When winter arrives in Cape Town, the rain soon follows. Although the Mother City is an outdoor activities paradise, luckily there’s just as much indoor fun to keep you entertained. While you are waiting for the return of warmer weather, here’s what you can do when it rains in Cape Town.

Ocean Experience Turtles Guitar Fish Two Oceans Experience

#1 Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium or Planetarium

The aquarium is not only a great outing for kids, it can be fun activity for grownups as well. Remind yourself of the amazing wonders of the ocean while you meander through the beautifully designed facility. It houses more than 8 000 sea animals. These include clownfish, anemones, jellyfish, spider crabs, sharks, and more. You can also consider diving with the turtles and stingrays.

Cost: Adults R185 | Youth (Age 14-17) R140 | Children (Age 4-13) R99
Bonus – if you are a South African citizen, you get free entry on your birthday (ticket valid for a week after your birthday)

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:30 to 18:00

Dock Road | V&A Waterfront

Another fun option, is watching a show at the Planetarium. Be mesmerized by a different type of nature wonder, the starry night. Learn more about the universe in a unique interactive way. Click here to view their upcoming shows schedule.

Cost: Adults R60 |Children, SA students & pensioners R30

Opening hours: daily shows between 11:00 and 15:00 (closed on Mondays) | Wednesday evening shows between 19:00 and 20:00

25 Queen Victoria Street | City Centre

#2 Visit a Museum

Cape Town boasts with a wide variety of museums. From cultural history such as The District Six museum, to the South African National Gallery with its impressive art collection. A firm favourite for the sport fanatics, is the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum.

Read our post about the Iziko Museum Mile for some ideas. Or visit www.iziko.org.za  for info on a specific museum.

the big box cafe Top 5 Places to Eat Crêpes in Cape Town

#3 The Big Box Café | 18 Roeland Street | Gardens

How does playing boardgames while sipping on a cappuccino with French Nutella Crepes sound to you? Perfect rainy day weather activities! This fun café has a sister shop called La Grosse Boite, situated on the Atlantic coast of France in La Rochelle. They specialize in boardgames, with an online shop as well. Every month the games are rotated with new exciting wooden games, dice games, strategy games, and more.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 to 17:00 | Saturday 10:00 to 22:00

Visit thebigbox.co.za for more info

the clay cafe Top 10 Fun Things to Do With Your Family in Cape Town

#4 Clay Cafe Hout Bay | Old Oakhurst Dairy farm | Hout Bay Main Road

Situated on an old dairy farm this spot is perfect to hide from the rain on a dreary day. It’s a great family activity, or a unique outing for a group of friends. The friendly assistants will guide you through the ceramic painting process – from helping you choose your ceramic item, to offering painting tips and tricks. Channel your creativity and create a prized handmade item for your house!

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 17:00

Visit claycafe.co.za for more information

The Best Things to Do When It Rains in Cape Town

Photo by brewmistress.co.za Newlands Brewery

#4 Visit a Brewery | 3 Main Road | Newlands

If you are a big beer lover, why not use a rainy day to drink some good stuff, while learning more about the behind the scenes process of a brewery. Newlands Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Cape Town, and they invite outsiders in to learn more about their famous lagers. The original brew house dates back to 1859. Your tour will end in the on-site pub, and you can enjoy two drinks of your choice. Tour only offered to persons 18 years and older, no children allowed, including babies. Bookings essential.

Cost: Adults R100 | Pensioners/students R60

Tour times: Tuesday to Thursday 10:00, 12:00 & 14:00 | Wednesday evenings  6pm (subject to min numbers) | Friday 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 & 16:00 | Saturday 10:00 & 12:00

Visit newlandsbrewery.co.za  for more information

hint hunt Top 10 Fun Things to Do With Your Family in Cape Town

#5 HintHunt | Third Floor | The Old Biscuit Mill | 373-375 Albert Road | Woodstock

Forget about the gloomy weather while you race against time in an escape game. One hour, a mystery to solve, and three to six people to rise to the challenge. You’ll be locked into the room, where you will find a series of clues and puzzles to solve. There are two scenarios to choose from.  It’s a worldwide craze that has now hit our South African shores as well. Put your thinking caps on!

Cost: R200 per person

Opening hours:  Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30 | Sunday 10:00 to 16:00

Visit hinthunt.com for more information

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Winter is coming, get those fire places ready! And don't forget your glass of (gluh)wine. Tag someone that loves a good fire and can't wait for winter to arrive. Comment below.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Follow @secretcapetown for more and tag us or use #secretcapetown to be featured.⁣ ⁣ Photo by @hiddenvalleywines⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ #foodie #wine #capetownfood #capetown #cityofcapetown #amazingcapetown #seecapetown #visitcapetown #thisiscapetown #ig_capetown #southafrica #southafricaza #visitsouthafrica #africa #ig_southafrica #thisisafrica #capetownmag #instagramcapetown #weheartsa #capetowntourism #westerncape #capetownsouthafrica #meetcapetown #capetownetc #thisisafrica #southafrica #capetowntravel #explorecapetown

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#6 Warm Up Next to a Fireplace

Cape Town is a culinary fanatic’s dream come true. There are so many restaurants, your head will be spinning to try and squeeze them all in. On a cold, rainy day many of the city’s restaurants light up a fireplace to warm things up.

Read our post 10 Restaurants with Fireplaces in Cape Town for a few ideas. Or download the DinePlan app to hunt down the perfect spot.

Cape Town Comedy Club The Best Things to Do When It Rains in Cape Town

#7 Cape Town Comedy Club | The Pumphouse | Dock Road | V&A Waterfront

Laugh off the bad weather in the company of the country’s best comedic talent such as Shimmy Isaacs, Nik Rabinowitz, Martin Evans, KG, and more. Founded by the local funnyman Kurt Schoonraad, it’s a great combination of a comedy dinner show. Grab your pizza and a beer, sit back and get ready for your endorphins boost.

Cost:  R95 per person (Wednesdays & Thursdays with early bird tickets on selected shows) | R120 per person Fridays & Saturdays | R60 per person Half Price Sundays (on selected shows only)

Show times: Wednesday to Sunday from 20:30 to 22:30 (doors open at 18:00 for pre-dinner)

Visit capetowncomedy.com for more information

Labia The Best Things to Do When It Rains in Cape Town

#8 The Labia Cinema | 68 Orange Street | Gardens

This is the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in the country. It was opened in 1949 by Princess Labia. Originally it was an Italian Embassy ballroom, transformed into a theatre for live performances, before it was converted into a movie house. Showcasing the best art nouveau movies, your visit here is guaranteed to be like no other cinema. Buy your glass of wine plus a pastry and watch a movie in an authentic cinema space.

Cost: Adults R50 | Children/ Students/ Seniors/Fanatics members R40

Show times: subject to the movie

Visit www.thelabia.co.za for more information

Alexander Bar The Best Things to Do When It Rains in Cape Town

#9 Go to the Theatre | 76 Strand Street | City Centre

The Mother City boasts with a variety of theatre options. The little theatre at the Alexander Bar & Café is perfect for a rainy night. It only seats 40 people, so you are guaranteed an intimate experience. Make sure you arrive early to enjoy dinner in the retro restaurant section downstairs. It features quirky décor elements, such as operational rotary phones, which you can phone to order from the bar. Or use it to chat to that cute lady you saw at the table across the room. The shows include a wide variety of styles – from stand-up comedy, to cabaret, to acoustic sets.

Cost: shows range from R50 to R150 per person

Show times: dependent on the show, starts between 19:00 and 21:00

Visit alexanderbar.co.za for more information

bay harbour market The Best Things to Do When It Rains in Cape Town

#10 Visit an Indoor Market

With the weather being notoriously fickle in Cape Town, many of the regular markets have adapted a way to still offer you a great experience, despite the skies opening up. Out of our list of the Top 5 Cape Town Farmers Market Experiences you can enjoy three out of the five markets regardless of the weather.

Share the Rainy Fun with Secret Cape Town

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Cape Town is hailed the tourism capital of South Africa. It is famous for its incredible beauty with its towering mountains, historic vineyards, white beaches, and turquoise ocean. The waters of Cape Town have plenty of adventurous activities to offer. We made a list of the epic ocean experiences you should not miss when you come to visit our beautiful city.

Great White Shark Cage Diving

Get the chance to experience one of the ocean’s most majestic and feared predators up close! Great White Shark cage diving is one of the epic ocean experiences you will get to enjoy in Cape Town. This popular ocean activity is an adventure you should experience at least once in your lifetime.

Cape Town offers some of the best sites in the world, having a large number of the Great White sharks in their natural habitat. Gansbaai has been called the capital for Great White Sharks in the world. The Dyer Island near Gansbaai, has the densest populations of great white sharks. It is arguably one of the best places to go shark cage diving in the world. False Bay is also a great place for viewing great white sharks, especially around Seal Island just off the coast of Simon’s Town. Shark Alley is also a popular spot for shark cage diving and breaching. This adventure activity can be experienced all year round, but the best time for shark cage diving is during the months of May to October.

