Cape Town, South Africa Travel Guide

About Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa Travel Guide

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.
Heart Transplant
The first human heart
transplant was performed on
the 3
rd December 1967 by Dr.
Christiaan Barnard at the
Groote Schuur hospital in
Cape Town
Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 25 26 25 22 20 18 17 17 18 21 23 24
Nightly lows (°C) 15 15 14 12 10 9 9 8 9 11 13 14
Getting to know Cape Town
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 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 is located in a relatively small area between
Table Mountain and Table Bay.
For thousands of years, Cape Town was
inhabited by the Strandloper (ancestors
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 worldclass
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 February. Days are
usually 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 to August tend to be rather wet, which
does not mean rain every day although it can rain for two weeks
straight on occasion. It can also get very cold at night, with
temperatures as low as 2 or 3°C (this is the temperature of the
ocean so it will not get colder unless you go far inland) but 5-7°C
normal. It will become warmer during the day, with temperatures
between 9-15°C typical. It is often very cloudy with far fewer hours
of sunshine.
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
December to February: 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.
March to May: This can change from year to year, but
generally it starts raining and the temperature begins to
become cooler. 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 damaged 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.
How to get into Cape Town
By plane
Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
Cape Town International Airport,
+27 21 937-1200. Cape Town,
International Port of Entry is the second largest airport in South Africa (the
largest being the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg),
located around 20 km east of the city centre of Cape Town. It can easily
reached by all National Roads and situated directly at the N2 near
The MyCiti rapid transit operates from 04:30 to 22:00 between the
airport and the centre of Cape Town with connections to the Atlantic
coastal suburbs and to the MetroRail commuter train service
There are multiple direct flights daily to Johannesburg, Durban and all
other major South African cities, as well as Windhoek and Walvis Bay in
Namibia, and Gaborone and Maun in Botswana.
Local airlines include South African Airways, British Airways franchise
Comair and low-cost airlines and Mango
International Airlines operating routes to Cape Town include:
Air Botswana – Gaborone, Maun (Both direct).
Air Mauritius – Mauritius (Direct).
Air Namibia – Windhoek (Direct).
Air France – Paris Charles de Gaulle (Direct – seasonal).
British Airways – London-Heathrow (Direct).
Emirates – Dubai (Direct).
Kenya Airways – Nairobi.
KLM – Amsterdam (Direct).
Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Munich (Direct – seasonal).
Qatar Airways – Doha.
Singapore Airlines – Singapore.
South African Airways – 37 international destinations in 26
countries in Africa,Europe, North America,South America,Asia and
Turkish Airlines – Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines – Istanbul.
Virgin Atlantic – London-Heathrow (Direct – seasonal).
South African Airways no longer operates inter-continental routes direct
from Cape Town International, only via OR Tambo in Johannesburg.
Services from the United States also connect via OR Tambo in
Johannesburg from/to New York City, Washington DC or Atlanta. 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 rise
The Antarctic Company operates 3-day excursions from Cape Town to
Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
ATMs (In all terminals).
Baggage storage (In the Domestic Arrivals terminal),
+27 21 936-
2884. R15 per bag per day.
Clinic (Southern Office Block),
+27 21 936-2277.
Foreign exchange (Located in International Arrivals and Departure
Terminals). Master Currency and ABSA.
VAT Refunds (International Departures, between passport control
and the gates),
+27 21 934-8675, e-mail:
Car hire
+27 21 934-0330.
+27 21 934-3180.
+27 21 934-4750.
+27 21 934-3913.
+27 21 934-8600.
National Alamo,
+27 21 934-7499.
+27 21 934-8650.
Dollar Thrifty,
+27 21 934-0266.
First Car Rental,
+27 21 934-7499.
City Lodge (Right next to the airport),
+27 21 934-7303.
Always On Wi-Fi,
+27 11 575-2505.Simply connect to the access
point and you will be given the opportunity to pay for access by
credit card. From R15 for 10 minutes or R60 for 100MB.
See also Discount airlines in Africa for further information.
By train
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.
There are inter-city trains to:
Johannesburg via Kimberley every day of the week, with two trains
per day on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Economy and Tourist Class);
Durban via Kimberley,Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg on
Monday and Wednesday (Economy and Tourist Class);
Port Elizabeth via George and Oudtshoorn on Friday (Premier Classe only);
East London on Sunday (Economy Class only);
Queenstown on Thursday (Economy Class only).
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.
By car
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:
N1 runs north-east, passing Paarl,Bloemfontein and Johannesburg
on its way from Cape Town to Harare in Zimbabwe.Also a good
choice if you want to go to Kimberley and the northern Drakensberg.
N2 runs along the East Coast towards the Garden Route, George
and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, through the Wild Coast up
to Durban and Swaziland. Note that the N2 is a toll road through the
Tsitsikamma National Park.
N7 goes north along the West Coast to the Northern Cape city of
Springbok and to Namibia.Also follow it to go to Upington and the
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
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 a bit more
expensive than in the United States. 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.
By bus
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.
Also, 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 Johannesburg. The journey from Nairobi
takes about two to three days.
+27 83 915-9000.
Intercape Mainliner,
+27 21 380-4400.
SA Roadlink,
+27 11 333-2223.
Bus tickets can also be obtained from Computicket
Cape Town is also on the Baz Bus route.
By boat
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.
How to get around in Cape town
By foot
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.Even short
distance walks (like from V&A Harbour to the Castle of Good Hope) are
problematic by foot, in a city with dividing motorways, and little or no
signage or facilities for pedestrians away from the shopping precincts.
By car
There are numerous car rental companies located at the airport and
throughout town. Remember that you drive on the left here which may
take some getting used to if you’ve never done it. It may be difficult to
come by an automatic transmission at the rental company so reserve
your car ahead of time if an automatic is what you prefer.
Contrary to what has been published elsewhere and in some guidebooks,
all fuel stations accept international credit/debit cards using chip and PIN
– US and other card holders not yet converted to chip cards may find
their cards not accepted.
