Feature image courtesy of Alistair van Wyk

The V&A Waterfront opened as a shopping centre in 1992. Ever since the area has been expanding as a commercial hub, and the Silo District is one of the recent additions to the area. It offers something for everyone. From contemporary art, to sophisticated shopping, to exquisite fine dining.

Art

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Zeitz MOCAA🌐

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The Zeitz MOCAA (Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Modern African Art) draws together the area, a striking central feature. It’s a world first, showcasing Africa and its diaspora’s amazing artistic abilities. The actual building itself is part of the artistic appeal of the museum. An old grain silo dating back to the 1920’s was innovatively revamped into this internationally acclaimed museum.

Restaurants

There are dining options galore here! Pop up to the Silo Hotel’s rooftop for champagne and oysters, or try some craft beer with a platter at The Yard. Grab lunch at the Now Now café (Woolworths) and top it off with dessert at the Lindt Chocolate Studio. The chocolate classes are a first of its kind worldwide for Lindt, hosted at the Cape Town and Johannesburg shops.

But wait, there’s more! Try the delectable delicious tapas of Si! Cantina-Sociale, or visit the Granary Café in the Silo hotel for breakfast/lunch. The Radisson RED hotel has the RED Roof and OUIBar + KTHCN to enjoy, with both light deli meals and serious dining options. Last, but not least, the Willaston Bar at the Silo hotel can kick-start your evening with sundowners and a charcuterie board.

Designer Stores

The sophisticated architecture of the Silo District has made a few local designers sit up and take notice of the inspiring location. Pop in at Kirsten Goss’s studio for exquisite jewellery, with a personal touch. Kat van Duinen focuses on luxurious fashion items and leather goods. Opus is a botanical florist with unique plants and flowers.

Another great art hub is the Guild gallery, featuring stylish South African designs. And pop in at Glasshouse Rejuvenation for a chic beauty salon experience.

History Kept Intact

The Silo District revolves around the revamped old grain silo. Back in the day, it was the tallest African building. Its main purpose was to store grain next to the harbour. And in the 1920’s it was the industrial hub of the city. The restaurants and museum strive to pay tribute to the area’s history.

Ultra-chic Accommodation

Between the striking Silo Hotel and eclectic Radisson RED, you are spoilt for choice in the Silo District. Both hotels feature epic views over the harbour and city and have state-of-the-art amenities. It’s a hard choice between the two, you might have to split your stay! Round off your trip with a session at the local Virgin Active gym.

Entertainment

The Silo District hosts special contemporary and classical music concerts from December to February. Concerts are scheduled for Friday afternoons, from 7pm with free entry. Click here for more information.

Plus, the Silo Market is a great addition to the local markets scene. It takes place on the last Saturday of every month from 10am to 3pm, with free entry. The unique creative market experience has two partners, Cape Craft and the Design Institute. They strive to create a platform for young talented artists to showcase their innovative products.

It’s also a great way to get direct feedback from the public. It’s very exclusive, offering exceptional products not widely available. While you are browsing, up-and-coming young performers will keep you entertained with background music.

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Cape Town has been voted best city in the world six times in a row. Each year the Telegraph UK asks their travel readers to vote and pick their favourite cities in the world. We totally understand why the Mother City has claimed the top spot six times now!

It feels like the city is filled with endless adventure options. And these range from tame leisurely activities, to hard core challenging ones. The Cape Town Big 6 company has created a platform where you can conveniently book the top must-do experiences.

The following should be high on your holiday priority list. And if you live in Cape Town, make sure you put these on your bucket list.

#1 Table Mountain Cableway

The cableway has been operating since October the 4th, 1929. It is estimated that over the years the Table Mountain Cableway has carried more than 27-million people to the top of the world-famous mountain. Table Mountain is a World Heritage Site and has been included in the list of New 7 Wonders of Nature. Read our post about the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to find out more about its history.

Each cable car carries up to 65 people, that’s approximately 800 people enjoying a scenic trip up the mountain every hour. That adds up to about 909 000 people every year. In 1997 the cable way was upgraded to state-of-the-art Rotairs that offer you 360° views while you make your way up and down the mountain. These nifty cable cars will carrier you to the top of the mountain in five minutes, travelling at 10m per second. Another handy feature of the Rotairs, is the water tank base. Each cable car can carry 3 000 liters. It serves a dual purpose, transporting fresh water for mountain visitors and a sturdy ballast during windy conditions. Click here to learn more about Table Mountain.

#2 V & A Waterfront

This unique shopping and entertainment hub draws about 24 million people each year. It’s rated as one of Africa’s most-visited destinations. It’s not hard to see why it is so popular. The place has a unique vibe. Buskers are scattered around beating out a tune on their guitar or xylophone. And it features the formidable Table Mountain as its backdrop across the ocean views in the harbour.

The V & A Waterfront stretched over 123 hectares. It’s a unique mixed-use development which revamped the old Victoria & Alfred basins which expanded the harbour capacity. The land was repurposed in 1990 to include commercial trading which included restaurants, speciality shopping, an arts and craft market, the V&A Hotel, a theatre, the National Maritime Museum, and more.

Now almost 30 years later, the V & A Waterfront is a firm fixture in the South African economy, bringing in millions of rands every year. Recent additions to the area include the expansion of the Silo district and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Read our post Top 10 Things To Do At The V&A Waterfront, you’ll be kept busy for hours (if not days)

#3 Kirstenbosch Gardens

It is one of the greatest botanical gardens of the world. Kirstenbosch nestles against Table Mountain’s eastern slopes, stretching over 5.28 km². The area dates back to ancient times, with Stone Age hand-axes and stone implements discovered in the Dell. This area was also home to two Khoikhoi clans, the Gorachouqua and Goringhaiqua. Click here to read more about the history. And make sure you view the historical Van Riebeeck’s hedge.

