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.
The Cape Town metropolitan area covers a large area, from Durbanville and Somerset West in the east to Cape Point in the south and Atlantis in the north. The city centre itself is located in a relatively small area between Table Mountain (Table Mountain Webcam  ) and Table Bay.
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 Khoi. 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 and German, with some French Huguenots that had to flee from their home country. The first settlers soon explored the inland 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's inland.
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 big 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.
International Terminal of CPT.
Cape Town International Airport is the second largest airport in South Africa (the largest being the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg). There are several flights daily to Johannesburg, Durban and all other major South African cities, as well as the Namibian cities of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and other destinations, including Gaborone, Maun and Nairobi.
The most used airlines for international flights from Europe, the US and Asia include South African Airways, Lufthansa , British Airways , Delta Airlines , KLM Royal Dutch Airlines , Singapore Airlines  and Malaysian .
Further international flights arrive from Buenos Aires, Doha, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London, New York City, Atlanta and Singapore. In the summer, (October-March) several charter airlines operate direct flights from all over Europe to Cape Town. Spare seats are sold with substantial discounts but during Christmas time and New Year prices rises significantly.
Major local airlines include South African Airways , British Airways (Comair)  and low-cost airlines Kulula.com  and 1Time .
See also Discount airlines in Africa and Air travel in South Africa for further information.
Cape Town's main train station is located in the city centre, on the corner of Adderley Street and Strand Street. Please take care of your belongings as there are instances of petty crime.
A daily train departs for Kimberley (16.5 hours) and Johannesburg (25 hours). From Johannesburg there are onward connections north to Pretoria, Polokwane and Musina (near the border with Zimbabwe), and east to Nelspruit (near the Kruger National Park).
Weekly trains leave every Monday for Durban (36.5 hours) via Kimberley (18 hours), Bloemfontein (21 hours) and Pietermaritzburg (34 hours).
Weekly trains leave every Sunday for East London (28 hours).
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 Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, Glencairn and Simon's Town. MetroRail trains are generally safe, but be careful when travelling at night. 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 also boasts a moving restaurant coach (called Biggsy's ) that does the return trip from Cape Town to Simon's Town between 2 and 4 times a day (every day except Monday). Note that Biggsy's restaurant car was temporarily withdrawn from service on 31 July 2007 for renovations.
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.
Several major highways start in Cape Town:
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.
All major bus companies have Intercity connections from Cape Town, taking you to all bigger 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 Nairboi (Kenya), Dar-es-salaam (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia)and Harare(Zimbabwe)in order to reach Jo' Berg. The journey from Nairobi takes about two to three days.
- Greyhound, ☎ +27 (0)83 915-9000, .
- Intercape Mainliner, ☎ +27 (0)21 380-4400, .
- Translux, .
- SA Roadlink, ☎ +27 (0)11 333-2223, .
Bus tickets can also be obtained from Computicket  .
Cape Town is also on the Baz Bus  route.
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.
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.
- Car Rental Services - CARS, City and Airport Branches, ☎ +27 (0)21 553 8000 ([email protected]), .
- Avis, Cape Town International Airport, ☎ +27 (0)21 934-0330, . Always open.
- Tempest Car Hire, Cape Town International Airport, ☎ +27 (0)21 934-3853 (toll free: 0861 836 7378, "[email protected]), . Always open.
- Cruise Table Bay Car Hire, 25 Aviation Crescent, Airport City, ☎ +27 (0)21 386-7699 ([email protected]), .
- Hertz, Cape Town International Airport, ☎ +27 (0)21 935-3000, . Always open.
- Thrifty, Cape Town International Airport, ☎ +27 (0)21 936 2116, . Always open.
- Drive Africa, 370 Main Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 447 11 44, . Car hire for Cape Town and South Africa
- Penny K`s economical car hire, 24 Van Ryneveld Rd, Devilspeak, ☎ +27 (0)72 736 69 57, .
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 kilometre 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.
By minibus taxi
Minibus taxis are used widely by locals but tourists are usually discouraged from using them. 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.
- Rikkis Taxis, 43 New Church Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-6713 ([email protected]), . The safe and legal taxi service.
- Sisonke Tourism Services, ☎ +27 (0)21 696 4002 ([email protected]), . Safe and reliable hotel shuttle & day tour operator.
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.