When you need to refuel your car you need to let the station attendants
do it for you.You can just stay in your car and they will ask you which fuel
type and how much you want to put in – they will probably also wash your
windscreen for you whether it needs it or not – their expectation is a small
tip (a rand or two apiece seems to suffice = about 10p British or about a
quarter American) so it is advisable to collect some of the low
denomination coins you will get elsewhere in your change.
Fuel is astonishingly cheap compared to European prices.
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:
Touchdown Taxis and to avoid the touts walk through the terminal until
you find their specific desk.You can also ask your hotel to pick you up, as
pick up service are provided by many hotels, guest houses and so on.
Elsewhere look for the specific taxi ranks which usually have a marshall
who will ask where you want to go and then instruct one of the taxis for
you – always ask up front how much and they will either indicate that it is
on the meter or advise a fixed amount on which you can haggle.
Compared with European and American prices they are cheap even if you
also include a tip.
Sainte Marie Taxis ((English/French Speaking), Cape Town
+27 84 745-0312, e-mail:
Christo’s Car Service (English/Dutch Speaking),
+27 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.
By bus
Recently a brand new, international standard rapid transit service has
started in Cape Town, known as MyCiTi, that runs from Cape Town
Airport to the Cape Town CBD (City Bowl) and the Atlantic coastal
MyCiTi. 04:30 to 22:00. This is the recommended service for tourists
to the City and is comparable with the London Transport system in England.
Golden Arrow Bus Services. This is a network of public buses
that offers cheap connections (e.g. from the city centre to the Cape
Flats). They run mostly during the day. It is better to ask the driver
where the bus is going to make sure you don’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 83 528-0897, e-mail: 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 21 434-9855, fax: 27 21 434-9860, e-mail:
Open 9AM-5PM weekdays and 9AM-1PM on Sat.Explore Cape
Town in a vintage World War II side-car.
Harley Davidson Cape Town,
+27 21 424-3990, e-mail: the Cape on the
back of a Harley. From R650 per day.
By train
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.
Places to see and visit in Cape Town
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 21 787-1260.
The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest surviving building.
It was built between 1666 and 1679. It is 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 and buy wine inside the Castle at the restaurant or café.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, 27
21 799-8899, 2721799-8783">+27 21 799-8783. Open daily 8AM-
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.
Robben Island,
+27 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. The tour consists of a guided bus tour
around the island, before meeting a former political prisoner for a
tour of the prison area. The island itself is quite scenic, with African
penguins usually seen on the tour. The bus tour stops to allow you
to take in the view, and buy a snack. Tours run several times per
day, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the
clock tower at the V&A Waterfront. Tickets can be purchased
online or by phone. There are three trips a day at 9:00, 11:00, and
13:00. The tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry ride to and from
the island. R230.
Rhodes Memorial,
+27 21 689-9151, e-mail: The memorial is situated in recognition
of Cecil John Rhodes. It’s built in his favorite spot on the lower
slopes of Devil’s Peak. Rhodes’s own wooden bench is still located
below the memorial. The memorial is part of the Table Mountain
National Park which is a great spot for picnicking. The memorial is
also a start for the hiking along Devil’s Peak. Rhodes Memorial and
the surrounding bike and hiking trails have become a very popular
spot for muggers in recent months. If you just have to explore the
nature in this area as it is very beautiful, make sure you are never
alone and never carry valuables with you.
South African Parliament,
+27 21 403-2266. 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 21 418-3823, email: Open 9:30AM-6PM.You can come
and watch the sharks be fed every Sunday at 3PM. There is an
extensive series of events calendar for each month.Scuba diving
with the sharks is also offered.A walk around the aquarium takes
about an hour.Adults R105, children (14-17) R75 and children (4-
13) R48.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront,
+27 21 408-7600.A huge
shopping and entertainment area in 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.
Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory,
21 300-3200, e-mail: world of discovery under
one roof! Expect a wide variety of interactive displays and exciting
activities for your enjoyment.Build a house in the exclusive ‘kids
only’ Building Site, challenge your mind with Puzzling Things,
experience weightlessness similar to that of space with a spin on
the Human Gyroscope, play Mindball – the game where you control
the ball with your brain waves and see and hear science in the
Audio Kinetic Sculpture. R40 for adults and chldren.Students,
pensioners and group discounts.
Museums and Galleries
Bo-Kaap Museum, 71 Wale Street,Bo-Kaap,
+27 21 481-3939, email: Open 9:30AM-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 21 466-7200, email: Open 9AM-4PM Monday to Saturday.
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 21
795-5140, e-mail: Open daily 10AM-5PM. One of
the oldest wine estates in South Africa and well worth the fee for
the internal tour and wine tasting. R8 entrance fee.
Slave Lodge, cnr Adderley and Wale Streets,
+27 21 460-
8240, e-mail: open 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday to
Friday and 9AM-1PM on Sunday. One of the oldest buildings in
Cape Town. R7 entrance fee.
South African Jewish Museum, 88 Hatfield Street,
+27 21 464-
1267, e-mail: Open Sunday-Thursday
10AM-5PM and Friday 10AM-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.
R35 adults, R15 students.
South African Maritime Museum, Union Castle Building,V&A
+27 21 465-1546, e-mail: This
Museum displays include evidence of the early seafarers round the
Cape Of Good Hope.Small craft, locally made and a wide variety of
maritime artifacts displays are also offered.
South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Gardens,
+27 21 467-4660, e-mail: 10AM-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 21 422-1144, email:
caro@carolinegibello. Open 10AM-5PM Monday to Friday.
Galleria Gibello is a photo gallery that is filled with visually
captivating moments of life on the African continent.Admission is
Performing arts
Richard’s Supper Stage, 229A Main Road,Sea Point, Cape
+27 21 434-6738, e-mail: Dinner Theatre set in Sea
Point. The show “Kaapse Stories” is a must-see show for any visitor
to the Cape.
Armchair Theatre, 135 Lower Main Road, Observatory,
+27 21
Artscape Theatre, D F Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town,
+27 21 421-7695, e-mail:
Baxter Theatre,Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road,
+27 21 685-7880, e-mail:
Theatre performances, comedy, jazz and others.