Kirstenbosch was officially founded in 1913. The main aim of the gardens was to preserve the country’s unique flora. This was a worldwide milestone, no other botanical garden had this ethos. Till this day, the botanical garden has a very strong focus on cultivating indigenous plants. The garden covers five out of the six South African biomes. Another unique feature of Kirstenbosch is the Boomslang walkway. It celebrates the centenary birthday of Kirstenbosch (2013). Read more about it here.

#4 Robben Island

The name means “seal island” in Dutch. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a South African National Heritage Site. Since the 17th century the island operated as a prison. The most famous prisoner was Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and Nobel Laureate. He spent 18 years of his 27 year sentence on the island.

After the end of Apartheid, the island transformed into a living museum, offering visitors a behind the scenes glimpse of prison life. The ferry leaves from the Waterfront, at the dock next to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island Museum.

An interesting element incorporated into the experience, is that some of the tour guides are former Robben Island prisoners. This will give you priceless insight into life on the island. The tours to the island are very popular, so you need to book ahead of time, especially in peak season (December to February)

#5 Groot Constantia

It is the country’s oldest wine estate, established over 330 years ago. This world renowned estate formed the foundations of South Africa’s commercial wine industry. In Europe kings and emperors enjoyed the famous wines, including King Louis Phillipe of France and Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Jane Austen called it “a cure for a broken heart” in her novel Sense and Sensibility. And Charles Dickens claimed that a sip will lift your spirit in his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Other famous drinkers included Napoleon Bonaparte, soothing his sorrows during his exile on Saint Helena Island.

The beauty of Groot Constantia, is that you don’t have to travel far to reach this little wine valley. It lies in the Southern Suburbs, just before you reach Hout Bay. You can also travel to it via the City Sightseeing bus, if you want to taste wine without worrying about the driving. Try one of the VoiceMap App Audio Walking Tours to enhance your experience.

#6 Cape Point

In 1488 the explorer Bartolomeu Dias gave it the nickname “The Cape of Storms”. In the daytime it’s a great navigational landmark. But at night when the fog descends, and when the ocean becomes tumultuous, it is not the sailors’ friend anymore.

By 1859 a lighthouse was erected to navigate more safely around this treacherous point. The first lighthouse still stands, towering at 238 metres above sea-level on the highest peak section. This lighthouse is also a centralised monitoring point for the surrounding lighthouses along the South African coastline. Use the Flying Dutchman funicular to travel up to it from the lower station (127 metres above sea-level)

The Cape Point is part of the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve, situated within the Table Mountain National Park. It is a World Heritage Site that is part of the Cape Floral Region. There’s a lot to explore in the reserve. You can create a little mini safari for yourself spotting zebras, bucks, baboons, and more while admiring the local fauna. And stop at one of the rugged beaches for a quick picnic.

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Visit ctbig6.co.za now for quick bookings.

A visit to the museum can sound very boring. But somehow under the cover of the night everything becomes more exciting. The Museum Night project aims to offer more people access to the cultural gems hidden in our city.

It is an initiative of the Thursdays Projects and a collaboration with the Iziko Museums of South Africa. Twice a year entrance to 11 participating museums and institutions are free from 5PM to 10PM.

Remember to bring your ID along to ensure free entrance.

Participating Museums

With the free access you can enjoy the various permanent exhibitions at the museums, plus special curated programs with music performances and food.

Iziko South African National Gallery

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Kuns ✨

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The museum showcases collections of both South African and international artists. The permanent collections change regularly and temporary exhibitions pop up as well. If you are passionate about art, why not consider joining the Friends of the Iziko South African National Gallery to gain free access throughout the year.

Iziko South African Museum

The museum dates back to 1825, it is South Africa’s primary natural history museum. Highlights include the Whale Well and Wonders of Nature exhibitions. There is also an exciting Courtyard Project to expand the museum.

Iziko Planetarium & Digital Dome

It is the most advanced digital planetarium of Africa. The multi-functional, state-of-the-art facility brings digital technology to the city. Most shows are during the day, but there are also special evening shows on Wednesdays.

South African Jewish Museum

It was officially opened by Madiba himself in December 2000. The museum is in the first South African synagogue, called the Old Shul, built in 1863. It features a variety of permanent exhibitions that relates to the history of Judaism. Temporary exhibitions are also hosted throughout the year.

District Six Museum

The museum was established in December 1994, to commemorate the memories of the people that suffered forced removal from their homes. District Six used to be a mixed community of freed slaves, local merchants and artisans, labourers and immigrants. It was perfect with its location near the city centre and the port.

But then on 11 February 1966 it was declared a Whites-only area. The Group Areas Act of 1950 allowed forced removal of over 60 000 residents. The District Six residence moved to the Cape Flats and the area was demolished.

Related: The Iziko Museum Mile

Iziko Slave Lodge

It is one of the oldest Capetonian buildings. The museum offers a glipse into the volatile history of slavery in South Africa. It explores themes of human rights and human wrongdoings. The temporary exhibitions aim to create more awareness of human rights in the country and the world in general.

Cape Town Holocaust Centre

The Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre aims to create a more just and caring society, with an emphasis on valuing human rights and respecting diversity. The main exhibition places emphasis on the consequences of racism and prejudice, in all its various forms. It points to the dangers of apathy, indifference, and silence.

The Old Granary Building

The building dates back to 1808 and is rich in history. The GAPP Architects recently restored it to its former glory. Now it is the home of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. It showcases exhibitions that honour Desmond Tutu while also sharing more of the building’s history.

SA Sendinggestig Museum

The museum is in an old mission church building, built in 1801. Originally it wasn’t used for worship services, hence not being called a church. The Dutch word “gestig” translates into meaning a “meeting house”. At one stage it did turn into a church with Khoikhoi and other slaves that converted to Christianity.

