In the height of summer and around the festive season, the population of Cape Town seems to double. Visitors from around the world flock to the beaches, bars, and popular tourist hotspots that make Cape Town such a vibrant and attractive destination. Don’t be caught out and get trapped in the endless queues or crowds that inevitably swell during this busy time of year. Use these tips and tricks to maximise your time and get the most out of your well-earned time in the Mother City!
1. Avoid the Beaches over Christmas and NYE
The beaches of Cape Town (and most of South Africa) get really crowded on Christmas Day and New Years Day. Both days are public holidays in South Africa so many locals take the opportunity to hit the beach and frolic in the waves. While that may sound like fun, searching endlessly for parking and inching your way through traffic definitely doesn’t!
2. Taxi or Uber to the Beach
In peak season, even during weekdays, getting to the beach can take ages! Finding parking is especially tricky if you’re trying to get to Clifton, Camps Bay or Llandudno. There are many other beaches worth visiting but if you’re set on those popular destinations then we’d suggest getting a taxi or Ubering to the beach to avoid the tedious task of finding that one parking that everyone else is hunting for too!
3. Avoid the Malls
Cape Town has such magnificent natural beauty that it almost seems a sin to spend time indoors during the summer months. Our advice is to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. There are plenty of options to choose from, like the beaches mentioned above, or the dozens of hiking trails criss-crossing the breathtakingly beautiful Table Mountain.
4. Get to the Table Mountain Cable Car Early
If you’re not into hiking, the best way to experience the majesty of Table Mountain is definitely by cable car. In operation for over 50 years, the cable car takes you from the city bowl to the top of the table in under 20 minutes. Once you’re on the top you’ll get a full, glorious perspective of Cape Town and the surrounding coastline and winelands. The only challenge is that everyone else wants to get that perspective too! After years of trial and error, along with our guides, we’ve figured out that the best times to avoid the queues is right after lunch (roughly between 2-3pm*) or first thing in the morning.
*This isn’t exact and every day is different so please be aware that this can change.
5. Head to Cape Point First Thing
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a tour of the Cape Peninsula, including a visit to Cape Point, the very tip of the peninsula itself. Many people know this and almost every tour operator has a peninsula tour of some kind. This means that getting into the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve can become an absolute nightmare. To avoid queueing for hours on end at the gate, make sure you start your tour early and go straight to Cape Point! You’ll avoid the queues that start building up from around 9am and have the place all to yourself.
For more advice on what to do and where to go feel free to get in touch. Our team of experts is on hand to give you the best insider tips and local knowledge.