has to offer without spending a fortune. Here are 50 ways to explore this
gorgeous city for a mere R50 or less.
ALONG THE SOUTHERN LINE RAIL ROUTE
view, captured by Mike Metlerkamp
Route stretches between Cape Town and Simon’s Town.
Besides it being a great way of getting from A to B, it’s also a relaxing way
of seeing Cape Town’s varied scenes. The part of the journey between Muizenberg and
Simon’s Town winds along the edge of the ocean and the views are brilliant. Buy
the hop-on, hop-off ticket and stop at Muizenberg for a surf; Kalky’s in Kalk Bay for
some mouth-watering fish and chips; and Simonstown for a trip to Boulders Beach
for a visit with the penguins.
IN RONDEVLEI NATURE
birds at Rondevlei Nature Reserve
and R5 for kids
is an unexpected treasure situated within the Cape Town suburb of Grassy Park,
about 20 min drive from the city centre. Home to some 256 species of indigenous
plants, it spans 290 hectares and has a museum, a network of footpaths, viewing
towers, and several bird hides. It is also home to – wait for it – Hippopotami
as well as 20 other mammal species, including the Cape Grysbok Porcupine, Cape
Clawless Otter and Large-Spotted Genet. It makes for a really great family
outing. Don’t forget to pack your picnic.
(Snake Head Point) Lighthouse, situated on the coast in the
South Peninsula, is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in South Africa. The
internal spiral staircase you will climb during the guided tour takes you up
100 feet from the bottom to the balcony. If the idea of climbing up all those
steps gets you a bit nervous, rest assured that the views from the top are
entirely worth it. The tour will leave you with all sorts of interesting facts
including the reason for South Africa being one of the few remaining places to
retain actual Light House Keepers.
the only place in Cape Town where you’ll have the unique opportunity of riding
a camel. Kids love sitting some two metres up on the camel’s hump and
sauntering around the courtyard. Longer rides through a nearby forest area are
also possible, but cost a bit more (R200 per person.) Once the kids have
finished their rides, pay a visit to the interesting gathering of shops inside
Imhoff Village, The Imhoff Farm Shop has a delicious range of fresh free-range
foods, and be sure to visit the Higgledy-Piggledy Farmyard.
and R10 for kids
National Botanical Garden is reputed to be the most beautiful in
the world. The experience of rolling greens, splashes of floral colour, shaded
streams and the multitude of paths can only really be done justice with a
visit. Take a walk long the treetop “Boomslang” (Tree Snake) walkway, picnic
under a shady tree and definitely pay a visit to the exquisite Sculpture
Garden. The annual Summer Sunset Concerts between November and April are
incredibly popular (a bit above the R50 mark, but well worth it.)
TRACK AT COOL RUNNINGS
tobogganing without snow, but Cool Runnings in
Tygervalley offers exactly that. The stainless steel track has 17 s-bends,
corners and a tunnel. Adrenaline junkies will love this experience, as you get
to regulate your own speed and boy can things get speedy if you want! Sleds
accommodate up to two people, so the little ones can go with Mum or Dad. It’s
also a really popular venue for kiddies parties.
for children and R15 for pensioners
both indoor and outdoor play areas suitable for children between the ages of 2
and 10 years. There is a wide variety of play areas and rides such as a
choo-choo train, swing horses, water slide, horse rides, quad bikes, free play
areas, a tree house and even castle. There is also a regular magic show and
Bugz characters who often pay the park a visit. No shortage of fun here!
Another popular spot for kiddies parties. More information here.
is situated right in the city centre of Cape Town. It was planted by the Dutch
East India Company in 1652 to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for the ships
that were sailing along the spice trade route between Europe and the East
Indies, via Cape Town. Today it is home to the oldest cultivated pear tree in
South Africa, said to have been planted in 1652; a rose garden built in 1929;
an aviary with a variety of birds and many other interesting landmarks. It’s
also well-known for the resident and perpetually hungry squirrels, so take
along some peanuts to feed to them. What’s more the garden offers free
18h30 and 19h30 there is a free yoga class at the Cape Quarter in Somerset Road. It’s
definitely something to check out if you’re looking for a way to stay in shape,
relax or enjoy a different way to hang out with friends.
SELF-GUIDED HISTORICAL WALK
map and go!
Waterfront, situated at the heart of Cape Town’s working
harbour, has a rich and varied history that can be traced back as far as 1654.
