When the weather is good in Cape Town there
are a number of white sandy beaches to visit. The most famous
beaches around Cape Town are Bloubergstrand
(where you have the awesome view of the Table Mountain), Big
Bay, Clifton, Camps
Bay, Milnerton Strand,
and Strand. The waters at the
beaches around False Bay are generally between 15°C –
22°C, around 4°C – 6°C warmer than those
along the ‘chilly’ western coastline.
If you prefer more secluded or private beaches
that are not so busy, you can go to Kommetjie
Beach, St James, Fish
Hoek, Boulders, Lundudno
Beach, Bikini Beach, or
Melkbos beach. Some of these
beaches have Blue flag status (e.g. Camps Bay) which means
they have international awards for their safety, cleanliness,
environmental education, etc. To find these beaches on a map
check out http://www.safarinow.com/destinations/cape-town/map.aspx.
For more maps go to the Collection
of Links on this page.
Do take note that the
secluded beaches are not always safe beaches. If there are
warning signs notifying you of potential dangers, please take
them seriously. Strong sea currents, dangerous animals and
even criminals are very real in Cape Town and care should
be taken where warnings are posted.
If you want to see some penguins you must
visit Boulders Beach (http://www.aboutcapetown.com/penguins.htm)
near Simonstown. It is a small sanctuary on the beach that
has been reserved for penguins to live in peace in an urban
area. You can walk along wooden pathways towards the beach
and check out the cute African Penguins in their natural habitat.
Surfers, listen up!
If you love this sport or want to try it out then Muizenberg
is the place for you. The water there is a mix between
the warmer Indian ocean and a bit of the Atlantic. It also
has nice surf and is famous amongst most surfers. Wetsuits
and boards can be rented at surfshops along the beach front
at really good prices. Also ask the locals for good surfing
spots like Kogelbay, Outer
Kom and Long Beach if
you are a more advanced surfer.
Please note that the
beaches along False Bay (where Muizenberg beach is) is notorious
for shark attacks. However, there is a shark spotting
programme to warn bathers and surfers of any possible dangers.
Take note of these beaches and their safety warnings. For
surfing spots and lessons check out: http://www.wavescape.co.za
Table View beach front
and Bloubergstrand is more famous
for its kite surfing. Rumor has it after Australia these are
the most kitesurfed spots in the world. Kites and boards can
also be rented along beachfront shops and these retailers
also provide lessons.
is one of the most famous hiking spots in Cape Town. It is
part of the Table Mountain National Park which extends all
the way to Cape Point. You can hike up and down the mountain,
but there are also many other hiking paths all over the mountain
through to Cape Point.
Depending on your fitness and route you choose,
a hike can take anything between two hours and 6 days to complete.
This can be very exciting, but is only advised when the weather
in Cape Town is good and you’re relatively fit.
When planning a hike up or around Table Mountain
first check out the link (http://www.sanparks.co.za/parks/table_mountain/)
for updated safety tips. Always take extra warm clothes (even
if the weather is good) and take the local emergency telephone
numbers with. For guided hiking trails around Table Mountain
and Cape Point visit the link for Hoerikwaggo
Trails or with Venture
Forth International. For a comprehensive list of hiking
trails on Table Mountain check out http://www.noxrentals.co.za/content/hikingcapetown.asp
for some options.
And if you are not the fittest or don’t
have a lot of time, don’t worry, you can always take
the Cable Way (see section: Sights
to visit & trips – Day Trips).
Lions Head and Signal
Hill are the two smaller hills which forms part of
the front view of Table Mountain. They are popular amongst
locals due to their relative ease to hike and spectacular
sunsets you can experience from the top. When it is full moon
and the weather is good, many go there for full moon parties.
There is a parking lot close to the top so you can drive pretty
far up if you’re not in the mood to hike too far.
The Steenbras River bridge just past Gordon’s
Bay is the starting point for a hike up the river
gorge. It has a parking area with guards where you
can leave your car and then start an easy 40 minute walk to
Crystal Pools. This route will take you to a series of beautiful
rock pools, a great spot for a picnic and a swim. Beware of
the baboons however as they have become experts at stealing
any food that is lying around and may become quite aggressive.
To enter the gorge you’ll need
to obtain a permit from the Department of Parks and Forests
at the City of Cape Town Council.
Around Stellenbosch there are also hiking
trails available in the Jonkershoek
Nature Reserve. These are longer and will be for
the more seasoned hikers.Click
here for a wider list of hiking trails outside Cape Town.
If you like fun rides you can check out Ratanga
Junction next to Century city (just off the N1 highway).
It is a theme park with carnival like rides set in a Jurassic
Park type environment. You pay an entrance fee per person
and then all rides inside are included. The Cobra is a very
exciting ride. It is however not open all year round so check
out their website for opening times before planning a trip
Shark cage diving near Kleinbaai http://www.whitesharkprojects.co.za/
or near Gansbaai http://www.sharkcagediving.co.za
is for the more adventurous student. Or check out http://www.unrealdive.com/diving/default.asp
for general information and other shark diving spots. It can
be quite expensive, but not many are brave enough to do this.
But you will have some nice unique stories to tell your friends
If you enjoy an adrenaline rush, check out
what Frixion Adventures
has to offer. They specialise in offering adrenaline-based
sports ranging from river to mountain adventures and includes
mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and other action outdoor
activities. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, as long
as you’re not faint hearted, they will have something
on offer to thrill you.
For gift buying there are many shopping areas
in Cape Town. In the town centre the most famous shopping
street is St Georges Mall. It’s
a open air walkway which links various shops. Here you can
buy almost anything but it specifically focusses on clothing,
shoes, arts and crafts, eating, banking and much more. In
Long Street a lot of funky stores
recently opened. The rest of the town centre also has a lot
of smaller shops and boutiques but you will have to look for
them on foot as they are scattered and hidden throughout the
Then of course you will find the big
shopping centres where you can buy anything from groceries,
shoes, clothing, furniture, electronic equipment and much
more. The biggest and better shopping centres around Cape
Town are: Canal
Walk just off the N1 highway, Tygervally
Centre in Durban Road near Durbanville, V&A
Square in Claremont, and Somerset
Mall in Somerset West. These centres are so big that you
could spend the whole day there.
If you are looking for open
air craft markets you can check out the Green
Market square in the town centre which is open 6 days
per week. Other craft markets are Greenpoint
Market in Greenpoint next to the Greenpoint Stadium,
Houtbay Craft market outside
the Hout Bay Manor Hotel and Kommetjie
Craft market at Imhoff Farm. These are only open on
Sundays and public holidays. Here you will find African hand
crafts ranging from animal sculptures from wood or wire, masks,
bracelets and hand painted fabrics.
These are not the only craft markets in Cape
Town – when driving around the city you will find a
lot of smaller craft vendors based at the side of a road.
These vendors are scattered throughout the city and sometimes
are even found at big road intersections.
Paarden Eiland on Otto
du Plessis drive has a flea market
on weekends and public holidays, but they sell more second-hand
stuff and not craft. But there you can find a lot of useful
things at a very good price.
And remember, you should
always try and bargain for a better price for craft items.
Crafters and vendors are often willing to negotiate on their
price to make a sale.