The cold may have set in, but Cape Town is still the ultimate holiday destination for your winter getaway. Besides slashed prices on tourist activities, restaurant discounts and no queues, this is also a popular time for water sports due to bigger waves, better wind, and warmer seas. Wondering what you can get up to in the Mother City on your winter break? Here are 10 great experiences that will take your winter holiday from zero to hero.
1. Escape to the Artscape
Between Table Mountain and Table Bay, the City of Cape Town boasts a cosmopolitan mix of historic and modern landmarks. One of these is the Artscape Theatre.
Covering an area of 14 000 m², the Artscape complex consists of a fully equipped Opera House, seating 1 487, a theatre seating 540, a smaller theatre seating 140, a piazza, gardens, rehearsal rooms and ample parking. It is no surprise then, that this theatre boasts exceptional theatrical performances, top notch costume artists, mind-blowing stage décor, lighting and of course flawlessly dynamic music.
See what’s showing and book your ticket here.
2. Diving and Ocean Safari’s
Experience one of the most unique features that the Mother City has to offer, snorkelling with seals. The Ocean Experiences team have a variety of ocean adventures waiting to mesmerize you from ocean safaris, adrenaline pumping adventure rides, diving and snorkelling. Don’t worry, they also make sure you are kitted out with a wetsuit and booties and hand you a mug of hot chocolate to keep the chills away.
You will admire spectacular views of Cape Town from the ocean and have a chance to see a large variety of marine life including whales, African penguins, Cape fur seals, dolphins, sun fish and countless species of bird life.
Diving and Ocean Safari expert, Carla Wardle, says that this time of year is great for getting out in the water for snorkelling, diving and seal encounters as the ocean currents and water temperatures are in your favour. It is also peak calving season for whales, which means you are guaranteed many opportunities to spot these magnificent creatures from July onwards. Find more info here.
3. Take Advantage of Discounted Sightseeing
In Cape Town there is truly always a new adventure around the next corner. Boasting impressive sights such as Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Robben Island it is a city of beauty, exploration and wonder. This time of year boasts green vegetation, a cool climate and all the magical liveliness of thriving lands. You may have to plan ahead according to the weather, but with discounted rates on sightseeing passes and no crowds or queues, there couldn’t be a better time to explore the sights of the tip of Africa. Choose and book your adventure here.
4. Hit the Waves
Although Cape Town provides the ideal location for water sporting all year round, winter and early spring are known to be the best time of year to grab your board and hit the waves. With excellent surfing, kite-surfing and windsurfing opportunities for all levels of expertise now is the time to get in the water. Bigger waves, better wind, and warmer seas make this the season to be surfing. (We recommend you don’t consider it without a wetsuit and some booties though.)
5. Enjoy the Ocean Life from the Indoors
To chilly to head out on the water? No problem. The Two Oceans Aquarium is ideally positioned to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found at the meeting place of two mighty and bountiful oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean at the southern tip of Africa.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of the sea and marvel at awe-inspiring exhibits, watch a feeding show, get up close with the adorable rockhopper penguins (who may even like to sit on your lap) and pick up, touch and feel a variety of marine animals and plants in the Touch Pool.
The aquarium aims to encourage love, respect and understanding of our oceans so that people are motivated to take action for their future well-being and to use marine and other natural resources sustainably.
6. Winter is for Red Wine
Okay, so wine is really an all-year-round wonder of Cape Town, but we must admit, there is something special about sipping a glass of your favourite vino next to a crackling fire. Many dining spots bring this aspect of Capetonian winters to life by creating a cozy atmosphere with blankets and fireside warmth as part of the winter dining experience. Whether you’re taking a wine-tasting tour, gazing over stormy seas or just snuggling at home, this is the most romantic time of year to savour those special moments.
7. Planetarium, Art and Museum Magic
Cape Town is steeped in historic and cultural wealth, and celebrates its unique diversity through numerous museums scattered about the city. A fantastic family-friendly experience is waiting at the Iziko Museum of South Africa, displaying a marvellous exhibition of animals, geological and archaeological wonders. Listen to whale sounds, explore both ancient and modern animal discoveries and sit back at the planetarium as the galaxies blow your mind. If the weather plays along, enjoy a walk or picnic in the Company Gardens adjacent to the museum where you can feed squirrels and admire the many koi in the ponds across the lawns.
The latest, and very magnificent addition, to Cape Towns collection of museums is the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). Over one hundred galleries, spread over nine floors, are dedicated to a large cutting edge permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Training, Performative Practice, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute.
8. Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor climbing is a fun way of exercising in a safe and vibrant environment. With each climb being different, the facilities include a large bouldering area (climbing 3-4m high without a rope) and high walls for roped climbing. Whether you’re a first-timer or experienced outdoor climber, CityROCK climbing gym will cater to your needs and will show you the ropes (literally).
More info: https://cityrock.co.za/capetown/
9. Become a Chocolatier
Fun and indulgent classes present chocolate lovers with an opportunity to gain insight into the secret world of chocolate and its confections at Lindts Chocolate Shop in Cape Town.
You can choose between a variety of decadent classes from Gold Bunny Moulding, to Macaron Making, Lindt Chocolate Cupcakes, Lindt Chocolate Tasting and the Ultimate Lindt Chocolate Cake. Create and explore the many techniques involving chocolate during your decadent experience, and even enrol the kids in a class. Info and bookings: https://chocolatestudio.co.za/about/
10. Sports Festivals
With a host of road and trail running events taking place throughout winter, now is the time to get your running (or walking) shoes on. Enjoy the scenic routes in Cape Towns ‘green’ season as you embark on magnificent trails with other outdoor enthusiasts. Have a look here at which events are taking place and book your spot now
With so much to do, there’s no reason to hibernate this winter. All the adventure is sure to keep the chills away.