone visiting Cape Town. We came across it when looking for good sunset spots and discovered the two beautiful tidal pools hidden among the rocks. Located between Clifton and Camps Bay beaches the cove is popular during the day with families and sunbathers while in the evening it’s a beautiful spot for watching the sunset. There’s no alcohol allowed in the park so you won’t find any sundowner crowds meaning the area is usually quiet at sunset.

Enjoying our sunset views

 

A drone shot at Maiden’s Cove

10 Muizenberg Beach

Considered the home of surfing in South Africa, Muizenberg beach is undoubtably one Cape Town’s best beach. It’s also home to the iconic colourful beach huts which adorn it’s sands and give a retro feel to images.

The pristine white sand and the colourful huts against the back drop of the mountains make this one of the best photo locations in Cape Town and a great spot for beautiful colourful photos, even during the harsh sunlight during the day.

Cape Town Photo Tip: Due to it’s popularity Muizenberg Beach gets really busy, especially at weekends and during holidays ,so try to visit on a weekday and early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the really busy crowds.

Taking a step back in time with this image of Muizenberg

There are lots of great angles on the huts

 

11 Kloof Road

Kloof Road winds around the side of Lions Head from the Signal Hill Road/Table Mountain junction towards Clifton Beach. We found it most appealing at sunset when the sun illuminates Camps Bay ad Table Mountain. Park your car at any of the pull-ins along the road and scramble up the hill/rocks towards Lions Head. Once you’re above the tree line you’ll be greeted with an epic view across Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and Camps bay. The land here is part of the Table Mountain National Park so we were able to wander around to find the best spots before settling on this epic vantage point among the bush.

Epic Sunsets along Kloof Road 

 

12 Boulders Beach

Cape Town has more than its share of stunning beaches but Boulders is that little bit extra special. Located next to Simons Town, it houses one of the largest African Penguin colonies in the world where thousands of penguins go about their daily business, preening, waddling, minding their babies and mating. Turquoise water, white sands, dramatic boulders and thousands of cute penguins!

Penguins, penguins everywhere!

 

13 Robben Island

The infamous Robben Island which once held political prisoners during the Apartheid (including former South African president Nelson Mandela) is now one of Cape Towns most popular tourist attractions. Located around 8km off the coast in Table Bay, tours to the island make it possible to visit Mandela’s prison cell and catch a glimpse of an era that once was. The tours stops at an awesome viewpoint with views similar to that of Bloubergstrand.

A photo stop on the Robben Island tour

 

Beautiful views from Robben Island

14 Table Mountain Cable Car

A fun photo location we found during our time in Cape Town was the cable car that transports visitors to the top of Table Mountain. The cable car has open windows on opposite sides. The outer part of the cablecar rotates giving you a few seconds to grab a unique photo of Cape Town and Lions Heads out the window.

View of Cape Town from the Table Mountain Cable car

 

15 Bo-Kaap

One of the oldest residential neighbourhoods and also one of the most photographed areas in Cape Town, the colourful houses of Bo Kaap in the Malay Quarter draw lots of visitors. The multi-coloured houses dotted around the streets of Bo Kaap area are really unique against the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain.

 

Colourful Bo-Kaap

16 Rhodes Memorial

The Rhodes Memorial located on the lower slopes of Devils Peak is dedicated to the late South Africa politician Cecil John Rhodes. Now part of the Table Mountain National Park, the memorial offers an interesting view across the North-East of Cape Town and is a great location for some different shots of Cape Town.

The view from the Rhodes Memorial

17 Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are touted as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world and, depending on the season, offers lots of opportunities for some colourful and dramatic shots. Our favourites are the sculpture garden and the tree canopy walkway.

We love the contrast of the sculpture against the natural scenery

 

The Tree Canopy Walk at Kirstenbosch Gardens

 

18 Chapmans Peak Drive

Probably one of the most beautiful drives on the Western Cape, the windswept Atlantic Coast and Chapman’s Peak are spectacular. The road is cut out of the cliff and the drive is a hair raising experience with near vertical cliffs and blind bends. It begins in the fishing village of Hout Bay and winds its way up to Chapman’s Point before ending at Noordhoek. The ocean views are beautiful along the entire route but the best are from Chapman’s Point, the highest point of the drive!

Dramatic scenery from Chapman’s Peak Drive

19 Noordhoek Beach

Another Cape Town Beach with pristine white sands and turquoise blue ocean, Noordhoek is captured beautifully from above.

Pondering at Noordhoek

20 V&A Waterfront

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a tourist dream with lots of food, shopping and souvenir options as well as the street performers, the Cape Town Wheel and the Table Mountain backdrop adding to its charm. It offers a nice perspective of the city and we love the contrast of nature against a thriving tourist attraction.

The V&A Waterfront

 

Map of Cape Town Photo Locations

 

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