So, you’ve boxed smart and used SA Airlines tobook cheap flights to Cape Town this winter. Good move, the winter months are by far the best time to visit the Mother City for those who like exclusivity and less crowds.
Having saved a few bucks on cheap SA Airlines’ flights, you’ll also find a host of special offers to take advantage of and many activities in Cape Town that are best suited to winter enjoyment. Here are some tips to help you to experience the best that the Mother City has to offer this winter, and if they aren’t FREE then they at least cost less thanR200.
If you are flying in to Cape Town on one of the many cheap international flights, you can click here to compare prices in the currency of your choice. Prices are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.
Here’s how to get a bigger bang for your buck when you’re visiting Cape Town this winter:
1. See the Whales
Opening Times: Whales do not keep office hours and you can see them any time of the day in Cape Town.
The only thing that’s almost as famous as Table Mountain in the Western Cape is the whales. These huge mammals also prefer Cape Town in winter and head to the warm waters around the Western Cape Coast to calve and breed from May to December every year. You don’t need to travel all the way to Hermanus to see them either.
Whale spotting is possible from vantage points throughout the Mother City and surroundings. The best thing about it is its totally free, courtesy of Mother Nature.
Some of the prime viewing spots around Cape Town include Victoria Road and along the False Bay Coastline.
2. Visit Iziko Museums
Cost: From R20 – R50 per adult. Children, students and pensioners pay between R10- R 25. Click here for the latest prices and special offers.
Special Offers: Free entry is offered to most of the museums on Public Holidays and Commemorative Days
Opening Times: Opening times and days of closure vary, see here for details
If Cape Town is receiving some welcome rains during your visit, you’ll find no shortage of places to exercise your mind in the Mother City. The Iziko stable of museums has several branches in Cape Town.
Entry to these national treasure is cheap as chips and you’ll be fascinated by the interactive displays and interesting little known facts harboured within.
Some of these include:
- The Bo Kaap Museum
- Groot Constantia Manor House
- Maritime Centre
- Koopmans De Wet House
What’s more, if you take advantage of the V&A Waterfront’s Museum Night during the winter season, you can experience some of South Africa’s best museums for FREE. Zeitz MOCAA, The Nelson Mandela Gateway and Robben Island Jetty 1, Iziko Maritime Centre and The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum are all open for business at no charge on these evening.
The Two Oceans Aquarium and The Cape Wheel are also on board for these events and you can look forward to a range of live entertainment on the house too.
3. A Touch of Madness
Cost: Up to you. Click here for the latest prices.
Special Offers: See a list of current specials here.
Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday: noon until 10pm, Sundays: noon until 5pm
This off-the-wall Observatory eatery has incredible specials on the go right up until the end of August. On these occasions, you can easily enjoy a meal for under R200 per person.
Tuesdays you can tuck into malva pudding, chocolate brownies and heated koeksisters at 2 for the price of one. Craft beers are just R30 a pint on Fridays or you can choose a glass of gluhwein for just R20. On Sundays, you get a free beer with your burger.
The menu is chock-full of no-frills Internationally-inspired street food meals like bunny chow, filled pitas and burgers, all for under R100. Here’s the latest.
These are just some of the amazing deals you can choose from on your Cape Town winter holidays. Most restaurants have crowd-pleasing specials on offer during the quiet season.
Address: 12 Nuttall Road, Observatory
4. Blend your Own Wine at Excelsior Estate
Cost: R70 per person, you can check the updated prices by contacting the Estate.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday:10am-4pm; Saturday:10am-3pm
Located about 2 hours from Cape Town, near Robertson, Excelsior Estate offers a unique wine-tasting experience in a traditional yet eco-friendly environment.
Here you can sip and sample 3 different wines, and blend, bottle and label your own version to take home. The cost for this unique experience is just R70 and amazing views over the glorious countryside and dams are part of the package.
Don’t miss a chance to try the rooster brood at the onsite, Graze restaurant while you’re there.
Address: R60, between Robertson and Ashton
5. Root 44 Market
Cost: Ages 3 to 12 pay R90 for unlimited play or just R35 for unlimited mini golf. Adults pay a R20 entry fee. Click here to find out more.
Opening Times: Saturdays and Sundays 9am-5pm
If you’re travelling with kids and need a day off, head to Root 44 in Stellenbosch on the weekend. While you browse the stalls and enjoy some of the winelands winter fare, your kids can whizz around on pedal carts, climb the walls, or slip-n-slide and splash to their heart’s content on a sunny day. There are also indoor and outdoor jungle gyms and undercover mini-golf for blustery days.
Free Live music is a regular feature at the market and you’ll find much to amuse yourself among the tents at this top shopping and eating venue.
Address: Corner of R44& Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
6. Butterfly World
Cost: R88p/p for adults and R49p/p for children. Students and pensioners pay R79, children under 3 are free.The family package includes 2 adults and 2 children for R225.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday from 9am-5pm
Butterfly World near Klapmuts, about 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, is a treat for nature-loving adults and children alike. This large greenhouse is filled with these colourful insects, some hailing from as far away as Costa Rica and the Philippines.
There are also some spiders and scorpions as well as a collection of animal skeletons to fascinate little boys as well as a small zoo and a farmyard’s worth of free roaming goats, chickens and ducks.
Address: R44, Klapmuts
7. Catch a Show
Cost: From R100 per adult. Click here for the latest prices and programme.
