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

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If you’re a person who loves spending time outdoors (without hiking boots, sweat and mosquitoes), and you believe there just isn’t enough food, love and live music in the world, then you’ll want to pack at least a few fresh festival experiences into this year.

It doesn’t get any fresher than leaving the city behind and heading for the hills. So, we’ve brought you five off the beaten track festivals to add your list of things to do in the coming year.

  1. Darling Summer Beer Festival, Darling

Darling Summer Beer Festival

Held every year on Reconciliation Day, 16 December, the Darling Summer Beer Festival delivers all you’d expect of a beer festival – ice-cold beer, mouthwatering food with offerings of wholesome local deliciousness as well as refined cuisine, an impressive lineup of musicians, and time to share with friends and family. It’s the quaint town of Darling that makes this a unique and off-the-beaten-track event.

The point of the festival, apart from chilled fun and food, of course, is to showcase great West Coast breweries. Last year, Darling Brew served their craft beer to festival patrons straight from brewery tanks – it just doesn’t get any fresher than that!

The little ones are catered for, too, with a large play area and plenty of activities to keep them happy.

DBexperience@darlingbrew.co.za | Facebook: @DarlingBrew

  1. Cooked Sister – Wolfkop Weekender, Matjiesfontein

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 1

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 2

The town of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo may seem like an odd place to hold a whole load of festive events every year over a weekend in June, but it isn’t. You see, the town’s original big cheese – James Douglas Logan – loved a good celebration. So, he developed a knack of bringing interesting people together, some of them were pretty well-known at the time – Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Lord Randolph Churchill (father of Winston) and Cecil John Rhodes, to name a few. It was a time of fun and festivities, when one needed no excuse to break out the champagne or picnic in the veld in an old London double-decker bus.

Wolfkop Weekender has become a music festival when anything can happen and nothing is too oddball. This can be scavenger hunts in the courthouse, tea parties attended by guests decked out in Victorian garb, Bloody Mary’s around the pool to the sexy sounds of jazz. The point is: you get to design your own experience in true eccentric style.

Wolfkopweekender.wontom.com/tickets  |  Facebook: @WolfkopWeekender

  1. Oh Dam Music Festival

This festival is so far off the beaten track that you’ll need to bring a tent! Held over a long weekend in April, this festival brings together a hot lineup of musicians and one of the most beautiful outdoor experiences the Western Cape has to offer.

Clanwilliam is famous for its rock art created thousands of years ago by the San and Khoi. The old town is now a significant Rooibos tea supplier and the Clanwilliam Dam draws nature-lovers and adventurers to its flora, fauna and water sports.

The festival is held at the dam and delivers three days of fun for the whole family.

camissasolutions2@outlook.com

  1. Bot River Barrels and Beards Harvest Festival

Bot River Barrels Beards Harvest Festival Cape TownEach April, food and wine lovers take the N2 highway to the Overberg (just an hour from Cape Town) for a harvest festival that celebrates the best food and wine the region has to offer. You’re in for a selection from 13 mostly family-owned wine farms that produce world-class wines. The food won’t disappoint either.

So, where do the beards come in, you may ask? It’s simple. When the grape harvest starts, it’s none stop go, go, go. Grapes can be pernickety things, so it’s a race to get them picked and to the cellar when they’re just right for making wine. The last thing anyone thinks of is wasting time shaving, which is why beards in the vineyards and cellars are a common sight this time of year.

Of course, along with great food, wine and music, there is an award for the best harvest-time beard!

info@bartonvineyards.co.za  |  Facebook: @BotRiverWines

  1. Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival

Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival If your idea of heaven is visiting one wine farm after the other that not only offers signature cuisine paired with local wine, but fun and entertainment for the kids, too, then the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival, held at the end of April, is the festival for you.

Each participating winery creates their own unique programme for visitors that showcase their unique offering. This can include, not only memorable food, chocolate and wine pairings served in any number of ways (from food trucks to a la carte menus), but also a number of popular musicians, outdoor activities and scenic outdoor settings in the Elgin Valley. This festival is a great way to spend the weekend for the whole family.

saltatpaulcluver@gmail.com  |  Facebook: @WinesofElgin

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Alternative Hiking Routes While Lionshead is Closed

Lion’s Head is closed for trail maintenance and repair from the 7th of January until the 14th of February. To read more about the closure click here.