But then in 1975 the Group Areas Act forced the congregation to move to a new gathering spot in Belhar.

A4 Arts Foundation

This is a not-for-profit organisation that supports artists of Southern Africa. The gallery is in a three-story warehouse and it also features a projects space and multimedia library.

Muller’s Museum

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There is a certain kind of charm in the Cape Town city centre where old and new architecture meet. It is the juxtaposition of the old and the new that emphasises what is possible with concrete. The old building in the foreground is the Mullers optometrists building. It was the first optometrist in Cape Town and is still a family owned business today. The optometrist store on the ground level (not visible in the picture) has mostly been kept in its original form. Joseph Muller opened the doors of his new practice in 1890. Since its inception, Muller’s has been located on the same street corner and its iconic Art Deco black and white exterior has been a Cape Town landmark since 1920. Today, Mullers is still being run by third and fourth generation descendants of Muller. @afrisam_sa #concretepossibilities #concreative #architecture #oldworld #oldcity #newcity #concretejungle #cityspaces #design #concrete #architecturephotography #capetown #cityscape #bw #blackandwhite #building #mullersoptometrists #mullers #cbd

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The Muller’s Building has a reputation of being an Art Deco architecture icon. And so Muller’s decided to create an optometry museum on the third floor. Travel up in the “time machine” and view the exhibition of Muller’s record books, memorabilia, spectacle frames, artifacts, and clocks. The pieces date back to 1890.

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Visit museum-night.co.za for more information.

Museums might sound to some like a very boring outing. But the Iziko initiative aims to offer a unique experience of South Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The word means “hearth” in isiXhosa. In a traditional African homestead, it is the central focal point. Similar to the idea of a hearth drawing the community together, these museums strive to be a gathering point of the country’s varied legacy.

Once you’ve completed the Iziko Museum Mile, you will have visited 7 museums, each focusing on a different cultural element. The route kicks off in the Company’s Gardens. The term “mile” is used loosely, if you walk between the museums, you will cover roughly 8km by foot. Or 10 km by car.

Visit iziko.org.za for more information about the museums listed below. Click here to view directions.

Iziko South African Museum

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The Iziko South Africa museum was founded in 1825 and was the first in the country. Located in the Company Gardens since 1897, it houses important African collections of zoology, paleontology and archeology. 📷:@ecamilla_rsa 🦖🐾🏛#letdothis #capetown WHEN: Mon – Sun, 9AM – 5PM. WHERE: Queen Victoria St, Gardens, Cape Town. WHY: See important historical collections. #️⃣ #iziko #southafricanmuseum #gardens #thingstodo #ideas #explore #adventure #activities #getoutside #discover #food #drink #meetup #squadgoals #hike #fitness #health #culture #explorecapetown #mothercity #westerncape #mzanzi #southafrica #roadtrip #unplug #letsdothiscpt #dothis Tag or email us with your tip………………… 📩 Please note – we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss of life that may occur when following the tip for the day ✌️

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It’s the flagship of the museum family. You will travel back thousands of years to the origin of our country. The museum dates back to 1825, established as research and educational institution. Scientists still work here to preserve and capture newly-found artefacts and fossils. There are thousands of these in the archive of the museum.

The exhibits include fossils of early human ancestors; Khoi-San archaeological collections; an extensive marine biology collection; minerals and rocks; dinosaur dioramas plus a life-size display of African dinosaur fossils.

Planetarium

Linked to the South African Museum, a visit to the Planetarium is a must. The shows captivate both adults and children. With new state of the art digital technology, the educational shows are engaging and a great visual treat. View the daily Planetarium shows.

Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, Company’s Gardens

Iziko South African National Gallery

The building has been preserving inspiring artworks since 1871. It boasts with South Africa’s past and present art gems. A wide variety of historical and contemporary artworks have been gathered for your viewing pleasure, including both African and international works. Admire the paintings, photography, beadwork, sculptures, and textiles.

The permanent collections are rotated every few months, carefully selected by a team of curators. Plus, established South African artists regularly host exhibitions at the gallery.

Visit the South African National Gallery events page to stay in the loop.

Location: Government Avenue, Company’s Gardens

Iziko Slave Lodge

The history of this building is tainted with the darker side of South Africa’s history. Built in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, it was thousands of slaves’ first taste of their new forced homeland. It was used from the 17th to 19th century.

Now you can imagine yourself in their shoes while learning more about the South African slavery history and challenge yourself to think about human rights issues. The exhibitions include Egypt in Africa; Singing Freedom: Music and the Struggle Against Apartheid; The Story of isiShweshwe: Material Women? and more.

Location: Upper Adderley Street, CBD

Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum

The museum is  in one of the original residential houses of the area. It was built somewhere between 1763 and 1768. This area was formerly a Malay Quarter. The house was restored and now showcases artefacts of the Muslim cultural heritage, as well as exhibits exploring the development of the city. Read our post to find out more about the history of the Bo-Kaap.

Location: 71 Wale Street, , CBD

Iziko Rust en Vreugd Museum

The city is full of beautiful historical buildings. This one dates back to 1778. Willem Cornelis Boers called it home. He was a high-ranking Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie* (VOC) official. It’s located on the outskirts of the CBD and features the typical Cape Dutch architecture. The period-style garden enfolding the house will transport you back to a bygone era.

You can view the William Fehr Collection of Artworks on Paper, to get a better feel for the life of an early Cape settler.

*Translated from Dutch: United East Indies Company

Location: 78 Buitenkant Street, CBD

Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House

You might have walked past this house on Strand Street, oblivious that it’s a hidden historical gem. In the 18th-century a wealthy family settled here. The house’s name comes from the final private owner, Marie Koopmans-de Wet. Over the years the building underwent renovations, but its original flair has remained intact. A beautiful façade, extravagant big sash windows, and stylish doors – it’s a classic example of Cape Dutch architecture. The private townhouse was the first opened to the public in 1914, giving it the status of oldest South African house museum.

