Cape Town and Table Mountain viewed from Bloubergstrand across Table Bay.
Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province, as well as being the legislative capital of South Africa (the Houses of Parliament are here). It is located in the south-west corner of the country near the Cape of Good Hope, and is the most southern city in Africa. It is a stone's throw from South Africa's world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.
Cape Town is also known as the Mother City in South Africa. It is also one of the most iconic cities in the world.
The first human heart transplant was performed on the 3rd December 1967 by Dr. Christiaan Barnard at the Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town
For thousands of years, Cape Town was inhabited by the Strandloper(an ancestor of Kalahari Bushmen). Cape Town's European history began in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post there on behalf of the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company). The first European settlers were mainly Dutch, with some French Huguenots that had to flee from religious persecution in their home country. The first settlers soon explored the adjacent hinterland and founded the cities of Stellenbosch and Paarl in today's Cape Winelands. The Voortrekkers (Pioneers of European descent) started from here to explore and settle the rest of South Africa.
Today Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. It is a world-class cosmopolitan city with numerous sites of historical significance, and a lively night-life, as well as a large gay community.
The summer months are from December to March or April. Days are usually very hot, but the humidity is low, so it is not uncomfortable. You should stay inside or in the shade during the midday heat and use sufficient sun block. You will fight for space on the beach around New Year's with all the local tourists but it is still a great time to visit as there are a lot of events happening.
The winter months of June and July tend to be rather wet, which does not mean rain every day. Often you will have one or two days of rain and a week of total sunshine, but it can rain for two weeks straight on occasion. It can also get very cold at night, with temperatures as low as 6 or 7°C (this is the temperature of the ocean so it will not get colder unless you go far inland) but 10-12°C normal. It will become warmer during the day, with temperatures between 14-20°C typical. Sunrises and sunsets are best in the winter, as is the seafood!
Best times to visit are:
October and November: The weather is getting warmer. Spring is in the air, but it is not as hot as mid-summer yet. These months can be windy months. The South-Easter is known as the Cape Doctor as it blows away a great deal of pollution!
December to March: These are the prime summer months of long hot days. The sun sets late in the evening (it stays light up until about 8:30PM in December) and there is generally a lot going on. February is the most reliable month for weather, with week after week of hot days.
April and May: This can change from year to year, but generally speaking although it starts raining, it is still warm. There are far fewer visitors around, and you can get excellent deals on accommodation, food and most tourism services.
During the dry summer months (even more so when there is strong wind) fire poses a serious threat to the flora and fauna of the region, especially the National Parks. The fynbos in particular can become very dry and burn easily. Over the last couple of years a number of fires have almost devastated the slopes of Table Mountain. Please take care not to be the cause of any runaway fire and report any fires that you might see to Table Mountain National Park Fire Management on +27 (0)21 689-7438 or +27 (0)21 957-4700 outside office hours.
All scheduled South African passenger trains are run by PRASA (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), which has different divisions for long-distance (inter-city) trains and commuter (suburban) trains. Shosholoza Meyl operates inter-city trains and MetroRail operates commuter trains in major cities.
Shosholoza Meyl has three classes of inter-city trains : Economy Class, Tourist Class and Premier Classe. In economy class there are seats only (no bunk beds), tourist class provides bunk beds for overnight trips (bring a sleeping bed or buy bedding on the train) and premier classe is luxurious and comfortable, with all meals and bedding provided. Economy and tourist class trains have a buffet car for food. Prices on the three classes vary accordingly.
Cape Town's main train station is located in the city centre, on the corner of Adderley Street and Strand Street. All trains to or from Cape Town arrive and depart from here.
MetroRail has two classes on commuter trains in and around Cape Town : MetroPlus (also called First Class) and Metro (called Third Class). MetroPlus is more comfortable and less crowded but also more expensive. Every trainset has both MetroPlus and Metro coaches ; the MetroPlus coaches are always on the end of the train nearest Cape Town. Prices are cheap so it is better to be more comfortable and use MetroPlus. Note that there are steep fines if you are caught in a MetroPlus coach with a Metro ticket (vice versa is allowed).
MetroRail commuter trains are a great way to get between Cape Town and neighbouring towns such as Stellenbosch, Strand, Paarl, Somerset West, Malmesbury, Worcester and through the Southern Suburbs (Claremont, Wynberg, Retreat) or to the beaches at Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon's Town. Contrary to many reports that you might read, MetroRail trains are safe, but it is probably wise to avoid avoid traveling at night if possible. If you need to use trains at night, use the most crowded first class (MetroPlus) car and don't stay alone.
The train line from Cape Town to Simon's Town is fabulous ; from Muizenberg south to Simon's Town it runs right next to the sea. You can often see whales, and if it's windy you may have sea spray hitting the train windows. For the best views make sure you sit on the east side of the train (the left side as you face away from Cape Town and towards Simon's Town). This route previously boasted a moving restaurant coach (called Biggsy's) that did the return trip from Cape Town to Simon's Town between 2 and 4 times a day, every day except Monday. However, Biggsy's restaurant car was withdrawn from service on July 2007 for renovations and by June 2009 had not yet been re-introduced. You can buy a Tourist "hop on, hop off" ticket for the Cape Town-Simon's Town route that allows you to get off and on any train for the entire day.
Trains to Stellenbosch run every two hours (more or less), but this journey might take a while. Ask at the ticket counter if there is an earlier train you could use, as there are also trains to Stellenbosch starting in Bellville and Eerste River.
Be aware of pedestrians on highways and National Roads, too!
The vast majority of roads in and around Cape Town are in a very good condition, making travelling by car an easy issue. However, please be aware of hijackers at night or at traffic lights. The danger is not as high as often emphasized by the media, but a good portion of precaution should be taken. Please ask your hotel staff or anyone familiar with the area about where it is safe and where it is not safe.
Hiring a car in South Africa is not as expensive as in Europe or many other countries. Petrol is also cheap compared to Europe, but might be a bit more expensive than in the US. The locals will tell you that the Cape Town drivers are the most courteous drivers in South Africa (except the mini bus taxi drivers who are unpredictable) and generally drive slower in comparison with other cities.
All major bus companies have Intercity connections from Cape Town, taking you to other cities in South Africa and to Windhoek in Namibia. There might be up to 6 buses a day to certain cities.
The starting point is next to the train station at the corner of Adderley and Strand Street, near the Golden Acre building. Please ask at the nearby tourist information or in your hotel for connections and where your bus is going to leave, as finding your bus can become difficult.
Over and above, there are a few bus services available while travelling from eastern Africa, notably Tanzania and Kenya. The general route followed is Nairobi (Kenya), Dar-es-salaam (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe) in order to reach Jo'burg. The journey from Nairobi takes about two to three days.
Most of the larger cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises offer Cape Town as one of their destinations, but you can also try something different:
RMS St Helena, . This passenger/cargo ship is the last working Royal Mail Ship and stops at Cape Town on its way to St Helena.
Map of Cape Town
Public transport in Cape Town (and South Africa in general) is not very good. Unless you are staying within walking distance of the beach in Camps Bay (or some other area where everything you want is close by) then you will find it very frustrating not to have your own transport.
There are numerous car rental companies located at the airport and throughout town. Please note that you can't pay for petrol or diesel with a credit card, only with cash or a South African bank issued 'Garage' card. Cape Town also has a number of luxury chauffeur companies available that perform various services such as airport transfers, transport to corporate events as well as VIP bodyguards.
By metered taxi
Metered taxis are controlled by the city council and can be considered safe and reliable. The price per kilometer is around R8-R10 and can often be read at the taxis side door. You can also set a fixed price with the driver, especially when going to a far away destination such as the airport which is about 21 km from city center and the fare can be bargained down to R180.
Please note that there is only one official taxi company at the airport. But you should ask your hotel to pick you up, as pick up service are provided by nearly all hotels, guest houses and so on.
Christo's Car Service (English/Dutch Speaking), ☎ +27 (0)83 877-2334. Small, family run car service based in Cape Town's city center. Very popular with tourists as they are known as an efficient and honest company. Safe for women traveling alone.