- LDV Biking, 13D Kloof Nek Road, ☎ +27 (0)83 528-0897 ([email protected]), . 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.
Unless you love the pain of cycling up and down mountains while dodging city traffic on narrow streets, cycling for transportation is not recommended. However, cycling in the area is very popular.
- Cape Sidecar Adventures, 2 Glengariff Road, Three Anchor Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-9855 ([email protected], 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.
- Harley Davidson Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 424-3990 ([email protected]), . Explore the Cape on the back of a Harley. From R650 per day.
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.
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).
- 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. R20 entrance free.
- 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. R27.
- 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 days, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. As at the 1st February 2008, the waiting list to visit Robben Island is two weeks, so if you're planning a trip, you're advised to make a booking as soon as you arrive in Cape Town. R150.
- Rhodes Memorial, ☎ +27 21 689 9151 ([email protected]), . Build 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 protected]), . Open 9:30AM to 6PM. An excellent modern aquarium. R70 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 ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . 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 ([email protected]), . Open daily 10AM to 5PM. One of the oldest wine estates in South Africa R8 entrance fee.
- Slave Lodge, cnr Adderley and Wale Streets, ☎ +27 (0)21 460-8240 ([email protected]), . 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 ([email protected]), . Open Sunday-Thursday 10AM to 5PM and Friday 10AM to 2PM. Closed Saturday. The Museum is interactive and hi-tech, using different media to present highlights of South African history, and examining the Jewish community's story of individual and organizational roles and contributions. R35 adults, R15 students.
- South African Maritime Museum, Union Castle Building, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 21 465 1546 ([email protected]), .
- South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 467-4660 ([email protected]), . 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 apartheid R10 entrance fee.
- Galleria Gibello, 67 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1144 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Artscape Theatre, D F Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 421 7695 ([email protected]), .
- Armchair Theatre, 135 Lower Main Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 447 1514, .
- Baxter Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch, ☎ +27 (0)21 685 7880 ([email protected]), . Theatre performances, comedy, jazz and others
- Labia Screen, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 5927 ([email protected]), . Has an African Screen showing African-made and African-oriented films all year round.
- On Broadway, 88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 1194 ([email protected]), .
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 in the visitors centres which are in almost every area (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 George. 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. R150 return ticket.
- Ratanga Junction, ☎ +27 (0)21 550-8504 ([email protected]), . 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 warmer False Bay side of the peninsula are the most popular with swimmers for obvious picture perfect reasons. 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 this 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 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 kite Surfing due to the windy conditions.
- 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 protected]), . 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.
- Cape Charters, 31 Antigua, The Water Club, Granger Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-0782 ([email protected]), .
- Hooked on Africa, ☎ +27 (0)21 790-5332 ([email protected]), .
In some circles Cape Town is also known as the Cape of Great Events since there are many organized events in Cape Town throughout the year. An official calendar of events is available from Cape Town Tourism. 
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 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Two Oceans Marathon, ☎ +27 (0)21 671-9407 ([email protected]), . 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.
- 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, ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . From October to March. At the time of writing, the web site was not available.
- City Harvest Festival, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1418 ([email protected]). April 20th 12PM to 10PM and 21st 9AM to 6PM. The City Harvest Festival is set to showcase the Cape’s finest wines, fabulous food offerings, vibrant lifestyle and amazing entertainment making it more than just another wine festival, but a harvest celebration! The season’s final harvest grapes will be delivered by horse and cart to South Africa’s only inner city winery, Signal Hill Winery for pressing. Visitors can then feast and indulge on a wide variety of the Cape’s most renowned wine estates whilst enjoying the musical talents of local vocal, jazz and live entertainment bands. The more serious connoisseur can attend talks by some of the Cape’s well known winemakers on the joys and sorrows of the winemaking process. Chocolate lovers are encouraged to visit as well, with a special chocolate feature planned for the weekend’s festivities. Host venues such as Signal Hill Winery, Café Mao, Riboville, WineSense and Sundance Café will go live with an array of gastronomic gourmet experiences and for those who simply want to enjoy the good things in life, lifestyle retail offerings will also be available.
There are many hiking trails in and around the city, from short walks to multi day hikes.
- The Cape of Good Hope Trail, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 780-9204 ("[email protected]"url="http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/overnight_hikes.php#goodhopetrail"). Cape of Good Hope in the Table Mountain National Park, 34 km, 2 Days. R88.
