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

UPDATE: The reopening of Lion’s Head has been postponed to the 1st of March. After the extensive fire on 27 January 2019, SANparks have been unable to complete the planned maintenance. An investigation was conducted by JP Smith, member of the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security. It was determined that the fire was started by someone attempting to cook on the mountain. The cooking utensils were found at the starting point of the fire, above Quarry Hill Road, Tamboerskloof. Arson has been ruled out as the cause.

Because of strong south easterly winds fanning the fire, it soon spread towards Sea Point. A few residents evacuated prematurely, but the warning was not issued by the city. According to some sources, a private security company urged people to leave.

The Spiral Trail was affected heavily, with the already-strained paths needing extra recovery time. The fire ravished approximately 160 hectares between Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. Only one man was injured. He was sleeping on the mountain, and sustained burns to 45% of his body.

The City’s Beloved Mountain

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. And the Lion’s Head route must be preserved for as long as possible. Lastly, hiker safety is of the utmost importance. The mountain 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

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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.

Where To See The Wild Flowers In Cape Town West Coast

Each spring the Western Cape is transformed into a wildflower wonderland. For a few weeks from about mid-August till end-September the landscape is scattered with beautifully coloured blooms. They last until the deadly summer heat descends and turn the hills into plain brown fields.

On a clear, sunny day you can drive a short distance out of Cape Town to be mesmerized by nature’s own art gallery. The following are a few of the best spots around the city to go hunt the natural beauty. On an overcast day the flowers will hide their pretty faces, so best to travel when the sun is out.

#1 Kirstenbosch

Distance: about 20 minutes from the city centre

This is the easiest option to see the flowers. Nestled against the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this amazing botanical garden will take your breath away. The 36-hectare garden is the first in the world that is specifically dedicated to indigenous flora.

It is also ranked no. 6 on National Geographic’s list of Top 10 Picnic Spots in the world. Take in the splendour of pincushion proteas, Daisies, and of course the famous fynbos. Hike up to the Boomslang to view the spring display from a higher vantage point.

Entry fee: R65 (adults) | R35 (South African students with valid student card)

R15 (children, 6 – 17 years) | Free (children, 0 – 6 years; BotSoc members on presentation of membership card)

Free on Tuesdays (South African senior citizens with valid ID, except on public holidays)

#2 Postberg And West Coast National Park

Distance: about 1 hour and 50 minutes

The West Coast National Park is a popular destination every year for flower hunters. During the peak flower months of August and September, the Postberg area is open for the most amazing undisturbed floral display. You will be greeted by magriets, sporries, and Daisies.

While driving through the park, look out for tortoises and snakes crossing the road, plus zebra and buck lazily grazing. You can explore the area by car, on foot, or with a mountain bike.

Fun fact: walk in the footsteps of Eve, a young woman reported to have lived in the area 117 000 years ago. The Eve’s Trail is a special two-and-a-half-day hike meandering through the park.

Entry fee: During flower season, August – September.

R76 (SA citizens and residents with ID) | R38 (children)

#3 The Renosterveld Reserve

Distance: Around 1 hour

This area you can explore for free. It is located above the Darling Primary School. The 20-hectare flower reserve offers you endless fields of spring flowers including vygies, kapokbos, bellendini, and renosterbos. Keep an eye out for the cute little red-bellied tortoises. It’s also a great spot for bird-watching. There is a circular hiking route that you can follow around the reserve.

Fun fact: The Versveld family donated the land to the community in 1958.

#4 Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve

Distance: about 1 hour and 10 minutes

You can also stop at this reserve for free. It’s located on the R315 on the way to Darling. The varying topography makes it perfect for a wide range of flowers. You can see about 10% of the Cape Floral Kingdom in one go here. Enjoy the beautiful chincherinchee, lachenalia, and Butterfly lilies. The area is also great for game-spotting, bird-watching, hiking, and picnics.

Fun fact: the reserve was named after Oom Tienie or Marthinus Versveld who donated a part of his farm to create the reserve.

#5 Harold Porter Botanical Garden

Distance: about 1 hour and 30 minutes

This one is located on the side of the Cape Town coastline, towards Hermanus. Travel on the N2 and take the R44 to find this mesmerizing garden. Tucked away between mountains and the beach, it has stunning little waterfalls and pools to explore. Perfect for a leisurely Saturday or Sunday outing!