Location: 35 Strand Street, CBD

The Castle of Good Hope featuring William Fehr Collection

The castle is the oldest South African colonial building. Dutch colonialists built it from 1666 to 1679. And for more than two centuries the pentagonal fort was the house of military and government operations. Walking through the castle will offer you a glimpse into the early Cape life. View William Fehr’s historical art collection in the Kat. This building was once the home of the Cape governor, situated in the middle of the Castle grounds.

The collection contains beautiful paintings and ceramics, as well as furniture. It’s a great way to gain insight into early colonial South African life.

Location: Corner of Darling Street and Buitenkant Street, CBD

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Featured image courtesy of The Om Revolution.

There’s something magical about the scenic beauty of Cape Town. Some have speculated that the mountain has very unique energy fields. Whatever your theory is around the Mother City’s popularity, you can’t deny the natural charisma of it.

We’ve found a few places where you can connect with your spirituality through yoga. Whether you have been doing it for years, or you only started dabbling in it now, you can jump in and enjoy the refreshing combination of good exercise and fresh air! Oh, and don’t forget to look up and admire your surroundings.

Full Moon Yoga

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🔥✨ #pipetrack #capetown #tablemountain #sunset

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This event is hosted during the summer months. It is a worldwide movement of embracing the power of yoga and nature every month with the arrival of the full moon. Reconnect and reflect during the sunset and wait for the full moon to rise as you end the session. On the Facebook page you can learn more each month about the moon and its connection with us.

The yoga session is hosted at The Pipe Track on Table Mountain, from 6:30PM to 7:30PM. Click here for direction. It’s a free event and everyone is welcome. It is a Vinyasa-based yoga style and it’s perfect for all levels. You will be mesmerized by the sun is setting in front of you, while the moon rises behind you!

Bring along your mat, some water and warm clothes for afterwards. It cools down very quickly on the mountain once the sun sets. Arrive at 6.15PM to set up for the session. You don’t have to book ahead of time, simply pitch and enjoy the unique experience. Afterwards fresh Kombuchas is served.

Visit the Fullmoon Yoga Cape Town Facebook page for more information.

Fresh Air and Beach Vibes

The Om Revolution is a great mobile yoga studio. It’s not every day you get to do the Downward Dog position while a squirrel runs past you! Or with beach sand crunching under your mat as you stretch out.

They host classes throughout the week at different locations across the city. A Vinyasa-style class costs R50 and is suitable for all levels and ages. (a heads-up for the Company’s Gardens classes, bring some cash along for the paid parking)

Classes Schedule:

  • Tuesdays @ 5:45PM at the Company’s Gardens
  • Wednesdays @ 6:00PM at Century City
  • Thursdays @ 5:30PM at Mouille Point
  • Saturdays @ 9:00AM at the Company’s Gardens
  • Sundays @ 6:15PM at Clifton 3rd Beach

Bring along your own mat and towel. Try to arrive a few minutes early for the registeration. You can join the Outdoor Yoga WhatsApp Group to stay in the loop with arrangements, as the events are weather-sensitive. Send a WhatsApp to 063 868 0899.

Visit theomrevolution.co.za for more information.

A Rooftop with a View

Vinyasa yoga is very popular in the city, and Yoga-Play has created special Sunset Sessions at the Harvest Cafe & Deli in the city. These are beginner classes with an epic view of Table Mountain. The classes are hosted every Wednesday from 5:30PM to 6:30PM.

Classes cost R100 and you can pay with cash or SnapScan. Bring along your mat and a towel, some water, and comfortable clothes.

Visit the Yoga-Play Facebook page for more information.

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Our beloved mountain was closed for maintenance. Luckily it’s scheduled for reopening soon, on the 1st of March 2019. A fire broke out end of January, ravishing the vegetation and affecting the plans by SANparks (South African National Parks) to upgrade the existing trails. Read more here.

The Cape Town icon has featured on the Secret Cape Town’s Instagram account numerous times. We don’t have to explain why, it’s quite epic. Below our top pictures of Lion’s Head.

For the ultimate experience of Lion’s Head, we recommend that you take a guided hike up the mountain. The professional hiking guide will be able to ensure your safety on the mountain, plus provide you with interesting information about the fauna and flora.

Did you know that approximately 200 000 people hike Lion’s Head every year? It is rated as an A to A+ hike, making it one of the easiest hikes in the city. Read our post Alternative Hikes To Do In Cape Town While Lion’s Head Is Closed.

Once a month the mountain is ascended by hiking enthusiasts to watch the full moon rise. Read our post What You Need to Know About Hiking Up Lion’s Head For the Full Moon to arrive prepared with your fellow Lion’s Head lovers.

Although Lion’s Head seems like an easy hike, because it’s so accessible to city dwellers, you should not underestimate the mountain. People have died attempting to hike it. Cape Town weather has the knack of changing at the drop of a hat. Be prepared for anything! Read our post What Is the Best Time to Visit Cape Town

Share the Lion’s Head Fun with Secret Cape Town

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Cape Town has been voted the best city in the world six times in a row by the Telegraph Travel Readers. And it’s not hard to see why. Beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, endless things to do, a buzzing cosmopolitan vibe… And that’s just mentioning the bare minimum!

But there is a little challenging factor to a holiday in the fairest of Capes, as Sir Francis Drake called it. The city was also given the name “the Cape of Storms” by Bartolomeo Dias. Depending on your holiday needs, the tumultuous weather can be a pro or a con.

