Cape Town Travel Guide

One of South Africa’s three capital cities, Cape Town is a cultural melting pot with a diverse population and a rich history. Travelers to the coastal city can make the most of its stunning natural setting—the omnipresent peak of Table Mountain is the biggest draw, while Cape Peninsula to the south offers miles of white sand beaches, ocean views, and surf-worthy waves. Cape Town’s many attractions are spread out over a large area, and guided tours with seamless transportation help visitors see multiple sights in one day. For those with more time to spend in the area, day trips take in the nearby Cape Winelands or Robben Island, and multi-day tours set out along the famous Garden Route.

Cape Town Weather (When to Visit)

Cape Town's summer season (December – February) sees the most tourism, with travelers flocking here take advantage of the city's sprawling beaches and outdoor attractions. You'll want to book your accommodations several months in advance to ensure availability. The weather during this season is warm but not overwhelming, with average daytime highs ranging from the mid- to high 70s.

Autumn (March – May) is an ideal time to vacation to Cape Town. The temperature drops, and the tourist exodus signifies the start of the annual wine harvest. Many of the wineries in and around Cape Town allow visitors to participate in the gathering and juicing of grapes. Even if you're not into wine, fall is still a great time to visit. Daytime temperatures range from the high 60s to mid-70s, and hotels begin to lower their prices in preparation for the low season.

Best Cape Town Area Beaches

Camps Bay Beach, Camps Bay Beach South Africa, South Africa beaches, thins to do in Camps Bay, best hotels in Camps Bay, best restaurants in Camps Bay, Camps Bay attractions, top beaches in the worldCamps Bay Beach

Camps Bay – the best-known beach on the Cape Town coast. Both locals and visitors flock to this palm-lined strip for people-watching, to play beach bats or volleyball, walk their dogs or catch a tan while gazing up at the dramatic peaks of the Twelve Apostles range, part of Table Mountain.

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Blouberg Beach, Camps Bay Beach South Africa, South Africa beaches, thins to do in Camps Bay, best hotels in Camps Bay, best restaurants in Camps Bay, Camps Bay attractions, top beaches in the worldBlouberg Beach & Big Bay

This is one of the world’s best kite surfing destinations and hosts an international competition every year. It’s a great place to enjoy wind-related water sports as well as surfing. Small Bay offers a quieter atmosphere which is better suited for families and sunbathers.

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Muizenberg Beach, Camps Bay Beach South Africa, South Africa beaches, thins to do in Camps Bay, best hotels in Camps Bay, best restaurants in Camps Bay, Camps Bay attractions, top beaches in the worldMuizenberg Beach

Muizenberg is probably Cape Town’s ultimate family-friendly beach with its warmer water, Blue Flag status, and quaint and colourful Victorian bathing boxes. This beautiful stretch of coastline is popular with families, dog walkers and surfers.  If you want to get some surfing lessons while on vacation in Cape Town, then this is the place.

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llandudno Beach, Camps Bay Beach South Africa, South Africa beaches, thins to do in Camps Bay, best hotels in Camps Bay, best restaurants in Camps Bay, Camps Bay attractions, top beaches in the worldLlandudno Beach

Llandudno may be a bit off the beaten track, but this spectacular beach is certainly a favourite among locals. A narrow road winds its way down through an exclusive hillside neighborhood to a soft sandy cove where you’ll find children building sandcastles; groups of friends playing beach bats and frisbee; surfers carving patterns on the waves; and waggy-tailed dogs bounding about.

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Boulders Beach, Camps Bay Beach South Africa, South Africa beaches, thins to do in Camps Bay, best hotels in Camps Bay, best restaurants in Camps Bay, Camps Bay attractions, top beaches in the worldBoulders Beach

This soft-sand beach and slightly warmer sea (it’s on the False Bay coastline) are home to a large colony of endangered African penguins. These endearing birds have become minor celebrities and visitors flock to watch them strut their stuff between the hulking granite boulders – a highly entertaining sight to see.

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Cape Town Recommended Tours & Activities by Viator

Viator.com – Tours, sightseeing tours, activities & things to do

Cape Point and Boulder's Beach Penguins Tour

Visit a penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve all in one day during this tour, including round-trip transport from Cape Town. First, catch sight of the endangered African penguins on the beach, and then travel over to Cape Point in the nature reserve. Spend ample time at Cape Point, and keep an eye out for ostrich, antelope, and whales. You can also take part in an optional hike in the reserve if you choose.  Learn more about the Cape Point & Boulders Beach Penguins Tour.