If you are like us you are probably looking for some other hikes to do in Cape Town while Lion’s Head is inaccessible. Here are some alternative hiking ideas for you, from laidback strolling to challenging rock scrambling.

Easy Hike: Pipe Track

Distance: approximately 6km | Hiking Time: 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Easy
Terrain: Level – a rocky single jeep track, with few stone stairs.

It is one of the most enjoyable tranquil and easy hikes in the city, with amazing views similar to Lion’s Head, along the pipe track above Camps Bay. You won’t be aiming for the summit, so no need to worry about steep and strenuous inclines. But it is a hefty distance, so come prepared with enough water and snacks. The hike starts on a single rocky path which leads into a jeep track. You will be hiking up a few little hills, but nothing too challenging.

The route dates back to 1887 and as the name hints at, the track was created to lay pipelines. These important pipes transfer the precious liquid from the mountain’s reservoirs to the City of Cape Town. You can’t go wrong with this hike, even though it is not challenging, the magnificent views of the 12 Apostles mountain range will make up for the simplistic route.

Did you know? Mountaineers have been conquering the mountain since 1503

The route meanders along the Atlantic coast, looking down upon Camps Bay, with Lion’s Head and the ocean in the distance. Enjoy the rich fauna and flora along the way, you’ll be surrounded by the famous fynbos, with proteas scattered along the way. The track hugs the side of the formidable Table Mountain sandstone cliffs and travels through the western slope ravines as well. The route is in the shade during the early morning and sunny the rest of the day. Best time to hike it in the hot summer months, is during the early morning or late afternoon.

Get to the Top: Platteklip Gorge

Distance: approximately 2.5km | Time: 2 to 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Moderate
Terrain: stone steps with steep sections on a single rocky track

This is the oldest and most direct route to Table Mountain’s summit. It is also one of the easiest routes, making it very popular (aka expect a few hiker friends to pass you on the way) It’s a well-constructed trail that follows a deep ravine on the front face of the mountain. Look up at the majestic cliffs as you hike, traversing them before reaching the summit.

You can also extend the hike from the ravine head, meandering along the whole length of the famous mountain before reaching the highest point on the summit. Epic views guaranteed! If you are not a big fan of scary heights, this is the best route for you.

Related: Top 5 Hiking Routes up Table Mountain

The hike features big rock steps, requiring some scrambling during the lower part the route. It still a tedious hike, although it’s less strenuous compared to other Table Mountain hiking options. It’s a good route option if your fitness level is low and you prefer a less technical hike, and perfect if you have a fear of heights. But beware, hiking down will take its toll on your body, as it is quite steep with joint-jarring steps to contend with. You can also opt for the option of climbing up Table Mountain and taking the cable car back down, or the other way around. Read our post Hiking up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head at Night if you want to spice up your hike.

More Challenging: Skeleton Gorge

Distance: approximately 6.5km | Time: about 5 hours | Difficulty Level: Challenging
Terrain: stone steps with steep sections and ladders on a single rocky track, includes minor scrambles

This one is another classic route up the mountain, but more challenging than Platteklip Gorge. It starts in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. So the first part of the route traverses through an indigenous jungle before you reach the shrub-covered slopes on the way to the highest point on the mountain.

You can also consider a little detour to the secret “beach” at the Table Mountain reservoirs. As you ascend the mountain, take in the epic views of the Cape Peninsula before enjoying the views of the city on the other side.

Related: Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town

The route scampers across slippery rocks in one section, so get ready for the challenge. But it doesn’t include any excessive exposure to heights, except for a short section of wooden ladders. These are very challenging during wet conditions. If you hike it during the winter months of June to August you will be treated to little waterfalls and cascades along the way.

What is scrambling?

It’s an in-between level, not just hiking and not quite climbing. This adds a nice challenge to a hike without making it too technical. After a hike that includes a bit of scrambling, you will feel like you have truly climbed a mountain.

India Venter

Distance: approximately 3km | Time: 3 hours | Difficulty Level: Challenging
Terrain: steep sections with staples and stone steps on a single rocky track, includes scrambling.

