You’ve decided to head to South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town (great choice), and you are looking forward to venturing up Table Mountain, sampling its famous wines and culinary offerings and discovering its mix of arts, culture and history. Perhaps you will even be brave enough to try out its icy ocean waters…
However, when it comes to Cape Town and before you settle for what you thought you wanted, here are some hints and tips to make your visit to Cape Town even more of an adventure…
Talk the talk.Capetonians are an interesting bunch of people and you will find all types of personalities in the city. Why not impress the locals and get acquainted with the language and phrases that make Capetonians so unique:
Ag (ah-ch): Strange but true, the simple two-letter word is mostly used to express sympathy such as “Ag shame man!” Or, on the flip side to express irritation or resignation. “Ag no man!”
Awê (ah-weh): A slang term to greet someone in Cape Town “Awê, my friend!”
Bakkie (bah-kee): Love to take some leftover food with you ask your waiter to put them in a bakkie or bowl for you. Just take note that bakkie also refers to a pick-up truck.
Eish (ay-sh): While not an exclusive phrase to Cape Town you will probably hear people say ‘Eish’ a lot. The isiZulu word is used to express disbelief or as an exclamation ‘oh my’, ‘wow’, ‘oh dear’, ‘good heavens’.
Howzit (how-zit): A greeting meaning ‘hi’; shortened form of ‘how’s it going?’
Ja (yaah): Afrikaans for ‘yes’.
Nee (nee-ah): Afrikaans for ‘no’.
Kwaai (kw-eye): Derived from the Afrikaans word for ‘angry’, ‘vicious’, ‘bad-tempered’, but often also used to say something is cool, awesome or great.
The BeachesWhile we cannot promise warm or even mild water temperatures when it comes to the ocean waters in Cape Town, what we can promise that the beaches are magnificent. Clifton or Camps Bay should be on your to-do list, however, if you feel like taking a train to Simon’s Town you can head to one of False Bay’s seaside villages such as Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, St James for a more laid-back experience away from the crowds.
Signal HillWhile the view from Table Mountain is great, the queues for the cable car can be quite long, especially during the local school holiday periods. Consider taking a trip to Signal Hill, which offers great views especially at sunset.
Wildlife ViewingFor local wildlife, instead of the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, head to Hout Bay Harbour and take a cruise to Seal Island. The trip is done by boat ride, which lasts around 45 minutes.
Shark divingThe more adventurous can go on an excursion of a lifetime by swimming with Great White Sharks. Well, it will not really be swimming as us humans are kept in specially designed cages for our own protection, but it is still an amazing experience to get up close and personal with these ocean beasts. Excursions are offered by licensed operators, just enquire at any visitor centre or at your hotel.
Take a walking tour In our rush to get the most out of our holiday destination, we often jump from one spot to the next without really experiencing it. Cape Town is known for its great walking tours which allow you to experience the city in detail. Small group tours, led by qualified and enthusiastic guides, depart every half hour from the visitor centre and last about three and a half hours. Wander the steep, cobbled streets of Bo-Kaap. Originally the multicultural slave quarter, it is one of the most fascinating parts of Cape Town.