My Cape Town man bun safari

What to do in Cape Town

(An unconventional guide to South Africa's 'Mother City')

Living in a metal box floating on the sea, you seem to miss big aspects of pop culture that are just not applicable to people living in metal boxes floating on the sea, such as Pokemon Go. I thought about downloading the app on my return to the real world, but decided (along with my family) to veto the search for virtual creatures and go looking for real ones instead, specific ones. Man buns to be exact. And so ‘Poke-man-bun Go’ was invented. It’s just like Pokemon Go, except there is no app (...someone needs to come up with an app) and instead of "catching" pokemon, you just try to “spot” man-buns (don’t go touching the hipsters). 

Now, man-buns like rhinos, seem to be spotted less and less in South Africa and are fast joining them on the endangered species list. (Unfortunately, beards are not quite as rare.) Last time I visited Cape Town in search of the mythical 'Dassie' (among other things) and saw a number of really beautiful man-bun specimens. I knew if I was going to play Poke-man-bun Go, Cape Town was the place to do it.  

Cape Town actually has a lot on offer as a top tourist destination, so regardless of whether you're searching for man buns or if you're just trying to experience the best this city has to offer, here are some ideas of what to do:
*Lawn ornament companions optional

1. Climb the mountain 

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Or, you can always just take the cable car:

2. Frolic at Kirstenbosch

Cape Town offers a number of amazing frolicking spots or “parks” as some people like to call them. This is a really big one with lots of spongey green grass. = Perfect frolicking conditions. 

3. Walk the Promenade 

The Sea Point Promenade is a great place to work up a sweat or take in the view, or both, even if the weather is a bit crap (and it is Cape Town, so that happens). 

Sea Point

4. Experience Truth Coffee

How is it that man-buns are almost gone but steam punk is still a thing? Rated among the best coffee shops in the world with its vintage coffee roaster, it’s an experience worth having. 

Truth Coffee, Cape Town
Possibly a bear? Definitely not a Man-bun

5. Watch some penguin porn

A visit to the Boulders Penguin Sanctuary is a must. You might want to time your visit just right though. This time of year seems to be mating season and even just walking around the outskirts of the enclosure, there was fornication happening everywhere. It’s cute that those little Jackasses mate for life, but they were not very discreet or quiet about it. I heard a lot of “heart songs” and they didn’t quite do it for me.

Boulders Beach, Cape Town
Those are not penguins sunning themselves - they've collapsed from post-intercourse exhaustion 

6. Pose with a really big rock

At the same place as the Boulders Penguin Sanctuary, they have lots of really big rocks (hence the name). What else do you need in a vacation?

Big Rock
Cape Town rocks!

7. Find a hidden treasure

Starlings is a little suburban cafe with a quirky garden atmosphere and amazing hot chocolate. Good luck finding it though! It looks like a hedge from the outside. It’s definitely the nicest hedge I’ve ever had a cup of tea in. The other "Chuck Norris" was our waiter.

8. Take a photo at St. James Beach

These little changing room thingies have made many a postcard. Of course they’re all locked so that people don't do what penguins do in them, and even if they were open, the ocean is too cold to swim in it anyway, so they’re really only good for a photo. Don’t let their very existence go to waste!

Beach change rooms, St. James, Cape Town
St. James Beach

9. Visit the V&A Waterfront 

You can’t go to Cape Town without a trip to the Waterfront. It’s basically just a shopping mall with a nice view of the harbour. If you go there now though, you can see dead people. Yes, the Body World’s exhibit is happening at their exhibition centre. It is filled with plasticised corpses with different layers of skin and flesh exposed to reveal what actually goes on inside your body. It’s a little creepy but mostly educational. 

10. Eat ice cream for dinner 

Then if you’re still hungry, you can head over to The Creamery and have a waffle for dinner. They have chocolate malt flavoured ice-cream! It tastes just like a maltieser or a whisper but it’s ice-cream. Mind = blown!

11. Visit Robben Island

Then you can always take your family to prison. They deserve it, right? It’s quite a long but pleasant boat ride and definitely a valuable experience. 

Nelson Mandela's cell

12. Find a Dassie

I finally did it! 

On my last visit here I went on a quest to find a Dassie (which is like a bunny with no ears, or like a little brown pillow with a head). (Read about it here.) This time, while I was trying to avert my eyes away from the fornicating penguins, I found this little guy! And a couple of his friends. 

I even took a #dassieselfie to go along with my #turtleselfie


I may have caught (sight of) fewer man-buns than I can count on one hand, but I experienced almost a dozen dassies, five squirrels, countless fornicating penguins, the grass under my feet, the wind in my hair, the inside of a jail cell, plasticised human corpses and some really big rocks.  I don’t know about you, Ash, but I feel like a winner. And that’s how you win at Poke-man-bun Go!

If you can think of any other Cape Town highlights for my next visit, let me know in the comment section below:

Man-buns spotted: 4 and a half
Dassies spotted: 11
Next adventure: Zimbabwe

My Cape Town Man-Bun Safari

For other Sharonicles of Cape Town, click here.

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