Feature image courtesy of @cherryglamping

What do you get when you combine camping with luxury accommodation? Glamping. Glam camping has opened up the wild outdoors to those who prefer to sleep and wake up in comfort (and adore a hot shower). It’s the perfect way to get your dose of nature, without feeling uncomfortable in it.

If the idea of roughing it up doesn’t appeal to you, but you still long for a moment of pure natural bliss, then glamping is the perfect option for you!

The Old Mac Daddy, Elgin

The Daddy Brand is famous in Cape Town for The Old Biscuit Mill and The River Club. And the quirky Old Mac Daddy luxury airstream trailers on top of the Daddy Long Legs Hotel in Long Street. These airstream trailers are also found on the Elgin campsites: Daddy’s Den and Daddy’s Hideaway. They are tucked away in the valley, next to a tranquil lake with a white-sand beach. It’s the perfect weekend getaway, less than an hour’s drive from the city.

It’s also a great family-friendly space, relax in a hammock with your Daddy’s Beach Bar cocktail while the kids frolic in the woods or splash in the nearby pool. Enjoy awe inspiring views of the lush Elgin valley.

Facilities

Daddy’s Den features two tented bedrooms, one with two bunk beds and the other a double bed. Your tent is fitted with a tea-and-coffee station, mini bar, air conditioning as well as a private bathroom. Breakfast included.

Daddy’s Hideaway is a luxury tent with a double bed and two single beds. It also has a heated bathtub plus shower, and a private plunge pool. Make use of the premium coffee-pod machine and lounge on the swinging deck chairs. Free wi-fi included.

Activities

Restaurant and bar, mountain biking, wine tasting, archery, SUPing and kayaking, zorbing, tractor rides, and fishing (catch and release).

Pets not allowed.

Visit oldmacdaddy.co.za for more information

Cherry Glamping, Elgin

Enjoy your very own forest hideaway, lounge in your tent between looming pine trees. At night the campsite lights up into a real enchanted space. Special forest festivals are hosted here from time to time. It’s truly a magical place.

Facilities

Twelve fully-furnished bell tents with an equipped kitchen on site, a communal lounge area with a big dining table plus fireplace. There is also a lapa area with braai facilities.

Activities

Hiking and mountain biking, bird watching. Nearby: Cape Canopy Tour, Klein Paradys Equestrian Centre, Nature Discovery Tours, wine farms and the Whale Route.

Pets not allowed.

Visit cherryglamping.co.za for more information

West Coast Luxury Tents, Elands Bay

Situated between Elands Bay and Dwarskersbos, embrace the ruggedness of the West Coast terrain on the Fork West Farm. Turn the wild seaside into a glamping haven of crowdless bliss with access to an unspoiled private beach.

Facilities

Three luxury lodge tents, each accommodating two adults. The Fork South tent also has another thatched unit beside the tent that can accommodate four extra guests. Each tent has a fully-equipped kitchen and en-suite bathroom, with electricity. Each tent also includes a private braai area.

Activities

Beautiful beach near the camping site, boat launching facility, surfing, and bird watching. The farm has an airstrip that can be used by arrangement.

Pets welcome, by arrangement.

Visit westcoastluxurytents.co.za for more information

Luxury Treehouse, Vindoux Guest Farm, Tulbagh

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Beautiful Tree House No.2. Thank you @TeamTeamPhotography

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Tucked away between the Tulbagh vineyards and fruit trees, lies a secluded getaway in the tree tops. The treehouses feature big comfy beds and delectable farmhouse breakfasts. Ideal spot to recharge and soak in the tranquillity of nature.

Facilities

The treehouses are perfect for game viewing (springbok, wildebeest and zebra). They look out over the Saronsberg Mountains and orchards. Equipped with a double bed, en-suite bathroom and a spa bath, coffee/tea making station, plus a balcony. The Honeymoon Suite is situated apart from the other treehouses, the secluded setting includes an indoor seating area with a partially covered balcony.

Activities

Gym and spa, picnic/braai packs from the farm’s deli, mountain biking (bikes available for hire) Nearby: wine farms.

Pets allowed, but have to adhere to property rules.

Visit vindoux.com for more information

Thali Thali Game Lodge, Langebaan

A family-run fynbos private reserve. Enjoy the rugged beauty of the West Coast. The deer will offer you a friendly welcome, oftentimes wandering into the lodge for a quick investigation of the new guests. The reserve features five luxury en-suite tents. The farmhouse has a vintage porch to escape the hot days and cosy fireplace for the chilly winters.