By minibus taxi
Minibus taxis are used widely by locals but tourists are usually discouraged from using them, except for the Green Point - Sea Point - Clifton - Camps Bay route that is frequently used by tourists. They cover most of the Cape Town Metropolitan Area and are very cheap, however they can get very crowded and are definitely less safe than metered taxis due to their dangerous driver behavior.
Some minibus taxi operators have seen the value in the tourist market and are starting to provide safe and legal alternatives to the traditional minibus taxis. They are more expensive than the traditional minibus taxis, but still far cheaper than metered taxis. No guarantee you'll get to your destination directly, but it is safe, fun, and all the drivers are characters. You may even meet supermodels going to their photo shoots or artists going to their studios. During busy times of day (or year) you may have to wait a while and unfortunately, they do not take reservations.
There is a network of public buses (Golden Arrow buses  ) that offer cheap connections for example from the city centre to the Waterfront. They run mostly during the day. It is better to ask the driver where the bus is going, to make sure you won’t end up somewhere else.
By scooter or cycle
You can also hire a scooter or a small motorbike. A number of places in the city offer this service and it is a great way to be mobile and save over hiring a car; however, unless you love the pain of cycling up and down mountains while dodging city traffic on narrow streets, cycling for transportation is not recommended.
LDV Biking, 13D Kloof Nek Road, ☎ +27 (0)83 528-0897 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The recommended place to rent a scooter or motorbike.From about R100 to R170 per day depending on how many days you are renting for and the time of year.
Cape Sidecar Adventures, 2 Glengariff Road, Three Anchor Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-9855 (email@example.com, fax: +27 (0)21 434-9860), . Open 9AM to 5PM weekdays and 9AM to 1PM on Sat. Explore Cape Town in a vintage World War II side-car.
There is a system of public train transport, although it is mainly used by locals. Operator Metrorail  has done a lot to increase safety and comfort on board the trains, but they still do not live up to European standards. So make sure to buy a first-class ticket. Cape Town station is situated in the city centre on the corner of Adderley Street and Strand Street and there is a reasonable suburban network of lines with more than 80 stations. A nice scenic ride can be done south to Simon's Town, all along the east coast of the Cape Peninsula. Stick to the Simon's Town line and make sure you are not on the train after 6:30PM or when it is dark.
Make sure you do not carry anything expensive on the train as this is an invitation to thieves. If you must carry a camera, make sure it is well out of sight (preferably a small wallet sized camera). Ear rings, necklaces and any form of visible jewellery are not recommended as these can be ripped (rather painfully) from one's person by an enterprising thief. Keep your wits about you and it will make for a pleasant and safe journey.
Colourful houses at Bo-Kaap
Seals at the Waterfront.
Cape Town City Hall near the Castle is an example of Victorian architecture.
Bo-Kaap, . This neighbourhood, located on a hill south-west of downtown is the area historically inhabited by mainly Muslim descendants of slaves from South-East Asia (hence an older term for the area - 'Malay Quarter'. It's a common location for film shoots, as there are some very colourful buildings, quaint streets, mosques. views over Cape Town and some great food sold on the side of the street. It's well worth wandering around for an hour or so, as well as visiting the Bo-Kaap Museum (a view of a prosperous Muslim family from the 19th Century). Atlas Trading is and old fashioned shop where you can buy spices for any dish. Ask the proprieter to mix you the necessary spice for the meal you intend making. Approximately 1km from the Bo-Kaap, is the Noon Gun which is fired every day at noon - from Monday to Saturday. You can go and view the short ceremony that takes place before the actual shooting as well as the shooting itself.
The Castle of Good Hope, Buitenkant Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 464-1260, . Popularly called 'The Castle' by locals, it has extensive displays of historical military paraphernalia, a history of the castle, an art collection and the William Fehr Collection (including old Cape Dutch furniture). You can eat inside the Castle at the restaurant or café, as well as buy wine.R25 entrance fee.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, ☎ +27 (0)21 799-8899, . Open daily 8AM to 6PM (7PM September to March). View the hugely diverse and beautiful plants and flowers of the Cape flora in one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world. Plants from all of the regions of South Africa are on display, including rare succulents from the Richtersveld, a giant baobab tree, and interesting medicinal plants. Numerous paths wander through the grounds situated on the back side of Table Mountain. Several restaurants, a gift shop and indigenous nursery are also available. At various times of the year concerts are performed in the open air amphitheatre. Art is frequently on display, including large Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. The gardens are also home to the National Biodiversity Institute. What makes the garden so special, is that every season gives you something new to see - new flowers, different birds, etcR27.
Robben Island, ☎ +27 (0)21 413-4200, . Robben Island is located just off the coast from Cape Town, this was the location used during the apartheid days to hold political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela and the late Walter Sisulu. Some of the tour guides were themselves political prisoners so they have plenty of insight about what went on there. Tours run several times per day, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. As of December 2008, tickets can be purchased for a tour the next day, although it is advisable to make a booking as soon as you arrive in Cape Town. Tickets can be purchased online.R200.
Rhodes Memorial, ☎ +27 21 689 9151 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Built in recognition of the contributions of Cecil John Rhodes to the Southern African region.
South African Parliament, . Cape Town is the legislative seat of South Africa (the Presidential seat is in Pretoria and the Supreme Court is at Bloemfontein). A tour of this compound will acquaint you with South Africa's recent history and its political system. The tour includes visits to the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and the old apartheid-era assembly which is now only used for caucus and committee meetings. Tours are offered a few times per day in various languages.Free entrance and tours.
Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-3823 (email@example.com), . Open 9:30AM to 6PM. An excellent modern aquarium.R94 entrance fee.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 408-7600, . A huge shopping and entertainment area at the slopes of Table Mountain, next to the harbour. It is very popular with tourists, because of the high density of shops, restaurants and amusement possibilities, like the Aquarium  or the Marine Museum. Harbour tours and trips to Robben Island start from here, as well as helicopter flights to the Cape Peninsula. The V&A Waterfront has more or less full wheelchair access.
Museums and Galleries
Bo-Kaap Museum, 71 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 481-3939 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open 9:30AM to 4:30PM Monday to Saturday. Located in a home dating from the 1760s, the museum offers an insight into the cultural life of the Muslim community of the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town.R5 entrance fee.
District Six Museum, 25A Buitenkant St, ☎ +27 (0)21 461-8745 (email@example.com), . District Six is an area near downtown Cape Town which remained multiracial well into the 1960s against all attempts by the government to declare it a "white only" area. Eventually the residents were all evicted and the buildings were bulldozed. The area remains uninhabited. The museum provides information about the area, the eviction, the Group Areas Act, and the people who used to live there. The director of the museum is a former resident. There is a small bookstore with an excellent selection of books on South Africa's history, District Six and apartheid.
Groot Constantia, Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia, ☎ +27 (0)21 795-5140 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open daily 10AM to 5PM. One of the oldest wine estates in South AfricaR8 entrance fee.
Slave Lodge, cnr Adderley and Wale Streets, ☎ +27 (0)21 460-8240 (email@example.com), . open 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM to 1PM on Sunday. One of the oldest buildings in Cape Town.R7 entrance fee.
South African Jewish Museum, 88 Hatfield Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 464-1267 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open Sunday-Thursday 10AM to 5PM and Friday 10AM to 2PM. Closed Saturday. The Museum about this small community that has made large contributions in South African society and bringing down Apartheid. The museum is about Jews but Non-Jews will find it very interesting and informative and it is one of the best if not the best museum in South AfricaR35 adults, R15 students.
South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 467-4660 (email@example.com), . 10AM to 5PM Tuesday to Sunday. Located in the Gardens area of Cape Town off Government Ave (about a 20 minute walk from downtown). Contains extensive displays of South African art, as well as information on the history of censorship of art during apartheidR10 entrance fee.
Galleria Gibello, 67 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1144 (caro@carolinegibello), . Open 10AM to 5PM Monday to Friday. Situated in the increasingly trendy Bo Kaap, Galleria Gibello offers visitors a brief escape from reality. Galleria Gibello is a photo gallery that is filled with visually captivating moments of life on the African continent.Admission is free.