Labia Screen, 68 Orange Street, Gardens,
+27 21 424-5927, email: 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 21 788-1898, e-mail: plays and performances.
The whole theatre is run by unpaid volunteers.
On Broadway, 88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town,
+27 21 424-
1194, e-mail:
Fun things to do in Cape Town
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.
Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain, Lower Cable Station,
Tafelberg Road,
+27 21 424-8181. Open between 8AM-10PM
(usually 8:30), 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. There is a cafe with a limited range of snacks, coffee, beer
and wine at the top. 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, and you can see them running around on
the rocks at the top of the mountain. R195 return ticket or R100 for
one way (down).
Climbing Table Mountain – Platteklip Gorge is the most
accessible and therefore the most popular route for climbing up
Table Mountain.You start from Tafelberg Road and proceed up a
steep gully to the top of Table Mountain. 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.Be cautioned that the cable car does not operate
in strong winds so you need to check before departing. 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.Although it is very steep this route is extremely
popular and you are guaranteed to meet many people on the way
up and down. The gorge is shaded in the afternoon but earlier in the
day it can be extremely hot with very little shade. Most of the route
involves rock steps which can be challenging and many people find
coming down even harder than going up. Don’t underestimate the
time and energy required for the downward section of this hike.
Remember to take lots of water – this climb can be hot! Wear
appropriate hiking shoes. Leave plenty of time to get down before
dark.As this is a well known route and easy accessible, many
inexperienced hikers attempt the climb. Take care, or consider a
guide. Meridian Hiking Club welcomes visitors on its organized hikes
led by experienced climbers. There’s a R20 daily charge per person.
Cape Peninsula— Go to the Cape of Good Hope via Simon’s Town and
the African penguin colony at Boulders.Visit Cape Point in the Table
Mountain National Park, maybe have lunch there before taking a hike in a
quieter part of the reserve to immerse yourself in the essence of the
landscape. Then take Chapman’s Peak Drive (if it is open) through Hout
Bay and along the Atlantic seaboard via Llandudno and Camps Bay,
stopping off at one of Clifton’s famous four beaches.
Ratanga Junction,
+27 21 550-8504, e-mail:
Open 10AM-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. Don’t forget that the
False Bay area (where Muizenberg is located in addition to Kalk Bay
and Fish Hoek) is known for its sharks! 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.
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 beautiful 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. It’s
right next to the botanical garden.
Sunset cruise. On visiting Cape Town take the opportunity for a
sunset cruise from one of the services lined up along the V&A
dockside. Well worth seeing the sunset but also the view back
towards the town and Table Mountain from the sea.Some tours
include free wine and drinks, so you can get your sun-downer in as
well. If you’re lucky you may also see dolphins.
Wine Tasting
Cape Town has some of the worlds best wine producing vineyards and
arguably the worlds most scenically stunning on its doorstep. The wine
regions of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are all with in an easy
hours drive, these historic and lush regions offer stunning views and world
class wine tastings.You can self-drive but this come with limitations,
often the best farms are closed to the public and then there is the
drinking and driving issue. The best value and safest way to see the
winelands is to trust your day to a dedicated wine tour company.
Deep Sea Fishing
Ama Feesh Charters,
+27 21 788-9689, e-mail: 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 21
418-0782, e-mail:
Hooked on Africa,
+27 21 790-5332, e-mail:
Millers Point & Simonstown – on the way to Cape Point,
50NOCC, contact Rob Naysmith
from R4’000 per boat (4 pax) per day in False Bay to R5’000 for
Shark cage diving
SABP Tours,
27 21 426-2838, fax: 27 21 426-0201, e-mail: Tours offers a diving opportunity to
witness the great white shark.
UnrealDive Expeditions,
27 71 684-7136, fax: 27 86 617-
8334, e-mail: Get up close and personal
with the Great White Shark.
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 further 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
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
department 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 harassment and possible arrest.
Dive Sites:
Detailed information and suggestions on local conditions, service
providers and more than 100 local dive sites is provided in the guide to
Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay.
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 21 418-3823, e-mail: 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. For advanced
divers, the Kelp forest tank puts you into the water with more and
bigger local reef fish than you will see in the sea. R400 (R325 if you
bring your own diving gear), this includes the R70 aquarium entrance
There are many organized events in Cape Town throughout the year.An
official calendar of events is available from Cape Town Tourism.
Cape Argus Cycle Tour,
27 21 685-6551, e-mail: 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,
2721671-9407">+27 21 671-9407, email: 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
27 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
2721799-8783">+27 21 799-8783. 5:30PM-6:30PM every
Sun, late Nov to early April. R50.
Mother City Queer Project, e-mail:
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 21 809-1111, e-mail: From October to March.At the time of
writing, the web site was not available.
City Harvest Festival,
2721422-1418">+27 21 422-1418, e-mail: 20th 12PM-10PM and 21st
9AM-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.
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 21 780-9204,
Cape of Good Hope in the Table
Mountain National Park, 34 km, 2 Days. R88.
Hoerikwaggo Table Mountain Trail, Cape Town,
+27 21 465-
8515, 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 21 465-8515,
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
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
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
Paradise Touring,
+27 21 713-1020, e-mail:
For guided walks up the mountain with a botanical guide.
Cape Eco-Tours,
+27 82 460-4847, e-mail:
good one for twitchers to use and is a member of
Bird Life South Africa.
Trax Tours,
+27 73 495-6115, e-mail:
Guided hiking and cycle tours in Franschoek and Stellenbosch,
including wine tasting.
Meridian Hiking Club,
+27 82 498-0361, e-mail: This club organizes hikes ranging from
easy day walks to strenuous rock scrambles on the mountain and
multi-day hikes. Look up the calendar on the web site for details of
current hikes. It is very popular with tourists. R20 per person (or
R144 annual membership).
In the air
Heli, Cape Town International Airport and V&A Waterfront,
+27 21
935-1619, e-mail: 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 72 327-
2840, e-mail: 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 21 425-3868, e-mail: From R400 per person per 15 minutes.