- Hoerikwaggo Table Mountain Trail, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 465-8515 ([email protected]), . 3 Day, non-strenuous, luxury trail through the city, botanical gardens and Table Mountain National Park. R635 per day.
- The Orangekloof Hiking Trail, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 465-8515 ([email protected]), . 6 Days, Cape Point to Table Mountain. R420.
- 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
- Cape Town Helicopter Tours, including Cape Town Huey Helicopter Tours from the Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0) 72 327 2840 ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . From R400 per person per 15 minutes.
- Sport Helicopters, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-4444 ([email protected]), . For scenic flights or the quick way to get to Robben Island.
- ThunderCity, Cape Town international Airport, ☎ +27 (0)21 934-8007 ([email protected]), . Go supersonic in a fighter jet. You need very deep pockets.
- Skydive Cape Town, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)82 800-6290 ([email protected]), .
- Tandem Paraglide with Para Taxi, 16 Pebbles Crescent, Coral Grove, Royal Ascott, Milnerton, ☎ +27 (0)82 966-2047 ([email protected]), . R850 for a tandem flight.
- Cape Whitewater Club, ☎ 21 683-3698, . Arranges kayaking outings on the rivers in and around Cape Town.
- Gravity Adventure Group, ☎ +27 (0)21 683-3698 ([email protected]), . Provides training (African Paddling Association approved) as well sea kayaking in the West Coast National Park.
The sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium are being fed every day 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 very cold (about 10°C), you can see cold water corals and kelp, occupied by seals. The Indian Ocean is warmer, here you can see the more colourful fish.
- Scuba Shack Cape Town, inside the Long street travel centre, 289 Long Street, ☎ +27 21 424 2233 (fax: +27 21 424 9368), .
- Pro Divers, Shop 88b; Main road; Seapoint, ☎ +27 21 433 0472 (fax: +27 21 433 0472), . There is a branch at V&A waterfront.
A number of operators offer open ocean cage diving to get up close and personal to the great white in their own environment without ending up shark food.
- Shark Watch South Africa, The Great White House, Perlemoen St, Kleinbaai, ☎ +27 (0)28 384-1005 ([email protected]). Cage diving off Dyer Island. R1100.
- White Shark EcoVentures, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 532-0470 ([email protected]), . From R1375.
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 protected]), . 9AM, 11AM and 1PM daily. You need to be in possession of a valid diving license (PADI, CMAS, BASC et al). Swim along with the five ragged tooth sharks, several yellow tails, 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.
- Waterfront Boat Company, Quay 4, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-5806 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Tigger 2 Charters, ☎ +27 (0)21 790-5256 ([email protected]), . From R180 to R720 per person depending on cruise.
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 protected]), . 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 ([email protected]). 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.
- Langa Heritage Walk, Lenotholi Avenue, Langa, ☎ +27 (0)21 695-0093 ([email protected]).
- Sam's Cultural Tours, 45 Mshumpela Way, Langa, ☎ +27 (0)21 694-6370 ([email protected]).
- Sipunzi's Black Cultural Township Tours, 1818 Makhaza Khayelitsha, ☎ +27 (0)82 769-7072 ([email protected]).
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.
- Table Mountain National Park, ☎ +27 (0)21 701-8692 ([email protected]), . Table Mountain National Park forms part of the Cape Floristic Region UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers a large area of the Cape and incorporates a number of park areas. Most of it is free access; the only places you need to pay are at the Cape of Good Hope, Silvermine and Boulders.
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 protected]), . 3 to 4 hour cruise in the bay and you are almost guaranteed to spot whales. R350.
- Dyer Island Cruises, Gansbaai, ☎ +27 (0)28 384-0406 ([email protected]), . R450 to R720.
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.
- University of Cape Town, Rhodes Drive, Rondebosch, ☎ +27 (0)21 650-2128 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)21 650-5189), .
- University of the Western Cape, Modderdam Road, Bellville, ☎ +27 (0)21 959-3900, .
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Keizergracht Road, Cape Town, ☎ + 27 (0)21 959-6121 ([email protected]), .
Other nearby universities.
- Stellenbosch University (Maties), Stellenbosch, ☎ +27 (0)21 808-4514 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)21 808-3822), .