This one is by far one of the most challenging routes up the mountain. And not for the faint of heart, 15% of the way you will be navigating narrow ledges while exposed to heights. Ideal for adventurous hikers, with a great variation in the topography.

You will explore a very dramatic part of the mountain, climbing just-just below the cable car while meandering through the formidable cliffs. Although the hike is not as strenuous as Skeleton Gorge, it is more technical. If you are not an experienced hiker, it is advisable to do this route with a professional guide. Read our post Hiking up Table Mountain to learn more about the benefits of a guided hike.

Climbing Table Mountain should be taken very serious, and with a challenging route such as the India Venster you should make sure you are properly prepared and a competent hiker, if you want tackle it on your own. Plus, make sure that you climb with a group of friends. If you can stomach the heights, the magnificent views and imposing topography are spectacular. Any adventure junkie’s dream come true!

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How To Get From The Cape Town International Airport To Your Hotel South Africa

The Cape Town International Airport is located 20 kilometres to the west of the Cape Town CBD. It lies in the Matroosfontein district. Conveniently located next to the N2 highway, you can easily travel to the various sides of the city from the airport.

Transport Options from Cape Town International Airport

There are a variety of ways to travel to your hotel from the Cape Town International Airport. These include the MyCiti bus transport system, shuttle services and metered taxis, car rentals, and Uber.

Your choice of transport will depend on the distance you have to travel, as well as the direction. For short distances from the airport, an Uber ride will be sufficient. If you are staying in the city centre, on the Atlantic seaboard, or towards the West Coast –  consider using the MyCiti bus.

If you prefer to travel speedily and directly to your hotel, you can consider using a shuttle service or metered taxi. Alternatively, if you will be travelling a lot during your stay in Cape Town, hiring your own car could be the best option. Read our post about the Best Car Rental Companies in Cape Town.

MyCiti Bus Airport Transport Service

You can take the MyCiti bus from the airport to the Civic Centre. This is the main station where you can effortlessly switch to other routes travelling throughout the city. The busses travel throughout the city centre, the Atlantic Seaboard, as well as towards Century City and Melkbos Strand.  Click here to view the MyCiti routes.

My City Bus Cape Town - Get From The Cape Town International Airport to Your Hotel In Cape Town

The busses run between 5:30 am and 9:30 pm. To reach the MyCiti bus station, head out the main airport entrance and turn to your left. You will see the Public Transport Plaza opposite the Central Terminal Building entrance. Travelling into the city will take about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. You can buy your MyCiti card at the airport bus station. The card costs R35 and is valid for five years. Fares to the city cost between R60 and R100, depending on when you travel.  Read more about the MyCiti airport service.

Uber

Uber Cape Town International Airport - Get From The Cape Town International Airport to Your Hotel In Cape Town

The airport has created a designated area where you can book your Uber from. The official pick up is from parkade 1. As you head out of the airport, turn to your right towards the separate parking building. Ubers are constantly heading in and out of the airport, so it will not take long to book a car. If you can’t find your Uber, you can contact the driver via the app.

The following are pricing estimates to a few popular destinations near Cape Town:

  • Waterfront, from R 177
  • Camps Bay, from R 190
  • Stellenbosch, from R 254
  • Simonstown, from R 316

Uber Cape Town International Airport - Getting From Cape Town International Airport To Hotel

Car Rentals

Hiring a private car to use during your Cape Town holiday is a great way to explore the city and surrounding areas at your own leisure. Before making a booking, make sure that your licence is valid and accepted in South Africa. It is recommend that you pre-book your rental car before arriving at the airport. This especially important during high season from December to February. Click here to compare car rental prices.

Cape Town International Airport Car Rental

The car rental agencies are situated at the Transport Plaza and the Central Terminal Building. You can access the plaza via two subways, located on the sides of the terminal building. Currently there are 9 car rental agencies providing services from the Cape Town airport:

  • Avis
  • Europcar
  • First Car Rental
  • Bidvest Car Rental
  • Hertz
  • Tempest Car Hire
  • Woodford
  • Dollar / Thrifty Car Rental
  • Capital Car Hire

Cape Town Airport Shuttle Services

As you walk out of the domestic arrivals terminal or international inner lane, you will be greeted by a variety of friendly shuttle service operators. Depending on how far you will be travelling, as well as how many people will be travelling together, a shuttle service can be a very good transport option.