Baxter Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch, ☎ +27 (0)21 685 7880 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Theatre performances, comedy, jazz and others.
Labia Screen, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 5927 (email@example.com), . Has an African Screen showing African-made and African-oriented films all year round.
Masque Theatre, 37 Main Road, Muizenberg (adjacent to False Bay train station), ☎ +27 (0)21 788 1898 (masqueTheatre@mweb.co.za), . Amateur plays and performances. The whole theatre is run by unpaid volunteers.
Almost everything is possible in Cape Town, from a nice guided city tour through an adrenaline kick in an old fighter jet.
The easiest way to get an overview on things to do, nice restaurants, clubs, tours etc is to walk into one of the visitors centres which are in several areas. (V&A Waterfront, City Bowl, Green Point etc).
Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain, Lower Cable Station, Tafelberg Road, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 8181, . Open 8AM to 10PM, last car down is at 9PM. Both the cable car and the pathways on top of the mountain are wheelchair accessible. Always take something warm to wear when going up the mountain, even if it is a nice toasty 30C at the bottom of the mountain. Weather conditions at the top of the mountain are not the same as at the bottom. If you're feeling fit, try climbing the shortest route to the top Platteklip Gorge. It's a steep 2 hours but well worth the effort and you can jump in the cable car back down to spare your knees. Table Mountain is the home of a small animal, the rock rabbit (known locally as the 'Dassie') whose closest relative, DNA-wise, is the elephant. Take water, sun block, hat and jacket. The cloud comes down unannounced and the temperature could plummet. Poorly equipped hikers often have to be rescued.R170 return ticket or R90 for one way (down).
Ratanga Junction, ☎ +27 (0)21 550-8504 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open 10AM to 5PM, but not open all year round. Usually open during summer, Easter and winter holiday periods. Enjoy a day with your kids at this theme park.R25 to R100 depending on what rides you want to do.
Swimming. Beaches on the False Bay side of the peninsula are the most popular with swimmers as the water is warmer. St James has the most picturesque tidal pool on the stretch between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, while Clovelly and Fish Hoek beaches wrap around a sheltered bay with soft, white sands. Fishing boats, hobie cats and kayaks launch from here too. Brave hearts can sun-worship and swim naked in the freezing water of the isolated and breathtaking nudist beach Sandy Bay near Llandudno. Major spot for gay tourists as well. There's a 1.5 km walk down from the parking lot. Camps Bay and Clifton also have great beaches to visit if you want to try the chillier waters of the west coast.
Surfing— Cape Town is one of the best places to surf. Muizenberg is a good place for beginners to learn to surf, Gary offers reasonably priced lessons from a shop facing the beach. If you're an experienced surfer, try the reef break at Kalk Bay, Outer Kom near Kommetjie or Misty Cliffs on the coast road near Scarborough. You could head up the west coast and sample Milnerton, Table View or Big Bay, although Big Bay is often crowded with people kitesurfing due to the windy conditions. When the swell is really cranking, the big wave surfers gather at Dungeons, near Hout Bay, for some of the biggest surfable waves in the world. For surf forecasts and a taste of the South African surfing scene, go to Wavescape 
Kite Surfing— Cape Town is one of the most favourite Kite Surfing destinations in the world. The two oceans combined with the windy conditions make for a great Kite Surfing experience. Some of the most popular Kite surfing hot spots are Dolphin Beach in Blouberg Strand, Muizenberg and Langebaan Lagoon.
Winelands— Tour the Constantia Valley wine estates Groot Constantia  , Buitenverwagting, Klein Constantia and Constantia Uitsig before checking out the Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Stellenbosch has the added attraction of being an historical university town and Franschhoek, well established as the food capital of the Cape, is home to three of the country's top ten restaurants. The views are extraordinary. Have a drink and a snack at Dieu Donne estate for an unsurpassable vista of the entire valley, or take your own picnic to the top of a little hill they have by the parking area. Most wineries charge for a tasting session, but usually refund it on a purchase.
Deep Sea Fishing
Ama Feesh Charters, ☎ +27 (0)21 788-9689 (email@example.com), . At the time of writing, the telephone number and web site were not available. Per charter, R4500 for inshore fishing, R6500 for offshore fishing, 1 to 6 people.
'''Offshore Sportfishing Charters''', Millers Point & Simonstown - on the way to Cape Point, ☎ +27 (0)83 235 9550 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . contact Rob Naysmithfrom R4'000 per boat (4 pax) per day in False Bay to R5'000 for Tuna.
The sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium are fed every Sunday, so it is relatively safe to dive with them.
Cape Town is located near two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Because of the Benguela Current the Atlantic Ocean is relatively cold (about 8°C to 14°C). The Indian Ocean is warmer (12°C to 17°C), and here you can see the more colourful fish. The official border between the two oceans is at Cape Agulhas, but currents and eddies take the warmer water futher west and these waters can reach the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula in False Bay, so from a diving point of view, the Cape Peninsula may be considered the interface between the two marine biological regions, and there is a notable difference in character between the waters of the two coasts of the peninsula. This manifests itself in the different range of marine life found on the two coasts. These regions are the South Western Cape inshore bioregion and the Agulhas inshore bioregion.
The waters around the Cape Peninsula have been declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA). Permits are required to Scuba dive in any Marine Protected Area. This is a politically controversial issue due to disputes on whether due process was followed and whether the government deparment exceeded its authority, but the consequence is that a tax is imposed on all Scuba divers who dive in an MPA. The permit (valid for 1 year) may be purchased for R75 (2009) at a some branches of the Post Office, or a temporary permit valid for 1 month may be purchased at most dive shops.
Failure to present this permit when requested by an official of MCM may lead to harrassment and possible arrest.
If the open ocean does not appeal to you, the Two Oceans Aquarium also offer diving opportunities in their 2.2 million liter tank.
Diving at Two Oceans Aquarium, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-3823 (email@example.com), . 9AM, 11AM and 1PM daily. You need to be in possession of a valid diving license (PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC etc.). Swim along with the Ragged tooth sharks, Yellow tail, Kob, Musselcracker, Bull rays and a lonely turtle. The dive master Iain, a barrel shaped bearded little man with a distinct Scottish accent, is both nice and knowledgeable and accompanies you into the aquarium ready to fend off the sharks with his broomstick should they become cuddly. Dive time is around 30 minutes.R400 (R325 if you bring your own diving gear), this includes the R70 aquarium entrance fee.
There are many organized events in Cape Town throughout the year. An official calendar of events is available from Cape Town Tourism . WhatsoninCapeTown.com  also has a comprehensive listing.
You can get tickets online at Computicket  for most major events that occur in South Africa.
Cape Town Flower and Garden Show. This annual show (now in its 14th year) will be hosted at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West between the 25th and 28th October 2007.
Cape Argus Cycle Tour, ☎ +27 (0)21 685-6551 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . March every year. Total distance is 109 km. Start in downtown, cycle down the eastern side of the peninsula, past Simon's Town and back up the western side of the peninsula. Entrance fee is R250 for entrants on the African continent or the equivalent of 50 Euro's everyone else. If you are not involved in or interested in cycling, avoid Cape Town on this weekend, as it is almost impossible to go anywhere as so many roads are closed.
Two Oceans Marathon, ☎ +27 (0)21 671-9407 (email@example.com), . On Easter Saturday each year. An Ultra marathon (56 km), a half marathon (21 km) and a number of fun runs ranging from a 56m Nappy Dash to a 8 km walk or run. Maximum 10 000 entrance accepted per year per race distance (fun runs excluded). There is a pricing scale for each of the runs. The Ultra Marathon, R190 for South African residents, R300 for the rest of Africa and R555 for the rest of the world. The Half Marathon, R125 of South African residents, R215 for the rest of Africa and R335 for the rest of the world. The Fun Runs are priced from R10 to R20. If you are not involved in or interested in the runs, avoid Cape Town on this weekend, as it is almost impossible to go anywhere as so many roads are closed.
Cape Town Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Convention Centre, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-5651. Normally held during late March.