Learn to sail
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 ([email protected]). SAS and RYA accredited courses. From R2650 for a 5 day Competent crew course, R3350 for a 5 day skipper course Based at Royal Cape Yacht Club and Saldanha Bay.
- Yachtmaster Sailing School, Based at Royal Cape Yacht Club, Langebaan and Saldanha Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 788-1009 ([email protected]), . RYA accredited.
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.
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 ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . 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 ([email protected]), . Shops are open 9AM to 7PM Monday to Friday, 10AM to 5PM on Saturday and 10AM to 2PM on Sunday.
- Blue Route Mall, cnr Tokai and Keyser River Roads, Tokai, ☎ +27 (0)21 713-2360 ([email protected]), .
- Canal Walk, Century Boulevard, Century City, ☎ +27 (0)21 555-3600 ([email protected]), . Open 10AM to 9PM Monday to Friday, 9AM to 9PM on Saturday and 10AM to 9PM on Sunday.
- Cavendish Square, Vineyard Road, Claremont, ☎ +27 (0)21 657-5620 ([email protected]), . Open 9AM to 7PM Monday to Saturday and 10AM to 5PM on Sunday.
- Constantia Village, cnr Constantia Main and Spaanschemacht River Roads, Constantia, ☎ +27 (0)21 794-5065 ([email protected]), .
- Kenilworth Centre, cnr Doncaster and Chichester Roads, Kenilworth, ☎ +27 (0)21 671-5054.
- Longbeach Mall, cnr Buller Louw Drive and Sunnydale Road, Noordhoek, ☎ +27 (0)21 785-5955 ([email protected]).
- 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:
|| Under R60
|| R60 to R120
|| Over 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, Constantia Uitsig has three great restaurants, The River Cafe, La Colombe and the Constantia Uitsig Restaurant, upmarket, but worth it.
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).
- Table Mountain Restaurant, On top of Table Mountain, close to the Upper Cable Station. Open 8:30AM to 6:30PM, with extended hours during December and January. A 120 seat, self service restaurant. No booking required. From R20 for a simple breakfast.
- Unnamed Restaurant, Company's Garden. Small; offers good refreshment in a quiet atmosphere after a tour through the city. Basic local kitchen.
- The Charles, 137 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant. Open 7:00 AM to 17:00 PM,. 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 saut� mushrooms.
- Africa Café, 108 Shortmarket Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-0221 ([email protected]), . 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.
- 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, Vanguard Road (Near Duncan Docks), ☎ +27 (0)21 448-1997. Increasingly popular Thai 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. Attached to the nightclub Rhodes House.
- 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 ([email protected]). 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, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-3009. A very good Portuguese restaurant that offers some exquisite meals.
- Tong Lok, 10 Link Rd Parklands, Parklands Centre, ☎ +27 (0)21 556 8722. 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 protected], 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.
- 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 ([email protected]), . Has over 300 wines by the glass and an award-winning wine list at that. In Heritage Square, city centre.
- The Nose Wine Bar, Cape Quarter, 72 Waterkant Street, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 425-2200 ([email protected]), . Has many wines by the glass, but pricey.
- Mannenbergs Jazz Café, Shop 102, Clock Tower Centre, Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 421-5639 ([email protected]), . 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.
- 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.
- The Fez, 38 Hout Street, Greenmarket Square. Open till late. Popular, stylish night club popular with the under-30 crowd. Defined by lively, varied house music and a North African decor that manages to avoid kitsch, but the line for admission can be long if you arrive after 11PM (and the bouncers are straight out of a bad movie). Still, it's worth it.
- The Green Dolphin, Shop 2A, Alfred Mall, Pierhead, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 421-7471 ([email protected]), . Locals tout it as the best jazz club in the city, with soothing beats playing every night.
- 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 ([email protected]), . Exclusive to guests at The Bay Hotel over summer, Sandy B is a unique cocktail venue, accentuated by its glorious views of Camps Bay beachfront.
- The Nose Wine Bar, Cape Quarter, 72 Waterkant Street, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 425-2200 ([email protected]), . Has many wines by the glass, but pricey.
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.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under R500
|| R500 to R1000
|| Over R1000
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 Camps Bay or Simon's Town or near the winelands (see Cape Winelands) may offer better quality for a lower price.
