What To Know Before Visiting Cape Town, South Africa
Planning to travel to Cape Town? Learn the most important travel tips in order to have a fun and stress-free holiday to this beautiful destination
Cape Town is one of the most popular and exciting destinations in South Africa, and for good reason.
The capital of South Africa — actually, one of three capitals besides Johannesburg and Bloemfontein! — has plenty of things to see, do, and try. Cape Town offers an abundance of scenic beauty and nature alongside bustling city streets, museums and galleries, delicious food, and much more.
However, before applying for a South Africa visa for Pakistani, there are some very important travel tips and things to know before visiting Cape Town.
Know When to Go
Although Cape Town is an interesting destination for a holiday all year ‘round, it is still important to decide during which season you want to visit in advance.
Typically, the best time to travel to Cape Town is from October to the end of November, when the weather is the most favorable. During these months, travellers can comfortably climb to the top of Table Mountain and see thousands of plants in full bloom, or to relax on the warm sandy beaches.
However, because this is the best season to travel, there may also be an influx of tourists who also want to enjoy the wonderful weather and conditions. The tradeoff is a rise in hotel prices and more crowds of tourists.
Travellers on a budget are advised to go to Cape Town in April or May, when there are less tourists in the city and hotel prices are cheaper.
Be sure to steer clear of Cape Town from the end of May to the end of July, as this is when the rainy season shows its full force. Rain and cold winds are common during this season and may keep you indoors for longer than you anticipated.
Transport and Getting Around
The most popular and budget-friendly form of public transport is the bus, but it is mainly used to travel long distances. If you do not plan to go outside of the city limits, then it is best to use a taxi service because it is inexpensive and very convenient. You can quickly find or call a taxi at most major taxi stands (such as near shopping malls or main squares).
You can also call a car using the Uber application, as this option will be much more convenient and reliable than trying to call for a taxi on the street. Best of all, you can immediately see the price and not be ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers.
If you plan to go on a day trip or want to have the freedom of going wherever and whenever you wish, then the most convenient way would be to rent a car. There are plenty of companies that provide car rental services, including smaller local agencies and larger multinational corporations.
When driving on the road, it is worth noting that cars still drive on the left side of the road because South Africa was once a British colony and, therefore, has kept the same rules.
Know When to Bargain
Although haggling is different from country to country, South Africa has a handful of places where it is allowed (and even encouraged!).
For example, it is imperative to bargain in local markets. Many sellers deliberately set the price higher (especially in tourist markets) because they know that savvy tourists will try to reduce the price. The main rules to keep in mind while bargaining in local markets are to learn a few phrases in the local language, bargain respectfully, and have a price limit in mind.
Food and Water
Cape Town is a true gastronomic paradise for foodies and anybody who enjoys traveling a country through its food.
Here you will find everything from local cuisine to dozens of restaurants serving Italian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, and many other cuisines of the world. However, it’s worth knowing where to look for restaurants and how to choose the best one. In many local restaurants (and especially those in the city center), prices can be skewed, so the cost of meals should be checked in advance.
The most expensive gastronomic establishments are located near the main streets, tourist attractions, and beaches, while budget restaurants and cafes are a few blocks away.
An easy way to find the best cafes and restaurants in advance is to browse Google Maps and determine which establishment suits your taste.
Speaking of food and drinks: It is recommended to drink only from bottled water, which are easily available at any supermarket or grocery store. Also, do not get carried away with soft drinks with ice, which are typically offered in local cafes, since they are made of tap water. Tap water is not hazardous to health, but it can seriously aggravate the acclimatization process for a tourist.
By keeping these travel tips in mind, you can enjoy a fun and stress-free trip to South Africa.