Weather in Cape Town

The best way to describe the weather in Cape Town? Four seasons in one day. It can be high summer and you will need a jersey. The best way to approach the weather in Cape Town, is to be prepared for anything. Carry a light jersey with you, even in the summer months, because the wind can suddenly get very chilly. During winter and the other in-between seasons, layer up, so you can layer down if need be. Even during the icy wet winter, an almost-summer day can make a quick appearance.

With its location next to the ocean, the climate has a Mediterranean-feel to it. In the hot summer months, the temperatures can soar up to 35°C (95°F) and then you will wish the infamous wind will make an appearance. In the winter it can rain for days on end, with the temperatures dropping below 10°C (50°F).

The wind is a constant companion of Capetonians. Mostly you will have a love/hate relationship with it. The Cape Doctor, the nickname of the South-Easter wind, blows during the spring months (August and September) to late summer (March and April). Some days it will be a gentle breeze ruffling your hair as you walk on the beach, breaking the extreme heat. Other days it will threaten to blow you off your feet. In Table Bay winds of up to 160km/h have been measured.

The wind also triggers the famous Table Cloth. It’s a mesmerizing weather phenomena, caused by the fluctuations in temperature surrounding the mountain. The False Bay air, full of warm moisture, is picked up by the wind and it’s pushed towards the eastern flank of Table Mountain. It’s lifted up against the Table Mountain slopes. Then all of a sudden it drops down and the clouds disappear into thin air.

Summer in Cape Town

The balmy summer months end and start the year, from December to mid-March. It’s the perfect end or start to your year! Another great aspect of Cape Town summers, is the fact that the sun sets around 8 o’clock. Morning temperatures range at about 15°C (59°F) and can reach 35°C (95°F) middle day in high summer.

If you are a big fan of lounging on the beach, summer months are the best time to visit Cape Town. With the prospect of the wind joining you on your holiday, it’s also a great time to indulge in fun water sports such as kite or wind surfing. Another activity complemented by the wind, is paragliding. Slowly hovering over the city from Lion’s Head or Signal Hill (or even Table Mountain) will be an unforgettable experience.

But beware, you will not be the only one thinking it’s a good idea to head to the beach on a beautiful summer’s day. Especially during December you will also have the local South African tourists to contend with. All of a sudden you will notice that half the cars on the road have GP number plates! We’ll give you the inside scoop, head over to one of the best secret beaches in the Cape to avoid the crowds.

Accommodation and flight prices are pushed up during the peak summer period. If you’re schedule is flexible, rather plan a trip in late-November or mid-March to soak up the African sun without being squashed on the beach and paying exorbitant prices.

Related: 5 Off The Beaten Track Festivals

Autumn and Spring in Cape Town

The in-between seasons can be the best time to visit Cape Town. During these months the weather is less extreme, and the city is not as crowded as during peak season. You can score great accommodation and flight deals if you plan ahead. Just keep an eye on the Easter weekend dates, prices are pushed up for this popular holiday break.

From late-March the mornings become chillier, and slowly the sun starts rising later in the morning, and setting earlier at night. During the day temperatures range in the early 20’s (68°F) and in the afternoon it will start dropping lower again.

Spring arrives from the end of August, with the sun rising around 07:00 in the morning and setting at 18:30. Daytime temperatures start climbing into the higher 20’s (68°F). But mornings and evenings are still chilly. Read our post Where to See the Wildflowers in the Cape for a truly magical experience which transforms the landscape every year.

With the extreme summer heat subdued, both autumn and spring are great seasons to explore the outdoors in the middle of the day, instead of worrying about the potent summer midday sun. Cape Town is an outdoor fanatic’s paradise, with almost-endless hiking and mountain bike trails. Read our post Top 5 Hiking Routes up Table Mountain.

Winter in Cape Town

Some would argue that winter is the best time to visit Cape Town, but it all depends on what kind of holiday experience you are looking for. Winter is whale-watching season, read our post 5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town to plan your holiday around these fascinating gentle giants of the ocean.

The winter period is from late-June to mid-September. Morning temperatures can drop below 10°C (50°F) and will hover in the teens throughout the day. Along with the chilly weather, long stints of rain ascend on the city. All of a sudden the tip of Africa will be transformed into a London-like atmosphere, with soft drizzle falling relentlessly for days on end.

If you are sensitive to long periods of overcast weather, you might want to rather plan your trip at the beginning or end of winter to avoid the gloominess. Even though the outdoor activities mostly come to a halt, you can still indulge in the indoor fun. Read our post about 10 Restaurants with Fireplaces in Cape Town to counter the chill.

Another great indoor activity for the winter months, is exploring the Iziko Museum Mile. You’ll be kept busy for hours hopping from one heritage museum to the next. These include the Bo-Kaap museum, Planetarium, Rust en Vreugd, Slave Lodge, South African Museum, South African National Gallery, and the William Fehr Collection at The Castle of Good Hope. End off your exploration at one of the Harrington Street Restaurants and Cafés.

Daylight Hours

In the summer months, it almost feels like there’s endless sunshine available. You can get up to 14 sunlight hours per day, from 05h30 to 20h00. During the in-between seasons of spring and autumn, it goes down to about 12 hours, from 06h30 to 18h45. And in winter there is around 10 hours of sunlight, from 07h45 to 17h50.

How much are flights to Cape Town?

Peak Season (mid-December to January)

A lot of people will tell you this is the best time to visit Cape Town to experience the ultimate summer holiday. But because it’s so popular, it’s very busy and very pricey. Flight tickets can be pushed up by as much as 50% from mid-December to January. If you do want to visit the Mother City during the epic height of summer, you will have to book your accommodation and flights at least three months ahead.

Shoulder Seasons (March to May; September to November)

Planning your visit a little bit away from the peak season can be the best time to visit Cape Town if you want to still experience the summer fun, but not have excessive travel costs. You can save up to 30% when travelling in this gap period.