Facilities

The tents are equipped with a microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge. Plus an outdoor stoep and braai area.

Activities

Restaurant, game drives or walking tours, archery (with lessons from professional coaches) and a 3D archery course.

Pets not allowed.

Visit thalithali.co.za for more information.

!Khwa ttu, Yzerfontein

Situated just over an hour outside the city, the name comes from the ancient San culture. Escape the bustling city and learn more about these mysterious people that roamed the bush. Great spot to reconnect with nature.

Facilities

The Bush Lodge consists of four large tents. Each sleep two adults, with a lounge area, en-suite bathroom, covered outdoor deck and small kitchenette, plus private braai area.

The Bush Camp has five tents, with more basic facilities. Each tent sleeps two to four people, with communal bathrooms, a central kitchen, plus a boma with fireplace.

Both the campsites are solar-powered.

Activities

Game drives, walking and cycling trails, nature walks (learn more about the tracking skills of the San people), a photo exhibition with ethnographic film, restaurant, herbal tea tastings, and San language sessions.

Pets are welcome.

Visit khwattu.org for more information.

Africamps at Kam’Bati, Swellendam

Indulge in the countryside lifestyle at this tranquil riverside getaway. The luxury tents are nestled in a charming little forest next to the river. Fall asleep to rumbling water passing by your tent and wake up to a family of ducks cruising down the river.

Facilities

Five boutique luxury tents, with fully-equipped kitchens and en-suite bathrooms. Tents are equipped with two queen-sized beds and one bunk bed, a wood-burning fireplace and braai area. The tents also have air conditioning and electric blankets. You can order a breakfast or dinner braai pack. The bar is open on weekends and the on-site shop open daily.

Activities

Swimming pools with water slides, pool lounge, putt-putt course, jungle gym, hiking trails, and fishing. You can also canoe or take a tube ride on the Breede River. Nearby: wine farms, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Cape Agulhas and Swellendam.

Pets not allowed.

Visit the Africamps at Kam’Bati website for more information.

Other Africamps: AfriCamps is a glamping service provider, working in collaboration with family-run farms and reserves. Other locations to explore include Pat Busch Mountain Reserve (Robertson), Ingwe (Plettenberg Bay), Stanford Hills (Stanford), and Oakhurst (Wilderness).

Wolfkop Camping Villages, Citrusdal

The camping site strives to offer you a no-hassles camping experience. The tents are situated on the riverbank of a peaceful river. Follow the wooden walkways down to the edge of the water. Each little campsite has its own private jetty, to canoe from. And you can easily explore the farmland and mountains of the area from this base.

Facilities

Each little camping village has a Bedouin freeform marquee plus a few canvas tents. The camping villages include a braai area with seating, electric lighting and a power point, as well as cooler boxes.

Activities

Canoeing, fishing trips (R30 per person), hiking, and horse riding (on nearby farms). Nearby: Stadsaal caves, Cederberg Wilderness Area.

Pets not allowed.

Try out their associated luxury campsite called KleinVlei, at Hermanus. The wooden cabins are situated near Grotto Beach, next to a lagoon.

Visit wolfkopcampingvillages.co.za for more information.

Africamps at Stanford Hills, Stanford

Another awesome glamping experience created by Africamps! This one is situated near rolling hills and lush green meadows, at the foothill of the Klein River Mountain Range. Peer out over the dam for a picture-perfect idyllic moment. The campsite is on a boutique wine farm, which offer wine-tasting experiences with authentic country food to guests. Eat the scrumptious farm-fresh vegetables, sourced from the estate’s own garden.

Facilities

Five luxury tents with en-suite bathrooms and fully-equipped kitchens. The tents have two queen-sized beds plus a single bunk bed. Each one features a braai area, with a wood burning fireplace. Tents are equipped with air conditioning and electric blankets.

You can order a breakfast basket or traditional South African braai pack, delivered to your tent. The wine farm’s Tasting Room serves both breakfast and lunch. They can also create a personalised picnic basket for your enjoyment.

Activities

Swimming in a farm dam, bass fishing at the top dam, wine tasting, horse riding, as well as hiking and mountain biking. And a very unique experience to consider, whale watching from an airplane.

Pets allowed, but must follow property rules

Visit the Stanford Africamps website for more information.