A great way to discover the stories of this iconic site’s past and its’ 22
landmarks is to do a self-guided historic walk. Simply grab a map at the
Information Centre and off you go. And if you get hungry or thirsty along the
way, there are plenty of food and drink places to choose from. A stop at The
Creamery at the V&A Food Market for a scoop of their handmade peanut butter
ice-cream is a must!
and free too
great surf spots
and offers something for every level of surfer. There are numerous well-known
and easily accessible surf spots scattered about the peninsula and a few
lesser-known secret spots. Get yourself to a reputable surf shop for the
insider scoop for all your gear requirements. If you don’t know how to surf,
there are many surfing schools in Cape Town willing to get you into the
half of the world’s gemstones can be found in South Africa? Did you know that
you could scratch for these gems yourself right here in Cape Town? The Scratch Patch
and Mineral World at both the V&A Waterfront and in
Simonstown is a cool way to dig for your own beautiful gems. You get to emerge
yourself in all the stones that quite literally cover the floor, then visit the
gem exhibitions and shops afterwards.
the menu is under R50
coffee and chocolate shop is where you can get handmade chocolate made from raw
ingredients and organic Ecudorian cacao with no preservatives or artificial
flavouring. It’s also dairy free. You can grab a good cup of coffee with a
delectable slice of cake (gluten-free also available) or purchase some of the
delicious chocolate products. Try the banana bread bunny chow – a banana bread
mini loaf filled with macadamia chocolate spread and ice cream for R48. Click here for more
at Queens Beach Parking lot (the last parking lot along the Promenade before
you get to Bantry Bay) at 6pm every Monday night and is a fun way to explore
the Sea Point Promenade. You will need something that skates – skateboard,
longboard, rollerblades, roller-skates or even a BMX – in order to get the most
out of this. The event was created in celebration of the lifting of the ban on
skateboarding and rollerblading along this area. Click here
for more information.
cyclists (both professional and social) gather under the Cape Town skies for a
casual night ride starting at the Green Point Circle at around 9pm. This event
started as a way of raising awareness for cycling safety and is now a must-do
social activity in the Mother City.
for more information.
most of the full moon. The Muizenberg Moonlight Meander happens at 6pm on the
Saturday closest to the full moon and brings together family, friends and loved
ones for a leisurely stroll along the beach by moonlight. The walk starts in
front of Knead bakery.
Town. Pic by Lisa Burnell
every month, arts and culture in Cape Town has a late night, with dozens of art
galleries and cultural events showcasing the wealth of talent that the Mother
City has on offer. The event is completely free, with no structured tour, and
no schedule to follow, you are free to absorb it all at your own leisure. To
ensure your First Thursday
can be catered to your own specific preferences, organisers provide a map and
highlights of what is on show. From there it is all up to you.
but mobile, this event moves between areas to showcase some of Cape Town’s best
art galleries, open studios, retail stores, music performances, and incredible
while playing a round of putt-putt. It’s an entertaining way to get the
competitive spirit going and to have some fun with friends and family. From
here, you can take the kids on the mini Blue Train, to a maze and the oldest
lighthouse in South Africa. The putt-putt course is located along Beach Road.
There are two courses so queues will be short! Call +27 (0) 21 434 6805
for more information.
middle of an urban environment, the Green Point
Urban Park is a fantastic, family-friendly place for a picnic,
walk, run or for simply lazing around. There is an outdoor gym, a play park,
adventure park and outdoor labyrinth. There are different plant species within
the area as well as information about them. Access to the park is via Bill Peters
drive, Bay Road or Helen Suzman Boulevard.
R20 for children
Nature Reserve is within the gorgeous Table Mountain National
Park and offers a variety of things to do. There are braai spots (only in
winter), picnic areas and hiking trails that end in stunning views. Just 20
minutes’ drive away from the city centre, the reserve is an important
conservation area for indigenous fynbos plants. It’s also a popular spot for
bird-watching and mountain biking as well as having a number of sandstone cave
systems and rock climbing routes that connect all the way to Muizenberg. You
can access Silvermine from Ou Kaapse Weg drive.
