Answers to traveller's FAQs about Cape Town
Tourists often share the same questions and concerns while researching a trip to Cape Town. Here we provide accurate answers to help you with your planning.
In addition to answering your most pressing questions, we can assist you with finding upmarket self-catering accommodation in Cape Town. We have a plum portfolio of luxury villas and apartments available for holiday letting.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s largest cities. It is at the southwestern tip of the African continent. This uniquely positioned coastal city benefits from two oceans – the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Indian Ocean to its South Eastern side.
This Metropolitan city has a lot to offer visitors. The rich history and culture of the Cape make it well worth a spot on any traveller’s bucket list. Adventurers, wine connoisseurs, gourmands, beach babes, mountaineers, cyclists, shoppers, historians, art followers and animal lovers are all in for a treat when visiting Cape Town.
It can be a relaxing beach holiday, but it is also a haven for adventurer-minded explorers. The ocean and mountainous areas provide amazing sporting options for tourists. Furthermore, Cape Town is at the heart of the South African wine culture – the Cape Winelands is within easy reach.
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere. The warmer summer months are from late November to late March and are usually the best time of the year to visit Cape Town for outdoor activities.
However, Cape Town is an amazing tourist destination throughout the year because the weather is not prone to extremes. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 9°C or 48°F to 25°C or 76°F.
The summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear while the winters are cool, wet, and partly cloudy. July is usually the wettest month of the year with an average of 100mm of rain. It is windy year-round.
Cape Town is an exciting holiday destination with something to offer all types of travellers. Families especially love Cape Town because there are lots of fun things for kids to do and experience.
A day on the beach is one of many options to spend your holiday. In Cape Town, you can truly experience diversity. Day trips from Cape Town can be anything from an African safari to a wine tour; from cultural exploration to deep-sea fishing and whale spotting. Your sense of adventure is the only limitation.
Cape Town is safe for tourists. There are plenty of safe places to stay in Cape Town – areas where tourists should book their holiday accommodation.
However, the same rules apply to tourists of all world cities. Everyone is responsible to research their destination, avoid risky areas, be alert at all times, and take care of their personal belongings while out and about.
Feel free to contact us if you need advice on choosing an area to stay.
Areas frequented by tourists count among the safest areas in Cape Town. Atlantic Seaboard suburbs such as Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay and Llandudno are safe for tourists. We recommend that tourists book their accommodation in these areas.
Apartments in the V&A Waterfront Marina offer exceptional security in close proximity to the city’s major sights and amenities.
Read our comprehensive guide on where to stay in Cape Town for more information.
Nox Rentals can help you choose the best area to stay in Cape Town. Generally, the areas near top tourist attractions, such as Table Mountain and popular beaches, are good choices.
Consider seaside suburbs along the Atlantic Seaboard such as Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay and Sea Point. Many visitors also enjoy staying at an apartment in the V&A Waterfront Marina.
Many poets and writers have spent time trying to put the beauty of Cape Town into words. Award-winning photographers have captured the essence of this striking city.
We still believe it is best to come to experience the beauty of Cape Town for yourself. Table Mountain is a striking beacon behind the harbour city and the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
However, you can take a look at these pictures in the meantime and decide for yourself whether Cape Town is worth seeing or not.
Be prepared to have your breath taken away by the raw beauty of the Western Cape. Table Mountain which is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature is Cape Town’s number one landmark. No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to the Table Mountain National Park.
Furthermore, Robben Island is a noteworthy attraction and a visit is highly recommended for history buffs. Apartheid activist and former president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year incarceration on the island.
We cannot say for sure that Cape Town is the best city in the world, but it certainly has our vote and the city is well-awarded.
In recent years, Cape Town received top honours as the best city in the world (for the seventh year in a row) – as voted by almost 40 000 readers that took park in the 2019 Telegraph Travel Awards survey.
Then in 2018, Cape Town again ranked the best city in Africa and the Middle East region by the prestigious Travel + Leisure Magazine in New York.
Cape Town has one commercial airport which services tourists, namely Cape Town International. There are a number of smaller airports from where non-commercial flights arrive and depart.