Many guest houses and backpacker's accommodation are along Long Street. As rates and services change quickly take a look before checking-in.
- African Train Lodge, 3 Old Marine Drive, Monument Station, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-4890 ([email protected], 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 R80 per person.
- Amblers Backpackers, Ambler's Backpackers Lodge, 3 Upper Union Street, Gardens, ☎ + 27 (0)21 424-2292 ([email protected]), . From R70 in the dorm to R240 for a double ensuite cottage.
- Ashanti Lodge, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-8721 ([email protected], 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.
- Carnival Court Backpackers, 255 Long Street, Cape Town, ([email protected]), . 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), Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 465-1662 ([email protected], 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, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (21) 423 7638 ([email protected]), . From R75 in the dorm to R230 for a double.
- Green Elephant Backpackers, 57 Milton Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21 448-6359 ([email protected]), . From R50 for camping to R350 for a double ensuite.
- Lenox Backpackers, 2 Mill Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 465-3118, . From R105.
- Long Street Backpackers, 209 Long Street, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 423-0615 ([email protected], 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.
- NG Church Overnight House, cnr Lincoln and Allen Drive, Bellville, ☎ +27 (0)21 931-3733 (fax: +27 (0)21 931-3736). Mostly for visitors of patients of the Karl Bremmer hospital, but anyone is welcome. Bring your own towel and food.
- Camps Bay Beach Club, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 9701 ([email protected]), . Luxurious bed and breakfast, excellent service, has a 'dipping pool' in the back. R445 per person sharing.
- Bayflowers Guest House, 5 Scholtz Road, Green Point, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-0965 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Cactusberry Lodge, 30 Breda Street, Cape Town, ☎ +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. R250.
- City Lodge V&A Waterfront, Corner Dock and Alfred Roads, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 419-9450 ([email protected]), . 3 star. From R480 per person sharing.
- Constantiaberg Villa, ([email protected]). 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, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-3074 (Hotel) & +27 (0)21 424-1403 (Self-Catering) ([email protected]), . 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.
- 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, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 462-1430 ([email protected]), . Very central, helpful staff, nice rooms. R480 for a single room to R850 for a triple.
- Shambala Guest Lodge, 7 Little Lions Head Road, Hout Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 790-4328 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Sitara Country Lodge, 10 Guinea Fowl Way, Noordhoek, ☎ +27 (0)21 789-1622 ([email protected]), . 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, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 424-1335 ([email protected]), . In the city centre, near the Waterfront, Parliament, Gardens or the Malay Quarter Boo-Kap. R520 for single room, R740 for a double.
- De Waterkant Village, 1 Loader street, De Waterkant, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 9706 ([email protected]), . 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.
- The Charles Guesthouse, 137 Waterkant Street , De Waterkant, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 9706 ([email protected]), . 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.
- Camps Bay Beach Club, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, ☎ +27 021 437 9701 ([email protected]), . Camps Bay Beach Club boasts the unique concept of being 'an information desk with a view' and also offers Harley Davidson and vintage car hire on their doorstep. Another innovation at the sleek and stylish venue, is a cold kitchen serving crisp fresh dishes specialising in anti-pasti, salads and seafood. The Beach Club chef celebrates fresh ingredients and creates sublime nude food.
- The Bay Hotel, 69 Victoria Road Camps Bay, ☎ +27 021 437 9701 ([email protected]), . 5 star hotel featuring a wellness centre, conference rooms, and fine dining restaurants. On Inquiry.
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . 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 tours On Inquiry.
- The Cape Milner, ☎ +27 (0)31 310 3333 ([email protected]), . Stylish, beautifully decorated, with large comfortable bathrooms. Filling breakfasts are provided each morning. On Inquiry.
- Lagoon Beach Hotel, ☎ +27 (0)31 310 3333 ([email protected]), . 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.
Villas & Apartments
- Century City Apartments, Cape Town and Century City, ☎ + 27 (0)21 528-0007 ([email protected]), . From R600 per apartment to R3,500 per apartment; ranges from 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom multi-million rand penthouses.
- The Glen Apartments, The Glen, Camps Bay, ☎ +27 021 437 9704 ([email protected]), . From R1200 per studio to R4,300 per apartment; ranges from 1 bedroom studios to 3 bedroom Luxury Serviced Apartments.
