Follow these tips to make the most out of your time in Cape Town.
Cape Town undoubtedly has so much to offer. Known as the Mother City and rated as the top destination in the world countless times, she does not disappoint. The diversity in every aspect will leave you wanting more and in order to make the most out of your time in Cape Town, follow these essential tips for backpacking in Cape Town. In fact, these tips apply not only to backpackers, but every type of traveler.
Interact With Locals
Colourful houses in Bo-Kaap
Cape Town has an eclectic mix of cultures owing to its rich history of various settlers and influences. Visit Bo-Kaap, a vibrant area nestled in the slopes of Signal Hill where you can take a stroll through the colourful streets in which the Cape Malay people have established their strong community. Another must is to go on a Township Tour in Gugulethu, Langa or Khayalitsha, where you'll walk through the history of Apartheid and interact with the locals.
Nature is everywhere to be found, in and around the city. Go for hikes up Table Mountain, wander through the exquisite Kirstenbosch Gardens, soak up the sun on any of the beaches, go shark cage diving and explore the beautiful forests. There is no better way to experience Cape Town than being outdoors in nature.
Bring A Variety Of Clothing
Cape Town is know for its temperamental weather patterns. You'll wake up to an overcast and chilly morning and by lunch time the sun will be beating down with a vengeance. Make sure to have clothing for all kinds of conditions. Even if the day starts of warm, make sure to bring a jersey or scarf along wherever you go. Better safe than sorry!
Always Be Alert
Although Cape Town is filled with friendly faces and trendy places, there is a level of crime that everybody needs to be aware of. When arriving at a hostel, be sure to ask the receptionist which places to avoid or for any other safety tips. Keep your valuables hidden and always listen to your gut when meeting new people. Sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry.
Learn The Lingo
Learn the Cape Town lingo. Although many people in Cape Town speak English as their first language, they have incorporated slang words derived from Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu into their vocabulary. By understanding these terms, you'll make friends easily and avoid awkward conversations. Ask a friendly local to teach you a thing or two, or remember these basic words:
- Awê: Hello / acknowledging a statement
- Braai: Barbecue
- Bra: Brother / friend
- Bru: Brother / friend
- Chommie: Friend
- Dop: Alcohol
- Howzit: Hello / how are you
- Jol: Party
- Kak (kuk): Crap
- Lekker: Nice
- Sisi: Sister / female
- Voetsek (foot-sek): Get lost
Bring An Appetite
Cape Town will make sure you eat well, no matter your eating preferences. Known as the culinary hub of South Africa, there is everything available, from Indian and African food, to Asian and Mediterranean. If you're vegetarian or vegan, Cape Town will make sure you never go hungry as there is a fast growing veggie/vegan community, which almost all restaurants cater for.
Written by Saskia Carelse
Photos sourced from Google Images
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