1- or 2-day Cape Town Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus tour

Explore Cape Town at your own pace with a full-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Journey around four different bus routes, stopping at attractions such as Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain, and the Cape Winelands, and spend as long as you wish at each. Enjoy a city walking tour or upgrade to include a Signal Hill sunset tour and a boat cruise to Seal Island.  Learn more about the 1 or 2 Day Cape Town Hop On Hop Off Tour.

Full-Day Cape Point & Cape Peninsula Sightseeing Tour from Cape Town

Drive and hike around the Cape Peninsula during a full-day sightseeing tour with a focus on the region’s natural attractions and lots of fun options to choose at your own expense. Visit Boulders Beach, Cape Fur, and Cape Point Nature Reserve, and see a penguin colony as well as other wildlife. Private transportation and commentary from your guide ensure a comfortable and informative tour, making it ideal for first-time visitors.  Learn more about the Cape Point & Cape Peninsula Sightseeing Tour.

Private Tour of Penguins, Cape of Good Hope & Peninsula

The owners do the tours themselves and seldom farm out tours. They go to places where most others do not especially in Cape of Good Hope and the little towns beyond.  They will elaborate on history, people and current affairs as it is and not dress it up.  They will always conduct the tour to suit the people on board re – their interests, pace and ease of conversation.  Learn more about the Private Tour of Penguins, Cape of Good Hope & Peninsula Tour.

Cape Peninsula Guided Private Day Trip from Cape Town

With spectacular coastal scenery and world-famous natural features, the Cape Peninsula ranks among the most beautiful corners of South Africa. On this tour, reach top attractions including Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay, and Kommetjie in comfort by private vehicle with your guide. With round-trip travel from your Cape Town hotel included, gaze over Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, and see the best of the Cape Peninsula in one day.  Learn more about the Cape Peninsula Guided Private Day Trip.

Best Cape Town Restaurants

The Hussar Grill  $11 – 30

The Hussar Grill is famous for offering its customers an award winning experience built on excellent customer service, great food and smooth drinks since 1964. The house specialty is the Hussar Carpetbagger which is a dish combining stuffed fillet mignon with a combination of smoked oysters, Cheddar cheese and topped off with a brandy and wholegrain mustard sauce.    Telephone:  27 21 438 0151  Web:  The Hussar Grill.

Paranga  $11 – 30

Eye level with the beach, Paranga offers amazing seaside views whether you sit outside in range of the ocean spray or in the cozy, intimate interior. With an enormous variety of food, all with a distinctly Capetonian feel, customers can choose from salad, sushi, seafood or selected meats. A particular favorite from the seafood section is the delectable grilled Kingklip with warm tartar and tomato sauce, fresh peas, diced potato, gem lettuce, boiled egg, fresh herbs and capers in lemon cream.   Telephone:  27 21 438 0404  Web:   Paranga.

Blues Restaurant & Bar  $11 – 30

A landmark in the ultra-chic Camps Bay, Blues Restaurant & Bar serves some excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a restaurant with equally exceptional decor. The unique interior allows guests to feel as if they are stretched out on the beach as opposed to seated in a bar right next to it. From its opening in 1987 the restaurant and bar has hosted a number of TV celebrities, musicians, sports stars and politicians. However, with an energetic, informed and wonderfully friendly service at your beck and call, everyone feels like royalty here.   Telephone:  27 21 438 2040  Web:  Blues Restaurant & Bar.

Codfather Seafood & Sushi  $11 – 30

With wood panelling and racks of wine on classically dusty shelves, the Codfather is a warm and open space with a roaring fire as its centerpiece and a sushi belt adorning one side. The menu is full of fresh and perfectly prepared seafood, making the restaurant a seafood lover’s dream.    Telephone:  27 21 438 0782  Web:   Codfather Seafood & Sushi.