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, Marches throughout the city ending at Green Point Stadium. Usually New Years day and a couple of days later during January. Also known as the Kaapse Klopse, these brightly dressed singers and dancers spend months preparing for this annual event.
Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 799-8783, . 5:30PM to 6:30PM every Sun, late Nov to early April. R50.
Mother City Queer Project, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Sometime during December each year. Biggest gay and lesbian party of the year.R100 to R350. The sooner you buy a ticket the cheaper it is.
Spiers Summer Arts Festival, ☎ +27 (0)21 809-1111 (email@example.com), . From October to March. At the time of writing, the web site was not available.
City Harvest Festival, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1418 (firstname.lastname@example.org). April 20th 12PM to 10PM and 21st 9AM to 6PM. The City Harvest Festival exhibits the Cape’s finest wines, food, with live entertainment including bands. Talks by Cape winemakers on the winemaking process. Chocolate feature planned. Host venues include Signal Hill Winery, Café Mao, Riboville, WineSense and Sundance Café.
Big Five Cape Town safaris are becoming increasingly popular. There are numerous safari game reserves with in 2 hours drive from Cape Town which is a great option if you don’t want to venture too far from the city. Most game reserves house the Big 5. And with increasing interest in wildlife safaris, there are more and more on offer for you!
There are many hiking trails in and around the city, from short walks to multi day hikes.
Table Mountain, (Starting point is 1.5 km past the Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road). Always open, but you might want to start early enough to catch the last cable car down. 3 km (all uphill), 1 to 3 hours, Platteklip Gorge to the Upper Cable Station.No fees are charged.
Chapman's Peak. 2-3 hours, non-strenuous with breathtaking views of Hout Bay and Noordhoek and rich flora, especially proteas. The trail begins on the Hout Bay side of the peak about 750 m from the main view-point on scenic Chapman's Peak Drive. Park by the trail head and follow the path out of the picnic area. It soon forks but both routes take you to the same place. Turn right at the next junction, from where the path is clear. Return same route. No permit required.
The Amphitheatre in the Kalk Bay mountains. 3 hours. Start at the sign on scenic Boyes Drive and climb up towards the rocks above which are peppered with scores of caves, many of which are not recommended for novice cavers so be careful. Take a torch. Follow the right forks in the trail and you'll be rewarded with increasingly spectacular views of False Bay. Head straight up through Echo Valley and through an ancient milkwood grove. Come back the same way if you don't have detailed directions. No permit required.
Cape Town has a very good network of trails to suit every level of fitness. Many of these trace the contours of the mountain and wander through the protea bushes and fynbos, often with breathtaking views. Many require no permit, although most of Cape Town's reserves have entrance fees. Hiking in a group is strongly recommended. The outdoor store Cape Union Mart has a hiking club with organized group hikes most weekends. Pick up a programme at one of their stores. You must phone the hike-leader first and pay R10.
Paradise Touring, 021-7131020, . For guided walks up the mountain with a botanical guide.
Cape Eco-Tours, 082-4604847, . A good one for twitchers to use and is a member of Bird Life South Africa.
In the air
Heli, Cape Town International Airport and V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 935-1619 (email@example.com), . Go on an exciting charter, or fly with an instructor and take control on an intro flight. Heli offers the premium helicopter experience in Cape Town. Scenic flights, airport transfers, wine tours, flight training
Cape Town Helicopter Tours, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0) 72 327-2840 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Helicopter Wine Tours Western Cape, visit, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and or Paarl from Cape Town.
See the cape from above with a scenic helicopter flight, East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, ☎ + 27 (0)21 425-3868 (email@example.com), . From R400 per person per 15 minutes.
Waterfront Boat Company, Quay 4, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-5806 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Take a relaxing sunset cruise on the Condor to Greenpoint and back or do the champagne cruise. One to one and a half hours.R90 to R190.
The townships are the places where people were forced to live (based on race) under the apartheid regime. To some extent townships continue to retain their apartheid-era racial make-up, for a variety of reasons. Townships have also grown to cover far larger areas of land than in the apartheid days. This is a result of urbanization, especially over the past 10-15 years. Touring a township may seem strange, even inappropriate, but it is a good way to learn about South Africa's history, and the poverty that many people continue to live in. People in the townships are friendly and the children love visitors. Some townships however can be dangerous (see the warning on the South Africa page) so don't go alone unless you know what you're doing. The townships tours are safe. If you want to bring sweets or gifts for the children, it is best not to give it directly to them, but to give it to the tour guide who will distribute them later.
Tours can be booked directly or through one of Cape Town's many booking agencies. Tours run once or twice per day. Be aware that if you're given the chance to try some township food, that a 'walkie-talkie' is often made from the feet and beaks of poultry. The very best way to see a township is by foot and to stay overnight at one of the many township B&Bs.
There are several tour companies which offer tours.
Andulela Tours, ☎ +27 (0)21-790-2592 (email@example.com), . Offers a variety of different tours, including jazz, soccer, poetry, and culinary tours. Their emphasis is on meeting people, not looking at them.
Cape Fusion Tours, Oranjezicht Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 461-2437 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Offers hands-on African cooking experiences in Langa at a local cooking school. This gives you an insight into the culture, the people and their cuisine.
Ultimate Holiday Planner, Cnr Buitengracht&Riebeeck streets, ☎ +27 (0)21 421=8787 (email@example.com), . A new online company, with the Largest Point of interest Database in South Africa, offering totally customized tours
Cape Town 4You, ☎ +27 82 338 4410 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . An online website with special packages, tours and things to do sections covering the Cape Town area
There are a number of small nature reserves in and around Cape Town.
Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and Nature Reserve, ☎ +27 (0)21 550-4667. The 3000 hectare buffer zone around the power station has been converted to a nature reserve with Bontebok, Genet, Steenbok and many other antelope.
With South African wines becoming more and more popular worldwide, the number of tourists who visit Cape Town to learn more about the local wines is growing. The impressive variety of vineyards in Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands make the choice which one to visit and which wine to taste very difficult. It is always a good idea to rely on one of the established wine tour operators. Guests should insist on a specialised guide with a thorough knowledge of South African wines.
Mostly you will see Southern right whales, but on occasion you might also spot humpback and killer whales. Bottlenose and dusky dolphins also frequent False Bay.
From viewpoints next to the coastal road between Simon's Town and Cape Point one can often spot whales less than 100m from shore.
A number of operators also offer Whale Watching Cruises.
Waterfront Boat Company, Shop 5 Quay, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-5806 (email@example.com), . 3 to 4 hour cruise in the bay and you are almost guaranteed to spot whales.R350.
Cape Town's medical research is world-renowned, and Groote Schuur hospital is where Christiaan Barnard and Hamilton Naki performed the world's first heart transplant.
There are several language schools in the greater Cape Town area. Shop around before you make your choice. Choose a school which is part of the e.g. IALC (International Association of Language Centres) or other certificate that ensure quality.
Cape Town is an excellent place to learn to sail, with courses completed here recognized internationally and costs far lower than what you can expect to pay in more developed countries.
Good Hope Sailing Academy, ☎ +27 (0)21 424-4665 (firstname.lastname@example.org). SAS and RYA accredited courses.
Yachtmaster Sailing School, Based at Royal Cape Yacht Club, Langebaan and Saldanha Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 788-1009 (email@example.com), . RYA accredited.
There are various volunteering opportunities in Cape Town.
The V&A Waterfront is the prime tourist destination for souvenirs, though these tend to be typically touristy (i.e. expensive and not necessarily authentic). More authentic curios for better prices can be found every Sunday at the Green Point market outside the Green Point
Stadium on Sundays, in walking distance from the V & A Waterfront. Many of these same curios can be purchased during the week in the several multi-story shops at the lower end of Long Street. For the real deal with authentic artifacts complete with provenance and ethnographic background, go to Church Street where there are a couple of shops but be prepared for sticker shock. When buying African Curio, the price at open markets are almost always very negotiable and seldom does the item have a price sticker attached. People with foreign accents are often quoted twice to three times the price they sell to locals, so do negotiate.
