The Luxury Traveller's Guide to Cape Town

Cape Town Travel Guide for Discerning Travellers

Cape Town, South Africa, is one of the world’s top holiday destinations and offers unique experiences, fun, relaxation, and adventure for the most discerning traveller.


People from all walks of life are attracted to the Mother City – so named because it was the first city to be developed in South Africa.

Whether you are looking for a family holiday, cultural and heritage experiences, outdoor life and extreme sports, luxury business travel, shopping or simply a beach holiday, Cape Town offers all of those and more.

Not to mention an abundance of grand gourmet experiences and wonderful local wine tastings.

Read our guide to discover the secrets which ensure visitors return again and again to delve deeper into the heart of the Mother City.

You may also unlock exclusive accommodation deals tailor-made for our special guests, like you.

Discover Cape Town – South Africa’s Majestic Mother City


Cape Town makes a regular appearance on international travel magazine, Travel + Leisure’s list of the world’s top 10 cities.

This unique city, which offers a combination of spectacular natural beauty; stunning sandy beaches, historic significance and cosmopolitan glitz and glamour, is guarded by Table Mountain – one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

 

Discover Cape Town - South Africa's Majestic Mother City

 

If history and heritage is your passion, you can follow the footprints of the first European settlers to South Africa, track the trails of the Khoikhoi* and sail the seas of the freedom fighters to Robben Island, all in and around this city of abundance.

You can soak up the sun at any of Cape Town’s beautiful sandy beaches, watch the sun set over the ocean and marvel at the meeting place of the cold Atlantic and the warm Indian Ocean at Cape Point.

If nature is your baby, you can climb up Table Mountain, cycle kilometres on plentiful single gravel tracks, risk abseiling, cliff jumping and kloofing* in spectacular settings, surf, SUP (stand up paddleboarding) or kitesurf among the dolphins and even scuba dive or shark cage dive if that floats your boat.

You can experience the best Africa has to offer within a stone’s throw from Cape Town – chatting to cheetahs, watching whales, peeping at endangered penguins and babbling with baboons.

If you are prepared to venture a couple of hours from Cape Town, you can go on safari to view the African Big Five game.

If you have money to burn, you can shop at local art and craft markets, invest in African artefacts, buy designer clothes and of course acquire desirable South African gold, platinum and diamond jewellery.

You can taste the fruits of Africa, sample wines from the local blossoming wine industry and treat yourself to world class cuisine. Food from all corners of the globe is available at a selection of top restaurants, including true African, Cape Malay and Boerekos* dishes to introduce you to the heart of the cultures which make up the Cape.

You can do all of this, and more, in this spectacular city that is Cape Town.

*Khoikhoi – pastoral Bushmen, previously known as Hottentots
*Kloofing – canyoning
*Boerekos – traditional Afrikaans food

Every Season Has Unique Appeal


When is the best time of the year to visit Cape Town? Cape Town is a city for all seasons.

Some like it hot, while others prefer it when the sun is more mellow yellow. Visitors from colder climates are astounded to sometimes find Cape Town’s winter days warm enough to match their hottest summer weather, while others enjoy the cool wet weather and make the most of snuggling up and getting cosy.

Whatever you prefer, there is a season in Cape Town which is cut out just for you.

 

Sunset in Hout Bay

 

Spring: September to November

Spring in Cape Town is when the floral kingdom is at its best. Not only does the natural fynbos* burst into bloom, with Table Mountain supporting no less than 2 200 species, but veld* flowers also make their appearance in every patch of greenery.

Most wildlife give birth to their young in spring, so visitors stand a good chance of welcoming new babies (be they whales, small bucks, birds, or dassies* and other small critters), to the world during their spring visit to the Mother City.

Spring is also arguably the best time of the year for outdoor activities and adventure enthusiasts will find plenty to do to fill their days.

*Fynbos – natural shrubland vegetation occurring in a small belt of the Western Cape
*Veld – a wide open rural landscape
*Dassies – African rodents found among rocky outcrops

Summer: December to February

In summertime, the living is easy in the Cape. Chill out on the beach, eat, drink and be merry. You can expect crowds, so book and plan your days well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

The vibe in Cape Town during the silly season is incredible. If you want to experience Table Mountain lit up at night, summertime is your season in the Cape.

