Set on a rugged peninsula between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans with iconic Table Mountain as its backdrop, the city of Cape Town sits in one of the world’s most spectacular settings.
The scenery isn’t restricted to the city alone: short drives take visitors to white sandy beaches, traditional fishing villages and wild mountain ranges, while must-see destinations such as Cape Point, the Cape Winelands and the whale-watching capital of Hermanus are easy day trips. With so many beautiful places to explore, you only have to visit Africa’s favourite city once and you’ll probably be planning your next Cape Town travel holiday.
Cape Town will appeal to just about anyone in the mood for a holiday: romantics and honeymooners will love the exquisite accommodation and idyllic views; families with children can share a beach with inquisitive penguins on a clear day; adventure lovers will relish the chance to discover the secrets of Table Mountain – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World! – and gourmets shouldn’t miss out on South Africa’s finest food and wine experiences, served up at an affordable price.
It’s a multi-faceted destination that deserves to be explored. Naturally, there are dozens of scheduled tours on offer but many visitors prefer to travel to Cape Town and discover this friendly and slow-paced city at their own pace: take some time to browse African craft markets in the walk-by compact city centre, visit the colourful Cape Malay suburb of Bo Kaap, and stroll around the ever-popular V&A Waterfront with its shops, restaurants and luxurious hotels.
As a rule, Cape Town’s winter (July-August) is relatively cold and wet, with temperatures ranging between 8 and 18 degrees Celsius.
In winter one may get more bang for your buck as many hotels, restaurants, tour operators and attractions discount their rates heavily during the off-season. Take advantage of a winter special and stay somewhere out of town for a few nights or treat yourself to a special restaurant meal you would only dream of in summer.
During winter locals just love crawling out of their homes to go to their favourite eatery or to try out new spots on weekends. One can choose from hundreds of restaurants offering comforting eating experiences, many with cosy fireplaces, atmospheric views, and special winter deals.
A perfect way to spend a cooler winter’s day is to explore the variety of bustling indoor markets in and around the city, like the City Bowl Market or the Hout Bay Harbour Market, or do a food and wine pairing at one of the world-class wine estates.
Prepare for all weather: sitting right on the southern tip of the African continent between two huge oceans, Cape Town’s maritime climate can deliver four seasons in one day. Always be prepared and pack a warm and waterproof top, especially if you’re going hiking or taking the cable car up Table Mountain.
One may experience warm days in winter, so consider packing one or two items of light clothing as well.
Watch for whales: whale watching season runs from July to October, but for the best chances of seeing massive southern right whales breaching and tail-slapping, it is recommended that one visits around September and does a daytrip to Hermanus on the Whale Coast – home to some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Leave some space in your suitcase: The shopping in Cape Town is fantastic – from airy shopping malls to eclectic roadside markets, there is something to suit all tastes. Most shops are open from 8:30am to 5pm and on Saturday mornings – the V&A Waterfront and most other shopping centres close their stores at 9pm.
There are many indoor opportunities that Cape Town offers in Winter. Therefore, one is not at a loss of activities and entertainment. From various museums to theatres as well as the Planetarium and The Aquarium, Cape Town offers a host of entertainment.
While the beaches are an additional bonus in summer, one may enjoy strolling along them on a warm winter’s day too.
Many people enjoy sitting at the beach front in their cars viewing the crashing of the waves and the height to which they rise. The ambience of the Cape is somewhat different during the wet cold grey storms ,but they do not last for long and may well be followed by some beautiful clear days, although the icy chill may remain in the air.
In terms of accommodation, one is spoilt for choice with a plethora from which to choose. From guesthouses to bed and breakfasts, to boutique hotels, all the way up to 5 -star hotels, there is something to suit everyone’s pocket.
Whether one plans a self- drive or a tour operated holiday, Cape Town is always a choice destination irrespective of the season.