Book your shark cage diving tour now.

Seal Snorkeling

Epic Ocean Experiences in Cape Town

Photo by Cape Town Bucket List Ocean Adventures

Seal Snorkeling is one of the epic ocean experiences Cape Town has to offer. It is a great and easy way to observe one of the ocean’s friendliest creatures without all the extensive training and complicated equipment required for scuba diving.

Snorkel with hundreds of playful Cape Fur seals at Hout Bay’s Duiker Island. The Duiker Island is home to about 5 000 seals and lies within the Karbonkelberg marine protected area, part of Table Mountain National Park. Seal snorkeling is a wildlife adventure that brings you real close to these playful and curious animals in their natural habitat. The Cape Fur seals of Duiker island are not fed nor trained. They behave naturally and interact with snorkelers on their own terms. It is definitely a once in a lifetime adventure to snorkel with seals in Cape Town. Don’t dare miss it!

Book your seal snorkeling experience now

Kayaking

Epic Ocean Experiences in Cape Town

Photo by kayak.co.za

Kayaking has become one of the top ocean adventure activities in Cape Town. It allows you to obtain a different perspective of the land and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ocean. This epic ocean experience offers a spectacularly different view of Cape Town’s beautiful coastline and magnificent mountains. Kayaking in Cape Town guarantees a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful coastline of the city and experience the rich marine life from a small, yet safe and stable craft. Not only can you encounter amazing marine life, but sea kayaking is also a great outdoor activity for the whole family.

There are numerous places in Cape Town where you can sea kayak and get the chance to experience the thrill of an encounter with seals, dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures. Take the opportunity to see the penguins of Boulders Beach from a different vantage point. You can also explore the rock gardens of Paternoster, the long open beaches near the Berg River mouth, Langebaan and Saldanha Bay. A number of guided tours are offered by kayaking tour operators in Cape Town.

View our list of the Top 5 kayak tour operators in Cape Town

Stand-Up-Paddleboard (SUP) Adventure

Epic Ocean Experiences in Cape Town

Photo by cabrinha.co.za

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and it is quickly growing in popularity with Cape Town’s adventure seekers. It is an offshoot of surfing. Instead of lying down in wait of a wave, you stand up on the board and use a paddle to propel yourself through the water. The coastline stretching from the West Coast right around False Bay offers a multitude of SUP spots to pick from. Popular SUP spots you should definitely check out include Big Bay, Blouberg, Table View, Milnerton, Melkbos, Three Anchor Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th, Hout Bay, Fish Hoek, and Muizenberg. Big Bay has already played host to a number of world-class SUP events.  

Gravity Adventures is the perfect tour operator to take you on a SUPing adventure, or kayaking.

Scuba Diving

scuba Epic Ocean Experiences in Cape Town

Another epic ocean experience available in Cape Town is scuba diving. Best known for its shipwreck and kelp forest dives, as well as dives with cow sharks and seals — Cape Town has many diverse and beautiful scuba diving sites. There are three major scuba diving highlights in Cape Town for divers with any level of experience. Encounter prehistoric looking seven-gill cow sharks in the kelp forests of False Bay, just off Miller’s Point. Scuba dive with the seals at Partridge Point and Seal Island in False Bay, Strawberry Rock on the Atlantic side and the kelp forests at Duiker Island in Hout Bay.

You can also dive around the shipwrecks that can be accessed by boat and from the shore. Famous shipwrecks include SS Maori, SAS Pietermaritzburg, SS Clan Stuart, Antipolis, Astor, Smitswinkel Bay Wrecks, Katzu Maru, and many more. Guided scuba diving in Cape Town is offered all year round by professional and reputable dive centres. They also offer a range of courses from beginner to advanced.

Book your scuba diving experience now.

Freediving

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Would you be able to lie at the bottom of the ocean so calmly?⠀ ⁣⠀ @lisambeasley looking like a mermaid, casually lying in the cold 9-degree ocean water. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀⠀ ⁣Photo by @fainepearl⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Follow @secretcapetown for more and tag us or use #secretcapetown to be featured.⁣⠀ ⁣.⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #capetown #cityofcapetown #amazingcapetown #seecapetown #visitcapetown #thisiscapetown #ig_capetown #southafrica #southafricaza #visitsouthafrica #africa #ig_southafrica #thisisafrica #capetownmag #instagramcapetown #weheartsa #capetowntourism #westerncape #capetownsouthafrica #meetcapetown #capetownetc #southafrica #capetowntravel #explorecapetown #capetowntourism #capetownsouthafrica #underwater #freedive #ocean

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Freediving entails learning how to hold your breath, equalising properly and diving underwater. This epic activity enables you to experience the ocean and its life in a more natural and personal way. In freediving, it’s just you and the ocean. There is no need for complicated gear.

Cape Town is one of the top recreational freediving locations in the world. The city has a number of spots ideal to explore the incredible world below the waves without the need for artificial breathing devices. There is an incredible mix of freediving opportunities such as seal and shark adventure freediving. No freediving experience? No problem. You can easily take up freediving courses taught by highly skilled and experienced instructors. Start freediving today!

Click here to learn how to free dive.

Surfing and Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing Lessons Cape Town Girl Spray

Cape Town is an idyllic surfing and kitesurfing destination for beginners and pros alike. We all know how surfing works. Kitesurfing, on the other hand, utilises the power of the wind using a kite to propel you across the water. It is fun and challenging with many people getting hooked on to this new sport. Cape Town is home to many beaches that do not only boast fantastic conditions but breathtaking natural beauty too. A popular kitesurfing destination in Cape Town is Blouberg. Blouberg’s Big Bay is a global kitesurfing hotspot. It has the perfect combination of waves, wind and and the epic backdrop of Table Mountain. Multi-day courses are offered in Cape Town that will teach you how to master the ways of the waves and wind.

Book your kitesurfing Lessons in Cape Town now or learn how to surf.

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Cape Town has a wide array of accommodation options for visitors. Among the favourites are boutique hotels that offer a personal touch of comfort and luxury. Stylish interiors, swimming pools, relaxing spas, high-end restaurants, cozy bars and luxurious rooms with Table Mountain views are only some of the characteristics of the boutique hotels in Cape Town. And because our main objective is to help you get to know a little bit more about the Mother City, we made you a list of the Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town.

#1 Compass House Boutique Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

Compass House Boutique Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel that offers a warm ambiance, exceptional style, and unparalleled comfort. Its amazing location in the heart of Bantry Bay makes it possible to easily access the many popular beaches of Cape Town and the bustling city centre. This boutique hotel enjoys a warm atmosphere, with a fusion of interior design styles, blending the best of Mediterranean, Asian and African flavours. All the rooms have panoramic views of the ocean and direct access to the deck and pool area with an ocean-facing, 22-metre infinity pool. The top-floor suite takes luxury to another level with a Jacuzzi on its own private balcony­.

Visit compasshouse.co.za for more information.

#2 The Tree House Boutique Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

The Tree House Boutique Hotel lies in the vibrant and trendy Green Point suburb, within close proximity to many of the great attractions in the Mother City. This boutique hotel features stylishly decorated rooms with a seating area and a flat-screen satellite TV. They also have a terrace with an outdoor pool and a spa where guests can opt in for a relaxing massage or body treatment. Tea-and-coffee-making facilities are available, as well as free WiFi and parking. The hotel aims to provide an exceptional guest experience with a sense of escape, wonder, and respite.

Visit thetreehouseboutiquehotel.co.za for more information.

#3 52 De Wet Luxury Boutique Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

Photo by hotelscombined.co.za

On the slopes of Lion’s Head with views of the ocean stretching further than the eyes can see, sits 52 De Wet Luxury Boutique Hotel. This luxury boutique hotel offers luxurious en-suite rooms, each one individually designed and furnished to make your stay as relaxing as possible. Each of the contemporary rooms offer a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and a hairdryer. The hotel also features a restaurant, sun deck, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Enjoy breakfast beside the infinity pool while absorbing the panoramic ocean views. Stay here for an unforgettable holiday or business trip.

Visit 52dewet.co.za for more information.

#4 The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

The Glen Boutique Hotel and Spa lies in the Cape Town suburb of Sea Point. It is an elegant boutique hotel that offers luxurious rooms to its guests and features an outdoor pool with sun loungers and spa facilities. All rooms are stylish with modern furniture, a satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms equipped with double volume showers. Some rooms overlook the pool or have a balcony with views of the mountains, others look out over the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel’s spa offers a spacious steam room, a traditional Swedish sauna, and a hot tub. In-room massages are also available. They also offer apartment accommodation located just 350 metres from the hotel and guests of these apartments can have access to the hotel facilities.

Visit glenhotel.co.za for more information.

