Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world & in the year 2019, I traveled to this beautiful city. I covered the city on a shoestring budget & I spent approx 60 K all-inclusive for 8 days. I went to Cape Town in July; which is primarily an offseason. It is wintertime in Cape Town in July, because of which the rates of accommodation were much cheaper compared to summers. Here is a comprehensive Cape Town (South Africa) travel guide; all planned by myself & I really hope you can benefit a lot from this. The post has all the required informations by travelers which include the best things to do, what to wear, is it safe, etc. A great Cape Town travel guide at your disposal.
South Africa offers a free visa to Indians. However, the catch is one can only apply from VFS services & the cost of VFS services is around 2000 INR. There is no need for apointment, thus one can directly go to the office & submit the documents & wait for the visa. It took a minimum of 1 week to obtain a visa via a regular process. You can check all about South Africa Visa here.
How To Reach Cape Town:
Cape Town is one of the major cities in South Africa. The best way to reach Cape Town is through Flights. Having an international airport approx 20 Km from the city center is a great way to reach the city. Usually, the flights directly to the Cape Town will probably be on a higher side. So, if you are facing such problem, you can opt for a direct flight to Johannesburg & then flew to Cape Town. This process might save you extra bucks.
However, if you have enough time on your hand, you can rent a car (whose rentals are very cheap) & can drive through garden route to Cape Town which is one of the most beautiful routes in the world. If driving is not your cup of tea, there is an option of buses & trains as well. However, the duration of the journey is on a lot & also the price of tickets is nearly equivalent to flight tickets. Thus, it makes sense to book flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
Best Things To Do In Cape Town In Winters & Summers:
Cape Town is by far one of the beautiful places on this planet. There is a bit of everything from breath-taking drives to bustling neighborhoods, from beaches to mountains for everyone. It is hard to find such diversities at such short distances. So, here are the best things to do in Cape Town (winters or summers), South Africa.
Hiking Table Mountain:
Hiking table mountain will test your strength & endurance. The mountain is one of the landmarks of the city & anyone who has visited Cape Town must have visited this mountain. Table mountain is actually a group of mountains whose one face seems to be like in the shape of a table. There are many hiking trails Platteklip Gorge is one of the famous ones. It will consume your half-day at ease. However, if you want to save on time then you can also opt for cableway from the bottom of the mountain to the top. It will save time & efforts but will cost you around 290R onwards.
On the opposite side of the table mountain is another peak known as Signal hill. There is a proper road to the top of the hill. So, it will save your efforts. This is a famous sunset point. The view of ocean stretching till the horizon & the city’s vibrant culture on the other side blends perfectly. There is also a walking trail that starts from Bo Kaap. There is no entry fee to this point. Also, if you are interested in paragliding this is one of the best points for that.
Lion’s Head peak is another trail which is famous among the locals. The trail is not enduring & difficult at all & can be completed in 2 to 3 hours. The difficulty level rises at one moves upwards. The view from the top is amazing, you can view most of the Cape Town from this point. At one point of the trail, there is a bench which overlooks the ocean. I went during the winters, however, I could imagine how good the view will be during the summers. It is that beautiful spot. There is no hiking fee for this.
Boulder’s beach is located in Simon Town an hour drive from Cape Town. This beach is famous for a unique thing African penguins which are only found at this place. Sadly these creatures are under extinction. Thus, special efforts are being taken to help them survive. The beach is a famous touristic destination. There is an admission fee of R152 for an adult & R76 for child (Non-SA residents). It was a pleasure to watch them walk & play.