Sport Helicopters,
+27 21 434-4444, e-mail:
For scenic flights or the quick way to get to
Robben Island.
ThunderCity, Cape Town international Airport,
+27 21 934-
8007, e-mail: Go supersonic in a fighter jet.
You need endless pockets.
Skydive Cape Town, Cape Town,
+27 82 800-6290, e-mail: One of the most scenic
dropzones in the world, a 30 minutes drive up the R27 just after
Para Taxi (Tandem Paraglide), 16 Pebbles Crescent, Coral Grove,
Royal Ascott, Milnerton,
+27 82 966-2047, e-mail:
R850 for a tandem flight.
Gravity Adventure Group,
+27 21 683-3698, e-mail: training (African Paddling
Association approved) as well sea kayaking in the West Coast
National Park.
Sunset cruises
Waterfront Boat Company, Quay 4,V&A Waterfront,
+27 21
418-5806, e-mail: 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 21 418-0241, e-mail: From R180 to R720 per person depending
on cruise.
Townships tours
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
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
There are several tour companies which offer tours.
African Experience, 70 Loyolo Street,Kayamandi,
+27 21 889-
5562, e-mail:
Andulela Tours,
+27 21-790-2592, e-mail:

Offers a variety of different tours, including jazz, soccer, poetry, and
culinary tours. Their emphasis is on meeting people, not looking at
Cape Fusion Tours, Oranjezicht Cape Town,
+27 21 461-
2437, e-mail: 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.
Kwathabeng Tours, 1 Mocke St Dieprivier,
+27 21 829-6166, email: Township Tavern Tours.
Langa Heritage Walk, Lenotholi Avenue, Langa,
+27 21 695-
0093, e-mail:
Luhambo Tours, Cape Town, Milnerton,
+27 21 551-0467, e-mail: in township tours (Gugulethu
and Khayelitsha) and wine tours.
Sam’s Cultural Tours, 45 Mshumpela Way, Langa,
+27 21 694-
6370, e-mail:
Sipunzi’s Black Cultural Township Tours, 1818 Makhaza
+27 82 769-7072, e-mail:
Daytrippers, cape town,
+27 21 511-4766, e-mail:
There are a number of small nature reserves in and around Cape Town.
Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and Nature Reserve,
+27 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 21 701-8692, e-mail: 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.
Wine tours
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.
Taste the Cape Travel and Tours cc,Kirstenhof,Cape Town,
+27 798 120 220, e-mail: tour company
specialising in wine and food tours with a registered tour guide.
Whale watching
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. The Southern Right wales visit each year between
June & November to mate and calve.
From viewpoints next to the coastal road between Fishhoek- Sunny Cove
railway station through Glen Cairn to Simon’s Town one can often spot
whales less than 100m from shore.At Cape Point whales can often be
seen passing below.
A number of operators also offer Whale Watching Cruises.
Simon’s Town Boat Company (from the town pier),
+27 83 257-
7760. The sole permit holder for boat based whale watching in False
Bay (Permit No. 0806336). R750 per adult ( 2012 prices).
Waterfront Boat Company,Shop 5 Quay,V&A Waterfront,
21 418-5806, e-mail: 3 to 4 hour
cruise in the bay and you are almost guaranteed to spot whales.
Dyer Island Cruises, Gansbaai,
+27 28 384-0406, e-mail: R450 to R720.
What to learn and where to go to get
educated in Cape Town
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 21 650-
2128, fax: 27 21 650-5189, e-mail:
University of the Western Cape, Modderdam Road,Bellville,
21 959-3900.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology,Keizergracht Road,
Cape Town,
+27 21 959-6121, e-mail:
Other nearby universities.
Stellenbosch University (Maties),Stellenbosch,
27 21 808-
4514, fax: 27 21 808-3822, e-mail:
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 21 424-4665, e-mail: and RYA accredited courses.
Yachtmaster Sailing School,Based at Royal Cape Yacht Club,
Langebaan and Saldanha Bay,
+27 21 788-1009, e-mail: RYA accredited.
Learn to dance
Cape Town is a hub for all forms of dancing, from African dance to
ballroom & Latin American to modern dancing, ballet and swing. There is a
school of dance at the University of Cape Town, where you can obtain an
international dance qualification at a relatively affordable price.
UCT School of Dance,
+27 21 650-2398, e-mail: of Music (Dance), Dance
Teacher’s Diploma.
Phoenix Dance Company, William Dabs Street,Brackenfell,
73 509-3887, e-mail:
International/Standard Competitive & Social American/Smooth
Ballroom & Latin Syllabus.
Love shopping? Shop your hearts out 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
Caroline’s Fine Wines,V&A Waterfront and 15 Long Street in the
City Centre,
+27 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.
Vaughan Johnson’s Wine Shop, Dock Road,V&A Waterfront,
+27 21 419-2121, e-mail: Quality selection
but not exhaustive.Knowledgeable staff. Generally substantial (10-
20%) markup over winery prices but of course more convenient.
Wine Concepts, Cardiff Castle Building, cnr Main Street & Kildare
Road, Newlands (Southern Suburbs),
+27 21 671-9030, e-mail: 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.
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.
Shopping malls
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,
+27 21 557-4350, e-mail:
Shops are open 9AM-7PM Monday to Friday, 10AM-5PM on
Saturday and 10AM-2PM on Sunday.
Blue Route Mall, cnr Tokai and Keyser River Roads, Tokai,
+27 21
713-2360, e-mail:
Canal Walk, Century Boulevard, Century City,
+27 21 555-
3600, e-mail: Open 10AM-9PM Monday
to Friday, 9AM-9PM on Saturday and 10AM-9PM on Sunday.
Cavendish Square,Vineyard Road, Claremont,
+27 21 657-
5620, e-mail: Open 9AM-7PM
Monday to Saturday and 10AM-5PM on Sunday.
Constantia Village, cnr Constantia Main and Spaanschemacht
River Roads, Constantia,
+27 21 794-5065, e-mail:
Kenilworth Centre, cnr Doncaster and Chichester Roads,
+27 21 671-5054.
