Cape Town

Lush winelands, a vibrant arts scene and fresh seafood to die for

Overview

Many a touring itinerary has crossed the desks of the Low Season Traveller office incorporating South Africa’s ‘Mother City’ into a lengthy trip across this beautiful nation. A fabulous adventure indeed and those couple of days scratching the surface of Cape Town’s plentiful offerings serve to tantalise and tease visitors into digging a little deeper. Ideally, we recommend spending a week or two in this surprising city if you can, you won’t be disappointed.
Grab the best bargains on low season deals in June and July with May and August also seeing great value, meaning those tied to school holidays can take advantage of reduced prices and minimal crowding for a refreshing change. Yes, the reverse climate of the southern hemisphere means you are in for lower temperatures and more rain than the peak November through February period but you can still expect decent highs of up to 18 degrees and certainly a good deal less wind than January’s strong gusts!

Nature Lovers

Don your boots and head up Cape Town’s iconic flat-topped Table Mountain for a rewarding climb. Routes vary depending on your fitness levels. Our favourite is the lengthier Skeleton Gorge Trail which is less steep and includes beautiful ravines and jungle areas, more lush than ever during the winter rain. Another memorable day out is Tygerberg Nature Reserve with its spectacular city and sea views, while those with extra time could venture to Cape Point for an extended hike around the stunning peninsula. If hills aren’t your thing, it’s okay. Enjoy charming Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens renowned for its beauty and diversity. Stroll the sandy crescent-shaped Camps Bay or wander past the colourful beach huts of Muizenberg before rewarding yourself with a glass of Pinotage in front of a roaring log fire.

Wild about Animals

Despite its low season status, June is actually peak for whale watching around the Western Cape. It’s at this time that pods of southern right whales arrive off Cape Town from the Antarctica and stay until around November. The WWF has rated Hermanus as one of the world’s best places to see cetaceans owing to its land based viewing opportunities, but boat trips are always a fun day out as well. Alternatively, head to Boulder’s Beach where literally thousands of penguins hang out year round. It’s true that over-fishing, marine pollution, the destruction of natural habitats resulted in the colony becoming almost extinct with only two breeding pairs remaining by 1982. Astonishingly, the brilliant team efforts at Boulders mean that there are now over 3000 of these delightful aquatic birds in the waters around the area.

Arts & Culture

If you really want to dodge the showers, you’ll find plenty of interest in Cape Town’s many venues offering a thriving and ethnically rich array of exhibitions and events. Don’t miss ‘First Thursdays’ which takes place each month and sees museums, art galleries and other cultural attractions extending opening hours and offering free admission. Shops and bars put on supporting events such as promotions or impromptu music performances. Impressive cultural events take place throughout the year, with the low season including Hermanus FynArts Festival in June and July’s Jive Cape Town Funny Festival.


Low Season Saving

30%


Tourist:Local Ratio

Peak Season

Low Season

1:2
1:4


Flight Time from UK

11.5 hours

Low Season Months

Jan Feb Mar Apr May
20°C
70mm
6hrs
Jun
18°C
90mm
6hrs
Jul
17°C
100mm
5hrs
Aug
18°C
70mm
6hrs
Sep
19°C
50mm
7hrs
Oct Nov Dec

Hotels

Top Experiences

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Hiking to the top is one thing, but this is a unique way to travel! Each car carries up to 65 people and features a revolving floor for 360 degree views. Low season means the bonus of no queues!

District Six Museum

It’s over 20 years since the end of apartheid, a period which affected many Capetonians. Visit District Six Museum for some real insights and take the ferry to Robben Island, the infamous prison which housed Nelson Mandela.

Wine Tasting

Especially via the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Rain or shine, the wine tram will take you to different wine estates in a “hop on hop off” style experience departing and arriving back in Franschhoek’s main road.

Insider Tips

  • For your safety Table Mountain Cableway, the Robben Island ferry and whale watching trips won’t run in extreme weather. Watch the forecast and have a plan-B in place.
  • In the low season, many of Cape Town’s restaurants offer deals or special menus allowing off-peak visitors gourmet culinary experiences at a fraction of the usual price.
  • You can save money with a Cape Town City Pass. Valid for 1 to 5 days, it offers entry to a variety of top attractions and includes use of the hop on-hop off bus.

Good To Know

  • For a really special treat whale lovers can take a room at De Hoop Nature Reserve near Cape Agulhas and immerse themselves in nature in this award-winning environment.
  • Our favourite pick for top wine tasting is Terra del Capo for Anthonij Rupert Wines. You can only go by appointment, but it is well worth the effort.
  • Check out https://insideguide.co.za/cape-town/ for an ‘in the know’ up to date guide to what’s going on including exhibitions, gigs, new openings and special offers.

Food & Drink

Cape Point Community Market

££

Head to Noordhoek, south of the centre, and the Cape Point Vineyards Community Market. Our top pick for artisan goodies, food trucks and special sunsets. It’s held every Thursday evening.

Seafood

££

From juicy prawns and fresh mussels to grilled snoek and superb sushi, seafood fanatics are in heaven. Top picks are SeaBreeze in Bree Street, Chapmans Peak Hotel in Hout Bay or Harbour House in Kalk Bay.

Camps Bay

££

The perfect evening out. Enjoy sundowners at Chinchilla’s exquisite rooftop terrace for sunsets and ambience followed by burgers at Tiger’s Milk or seafood at the impressive Paranga.

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