3 First Time Visitors To Cape Town Questions


First Timer Holidaymakers to Cape Town have so many questions. And what a pleasure when they ask, because we – so-called Cape Town homemakers take most things for granted. So, if you have a Cape Town question please ask. This will make your stay in Cape Town so much nicer. Today I want to discuss the following three questions:

  1. What is the weather like, warm enough to swim and sunbathe?
  2. Is it better to base ourselves in Cape Town city or outside?
  3. Should we arrange accommodation ourselves?

What is the weather like, warm enough to swim and sunbathe?

The weather in Cape Town is unpredictable. You have sun, wind and rain to content with.

You’ll notice from the Cape Town weather chart below how wind and rain can affect you. However, I would like to warn you that these graphs do not tell the story. The story is your mood. But I’ll get to that. Even in winter we get beautiful sunny days. But if you are a betting man then decide on your travel times to Cape Town using the weather graph:

cape town weather chart monthly

I believe that Cape Town is such reflection of your mood.

And most people here and those visiting Cape Town tend to visit Cape Town with a great mood. And this becomes the GEES! The spirit that is so contagious. Therefore, forget the charts and come and visit us.

Is it better to base ourselves in Cape Town city or outside?

This is such a difficult question to answer. You may only have a few days in Cape Town. And Cape Town has such a lot to offer. Let me try to share with you a quick summary of some of small village that make up the larger Cape Town. (There are many to mention and I will keep to the ones we love).

Ask yourself these questions before you decide where to stay?

  • Cape Town V & A WaterfrontDo you want the to be close to the Cape Town city lights? (image credit) Then stay in the CBD, Waterfront, Mouille Point, Green Point, and Sea Point. These Cape Town areas are central to Cape Town, or at least give you quick access to Cape Town central.
  • Camps Bay Night LifeDo you want bling, glitter parties and fancy restaurants? (image credit) Then choose Camps Bay. This the place in Cape Town where the rich and famous rub shoulders with many aspiring glitterati. That’s a little extreme. Camps Bay comes with some of the most expensive holiday accommodation in Cape Town. Camps Bay beach is very popular and the strip with restaurants; the place to be. We have had great times in Camps Bay.
  • Kommetjie Surfing near cape townDo you want nature and the beach with less blinking slikness? (image credit) I would choose a few places but the first one that comes to mind is Kommetjie and then Scarborough. Both of these places are in the Southern Peninsula on the colder Atlantic Ocean side. They have proper waves and both compete for the most laid back beach holiday destination in Cape Town. Scarborough with its many untarred roads and simple homes probably the laid-back winner. Here you will have a beach holiday even if you are not situated on the beach. Kommetjie has a small business center and a few restaurants. But that’s it. Sun, surf, walks, and the sun. Oh! Yes. You can get some crayfish in season.
  • Kalk Bay HarbourDo you want lovely restaurants, little shops with a working harbour and a busy street? (image credit) Then Kalk Bay should be your choice. Kalk Bay is a small Cape Town; with every mix and greed having fun in harmony. For me Kalk Bay is the flip side of Camps Bay. In Kalk Bay people are colourful without being slick. In Camps Bay fancy women will walk on high heels. In Kalk Bay you’ll see very few high heels.
  • muizenberg villageDo you want to surf and learn to surf with the locals at an easy place? Muizenberg is the ideal place. You’ll find very little bling here. We love it. There’s a no-smug café called Gas Light Cafe. If you want a simple and worthwhile meal go here. Many locals enjoy this place. Then there’s the Muizenberg village; interesting.
Muizenberg village has always been one of my favourite areas in cape town but is such a little hidden gem that people living in muizenberg don’t even know it’s there! the hamlet itself is an enclave of victorian cottages which are slowly being bought by young families and property buyers wanting to get into the market for the first time…(source and image credit).
  • Do you want to surf with the experts? From Cape Point, Scarborough, Kommetjie and Noord Hoek; these places are very popular with surfers. That does not exclude Muizenberg (False Bay side) but the waves are very different on the Atlantic side.
The Kommetjie spot, offers the best and most consistent shore break in the Cape (maybe second after Durban). Works best on a southeaster, in small to medium swell. If you’re after bigger fish, the Outer Kom kicks up massive curlers on a big westerly swell that are not for the faint hearted. source.
Muizenberg: Long Boarders’ paradise, this extremely popular swimming beach known as Surfer’s Corner. In summer it’s best to get there early, before the crowds and the pumping south-easter ruins things. Works best on a north-westerly in winter, but can be surfed most days of the year with a long board. source.