#5 MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel

Located at the foot of Table Mountain, MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel is one of Cape Town’s latest and most elegant boutique hotels. MannaBay offers one of the most intimate experiences available in the fairest Cape. They have seven uniquely designed suites which set the bar for contemporary luxury. These uniquely themed rooms with state-of-the-art technology include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. All rooms are also fitted with heated floors and a marble bathroom. MannaBay has an atmosphere of comfort, with dramatic wallpaper choices, monogrammed linen, bookshelves filled with well-thumbed books, eclectic furniture and arresting South African artworks. If you want to have a taste of timeless quality and modern comfort, MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel is the place to be!

Visit mannabay.com for more information.

#6 Rouge on Rose Boutique Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

Photo by sa-venues.com

Situated in the colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood and against the slopes of Signal Hill, Rouge on Rose is located within easy walking distance of the city centre and the V&A Waterfront. This boutique hotel perfectly combines sophistication with comfort, elegance with charm and chic with minimalism, offering a home-away-from-home experience to its guests. Rouge on Rose features air-conditioned suites, each neatly decorated in a contemporary style and equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and DVD player. Guests can choose between spacious Deluxe Suites or the larger Self-catering Suites that are equipped with a kitchenette. The famous Table Mountain is just 5km away and Camps Bay Beach can be reached within 15 minutes by car.

Visit rougeonrose.co.za for more information.

#7 POD Camps Bay

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

POD, set in the vibrant suburb of Camps Bay, is an elegant boutique hotel. It’s infused with raw African design, seaside sophistication, stunning decors and idyllic mountain plus ocean views. POD has made a name for itself as one of the most sought-after accommodation options in the area. This glass-walled, clean-lined, contemporary structure offers luxury accommodation just a few footsteps away from the trendy Camps Bay beachfront. A variety of restaurants and bars are within walking distance. Its 17 spacious modern rooms are all air-conditioned and fitted with deluxe bedding. In-room media includes iPod docking station, satellite TV and a DVD player. They also have an outdoor pool where you can chill and swim after a fun adventurous day in the city.

Visit pod.co.za for more information.

#8 The Andros Boutique Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

Set in a park-like garden in Claremont, the Andros Boutique Hotel is a manor house with country chic rooms. This heritage home has 15 well-appointed rooms. It is set in sprawling grounds, with elegant drawing rooms, a great little bar, popular spa, and excellent in-house chef. Some rooms have panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and gardens. The hotel also has a gym, a sauna, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Visit andros.co.za for more information.

#9 Cape Heritage Hotel

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Cape Town

Cape Heritage Hotel is situated in Cape Town’s fashionable Heritage Square. It offers direct access to the city’s vibrant street life, business precinct, shopping, and fine dining. The hotel is known for its contemporary chic and historic graciousness. The Cape Heritage Hotel is an integral part of the restored Heritage Square. This intimate boutique hotel offers guests a chance to experience history with the most modern standards of services and accommodation. The hotel’s décor is predominantly inspired by the Cape’s early history. Each room is completely unique in shape and décor. But they feature lovely high-beamed teak ceilings, and standard hotel comforts such as air-conditioning, mini-bar, and king-sized beds.

Visit capeheritage.co.za for more information.

#10 One&Only Cape Town

Situated in the V&A Waterfront, One&Only Cape Town offers an unprecedented level of luxury and style that creates a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors. This luxury boutique hotel has elegant rooms and suites. Each has a private balcony which boasts with panoramic views of Table Mountain and the harbour. One&Only Cape Town offers access to a world-famous restaurant, beautiful bar, and extraordinary spa facilities which includes a sauna and a range of massage treatments. It has an outdoor infinity pool, a sun-lounger terrace, and free Wi-Fi. One&Only Cape Town also serves as a gateway to unique Cape Town adventures such as tours to Robben Island, wildlife safaris, wine country excursions and more. This urban chic resort and hotel truly sets new standard for the South African hospitality industry.

Visit oneandonlyresorts.com for more information.

Food trucks are fast becoming much more than a trend in the Mother City. These food trucks often flock events, markets, and festivals, and are most likely to pop up at a location near you. From thin-crust Italian pizzas, Middle East delicacies, flavourful Mexican cuisine, to American-style barbeques, Asian street foods, and Afro-French bites — here are some of the innovative and delectable foods being served out of trailers, carts and vintage vans in and around Cape Town.

Earthfire Pizza

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Earthfire Pizza serves scrumptious thin-crust, oven-baked pies to events and markets all over the Cape, rivaling even the best pizzerias in town. They specialize in making delicious gourmet pizzas and cater for an array of events and functions, including weddings, birthdays, festivals, schools, corporate and sporting events, or wherever you find you need good pizza. This food truck was born out of a childhood dream of selling pizza out of a silver stream trailer on the Camps Bay strip but can be found in the most amazing, beautiful, quirky and bizarre locations in and around the city. They can be found at Cape Point Vineyards on Thursdays, at The Range Market on Fridays, at Root 44 Market on Saturdays and Sundays and daily at Mojo Market. Follow their Twitter and Facebook accounts for more information.

Shawarma Express

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

If you ever need a quick meal that’s both filling and tasty, Shawarma Express is the food truck to go to. This popular place for a quick bite serves Middle Eastern traditional delicacies such as shawarmas and falafels which are served along with various local craft beers. They sell the best shawarma in town and make a great falafel at an affordable price. They serve lunch and dinner. Great food, friendly staff, and good value for money. What more can you ask for?

Follow them on Facebook  for more information.

Didi’s Bitchin’ Burritos

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Didi’s Bitchin’ Burritos serve tasty, quick and wholesome Mexican food in Cape Town through a variety of dishes such as Burritos, Nachos, Quesadillas, Tacos, salads and a whole lot more. These Mexican favourites are served from a 1978 Volkswagen AutoVilla called “Rosie” which was converted into a full service, mobile kitchen and serving station. They specialize in Bitchin’ Afri-Mex Burritos, offering wholesome Mexican cuisine that will not only warm your stomach but also your heart. You can find them at Salt Circle Arcade in Woodstock from Mondays to Fridays. They also offer a delivery service for offices in the area. You can even find them on OrderIn.

Visit didismexican.co.za for more information.

The Good Life

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

The Good Life is a gourmet food truck serving fresh, fusion food at hotspots in and around Cape Town. Their exciting fusion dishes sound almost too good to eat. You can expect a fusion menu of prawn tempura with sumac aioli, designer beef burgers with truffle infusion, and vegetable couscous pitas. Find this sleek black vintage bus either in Oudekraal or near Charly’s Bakery in Harrington street Monday to Saturday from 8AM to 6PM. They are also available for private functions, events, and weddings.

Follow them on Twitter and on Facebook for updates and info.

Lotus Food Truck

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Lotus Food Truck focuses on serving delicious contemporary Asian street food with their fresh salads, succulent Satay’s, delicious beef short rib, fragrant snacks, refreshing drinks, and more. They use seasonal and the freshest ingredients and makes everything from scratch — down to their own dipping sauces and dressings. They offer Capetonians Asian street food that is fresh, tasty and great value for money. Lotus serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and drinks. They visit various business parks and public spaces during the week. Lotus also caters for private/corporate events and make a great addition to weddings and festivals.

Visit lotusfoodtruck.co.za for more information.

Related: Cape Town Friday Food Truck Market

Frozenyo

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Established in 2014, Frozenyo is Cape Town’s first frozen yogurt food truck. They serve frozen delights made from the finest locally produced yoghurt product with their turquoise and yellow truck. Frozenyo uses real yogurt that contains live cultures and probiotics. Their products are low in calories and gluten free. Plus it offers the same cold satisfaction of ice cream but in a healthier way. Frozenyo can be booked for private/corporate events and weddings.

Visit frozenyo.co.za for more information.

Jack Rabbit

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Jack Rabbit offers delectable gourmet dishes, from Truffle Mushroom Burgers to Pulled Beef Tacos. Their food includes Cubanos, inverted poppers, burger Sliders, pork belly sandwiches, rustic pizza, quesadillas, and more. Jack Rabbit offers basically everything rich, saucy, cheesy, with a balance of crispy to that “hmm” factor. All their sauces are also self-made. Mostly based in Durbanville, this trendy food truck can be seen all around Cape Town at a number of popular events. Jack Rabbit caters for events, the public as well as private functions.

Follow them on Facebook  for updates and info.

Scandalous Food Truck

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Bringing delicious, indulgent food to the streets, Scandalous Food Truck offers scandalously delicious Italian food on the go. They cater to most tastes and preferences and serves Italian dishes, burgers, and sandwiches. You will find this epic food truck at almost every legit market, music festival and event in Cape Town. They can also be booked for functions and private parties.

Visit scandalousfood.co.za for more information.

Salty Flames

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Salty Flames specialises in smoked food menu items. In June 2017, just 6 months after winning the Ultimate Braai Master Season 5, the winners Nick Perfect and Chanel Marais, decided to bring delicious braaied and smoked foods to hungry diners across the Cape. All their food is homemade, flavourful, fresh, and locally made with the use of seasonal ingredients. They offer a good number of vegetarian options as well. Salty Flames is available for all festivals, private/corporate events, and more.