Off-Peak Season (June to August)

People might tell you it’s not the best time to visit Cape Town. And you will save up to 40% because of this believe. But because of the winter rain, the Western Cape transforms into lush green rolling hills.

So What Is The Best Time To Visit Cape Town?

Well, according to us the best time to visit Cape Town, is every day of the year! Each season in the Mother City has its own special charm. From the balmy summer days, to the cold winter nights perfect for snuggling next to a fireplace.

We hope that you find your favourite season in the Mother City and return every year to come and soak up the awesomeness! Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

Kayamandi Stellenbosch Township Tour

Have you ever passed by a township and wondered what life is like inside? While remaining culturally sensitive, the Stellenbosch Township and Village team has endeavoured to create a tour of the vibrant informal settlement of the winelands town.

It is a community driven inter-cultural tourism initiative which offers visitors a glimpse of the day-to-day life of the Kayamandi residents. The tours are hosted by community members, giving it a great personal touch. Explore and learn more about this vibrant community. It’s lies on the edge of Stellenbosch.

Kayamandi means “nice home” in Xhosa, from the words khaya meaning “home” and mnandi meaning “nice”. The informal settlement dates back to the early 1950’s, housing an influx of workers from the Eastern Cape.

A Township and A Village Meet Each Other

The concept for the tour is a partnership between SEED and the Stellenbosch Municipality. Together they empower the local guides, assisting them to become registered professional tour guides. These friendly and engaging guides are passionate about Kayamandi because they call it home.

Since community members present the tour, it’s a truly authentic experience and you can feel safe in their capable presence. Weaving your way between the shacks, you definitely want someone who knows where they’re heading!

Tourism is a thriving industry in the Western Cape. The Township and Village Tour project aims to connect the Kayamandi residents with the tourism sector. It empowers the community while giving them the opportunity to introduce tourists to their way of life. Not only will you be gaining more insight into another culture, you will also be contributing to the economic growth of the community you are visiting.

Exploration Options

The Stellenbosch Township and Village tours offer you the chance to explore the culture, history and the evolution of South African Township life. You can also explore the town surrounding the township.

Kayamandi on Foot

Duration: 3 hours | Cost: R600

A three hour walking adventure, starting and looping back to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi. Over a cup of coffee at the Amazink restaurant you will meet your local resident guide. You can tell them more about your interest in taking the tour before starting.

Next you will start exploring the area, stopping at various points to learn more about the history and the current activities of the community. Attractions include schools, hostels, a spaza shop, churches, an African barber shop, craft shops, development organisations, and the local taxi rank. A few of the community members have been kind enough to open their homes to give visitors a glimpse of life behind the corrugated metal shells.

Once you return to the Ikhaya Trust Centre, pop in at the Vision Afrika School to buy a memento of your Kayamandi experience. The community shop stocks locally produced craft items. To make the most of your tour experience, wear comfortable shoes and clothes. The weather can suddenly turn, so bring a light jacket along for in case. During the summer months, wear sunscreen. And bring an umbrella in the winter. You will receive a bottle of water for the walk. The route is suitable for all levels of fitness and kids are also welcome.

Book now

Kayamandi Stellenbosch Township Tour

Half and Half Tour

Duration: 4 hours | Cost: R850

With this tour you can experience the diversity of life in South Africa. The tour starts at the Stellenbosch Wine Routes tourism centre, situated in the centre of the historical little town. Walk through the iconic town’s leafy streets, making your way to the local taxi rank. Your Kayamandi resident guide will show you how the local people travel between their homes and workplaces.

The taxi will take you to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi, travelling the 3 kilometres between the township and the village. Next you will follow the circular route through the township, experiencing in one day the contrasts of South African life. (see description of Kayamandi on Foot tour above)

After supporting the local community by buying a souvenir at the Vision Afrika School, you will again hop into the taxi and travel back to your starting point in town. After learning more about the historic backgrounds of Kayamandi and Stellenbosch, you will gain more insight into the country’s cultural dynamics.

Book now

Pick Up and Drop Off

You can request a transfer to the Ikhaya Trust Centre in Kayamandi from the centre of Stellenbosch. In South Africa safety is a challenge and the transfer can give you the reassurance that you are travelling to the correct destination in the township.

Transfer location: Stellenbosch Wine Routes tourism centre, 47 Church Street.

Challenge Your Perspective on Life in South African

Kayamandi Stellenbosch Township Tour

The Stellenbosch Township and Village tourism initiative aims to not only reach foreign tourists, but local ones as well. So often we are stuck in seeing life through our own cultural lenses. By visiting Kayamandi you can challenge your preconceived ideas of life in an informal settlement.

This is a social enterprise founded by the Stellenbosch Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Development Trust (SEED). The NPO aims to enhance local economic development, by offering enterprise training and development. The Stellenbosch Municipality funds the social enterprise. These tours aim to promote inter-cultural and heritage integration.

Visit stellenboschtownshipandvillage.co.za for more information.

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Check out our post on the tours in Cape Town – Township Tours Cape Town.

Kayamandi Stellenbosch Township Tour

Life does not have to come to a standstill just because you are single. Luckily there are plenty of experiences in the city you can indulge in on your own, without the fear of someone looking at you funnily because you’re on your own. And let’s face it, everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, no one will really even notice that you’re exploring on your own.

Check out our post Cape Town as a Solo Traveller for some inspiration to travel on your own.

#1 Visit a Museum or Art Gallery

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Zeitz MOCAA🌐

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Walking around alone in a museum or art gallery is a totally legit solo activity. Just make sure to assume an air of aloofness. In the City Bowl you can keep yourself busy for hours museum hopping on the Iziko Museum Mile. Museum included: Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium, Iziko South African National Gallery, Iziko Slave Lodge, Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, Iziko Rust en Vreugd Museum, Iziko Koopmans-de Wet House, Michaelis Collection at the Old Town House, Iziko Maritime Centre, and the William Fehr Collection at the Castle of Good Hope.