Cape Town International Airport is 20km from the city centre. It is near the N2 – a highway that services Cape Town. During non-peak times, it takes less than 20 minutes driving time to get into the city. The traffic can be congested, resulting in peak-time driving of an hour.
Upon your arrival, there are numerous taxi services available. Visitors can also catch an Uber. The MyCiti bus is the cheapest option and takes visitors straight into Cape Town central. When booking your accommodation with Nox Rentals, we can pre-arrange your airport transfer.
Answers to frequently asked questions (continued)
The Mother City derives its nickname from the fact that it was the first European settlement in Southern Africa. The Dutch established their outpost in Cape Town in the 17th century and so gave birth to the coutry known today as South Africa. Since its humble beginnings, it has become the economic and cultural hub of the Cape.
Cape Town is a popular tourist destination. Of the 5,3 million passengers who arrived at Cape Town International Airport during 2018, 2,6 million arrived from international destinations. The estimated number of tourists is around 2 million annually.
South Africa’s currency is called the Rand (ZAR). There are 100 cents in a Rand. To convert your currency to Rand, visit Currexy.
Everyone in Cape Town can speak English. Afrikaans is also widely spoken, as is isiXhosa.
The months of November to March generally offers the best conditions for visiting Table Mountain. In addition, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway operates later into the evenings during this time.
Always check the weather. It is best not to summit when the South Easter wind is strong. When there is cloud coverage on Table Mountain, visitors will forfeit their 360ᵒ view of the Cape Peninsula.
As a coastal city with more than 100 running kilometres of land bordering the ocean, Cape Town is blessed with many beautiful beaches. Ten of them carry Blue Flag* status for the 2019/2020 season. Most notably, Camps Bay, 4th Beach in Clifton, Llandudno, and Muizenberg count among these.
*Blue Flag is an international accreditation awarded to beaches that display excellence through meeting 33 criteria covering four categories: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.
The Cape Town Stadium, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is centrally located in Green Point. It is near the city centre, the V&A Waterfront and the popular seaside suburb of Sea Point.
Following the drought scare during 2017, dam levels are under constant scrutiny but there are currently (January 2020) no water-usage limitations in place.
Cape Town gets its water from the Riviersonderend-Berg River Government Scheme. The following principal dams supply the water: Theewaterskloof Dam, Wemmershoek Dam, Steenbras Dam, Voëlvlei Dam and Berg River Dam.
South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation says tap water is safe for human consumption. However, tap water quality throughout South Africa is inconsistent and depends on the location.
Generally, the water in Cape Town and the larger Western Cape province is clean except for a few trouble areas, as the test results in Afriform’s 2019 Blue & Green Drop Report (see page 13) revealed.
Note: drinking water directly from rivers and streams without purification is not advised.
No, Cape Town is free from malaria. However, tourists who plan to combine their Cape Town trip with a Kruger National Park safari should take malaria prophylactics.
Robben Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This popular tourist attraction is a reminder of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Three of South Africa’s previous State Presidents were incarcerated on Robben Island, among them the iconic Nelson Mandela.
Cape Town is around 1 400 kilometres or 870 miles from Johannesburg. Driving by car, this could take around 13 hours when driving at an average speed of 110km per hour. A top speed of 120km per hour is allowed on most South African freeways.
Travellers can choose to fly to Cape Town from Johannesburg. It is an easy two-hour flight and there are numerous flights available daily.
Vacationers with plenty of time can consider a luxury train option such as the Blue Train. This train departs from Pretoria, which is next to Johannesburg and includes an excursion in Kimberley en route to Cape Town. This journey will take three days.
The South African Shosholoza Meyl has a tourist class and a premier class option. This 25-hour journey takes tourists along a 1 600km journey between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
There are also various bus options. A journey by bus will take approximately 18 hours between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Ask us anything about Cape Town
If you did not find the answers to all your questions, please get in touch with us. We strive to serve and will gladly provide you with the appropriate answers.
Alternatively, access our holiday planning hub for advice and guidance on planning your trip to Cape Town. Then, when you are ready to book your accommodation, browse our exclusive portfolio to find a rental that is perfect for you.