Lancewood Tipi Lodge, Assegai Rest Farm, Robertson

These unique tents offer you camping with a Native American twist. The campsite has three areas: the Paws TiPi site, Magic TiPi Lodge and the Noy Noy TiPi. The Paws TiPi site has two tents; the one sleeps two people and the other accommodates five. The Magic TiPi Lodge is one tepee that can accommodate between two to five people. And the Noy Noy TiPi can sleep two to three people. It’s a romantic tent with a shaded terrace, a hammock, plus extra luxuries. All the sites have solar power lighting, and gas/solar for hot water.

Facilities

The TiPi tents feature double or single beds, sleeper couches plus other furniture. The Paws and Magic TiPis each have a private outdoor shower and wash basins (as well as an inside shower and toilet), with hot water from solar/gas geysers. The Noy Noy TiPi includes an open air bath plus a shower with a “twist”. The campsite has a fully-equipped kitchen area, private braai areas per tent and each TiPi includes a fireplace for cosy winter nights.

Activities

Swimming pool, relaxing spa treatments from a massage therapist, field archery, hiking, and bird watching.

Pets allowed by arrangement.

Visit the Tipi Lodge website for more information.

Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Montagu

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If you’re looking to make the most of your safari adventure in a vast and hidden landscape, Dwyka Tented Lodge provides the perfect escape. This secluded beauty, shaped like a horseshoe, is one of three luxury lodges at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, a safari haven only a three-hour drive from Cape Town, along Route 62. Sanbona boasts sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3, 500 years. It is also home to free-roaming white lions. Enjoy game drives, guided nature walks, the rich fauna and flora in the area, boat safaris, rock art tours, relaxation retreats and stargazing. We love this snap, @twowolvesroam thank you. #MeetSouthAfrica #travel #nature #travelgram #exploresouthafrica #southafrica #thisissouthafrica #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica

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350-million-year-old rock formations enfolds the campsite. The reserve is a hidden, sacred space. The Khoisan people once called it home and their fascinating paintings, dating back over 3 500 years, are scattered across the reserve. This one is a bit further away from Cape Town (roughly three hours) but it’s worthwhile for a solitary getaway.

Facilities

Nine luxury tents, each sleeping two adults. The tents are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, (including a shower and basin), tea and coffee facilities, a mini-bar, heating and cooling, plus a private deck with a Jacuzzi.

The lodge features a lounge with a fireplace and satellite TV, open-air dining area, wi-fi, as well as a wine cellar.

Activities

Spot the Big Five on the expansive Karoo plains, visit a San rock art site (seven in total), games drives (two per day), guided walks, bird watching, stargazing, boat safari (dependant on the weather), and special relaxation retreats

Pets not allowed.

Visit the Dwyka Tented Lodge website for more information.

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Feature image courtesy of @mad.living

Cape Town is surrounded by amazing surfing options, the ocean wrapping itself around the city borders. The wind patterns around the coastline varies, offering surfers a chance to pick and choose what kind of surf conditions they want to test out. And at Cape Point the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet each other, which also creates unique weather patterns.

The following is our pick of the best surfing spots in Cape Town. We also list the experience level for each Cape Town surf spot. We recommend keeping an eye on magicseaweed.com for up to date surfing conditions.

#1 Muizenberg

Beginner

Situated in False Bay, it’s about half an hour’s drive from the CBD. Surfer’s Corner is a great starting point if you’re new to surfing, or if you are a long-boarder. The Muizenberg waves form clean lines and are usually gentle. If the wind starts to blow in a northwesterly direction, nice barrels are formed. The beach is very popular. You can grab a beer or coffee  after a good surfing session from the restaurants lining the beachfront.

#2Long Beach

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saturday situation

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Intermediate to Experienced

On the other side of the Table Mountain range, lies Kommetjie, another firm favourite of local surfers. It’s roughly a 40-minute drive from the CBD. Once the southwesterly wind starts blowing, the surfing conditions become perfect, when the swell is strong enough (and most of the time it is) With the waves breaking both left and right, it creates ideal circumstances for both natural- and goofy-footers.

#3 Scarborough Beach

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Holidayze 💙☀️

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Intermediate to Advanced

Situated 45 minutes from the CBD, this almost-secret surfing spot is rarely overcrowded. The conditions are perfect for surfers as well as body boarders. It’s a stunning location, with the looming mountains as a beautiful  backdrop for your surfing session.

