Cape Town, with its stunning beaches, iconic mountain and friendly people, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
There is much to see and do in Cape Town, and January is no exception. Mid-summer is a great time to be outdoors, to enjoy the fresh air and long summer days.
Soak up the sun at one of the many beaches; eight of the city’s beaches have full Blue Flag status and one, Melkbosstrand Beach, has pilot Blue Flag status. Beaches with Blue Flag status adhere to international standards of cleanliness and safety.
Locals love nothing more than packing a picnic basket to enjoy at a park, or at the beach.
Some of the best outdoor activities in Cape Town are free, and we found some local favourites for your enjoyment.
The Green Point Urban Park is a lush space next to the Cape Town Stadium. There is no entrance fee and dogs are welcome. The earlier you arrive, the greater your chances of grabbing a picnic table, but many people enjoy setting up their picnic under one of the many shady trees overlooking rolling lawns.
De Waal Park is another popular picnic spot. There is a Victorian fountain, a play area for children, and dogs on leashes are welcome. There are also paths set out for cycling. Amble along a footpath, find a bench to relax on, or sprawl on the grass and enjoy the sunshine.
You could take the cable car up Table Mountain, or if you are adventurous, and reasonably fit, then enjoy an early-morning hike up this world-famous mountain. There are a number of signposted routes to follow. Remember to pack water and warm clothing, as the weather can change quickly and without warning.
Once at the top, you can enjoy spectacular views of Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean.
Beaches are a firm favourite for sunbathing, a range of watersports and swimming. Three of the city’s Blue Flag beaches, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th Beach and Llandudno, are along the Atlantic coast. Even though the water is bracingly cold, it does not stop people from venturing in for quick dips in between lazing on the pristine white sand. The warmer False Bay coast is great for surfing and swimming. This is where you will find two more Blue Flag beaches: Muizenberg and Bikini Beach, which is in Gordons Bay.
Newlands Forest, with its canopy of trees, is an ideal braaiing (barbequing) spot. Many people come prepared with their portable braais. Because of the tree cover the braai area is and cool, and dense enough to protect you from light rain. The forest is on the slopes of Table Mountain, and is also ideal for hikers.
By Lynnette Johns