Opening Times: Depends on the programme. Usually 9am-10pm; Monday – Saturday
The Fugard Theatre in District 6 is located in one of Cape Town’s most iconic spaces – the Sacks Futeran building. You enter the building via the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street.
Named after one of South Africa’s most renowned playwrights, the Fugard Theatre continues his tradition of theatrical excellence with regular shows focussed on the South African condition. There is also a state-of the-art bioscope onsite where you can catch the latest art movies on the big screen.
Tickets start from as little as R100 per person and you can book online via Computicket.
Address: Caledon Street, District 6, Cape Town
8. Go Bird and Hippo Watching
Cost: R13 per adult, R6 for children, students R7, under 3’s free. Click here for the latest prices.
Opening Times: Daily from 7h30-5pm
Visit Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Grassy Park for a walk in nature close to the city. Here you can go in search of over 230 species of birds from secluded hides scattered around the property or see if you can spot the hippos who thrive in this wetland environment.
Address: Perth Rd and Fishermens Walk, ZeekoeiVlei, Cape Town
9. Get a Bird’s Eye View Over the City
Cost: Adults R51, children R26. See the latest price list here.
Special Offers: Free entry for Wild Card Holders
Opening Times: Every day from 8am – 6pm.
Lace up your hiking boots and head for Silvermine Nature Reserve. Here you can meander along the well-marked Elephant’s Eye Hike to an elevated spot overlooking the Cape Town suburbs. Your destination is the circular cave etched by time into the mountainside. The starting point of the walk is easily reached along OuKaapseWeg.
The Silvermine Nature Reserve is part of the Cape of Table Mountain National Park. Apart from the gorgeous views, there is also an abundant fynbos and other natural vegetation along this route.
Address: Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
10. Climb Lion’s Head at Sunset
Cost: Free for self-guided trips.
This is the ultimate fair weather activity to get a winter’s evening off to a good start. The walk starts at the Base of Forestry Road at Signal Hill Road and is an easy climb with only a few steep inclines to negotiate. The last part is the most hazardous but is easily navigated with conveniently placed ladders and chains.
You should budget for about a 3-hour round trip, including viewing time. It pays to begin your ascent before3pm in winter to allow for those extra moments to lap up the spectacular 360 degree views over the city as the sun sinks into the ocean.
Warm clothing and torches or head lamps are essential to cope with the darkness and chilly night air on the way back. There is no charge to hike up Lion’s Head on your own although guided tours are also available in a wide price range.
Address: Base of Forestry Road at Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
11. Try a Cuppa of the World’s Strongest Coffee
Cost: Under R40 per cup
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday: 7am- 6pm; Sundays: 8am – 3pm
Don’t be put off by this cuppa Joe’s claim to fame, it’s far from bitter even though it officially packs a powerful punch of 702mg of caffeine per 12 ounces (approximately 1.5 cups). The brew has been carefully created by master coffee crafter, Capetonian Gerald Charles, into a smooth-drinking blend of caramel, chocolate and hazelnut undertones.
Although the blend, known as Black Insomnia, has no fixed abode, it’s available at premier coffee shops all over the city. One of these is the trendy Shift Espresso Bar in Green Point where a cup of the good stuff will set you back about R40. While you’re there you can also try the ice-cold version of this drink which is called Black Nitro and promises to be as refreshing as a cold beer on a warm day.
Once you’re hooked, you can invest in a pack of Black Insomnia to take home and impress your friends. A 250g bag currently retails at about R150.
Address: Cape Royal Hotel, 47 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town
12. Take the Ferry
Cost: R73 for adults, R55 for children under 12 and pensioners. Enquire about the latest prices here.
Opening Times: Saturday – Thursday: 9:30am-3.30pm, Fridays: 9:30am-2pm
There’s more to the Canal Walk Mall than endless retail and entertainment opportunities. While you are there, you can also explore Intaka Island – one of the city’s most pristine natural spots.
Explore this birder’s paradise of natural real estate on a ferry ride down the Grand Canal and around the island. It provides a peaceful break from the hubbub of the mall and gives you a chance to spot some of the amazing birdlife found here.
The trip takes about 35 minutes.
Address: 1 Century City Dr, Century City, Cape Town
13. Pedal along the Promenade
Cost: 1 hour: R70, 2 hours: R100, 3 hours: R130, Half Day: R200. Find the latest prices here.
Opening Times: Bikes are available every day of the year from 30 minutes after sunrise until 30 minutes before sunset.
Pick one of Cape Town’s glorious winter days and hire yourself a city bike from Cape Town’s only drop and go bike hire centre and take a ride along Sea Point’s beautiful promenade, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront or Camps Bay. Riding a bike is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in this beautiful city, lapping up the gorgeous sea views along the way.
You can commit to as little as an hour, or ride around for half the day for under R200 per person.
Address: Sea Point Pavilion, Silo 5 at the V&A Waterfront and Camps Bay strip.
Planning the Ultimate Budget Beating Trip to Cape Town with SA Airlines
If you haven’t yet booked your trip, don’t start planning it before you check out our cheap flights to Cape Town here. We compare cheap domestic flights on all the leading SA Airlines as well as international flights, to ensure that you get the best deal no matter where your travels lead.
Anyone can enjoy an amazing holiday in South Africa on a budget. Keep reading our blog for great ideas on how to make the most of your South African break.