Visit saltyflames.com for more information.

Related: Craving sushi? See our favourite sushi delivery in Cape Town.

Wahine Food Truck

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

Wahine brings something from the Pacific Islands to you with an array of cuisines from India, China, Korea, Japan, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Fiji to create an ever-changing menu. Their aim is to provide customers with healthy, wholesome, balanced fast food alternatives that are locally-sourced or even grown by the quirky food truck team themselves.  Wahine can be seen at all trendy events in Cape Town, offering healthy and delicious Polynesian-inspired eats, with an increasing number of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Follow them on Facebook for more details.

Mon Ami French Afrik Bistro

Food Trucks Around Cape Town

This French-Afrik bistro on wheels is a fully functional mobile kitchen and catering service.  They serve French and South African fusion dishes such as steak rolls, fresh salads and wraps with beef steak, caramelized onions or coconut, and lime chicken and avocado or roasted veggies and feta from their cute trailer. Mon Ami is available for sporting events, concerts, markets, festivals and expos. This food truck can even come right up to your doorstep to serve its fresh and delicious culinary delights!

Visit mon-ami.co.za for more information.

cape town coffee festival

Coffee is the world’s second-most traded commodity, just-just behind oil. And many people would argue that it can be called human fuel. Exciting news for all the Capetonian coffee fanatics, is that the first annual Cape Town Coffee Festival will be happening the 1st and 2nd of June 2019.

The event takes place in the Castle of Good Hope, in Darling Street. It’s a weekend long family-friendly event full of coffee, coffee, and more coffee! From funky barista art displays, to coffee cocktails. Together with the coffee you can sample delectable local food and enjoy live music.

A Coffee Celebration in Cape Town

The festival will have something for everyone. Whether you simply enjoy savouring a good cuppa Joe or you’re a self-confessed coffee geek – the Cape Town Coffee Festival aims to make high-quality coffee accessible to everyone.

The inaugural event will host more than 65 innovative exhibitors. Meet the faces behind some of your favourite coffee shops in town. You can ask them all the things you’ve wondered about, learning more about why you enjoy their specific coffee flavours. There will be hundreds of different coffees to taste. And you can boost your coffee know-how with informative workshops and interactive demos. Meet the big names in the African coffee scene including artisan roasters and baristas.

Get Ready For a Caffeine Infusion

The two-day festival has morning and afternoon sessions. This is to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the coffee festival experience, regulating the flow of foot traffic. The festival will follow a similar format to the other international coffee events hosted by the Allegra Group, but with added African flair. Events include Latte Art Live, The Coffee Cocktail Bar, Small Business Lab, The African Coffee Experience, a Coffee Art Gallery, and more.

Festival sessions:

Saturday (1 June)

Morning session: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Afternoon session: 3:00pm to 7:00pm

Sunday (2 June)

Morning session: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Afternoon session: 2:00pm to 6:00pm

Tickets cost from R150 (online) and R180 (at the door) per person. If you are very serious about coffee, consider the VIP Single-Day Access at R300 (online)            and R400 (at the door) per person. It includes all-day access, a limited edition Cape Town Coffee Festival tote bag, priority access, as well as a copy of The Meaning of Coffee book.

Or the SUPER VIP Multi-Day Access at R480 (online)            and R600 (at the door) per person. It includes multiple all-day access for Saturday and Sunday, a limited edition Cape Town Coffee Festival tote bag, priority access, exclusive access to the VIP Bar, two coffee cocktail tokens, and a copy of The Meaning of Coffee book.

To give you an idea of what the festival will entail:

Sipping Coffee for a Good Cause

All the decadent coffee cocktails, delicious food, and head bobbing live music is in aid of Project Waterfall. They are partnering with local life-changing projects, such as Woza. The Woza Coffee School trains South African youth in townships to become baristas. They also connect them to their first job. Project Waterfall has raised over $1.5 million since 2011, to bring clean water to more than 37 000 people across seven countries. Visit projectwaterfall.org and wozacoffee.co.za for more information.

“We are delighted to be bringing the Coffee Festival to the African continent for the first time. Cape Town is a city of culture and creativity, and coffee and food play a huge part in the fabric of the city life. The event is a celebration of the vibrant African coffee culture, of the deep spirit of community that coffee fosters and of the career opportunities that it generates.”
– Jeffrey Young (Allegra Group CEO)

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Cape Town Coffee Festival Line-Up

The Cape Town Coffee Festival is supported by top local and international coffee brands and personalities. A few of the behind the scenes names include Bunn South Africa, Sanremo South Africa (imported and distributed by Electrical Industries), Ultipure (Brita), Alpro, Tia Maria, Yoco, Origin Coffee Roasters, Father Coffee, Bean There, Truth Coffee Roasters, and Fair Cape Dairies.

 At The Coffee Lab you can learn more about the latest coffee trends in the industry. And The Small Business Lab focuses on promoting and supporting local small businesses through interactive workshops and talks.

The African Coffee Experience will showcase the diverse African coffee scene. Three of South Africa’s key coffee roasters will be available for discussion in this section. Representatives from Origin Coffee Roasters, Father Coffee, and Bean There Coffee Company will introduce you to the best African origin cups. Taste coffee under the guidance of these industry leaders.

The Coffee Cocktail Bar will offer you a cocktail with the highest buzz you’ll ever have. Challenge your thinking around how coffee should be served and enjoyed!

The Coffee Art Project Gallery showcases the creative talents of local artists, both established and emerging, who are inspired by African coffee. One of the gallery highlights, is a photography series by local artist Andile Bhala, depicting the rich coffee culture of Soweto.

cape town coffee festival

 Latte Art Live interactive zone will showcase the intricate details of latte art. The world-renowned barista Dritan Alsela will be hosting demonstrations and workshops. Learn the tricks of the trade from the professionals. And admire the jaw-dropping masterpieces.

At The Innovation Zone you can rub shoulders with the personalities behind the cutting-edge brands and small businesses of the coffee industry. These range from technology, to apparel, to the freshest micro-roasters.

After all the coffee tasting, you will want to visit The Street Food Market to refuel and relax before heading back to the coffee exploration. The stalls will include artisan street food, offering you the best of the South African food scene

Complement the excellent coffee and delicious food with The Live Music Stage. Throughout the festival talented local artists and bands will infuse the festival with great vibes to celebrate the amazing power of coffee to create a spirit of community.

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In Conversation with Joel Singer – Origin Coffee Roasters

Joel is a Canadian that found a second home in Cape Town. He’s one of the original pioneers of artisanal coffee in the city, entering the coffee industry 13 years ago. His passion has made Origin Coffee Roasters one of the best in the Mother City.

When he arrived in Cape Town, he noticed a mind-set that he had encountered years before in his hometown of Montreal. Locals believed that if you wanted a high-quality product, you had to import it. And he realised that this mind-set stretched even further, with many people believing that Africa can’t offer the world anything of high calibre.

Challenging Perspectives

But as Joel points out, the fanciful coffees imported from the likes of Italy, are produced from African-sourced beans. So Joel challenged the locals, asking the question “why could we not take African beans, and produce world-class coffee right here in South Africa?”

Being a foreigner in the country, he wasn’t interested in drinking imported coffee. And he was adamant to convince the Cape Town coffee industry that other foreigners felt the same way. During his coffee journey, he noticed people slowly started warming up to the idea of enjoying locally produced artisan coffee. Their taste buds evolved from drinking instant coffee, to searching for better coffee, to insisting on excellent coffee.

cape town coffee festival

Joel wants African people to celebrate what we can offer the world – coffee that’s on the same level as imported brands, if not better. He believes the next big coffee industry trend will be people insisting on high-quality locally produced coffees. And investigating how the coffee is sourced and produced. Plus maybe people will slowly start realising that you don’t need milk to enjoy a good cuppa coffee. You can either enjoy it in its pure goodness, or move across to a plant-based alternative.

Looking Forward to the Coffee Festival

Joel and the other Origin team members are very excited about this innovative event venture. He’s looking forward to being surrounded by people passionate about coffee, who are keen to learn more about the industry. Collaborating with Jeffrey Young (Allegra Group), Joel feels it’s a great step towards Cape Town being included in an international family of coffee fanatics. The next festivals will be a great gathering point, bringing together the coffee industry professionals across South Africa and Africa.

Visit capetown-coffeefestival.com for more information.
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The official hashtag: #capetowncoffeefestival

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Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Cape Town is a prime tourist destination in South Africa. Thousands of travelers visit every day to explore the wonders of the Mother City. Among them are backpackers wanting to make the most out of their stay. And because we aim to help make your visit an unforgettable one, we made a list of the Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town.

