Cape Town is a thriving cosmopolitan city located on the southern tip of South Africa’s Western Cape region. The city and its suburbs lie fringed by the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by the dramatic peaks of Table Mountain National Park, with the majestic 1,000m high Table Mountain providing a stunning backdrop.
We usually recommend 3-5 nights in Cape Town, but you could easily spend longer, particularly if you are here in the South African summer and want to enjoy the beaches. Cape Town combines particularly well with a road trip along the Garden Route or safari in Kruger, KZN, Madikwe, Botswana and Zimbabwe and also with Victoria Falls.
Our favourite accommodations are the charming owner operated boutique guesthouses in the suburbs at the foot of Table Mountain (e.g. Welgelegen). The Gardens area is a favourite with an array of lively bars and restaurants particularly on popular Kloof Street. For families we often find ourselves recommending the smart self-catering waterfront apartments in the buzzing Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for shear convenience and practicality (Lawhill Luxury Apartments are particularly good). If visiting in the South African summer then there is a strong case for considering a stay by the beach in Camps Bay, an affluent seaside suburb, with a white sandy beach and excellent eateries.
Table Mountain is a must visit, either by Cableway or a strenuous hike. For a moving reminder of South Africa’s turbulent history, visit the District Six Museum, and take a boat excursion to Robben Island, the former prison where Nelson Mandela was famously imprisoned. Cape Point is a stunning drive to the extreme southwestern tip of the Africa with a stop at Boulders Beach to see the penguins a must do.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate with hot and sunny summers and mild, but often stormy winters. The City tends to be packed-out in its December / January peak, so book early if planning to visit over Christmas or New Year. July / August is low season, and come prepared for all weathers (usually in one day).