Green Market Square, 54 Shortmarket Street. Originally a Farmers' Market dating back to 1710, Green Market is today one of the city's best flea markets. There's a range of local arts, craft and curios on offer and the vendors expect to bargain for their wares.
If you like South African wine, buy it here (or anywhere in South Africa) before you leave, because it is much cheaper and there is more availability than overseas. Top guide to wines is the John Platter's Guide, with a few others around too, and with thousands of wines available from the region, you will need a guide (see below for shops that have knowledgeable staff). Read Wine magazine (or the iconoclastic Grape) for the latest information.
Vaughan Johnson's Wine Shop, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-2121 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Quality selection but not exhaustive. Knowledgeable staff. Generally substantial (10-20%) markup over winery prices but of course more convenient.
Caroline's Fine Wines, V&A Waterfront and 15 Long Street in the City Centre, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-8984. Better selection and more knowledgeable staff. City Centre location recommended, but both are excellent. Foam inserts and boxes for international shipping or for checking with your luggage (safe!). Not cheap though, compared to supermarkets and wineries.
Wine Concepts, Cardiff Castle Building, cnr Main Street & Kildare Road, Newlands (Southern Suburbs), ☎ +27 (0)21 671-9030 (email@example.com), . Another great wine shop, certainly the best outside the City Bowl. A franchised location is on Kloof Street in the Lifestyle Centre.
Ultra, . A large South African liquor chain. Several locations around the city, the one in Green Point is the most accessible to tourists. A warehouse bottle store but with a remarkable wine selection across all price ranges. Case discount (even on mixed cases). Good if you want to stock up for a road trip. Stash a bottle of Amarula Cream in your backpack while you're at it. Great prices -- in fact, often cheaper than at the wine farms themselves.
Cape Fusion Tours, Tel +27-21-4612437, . Offers tailor made private wine tours of the Cape wine regions.
Arts and Crafts
Distinctively Capetonian in character -- are everywhere, from chickens made of plastic bags to bead and wire work to pottery, glass and embroidery. If you don't buy a chicken from a Rastafarian at a street corner (the authentic experience -- about 30 rand depending on the size), then try Heartworks (Kloof Street or in Gardens Centre mall) or the Red Shed at the V & A Waterfront. There is also a high-end craft boutique in the Cape Quarter in De Waterkant.
Contemporary South African art has been riding a big wave in the international art world. It is on par with the best in the world and undervalued (unless you buy a William Kentridge). If you like real art as opposed to curios, crafts or posters, and you have the budget for it, there are several serious galleries in town. Try Michael Stevenson Gallery first, then Joao Ferreira Gallery, AVA Gallery or Bell-Roberts Gallery, and there are several others worth seeing. Art South Africa is the art magazine to read if you want to know about the artists, and the adverts list the shows and the galleries.
As in any large city you will find a number of major shopping malls with the requisite department sized stores and chain labels:
Bayside Centre, cnr Blaauwberg Road and Otto Du Plessis Drive, Tableview, ☎ +27 (0)21 557-4350 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Shops are open 9AM to 7PM Monday to Friday, 10AM to 5PM on Saturday and 10AM to 2PM on Sunday.
Maynard Mall, cnr Main and Wetton Roads, Wynberg, ☎ +27 (0)21 797-1714.
Mainstream Centre, cnr Main Road and Pricess Beach, Hout Bay. Shops are open 9AM to 5PM Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM on Saturday and 10AM to 2PM on Sunday.
N1 City, Louwtjie Rothman Drive (off Monte Vista Boulevard), Goodwood, ☎ +27 (0)21 595-1170, .
Tyger Valley, cnr Bill Bezuidenhout and Willie van Schoor Avenues, Bellville, ☎ +27 (0)21 914-1822, . Open 9AM to 7PM Monday to Saturday and 9AM to 5PM on Sunday.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Breakwater Road, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 408-7600, . Open 10AM to 9PM every day.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
R60 to R120
View over Greenpoint from the Revolving Restaurant in the Ritz Hotel.
Food in Cape Town is generally of high quality. The wines are much celebrated, but the surrounding region is also a major fruit producer, and the Karoo lamb is widely regarded. Seafood caught locally is superlative, but ironically much of it goes internationally (e.g., tuna for sushi) because of the prices that can be achieved. Ask about the local linefish -- yellowtail, cape salmon, kingklip, kabeljou and others are great eating. Oysters in season are also exceptional, farmed and wild from Knysna or wild flown in from Namibia.
As one of the main tourist spots is the V&A waterfront, you will find a broad range of restaurants, but they are often crowded and expensive. Another highlight is the area around Long Street with its many cafés and restaurants (frequented by a multi-ethnic clientèle), while the trendy area of De Waterkant between Bo Kaap and Green Point above Somerset Road also boasts good food and a great vibe. Dine with supermodels and other beautiful people in Camps Bay, which has many hip eateries and nightspots overlooking the beach along Victoria Road.
Farther afield, Hout Bay on the west side of the Cape Peninsula is very good for fresh crayfish (lobsters - they have become quite expensive, around R300, though). Kalk Bay on the east side of the peninsula offers a big variety of fresh fish, do check out The Brass Bell. The restaurants in nearby Simon's Town are also good.
Do not neglect the Cape Winelands for food if you have a car. In Stellenbosch, Spier has several restaurants, including the fun, afro-chic Moyo, and many wine estates offer food of different types and quality. The village of Franschhoek is the culinary navel of the wine region, with Le Quartier Francais a perennial five-star winner, but only one of many excellent restaurants. In the Constantia Valley there are number of great restaurants including Pastis Brasserie, Wasabi, The River Cafe, La Colombe and the Constantia Uitsig Restaurant.
NB: Make sure you know what the price is before you order rare delicacies in restaurants as there have been a few rare but high-profile cases of heinous overcharging where the price is not on the menu, particularly for perlemoen (abalone) and crayfish (similar to lobster).
Bakoven, Southern Life Building, 10 Riebeeck Street, ☎ +27 21 419 1937. Coffee shop and light meals.
Cafe Eco, 90 Long Street, ☎ +27 21 422 2299, . Cheap, relaxed, environmentally-friendly coffee shop. A favourite with backpackers.
Table Mountain Restaurant, On top of Table Mountain, close to the Upper Cable Station. Open 08:30 to 18:30, with extended hours during December and January. A 120 seat, self service restaurant. No booking required.From R20 for a simple breakfast.
The Charles, 137 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant. Open 07:00 to 17:00. The Charles can accommodate 25–30 people seated.From R35 Small English Breakfast (served with toasted white or whole wheat bread) 1 Egg, rasher bacon, sausage, fried tomato and saute mushrooms.
Africa Café, 108 Shortmarket Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-0221 (email@example.com), . Affordable and very good. Maybe the best restaurant in Cape Town for African cuisine. Lower to medium price range. Serves fixed menu, all you can eat of 12 - 15 different dishes.
Bayfront Blu, Two Oceans Aquarium, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-9086. Offers breakfast and coffee all day and also serves good seafood, like Swahili prawn curry. Tables offer view on water and Table Mountain.
Biesmiellah, Corner Upper Wale/Pentz Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-0850. One of the oldest restaurants around, known for its Malay kitchen. No alcoholic drinks are available.
Col'Cacchio Pizzeria, 42 Hans Strijdom Avenue Foreshore (Take N1 on M18, take right into River Rd and left into Hans), ☎ 0214194848, . Italian dishes made to order.Midrange.
Five Flies, 14-16 Keerom Street, . Enjoy a wonderful, multi-course meal in a stylish restaurant housed in one of Cape Town's oldest still-standing buildings. Favourite of local diplomats. Menu changes regularly; book reservations online.
Hildebrands, V&A Waterfront. Offering standard Italian fare of pizzas and pastas, but the quality is not up to par.
Jewel Tavern, 101 St Georges Mall Street, City Bowl (At the intersection of Church Street and St Georges Mall Street), ☎ +27 (0)21 422-4041. Increasingly popular Chinese restaurant. Preferred destinations for Cape Town's bon viveurs. Guest can watch how their meals are prepared. Note this is a local spot for fisherman/boat workers coming in and spending a few days into the harbour. It is a very authentic spot with no frills. Most of the staff do not speak English, but the food is delicious.