The add-on benefit of a shuttle service, is that they often also offer tour options that you could consider. Make sure that you compare travelling prices to ensure that you pick the most affordable transport method. Sometimes you also need to pre-book a shuttle. Click here for the 10 Best Cape Town Taxis and Shuttles.

Cape Town Airport Metered Taxis

The Cape Town International Airport has an accredited metered taxi service, the Touchdown Taxi Association. Their contact number is +27 (0)83 652 0786. Find the metered taxis at the Transport Plaza. You can access it via two pedestrian subways from the passenger terminal’s main entrance.

Alternative Travel Option

When booking your stay at a local hotel or bed and breakfast, you can check if they offer collection options from the airport. This is a good solution to save yourself the trouble of finding your accommodation if you are worried about navigating your way through the city.

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Lions Head Closed Till 14th February

It is the most-hiked mountain in Cape Town. Lion’s Head is a popular spot for both novice and expert hikers. You can use the meandering spiral trail to the top, or challenge yourself with the chains guiding you straight up to the summit. It’s estimated that more than 200 000 people hike Lion’s Head every year.

Being such a popular mountain, it’s bound to take its toll on nature. If you are a regular climber of Lion’s Head, you’d better squeeze in as many visits as possible before the 7th of January 2019. The trail will be closed till the 15th of February 2019.

Lion’s Head Trail Improved for Your Benefit

The decision to close the trail for upgrades was made after a Trail Audit Report completed in 2017. SANParks (South African National Parks) took the findings into consideration and started on the upgrades.

These upgrades serve a few purposes. Firstly, both Lion’s Head and Signal Hill need to be protected environmentally. Together with this factor, the Lion’s Head route must be preserved for as long as possible. Lastly, hiker safety is of the utmost importance. The mountain has claimed many lives over the years, even though it’s a relatively easy hike (it’s rated A to A+) But because it’s so easily accessible, many people underestimate it and often don’t prepare properly for the hike.

After the Trail Audit Report submitted to the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) management, a phased upgrade implementation started. First off, minor upgrades included closing down unauthorised pathways and desire lines, and adding better directional signage for hikers to follow the official trails. TMNP also completed assessing the climbing infrastructure along the trail for certification.

Related: What You Need to Know About Hiking Up Lion’s Head For the Full Moon

But the next upgrade phase is more elaborate. It focuses on addressing issues identified by the Trail Audit Report as well as TMNP’s own assessments for trail certification. With the maintenance in progress, SANParks can’t guarantee that hikers will be safe on the trail. Because of this factor, they have decided to temporarily close the entire trail.

This means that hikers and runners will not be able to use the track entrance from Signal Hill Drive. The restriction applies to access before sunrise and after sunset. But Signal Hill will still be open as a public view point.

Upgrades to Lion’s Head Spiral Trail

SANParks feel that the next phase of the upgrade process is a much-needed intervention. The Trail Audit Report assessed the footpath network of both Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. These hiking routes are national treasures. We should conserve them for as long as possible.

After receiving the report, the TMNP management started planning the implementation of the upgrades, starting with the least disruptive upgrades before closing down the spiral trail for such a long period. These upgrades will be beneficial to everyone fond of the mountain, prolonging the enjoyment of it while increasing the safety.

For more information contact Table Mountain National SANPark:
Mathabatha Matjila 021 422 1601 | Mathabatha.Matjila@Sanparks.org

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Intercape Bus Services Around South Africa

Intercape is the biggest intercity passenger transport service in Southern Africa. They operate in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. We decided to investigate how you can use this luxurious bus service to springboard into the Western Cape.

Discover the Secret Spots of the Cape

We think the following little Western Cape towns will make for great local getaway options. If you think Cape Town is filled with spectacular views, wait till you travel a few kilometres outside the city borders! The awe-inspiring beauty will take your breath away. You don’t have to travel to an exotic location to have a fabulous holiday experience. The Western Cape has enough mesmerizing locations to keep you busy for ages.

Off-peak Bus Ticket Rates

The Intercape bus tickets have three different class options: Full Flexi, Flexi, and Saver. With a Full Flexi or Flexi bus ticket, you are more flexible with regards to cancelling or changing your booking. The Saver bus tickets offer you the best travel fares, but availability is limited and it’s more restricted. Read more about the bus ticket rules.