- Waterfront Village, Mind Pearl House, West Quay Road, V & A Waterfront, ☎ +27 021 437 9705 ([email protected]), . From R1,900 per apartment to R4,400 per superior three bedroom apartment; one bedroom to 3 bedroom apartments available.
- Constantia Villas, Camelot, Rhodes drive, Constantia, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)83 444 2456 ([email protected]), . From R4,500 to R14,000 per villa.
- Canterbury Penthouse, Canterbury Sq, corner of Glynn Rd & Canterbury Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)72 509 7695 ([email protected]), . From R800 p.d.
- Vicky's Bed and Breakfast, Kiyani Street, Site C, Khayelitsha, ☎ +27 (0)21 387-7104 ([email protected]). Township B&B.
- Ma Neo's B&B, Langa, ☎ +27 (0)21 694-2504. Township B&B.
- Majoros B&B, Graceland, Khayelitsha, ☎ +27 (0)21 361-3412 ([email protected]). Township B&B.
- Kopanong, Liziwe's, Majoro's, Malebo's, Radebe's or Vicky's, Cape Town Township, ☎ +27 (0)21 551 0162 ([email protected]). Township B&Bs.
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.
- [email protected] 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.
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:
- ArabellaSheraton Grand Hotel.
- 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 and Durbanville.
- Mugg&Bean. Just about all of them.
- Sundance Coffee Co. Adderley St, Buitengragt St and Mouille Point.
Although Cape Town has its share of violent crime, you are safe if you keep your wits about you. As a visitor, you are less likely to encounter problems while visiting the townships if you are escorted by a township resident - though you shouldn't 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. Pickpockets and bag snatchers abound in the CBD (Central Business District), as do conmen and cholos, 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.
At night, make sure you stay on well-lit and crowded streets. Crime is especially high in Cape Town's CBD, 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.
You should try not to appear to be a tourist, and you will not be targeted. Targeted tourists are generally spotted wearing cameras, shorts and golf hats - try not to do this. Do what you can to blend in, and if anything happens - don't try to be a hero, rather give them what they want, and keep your life.
Important telephone numbers
From a fixed line
- 107 - Emergency.
- 10111 - Police. 
- 10177 - Ambulance.
- 082911 - Netcare911  and The National Sea Rescue Institute. 
From a mobile phone
- 112 - Emergency.
- 911 - Netcare911  and The National Sea Rescue Institute. 
Embassies and Consulates
- 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
- Austria (Consulate), 3'rd Floor, 1 Thibault Square, ☎ +27 (0)21 421 1440 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)21 425 3489).
- Belgium (Consulate), 4'th Floor, Vogue House, Thibault Square, ☎ +27 (0)21 419 4690.
- Czech Republic (Consulate), 2 Fleetwood Avenue, Claremont, ☎ +27 (0)21 797 9835.
- France (Consulate), 78 Queen Victoria Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 423 1575 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)21 424 8470).
- Germany (Consulate), 19'th Floor, Safmarine House, 22 Riebeek Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 405 3000 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)21 421 0400).
- Greece (Embassy), 19'th Floor, Reserve Bank Building, 30 Hout Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 8160 ([email protected], 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).
- Portugal (Consulate), Standard Bank Centre, Hertzog Boulevard, ☎ +27 (0)21 418 0080 (fax: +27 (0)21 418 0084).
- Spain (Consulate), 37 Shortmarket Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 422 2415 (fax: +27 (0)21 422 2328).
- United Kingdom (Consulate), 15'th Floor, Southern Life Centre, 8 Riebeek Street, ☎ +27 (0) 21 405 2433.
Cape Town is positively located for many day or two day trips, offering a variety in landscapes and cultures.
Choose self drive or guided tours.
- 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 .
Along the south coast
Garden Route and further on
Go up north along the West Coast to Saldanha Bay and all the other hidden spots. Further on are Namaqualand and finally Namibia.
- West Coast Fossil Park, Langebaan (120 km north of Cape Town on the R27), ☎ +27 (0)22 766-1606 ([email protected]), . 10AM to 4PM on weekdays, 9AM to 12PM on weekends. R25 entrance fee.
- Visit Melkbos to surf, windsurf, kitesurf and sunbathe on its wide sandy beach and also see the only working Nuclear Power Station in Africa.
|This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!