95 Keerom, 95 Keerom Street. A top class Italian restaurant with modern décor and a trendy atmosphere.
Lolas, (Across from Long Street Café). Vegetarian food with local colour and great karma. Good conversation and even better meals. Mingle with dreadlocks, artsy types and brooding poets.
Long Street Café, 259 Long Street. Very popular, European kitchen, which serves up tasty drinks.
Mama Africa, 178 Long Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 426-1017. Open Monday to Saturday. Restaurant is open 7PM till late, the bar is open 4:30PM till late. African style tourist restaurant offering local and African meals, like Bobotie and Potjiekos, but also springbok, kudu and crocodile steak. Good range of wines at affordable prices. Live marimba music some nights.
Renaissance Cafe, Mainstream Centre, Main Road, Hout Bay (next door to the Post Office), ☎ +27 (0)21 790-7202. Best coffee in Hout Bay, set in a stunning courtyard. Open 8:30AM to 6PM every day. Well worth a visit!
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, Rhodes Memorial, ☎ +27 (0)21 689-9151 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Situated in the Table Mountain National Park directly behind the famous Rhodes Memorial. The restaurant has stunning views over the northern and eastern Cape Town suburbs and the Hottentots Holland mountain range. The menu is diverse and caters to all tastes, but its the desserts that really rate a mention, be sure to tuck into some scones!
The Ritz Hotel, cnr. Camberwell and Main Roads, Sea Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 439-6010. Has a revolving restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. Good food, good views, soft background live piano. A bar and smoking room is available one floor below the restaurant. You do not have to be a resident at the hotel to get a booking at the restaurant. NB(The floor has a small non revolving ledge next to the wall. Do not put your valuables on it as your table will be half way around the building before you realize that you have been separated from your belongings.)
Sunflower Health Café, 111 Long Street. Vegetarian restaurant, with a limited range of satisfying warm meals.
Tasca de Belem, Victoria Wharf, shop 154, Piazza Level, V&A Waterfront. A very good Portuguese restaurant that offers some exquisite meals.
Tong Lok, 10 Link Rd Parklands, Parklands Centre. The best Chinese restaurant and take-away that serves anything from vegetables, to seafood, sushi and other Japanese foods.
Willoughby's, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront. Has some of the best seafood including excellent sushi at very good prices.
Tide, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 9701 (email@example.com, fax: +27 (0) 21 438 4433), . Mo-Fr , Sa-Su. Serving with Steamed Seasonal Vegetables , New Potatoes and Lemon Butter. R90 Fresh Catch Of The Day.
Ashton's Restaurant at Greenways, 1 Torquay Avenue Upper Claremont, ☎ 021-761-1792. Mo-Su 7AM-10PM. World class fine dining restaurant that offers international cuisine with a South African twist.
Blue Danube, 102 New Church Street Tamboerskloof 8001, ☎ 021-423-3624. Mo-Fr 12PM-11PM, Sa-Su 6PM-11PM. Serving French/Austrian cuisine modernised with dishes inspired by more exotic flavors.
Long Street, which can be easily reached from St. George's Cathedral and the Greenmarket Square, is famous for its bars, restaurants and clubs. This is the ideal place if you want to end the day with a drink. It is also one of the few truly multi-ethnic, multi-racial nightspots in the city. See the new South Africa, not just other tourists.
You will have live entertainment (normally something like jazz or kwaito music) in many bars and sometimes you will have to pay to get in.
169 on Long, 169 Long Street, ☎ +27 (0) 21 426-1107. This place is a local legend, pumping out a range of jazzy retro beats between Wednesday and Saturday nights. There's also a nice restaurant attached that serves Mediterranean cuisines, so you can line your stomach before you hit the dance floor
Blushlounge, 43 Somerset Road, Greenpoint, . Blush Lounge is a bar lounge and nightclub that caters for the young professional. Quality service by well trained bar staff and efficient and stylish door and security staff, patrons can relax into an evening of wellness brought on by a socially accessible environment.
Caveau Wine Bar & Deli, 92 Bree Street, Heritage Square, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1367 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Has over 300 wines by the glass and an award-winning wine list at that. In Heritage Square, city centre.
Club Georgia, 30 Georgia Street (offside the Buitensingel), ☎ +27 (0)21 422-0261. Popular with over 25-year olds. Music from all over Africa is played, especially Kwassa-kwassa, Kwaito, Ndombolo and Rai.
Mannenbergs Jazz Café, Shop 102, Clock Tower Centre, Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 421-5639 (email@example.com), . Popular jazz café specializing in distinctive Cape Jazz. Snacks and coffee during the day and live jazz every evening. Bookings/reservations essential. Many famous jazz musicians have already played here.
Marco's African Place, 15 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-5412. Popular gay bar which serves up specialities such as Ulwimi (steamed ox tongue with mustard sauce) along with live African music.
Sandy B, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 97 01 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open to the public at The Bay Hotel over summer, Sandy B is a unique cocktail venue, accentuated by its glorious views of Camps Bay beachfront.
The Green Dolphin, Shop 2A, Alfred Mall, Pierhead, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 421-7471 (email@example.com), . Locals tout it as the best jazz club in the city, with soothing beats playing every night.
The Nose Wine Bar, Cape Quarter, 72 Waterkant Street, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 425-2200 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Has many wines by the glass, but pricey.
Zanzi-Bar, 255 Long Street (above Long Street Café.), ☎ +27 (0)21 4232-9003, . 5PM-2AM. Good meeting place for other travelers visiting Cape Town. Live Jazz on Sundays, DJ's on Friday & Saturday nights. Free entry most nights.
Observatory or better known as Obz is just north of Rondebosch (Southern Suburbs). There are several student residences of the UCT and Obz main street (Lower Main Road) has a vibrant nightlife with restaurants, bar, pool halls and pubs. Almost daily there is something going on.
A popular destination with locals is Camps Bay, which offers a vibrant night-life and many bars, restaurants and clubs.
Fiction Bar, 226 Long Street, ☎ +27 21 424 5709, . renown club with weekly indie-, drum'n'bass- and minimal-electro-nightsmostly around R30 admission.
Mercury Live & Lounge, 43 De Villiers Street (Zonnebloem), . World Class Live Music, with students nightsR20-40.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
R500 to R1000
Mount Nelson hotel
Accommodation in Cape Town ranges from hostels (of which there are many) to luxury accommodation. Actually, there are so many hotels, B&Bs and guest houses that it can be difficult to decide where to stay!
Consider sleeping in one of the suburbs. It is normally much quieter and there is less traffic than in Central Cape Town. The suburbs in the south, like Muizenberg, Fish Hoek or Simon's Town, or near the winelands (see Cape Winelands) may offer better quality for a lower price. Areas along the western seaboard of the peninsula (such as Camps Bay) will be more expensive.
33 South Backpackers, 48 Trill Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 447 2423 (email@example.com, fax: +27 (0)21 447 2423), . A Boutique style hostel, Join them every Tuesday for the already legendary "creative evening."From R120 per person including a fresh Muffin breakfast..
A Sunflower Stop Backpackers, 179 Main Road, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-6535 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +27 (0)21 434-6501), . Sleep in tastefully decorated and extremely clean dorms, doubles, and twins. En-suite rooms available too.From R100 per person.
African HeART BAckpackers, 27 Station Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 447 3125 (email@example.com, fax: +27 (0)86 556 0277), . African HeART is an artwork in progress. A small, beautifully decorated backpackers which aims to offer the alternative side to travelling in Cape Town"From R120 per person including light breakfast & FREE internet..
African Train Lodge, 3 Old Marine Drive, Monument Station, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-4890 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +27 (0)21 418-5848), . Sleep in tastefully restored train carriages right in the centre of town, adjacent to the main train station.From R100 per person.
Alive PTL, Beyers Road, Woodstock. Woodstock can be unsafe even in the day. Beyers Road has a bad reputation. Avoid nearby Gympie Street at all costs.From R70 per person.