Cape of Good Hope:
One of the most beautiful parts near Cape Town is Cape of Good Hope a place approx 2 hours drive from Cape Town. Some fancy it as the southernmost part of Africa which is not the case. Cape point was used by the sailors to determine directions. Nevertheless, the point is amazing. You can see ocean flowing like a river from this point. An unadulterated landscape for miles & a feeling of visiting a different planet will cross your mind several times. For miles, you will drive on a road surrounded by the greenery. There is an admission fee of R303 per person. Further, there are two hiking point one is towards Cape of Good Hope & other towards the lighthouse. If you have enough time you can do both.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden:
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world is here. A perfect place for a picnic amidst nature. The greenery will blow your mind up & also here is a famous tree way where you can walk & admire the beauty of the place. It will take 2 to 3 hours to roam the place completely & there are many great spots to click photos. Further, there are few hiking trails which starts from here. So, if you have time on your hand you can one of these trails. An admission fee of 70R is applicable here. There are no direct buses to this spot (excluding hop on & hop off buses). So, it will be better to book an uber.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a commercial area of Cape Town. It is also a working harbor. A flurry of luxury brands will keep you busy & after a tiring day of traveling through stores to stores. There is a food court where you can try some unique dishes. A great place to hangout & shop. The location of the mall is perfect, a raging Atlantic ocean is just a step away from here. There is plenty to do here & you can have a great time visiting this place.
Chapman’s Peak Drive:
One of the most beautiful roads on this planet. Cut through the cliffs provides the perfect view to enjoy driving & also an amazing view of the ocean. The whole scenic route is approx 40 min drive & each curve is much more beautiful & breathtaking than the previous one. No amount of words can describe the beauty of the place; so you need to drive here to witness it. An admission fee of approx 30R for a two-wheeler is applicable. But, the views are worth the fee.
Bo Kaap Museum:
The colorful neighborhood is favorite among the visitors. There are so many pics of this wonderful place. The buildings are covered in solid colors which give perfect backdrop & vibrant feeling. There is no admission fee for this. The area is not that big thus you can cover it in 1 hour with ease. There is a hiking trail from the Bo Kaap which leads to the Signal hill.
Six District Museum:
Cape Town has a dreaded past. The whites dominated the colored people for what reason. This museum is a reflection of the past. What was Cape Town & what all it faced during the past? The museum will take you through the history of the place & why Six districts is an important place in the history of Cape Town. The admission fee of approx R55 per person. There are local people as museum guide who survived this rough period.
Camps Bay & Cliffton Beaches:
Cape Town is not all about mountains & peaks. There is a small portion which has beaches as well. Camps bay is one of the favorite spots for the locals for sun-basking. But, if you are looking for some secluded beaches. Then, Cliffton beaches are your answer. The series of beaches stationed one after the other are the perfect beach place. Surrounded by the lavish mansions the beaches will give you the feeling of a millionaire. Cliffton beach 1 & 4 are by far the best beaches.
Robben Island is an island where the great Nelson Mandela was kept captative for 18 years of 27 years behind the bars, which is the major reason why this place has been transformed into the museum. There is a huge line to visit this place & it is ideal to book tour at least 1 week before visiting the place. There is an admission fee of R550 per person.
Muizenberg is a small town near Cape Town approx 1.5 hours drive from the city. Muizenberg trademark is fabulous color huts. Further, it is also one of the popular spots for surfing.
South Africa is famous for its wine & Stellenbosch is one of the havens for the wine lovers. The tour is famous among the locals & the tourists. But, this will eat up half of your day. So, if everything is ticking you can this amazing place.
Aquila safari is recently opened wildlife safari which will take you one step nearer to the wildlife. It boosts to show big 5 of Africa. There are many tours & you can choose as per your choice & time.
One of the most adventurous parts of visiting Cape Town is White Shark Cage Diving. Gansbaai is a place near Cape Town which is a hub for this dangerous sport. There are many providers for this sport. Also, the typical price of this activity from Cape Town is approx R2300. You can check the following link to book a trip. The tour can only be finalized one day before the booked date; as it, all depends on the ocean condition.
Watching a big living creature in the wild is a chilling experience & whales is one of those animals which you should watch in the wild. Whale watching also takes place in Gansbaai, so it is best to move to Gansbaai for a few days & do all these activities. It will save time & money.