for wine tasting
producing farms in the Cape, Groot Constantia
is steeped in history. This farm boasts fine examples of Dutch architecture and
has been producing wine on the estate without interruption since 1685 when
Commander Simon van der Stel of the Dutch East Company (VOC) was originally
granted the land on which Groot Constantia stands. You can amble around the
leafy grounds, do some trail running or take in some wine tasting. There’s an
Iziko Museum on site and if you get hungry, the farm has two restaurants to
for children (3 to 18 years), R10 for students, R10 for pensioners, R10 per
Nature Reserve is located in Somerset West and
stretches as far as the cliff faces of the Helderberg Mountain. There is so
much to do and enjoy here. There is a plant herbarium, Guinea Gift Shop,
an environmental education centre, a picnic area, children’s play area and
jungle gym, as well as bird watching, hiking trails and walking trails. Keep
your eye on their Facebook page
for information on amazing guided hikes.
the Newlands Brewery
dates back to the early 1800s and has so much history to offer visitors. You
can take this all in as well as learn about how the Newlands Brewery makes its
eight famous beers on a fun tour of the establishment. The tour includes a beer
tasting and two complimentary drinks.
for children under 12
place in the picturesque sea-side town of Simon’s Town.
It takes you around Simon’s Town Bay to take in the historic sites of the area
as well as the breath-taking views.
CLUB DRIVING RANGE
and Conference Centre is the perfect combination of leisure and
business. Recently acquired by the innovative team who brought you The Old Biscuit Mill,
The Woodstock Exchange and the Daddy Hotels,
The River Club has had an exciting make-over. It’s the perfect place to
practise your golfing swing. There are also restaurants on site should you get
a bit nibbly or feel the need for a cool-down drink.
walks in Cape
Town is the Pipe Track. For this reason, it’s popular with
families and can be done no matter what your hiking fitness level is. It leaves
from the foot of Table Mountain Road
and winds along a contour path above the outstanding Atlantic bays of Clifton
and Camps Bay,
with views right along the Twelve Apostles as far as Llandudno.
nights (with a free glass of wine if you’re reading), free entry on market days,
R20 entry for the mixed music nights
up of poetry, storytelling and spoken word, and a fourth-Saturday-of-the-month
market where you can grab local food, super juices, natural and organic
products, hand-crafted gifts and much more. Alive Café also organises an
evening of great music by a handful of local musicians once a month. You can
grab a beverage in the coffee shop and stay connected in the WiFi zone. http://alivecafe.co.za/
is a good time to console yourself with a nice big bowl of mac and cheese. At Peter’s House, you can get this for a
mere R30 – add some extras for an extra R5 to R10. If you have a sweet tooth,
they have R25 waffles on the weekend – plain waffles with maple syrup. You can
add some bananas or Creamery ice-cream if you want more. If you’re a bit of a
boffin, why not try quiz nights on Tuesdays for R40 per person? So much going
on here – there is also free WiFi.
serving good comfort food at a low price. Their specialty is, of course,
meatballs. The owner has taken meatball recipes from around the world and
whipped up fabulous selection right here in Cape Town. They pride
themselves on sourcing grain-fed meat and free-range poultry and on serving delicious
food that everyone can enjoy.
of Certified Fairtrade, Bean There
is a coffee experience that everyone should indulge in. Just walking past the
shop gives you the aromatic aroma of the responsibly sourced coffee that gets
brewed there. Pop in for a delicious cup or buy a bag of your own to take home
Love My Laundry
alterations, ironing and dyeing) establishment also
offers up a mean dim sum and other foods at the built-in JOGA JOGA café. You
can dine while you wait for your laundry or simply show up with no laundry at
all. It’s a great little place to hang with friends.
dancing studio offers a variety of classes and is a fun and energetic way to
spend time with friends, whilst getting in a good workout. Before you commit,
take the trial and have fun! Tribal Fusion Bellydance is a modern form of
belly dance which has evolved from American Tribal Style (ATS) that blends many
forms of dance, including hip-hop, breakdance, Egyptian and cabaret. Click here for more information.
is lined with dinky toys, dolls, Maccano, model cars, boats, trains, aeroplanes
and other miscellaneous toys that all make up a collection of thousands. This
is a must-see for all toy-lovers. Call them on +27 (0)21 786 1395 for
adults, R40 for children under 16 years, R30 for children under 6
in Somerset West is a great spot for a day out with the family. Your entry fee
gets you access to the amazing picnic spots, swimming in the lagoon and the
rock jumping facilities. Pack your picnic basket or you can buy food from the
restaurant on site. If you are the adventurous type, you can rent some of the
sporting equipment or do some cable skiing or participate in a paintball game
at an extra cost.