(Full Flexi) | (Flexi) | (Saver) – one-way prices

Malmesbury
R300 | R285 | R270
1 and a half hours bus travel

Located about 65km North of Cape Town, it’s the biggest town in the Swartland area. The area got its name from the Renosterbos, an indigenous plant which turns black during the warm, dry African summers.

Citrusdal
R370 (full flexi) | R352.00 (flexi) | R333 (saver)
2 hours bus travel

Located approximately 160km North of Cape Town. You can guess where the town got its name from, citrus fruit farming flourishes in the area. The “dal” part is Afrikaans for valley, the town is situated in the Olifants River Valley.

Piketberg
R350 | R333 | R315
2 hours bus travel

Situated 130km from Cape Town, close to the West Coast town of Saldanha Bay. Originally the name was spelled “Piquetberg”. It’s located at the foothills of the Piketberg mountains. These mountains contain Table Mountain Sandstone.

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In die stilte tussen die wingerde

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Clanwilliam
R390 | R371 | R351
3 hours bus travel

Located 200 km north of Cape Town. The town lies in the Olifants River valley and is part of the Cederberg Local Municipality. This area is a hiker or climber’s dream come true! Click here to view your rock climbing options in the area.

Laingsburg
R490 | R466 | R441
3 and a half hours bus travel

Located approximately 250km from Cape Town. It’s known as the second capital of Karoo. You will pass the famous quaint little town of Matjiesfontein on your way here. Consider a quick outing to it for lunch at the famous Lord Milner Hotel, it’s only 20 minutes from Laingsburg.

Swellendam
R390 | R371 | R351
4 hours bus travel

Located about 200km from Cape Town. It’s the third oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) The little town is full of heritage sites, 50 in total. Most of these are Cape Dutch architecture buildings.

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Come and visit Greater Swellendam on Cape Trade Route

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Vanrhynsdorp
R430 | R409 | R387
5 hours bus travel

Located approximately 300km from Cape Town. The town forms part of the West Coast District Municipality but is not situated at the beach. It dates back to 1661, when Pieter van Meerhoff and other Europeans explored the area.

Beaufort Wes
R510 | R485 | R459
6 and a half hours bus travel

Located about 450km from Cape Town. It is the biggest town in the desert-like Great Karoo region. The town has the reputation of being the “Capital of the Karoo”. It’s a bustling spot, as the N1 runs through it.

Oudtshoorn
R580 | R510 | R440
9 hours bus travel

Located approximately 400km from Cape Town. This town is the “Capital of the Klein Karoo”. It’s situated along the famous Route 62 wine route. The area also has many ostrich farms. If you feel brave enough, you could even ride one of these feisty birds! And make sure you pop in at the Cango Caves limestone chambers, which is 20 million years old.

Heidelberg
R390 | R371 | R351
4 hours bus travel

Located about 250km from Cape Town. Make sure you click carefully when selecting this one, otherwise you will end up at its namesake in Gauteng. The little town lies east of the Overberg region and could be seen as the start of the Garden Route.

Travel A Little Bit Further

If you want to see what else the country has to offer you, the Intercape bus can conveniently let you spread your travel wings. Coastal city options include Mosselbay, Knysna, Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, and Durban. Travel into the heart of the Northern Cape stopping at Garies, Springbok, Keimoes or Upington. Or to the top of the country, stopping at Nelspruit. You can also travel effortlessly to Gauteng on the Cape Town to Johannesburg/Pretoria via Kimberley route.

Search other routes

Did you know? You can receive discount on your bus ticket. Discounts are available for families, students, children and senior citizens. Intercape also offers frequent traveller discount. View the discount options.

A Few Things to Know When Travelling on an Intercape Bus

Two suitcases are allowed per person, but the total mass must not exceed 20kg. The bags must also be maximum 80 cm x 60 cm x 30 cm in size. If your luggage goes over the weight limit, you will be charged per extra kilogram. Refreshments aren’t served on the bus, but you will have plenty of time to stock up on snacks at the various stops along the way. And you are also allowed to pack your own.