Azure Restaurant  $31 – 60

Overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean between Table Mountain National Park and the iconic mountain range of the Twelve Apostles, Azure is a multiple award-winning restaurant forming part of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. With a menu that includes meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, Azure restaurant brings to the table the best of African cuisine including the world renowned Cape Malay Curry which is an authentic Cape curry combining chicken and prawns in a sauce that is slightly sweet but also ferociously spicy.   Telephone:  27 21 437 9255  Web:  Azure Restaurant.

Best Cape Town Bars

Dizzy’s

This long-standing, local hangout is the laidback, grounded member of the Camps Bay family. Set back from the beach and committed to shunning the tourist trade, the come-as-you-are pub is open all year round and welcomes casual types for incredible pizza specials, great drinks deals, vibey live music and a little bit of boogie on select nights. Aspiring singers with a little talent and a whole lot of Dutch courage can take to the mic on Tuesday karaoke nights, and Thursday nights pay homage to students on a budget – think R10 Black Label and Castle droughts.  Telephone:  27 21 438 2686  Web:   Dizzy's.

Café Caprice

Something of an institution in Cape Town, this ideally situated promenade café is the place to eat, drink and play in Camps Bay. Long associated with the trendy crowd, Café Caprice boasts well-stocked bars that keep thirsts quenched well into the evening with premium liquor and colorful cocktails made with fresh fruit and innovative infusions. Alongside drinks, the venue also dishes up a range of café-style eats, salads, platters and burgers, so guests can mix their tipple with some tuck. What’s more, a host of different DJs man the decks on weekend nights, playing a mix of house, lounge and commercial beats.  Telephone:  27 21 438 8315  Web:  Cafe Caprice.

The District

Launched in February 2017, The District is one of the hottest spots in the city to party at. This Harrington Street haunt has become one of the premier spaces for events and live music. Managed by events management company, The Firm Cape Town, the venue has a large space which caters to a variety of music events, so you can expect a wide range of music from electronic, hip hop and live acts.  Telephone:  27 21 461 2276  Web:   The District.

Cocoon Cape Town

The 31st floor of Cape Town’s iconic Absa Building is home to this chic nightclub. Cocoon is all about glamour – here sipping on delicious cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views of the city is simply the way they roll. Besides the spectacular lookout, Cocoon Cape Town’s interior is a melting pot of enchantment featuring chandeliers, glass casings, lavish lounge seating and state-of-the-art contemporary finishes throughout. Expect a selection of music genres like hip-hop, house and electronic dance music in a sophisticated setting.  Telephone:  27 21 421 0581  Web:   Cocoon Cape Town.

Shimmy Beach Club

Stellar eatery by day and exquisite dance venue by night, Shimmy Beach Club is one of the most well-known entertainment spots in Cape Town. On summer nights, it’s hard to rival the atmosphere of a Shimmy Beach Club party as DJs spin their beats. Shimmy brings the beachfront to the dance floor!  With two bars, an infinity pool, and private seating areas for VVIPs, there’s a little bit of magic to be found everywhere. Have a blast on the beach, lounge in the lap of luxury, or party until the sun comes up.    Telephone:  27 21 200 7778  Web:   Shimmy Beach Club.

Best Cape Town Hotels

 

40 Comments

  1. suzanne

    Leahrae, I always enjoy your articles.

    Now I want to go here as well, lol. I’ve been to Africa, but only as far as Zimbabwe. The south is so beautiful.

    This area looks fantastic. It’s nice to know it’s relaxed and laid back. There’s no other way to enjoy a holiday. I’ll be bookmarking this one too!

    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The south is beautiful. Most would not consider a vacation to South Africa. But if you stay in the tourist areas, you are fine as far as any crime concerns go, and it is wonderful. Thanks for visiting Camps Bay Beach South Africa.

      Reply
  2. Mick Krug

    Camps Bay Beach looks like a great beach to vacation on. South Africa doesn’t get much publicity about its beaches. They have great weather and Cruise ships stop there. There is a lot to do there for the tourist. Good restaurants and sites to take in for the traveler. Your video shows how great the area looks from above. A nice vacation spot!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it is a nice vacation spot! Most would not consider South Africa, but Camps Bay Beach is one of the top ten beaches in the world. If you love beaches, then a vacation here is a must!

      Reply
  3. Garen

    I’m planning a trip there shortly. However, the colder months are between June and August? How chilly are you talking, though?

