Cape Town, South Africa An Insider’s View of the Rainbow Nation Are you planning a trip to one of Africa’s most stunning coastal cities? Take a look at our local ambassador’s inside guide to Cape Town to get the most out of your visit. Cape Town Highlights Hi, my name is Michele and I am the Cape Town Local Ambassador. I have lived here all of my life and love helping people see the best of my home town. I like to point visitors in the right direction for the best authentic experiences which support local businesses and local people. South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation and Cape Town is one of the country’s prime examples of a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The city’s rich cultural heritage includes the colourful Bo Kaap, Dutch homesteads and French Corner. There are over 11 different languages spoken in South Africa, with Zulu, Afrikaans and Xhosa being the most popular, along with English. You will never be bored in Cape Town – it is a unique and interesting place to explore, with adventures and experiences to suit all travellers. Here are a few of my highlights: Table Mountain One of Cape Town’s iconic sights, a trip to the summit of Table Mountain is a must. You can choose to walk to the top, with tracks of varying degrees of difficulty, or hop on the cable car to reach the flat top and panoramic views. Lion’s Head Another amazing viewpoint is Lion’s Head, and it’s also a great sunset spot. We recommend walking up at dusk, enjoying the sunset at the top and walking down in the silvery moonlight. Road Trips Although there is plenty to see and do within Cape Town, the rest of the Cape is also worth exploring. There are numerous road trips you can take to winelands and the surrounding national parks, including the Peninsula Drive where you can see whales and penguins as the road meanders up the coast. Water Sports and Activities In the summer surfers flock to Cape Town because it’s one of the world’s most iconic surfing locations. The sea offers lots of adventure, from scuba diving with sharks to deep sea fishing and everything in between. Alternatively just relax on the beach, soaking up the sun and watching adrenaline junkies catch the waves. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens This garden is internationally acclaimed as one of the best botanical gardens in the world – well worth a visit to learn about local flora and fauna. Robben Island The former home of Nelson Mandela is easily accessible by boat from Cape Town. You can visit the old prison and the museum on Robben Island, which explains the fascinating history of apartheid and the political prisoners who fought against it. For more information, I have written an article about things to do in Cape Town which gives an overview of the experiences we offer and ideas for things you can find on your own. If you need any more help planning your trip, contact me at [email protected] When is the best time to go? Like most places, the best time to visit Cape Town is dependent on weather and climate. We are blessed with a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers with limited humidity and relatively mild wet winters so essentially you can visit Cape Town and South Africa all year round. However, Capetonians live for the summer and everyone comes out for beach volleyball, street parties and sundowners.
  • Nov-March is summer season, and is usually hot and sunny most days. There is a welcome breeze known locally as the ‘Cape Doctor’ with some days bringing stronger winds to defeat unbearable temperatures. Summer is a great time to visit if you want to enjoy the beach and see a buzzing Cape Town which doesn’t sleep.
  • March-May is Cape Town’s short autumn, which offers the perfect weather for exploring. The summer wind has died down but days are still warm, and the local vegetation turns to stunning burnt oranges and reds.
  • May-Aug brings cooler, wetter weather however we do enjoy the odd day of warm sunshine. Winter is also the best time to spot whales, and the sunsets are really rewarding.
  • Aug – Nov is an unpredictable time in Cape Town, with beautiful sunny days and some heavy rainstorms. However spring is a lovely time to visit the wildlife parks and open spaces surrounding the city when they are in full bloom.
Top 10 Must See Cape Town Sites
  1. Table Mountain
  2. Lion’s Head
  3. Muizenberg beach
  4. Stellenbosch Winelands
  5. Chapman’s Peak
  6. Woodstock
  7. Camps Bay beaches
  8. V&A Waterfront
  9. Robben Island
  10. Cape Point and the Penguin colony
NotintheGuideBooks Tips:
  • Get spectacular views hiking up Lion’s Head and Table Mountain at quieter times
  • Take a walk through the vibrant graffiti and street art at Woodstock
  • Try an awesome food experience to sample the best of Cape Malay & South African cuisine
  • Drive up the Cape Peninsula coast to visit the Simons town penguin colony
  • Go on a local safari to spot game including zebras, giraffes and springboks
  • Swim with the local furry seals
  • Sand board and quad bike on the beach with Table Mountain as a backdrop