#4 Crayfish Factory

Advanced

Close to Scarborough, but with more tricky conditions to manoeuvre. Known as just “the factory” under the locals, it’s a great spot to challenge your surfing skills. Waves can reach up to 15 feet at times. You’re guaranteed the most epic surfing experience when the north or northeasterly wind starts blowing. Because of the big waves, you need very good paddling skills to surf here.

#5 The Hoek

Advanced

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD, close to the Noordhoek beach, this spot is only ideal in the summer. But during these three months, it provides epic tubing opportunities. Get ready to take on the tubes when the South Easter starts blowing.

#6 Dungeons

Advanced Only

Situated about 30 minutes from the CBD this right-hander spot is for hardcore surfers only. You need to travel by boat from the Hout Bay Harbour to reach it. The Cape Town surfing spot was put on the map by the Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition. You can only attempt to master these waves as a tow-surfer, as the waves can reach up to 60 feet. Read more about it in our post here.

#7 Llandudno

Intermediate to Advanced

Situated about 15 minutes from the CBD, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this beach, tucked away at the bottom of a hill. Big boulders hug both sides of the cove, framing the serene blue ocean perfectly. It creates great hollow waves to stretch your skills.

#8 Glen Beach

Advanced

Situated around the corner from Llandudno, this spot is also only suitable for highly-skilled surfers. The hollow waves here are very powerful. It lies between the Clifton beaches and Camps Bay. Remember to look up at the Twelve Apostles mountains to take in the full beauty of this stunning Cape Town surfing spot.

#9 Big Bay

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

The experience level is dependant on the swell’s size. This beach is about 30-minute drive from the CBD, towards the West Coast. It lies between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. It is also a very popular windsurfing spot. The most ideal surfing conditions occur when the easterly or southeasterly wind starts blowing. Stop at Doodles or Pakalolo on your way back for a refreshing drink.

#10 Derdesteen

Intermediate

Situated 30 minutes from the CBD, it also lies on the way to the West Coast. It’s a great secret surfing spot. With multiple take-off points, you won’t be brushing shoulders with your fellow surfers when it gets busy. The spot is most suitable in autumn or winter with less hardcore winds than in summer. During these two seasons the seabed is also shaped for the ultimate surfing experience.

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If you embrace everything that Cape Town has to offer, you can literally be kept busy 24/7. But trying to soak up all the awesome things the city has to offer, can chew a big hole in your wallet. So, we’ve collected a few activities that you can do that won’t cost you a cent!

The sheer natural beauty of the Mother City is always available, but not everyone thinks that hiking up Lion’s Head makes for a fun outing. We’ve gathered a mix of activities for you. From outdoor fun, to cultured fun, to a bit of education mixed in.

Free Activities in Cape Town

Whether you are an outdoor junkie, or rather prefer indoor fun, there’s free things to do in Cape Town for everyone.

#1 Green Point Urban Park

The stunning community park is situated close to the Cape Town Stadium. It includes a wetlands area, attracting many bird species. Expansive pathways meander past the lush green lawns and little bushy nooks. A perfect space to escape city life for a moment of nature infusion. Read our other post  Top 10 Parks in Cape Town for other ideas as well.

#2 Sea Point Promenade

There’s a wide pathway that enfolds the side of the Atlantic Ocean, starting in Sea Point and ending close to the Waterfront. Almost any time of day you’ll see people using this nifty path to get some fresh air while appreciating the ocean views. Walkers, joggers, cyclists – it’s a favourite of both locals and tourists. At the beginning of the promenade there is a little hub of food stalls, close to the public swimming pool. Grab an ice cream and start enjoying the vibe. You could even stop at the outdoor gym if you feel guilty about the extra calories. Another fun activity along the way, is the putt-putt. It’s not free, but still very affordable at R28 per person.

#3 Cecilia Forest

It’s not often that you find a forest hidden in a city neighbourhood. This magical place is tucked away in Constantia, at the Constantia Nek. There are clear paths winding through the trees, suitable for all levels of fitness. It is also a dog-friendly area, as long as you keep your four-footed friend on a leash.

#4 The Company’s Garden

Another great nature spot to escape from the busy city life. The gardens date back to the days of the early Cape Settlers. It was used as a big veggie garden, stocking up the ships before their next voyage. You won’t find any carrots growing anymore, but the beautiful garden has been transformed into a lovely park. There are also a few museums that you could pop in to while you stroll among the trees. The SA Museum offers free entrance on public holidays.