How to Make a Booking

There are a few ways you can book your bus ticket. Online bookings, via the Intercape call center, visit a sales office, at a PEP store, or Shoprite/Checkers Money Market counter. Once you’ve booked your ticket you can make a payment with your credit card, an EFT, at a PEP store, or Shoprite/Checkers outlet. You can also book your Intercape bus ticket with your Jet or Edgards Thank U account card.

Your Intercape Bus Options

You can choose between the Intercape Mainliner or Sleepliner. All the busses boast with an impeccable safe travel environment and unbeatable safety record. The Mainliner features include reclining comfortable seats, secure luggage storage, air conditioning, an on-board toilet, and on-board entertainment.

The Sleepliner seats can recline 150 degrees and has special padded memory foam. The comfort is further extended with extra legroom and a leg rest, plus a seat belt for your safety while horizontal. It also has air conditioning, an on-board toilet, and on-board entertainment. This options offers you premium class luxury at an affordable price. These imported coaches are of the highest quality.

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Cape Point Vineyards Community Market

Farmers markets have had a resurgence of popularity thanks to the ‘from farm to plate’ movement, and we couldn’t be happier. What a way to unwind, turn off the smartphone and reconnect with all the things that are most important in life – friends, family and community, delicious fresh food and artisanal chocolate of course! We’ve been hard at play searching out some of the best farmers markets around. So slip on the flip-flops, grab an organic shopping bag or two, and come along for the ride as we discover 5 of Cape Town’s most delicious and vibey farmers market experiences.

  1. Bay Harbour Market – Hout Bay

Seaside chic neighbourhood and traditional fishing village rolled into one – Hout Bay has a flavour all its own. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Bay Harbour Market. The beautiful but fickle Cape Town weather has been taken in account which is why you’ll find stalls and displays packed into a repurposed fish factory like sardines in a tin. Fresh farm produce rubs shoulders with local jewellery designers, and homemade soup stalls flavour the wares of SA surfer-inspired apparel with the scents of aromatic herbs. Far from claustrophobic, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay

Friday 5pm – 9pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 4pm

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Friday night 3 weeks ago 🎉 At Hout Bay there’s this harbour market on Friday nights with arts & crafts, delicious food and live music. A must-do when you are in the area. When I was there, the wind was howling through the old building 🌬 #houtbay #houtbayharbour #houtbayharbourmarket #igerscapetown #igerssouthafrica #lovecapetown #instagramcapetown #citygrammers #woict #capetownmag #southafricatrip #secretcapetown #canonnederland #eosm50 #canonimages #kamera_express #travelgirls #exploretheworldaroundyou #womenwhotravel #womenwhotravelsolo #solofemaletraveler #instatraveler #adventureinyou #travelingthroughtheworld #discovertheworld #travelinspired #shetravels #bayharbourmarket #empirealight

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  1. Noordhoek Community Market – Cape Point Vineyards

Cape Point Vineyards Community Market

Cape Point Vineyards Community Market has become the weekly pop-up market for far-south locals, adventurers and tourists, and people fleeing the city for an hour or few. Make no mistake, farmers market this may be, but it’s also a community showpiece second to none. There are views to die for; of vineyards, a lake, mountains and sea. It’s where delicious food and beautiful landscape hold hands in the setting sun. Just make sure you arrive on an empty stomach! Food celeb, Peter Geoffe Wood’s Kitchen Cowboys, will set your taste buds a holler’n. Then there’s the Lamb Man, walking on Sunshine Food’s Vegan burgers, and Something Simple’s Vegan Sushi – and that’s just the tip of the ice cream cone. Definitely one for the bucket list – along with Cape Point Vineyards’ award winning wine collection and smorgasbord of craft beer.