Christmas lights spread cheer in Adderley Street and the Cape Minstrels in their colourful garb maintain a general sense of festiveness during the holidays.

Autumn: March to May

When the first leaves fall, the South-Easter wind usually dissipates and sightseeing season arrives. This is the time to soak up the sun while visiting all the sites without getting stuck in the queues.

If you don’t like crowds, also avoid the Easter school holidays, which will result in Cape Town getting busy with people flocking in to enjoy the spoils that only this city can offer.

The weather is usually still warm in autumn and it is a great time to take in the wide expanse of the African sky that spreads over the Mother City.

Great news for gourmands is that the month of May usually rings in the restaurant specials, where patrons can choose between two- and three-course options at special set rates.

Winter: June to August

The biggest secret about this season is that there are plenty of beautiful crisp days in between the rainy weather. Experience the sun warming your back while you take in the sight of frolicking whales in the waves that come close to the Cape Town shores to give birth and mate during the winter months.

Winter is also a great time for wine tasting next to roaring fireplaces. It provides the perfect setting to get acquainted with South Africa’s unique red wine cultivar, Pinotage.

For a distinctive experience, sample this earthy red wine with tropical flavours in combination with South African game meats.

Cape Town Offers Unique Experiences, Fun, Relaxation & Adventure


When you are in Cape Town, you can do so much more than simply taste and see Africa. You can experience things unique to the southernmost tip of Africa while relaxing and having fun.

If adventure is your thing, you will be in no short supply of activities to get the adrenaline pumping.

 

Yacht rental in Cape Town

 

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to sea we go

Have you ever dreamt of sailing off into the sunset? Well, this is most certainly on the cards during a Cape Town holiday. Whether you want to board a speed boat, sailing yacht, catamaran, luxury boat or even a pirate ship, the options are vast and you can conveniently set sail from the V&A Waterfront.

Love is in the air

What is more romantic than a sunrise hot air balloon trip? Hot air balloon trips take off near Paarl (a 40 minute drive from Cape Town) and offer spectacular views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the beautiful winelands.

Mean machines

Dress in your leathers and take a heli-harley tour. You will fly along the Atlantic Seaboard and over Hout Bay to the Groot Constantia Estate, where the chopper will drop you off for lunch. Return to Cape Town on a chauffeur driven Harley Davidson.

Born to shop

If you want to feel like a kid in a candy store, head right over to the V&A Waterfront for the shopping experience of a lifetime. If you need some style advice and want to take someone along to help you make the right choices, hire a personal shopper to accompany you.

Do you feel lucky?

Clay pigeon shooting is a great way to spend time outdoors while getting the adrenaline pumping. There is a shooting range at the old Glencairn Quarry near Simon’s Town village, with 200 m cliff faces on one side and the magnificent False Bay on the other.

If you fancy shooting off a boat, James Bond-style, Tigger 2 Charters’ yachts offer clay pigeon shooting under the supervision of a qualified, safety certified instructor.
Foodie heaven

Discover the best places and hidden corners to enjoy Cape Town’s diverse and eclectic styles of food and wine. Sample Cape Malay, African, European, Artisanal, Gourmet and many exciting dishes on a gourmet tour.

You can opt for street food, markets, casual eateries, fine dining and dining with the best views and even dine in a township for an authentic experience.

Go on safari

Did you know you can get a real African Big Five safari experience within a stone’s throw from Cape Town? If you want to drive, choose between Fairy Glen (only about an hour from Cape Town near Worcester), Aquila (about a two-hour drive near Touws River) or Inverdoorn Game Reserve (in the Ceres Karoo, about two and a half hours from Cape Town).

If you arrive or depart Cape Town via Johannesburg, extend your stay in Gauteng to explore the nearby game reserves where you can enjoy a malaria-free Big Five experience. The Dinokeng Reserve and Pilanesberg Game Reserve and National Park are both within easy reach and offer good safari experiences if your time is limited.