    I can handle the rain. I actually like it. For instance, in Florida, it rained in the morning but was nice during the day.

    Also, since the crime is kind of high, obviously not in the resort areas. But, do you have any tips for protecting yourself when you travel? My girlfriend is pretty concerned about safety.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok, their winter is going to be in the 60s and low 70s. For me that is cold, as I live in Florida. But for some, that is really nice weather 🙂 Some safety tips are as follows. Really these can apply to most any vacation. Don’t hike alone – travel in pairs or with a group, always drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up – ignore people approaching the car at stops, and don’t walk around at night – if you do – keep your personal items or belongings out of sight. Don’t go into the rural areas, stay in the “touristy” areas, unless with a guided group. Those will will help with safety immensely.

      Reply
  4. Christina Piccoli

    Camps Bay looks absolutely beautiful and it also looks like there’s a lot to do! I’m one of those people who can’t sit on a beach all day. Ive got to be doing something. Robben Island looks absolutely fascinating! That would be my first stop.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I tend to agree with you. I love the beach, and I am a beach bum at heart. But I also like to get out and explore, hike, learn, and see the things that are in the surrounding area. Camps Bay Beach South Africa has it all in my opinion! Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.com

      Reply
  5. Taianne

    Hi Leahrae, I just love this article. I am always dreaming of faraway places to visit and this article covered just about everything a person needs to know. Your description of the places to eat actually made me hungry. I have never before considered visiting Africa but I may have just changed my mind. When I think of Africa I think of safaris and that is not my idea of a vacation.
    Thank you so much for this enlightening information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad I could change your mind. South Africa is beautiful and there are many beautiful places for you to visit here. I guess, for those who like adventure, then they can go on a safari as well. That is also not my kind of vacation. I am more of a beach bum LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  6. Laura

    Wow, I am so excited to know about this vacation destination! It sounds wonderful, and affordable, too! I really appreciate your putting all this info onto one place.

    I have one question: Does the Shimmy Beach Club really remain available for patrons until the sun comes up? We can dance or swim all night long?

    I just love traveling and learning about different people and places. I especially like to learn the history of a place. Cape Town will be my next fun study!

    Thanks so much,
    Laura

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yep, you can shimmy all night if your heart so desires 🙂 This is a unique, beautiful and great beach vacation destination which has a lot more to offer for those that also like to do activities other than spending all day at the beach. I am glad you enjoyed reading and learning about Camps Bay Beach South Africa.

      Reply
  7. Damon Daulerio

    Wow! This is great information! Last year our family vacation was to Destin, FL and we loved it! The beach and the water were amazing…we had no idea that we did not have to leave the country to enjoy such a nice beach! My kids even loved it more than Disney World because they had the autonomy to come and go as the pleased from the beach and to play in the incredibly warm and clear water. Since my kids are now “beach goers”, I enjoyed reading about what other beaches could be good destination spots for my family. My kids are 10 and 8, so if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Destin is a wonderful spot in Florida. I live on the gulf coast of Florida, and I would not be anywhere else. My son also would prefer a day at the beach hands down to any Disney destination. Sign up for my newsletter and I can send you some great family beach destinations!

      Reply
  8. Christina

    Thank you for all of the great ideas! I had no idea of this destination, but it is definitely on my travel list now! I will be referencing a lot of your suggestions in my planning!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Christina, and I am glad I could help. Camps Bay Beach South Africa is truly a wonderful vacation spot for sure!

      Reply
  9. Heather Bruce

    Hi Leahrae,
    Thank you so much for putting together this wonderful resource for traveling to Camps Bay Beach in South Africa. A South Africa trip has always been on my bucket list and this article just hits it home that I must go sooner rather than later…IT LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL.I would be traveling with my family are there activities for kids available too? The cable car and of course the beach would be great for my kiddo, anything else that is a must-do for kids?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh, there is plenty to do with the kids. Depending on age, they can go zip lining, go to Silvermine Nature Reserve, World of Birds, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to name a few. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  10. Laura

    South Africa is Beautiful I hear however safety has always been a concern of mine. What extra tips would you give a female traveling alone? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The main tips are to stay in the tourist areas, and not travel out to the rural areas. Also do not drive alone in a deserted area. These two will help tremendously to keep you safe.