If you are looking for a lavish trip. Don’t miss helicopter ride, a perfect way to witness the beauty of the place with a birds-eye view. The whole city looks fabulous & you can cherish nature & your life. There are many providers you can check this vendor.
Tips To Do Cape Town On Budget?
Traveling can be expensive if not planned well. I went to Cape Town during winter & spend approx 60,000 INR all-inclusive for my trip. Below are some of my tips to help you plan a budget trip to Cape Town.
Stay: I stayed in the hostel Long Street Backpackers which is located on the long street probably one of the most happening streets in Cape Town. I paid approx 500 INR per night & this was a discounted rate as I traveled during winters. In summer which is peak tourist season; assume a basic dorm bed rate to be around 1000 per night. For best offers, you can check this link out.
Food: I cooked most of my food during my trip. There was a facility of kitchen available which was a bonus. It helped me to keep my cost in check. However, if you are not into cooking you can eat a meal at restaurants for approx 30 R onwards (150 INR) for one time. The parties start late in the evening & most of the good clubs will ask for a cover charge after 10 pm. However, if you reach before 10 pm it is free entry. The price of a beer pint starts from 30R inclusive of taxes.
Commutation: The city can be covered on foot. But, it will be time-consuming & also some of the regions are not safe to walk alone. There are few cheap options available. The best is My Citi bus. It runs length to breadth of the city. The only drawback is the frequency. For a single trip, you will have to spend R30. Uber is another popular mode of transport among the tourists. The rates are pretty reasonable & it is safe to use uber here. However, if you are good at driving you can hire a car. The rentals are pretty affordable & it also offers the luxury of traveling at own pace.
City Attractions: Most of the natural attractions like table mountain, lion head, signal hills, etc are free to access. However, for museums & other lavish activities, you will have to spend 30R (150 INR) onwards. Make sure you only try activities you are interested in; else you will be short on time & will spend unknowingly.
How Expensive Is Cape Town?
South Africa currency is South African Rand. During the time of my travel 1 Rand equals to approx 5 Indian Rupee after conversion. So, how expensive is Cape Town? So, Cape Town is a touch on an expensive side if you are from Asian countries. However, if you are from western countries then it won’t budge you at all. Check this link for more details.
Is Cape Town Safe To Travel Solo?
Is Cape Town Safe To Travel Solo? You need to be careful while walking in Cape Town. The people are generally nice out here. However, some dark places might pose a problem. There is a huge disparity among the citizens which is the prime cause for a crime. So, make sure you lock down your valuables at a safe place, know your surroundings & avoid going alone. Walking alone is scary at times here. Check this link for more details.
Best Time To Travel To Cape Town?
No doubt the best time to visit Cape Town is summers. However, winters can be fun if you like a less crowded environment. The prices are cheaper & you can do plenty of activities. Most people visit Cape Town during the summers which is also the peak tourism season. I went during the winters & loved the city.
What To Wear In Cape Town?
It depends on which season are you traveling to Cape Town. During summers it gets hot & in winter it gets chilly. A jacket is a must during the winter.
Below are the few resources you should check before making an itinerary.
Cheap Internation Flights: Best place to find cheap international flight tickets.
Best Deals On Hotels: Places to find best deals on hotels.
Agoda: Best place to book hotels of your liking. Agoda provides the best solution & great offer while booking a hotel.
Skyscanner: Skyscanner compares various sites & sort the flights based on the rates. A great way to check flight cost. Although the only drawback is that rates are flexible. Hence, the cost might change while you are making the payment.
Jetradar: Jetradar is a comparing site which is just like Skyscanner. But, is much more accurate & much more handy in use.
Booking: Best place to book hostel rooms. There are plenty of options available & with so many properties booking becomes much easier.
Couchsurfing: Best place to find free accommodation. It is as easy as filtering people & messaging. If you will get lucky you will find free accommodation in local resident house.
Travel Insurance: There are numerous options available to get one. So, you can choose anything which suits your requirements. Make sure you read the terms & conditions before buying one.
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