#1 Never @ Home

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Photo by afristay.com

Never@home is one of the biggest, hippest and most modern hostels in Cape Town. A pioneer of next generation hostel accommodation, Never@Home is located on the bustling Green Point strip. This popular backpacking hostel is surrounded by some of Cape Town’s best restaurants and coffee shops. It is within walking distance from Cape Town’s CBD and the famous V&A Waterfront. A Spar supermarket is right next door and across the road is the FIFA Cape Town Stadium. There is also a MyCity bus station located close by.

Aside from its superior location, Never@Home also offers a variety of room types priced at different levels. There is free WiFi, a communal kitchen, and a swimming pool. It has a modern yet relaxed environment and excellent security.

Contact:

Tel: +27 21 434 9282

Email: reservations@neverathomehostels.com

Visit neverathomeworld.com for more information.

#2 The Backpack

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

The Backpack is an award-winning, Fair Trade accredited hostel located right on the edge of the city centre. It’s within walking distance to the restaurants, bars, cafés and shops of Kloof and Long Streets. This backpacking hostel is highly popular for its prime location. It comprises of three turn-of-the-century houses ingeniously linked together. It is a stylish hostel known for its eclectic charm, boasting aesthetically South African designs inspired by the Mother City’s fusion of cultures, colors, authentic fabrics, inspirational and colourful street art.

The Backpack is owned and managed by Lee Harris and Toni Shina. They focus on creating a meaningful and relaxed travel experience for backpackers. It features a contemporary design with a relaxed, communal vibe. The chic facilities include a swimming pool with stunning views of Table Mountain; lockers and safes to store your valuables; and a kitchen if you feel like cooking. Its ideal location with plenty of restaurants and bars within easy strolling distance makes The Backpack one of the best backpacking hostels in Cape Town.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0) 21 423 4530

Cell: +27 (0)63 792 3611

Whatsapp: +27 (0)63 792 3611

Email: backpack@backpackers.co.za

Visit backpackers.co.za for more information.

#3 Atlantic Point Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

The Atlantic Point Backpackers located in Green Point, is one of the best backpacking hostels in Cape Town. Atlantic Point focuses on giving all their guests a great experience by offering the most spacious budget accommodation options in Cape Town, ranging from dormitory rooms to private double rooms. Each room comes equipped with a reading light, heater, ceiling fan, and private lockers. They have all the facilities you would expect from a top quality backpacker. There is a laid-back lounging space with a 40″ flat screen TV where you can relax and watch a movie.

There is also a lively bar and outdoor braai area for those looking to meet and mingle with other backpackers. Their communal kitchen allows you to prepare your own meals. The Atlantic Point Backpackers offers excellent value for money by setting the travelling trends and upholding a high standard of service and quality.

Contact:

Tel: +27 21 433-1663

Email: info@atlanticpoint.co.za

Visit atlanticpoint.travel for more information.

#4 Sunflower Stop Backpackers Hostel

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Nestled beneath the picturesque Signal Hill is the Sunflower Stop Backpackers Hostel which offers relaxing and comfortable accommodation for budget travelers in Cape Town.  The hostel’s prime location will give you easy access to the best that Cape Town has to offer. The sun-soaked beaches, the V&A Waterfront, the buzzing nightlife, and the majestic Table Mountain are just a few minutes away from this convenient location. They offer spacious, neat and clean dorms, doubles, twins and quad rooms; a communal kitchen; and a TV room.

All the backpacker dormitories have individual secure lockers so you need not worry about your belongings. They also have a pool, a braai area and a buzzing bar where you can meet and mingle with exciting new friends. You can also check their specialist backpackers’ tour desk for helpful travel tips and the best prices in town. You can book day trips and adventure tours as well.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0)21 434-6535

WhatsApp: +27 (0)82 3013229

Email: ashley@sunflowerstop.co.za

Visit sunflowerstop.co.za for more information.

Related: Top 10 Luxury Hotels In and Around Cape Town

#5 Once In Cape Town

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Once in Cape Town is centrally located on the vibrant Kloof Street and within walking distance of a variety of parks, restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, grocery stores, and the famous Long Street. This hostel is perfect for adventurous and young at heart backpackers. They offer a variety of affordable and clean rooms from their budget “Loud and Proud” rooms, to twin standard rooms, balcony rooms, ladies only 4-bed multi-share, and mixed multi-share dorms.

Their family rooms sleep between two and six persons. All rooms boast an ensuite bathroom, handmade room amenities, and crisp white linen. Their King rooms come with views of the mountain. There is also a courtyard to chill in and a big kitchen for self-catering. A light breakfast is served every morning in the hip and buzzing Yours Truly café at the front of the building.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0) 87 057 2638

Email: book@onceincapetown.co.za

Visit once.travel for more information.

#6 The B.I.G Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

The Backpackers in Green Point or “B.I.G” for short is situated in the residential suburb of Green Point. It’s a wonderful hybrid backpacker and B&B which offers fun, vibrant, affordable options that will introduce you to the best the city has to offer. It is ideally located within walking distance from the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium, transport systems, gym facilities, restaurants and coffee shops. Most of the city’s greatest attractions are within close proximity.

B.I.G. Backpackers sets itself apart from most backpacker hostels by offering only en-suite choices. They have 12 en-suite private double/triple/family rooms, six en-suite dorms and the most engaging hosts you could hope for. Their dedicated and friendly staff are committed to making sure everything runs smoothly during your stay.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0)21 434 0688

Email: info@bigbackpackers.com

Visit bigbackpackers.com for more information.

#7 Ashanti Lodge Gardens Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Ashanti Lodge Backpackers Gardens is your gateway to Cape Town. Set in a converted Victorian house in the Gardens suburb right at the foot of Table Mountain, this laid-back hostel is well known for its superb facilities, outstanding service, and excellent security. They cater for all accommodation needs — from camping and backpacker dormitories to single, double and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. They offer simple mixed and female-only dorms which sleep 6 to 8 guests and feature bunk beds, lockers, and free Wi-Fi. Private rooms, some with ensuite facilities, are also available.

Their sparkling pool, landscaped garden, and spacious balconies allow you to chill and meet other travelers. You can also join the party in their legendary Kumasi Café/Bar with its cool cocktails, delicious meals and magnificent mountain views. Ashanti also serves a free simple backpacker breakfast in their well-equipped communal kitchen every morning. And because Ashanti is within walking distance from the city centre, there are a variety of cafés and restaurants nearby Staying in this stylish backpacker hostel is a fun, friendly, and effortless way to discover the Mother City!

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0) 21 423 8721

WhatsApp: +27 (0) 72 953 7363

Email: info@ashanti.co.za

Visit ashanti.co.za  for more information.

Related: Best Car Rental Companies in Cape Town

#8 91 Loop Boutique Hostel

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Photo by booking.com

Backpackers-style accommodation is being taken to new heights at this unique boutique hostel, located right in the heart of the city. 91 Loop is nestled between hipster Bree Street with its thriving cafés and restaurants, and Cape Town’s backpacker party destination, Long Street. This boutique hostel guarantees that you will be sleeping on one of the best beds Cape Town has to offer at very affordable rates. 91 Loop offers two types of rooms: Ensuite and Pod. The former has a few variations, with different numbers of beds, while their pod experience can best be described as a room within a room.

The various rooms are all named after different world cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Auckland. The rooms boast a minimalistic look and feel but with special features that include high-quality mattresses, reading lights, space for charging, complimentary Wi-Fi and hi-tech lockers for storing valuables. And because your safety and the safety of your valuables are of paramount importance, all rooms and your personal locker are RFID key-card controlled and the entire building conforms to the highest British standards when it comes to fire safety. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks are also available downstairs at the on-site bar, The Honey Badger.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0)21 286 1469

Visit 91loop.co.za for more information.

#9 Hout Bay Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Photo by afristay.com

This quiet and comfortable backpacker hostel is situated in the beautiful fishing village of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Backpackers is just 20 minutes from the Cape Town city centre and is easily accessible by public transport. It is the perfect place for budget travelers wanting to explore Hout Bay as it is within walking distance to the beach and shopping hub, where a variety of activities are offered such as surfing, fishing, diving, sailing, hiking trails, and township tours. There are also loads of live entertainment as well as top restaurants offering sumptuous cuisine and award-winning wines.

Hout Bay Backpackers is a three-story converted home furnished to accommodate different types of groups, from the family unit to the couples’ suites, to rooms for traveling friends. Their dormitories all have ensuite bathrooms, sleeping a maximum of six people per dorm. All rooms lead onto private wooden decks with uninterrupted views of Hout Bay Beach, harbour and the majestic Chapman’s Peak drive. The long balcony that stretches across the top floor leads into the communal lounge with DStv and an indoor braai/fireplace at its centre.

But what sets this hostel apart from other backpacker hostels in Cape Town, is that they offer their visitors the opportunity to get involved in volunteer projects. You don’t only get to travel and explore Cape Town, you also get to give back to the community.

