sunny days are waiting
If you aren’t already clued up on the multitude of Cape Town’s offerings, then here’s the low-down; there’s a lot on offer and the sultry summer sun takes everything to a whole new level! While many iconic cities around the globe are an absolute fiasco over peak season, the beauty and grace of the Mother City shines true in her ability to entertain the masses without even batting an eyelid.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Cape Town this summer, we’ve got the ultimate summer survival guide. It’s time to get packing… The trick with getting the best from Cape Town is to always go where the locals go, avoid the touristy spots and if you have to see the popular landmarks, why not experience it slightly differently...
what to pack
Packing for adventure is the first step, arranging it all is a whole different story... Don’t fight for elbow-room at Clifton 4th beach or suffer in peak-season traffic... Check these packing and planning tips for a hassle-free Cape escape to prepare for what the Mother City throws at you.
explore off the beaten paths
Whether it’s for a tranquil hike or a fast-paced saunter through the bustle of the city, a good pair of walking shoes is an absolute must when exploring the incredible diversity of the Mother City. For those who love to get the endorphins pumping on a breathtakingly scenic hiking trail, Cape Town has you covered. From summiting the sensational Table Mountain to soaking in the panoramic views atop Lion's Head, the choices are endless. (Hint: if hiking up AND down Table Mountain sounds a little much, you can take a one-way trip on the ultra-scenic aerial cable-car and walk the rest - it’s not laziness, it’s wisdom, you’ll thank us later)
Although Lion’s Head and Table Mountain are a must-do for first-timers to the city, the queues can be a little long in peak season. Factor in 4 hours instead of the usual 2-3 if you go at peak times or rather get up early before sunrise and celebrate with coffee on the top (always hike with at least two friends, a warm jacket, plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat). Want to skip the queues completely? Choose a lesser-known route like Kloof corner or walk through the fantasy-like Newlands forest or other lesser-known hikes, there are trails for every kind of explorer in Cape Town.
And if you’re more of the city-slicker type, you will not be disappointed. We’re firm believers that walking the streets of any city gives you a raw and authentic insider view that you just can’t get any other way - and Cape Town’s streets sure do have a lot to say. Join a local guide on our City Highlights sightseeing tour to hit all the insider local spots.
hat & sunnies
lazing about on sun-kissed beaches
As a responsible traveller, sun protection is a must on every trip, but once again Cape Town’s summers take things to a whole new level with her abundance of pristine beaches, so trust us when we say you’ll want to pack in your sunnies and a sassy sun hat. The heat is on and there’s no better city to soak it all in. On sunny days it can be a challenge to find space for a beach towel on the more popular beaches, rather try neighbouring Clifton 2nd or 3rd beach or Llandudno - it’s just as picturesque but more secluded. Secret spots like Diaz beach at Cape Point mean that even in the peak of the festive season you can sneak away and have the spot all to yourself. For the more cosmopolitan beachgoers, Camps Bay’s palm-lined, crisp white beaches offer the perfect place to show off your tan, sip on some sundowners and sunbathe in style. If you’re in for a short road trip, Blouberg’s long sandy stretches offer picturesque backdrops of Table Mountain's flat top for that perfect pic to brag to your friends.
And if hanging with the locals on the beach is more your style, Boulders Beach and its adorable waddling flipper friends are always keen to share their playground. It's forbidden to touch or feed the penguins, but it's fun to see them from just a few feet away!
capture stunner safari sightings
South Africa and safari are two terms that go together like birds of a feather. A safari escape is an absolute no-brainer and lucky for us, there are numerous authentic 4x4 drive options within a 2 to 4 hour from Cape Town. And with such epic wildlife viewing opportunities comes the potential for some bucket-list snaps, so be sure to bring your camera - did someone say safari selfies with ellies or giraffes in the background (or to simply rock your safari swag)... While the famed Kruger region is sweltering in the summer months, the Western Cape safari options are way more traveller-friendly from Cape Town and also pose zero risk of malaria! If you’re looking for more specific safari tips, take a look at our safari blog. And while you're snapping away on tour, remember to tag @hotspots2c.
reflect on the rich history & diverse culture
Whether you follow the bullet journal method, prefer to sketch your memories or add notes on your phone, we’d definitely recommend you bring along a journal of sorts for your Cape Town trip. From a visit to the Robben Island to walk in the footsteps of political giants like Nelson Mandela, a meander through the multicoloured streets of Bo-Kaap or a riveting tour through the District Six Museum; there’ll be plenty moving moments that you’ll never want to forget. If culture is more your thing we can guarantee that you’ll be dazzled by the Captonian locals and meet some of the most fascinating and warm individuals during your Mother City stay. Let’s just say there’ll be plenty to reflect on and write home about.
For a tips on what to pack, check out the must-haves for your South African adventure here.
Keep on adventuring.