Longbeach Mall, cnr Buller Louw Drive and Sunnydale Road,
+27 21 785-5955, e-mail:
Maynard Mall, cnr Main and Wetton Roads, Wynberg,
+27 21
Mainstream Centre, cnr Main Road and Pricess Beach, Hout Bay.
Shops are open 9AM-5PM Monday to Friday, 9AM-5PM on Saturday
and 10AM-2PM on Sunday.
N1 City, Louwtjie Rothman Drive (off Monte Vista Boulevard),
+27 21 595-1170.
Tyger Valley, cnr Bill Bezuidenhout and Willie van Schoor Avenues,
+27 21 914-1822. Open 9AM-7PM Monday to Saturday
and 9AM-5PM on Sunday.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront,Breakwater Road, Cape Town,
+27 21 408-7600. Open 10AM-9PM every day.
This page uses the
following price
ranges for a typical
meal for one,
including soft drink:
R60 to
Tasty meals to eat in Cape Town
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
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.
The area around Kloof St has many cafés and restaurants, as well as
Long Street (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.
Eastern Food Bazaar, 96 Longmarket Street, Cape Town,
21 461 2458.South Asian food court offering high quality meals for
a fair price. 100% Halaal.Price 20-35 Rand.
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. Quality is variable. From R20 for a simple
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 sauté mushrooms.
Africa Café, 108 Shortmarket Street,
+27 21 422-0221, e-mail: 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 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 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 (also at
Eden on the Bay in Bloubergstrand) (Take N1 on M18, take right into
River Rd and left into Hans),
+27 21 419-4848. Italian dishes made
to order. Mid-range.
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 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 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 21 790-7202.Best coffee in Hout
Bay, set in a stunning courtyard. Open 8:30AM-6PM every day. Well
worth a visit!
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant, Rhodes Memorial,
+27 21 689-
9151, 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
The Ritz Hotel, cnr. Camberwell and Main Roads,Sea Point,
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
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.
Thai Cafe in Hout Bay, Claremont and Tokai serves fresh authentic
thai food cooked by 5 star thai chefs
Blue Danube, 102 New Church St,
+27 21 423-3675. Mo-Fr
12PM-11PM,Sa-Su 6PM-11PM.Serving French/Austrian cuisine
modernised with dishes inspired by more exotic flavors.
Tide, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town,
27 21 437-
9701, fax: 27 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
+27 21 761-1792. Mo-Su 7AM-10PM. World class fine
dining restaurant that offers international cuisine with a South
African twist.
Stardust Theatrical Dining, 118 Sir Lowry Rd (Directions on
27 21 686-6280, fax: 27 21 686-0674. Tu-Sa 4PM-Late.
While eating delicious Mediterranean cuisine, customers are
entertained by their talented waitrons who perform throughout the
evening between serving tables. R80-R150.
Greek Fisherman,
+27 21 418-5411. Choose from authentic
Mediterranean tapas and a wide range of seafood and meat from
the open flame grill.
City Grill Steakhouse,Shop 155,Victoria Wharf Shopping
+27 21 421-9820.Enjoy delicious selection of traditional
South African steaks, grills and venison. or
Meloncino, 259 Upper Level,
+27 21 419-5558. Choose from a
variety of homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas and various other
authentic dishes. or
La Colombe,Spaanschemat Street,
+27 21 794-2390, e-mail: Lunch: 12h30-14h00 Dinner: 19h00-20h45.
La Colombe, one of Cape Town’s most well-loved and awarded
restaurants, achieved an impressive 12th place in the San Pellegrino
50 Best Restaurants of the World Awards 2010. Having moved up
26 places and into the hallowed Top 20, this bastion of
contemporary French-meets-Asian fine dining thereby also clinched
the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East Award.
Winner of both Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in the
Prudential Eat Out Awards 2008, and again honoured with the
prestigious Restaurant of the Year title in 2009, La Colombe has
also achieved the highest three star rating in the 2009, 2010 and
2011 issue of the acclaimed Rossouw’s Restaurants guide.Book
months in advance!
The Test Kitchen, The Old Biscuit Mill 375 Albert Road
+27 21 447-2337, e-mail: Lunch: 12:30-14:00 Dinner:
19:00-21:00. Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen, which opened in
November 2010, has the celebrated chef cooking at his most
creative in a distinctive contemporary space.At the prestigious
World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2013, The Test Kitchen made
an impressive leap to No. 61 on the list, climbing up 13 places from
no.74 in 2012. More significantly, The Test Kitchen was singled out
as the winner of the “Cacao Barry One To Watch Award” 2013,
indicating momentum that may well secure a place in the Top 50
next year.Book months in advance!
Places to go to grab a drink in Cape Town
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.
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.
169 on Long, 169 Long Street,
+27 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. Open Tuesday to
Sunday from 5PM to late.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,
21 422-1367, e-mail: Has over 300 wines by the
glass and an award-winning wine list at that. In Heritage Square, city
Club Georgia, 30 Georgia Street (offside the Buitensingel),
+27 21
422-0261. 9:30PM till late.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 21 421-5639, e-mail: 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 21 423-
5412.Popular gay bar which serves up specialities such as Ulwimi
(steamed ox tongue with mustard sauce) along with live African
Sandy B, 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town,
+27 21 437-
9701, 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
+27 21 421-7471, e-mail:
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
+27 21 425-2200, e-mail: Has many
wines by the glass, but pricey.
Zanzi-Bar, 255 Long Street (above Long Street Café.),
+27 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.
Mitchells Ale House (Mitchells Brewery), Cnr East Pier & Dock
Road V&A Waterfront,
+27 21 419-5074, e-mail: Great location, fun atmosphere,
friendly staff and famous craft beers, amazing views of the Cape
Town harbour and Table Mountain, and karaoke.
Foresters Arms (Forries), 52 Newlands Ave, Newlands,
+21 21
689-5949, e-mail: Nestled at the foot of our
majestic mountains, in the leafy suburb of Newlands, Cape Town,
Foresters Arms Restaurant and Pub (fondly referred to by the locals
as Forries), is one of the oldest pubs in South Africa and provides a
retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. They have a good
selection of draught beers.