Easy flying options from Cape Town include any number of game reserves in the malaria-free Eastern Cape (such as the Addo Elephant National Park, Shamwari Game Reserve, Pumba Private Game Reserve and Kwandwe Game Reserve).

You can also choose to fly to one of South Africa’s national treasures, the Kruger Park, which is only two hours’ flying time away from Cape Town. Here you can opt to stay at one of the South African National Parks lodges inside the Kruger Park or any of the bordering private game reserves such as Sabi Sabi, MalaMala and Thornybush, to mention a few.

Become an African queen (or king!) for a day

While Cape Town has a vast range of spa options, the Mangwanani African Day Spa experience is a must to sooth weary travellers. Choose between the Zevenwacht winelands branch, the Mandela Rhodes Place or Cullinan inner city branches, or opt for the V&A Waterfront’s Mangwanani Boutique Spa. The African-inspired rejuvenating massage therapies and beauty inspired treatments will leave you revitalised.

Gourmet’s top pick

The Test Kitchen makes a regular appearance on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards list. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts offers a culinary experience second to none, but be sure to make a reservation well in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Roundhouse Restaurant is nestled in the glens of Table Mountain. Housed in a historic building, which was a guardhouse of the Dutch East India Company in 1786, it offers sweeping views of Camps Bay and the expansive Atlantic Ocean.

The beautifully appointed Delaire Graff restaurant on the Helshoogte pass between Stellenbosch and Franchhoek offers a dining experience to savour. With contemporary menus accompanied by exceptional South African wines, the team of chefs, sommeliers and waiters work together to create a memorable dining experience.

Get to lunch, chop chop

Forget about driving and take a scenic flip from Cape Town to Constantia Uitsig for lunch, or fly across Table Bay to De Grendel Wine Estate in Durbanville. Winelands options that offer Helicopter landing permission include Bilton Wines on the slopes of the Helderberg close to Stellenbosch, Hotel Lanzerac; Tokara Wine Estate and Boschendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, Haute Cabriere and La Petit Ferme in Franchhoek and the Hotel Grand Roche in Paarl.

A girl’s best friend

South Africa is renowned for its gorgeous diamonds, so what better place to invest in this precious stone than when you are on holiday in Cape Town? You will be spoilt for choice when diamond shopping in the Mother City.

Make sure you buy a certified stone and know your four C’s (carat weight, cut, colour and clarity) when making your choice. Either buy jewellery or select a stone and get it set by any of Cape Town’s reputable jewellers, using South African gold or platinum.

Epicurean entertainment

If you want to eat like royalty without leaving your holiday villa, qualified private chefs are lining up to prepare a gourmet dinner for you and your friends at home. Your private chef will discuss menu options to suit you with fresh seasonal pickings combined with your favourite dishes.

Sightsee like a celebrity

Feel the wind in your hair as your gleaming classic convertible hugs the winding mountain roads along the Atlantic Ocean on a clear day. Go all the way to Cape Point and remember to put the top up so you don’t get a surprise visit from one of the baboons that you will see along the way.

Either get behind the wheel yourself or hire a chauffeur-driven beauty. Harley Davidson bikes and side car options are also available.

Take a hike

Lion’s Head is 669 metres above sea level and the hour-long climb to the top is rewarded with spectacular views of Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years), the Atlantic Seaboard and Blouberg beach.

Hiking up Lions Head during full moon is a popular Capetonian tradition. When walking during full moon, remember a head-torch and warm clothing as it can be chilly up there – even on a balmy summer’s eve.

Five Star Luxury Accommodation for the Discerning Traveller


Cape Town has no shortage of luxury accommodation available to the discerning traveller.

 

Luxury accommodation

 

While it all depends on what you like, your style, where you want to be and of course, your budget, there is a lot to say for staying in a luxury self-catering apartment or villa. And there are plenty of them available in the prime holiday spots such as Camps BayCliftonSea Point, and the V&A Waterfront.