There are various art galleries scattered across the city. Work your way through the list of top 10 art galleries in Cape Town. Opening nights are always a fun thing to join (free wine and maybe snacks) Also, make sure you pop in at the Zeitz MOCAA. The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a world-first. It has 100 gallery spaces to explore, so get ready for a lot of inspiration entering your eyes! Read our post to learn more about the museum.

#2 Tour the City

For this one, you’ve got a few options. Firstly, you can use the City Sightseeing bus to gallivant across the city. It stops at all the major tourist spots including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Hout Bay, Camps Bay, and more. With the handy audio info on the bus, you will learn more about the Mother City while taking in the amazing scenery.

Or, you can decide to only focus on the inner city, with a free walking tour. All you have to do is arrive at the Motherland Coffee Company and join the tour. Tours are hosted every day of the year and depart at 11:00, 14:00, and 16:20. The tours work on a tip only basis. Choose between the Apartheid to Freedom Tour, Historic City Tour, and the Bo Kaap Walking Tour.

#3 Hire a Bike

Riding a bicycle is a great solo activity, and it will offer you a unique perspective on the city. UpCycles have Dutch-style single speed bikes, with back pedal brakes. Pop in at one of their drop-and-go stations and create your own route through the city, ending at another station. Start at one of the following points: The Pavilion on the Sea Point Promenade, Breakaway Café (Waterkant Street Fan Walk), Silo 5 (V&A Waterfront Silo District), and Camps Bay (Bay Hotel)

Visit upcycles.co.za for more information.

#4 Visit the Aquarium

Another great spot for a solo expedition. The fishies won’t judge you for arriving alone! The Two Oceans Aquarium is of world class standard, with diverse marine life to admire. Throughout the day there are different feeding sessions at for instance the penguins’ enclosure or the mantra ray tank. The exhibitions are truly magical. Walk through a glass tunnel while a tortoise leisurely swims overhead. Or wait for the formidable sharks to swim past you at the massive floor to ceiling tank.

Visit aquarium.co.za for more information.

#5 Join a Hiking Group

Cape Town is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. There are countless hiking opportunities within the city borders. Although a solo stroll through nature can be very therapeutic, it’s safer to hike with a group of people. Luckily there are so many nature addicts, you have plenty of groups to choose from. Read our post about the Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town.

Alternatively, if you do want to get your solo nature dose, why not visit one of the Top 10 Parks in Cape Town? These are also tucked away within the city borders. You need to be vigilant regarding safety, but most parks are very popular, so there will be other people also enjoying the outdoors while you recharge on your own.

#6 Go To a Book Launch

A book launch is the perfect opportunity to mingle with likeminded people in a relaxed environment. You can easily blend into the crowd, and usually there’s free wine (if you need to ease your social nerves) The Book Lounge is a firm favourite of Capetonian book fanatics. They regularly host events relating to all kinds of literary things.

Check the Book Lounge upcoming events.

#7 Watch an Art Film

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With the Academy Awards Ceremony fast approaching, head to the Labia Theatre to see the nominated films on one of the 4 screens at this independent cinema. 📷:@carys.be 📽🍿#letsdothiscpt #capetown WHEN: Any day. WHERE: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town. WHY: Watch a movie at an independent cinema. #️⃣ #labiatheatre #independentcinema #thingstodo #ideas #explore #adventure #activities #getoutside #discover #food #drink #meetup #squadgoals #hike #fitness #health #culture #explorecapetown #mothercity #westerncape #mzanzi #southafrica #roadtrip #unplug #letsdothiscpt #dothis Tag or email us with your tip………………… 📩 Please note – we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss of life that may occur when following the tip for the day ✌️

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Going to the movies alone for the first time will feel like a strange endeavour. But after you’ve gotten over the awkwardness of it, you will most likely be hooked on it. And going to South Africa’s oldest independent art-repertory cinema will make you feel like a sophisticated singleton. They show both art movies and blockbusters. And you can order a glass of wine to sip in the movie!

Visit thelabia.co.za for more information.

#8 Join a Dinner Club

Dine4Six is perfect for singletons! The point of the experience is to pitch alone (or you can bring a buddy if you prefer) and make new friends around the dinner table. Each table has seating for six people, creating a unique setting for meeting potential new friends. Plus, you get to dine at the best restaurants in town!

Visit dine4six.com  to see upcoming events.
Download the app on the iTunes store or Google Play store

#9 Go To a Dancing or a Cooking Class

Learning to dance, is a handy skill to have. And you can also use it as fun way to make friends. Plus, don’t forget the exercise factor. Que Pasa offers various dance classes including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, Cuban and Charleston. Over the weekends they host free salsa classes at La Prada (Fridays) and Jade Lounge (Saturdays).

Visit quepasa.co.za for more information

Not quite convinced about the dancing? Another fun option, is a cooking course. It’s a great skill to master, and an easy way to make friends with mutual interests. Stir Crazy Catering has created fun cooking classes that can enhance your culinary repertoire. These include Exploring Spanish Delicacies, Sushi Made Simple, Tastes of the Mediterranean, South African Cooking Safari, and more.

Check the Stir Crazy cooking class schedule.

#10 Visit a Local Market

An outing to a Saturday market is a truly Capetonian weekly event. It’s the perfect place to wander around on your own, without anyone really noticing you’re on a solo mission. You can also consider shopping for your weekly fresh fruit and veggies from a local supplier. Read our post about the Top 5 Farmers Market Experiences to see what all the fuss is about.