Silvermine Road, Noordhoek

Thursdays 4:30pm – 8:30pm

  1. Chilled Market at The Range – Tokai

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Another Beautiful Market Night and the first one in October Beer Fest Month ______________________________________________ Join us on Friday evenings (16h30-21h30) for dinner and dance. . . Our traders offer a comprehensive range of mains, starters and desserts. . Enjoy a selected range of beers, wines, liqueurs and gins. . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . There is also a children's entertainment and play area and loads of parking. . ____________________________________________ . #therange #tokai #constantia #pizza #waffles #sushi #music #greek #fishandchips #bobotI #burgers #wine #beer #coffee #zacafe #chocolate #springrolls #dutchfoods #earthfirepizza #gyros #bhandaris #wickedwaffle

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Every Friday afternoon something magical springs up between Tokai Forest and the fancy-pansy Constantia Valley. Here you can whizz around the culinary world despite the depressing rand, without breaking a sweat (flights not included). You can kick back and enjoy vineyards and mountain views with the tastes of Greece, Mexico, Italy and China in your mouth and their exotic aromas on your plate. Kids have fun too, with wide open spaces for play, a jumping castle, play dough activity zone, and a few other things little people like to do. And you’re not short of atmosphere either – what’s cooler than taking in the sounds of live local music out in all that fresh air or, in the cooler weather, warming the cockles of your heart beside a log cabin fire.

The Range Function and Conference Centre, Orpen Road, Tokai

Friday 4.30pm – 9.30pm

  1. The Neighbourgoods Market – Woodstock

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🍆🍑🥦🌶

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Right here’s where it all began. Yes, The Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill, is the pioneering market that in 2006 planted the first seeds of the farmers’ market movement that would soon bloom across the Cape Town landscape. This award-winning market is where Cape Town’s cool sophisticates and (sometimes crazy) creatives meet. And you’ll be spoilt for choice with trendy clothes and accessories for sale, the products and produce of fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, local chefs and artisanal producers on offer. Everybody doing their bit to further the aims of a retail revolution that’s all about cutting out the chain and the middleman, and bringing consumers face-to-face with the people who think up and create unique products for their health and for your enjoyment.

Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock

Saturday 9am – 3pm

  1. Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day – Granger Bay

A market on a mission! The local farmer’s market is the showcase of Oranjezicht City Farm – a non-profit organisation that’s all about giving Cape Town an education in all that’s delicious and good for you. They also provide communities with a way to come together to grow healthy, organic, rainbow foods for their very own tables through urban farming. It’s healthy, it’s fun, and it will save you a pretty penny. If you’re not into urban farming for your own family, you can savour and support at Market Day – held in the Granger Bay section of the V&A Waterfront. Here you’ll be able to buy and sample fresh produce and local fair (free-range, raw, vegan, grass-fed) while enjoying those magnificent Atlantic seaboard views.

Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront. Paid parking on site in Granger Bay Parking Garage or for free on Beach Road.

Saturday 9am – 2pm and Sunday 9am – 3pm

Share the Foodie Love with Secret Cape Town

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

Sunset Sea point Swimming Pool Cape Town Emma Van Der Vliet

Sunset Sea point Swimming Pool Cape Town Emma Van Der Vliet

 

I love swimming – I always have. When I was a child, we used to take the train from Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape all the way to Joburg to visit my grandmother. There I would run the gauntlet into her garden past the homicidal sausage dog, Curly Wee (yes, actually) but it was worth it, because if I could make it past him alive I would get to… The Pool. Flanked by vibracrete swans, adorned by lilos and reeking of chlorine, it was a suburban oasis. I loved that pool. I swam in it until my lips were blue and my fingers looked like mauve prunes. Most afternoons, my long-suffering, non-swimming mother had to drive me out of the water with dire threats as the daily thunderstorm brewed and lightning was imminent.

I still love swimming, though these days I’m a bit more discerning about where and how I do it. I’m not as quick to throw off my clothes and leap into any available body of water wearing nothing but two small stripes of lycra, and I prefer somewhere that I’ll be left in peace. Luckily, there are some magnificent places to swim in Cape Town, some more secret than others, which suit my needs perfectly. There are plenty of sea swims (and that’s a story for another day) but for now I want to stick to pools: here are some of the best Cape Town swimming pools open to the public.

I have to start with my all-time favourite, the Sea Point pool. Can there be a better poolside view than there is from this large, salt water swimming-hole, which seems to continue out endlessly into the Atlantic Ocean alongside it? There are four pools, including an Olympic sized main pool, a paddling pool for kids and a diving pool with a fearsomely high diving board which is open to the public during high season when there are lifeguards on duty.

