There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Cape Town each year.
The main ones are listed below.
Commemorates the fight against racial segregation and in particular the Sharpeville massacre on this day in 1960, when policemen opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters demonstrating against the regime's “pass laws”, which restricted black South Africans from entering certain areas, killing 69 people and wounding 179 more.March/April – Easter Saturday: Two Oceans Marathon (local event)
This strenuous 56-kilometre (35-mile) ultra-marathon, which takes place around the Cape Peninsula each year, attracts thousands of international and local entrants, professionals as well as amateurs.April 27: Freedom Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the day in 1994 that millions of black South Africans were allowed to vote in an election, which chose Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner, as president.May 1: Workers' Day (national holiday)
The equivalent of Labour Day elsewhere in the world, this day has been a public holiday in South Africa only since 1994, celebrating in particular the role played by trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements in the struggle against the country's apartheid system.June 16: Youth Day (national holiday)
Honours the memory of the black South African high school students in Soweto township killed by police during protests beginning on this day in 1976. Commemorations include solemn processions, ceremonies, music and dance performances, etc.August 9: National Women's Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the demonstration by some 20,000 black South African women in Pretoria on this day in 1956, to protest the extension of the pass laws to women.September 24: Heritage Day (national holiday)
On this day, South Africans recognize and celebrate the cultural wealth of their nation, with ceremonies and events remembering the living heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Aspects of living heritage include cultural traditions, oral history, performance, ritual, popular memory, skills and techniques, indigenous knowledge systems and the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||16/61||26/79||15/0.6||Not the best period to go|
|February||16/61||26/79||17/0.7||Good period to go|
|March||14/57||25/77||20/0.8||Good period to go|
|April||12/54||23/73||41/1.6||Good period to go|
|May||9/48||20/68||69/2.7||Not the best period to go|
|June||8/46||18/64||93/3.7||Not the best period to go|
|July||7/45||17/63||82/3.2||Not the best period to go|
|August||7/45||18/64||77/3.0||Not the best period to go|
|September||9/48||19/66||40/1.6||Not the best period to go|
|October||11/52||21/70||30/1.2||Not the best period to go|
|November||13/55||23/73||14/0.6||Good period to go|
|December||15/59||24/75||17/0.7||Good period to go|
Cape Town International Airport is located about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south-east of the city centre. It is the second busiest in the country after Johannesburg's airport and the third busiest in Africa.
Cape Town is a very pleasant city and not at all difficult to get around. The public transport system is limited, but satisfactory. In addition, there is very little traffic congestion and drivers respect traffic rules.
Buses are certainly the most convenient way to discover Cape Town: 31 regular routes serve all areas of the city using dedicated lanes. Service is limited on the weekends. The peak fare for distances up to 5 kilometres is ZAR 11.50, whereas the off-peak fare is ZAR 7.80. When purchased with a MyCiTi Mover card (see “Useful tip” section below), these fares are ZAR 8.20 and ZAR 5.50, respectively.
Useful tip: If you will be using MyCiTi buses frequently during your stay in Cape Town, you can purchase a MyCiTi Mover rechargeable fare card for ZAR 30 from station kiosks or participating retailers. You can then load MyCiTi mover travel packages onto the card at any station kiosk (in amounts starting at ZAR 30) and save at least 30 percent on all fares at all times.
As in Johannesburg, many minibus taxis operate in Cape Town and will drop you off wherever you wish along their set routes. Be sure to ask the end destination beforehand. Minibus taxis are a very popular mode of transport in the city because they are not expensive (about ZAR 5 for a trip within the city).
Given the lack of traffic congestion, renting your own car is a solution definitely worth considering for getting around Cape Town. It is a good way to travel within areas not served by the main bus routes. Daily rental rates run about ZAR 200. An international driver's licence is required. For security reasons, keep the windows closed and the doors locked at all times.
There are relatively few sedan taxis in Cape Town. Fares run about ZAR 12 per kilometre.
Upon your arrival in Cape Town, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Cape Town Tourism
Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.
In addition to the main City Centre office at the Pinnacle Building, Cape Town Tourism operates several other official visitor centres, where you can obtain information and recommendations for visiting the city and its surrounding area:
The currency used in South Africa is the rand (R).
1 USD = 11.83 ZAR
1 ZAR = 0.08 USD
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
Most medical facilities in South Africa offer a good quality of care, but costs are high. Even under emergency circumstances, you may be refused medical care if you are unable to provide a guarantee of payment. It is therefore recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave homeVaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to South Africa.
However, the following vaccines are recommended:
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Tap water is safe to drink in Cape Town.
As a general rule, foreign nationals must be in possession of a visa to enter South Africa. However, South Africa has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.
To find out if you will need a visa for travel to South Africa, visit the website of the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.dfa.gov.za/consular/current_issues.html
Here are a few basic Zulu phrases that may be useful during your stay in Cape Town:
Hello / Good morning / Good evening: Sawubona (one person) / Sanibona (several people).
Goodbye: Sala kahle (one person) / Salani kahle (several people).
No, thank you: Ngabonga
Thank you very much: Ngiyabonga kakhulu
I don't understand: Angizwa
Could you repeat that: Phinda futhi?
What time is it: Sikhathi sini?
Excuse me: Uxolo
Airport: Isikhumulo sezindiza
Train station: Isiteshi sezitimela
I'm (…): Ngiyi (…).
I'm looking for (…): Ngifuna (…).
How much is (…): Imalini (…)?
Do you have (…): Unawo (…)?
Where can I find (…): Ngingatholakuphi i (…)?
Where can I buy (…): Ngingathengaphi i (…)?
I'd like (…): Ngithanda i (…).
And what about tipping?
In Cape Town and throughout South Africa, tipping is not necessarily required, although always appreciated if you are satisfied with the service. It is customary to tip between 10 and 15 percent of the bill in restaurants and bars. Parking facilities are usually monitored by attendants. The latter often ask if you would like them to keep an eye on your car. If you accept, be sure to leave a few rand as a tip, depending on how long your vehicle has been parked.