Fun zigzag paths were created by the garden’s namesake, Harold Porter. The expansive garden has all things indigenous to marvel at including orchids, daisies, and stunning proteas. While you’re in the area, stop at the penguin colony close by. If you’re lucky you might also spot a whale.

Entry fee: R25 (adults) | R15 (seniors and students with a valid student card)

R10 (children, 7 – 17 years) | Free (children, 0 – 6 and BotSoc members)

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zeitz MOCAA

The Zeitz MOCAA is a not-for-profit contemporary art museum. It exhibits the biggest collection of contemporary African art and is the only museum of its kind on the continent. The main aim of the museum is to collect and preserve twenty-first century art from African artists and its Diaspora.

International exhibitions are hosted as well. The museum supports and develops educational and enrichment programmes to encourage better intercultural understanding. This formidable building, once an old grain silo, holds more than hundred little galleries in its nine floors. There a both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Besides the fantastic art on display, the building also includes centres for Curatorial Excellence, Photography, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, the Costume Institute, and Art Education.

The museum is named after Jochen Zeitz, a German businessman and African art enthusiast. He is the main funder of the world-class art museum and gallery.

Marvellous Architecture

In total about 6 500 square metres of gallery space has been created. The silo dates back to the 1920’s. It was once the tallest building of Sub-Saharan Africa. The famous British architect Thomas Heatherwick is responsible for the innovative revamping of the formidable structure. The “Pied Piper of Architecture” as Vanity Fair has named him was also commissioned to design the new headquarters of Google.

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Zeitz MOCAA🌐

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The once-solid concrete tubes now boast with mesmerizing jewel-like geometric windows. This might be the most impressive feature of the building – the cylindrical tubes were sawed open to include the expansive windows. Once inside, you can either admire this architectural feat from the winding steel staircase, which was assembled piece by piece from the silo’s top. Or you travel up in the stylish glass lift.

As you enter the museum it opens up to a breath-taking atrium. The cathedral-like look was created by local contractors who carved the shapes into the concrete tubes with diamond ropes. Suspended from the ceiling, a feisty dragon greets you. The crucifix-shaped, Afro-infused dragon was created by Nicholas Hlobo. From top to bottom, this museum will mesmerize you. The basement is a maze of tunnels. When the silo was operational, it was filled with conveyor belts to move the grain from one area to the next.

The Who’s Who of Zeitz MOCAA

Jochen Zeitz’s collection include the most respected African artists. To name drop but a few: Cyrus Kabiru, Jody Paulsen, Kendell Geers, Hank Willis Thomas, and of course William Kentridge. Cape Town’s beloved Thania Petersen is part of a group of 41 artists whose work is displayed in the All Things Being Equal collection. Nandipha Mntambo’s unmissable solo exhibition spans five rooms. And Kudzanai Chiurai’s fascinating mixed-media work spans around the floor. Per occasion performance art pieces are hosted.

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They paved paradise and put up a parking lot✌

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Expose Your Children to The Art World

Children under 18 can enter the museum for free. Before you dread the idea of dragging your kids around an art museum, there is a special art education centre for school-aged children, located in the basement. You can drop them off before embarking on your own art adventure.

An Immersive Art Experience

If you want educate yourself more about the rich world of African art, you can take an audio tour of the museum. You can also book a special guided tour of the architecture. Once you’ve filled your eyes and mind with inspiration to last you a lifetime, stop at the restaurant on the top floor. It leads onto the Rooftop Garden. The restaurant can accommodate 200 guests and can be booked out for events. The opening times are Wednesdays to Mondays from 10:00 to 17:00.

Opening Hours

Wednesday to Monday (including public holidays)
10:oo – 18:00 Last entry: 17:30
Closed Tuesdays

First Friday of the month
Extended opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00. Last entry: 20:30

Museum Night
Extended opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00. Last entry at 21:30

Click here for upcoming exhibitions and events

Tickets

Daily admission: R 190 per adult

Annual Membership: R 270 per year
Over 60’s Annual Membership: R 195 per year

Under 18’s: Free entry, all year, at all times
Must present ID.

First Friday of the month: Half price (R 95) from 16:00 – 21:00. Last entry at 20:30

Free entry for African citizens: Every Wednesday 10:00 – 13:00
Must present ID.

Free entry: (10:00 – 18:00. Last entry 17:30)
Freedom Day, 27 April
International Museum Day, 18 May
Africa Day, 25 May
Heritage Day, 24 September
Museum Night: Twice a year. Extended opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00. Last entry at 21:30

Buy tickets