Ashanti Lodge, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-8721 (email@example.com, fax: +27 (0)21 423-8790), . A perennial favourite amongst travellers ; camping also permitted. Has a large travel centre as well.From R110 per person, or R60 per person for camping.
Cape Town Backpackers, 81 new church street, Tamboerskloof, ☎ + 27 (0)21 426-0200 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Listed by the British newspaper The Independent in January 2009 as one of only 3 places to stay in Cape Town (the other 2 being 5 star hotels!) the review described the place as "...spotless and stylish.." They are also the winners of travel agency Hostelworlds best hostel in Africa award for 2006 and 2007 and were Top Rated for 2008! Its fun, friendly (and clean), they have regular theme nights in the funky bar and have various options for sleeping from dorms if you want to save money for more beer, to ensuites with table mountain views if you want to spoil yourself.From R110 per person.
Carnival Court Backpackers, 255 Long Street, (email@example.com), . Dorms and private rooms at reasonable rates. Linen provided, hostel is very clean and staff friendly and there is a bar and balcony to hang out.From R70 in the dorm to R250 for a double room.
Castle Inn Backpackers, 76b Darling Street (corner of Harrington Road), ☎ +27 (0)21 465-1662 (grandSouthTravel@yahoo.com, fax: +27 (0)21 465-1662), . Directly opposite the Castle of Good Hope and 5 minutes walk from the train station. Cheapest Internet cafe in the area.From R75 per person.
Cat and Moose Backpackers, 305 Long Street, ☎ +27 (21) 423-7638 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . From R75 in the dorm to R230 for a double.
Formula 1 Hotel, 17 Jan Smuts Street (corner of Martin Hammerschlag Way), ☎ +27 (0)21 418-4664 (fax: +27 (0)21 418-4661), . Part of the international chain of budget hotels - each room can sleep up to three people. A few minutes walk from the train station.R369 per room.
Green Elephant Backpackers, 57 Milton Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 448-6359 (email@example.com), . From R50 for camping to R350 for a double ensuite.
Long Street Backpackers, 209 Long Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-0615 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +27 (0)21 423-1842), . Offers dorms as well as private accommodation and a good range of travel-services.R90 in a dorm to R140 for a private room.
26 on Aandbloem, 26 Aandbloem Street, Devil's Peak, ☎ +27 (0)83 460-7140 (email@example.com), . Views of Table Mountain and the Cape Town City Bowl.R500 single, R375pps (includes breakfast, en-suit bathroom with shower & WC. (-33.9357986065875,18.4263092279434)
Abbey Manor Luxury Guesthouse, 3 Montrose Avenue, Oranjezicht, ☎ +27 (0)21 462-2935 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Luxury guesthouse set high on Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town city. Dramatic views from individually decorated rooms. Built in 1905 in the Arts-and-Crafts style, and has been recently remodelled. An easy hop from the city centre and the V&A Waterfront. Rated 5 stars by TGCSA. Provides free wi-fi to guests. From R800.
Afton Grove Country Retreat, Afton Grove, Chapman's Peak Road (M6), Noordhoek (Midway between Cape Town and Cape Point), ☎ +27 (0)21 785-2992 (email@example.com), . Four star hotel. B&B and self-catered accommodation is offered in charming cottages in a garden. Provides free wi-fi to guests.From R720.
The Bay Atlantic Guest House, 3 Berkley Road, Camps Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 438-4341 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Beautiful four star Guest House situated in Camps Bay with exhausting view on the beach of Camps Bay and the Lionshead, only 10 minutes away from the V&A Waterfront. Provides free wi-fi to guests.From R350.
Bayflowers Guest House, 5 Scholtz Road, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-0968 (email@example.com), . Very central, walk to Waterfront, beach and city centre, helpful staff, rooms clean and tastefully equipped.R390 for a single room, R320 pps for a double.
Birkenhead Manor Boutique Guest House, 23 Birkenhead Road, Blouberg, ☎ +27 (0)21 556-3072 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 1PM; checkout: 11SM. Lovely warm guest house boasting excellent service and beautifully clean rooms. Close to the beach with stunning views of Table Mountain. Rates include breakfast. Free wi-fi.R450 for a single room, R300 pps for a double. (-33.825199,18.482910)
Cape Paradise Lodge, 48 Leeuwenhof Rd, Higgovale, ☎ +27 (0)21 424-6571 (email@example.com), . Cape Paradise awaits you! Has Table Mountain as a backdrop and fantastic views.From R300pps.
Cactusberry Lodge, 30 Breda Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 461-9787, . 3 star. 200 metres from the Gardens Shopping Centre, is comfortable, central and quiet, very good value for money, excellent breakfast, very helpful in all itinerary planning.R500.
City Lodge V&A Waterfront, Corner Dock and Alfred Roads, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-9450 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 3 star.From R480 per person sharing.
Constantiaberg Villa, (email@example.com). Self catering 2 bedroom apartment. Beautiful secure complex, with views of Table Mountain, pool and leisure facilities.
Daddy Long Legs Boutique Hotel & Self-Catering Apartments, 134 & 263 Long Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-3074 (Hotel) & +27 (0)21 424-1403 (Self-Catering) (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located in the heart of the city centre on one of Cape Town's most celebrated streets - a hotel with a difference, focusing on good value accommodation and a hotel experience you'll never forget.From R450 a double/twin (Hotel) & R550 a one bedroomed apartment.
De Waterkant Village, 1 Loader street, De Waterkant, ☎ +27 (0)21 437-9706 (email@example.com), . De Waterkant is often described as being arty, charismatic and quaint and is a truly special place decorated with gorgeous al fresco restaurants, sidewalk café's, boutiques and bars and is often compared with Greenwich Village.R580 for single room, R850 for a double.
Don Beach Road Hotel, 249 Beach Road, Sea Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-1083, . The Don Beach Road is located in Sea Point spectacularly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Grapevine Cottage Guesthouse, 13 Vierlanden road, Durbanville, . 3 star. Great view over the Durbanville winelands. Surrounded by wine estates, excellent restaurants nearby. Self catering accommodation and Bed and breakfast; garden and pool invite you to relax.R650 per unit, max 4 people.
Nine Flowers Guest House, 133-135 Hatfield Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 462-1430 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Very central, helpful staff, nice rooms.R480 for a single room to R850 for a triple.
Protea Hotel Sea Point, Arthur's Road, Sea Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-3344 (email@example.com), . Protea has a whole bunch of hotels in Cape Town and surrounding areas. It is well worth checking their web site for last-minute bargains, which can reduce the price by 50%.R350 pppn.
Rhonda's Manor, 35 Clarens Street, Fresnaye, ☎ +27(0)21 434 4231 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Upper Sea Point, near the Waterfront,campsbay and clifton beaches.R800 double room.
Shambala Guest Lodge, 7 Little Lions Head Road, Hout Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 790-4328 (email@example.com), . Set in a lush and tranquil garden on the sunny slopes of Little Lion’s Head mountain, overlooking the valley of Hout Bay. Offers a selection of one and two bedroom self-catering suites. Breathtaking views and beach access close by.From R250pppn.
Southern Light Country House, 24 Hohenort Avenue, Constantia, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Southern Light Country House is an accommodation in Constantia set in the beautiful surround of Upper Constantia.R850 - R1300 Season Dependant.
Sitara Country Lodge, 10 Guinea Fowl Way, Noordhoek, ☎ +27 (0)21 789-1622 (email@example.com), . In the south of the Cape Peninsula. Ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of the Cape Town area. Own transport required.From R325 for single room, from R450 for a double.
Tudor Hotel, 153 Longmarket Street, Greenmarket Square, ☎ +27 (0)21 424-1335 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . In the city centre, near the Waterfront, Parliament, Gardens or the Malay Quarter Boo-Kap.R520 for single room, R740 for a double.
The Charles Guesthouse, 137 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant, ☎ +27 (0)21 437-9706 (email@example.com), . Trendy and fashionable today, it is compared to New York's Greenwich Village and London's Soho with its tree lined streets, restored cottages, spectacular views and village atmosphere.R920 for single room, R1400 for a double.
