South Africa’s Mother City is the ideal all-year-round destination with memorable activities and experiences for each season.
Summer (December to February)
- Summer Markets
Summertime in Cape Town sees locals and visitors spilling onto the streets and markets, strolling through curio, clothes and food and drink stalls, all while taking advantage of the longer days. Visitors can experience the Harbour Market in Hout Bay, the Kirstenbosch Craft Market or the Watershed Market at the V&A Waterfront. The Harbour Market is open on Fridays from 17h00 to 21h00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 09h00 to 16h00. The Kirstenbosch Craft Market is open on the last Sunday of every month from 09h00 to 15h00, with no markets in June, July or August. The Watershed Market is open every day from 10h00 to 19h00.
- Beach Activities
Cape Town’s beaches are renowned for their white sands and gorgeous mountain views, with many boasting Blue Flag status. The city’s offering includes everything from family-friendly beaches to secluded beaches and those offering adrenaline sports. Activities include surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, horseback riding, body boarding, kite-surfing, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding.
- Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts
Visitors flock to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the warm months to recline on the lawns and enjoy live music. It is perfectly suited for a picnic and a bottle of wine, and music and nature lovers are guaranteed to have a spectacular evening. Concerts take place every Sunday from 16h00 to 20h00 and tickets are available from the Tuesday before each concert. Picnic hampers are available from Moyo Restaurant Kirstenbosch or the Kirstenbosch Tea Room.
Autumn (March to May)
- Cape Town Carnival
Cape Town is a hive of activity during the Cape Town Carnival on 12 March. Visitors can join in one Cape Town’s biggest street parties, which showcases larger-than-life floats accompanied by over 2 000 costumed dancers. Celebrating African identity, diverse communities and cultures, musicians and performers make their way through the Fanwalk in Greenpoint, while street vendors and stalls set the mood for a street party like no other.
- Coasteering In Simon’s Town
Explore the rocky coastline by climbing, jumping, and swimming. This new adventure allows visitors to get up close and personal with abundant sea life, while the hiking routes are suitable for all ages, large groups or individuals. Coasteering can be booked through Gravity Adventures, which supplies wetsuits, booties, helmets and guides.
- Visit The City’s Wine Estates
Steeped in history and beautiful architecture, the city’s surrounding winelands offer wine tastings, unique wine pairings, gourmet dining, picnics, festivals, concerts and great outdoor activities. At Durbanville Hills, visitors can enjoy unique chocolate and wine pairings, while Signal Hill Wine Farm offers Turkish Delight pairings, wine and pizza pairings, and craft beer and biltong pairings. The Constantia Park Run is a 5km timed run that takes place every Saturday at 08h00 at Constantia Valley. This outdoor activity is free and offers views of the parkland surroundings along with outdoor exercise.
- Golfing In The City
Although golf is an all-year-round sport, autumn offers more temperate weather, with warm sunny days and crisp cool mornings and evenings. Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town has tree-lined fairways and has hosted the South African Open seven times. Royal Cape Gold Club in Wynberg was founded in 1910 and has the country’s oldest putting ground, with grassed fairways and challenging bunkers.
- Ellerman House Art Collection
Ellerman House has a historic collection of 20th century South African art. Visitors can dive into the history of this unique property and visit the recently opened private gallery, the Ellerman Contemporary, which showcases the best of South African modern art.
Winter (June to August)
- Shark Cage Diving
Sharks are more active during winter and visibility in the water is better. In False Bay, visitors can enjoy this activity with Apex Shark Expeditions and African Shark Eco Charters. Guests are able to stay submerged under water in the cage for 20 minutes without having to surface for oxygen, while watching Great White sharks in their natural environment. This activity is suitable for anyone aged 10 and older.
- Xhosa Cooking In Kayamandi
Visitors can discover day-to-day life in Kayamandi Township, with an insightful guided walking tour in the area. They are then welcomed back to the home of a Xhosa Mama to hear stories of township life, customs and traditions, while enjoying some of the dishes that Nelson Mandela grew up on. This experience can be booked through Welcome Tourism Services, a division of Tourvest Destination Management.
- Whale Watching
July to September is the peak calving season for whales, offering many opportunities to spot the worlds’ biggest mammals along the False Bay Coast. Simon’s Town Boat Company offers daily whale-watching trips at 10h30 and 14h00 for ages 12 and older. Visitors can see Southern Right whales, Brydes whales, Humpback whales, Orcas and dolphins.
Cape Town is well known for its surfing spots and the waves are at their best at this time of year, with big swells being pushed in by huge storms between Cape Town and the Antarctic. There are numerous surf spots in Cape Town on both sides of the peninsula that will suit all levels of surfer.
This popular adventure activity is done all year round and is especially popular in the winter months, says Cape Town Tourism, explaining that the calmer wind and warm airstreams keep you in the air for longer. Cape Town Tandem Paragliding, Fly Cape Town Paragliding and Birdmen Paragliding operate from Cape Town’s most popular spots, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill.
- The Two Oceans Aquarium
With more than 3 000 marine creatures on view – including sharks, turtles and penguins – the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront showcases over 3 000 marine creatures from the Atlantic and Indian oceans, which lie on either side of the Cape of Good Hope, including sharks, penguins and turtles. The aquarium is open every day from 09h30 to 18h00.
Spring (September to November)
- Get Active
Cape Town offers some of the most scenic and varied routes in the world for cycling, hiking and running. From social and competitive cycling events, to casual hikes and guided walks and fun runs, enthusiasts of all ages will find a beautiful track to stretch their legs on while enjoying stunning views. Scenic running tours can be booked with Cape Mountain Hiking & Running Tours or Run Cape Town and visitors can pair a bike ride with wine tasting with Bikes ‘n Wines.
- Enjoy The City Parks And Gardens
The Company’s Garden in Cape Town CBD and Green Point Urban Park are perfect for a family outing and picnic. Explore the numerous rose gardens at Durbanville Rose Garden, which is open every day from 07h00 to 18h00, and the unique plant life of the Cape Flora at Kirstenbosch Gardens, which is open every day from 08h00 to 19h00. Visitors can also experience a full-moon beach walk at Muizenberg’s Moonlight Meander on the second last Saturday of each month, from 18h00 to 20h00.
Compiled By: Melissa Jane Cook
Source By: Daniella Di Gaspero. Image By: Istock