One of our featured travel writers, Joanna Thelwell, has written a guide with advice, ideas and recommendations for what to do when visiting Cape Town during summer with suggestions for things to do and places to check out in the surrounding areas…


Plan a Summer City Break to Cape Town

What imagery strikes your senses when I say the words “South Africa”? Thirsty landscape? The Zula and  Xhosa tribes? A Lion making a kill in the rough and wild Kruger National Park? I assure you it is this and much, much more!

Travelling to South Africa in what could be a deadly dehydrating 50+ degrees in summer months can be challening, thats why its best to stay in Cape Town which is located on the ocean!

Here are some things you shouldn't miss whilst in this incredible city.


1. Table Mountain

A visit to Cape Town is not complete without a trip up Table Mountain but before you worry about having to get your hiking boots on in the heat, there is a cable car can be used to reach the top.

Juxtaposing its image of an unspoilt treasure, coffee chains and gifts shops can be found on the top to provide tourists with refreshments. From the peak the whole city can be seen beneath you from Woodstock to Greenpoint and the expanding ocean. The views are incredible!

Hiking Cape Town

If you are an active travellers, lots of local tour operators offer hiking trips and excursions here.


2. Waterfront

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town

The waterfront is the shopping mecca of Cape Town where many Capetonians and Tourists alike go for their Sundowners and fulfil their shopping needs.

Browse the traditional markets stalls in central Cape Town where handmade wooden elephants and African art can be picked up for a mere 20-30 rands (around £2-3) as a fantastic souvenir.

It’s hard to simply walk past and not get dragged in by the fanciful detail and vibrant colours of  the knick knacks on offer. The naturally friendly Afrikaans stall owners are happy to haggle down their products for your custom.

At night there are lots of markets, bars and restaurants which are popular with locals and tourists alike.


3. Sightseeing Bus

Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus

One of the quickest, safest and most fun ways to discover more of Cape Town if by going on the Cape Town sightseeing tourist bus. You can hop on and off whenever you want, and its a great way to see more of the city and see the main attractions. 


4. Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap

The colourful neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap has become the number one destination for Instagram fans, due to the scenic colourful houses and streets. Walk the streets and find your favourite house! 


5. Beaches

Camps Bay, Cape Town

Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa, and when its hot, is there a better destination than relaxing on the coast on white sandy beaches with the beautiful blue ocean infront of you?

Popular beaches to visit include Clifton, Camps Bay (as pictured above), Llandudno, Muizenberg and Blouberg. For a totally unique experience book a day trip to Boulders Beach, which is famous for its penguins!


6. Party

Cape Town has hundreds of bars and nightclubs, and you need to experience it for yourself. Head to Long Street, a popular tourist area with lots of hotels and places to enjoy a drink.


7. Robben Island

Robben Island

No trip to Cape Town is compete without taking the boat to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison fighting apartheid. Boats can be boarded at the waterfront and booked on the day.

You'll learn more about the history of South Africa and the struggles Nelson Mandela overcame to become president of South Africa.


8. Wildlife Safari

Lions Kruger National Park

When in South Africa a safari is a must! There a plenty of options for tourists to spot the big 5 in their natural environment.

Of course there is Kruger Park near Johannesburg but if you’re staying in the South visit Addo National Park which hosts the largest herd of Elephants in Africa, so safe to say they are guaranteed sight! This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa and once you visit you will understand why.

There is the option to camp in a secure site within the park which gives a truly wild experience as you will hear the hyena’s chuckle and zebras high pitch whinny, you may even hear the noticeable roar of the King of the Jungle!

For an even closer encounter visit Knysna Elephant Park, you will get to walk hand in er... trunk with these mighty creatures into the African bush where they impressively lift their feet to their trainers command and let you touch their rough skin.

If you have ever considered the idea of volunteering in South Africa there are some wildlife conservation projects here working to protect animals. 

This is perfect if you are considering taking a gap year in South Africa and looking for a once in a lifetime experience!

Whilst in the Knysna area take a trip over to Plettenberg Bay and visit the famous markets or the more adventurous might like to do the world’s tallest bungee jump to tick off the bucket list!


9. Aquatic Adventures

Humpback whale, South Africa

The South African coast offer cooling down aquatic activities from to sightseeing boat trips for that iconic Cape Town Instagram photo to whale watching. Trips can be booked online, or in Cape Town and there are lots of options available. 


10. Scuba Diving with Sharks

Great white shark South Africa

If you are up for the adventure of your life and aren't easily scared then you need to consider going shark cage diving (if you’re brave enough).

This is one of the most thrilling activities you can do in your life, and although prices aren't cheap, you'll get the memories of a lifetime seeing these beautiful and scary creatures up close.


Plan a Summer Trip to Cape Town

Cape Town is beautiful and a city you have to visit at lease once in your life. This city offers a mix of culture, history, nightlife and lots of outdoors adventures perfect for thrill seekers. If you are keen to see more of the country view South Africa tours today.

By Joanna Thelwell