#5 Centre for the Book

After you’ve soaked up all the fresh air of the Company’s Garden, pop in at this section of the South African National Library, situated on Queen Victoria street. It houses a big collection of books by local and foreign authors. The little reading rooms offer you a perfect spot to lose yourself in a good book for a few hours, in complete silence. Events are hosted regularly, check with the front desk to find out what’s coming up in the near future. Or check in on Facebook for upcoming events.

#6 De Waal Park

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heaven is a dog park at golden hour.

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Situated in Oranjezicht, on Camp street, you can get another quick nature fix. As the sun goes down, you can also get some extra free entertainment, watching the city dogs enjoy their moment of outdoor fun. There’s a big fountain in the middle, with great old-world charm, as well as great jungle gyms to keep the kids busy. In the summer time free music concerts are hosted in the park. Keep an eye on the upcoming show on the Concerts in the Park Facebook page.

#7 Do a Free VoiceMap Tour

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Powerless traffic lights at #openstreetsct

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VoiceMap is an innovative audio tour app, that turns your phone into your own personal tour guide. It makes use of your phone’s navigation services to guide you step by step through an area. They have a variety of free tours available, scattered across the city. These include the V&A Waterfront, Blouberg Strand, Constantia Winelands, and Woodstock. Read more about them in our post here.

#8 First Thursdays

Book out the first Thursday of every month for your dose of art and culture. The inner city art galleries remain open after hours, with special exhibitions (and of course a free glass of wine) Other businesses in the area host live music events and special activities for the evening. You can pick and choose what you want to see and do. The event creates a great vibe in the CBD. Check out the First Thursdays website to see what is happening at the next event.

#9 Take in The Sights with A Free Walking Tour

If you prefer a tour guide showing you around, you can join one of the city’s free walking tours. The tour options include the Bo-Kaap, District Six, a historic or street art tour, as well as exploring the promenade on a bicycle. The tours will offer you unique perspectives of the Mother City. Check the Nielsen Tours website to find out where each tour starts.

P.S although the tours are free, you can offer your tour guide a tip as a thank you for the great experience.

#10 A Sunset on the Beach

An outing on the beach is another great freebie outdoor outing you can enjoy. And sunset in Cape Town is an event on its own! Pack a picnic basket and wait for the sun to slowly sink down over the horizon. There are a variety of beach options to choose from. We’ve hunted down the best secret beaches in the Cape for you.

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It feels like there’s always something brewing at the Waterfront. Enter from almost any side, and you will be greeted with music hanging in the air from the local buskers. It’s a popular location all year round. And as with many Capetonian institutions, during peak season (December to February) everything picks up a notch or two.

But most of the time you can pop in almost any time of the day, and you will find something happening at the Waterfront.

The Silo Concerts

The Silo District is a recent addition to the Waterfront scene. It includes the formidable Zeitz MOCAA museum. Special contemporary and classical music concerts are hosted from December to February. Entry to the concerts are free. Concerts are Friday afternoons, from 7pm.

Click here for more information.

The Silo Markets

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BAJ…#Saturday#thesilomarkets

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These occur all year round, on the last Saturday of every month from 10am to 3pm. Entry is free. It strives to create a unique creative market experience, with two partners, Cape Craft and the Design Institute. The market aims to offer young talented artists a platform to showcase their innovative products, getting direct feedback from the public. While you are browsing the funky products, young up-and-coming performers will keep you entertained with music in the background. It’s a very exclusive market, so you are sure to find exceptional products not widely available.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

If you were a fan of the drive-in cinema, you will love this concept – watching a fun movie alfresco.  It is hosted at the new Battery Park, every 2nd Friday from October to April. The tickets range from R89 to R175 per person. You can choose to spruce up your movie experience yourself, or pay for one of their nifty seats or blankets. Want to impress someone special? Book a Snuggle spot, which includes a mattress in the front row, blankets and pillows, plus chocolates and Coke.

Click here for more information.

Related: Top 10 Things to Do at the V&A Waterfront

Summer Sessions presented by Mercedes

Musicians who have been part of the initiative include ZINGARA, Unity Band, Andrew Young, Gerald Clark, Bam Bam Brown, and more. The Amphitheatre hosts events over the weekends, starting at 7pm. This space often showcases new talent from across the country, so keep an eye on the Waterfront’s website or Facebook page to stay in the loop.

For more information visit the V& A Waterfront events page or follow the V&A Waterfront Facebook events page

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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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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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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