The Royal Oak, Marine Circle, Table View,
+27 21 557-0354.A
friendly traditional British pub, frequented by British expatriates.
Fiction Bar, 226 Long Street,
+27 21 424-5709. Renowned club
with weekly indie-, drum’n’bass- and minimal-electro-nights mostly
around R30 admission.
Mercury Live & Lounge, 43 De Villiers Street (Zonnebloem).
World-class live music, with students nights. R20-40.
This guide uses
the following price
ranges for a
standard double
R500 to
Where to go to have a peaceful sleep in Cape
Staying in city centre can often work out cheaper
as obviously all the attractions are to hand, but
stick to one of the neighbourhoods next to the
central area for better prices and a quieter nights
sleep. The area around vibey Kloof Street in
Gardens/Tamboerskloof with its young cafe
culture and hip shopping is a good choice.You
could consider sleeping in one of the suburbs. It is
normally 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)are ones to try.Areas along the
western seaboard of the peninsula (such as Camps Bay) will be more
33 South Backpackers, 48 Trill Road, Observatory,
27 21 447-
2423, fax: 27 21 447-2423, e-mail:
A Boutique style hostel, Join them every Tuesday for the already
legendary “creative evening.” From R140 per person including a
fresh Muffin breakfast..
A Sunflower Stop Backpackers, 179 Main Road, Green Point,
27 21 434-6535, fax: 27 21 434-6501, e-mail: in tastefully decorated and
extremely clean dorms, doubles, and twins.En-suite rooms available
too. From R185 per person.
African HeART BAckpackers, 27 Station Road, Observatory,
21 447-3125, fax: 27 86 556-0277, e-mail: HeART is an artwork in
progress.A small, beautifully decorated backpackers which aims to
offer the alternative side to travelling in Cape Town" From R130 per
person including light breakfast & FREE internet..
African Train Lodge, 3 Old Marine Drive, Monument Station,
21 418-4890, fax: 27 21 418-5848, e-mail: in tastefully restored train
carriages right in the centre of town, adjacent to the main train
station. From R190 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 21 423-8721, fax: 27
21 423-8790, e-mail: perennial favourite
among travellers ; camping also permitted. Has a large travel centre
as well. From R160 per person, or R90 per person for camping.
Atlantic Point Backpackers, 2 Cavalcade Road, Green Point,
+27 21 433-1662, e-mail: Free Breakfast
and wifi included. From R130 per person in a 8 Bed Mix, or R450 per
night in a Double Room with free cable TV..
B.I.G Backpackers, 18 Thornhill Rd, Cape Town 8005,South
+27 21 434-0688, e-mail: Two
Kitchens, Travel Desk,Swimming Pool,Braai Facilities, Quiet Library
Room,Big Screen TV,Bicycles for hire,Airport Transfers, Free
Breakfast and fast WiFi included. From R180 per person in a 4 Bed
Mix, or R670 per night in a Double Room..
Bohemian Lofts Backpackers, 41 Trill Road, Observatory,
21 447-6204, e-mail: on the
bohemian Lower Main Rd.“ ”note listing-price">From R120 per
Cape Town Backpackers, 81 new church street,
+27 21 426-
0200, e-mail: Cape Town
Backpackers has a fantastic atmosphere and plenty of style.Listed
by the British newspaper The Independent 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..” Just off Park Road
and Kloof Street, the area they are in is renowned for delicious
restaurants, busy cafés and trendy drinking spots. This place is fun,
friendly,clean, it’s gay friendly and they have regular theme nights in
the funky bar. There are 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 R170 per person.
Carnival Court Backpackers, 255 Long Street, e-mail: 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 R130 in the dorm to
R250 for a double room.
Castle Inn Backpackers, 76b Darling Street (corner of Harrington
27 21 465-1662, fax: 27 21 465-1662, e-mail: Directly opposite the Castle of
Good Hope and 5 minutes walk from the train station. Cheapest
Internet cafe in the area. From R100 per person.
Cat and Moose Backpackers, 305 Long Street,
+27 21 423-
7638, e-mail: From R170 in the dorm to
R230 for a double.
Formula 1 Hotel, 17 Jan Smuts Street (corner of Martin
Hammerschlag Way),
27 21 418-4664, fax: 27 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 21 448-6359, e-mail: From R80 for
camping to R480 for a double ensuite. and dorm R130..
Long Street Backpackers, 209 Long Street,
27 21 423-
0615, fax: 27 21 423-1842, e-mail: Offers dorms as well as private
accommodation and a good range of travel-services. R175 in a dorm
to R320 for a private room.
Riverlodge Backpackers, oude molen eco village Alexandria road
+27 21 448-0526. camping. 8 bed dorms. R60/80.00.
Saasveld Guest lodge, 73 Kloof Street, Gardens, 8001, Cape
+27 21 424-6169, e-mail:
affordable, neat and clean guest lodge, with good rates
The Ballinrobe, Calais Road,Sea Point (From Cape Town
International Airport: Head southwest and turn left onto Airport
Approach Rd. Merge onto Settlers Way / N2 via the ramp to Cape
Town. Merge onto De Waal Dr. Continue onto Nelson Mandela Blvd.
Take the Strand Street exit. Merge onto Strand Street. Continue onto
High Level Rd. Turn left onto Upper Rhine Rd. Take the 1st right
onto Calais Rd. The Ballinrobe is on the right.),
+27 87 943-
4302, e-mail: Check-in: 14h00, check-out:
10h00. From R2100 per night to R3500 per night.
The Camps Bay Guesthouse, 31 Geneva Drive, Camps Bay, Cape
+27 81 467-4400, e-mail:
Exclusive use of 180sqm private self-catering stand alone luxury
accommodation set in the grounds of the owners Camps Bay Villa,
private and secure with onsite gated parking, full kitchen, teak floors,
living and dining room with underfloor heating throughout,
widescreen LCD television with Apple TV entertainment system and
stereo surround, complimentary hi-speed WIFI access, private deck
and garden area opens into the grounds with access to the Villa
swimming pool, porcelain tiled bathroom has separate bath and
shower, WC and bidet. From ZAR 750.00.