For all this you’ll pay the modest sum of R25.30 a day for adults, R13.20 for children or nothing at all if you are a senior citizen or have a disability. Not surprisingly, the Sea Point swimming pool is one of the best-used facilities in Cape Town, frequented by a pleasingly diverse range of people. During weekdays it tends to be quieter, with older visitors swimming or sunning themselves convivially on the lawns, and on weekends it is teeming with children from all over greater Cape Town. High season runs from the 1stof October to the end of February, when the opening hours are extended to allow a full twelve hour day from 7 to 7. And because it is filled with (treated) sea water it is open despite the drought.

Sunset Sea point Swimming Pool Cape Town Emma Van Der Vliet Diving Board

 

The pool is set near the far end of the Sea Point Promenade, another wonderfully well-used bit of public open space and one of the few places in Cape Town where one can walk alone for a good solid hour or two, with spectacular views, in relative safety. People-watching makes for excellent sport here, but if you’re keen on more physical activity you can hire a bike, run, skateboard, play soccer or putt-putt, or even land your paraglider on the grass. Once again, the promenade is a worth a story all on its own. On Sunday evenings, on the outlook next to the pool, people gather informally for a spot of Latin dancing while the sun sets over the sea, or to watch others dance while enjoying some food from the street stalls.

But back to swimming… If it’s too chilly to brave the elements – or if a heated pool seems like a more relaxing prospect – the Long Street Baths is another of Cape Town’s open secrets.

Established well over a century ago in 1908, the Long Street baths is worth a visit just for the feeling of stepping into a different era. Yes, it could perhaps do with a spruce-up, but the genteel tattiness is part of its charm. As you come in through the original imported iron turnstile and into the light, old-fashioned lobby, it’s a little like walking onto a set from The Unbearable Lightness of Being or Hotel Budapest. A staircase leads up off the lobby to a spectator’s balcony where you can look down onto the pool and the murals of local scenes that flank it.

Long Street Baths Cape Town Swimming Pool Murals Emma Van Der Vliet Web

 

Even more like a film set are the changing booths next to the steam room to the left of the lobby, in which there are small slatted wooden beds on which one can apparently “take a break from the heat”. At least that’s what I was told. Unfortunately the steam rooms are still closed due to the drought.

You access the pool itself through the change rooms, which are at the back of the ground floor lobby as you walk in. These are basic, and apparently not always scrupulously clean but perfectly adequate. And the pool is magnificent – several lanes wide, 25 meters long and an inviting bright blue. The room is vast, with plenty of natural light and raked seating for spectators or resting swimmers. The facility belongs to the City of Cape Town and the entrance fees are the same as at Sea Point.

Both the Sea Point pool and the Long Street Baths have been around for a long time and are well-known and well-loved. It took a dip into Justin Fox and Alison Westwood’s wonderful book Secret Cape Town to lead me to a much more secret swim in the Mother City.

Although it’s open to the general public between 10am and 3pm daily, very few people seem to know about the heated indoor pool at the Wynberg military base. Swimlab swim school have their home-base here, but when it’s not being used by them, this well-maintained, 25-meter long pool is the perfect place to go to train or just to swim a few laps.

The Wynberg Aquatic Centre is inside the military camp on the corner of Scoble and Buren Roads. The camp is a very strange place, a secret suburb-within-a-suburb, where you feel like you’ve been transported back in time: it’s all a bit “Toto, we’re not in Wynberg anymore”. Pre-fab buildings give it an outback feel, and everything seems oddly still and quiet.

The pool is not easy to find. There are no signposts at the entrance, so you have to be in the know or ask the guards at the boom – and even they had to consult amongst themselves. They told me to take a left at the entrance, take the right fork in the road and pass the tennis courts. I missed it the first time: again, there was no signage and the gate was unattended and looked like it was locked. I went around the block, came back to the same spot and parked. When I tried the gate I found I could open it. I eventually found the lone attendant and had a wonderful, peaceful solo swim with the perfectly-heated pool all to myself for the princely sum of R10: highly recommended! It is a lonely place though, and you might prefer to take some company rather than going by yourself. That said, it’s a pool for training in, not for a picnic or a poolside chat, so find someone who’s as keen on an adventurous secret swim as you are.

Emma van der Vliet is the author of Past Imperfect and Thirty Second World, both published by Penguin SA.