An Insiders view of Cape Town

Hi I am Michele, I am the Cape Town Ambassador and I have been living in Cape Town all my life. I have joined Not In The Guidebooks to help people find the best local experiences when they visit Cape Town and get to see the things I love.  We are searching for the very best local experiences and supporting local people and local businesses.

 

Cape Town is known as the home of the Rainbow Nation with so many traditions and cultures coming together including the beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, traditional dancers with painted faces performing in the streets, and the colourful Bo Kaap with the smell of spicy Malay cooking. Everyday at midday you can hear the boom of the noon gun above the city – a relic from the days of sail when sea captains had to check their chronometers.

 

Cape Town offers five national attractions including Table Mountain,where you can walk on the flat top either by cable car or by climbing up routes of varying degrees of difficulty; and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, internationally acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world.

 

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, a collection of shops, bars, restaurants and a launch area for short cruises on a scenic working harbour.   Looking further offshore, visitors can take a boat ride to Robben Island, the former home of Nelson Mandela and several other political prisoners who fought against the apartheid government. Visitors to the island are taken on a tour of the old prison complex, as well as to a museum on the island.

 

You will never be bored in Cape Town. It is unique and exciting with interesting adventures and experiences to suit all travellers. The surfing is fantastic; the diving is cold but good. There are some amazing road trips, my favourite is along the Peninsula drive – you may see whales or penguins.

 

A great thing to do on a full moon summer’s night is to walk up Lion’s Head before dark, watch the sun set on one hand and the full moon rise on the other and then walk down in the silvery light.

 

There are many exhilarating and authentic South African hidden experiences to be enjoyed which will suit your energy, interests or adventurous spirit with lots of live music in all genres, art exhibitions, museums, plays and even opera, ballet or symphony concerts on all year round.

 

I have pulled together some thoughts on Things to do in Cape Town Take which will give you an overview of what we offer as well as some things you can do on your own and if you need any help contact me at [email protected] – Enjoy your trip

When is the best time to go?

We get the best of all weather types as Cape Town is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. We experience dry, warm summers and relatively mild, wet winters. We Capetonians live for the summer and everyone comes out for sundowners, parties, live music and drumming or volleyball on the beach. There is limited humidity here and the heat is dry and glorious so you won’t constantly be sweating.

Our autumn doesn’t last long but distinctly turns all the vegetation shades of burnt reds, oranges and browns. Spring is spectacular as we are in the rich Cape Floral Kingdom and home to an abundance of fynbos. The wildlife parks close to the city are breathtaking to visit in spring as the open spaces are literally covered with carpets of wild flowers of bright colours which are just glorious to behold and I never tire of this annual vivid display of nature. Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens is another great place to witness the flowers blooming and only one hour from Cape Town, you can drive through fields of bright blooms in the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park.

Our summer runs from (Nov - March) and is very hot and sunny. A welcomed wind is known as the 'Cape Doctor' provides a breeze and on some days stronger wind to the very hot days and keeps any potential smog and clouds away providing crystals clear days of pure magic.

March through to May is a fantastic time in Cape Town as the wind is much more gentle and generally has perfect warm weather (not too hot, not too cold) ideal for visiting and packing in days of sheer adventure and discovery.

Winter (May to Aug) is cooler and brings rain, however, the wet spells are invariably broken by brief and delightfully unexpected intervals of warmth and welcomed the sunshine. Winter is also the season when the whales begin to visit. The sunsets in winter are amazing!

August to November time is can be quite unpredictable however a lovely time to visit . There are beautiful sunny beach days with random outbursts of rain which usually pass by very quickly.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall:-
Jan 16-26°C / 61-79°F – 15mm / 0.6in
Feb 16-27°C / 61-81°F – 17mm / 0.7in
Mar 14-25°C / 57-77°F – 20mm / 0.8in
Apr 12-23 °C / 54°-73°F – 41mm / 1.6in
May 9-20°C / 48-68°F – 68mm / 2.7in
June 8-18°C / 46-64°F – 93mm / 3.7in
July 7-18°C / 45-64°F – 82mm / 3.2in
Aug 8-18°C / 46-64°F – 77mm / 3.0in
Sept 9-19°C / 48-66°F – 40mm / 1.6in
Oct 11-21°C / 52-70°F – 0mm / 1.2in
Nov 13-24°C / 55-75°F – 14mm / 0.5in
Dec 15-25°C / 59-77°F – 17mm / 0.7in

Must see

Top 10 things to see in Cape Town
1. Table Mountain
2. Lion's Head
3. Muizenberg beach
4. The Winelands (Stellenbosch)
5. Chapman's Peak
6. Woodstock
7. Camps Bay beaches and strip
8. V&A Waterfront (restaurant, bars and shops)
9. Robben Island
10. Cape Point and the Penguin Colony

Our Tips:

  • If you want to see some spectacular views why not hike up Lion's Head or miss the crowds hiking up Table Mountain
  • Take a walk through the vibrant graffiti in Woodstock
  • Try one of the awesome food experiences giving you a taste of South African and Cape Malay Cuisine
  • Take a trip along the Cape Peninsula coast and visit Cape Point and the Simons town penguin colony
  • Go on a local Safari and see Zebra's, Giraffe and Springboks finishing with a wine and food pairing
  • See the penguins - but make sure you miss the crowds
  • Swim with the seals and surf the waves in an adrenaline peninsular adventure
  • Join an social cooking experience with fellow travellers and then share your meal together and make new friends
  • Sand board and Quad bike with Table Mountain as a backdrop