South Africa Travel Guide

Cape Town is fondly known as the Mother City-but Mother of All Cities might be a more accurate description. From jaw-dropping scenery to centuries-old architecture mingling with minimalist modern design, this scenic South African beauty encompasses it all. Its buzzing harbor and streets house nightlife and storefronts, and its beaches and mountainous surroundings are bursting with flora and fauna. The city is set against the backdrop of the iconic Table Mountain plateau and sapphire blue Table Bay, famous for its seal population and great white sharks. Cape Town's rich history, modern culture, and incredible attractions make it a true metropolis on the coast. T+L's guide will help you navigate all its highlights, historic and contemporary.

Best Time To Go

October through April. Summer is December through March on this side of the globe, but the months leading up to and following it also boast mild weather and smaller crowds. The fall (April to June) is an ideal time to visit Cape Town to experience the wine harvest in the surrounding vineyards, while spring (September to November) is notable for views of the flowers and purple jacaranda trees in full bloom across the city. Cape Town's winters tend to be windy and rainy, especially in June through August.


The MyCiti bus network connects wide stretches of Cape Town, with fares starting at 12.60 rand one way and going up based on distance traveled. But most Capetonians now swear by Uber as their go-to means of transportation-it's cheap and safe.


February is the hottest month in Cape Town, with an average high of 80 ℉ (27 ℃). July is the coolest, with still-pleasant highs around 62 ℉ (17 ℃), but beware the torrential winter rains.

Know Before You Go

Prices skyrocket in December, with affordable hotel rooms becoming next to impossible to find in the weeks around Christmas and New Year's. But outside that window, accommodations and food are incredibly reasonably priced, and if you're willing to layer up and brave the sporadic downpours of winter, you'll find unbelievable off-season rates and dining specials at top restaurants.


English is spoken everywhere; other local languages include Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, and Sotho.


Type C (two-prong) and M (three-prong); 220 volts.


South African rand