 

  • Simon's Town penguinsDo you want nature, history, penguins and small beaches? (image credit) Go for Simon’s Town. Simon’s Town is more than the SA Navy. It got its character because of the Navy and is rich in history. During the Anglo Boer War a concentration camp existed here. You’ll also find many old graves. The Brits ran the navy from the early years and then left. Then the penguins came and the place was never the same. Today you will love the small Simon’s Town beaches. Some of them are not well know. And the locals want to keep it that way. Joking. A popular paid beach is Boulder’s Beach. Here, you can swim with the penguins and never have a problem with the wind. (Also read the comments here to find our more about ways to cut entry fees to the penguins and this beach).
  • Fish Hoek Beach Cape TownDo you want to play with the kids in the beach – often? (image credit) Fish Hoek is very popular with families and families with kids. The business district is ugly. But the long beach a beauty. The holiday accommodation in the Avenues (with no view as it’s behind the business district) is pleasant and very affordable. Up on against the mountain you get mansions and you’ll pay for the view. But it’s worth it.
  • Do you want to be on the False Bay side or the Atlantic side? The Atlantic is where you’ll find places like Kommetjie, Noordhoek, Hout Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Sea Point. On the False Bay area are Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, and Simon’s Town. Here’s what other’s had to say about False Bay:

In False Bay you can easily swim most of the summertime, while you will still freeze on the other side, on less than 10 km distance over land! That’s why this part is completely differrent from the Atlantic side. Yet the False Bay side is much less touristic. No fancy disco’s can be found here, or intense nightlife. Here more tranquillity and a more village like lifestyle. Along False Bay several almost connected, but quite different villages are situated. (source). (image source)

Flase Bay Map Cape TownWe live in Simon’s Town and love the fact that the sun sets behind us and not in our eyes. This means that False Bay has spectacular sunrises and the Atlantic Seaboard has beautiful sunsets.

 

  • Do you enjoy wine? Well… you can go all the way to the beautiful Stellenbosch or you can just as well visit the Constantia wine farms. These farms are close to town and ideal if you want to stay in the well established homely Southern suburbs of Cape Town. You may not be on the beach but you are central to everything in Cape Town.
You don’t need a map to locate the wine farms in Constantia; most of the ones we want to visit are dotted along the same road as The Last Word Constantia. The Steenberg wine farm boasts a very smart restaurant and wine tasting centre, which is nestled in a lush green manicured lawn beside rows of vines. A large abstract grape sculpture dangles over a bar where you taste the wines. (source).

Should we arrange our accommodatio ourselves?

I would suggest you try to do most of it by yourself. You can get some real nice Cape Town holiday rentals all over the show at good rates. The sooner you finalise your accommodation the better. Cape Town get’s booked up over peak periods. And December is between two and three times more expensive than in winter.

You’ll also find that Camps Bay and Clifton are three times more expensive than other areas like False Bay.

So. If you plan a trip to Cape Town tell us what you want to do and we will suggest the best place for you to stay.

Let me end with a quote by Kulula

…..after that smooth landing we’d like to welcome you to Cape Town, where the mountain is flat, the trees are flat and the people are wonderful people.

Come and visit us soon. We miss you.

Johan Horak


February 13, 2013

Comments

0 responses to “3 First Time Visitors To Cape Town Questions”

  1. Lim C H says:

    Hi

    We are visiting Capetown for the first time this May for 2 weeks – can u suggest an itinerary for 14 days for 3 adults in a triple room in a nice good location –

    We would like to experience a game reserve but dislike long coach journeys so if u could help suggest a decent one that is about 2 hour drive from Capetown?

    Keen to visit nice winery like Stellenbosch and perhaps stay 2 nights (would you recommend as we heard from friends accommodation is lovely and cheaper than CT).

    Thanks and last but not least if you could suggest us some nice places to visit and eat. By the way one of us is a vegan so if u can suggest some vegan restaurants, that would be nice.

    Appreciate your advice,
    Lim

  2. Johan Horak says:

    We can assist you with arranging accommodation in Cape Town and at a local Game Reserve and the suggest what you can do. I would suggest you download this ebook on what you can do in Cape Town. This ebook can keep you busy. We have been in Cape Town nearly ten years and there's still a lot we have not done. Most people think Stellenbosch is where the wines are. But Constantia is the oldest wine farm and it's in Cape Town. This wine route can keep you busy for two days and you don't have to travel to get there.

    To assist you with accommodation I would need your budget for accommodation. How much do you want to spend per night to stay in a lovely self catering home or apartment. We can suggest the best option for you where all the action is. The same is true for the game reserve. We have very few close to Cape Town and some are luxury and expensive. If you just want to experience African nature, then you don't have to go further than Cape Point nature reserve. We can even get you accommodation close to this reserve.

    Many Cape Town restaurants have vegan options but here's a list of vegan restaurants.

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