Contact:

Tel: + 27 (0) 21 790 0427

Email : info@houtbaybackpackers.co.za

Visit houtbaybackpackers.co.za for more information.

#10 Stoked Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Stoked Backpackers is located literally just a stone’s throw from the Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg. This hostel’s ideal location is perfect to explore Muizenberg and its surrounds. Experience surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddling (SUPing) on one of the best beaches of Cape Town. There are also boat tours that will take you to whale watching, freediving and scuba diving. Or if you are brave, you can cage dive with the great white sharks.

Stoked Backpackers is a three-story building offering a variety of shared dorm accommodation options, as well as some private family rooms, doubles, and twin rooms. Their communal lounge and deck have unbeatable views of the ocean. The kitchen is fitted with everything necessary for you to whip up a culinary masterpiece. If you want to get a great cup of coffee and tasty bites, Stoked Backpackers has an awesome café where you can hang out with other travelers and locals.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0)21 709 0841

Email: info@stokedbackpackers.com

Visit stokedbackpackers.com for more information

Bonus:

Green Elephant Backpackers

Top 10 Backpacking Hostels in Cape Town

Green Elephant Backpackers is in Cape Town’s lively student area – Observatory. Established in June 1994, this backpacking hostel offers budget accommodation to backpackers, medical interns, volunteers, students and visitors looking to meet fellow travelers with its three fully furnished houses. The main house has dorm rooms, wireless internet, a festive bar, a BBQ area, and a swimming pool.

The other two houses have private rooms and are quieter and ideal for long-stay guests. All double rooms have 4-poster beds in a relaxing and comfortable space. Linen and towels are provided. They also feature a solar heated swimming pool which complements the hot Jacuzzi for great relaxing parties. This friendly backpacking hostel also has excellent travel information and a booking office to make your stay in Cape Town worth your while.

Contact:

Tel: +27 (0) 21 448 6359

Visit greenelephant.co.za for more information.

Experience the vibrant city atmosphere, dive into the interesting culture and make new friends along the way! Happy backpacking!

 

When travelling to a foreign country, it’s always tricky to wrap your head around the new money system. We’ve got all the information you need during your stay in South Africa. Whether you decide to use cash or cards – here’s all you need to know.

The South African Currency

The South African money system works in rands and cents. The coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5 and the notes are R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. One rand is made up of a 100 cents. As with all currencies, the exchange rate fluctuates, but to give you a general idea of the strength of the South African rand against the major world currencies:

Pound R18,35
Euro R15,96
US Dollar R14,26
AUS Dollar R9,87
Hong Kong Dollar R1,82

*Exchange rates calculated on 15 May 2019

To work out your currency against the rand, click here.

Although some people think of South Africa as a third world country, a better way to describe it, is a developing country. There are still lots of growth potential in the economy, but the financial system is well-developed with an extensive bank network across the country. But it is best to convert a bit of your travel allowance into cash because some smaller businesses do still operate in cash only.

You can consider using your foreign credit or debit card, or a special travel money card. There are also a wide variety of ATMs that you will find along your travels. Some are linked to a specific South African bank, others designed specifically for foreign bank accounts.

Money Options in South Africa

We would advise you to consider a combination of cash and electronic money for your visit to South Africa. Below a breakdown of your financial options when travelling to South Africa.

Credit and Debit Bank Cards

Using your familiar bank card can make you feel more at home in a foreign country, but it can become a costly option. Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted throughout South Africa. So you will have access to your local account. The cards are accepted wherever you see their signs including local businesses, restaurants, and ATMs. You don’t need to pre-arrange your travel money, but you must be prepared for possible hiccups along the way when using foreign currency with a foreign card. And remember to inform your bank that you will be using your card in a foreign country.

Pros:

The convenient aspect of using your own bank card, is that you don’t have to pre-arrange a card and weigh up different travel money alternatives. You have access to all the funds in your account, so you don’t have to worry about running out of money. And a credit card is handy when booking your plane ticket, accommodation, and other online services.

Cons:

Your bank’s service charges for overseas transactions might be very high, and unclear. Also, if you use the card to draw money at local ATMs, the withdrawal fee is pricey. If your card gets lost or swallowed by a local ATM, it will be a big and costly hassle to replace it. To reissue a card can take up to four weeks, if it needs to be shipped to South Africa. If your card has advanced security measures, it may not be compatible with the local machines.

Card fraud must also be kept in consideration, and if your card is accessed, all your money can be stolen. Most banks do offer a money-back guarantee in case of fraud committed, but the policy may be limited during travel. Every time you use your card, the foreign currency will be converted to rand, which is linked to a service fee. Plus, if the exchange rate suddenly drops, your travel budget can be greatly affected.

A Visitors Guide to Money and Currency in South Africa

Photo by Daily Express

Travel Money Cards

Most international travel cards do not support the South African currency. But there is a local card available to foreigners from Bidvest bank. It is linked to Visa, which allows you to draw money from any local ATM supporting it. You can also swipe it at local businesses supporting Visa cards.

It is a debit card that you can use to pay for any products or services. You can also draw cash at ATMs or supported point of sale merchants such as PEP stores (clothing) or Checkers and Pick ‘n Pay (supermarkets). This card offers you easy cash access, and it is linked to a fixed exchange rate. You can also use it to fill up your car with fuel at supported petrol stations.

The card offers 24-hour support. You can also activate SMS notifications to keep track of your spending. With the Bidvest Rand Currency Card you can make hotel reservations, but you can’t make car rental bookings with it, unless the agency supports cash/debit card payments. You can collect the card at a local Bidvest bank branch, located across the country in major shopping centres and at the airport. Click here for more information.

Pros:

The prepaid card is not linked to your main bank account, making it a good secure option. There a set transaction fees so that you can budget your holiday spending. With the SMS notifications you can also keep track of your spending to budget better.

Cons:

If you use a different travel card option than the Bidvest Rand Currency Card, you will still be transacting locally in a foreign currency, which is linked to a fluctuating exchange rate. You will also be paying transaction fees to convert the money. There may be hidden transactional fees to take into consideration.

If you choose to use the Bidvest Rand Currency Card, you will need to arrange collection of it and have an alternative source of money in the meantime. (But there are branches located in both the Cape Town and Johannesburg airports)

While fees may look low, there are often a number of hidden costs, and card holders should note that they will generally be charged a percentage on ATM withdrawals rather than a fixed rate. The cards are only valid for a certain period of time and must be cashed out before return. The cards can only be reloaded at the official bank branches.

Traveller’s Cheques

These used to be a very popular travelling money option. They are pre-printed vouchers for a specific currency instead of cash. But they are not widely recognized in South Africa. Instead credit or debit cards are preferred.

Traveller’s cheques are not a viable option for travel in South Africa.

A Visitors Guide to Money and Currency in South Africa

 

Cash

As mentioned, carrying a small amount of cash with you in South Africa is advisable. Especially if you want to explore off the beaten track. If you don’t want the hassle of figuring out an international banking system, it could be the best option for you.

Pros:

You are guaranteed that you can make effortless payments wherever you go, without worrying about finding an ATM to draw money. There are also no extra banking fees to worry about. And it’s not linked to your main account back home.

Cons:

It is not advisable to carry around a big amount of cash with you. You can easily become a target of local thieves, who know how to spot an outsider in the country. If your cash gets stolen, there’s no bank guarantee backup to recover it.

Converting a large sum of money means you will have a big bulk of notes to carry around. And when you start using the money, coins have a way of multiplying and filling up your wallet. You might also not get the best exchange rate for your conversion to cash. It can also be tricky to keep track of your spending, if you are using only cash. Plus, you will have difficulty making a hotel or car reservation with only cash. Oftentimes the institutions would require a credit card as a deposit surety.

Recap: What Is the Best Way to Use Money in South Africa

A combination of local South African money in cash form and an electronic money format is the best way to manage your money while travelling in South Africa. Whether you decide to stick to your own bank card, or use a travel card, it’s advisable to not convert all your spending money into cash.

Location: 43 Victoria Rd, Camps Bay

The Camps Bay restaurant strip has the reputation of being glitzy and glamorous. And oftentimes locals steer clear of it because of this, many of the restaurants cater specifically for tourists. But Mantra Café has managed to hit the sweet-spot between offering clientele the glitzy setting, with epic sunsets, but in a relaxed dining environment.

A hidden Camps Bay gem, Mantra Café opened in December 2016. It combines spectacular beach views with superb food and friendly service. They’ve also added little personal touches to the décor, such as the photo on the balcony. The owners grew up in Camps Bay, and it’s a picture of their parents frolicking on the Camps Bay beach in the 60’s. As you travel down the buzzing Camps Bay Beach road, past Café Caprice and heading towards the Kauai (between Van Kamp street and The Meadway) – look out for the sign pointing towards a set of stairs leading you away from the noisy street. If you hit Col’Cacchio, you’ve gone too far. Situated on the first floor above The41, Mantra gives you the opportunity to soak up the expansive ocean views, without the clutter of the road and passer-by’s blocking your view.