Dark Chocolate Guest House Durbanville, 1 Mountain View
Crescent Durbanville,
+27 21 979-1988.Standard rooms, all
equipped with Air-conditioning, TV with cable and High-speed
Internet connection. Facilities and services are Garden, Outdoor
swimming pool and Conference. From ZAR 810.00.
Cape Diamond Boutique Hotel, Longmarket and Parliament
+27 21 461-2519.All rooms equipped with Air-conditioning,
Private toilet and bath,Safe deposit box,Side lamp table and Wired
Internet connection (extra charges apply).Some of its facilities and
services are Meeting/ banquet facilities,Business centre,
Restaurant, Theatre Cafe, 24-hour front desk, Room service and
Laundry service. From ZAR 1080.00.
Lorraine’s on Lincoln, 12 Lincoln Street,Boston,
+27 21 946-
4710.All rooms equipped with English breakfast,Spacious dining
area, Hair dryer, TV with satellite channels, Work desk and Fan.
Outdoor swimming pool, Garden,Banquet hall, Car rental, Wi-Fi
Internet connection, Fax and photocopying services. From ZAR
26 on Aandbloem, 26 Aandbloem Street, Devil’s Peak,
+27 83
460-7140, e-mail: of Table
Mountain and the Cape Town City Bowl. R500 single, R375pps
(includes breakfast, en-suit bathroom with shower & WC.
Abbey Manor Luxury Guesthouse, 3 Montrose Avenue,
+27 21 462-2935, e-mail: 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
+27 21 785-2992, e-mail: 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,
21 438-4341, e-mail: 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 21
434-0968, e-mail: central, walk to
Waterfront, beach and city centre, helpful staff,rooms clean and
tastefully equipped. R650 for a single room, R425 pps for a double.
Birkenhead Manor Boutique Guest House, 23 Birkenhead
+27 21 556-3072, e-mail: Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 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.
Cape Coast Views (Cape Coast Views), 95 High Level Road,
Green Point, Cape Town,
+27 21 439-7761, e-mail: friendly guest house located in trendy
Green Point. Central to most attractions. Walking distance to bars,
cafes, shops and taxi rank. Includes secure parking, wifi, continental
breakfast, solar heated pool, bar fridge, tea/coffee making facilities
and more.Starting price – R550 per room.Self-catering – R750 for
the unit. From R550 per room.
Cape Edge Hotel and Self Catering, 12 Solomans Road,Sea
+27 72 102-0587, e-mail: From
Cape Paradise Lodge, 48 Leeuwenhof Rd, Higgovale,
+27 21
424-6571, e-mail: Cape Paradise awaits
you! Has Table Mountain as a backdrop and fantastic views. From
Cactusberry Lodge, 30 Breda Street, Gardens,
+27 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,
21 419-9450, e-mail: 3 star. From R480
per person sharing.
Daddy Long Legs Boutique Hotel & Self-Catering
Apartments, 134 & 263 Long Street,
27 21 422-3074 (Hotel),
2721424-1403">+27 21 424-1403 (Self-Catering), e-mail: 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 21
437-9706, 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 21 434-
1083. The Don Beach Road is located in Sea Point spectacularly
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Grande Kloof Boutique Hotel, 69 Kloof Road, Fresnaye (corner of
Kloof Road & Avenue La Croix),
+27 21 433-1852, e-mail: Check-in: 14PM, check-out: 11AM. Good
Sea Views, Fantastic Lions head view and views of famous Robben
Island. from ZAR600 (includes light continental breakfast, free WIFI,
open plan top floor sea view rooms or executive petite garden level
rooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi area, steam area, sauna.
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 21 462-
1430, e-mail: 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 21 434-
3344, e-mail: 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 21 434
4231, Upper Sea Point, near the
Waterfront,campsbay and clifton beaches. R800 double room.
Shambala Guest Lodge, 7 Little Lions Head Road, Hout Bay,
21 790-4328, e-mail: 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, e-mail: 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 21
789-1622, e-mail: 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,
21 424-1335, e-mail: 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 21 437-9706, 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.
NH The Lord Charles, Corner of Stellenbosch and Faure Roads.
7130 Capetown,
+27 21 855-1040. Located in an area with
beautiful surroundings, this 4* hotel offers meeting rooms, a fitness
centre and some fantastic views.
The One 8, 18 Antrim Road, Three Anchor Bay,
+27 21 434-
6100, e-mail: 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.
Villa Sunshine Guesthouse, 1 Rochester Road,Bantry Bay,
21 439-8224, e-mail: The Villa
Sunshine guesthouse is a classic Mediterranean Villa situated along
the prestigious Atlantic Seaboard. In close proximity to several of
Cape Town’s most revered tourist attractions, it is still able to
provide its guests with a peaceful setting – within walking distance
of restaurants and shops to meet your every need. From R 950 per
Villa Zest Boutique Hotel, 2 Braemar Rd, Greenpoint,
+27 21
433-1246, e-mail: The Villa Zest is in the Green
Point suburb. From ZAR 990/Single & ZAR 1190.00 /double.
De Verdwaalde Boer (private villa & guesthouse with Dutch
management. #1 at and #1 at Tripadvisor), 10
Monterey Drive, Constantia (located in the heart of the oldest wineproducing
area of South Africa, a 10 minute drive from Cape Town’s
+27 21 794-1501, e-mail: De
Verdwaalde Boer boasts 7 suites and is available to book as a villa
for full privacy. From R700 p.p.p.n.
Cape Grace, West Quay Road,Victoria & Alfred Waterfront,
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
Radisson Hotel,
+27 21 441-3000, e-mail: 5 star hotel overlooking its own
private marina and the famous Robben Island. R2745 pppn.