Bonus: Join a Meetup Group

Meetup groups are the easiest way to find your tribe. What are you into? Music? Dance? Fashion and Beauty? There are most likely already a group of people passionate about the same things you are. And if not, you can start your own group and gather people! Categories include Book Clubs, Career & Business, Film, Arts, Food & Drink and many more.

Check out the Meetup Groups in Cape Town
Download the app on the iTunes Store or Google Play Store

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

You don’t have to try very hard to be romantic in Cape Town. The epic views and breath-taking sunsets are enough to make you feel all mushy and lovey-dovey. Beware, the city might make you fall even more in love with your sweetheart!

Best Dating Ideas in Cape Town

You can impress a first date, or revive your 50 year old marriage in this stunning city. We’ve gathered a few indoor and outdoor ideas for a spectacular date night.

#1 A Scenic Picnic

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Beach Picnic rawpixel unsplash

This one is an almost fool proof date idea. The only factor to contend with, is Cape Town’s notoriously fickle weather. You can either plan a picnic date and hope for the best. Or you can keep this as a spontaneous option when the weather plays along. For a beach picnic, we would recommend a sunset picnic. Read our post secret beaches for a few idea. Alternatively, try a picnic in one of the top 10 parks.

If you want to turn up the romance a notch, why not order a ready-made picnic from Dial-a-Picnic. They will pack the basket for you and even spread a blanket with cushions, ready for you to simply enjoy!

#2 Fine Dining Experiences

There are so many amazing eateries in the city, we will rather not influence your choice too much by our opinions. Instead, we will offer you a very handy way to find the exact restaurant to fit your unique needs. DinePlan. This nifty app has categorized the city’s restaurants for your convenience. Use filters such as cuisine type, price, ratings, and special attributes (such as romantic, great views, or sunsets) to find your ideal romantic rendezvous spot.

The app is very user-friendly. Choose your location, apply the filters and vila, you can simply select the restaurant you like the most. Download the app now on the iTunes or GooglePlay store

#3 Cape Winelands Exploring with Wine Flies

A trip to the winelands is by far one of the most romantic outings near Cape Town. They are conveniently located on the city’s doorstep. Or you could even try a few of the ones tucked away within the city’s borders, such as the Constantia Wine Valley or the Durbanville hills. Wine Flies will help you create an idyllic day outing, offering you a unique experience at a variety of wine farms in their repertoire. Their tours include the following options: a trip to Stellenbosch, the Elgin Valley, or even a little bit further to Matjiesfontein.

Visit wineflies.co.za for more information

#4 The Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema

If your sweetheart is a fan of the big screen, this date will score you big time brownie points! The little open air cinema is tucked away between vintage Airstream trailers (the only rooftop trailer park in the world) It’s situated on top of the Grand Daddy Hotel in the city centre. So not only will you get to watch a movie in a very unique setting, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the city. Your movie ticket includes the following: a welcome drink, and popcorn with a mixed bag of sweets. In winter you also get a blanket, plus hot chocolate. You can also order a gourmet food basket.

View the movie schedule

#5 Go Dancing

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples dancing allefvinicius unsplash

This one can either be a once-off fun night out, or you can make it a weekly activity. Nothing says romantic like a good sultry dance! Each week Qua Pasa teaches a variety of dance styles including salsa, swing, bachata, lindyhop, kizomba, tango, cuban, and charleston. They also host weekly salsa parties at La Prada (Friday) and Jada Bar (Sunday).

Visit quepasa.co.za for more information.

#6 Live Jazz

There’s just something about jazz music. Combine that with champagne, and you have all the romance sorted for the evening. The Milk and Honey Bar is a champagne bar infused with Parisian flair. Situated at the bottom edge of the CBD in Bree Street, an outing here will for a moment feel like a transportation to a real Parisian street café. The stylish décor includes marble counters, formidable chandeliers, and brass trimmings. Every Wednesday night, they have a live jazz band playing.

Insider tip: book a table outside, you’ll still be able to enjoy the ambiance, but can talk to each other over the music.

Visit milkhoneybar.co.za for more information.

#7 Ice Skating

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Cape Town for Couples Ice Skating

A fun outing as a relaxed first date option, or simply something zany to do as a couple. Situated at the GrandWest Casino, it’s an Olympic-sized rink. The rink is used for ice skating sports, but it’s open to the public on Wednesday to Saturday evenings. This one is a very affordable date night idea, which can be extending into something splurgier with a fancy dinner at one of the Grand West restaurants.

Visit icerink.co.za or the Grand West website for more information

#8 A Sunset Cruise from the V&A Waterfront

What’s more romantic than sailing into the sunset with your sweetheart? There are a variety of cruises embarking from Quay 5 at the V&A Waterfront. Very easy to find, follow the path between the amphitheatre (on your left) and the Cape Wheel (on your right). Options range from simplistic to extravagantly fancy, you can choose how much you want to spend as well as the type of sailboat you would like to set sail on.

#9 A Comedy Show

The Cape Town Comedy Club at the V&A Waterfront combines a comedy show with a delectable dinner. It’s situated across the Watershed, in the Pumphouse building, which dates back to 1882. Let the talented comedians, both famous plus up and coming, make you laugh till your tummy hurts.

Visit capetowncomedy.com for more information.

#10 Hot Air Balloon Ride

This one can be saved for a special occasion, as it is quite pricey. But you have to admit, silently floating in a hot air balloon over the magnificent winelands, is pretty darn romantic! Wineland Ballooning offers trips from November to April. You’ll lift-off as the sun starts rising over the horizon, a truly magical experience. Each trip is unique, as the wind determines the route. After safely landing again, you’ll be whisked off to the Grande Roche Hotel (Paarl) for a decadent champagne breakfast.

Tip: keep a Plan B option in mind, the ride is determined by safe weather conditions.

Visit the Wineland Ballooning website for more information

Share the Romantic 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.