It’s Not Your Typical Camps Bay Restaurant

Mantra Cafe in Camps Bay

Photo by Johann van der Merwe

From the uncomplicated décor, to the simplistic yet delicious dishes, Mantra aims to offer something refreshingly different in the area. It’s perfect for an impulsive sundowner after a day on the beach, or a special occasion to spoil a loved one. Whether you are wearing your flip-flops or high-heels, you’ll feel right at home in this relaxed yet sophisticated beautiful space.

The earthy tones used in the décor perfectly complements the warm afternoon glow that bathes the restaurant in a soft orange light. At sunset the balcony is an Instagrammer’s paradise! You can watch the sun sink towards the horizon in its full glory over the vast Atlantic Ocean.

Delectable Food in a Spectacular Setting

Mantra Cafe in Camps Bay

Photo by Johann van der Merwe

All the dishes are prepared from scratch on-site – from the hand-cut chips, to the delicious Malva Pudding. We’ll give you a sneak peak of the menu to get your mouth watering.

Starters: Sticky Chicken Wings, wood-fired in a sticky BBQ sesame sauce; Grilled Calamari in a fresh green Chimichurri Sauce.

Mains: Seafood Pasta, creamy linguini pasta with fresh line-fish, prawn, mussels, lemon zest and fennel leaves; Spicy Lamb Curry served with cucumber raita, salsa, chutney and basmati rice.

Desserts: Pear Frangipane, poached pears baked in almond frangipane served with vanilla ice cream; Trio of Homemade Ice Cream including Rooibos, butterscotch and vanilla ice cream.

Mantra aims to bring a fresh new trend to the Camps Bay restaurant strip. Instead of purposefully only catering for tourists, they want to create a delightful oasis where both tourists and locals can feel equally welcome.

And people definitely sit up and take notice of them. According to TripAdvisor they have managed to impress both the tourists and locals. They now rank among the top spots on the Camps Bay beachfront and they are part of the Top 5 Restaurants list in the area.

Visit Mantra Café Now

Mantra Cafe in Camps Bay

Photo by Johann van der Merwe

This lovely little spot offers you a secret hideaway from the bustling restaurant strip, and the view from upstairs will take your breath away. Make sure you plan your outing to perfectly match the rhythm of the setting sun.

The laid-back ambience of Mantra will rejuvenate your soul – feel like a tourist in your own city! Or if you are visiting from out of town, put this down-to-earth café on your to-do list. And on your way out, pop in at the adjoining décor shop to buy a memento of your experience. They stock a variety of proudly South African brands, with a product selection of their favourite local artists.

What’s more, they’ve just launched some incredible Winter Specials. Tucked away from the elements, Mantra offers a cosy location for a winter night out. View the full list of specials here

Visit www.mantracafe.co.za for more information and follow @mantracafe.za on Instagram.

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If you’ve been in Cape Town for a few days, you will have seen the bright red double-decker City Sightseeing bus drive past. These busses operate in over a 100 cities across the globe including London, Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Budapest, New York, Dubai, and more.

They are the world’s largest open-top, double-decker sightseeing tour bus operator. Started in 1999, this innovative tour operator company is the go-to source for discovering the best a city has to offer. The service runs 365 days a year, regardless of the weather. The handy hop-on-hop-off bus operates like clockwork, arriving at regular scheduled intervals at each stop.

See More Learn More with the City Sightseeing Bus

While you are taking in the beauty of the Mother City, you can listen to interesting information about each area you drive through. The on-board commentary is offered in 15 different languages (English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu). There’s also a fun channel for the kids.

The City Sightseeing Bus is a great way to effectively explore Cape Town. Instead of trying to figure out all the places you should see while you are in the city, use the City Sightseeing Bus with its structured route travelling past all the must-see attractions.

Also, Cape Town’s traffic and parking situation is notoriously challenging. With the City Sightseeing Bus, you can simply sit back and relax while someone else manoeuvres the congested roads. And it is more cost effective than Ubering across the city as well. The company strives to leave a small carbon footprint, and the busses have been declared carbon neutral.

How Does a City Sightseeing Bus Tour Work

There are a variety of tours to choose from including hop-on-hop-off routes through the city, cruises, wine tours, township tours, helicopter tours, and walking tours. A recent exciting addition to the City Sightseeing Bus tour repertoire, is the Franschhoek & Stellenbosch wine region Explorer Tour.

You determine your exploration of the city. The City Sightseeing bus has more than 30 stops, enabling you to explore over 50 of Cape Town’s top attractions. The bus passes by each stop every 15 minutes. This gives you the flexibility to plan your day. Depending on the type of tour you choose, the first busses depart around 08:00 in the mornings, and the last busses run between 18:00 and 19:00 (season dependent) Download the bus schedule.

The busses operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. During peak season the bus departures are increased to compensate for the influx of people. Tickets can be bought online at a discounted rate. There are three City Sightseeing offices across the city – at the V&A Waterfront, in the City Centre near Greenmarket Square, and in Camps Bay. You can also buy tickets on the bus at the various stops (cash and card facilities available). The City Sightseeing tours range between 30 minutes, and 140 minutes. But you will most likely be kept busy the whole day with all the sightseeing opportunities.

The City Sightseeing Bus Stops

Here’s a list of some of the City Sightseeing Bus Stops:

  • Two Oceans Aquarium (V&A Waterfront)
  • Cape Wheel (V&A Waterfront)
  • Zeitz Mocaa Museum (V&A Waterfront)
  • District Six Museum
  • Castle of Good Hope
  • South African Jewish Museum
  • St George’s Cathedral
  • SA Museum
  • SA Jewish Museum
  • Jewel of Africa
  • District Six Museum
  • Castle of Good Hope
  • Table Mountain
  • Camps Bay
  • Greenpoint Urban Park & Stadium
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
  • Groot Constantia Wine Estate
  • World of Birds (Hout Bay)
  • Seal Island Cruise (Hout Bay)
  • Imizamo Yeth Township (Hout Bay)
  • Mariner’s Wharf Hout Bay Harbour

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City Sightseeing Bus Tour Options

Exploring Cape Town with the City Sightseeing Bus

Photo by City Sightseeing South Africa

There are various tour packages available. Your choice will depend on the duration of your city exploration. Some tickets are only valid for one day, others can be extended to two or three days.

The Classic Ticket (valid for one day, with four tour loops) is one of the most popular ones. It also includes a free Walking Tour of the city, but does not include the Sunset Bus Tour. You can join the tour at any of the 30 hop-on-hop-off stops along the route.

You can bump it up to a Premium Ticket (valid for two days, with four tour loops per day). It includes a free Walking Tour, as well as a free Harbour or Canal Cruise. You also get a half-price discount on the Sunset Bus tour. The ticket is valid for two consecutive days.

The Deluxe Ticket (valid for three days, with four tour loops per day) is a great way to make the most of the City Sightseeing Bus routes with the wide variety of activities. It includes a free Walking tour, Harbour or Canal cruise, and the Sunset Bus. The ticket is valid for three consecutive days.

Another handy option, is buying a Cape Explorer Pass bus ticket that includes entrance to 3 of 12 must-see attractions. This is a very cost-effective option, offering you fast track, hassle-free entry at your choice of attractions. Choose from the following 12 attractions:

  • Classic Burger & chips lunch at the Hard Rock Café in Camps Bay (Red or Blue)
  • The Cape Town Wheel (Red or Blue)
  • Canal cruise (Red or Blue)
  • Harbour Cruise (Red or Blue)
  • Hamley’s Train (Red or Blue)
  • Cape Town Diamond Museum Entry (Red or Blue)
  • Kirstenbosch Gardens (Blue Tour)
  • Groot Constantia wine tasting (Blue Tour)
  • World of Birds (Blue Tour)
  • Imizamo Yetho Township walking tour (Blue Tour)
  • Hout bay Seal Island cruise, Drumbeat (Blue Tour)
  • Hout bay Seal Island cruise, Circe Launches (Blue Tour)

You don’t have to decide which attractions you want to enjoy before the time. Your bar code will give you access to three attractions, before it expires. The ticket is valid for one day, including all the tour loops.

Other City Sightseeing Bus Tour Experience options:

  • Sunset Bus
  • Canal Cruise
  • Bus & Bicycle Combo
  • 6 hour Bicycle rental
  • 20 min Atlantico Scenic Flight
  • Harbour Cruise (V&A Waterfront)
  • Sunset Champagne Cruise
  • Cape Point & Penguin Explorer Tour
  • Franschhoek & Stellenbosch wine region Explorer Tour
  • Franschhoek Wine Tram with Cape Town Explorer Tour
  • Two Day Cape Point & Winelands Combo

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The Mega City Pass

The Mega City Pass offers you access to more than 70 attractions, along the City Sightseeing bus route. You can save 40% to 50% on general entrance fees. It also offers you 25% discount on any of the three Explorer Day Tours. The pass is valid for 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days. Skip the queues with the handy fast-track entrance. You can show your Mega City pass barcode on your phone, or print out the voucher for entry into the attractions.