Mandela Rhodes Place,
+27 31 310-3333, e-mail: 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, predelivery
grocery shopping, airport and city transfers, car hire, house
keeping and laundry and day tours From R815pps.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre, 126 Buitengracht St, Cape Town
+27 21 481 3700, e-mail: From R2847 pppn.
Kopanong, C329 Velani Crescent,Khayelitsha,
+27 21 361-
2084, e-mail:
Liziwe’s Bed and Breakfast, NY 111, No 121, Gugulethu,
+27 21
633-7406. R600 per room.
Ma Neo’s B&B, Langa,
+27 21 694-2504. Township B&B.
Majoros B&B, Graceland,Khayelitsha,
+27 21 361-3412, e-mail: Township B&B.
+27 21 551-0162, e-mail:
Township B&Bs.
Radebe’s (guest house and coffee shack), 23 PW Mama Way
Settler’s Place, Langa,
+27 82 393-3117, e-mail: R250pps.
Vicky’s Bed and Breakfast,Kiyani Street,Site C,Khayelitsha,
+27 21 387-7104, e-mail: Township B&B.
How to stay connected in Cape Town
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
Calling Home
Overseas calls at local rates via the Celldial service. Call 087 940 6966
and follow the voice prompts.See for supported
Internet is available throughout Cape Town and the inner city cafes
always a hub of activity. Charges per hour ranges from R5 (in town) to
R50 (V&A waterfront)
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.
Cape Town Backpackers.
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 offer free WiFi.
Sundance Coffee Co.Adderley St,Buitengragt St and Mouille
Cafe Neo, located opposite the lighthouse in Mouille Point, offers an open
hotspot in addition to their excellent Greek food.
How to stay safe in Cape Town
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
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”. During the
evening it is worth taking a taxi to and from your destination,rather than
walking. Make sure you take a taxi card with you, so that you can have
the driver meet you outside the bar or restaurant.
Watch out for the mini bus taxis. They often drive like hell disobeying
many traffic rules. Watch out for pickpocketing.
At night, make sure you stay on well-lit and crowded streets. Crime is
especially high in 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
Important telephone numbers
From a fixed line
107 – Emergency.
10111 – Police.
10177 – Ambulance.
082911 – Netcare911
Useful informations to cope with while you're
in Cape Town
Embassies and Consulates
Argentina, 8 Brittany Ave,Bantry Bay,
27 21 439-0403, fax: 27 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, 3F, 1 Thibault Sq,
27 21 421-1440, fax: 27 21 425-
3489, e-mail:
Belgium, 4F,Vogue House, Thibault Sq,
+27 21 419-4690.
China, 972 Pretorius St,Arcadia,Pretoria,
27 12 431-6500, fax: 27
12 342-4244,
Czech Republic, 2 Fleetwood Ave, Claremont,
+27 21 797-9835.
France, 78 Queen Victoria St,
27 21 423-1575, fax: 27 21 424-
8470, e-mail:
Germany (Foreshore), 19F,Safmarine House, 22 Riebeek St,
21 405 3000, fax: 27 21 421 0400, e-mail:
Greece, 19F, Reserve Bank Bldg, 30 Hout St,
27 21 424-8160, fax:
27 21 424-9421, e-mail: Only located in
Cape Town when the South African parliament sits in Cape Town.
When parliament moves to Pretoria, so does this embassy.
India, The Terraces, 9F, 34 Bree St,
27 21 419-8110, 2721419-
8111">+27 21 419-8111, fax: +27 21 419-8112, e-mail:
Italy, 2 Grey’s Pass (top of Queen Victoria St),
27 21 487-
3900, fax: 27 21 424-0146.
Netherlands, 100 Strand St,
27 21 421-5660, fax: 27 21 418-
Portugal,Standard Bank Centre, Hertzog Blvd,
27 21 418-
0080, fax: 27 21 418-0084.
Spain, 37 Shortmarket St,
27 21 422-2415, fax: 27 21 422-2328.
United Kingdom, 15F,Southern Life Centre, 8 Riebeek St,
+27 21
United States, 877 Pretorius St,Arcadia,Pretoria,
27 12 431-
4000, fax: 27 12 342-2299.
Where to go next in Cape Town
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.
Cape Peninsula
Boulders beach is famous for its penguin colony and you can
watch penguins in their natural habitat.September is the breeding
season and if you are very lucky you can see penguins hatching out
of their eggs. Note that if you go into one of the paid access parts
(which is not expensive anyway) if you hang onto the ticket it is valid
in the other part too. If you’re lucky in addition to the penguins you
may well see Dassies in the undergrowth beside the path or even
sitting sunning themselves on the path itself.
Visit the 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 bay on the Atlantic coast. The bay is protected from
the north westerly and south easterly winds, but is open to the
south westerly wind and prevailing swell which can produce some of
the worlds biggest surf at “Dungeons” and “Tafelberg reef”. It has a
quaint fishing harbour, which provides protection from the south
westerly swell.Boat trips to Seal Island (more accurately Duiker
Island) operate from here. While you’re there try the fish and chips at
the Café on the Rocks at the end of the harbour road – a local
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.
Along the south coast
Only two hours from Cape Town are the Bontebok National Park
and the De Hoop Nature Reserve, perfect for spotting bontebok
and whales.
The southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas is not far away.
The Overberg region offers whale spotting and quiet towns to
Garden Route and further on
The world-famous Garden Route ranges from about Mossel Bay,
via George and Knysna to the Tsitsikamma National Park and
the Addo Elephant National Park.Bungee from the highest
bridge(216m),at the Bloukrans bridge. This road will take you further
on to Port Elizabeth, Durban. Do not forget to visit the Karoo and
visit an ostrich farm and the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn.
Up north
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 22 766-1606, e-mail: 10AM-
4PM on weekdays, 9AM-12PM on weekends. R25 entrance fee.
Visit Melkbos to surf, windsurf, kitesurf and sunbathe on its wide
sandy beach and also visit the only working Nuclear Power Station
in Africa. There is a nature reserve surrounding the power station,
with trails for walking or mountain bikes, where you’ll see eland,
zebra and springbok.Entrance is free, but you must show a photo ID.

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