      Reply
  11. Susan Holmes

    I never thought of South America as a place I’d want to vaction until I read your post here. Looks like I’m missing out on a lot of beauty! Thank you for all the information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Susan! This is my goal, to share beautiful destinations around the world. Camps Bay South Africa has one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, and definitely for a reason! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  12. Furkan

    Yeah I also heard that crime is an issue. But after reading this, I guess it will be okay. However, is this information recent?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, the information is recent 🙂 There is high crime in South Africa, but the tourist areas are a LOT safer. You have to understand that they depend on tourism for the economy. So it just benefits them to make sure travelers are safe. It is definitely a destination worth visiting! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  13. Cathy Cavarzan

    Gret information. You have hit on all the marks of a great destination. Coming from a former travel agent if your not yet an agent you could have a good future as one.
    I travel quite a bit throughout the United States so I have bookmarked your site for future reference.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Cathy and I am glad you enjoyed visiting beach travel destinations and learning about Camps Bay Beach South Africa 🙂

      Reply
  14. Eric

    Camps Bay Beach South Africa could be risky to travel to. The police are needed to provide extra protection from thieves and that’s if the animals aren’t hungry lol. Maybe you could tell me what is going on with the table mountain picture, it’s showing something orange. Is that the railway system or something else?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there is a tram system that goes up Table Mountain. If you are vacationing to Camps Bay and stay in the tourist locations, then you are safe. They say to not go to the rural areas of South Africa, as that is where the problems are. The police there take it seriously to keep visitors safe. Thanks for stopping by Camps Bay Beach South Africa.

      Reply
  15. Donieal

    Hi Leahrae,
    You have provided literally everything a person would need to know on this website. I just got back from a trip to Florida, and this site would have made all the difference, but now that I have found your site, it will help me in planning my vacation for next year. Boulders Beach seems to be fantastic. What a wonderful and unique experience it would be to go to South Africa. Thank you for all the information. Your site looks great!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Florida is awesome too, but then I am kind of biased as I live here 🙂 Boulders beach is a must when you head to Camps Bay. Thanks for visiting Camps Bay Beach South Africa.

      Reply
  16. Ahmad Ballard

    Hello once again Leahrae, great and beautiful post as always. I have just came home from Atlantic City, and I plan to travel again soon. Camps bay looks amazing!!! I will have to plan my next trip there for my birthday. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      That would be a GREAT birthday vacation for sure! You will enjoy. Please let me know if you need any help with your travel plans, as I would be more than happy to help!

      Reply
  17. Skip

    Wow Leahrae, this is fantastic. Everything a couple would need to know to vacation. Love it, thank you.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are most welcome Skip. I am glad you enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. Stop by again when you are ready to make your plans.

      Reply
  18. Daniella

    So beautiful in Camp Bay, the pictures make me want to go right now:) The boulders beach looks fantastic! Some of my friends want to travel to South Africa, and they still don’t know where exactly to go. I will share this article with my friends, I am sure they will love the place!
    Just a question about the security in South Africa. You mentioned that it’s not really safe in townships. They will undoubtedly avoid these places, but we never know. If my friends travel by car and they get lost. Is there an internet connection that allows using the Waze on the roads?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I honestly don’t know about the internet connection. I am going to find this answer for you and shoot you an email. I suggest having them have a map on hand and know exactly where they are going before they head out. This will guarantee they don’t get lost 🙂 Thanks for visiting Camps Bay Beach South Africa.

      Reply
  19. Rob

    Hi Laehrae! I just love reading your website! The only problem is that I am going to go broke visiting these wonderful places! LOL. I’ve always wanted to to go South Africa even though I’ve never been overseas. This just looks like such a beautiful place to visit. I love the way you lay everything out as to where to go, where to eat, and the best times to go. This is excellent! Don’t even need a travel agent. I’ll just come to you! LOL Thank you so much 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I can most definitely be your travel agent! I can do all the arrangements when you are ready 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  20. kuu

    Camps Bay Beach South Africa is truly a place for holiday and relaxing. There is a lot of things you can do to keep your mind refresh and clear from your day to day stress. These include swimming, visiting Sideways to socialise with the locals and met other travels. Another amazing post Leahrae, keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Kuu and glad you enjoyed your digital visit to Camps Bay Beach South Africa!

      Reply

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