It includes a handy guide for easy-reference to the locations and contact details of the various participating attractions. You can view the special offers and plan your exploration adventure. The guide is available from one of the City Sightseeing Bus Offices (V&A Waterfront, Long Street, or Camps Bay). You have free access to use th City Sightseeing Bus while your Mega City Pass is valid. You can scan your pass at one of the offices or on your first bus entry to access your bus boarding pass.

Free Entrance:

  • City Sightseeing: Deluxe bus ticket, Harbour or Canal Cruise & Sunset Bus
  • City Sightseeing: Sunset Bus Tour | Harbour & seal cruise |  Canal Cruise
  • Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
  • Live-guided township tour: Langa & Gugulethu
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
  • Cape Wheel (V&A Waterfront)
  • Two Oceans Aquarium (V&A Waterfront)
  • ZEITZ MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art (V&A Waterfront)
  • Springbok Rugby Experience & Museum (V&A Waterfront)
  • Hamleys Express Train (V&A Waterfront)
  • Shimansky Diamond Experience (V&A Waterfront)
  • Waterfront Charters: Harbour & bay cruise | Harbour & seal cruise | Sunset champagne cruise
  • Jolly Roger Sunset Champaign Cruise
  • Jolly Roger Pirate Boat: Bay & coastal cruise
  • Cape Town Comedy Club (V&A Waterfront)
  • Castle of Good Hope
  • The Diamond Gallery: Free tour & diamond pendant (spend R1500)
  • &Bikes: Art cycle tour
  • &Bikes: Food tour
  • &Bikes: 4 hour bicycle rental
  • Rush: Indoor trampoline park
  • Woodstock Street Art Walking Tour
  • Imizamo Yethu Township Walking Tour
  • City Centre Walking Tour
  • Slave Lodge
  • South African National Gallery
  • Bo Kaap Walking Tour
  • Bo-Kaap Museum
  • South African Museum
  • Cape Town Holocaust Centre
  • South African Jewish Museum
  • District Six Museum
  • Heart of Cape Town Museum
  • Cape Town Diamond Museum
  • The Woodstock Gin Company: Gin tasting
  • Pienaar & Son Distillery: Free Gin & Vodka Tasting
  • Mama Africa: Starter, glass of wine & wine tasting voucher
  • Gold Restaurant: Free djembe drumming / glass of sparkling wine
  • Groot Constantia: Wine estate tour & tasting
  • Drumbeat Charters: Seal colony cruise (Hout Bay)
  • Circe Launches: Seal Island cruise (Hout Bay)
  • World of Birds (Hout Bay)
  • Vredenheim Big Cat Tour
  • Alpaca Loom Barn Tour & Weaving Studio
  • Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm
  • Eagle Encounters
  • Franschhoek Cellars: Cheese & wine pairing
  • Spier Wine Estate: Free tasting and bottle of wine
  • Simonsig: Cellar tour & wine tasting
  • Vredenheim Wine Estate: Wine tasting
  • Bikes ‘n Wines: Winelands cycle tour
  • Franschhoek TukTuk Wine Tours
  • Avontuur Wine Estate: Tasting & bottle of Cabernet/Merlot
  • Stellenbosch Vineyards: Wine tasting & bottle of Welmoed wine
Exploring Cape Town with the City Sightseeing Bus

Photo by City Sightseeing South Africa

Special Discount

  • Hard Rock Café: Free classic burger (valid between 11.30AM and 5:00PM)
  • Cape Point & Penguin Tour: Full-day live-guided tour: 25% discount
  • Wine tour & tasting: full-day live-guided tour: 25% discount
  • Franschhoek Wine Tram with Cape Town Explorer Tour: 25% discount
  • Meloncino Restaurant (V&A Waterfront): 15% discount
  • City Grill Restaurant (V&A Waterfront): 15% discount
  • The Greek Fisherman Restaurant: 15% discount
  • Hard Rock Café: 10% discount on merchandise
  • Jonkershuis: Free glass of wine with main meal
  • Groot Constantia Simons Restaurant: Free glass of wine with main meal
  • Wharfside Grill Restaurant at Mariner’s Wharf: R120.00 for seafood platter
  • Moyo Restaurant @ Kirstenbosch: 10% discount on bill
  • Kaapse Stories: 10% discount off ticket price
  • Jewel Africa: Spend R2,000 and receive a free Table Mountain Bracelet

Buy your Mega City Pass now

Premium Free Access

The Premium Mega City Pass will also give you free access to one of the following attractions:

  • Aquila Private Game Reserve Safari
  • Cape Town Helicopters Atlantico Tour
  • Cape Sidecars Chauffeured City Tour
  • Marine Dynamics Shark Cage Diving
  • Coffeebeans Routes: Choral Music Tour / Cuisine Tour / Jazz Safari
  • Dyer Island Cruises Whale Watching

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The city of Cape Town has seemingly endless exploration opportunities. But outside the city borders lies a completely different world. The Western Cape mountains create a rich landscape with mesmerizing beauty.

And the Franschhoek Valley should definitely be on your exploration to-do list! There are a few different ways to travel from Cape Town to Franschhoek. It’s a quaint little town, surrounded by world-class wine estates.

How to Travel to Franschhoek from Cape Town

The Best Way to Get to Franschhoek from Cape Town

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on unsplash

We’ve sourced a few different travel options for you to consider, with route suggestions as well. Public transport between Cape Town and the surrounding areas are limited, but there are a few possible ways for you to experience the beauty beyond the city borders.

Shuttle Companies

You can hire a private shuttle to transport you between Cape Town and Franschhoek. A shuttle can cost up to R 950 per person (return trip). We recommend that you use Winelands Experience as they can also help you to explore the town with their tours. Alternatively, you can use ShuttleUp  to travel between Cape Town and Franschhoek, as well as other locations nearby. A trip between the city and Franschhoek will cost R590 per person, one way. They also offer tours of the Cape Town region.

You can use an Uber to Franschhoek. But it will only be a viable option if you are travelling as a group. UberX will cost you about R700 from the Cape Town city centre to Franschhoek, one way. That works out to R175 per person (group of four)

Train to Franschhoek

If you are feeling very adventurous, you can take the Metro train to Stellenbosch, and Uber to Franschhoek from there. The train ticket will cost you R19.50, one way. And the UberX from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek in the region of R285. View the train schedule.

Bus to Franschhoek

The Greyhound Bus only runs between Cape Town and Stellenbosch. It will cost you from R270 to R290. You will then have to Uber from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek, costing about R285.

Plan Your Trip from Cape Town to Franschhoek

Another travel option that you can consider, is to hire a car for your trip to Franschhoek. Depending on the type of car you prefer, this will cost between R200 to R500 per day, excluding the petrol costs. Read our article Best Car Hire for a few car hire company options.

There are a few different ways you can travel to Franschhoek from Cape Town.

Via the N1 and R45

Travel time: 1 h 12 min | 88.8 km

This is a fairly direct and fast route to Franschhoek from Cape Town. Travel on the N1 past Century City, on your way to Paarl. Take exit 59 from the N1 and turn right onto the R301, which later becomes the R45. You’re guaranteed spectacular mountain views whichever route you choose to Franschhoek!

Via N2 and R310

Travel time: 1 h 25 min | 88.6 km

Alternatively, you can take the N2, travelling past the Cape Town International Airport on your way to Somerset West. Take exit 33 (Baden Powell Drive) towards the R310, turn left onto Baden Powell Drive. Next, turn right onto Polkadraai Road (still the R310). Follow the road through Stellenbosch, turning left onto Adam Tas Road (R310/R44) Turn right onto the Helshoogte Road (R310). Next, turn right onto the R45, and left onto Lambrechts road to stay on the R45.

Click here for directions.

Use the City Sightseeing Bus to Travel to Franschhoek from Cape Town

The Best Way to Get to Franschhoek from Cape Town

Photo by City Sightseeing South Africa

If you want to combine your travelling and touring expenses, why not consider the Franschhoek & Stellenbosch wine region Explorer Tour. This way you will effortlessly travel to Franschhoek from Cape Town, and explore the area.

The tour includes stops at two Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine estates. Here you can indulge in wine tastings and learn more about the cellars with a tour. You can also stop for lunch in Franschhoek. Tickets cost R580 for adults, and R300 for children.

Or try the Franschhoek Wine Tram Explorer Tour. While you are travelling to Franschhoek from Cape Town, you will be learning more about the areas you drive through with their handy commentary on the bus. There are two tram routes to choose from, travelling in a circular route, and stopping at 8 Wine Estates. The tram stops at each wine estate on the hour, giving you ample time to explore. Tickets cost R540 for adults and R275 for children.

Share the Travel Fun with Secret Cape Town

Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.