Apartments

Staying in a holiday apartment is very similar to staying in a hotel room, except that you will have much more privacy and it is usually easier on the budget.

Most luxury holiday apartments are serviced and offer a concierge service. You have the added bonus of your own private kitchen where you can choose to prepare meals, or simply lock up and go to dine anywhere you like.

Luxury apartment blocks offer amenities such as gyms, swimming pools and sometimes even on-site shops and restaurants.

Plentiful five star holiday apartments adorn the entire Cape Town coastline.

Villas

Sprawl out in your luxury vacation villa, which is your indulgent home away from home. Villas usually have multiple bedrooms, ensuring there is enough space for children or larger groups of people travelling together.

Apart from comfortable bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, most luxury villas offer spacious kitchens, lounges, dining and television areas where guests can not only relax in privacy, but also receive visitors.

Private chefs can be arranged to arrive in time to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners for you and your family or guests.

Many villas along the Atlantic seaboard offer great views and have outdoor areas where holiday-makers can relax in privacy along the pool or barbeque. Luxury vacation villas are serviced and a concierge service is available, while you can also book a butler to see to your every need during your stay.

The best part of choosing a luxury vacation villa is that it will probably be more affordable than a similarly appointed hotel suite.

Hotels

Cape Town offers plenty of good hotels, ranging from basic accommodation to the most opulent. Hotels are well positioned and guests can enjoy the carefree life of simply arriving for breakfast and then departing for the day’s adventure without having to lock up anything except their hotel door.

Hotel guests should remember that privacy is generally not guaranteed and, according to the Western Cape Tourism Barometer 2011, vacation rentals in Cape Town are on average 60% less expensive than equivalent hotel accommodation.

Guesthouses

If you really want the personal touch throughout your stay, a guesthouse may be a good option. Usually smaller and more intimate than hotels, even the most luxurious of guesthouses are not big on privacy but do offer individual care and attention to detail.

Cape Town has a wide range of guesthouses to suit every budget and taste.

About Nox Rentals


With Nox Rentals, luxury is a way of life. We offer a select portfolio of exclusively managed luxury villas and apartments in Cape Town’s most sought after areas.

 

The team at the Maiden's Cove parking lot with Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain range in the background.

 

Nox Rental rates include the following additional services:

  • Daily servicing
  • 24 hours a day concierge service
  • 24 hours a day maintenance service
  • Free Internet
  • Satellite television with 70 channels
  • Toiletries in all the bathrooms
  • Personalised arrangements for chefs, babysitters, grocery shopping, etc.

Nox Rentals is part of The Nox Group and is a small diverse team of around 20 people who share our passion for Cape Town. We take pride in offering visitors an unforgettable experience and strive to create a home away from home experience for our visitors in our exclusively managed properties.

Our offices are in the heart of Camps Bay, where most of the properties are located and the team holds the keys for each property managed. We will meet and greet visitors on arrival and provide concierge services throughout your stay. Our innovation and commitment ensure guests experience an exceptional, seamless and personalised service.

With the largest representation in Cape Town on TripAdvisor and FlipKey; and with an Excellent Rating on Tripadvisor in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; Nox Rentals is proudly the first Vacation Rental Management company in South Africa to earn this award.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Cape Town soon!


“I have already recommended Nox, it’s a great service. I found that the self catering was so well managed, it was just as convenient as a hotel. If a light bulb does not work, you call Nox, someone arrives on a scooter, replaces the bulb. It’s really impressive.” –Grenville Salmon


“Many years of really helpful service and a friendly team.” –Cathryn Riley


“Service was great. If there was any problem, the phone was immediately answered and the issue dealt with. All the guys we met from Nox were very helpful and very pleasant to deal with. I wouldn’t hesitate in using Nox again, or recommending to a friend.” –Claire Giles


“They are better than the rest.” –Howard Russel


“Booked an apartment last minute with Nox. My assistant was so helpful. Service was excellent. As for the apartment, it was worth every cent.” –Dr Imraan Engar


“The staff are efficient. The apartment was as described. A fantastic experience all round.” –Demetrio Basic