The One 8, 18 Antrim Road, Three Anchor Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-6100 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Modern and intimate Four star accommodation in Cape Town. The One 8 Hotel is located in Green Point and close to Clifton Beach, Camps Bay, V&A Waterfront, De Waterkant gay village, and Table Mountain. This gay and lesbian friendly Guest House offers bed and breakfast and contemporary rooms for your South African Holiday.From R550 per room.
CityStay - Executive Furnished Accommodation (Century City Apartments), KnightsBridge Spa & Residential, Esplanade, Century City, ☎ +27 (0)21 528-0007 (email@example.com), . Situated in the award winning Century City area and next to Canal Walk shopping mall, CityStay offers friendly service, modern amenities and stunning environment features. A gymnasium, 25m heated indoor swimming pool, Spa, Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam Room, wireless internet access, secure undercover parking, 24 hour CCTV and on-site security, optional breakfast service, welcome pack grocery shopping, airport transfers, private tours, car hire, house keeping, baby sitting and laundry serviceFrom R600.00 per room. (-33.889977,18.512156)
Cape Grace, West Quay Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 410-7100, . Situated on its own private quay on Cape Town’s vibrant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the Cape Grace has 121 rooms all with views of the V&A harbour or yacht marina with a Table Mountain backdrop.From R16000 to R55000 for 5 nights, 2 people.
Radisson Hotel, ☎ +27 (0)21 441-3000 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 5 star hotel stunningly overlooking its own private marina and the famous Robben Island. Staff are warm and friendly and cater to every request.R2745 pppn.
Mandela Rhodes Place, ☎ +27 (0)31 310-3333 (email@example.com), . Old school charm and hospitality meets modern amenities and features. It also boasts a gymnasium, swimming pool, wireless internet, undercover parking, 24 hour concierge and business centre, optional breakfast service, pre-delivery grocery shopping, airport and city transfers, car hire, house keeping and laundry and day toursFrom R815pps.
The Cape Milner, ☎ +27 (0)31 310-3333 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Stylish, beautifully decorated, with large comfortable bathrooms. Filling breakfasts are provided each morning.On Inquiry.
Lagoon Beach Hotel, ☎ +27 (0)31 310-3333 (email@example.com), . Ideally located for business, tourist and leisure travellers. Excellent facilities at the on-site Camelot Spa so be sure to indulge yourself in some pampering.On Inquiry.
Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays, ☎ +27 (0)21 412-9999, . Beautiful hotel, within walking distance to most tourist attractions. Located at the entrance to the Albert and Victoria waterfront.On Inquiry.
Villas & Apartments
Century City Apartments, Century City, ☎ + 27 (0)21 528-0007 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . From R600 per apartment to R3,500 per apartment; ranges from 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom multi-million rand penthouses.
Villa Ibis, Ibis House, Soetvlei Rd, Constantia, ☎ + 27 (0)21 712-5432, . Villa Ibis is an a grand and extravagant Villa set on a seven hectare plot on the heart of Constantia winelands. from R3000.
Waterfront Village, Mind Pearl House, West Quay Road, V & A Waterfront, ☎ + 27 (0)21 437-9705 (email@example.com), . From R1,900 per apartment to R4,400 per superior three bedroom apartment; one bedroom to 3 bedroom apartments available.
If you have a cell phone get one of the cheap prepaid sim cards from either Vodacom, MTN, Cell C or Virgin Mobile and save money on local calls.
Overseas calls at local rates via the Celldial service. Call 087 940 6966 and follow the voice prompts. See www.celldial.co.za for supported countries.
m@in internet cafe, Kloof street, . They have private booths, and offer wifi access for laptops.
Other internet cafes can be found all over the city and suburbs, with many coffee shops offering internet access.
Many Guesthouses in Cape Town provide WiFi free for their guests.
Always-On  , +27 (0)11 575-2505, provides prepaid wifi access in a number of locations in Cape Town. Simply connect to the access point and you will be given the opportunity to pay for access by credit card. Pricing starts at around R15 for 10 minutes or R60 for 100MB.
Coverage areas include:
Westin Grand Hotel at Arabella Quays.
The Cape Diamond Hotel.
Cape Town International Airport. Restaurants and Coffee shops, in Domestic and International Departures, boarding gates, airline lounges and at the Road Lodge.
City Lodge. GrandWest, Pinelands and V&A Waterfront.
Dulce Cafe. Bayside Centre, Durbanville and Gabriel Rd, Plumstead
Mugg&Bean. Just about all of them.
Sundance Coffee Co. Adderley St, Buitengragt St and Mouille Point.
Cafe Neo, located opposite the lighthouse in Mouille Point, offers an open hotspot in addition to their excellent Greek food.
Although Cape Town has its share of violent crime, you are safe if you keep your wits about you as you should in every large city around the world. As a visitor, you are less likely to encounter problems while visiting the townships if you are escorted by a township resident—though you should not really venture into the townships without a fairly large group of accompaniment. Official township tours are your safest bet; revealing a very interesting lifestyle to the more curious tourists. The CBD (Central Business District) has been cleaned up over the years, but some con men and cholos do still exist, although during daylight police make themselves known. Simply put, leave everything you value—especially your papers and tickets—in your hotel room safe if you plan to stroll through Cape Town.
Foreigners should avoid hitchhiking or using local commuter and metro trains. Be aware of automated teller machine (ATM) con artists. Under no circumstances allow a stranger to assist you in your transactions. Should your card become stuck in the ATM, call the helpline number on display at the teller machine for assistance and to cancel your card.
During day time it is quite safe to walk around the city center. People and beggars are in general quite respectful and accept a "no".
Watch out for the mini bus taxis. They often drive like hell disobeyeing many traffic rules. Watch out for pickpocketing.
At night, make sure you stay on well-lit and crowded streets. Crime is especially high in Seapoint, Greenpoint, Salt River, Observatory, Mowbray, and the Cape Flats.
Glue sniffing children and junkies are a minor problem, called 'strollers' by the locals: these ragamuffins will strip you bare if you do not stay alert.
While driving in a car be more aware of people approaching the car at traffic lights for smash-and-grab theft. So don't leave valuables on the seats or your lap.
If you go to the mountains, go in a group of at least 4 people.
You should try not to appear to be a tourist, and you will not be targeted. Targeted tourists are generally spotted wearing cameras, shorts, jewellery and golf hats—try not to do this. Do what you can to blend in, and if anything happens—do not try to be a hero: rather, give them what they want, and keep your life. If they have weapons ,they quickly use them if you do not obey!
Argentina (Embassy), 8 Brittany Avenue, Bantry Bay, ☎ + 27 (0)21 439 0403 (fax: +27 (0)21 439 5918). Only located in Cape Town when the South African parliament sits in Cape Town. When parliament moves to Pretoria, so does this embassy
Greece (Embassy), 19'th Floor, Reserve Bank Building, 30 Hout Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 8160 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +27 (0)21 424 9421). Only located in Cape Town when the South African parliament sits in Cape Town. When parliament moves to Pretoria, so does this embassy
Italy (Consulate), 2 Grey's Pass (top of Queen Victoria Street), ☎ +27 (0)21 487 3900 (fax: +27 (0)21 424 0146).
Boulders beach is famous for its penguin colony and you can watch penguins in their natural habitat. September is the breeding season and you can see penguins hatching out of their eggs.
Cape of Good Hope to experience the wildness of the natural habitat preserved here. Stunning views and for sure you will meet one of the local baboons or ostriches. Be sure to stop in Simon's Town on your way back to relax with a wonderful view on the False Bay.
Hout Bay also known as the "Republic" of Hout Bay by its locals is a beautiful calm bay on the Atlantic Ocean. It has a quaint fishing harbour and boat trips to Seal Island. While you're there try the fish and chips at the Café on the Rocks at the end of the harbour road - a local secret.
Chapmans Peak— Experience one of the most scenic drives in the world, as you drive up the Chapmans Peak Drive and look north over Hout Bay the view of the bay and the fishing boats is stunning.
Major towns are Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. All of them are ideal for a stroll around to pick up the unique Cape Wineland atmosphere. Be sure to do some wine testing at the wine estates in the region.
For private winelands tours with a culinary twist, contact Cape Fusion Tours .