Bar in Observatory is a place where locals and internationals hang
out for drinks and lots of fun times. There is everything from beer pong nights
to salsa classes. The famed happy hour runs from 17h00 to 19h00 (happy two
hours) where you can pick up a refreshing drink from as little as R25.
free hiking spots in and around Cape Town. Lion’s Head is one of
the more popular ones and, although it can get slightly strenuous, it rewards
you with an amazing view at the top. You can also do this in the light of the
full moon (head torch is still advisable). Platteklip Gorge takes you to the
top of Table Mountain and you can either head left towards Kirstenbosch or
right to the Cable Station. Newlands Forest is leafy and most of the way is
shaded by the trees. This is a shorter hike and there’s a pretty stream along
the way if you want to cool down. The hike to Elephants Eye is accessed via
Silvermine and will cost an entry fee (but still under R50) and you will be
able to take in the amazing False Bay views. Always follow mountain safety
group rides, the tracks at Meerendal
are flat and easy to navigate. You start with a bit of an uphill, but then it
takes you to the first stretch of single track and onto a zig-zagging uphill
that can prove tough on novices. There are spectacular views to take in along
to do trail runs in Cape Town that it’s tough to list them all. You can run the
hiking trails we mentioned before as well as try the 5,3 km Devil’s Peak
route where you start at the top of Devil’s Peak
Estate and run the gravel paths to Rhodes Memorial.
Also try the Silvermine
routes and Constantia Nek
ones (some fees apply). Trail running is excellent for fitness and endurance.
of R10 is encouraged
world-wide and was a South African politician and mining magnate in Southern
Africa in the late-1800s. At some point, he contributed to shaping both South
Africa and Zimbabwe’s political landscape. Once his residence, you can visit the cottage
in Muizenberg that is now a museum.
located on the floodplain of the Diep River and has extensive reed beds, a
tidal lagoon and flourishing flora and fauna. You can find a wide variety of
birds here at any time with over 10 000 individual birds having been counted
during the water bird censuses. The Friends of Rietvlei organisation
often host holiday programs such as fishing and other activities that start at
around R5. There are various walking trails and places for wet water sports
enthusiasts to enjoy themselves – as well as braai spots. Click here
for more information.
enjoy fish and chips in Cape Town is at Kalky’s. Locals flock back all the time
for the deliciously battered fish and, of course, the amazing location right
next to the harbour in Kalk Bay!
You can even take your own wine along! Call +27 (0)21 788 1726 for more
organisation that aims to preserve and conserve seabirds and other sea life.
SANCCOB allows visitors in for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility where
you can get a look at how a seabird hospital works and see how the penguins are
treated and fed. If you love what you see and want to to get involved, there
are various ways to give back to them too.
Cape Town and Durbanville has
a fantastic wine route. Why not drive along the route and choose
one of the lovely local farms for a wine tasting and some pairing? There are so
many to choose from that you may have to go back a few times to experience all
Huguenot House in Loop Street, Prins &
Prins offers visitors a glimpse into South Africa’s mineral
wealth. This independent company is renowned for its distinct selection of
engagement and diamond rings, tanzanite and precious stones, and custom
designs. The proterty used to be owned by wine merchants and sometimes clients
and visitors are still given a glass of great South African wine while enjoying
at Addis in Cape
traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at Addis in Cape.
The experience gives you a glimpse into Ethiopian tradition and feels authentic
amongst the traditional Ethiopian furnishings.
entices people with its old movie theatre charm. It was originally an Italian
embassy ballroom and is widely recognised as the oldest independent
art-repertory cinema in South Africa. The theatre screens art movies and hosts
various interesting film festivals throughout the year. Go here for great
movies that you won’t find in the mainstream movie houses!
R15 per child
and Camp’s Bay, you’ll find cosy coves and blissful white beaches peeking from
between the huge boulders. Oudekraal has over 40 braai areas, although most
don’t have grids, so be sure to bring your own with you! Get there early, as
Oudekraal is immensely popular. Call 021 438 9555 for more information.
in Cape Town and all offer insight into South Africa’s natural and cultural
history. The exhibits range from 700-million-year-old fossils to insects and
fish, dinosaurs and wildlife menageries as well as everything space-related at
the Planetarium. There are also stone tools dating from 120 000 years ago,
traditional clothes from the last century and authentic beadwork.
For something unique, visit the 100-year-old Southern Right Hotel in
Glencairn and enjoy a drink while playing petanque with an amazing view of the
ocean. There is no charge to play on one of the three pentanque pistes. Call
Andrew Weeks on 082 8848504 or 021 7820314 for more information