Known as the Mother City, Cape Town's colour and calm can entrance and beguile. Here are some tips to make sure you’re not too relaxed to get the best out of the city.

Cape Town weather

Watch the weather

Keep your plans flexible since some of Cape Town’s best activities are weather dependant. For example, the cableway up Table Mountain does not run if it’s too windy, nor can you go snorkeling with the sea lions at Duiker Island if the sea is too choppy.

Sleep with a hippo

Arrange a sleepover at Rondevlei Nature Reserve to increase your chance of spotting one of the eight hippos living in the marshes there.

Help local social enterprises

Buy souvenirs such as those produced by Monkeybiz and Streetwires that help provide work and funding for some of the city’s most disadvantaged citizens.

Do eyeball your money

Check your R20 notes before handing them over. They look a lot like R200 notes.

Do hang onto your receipts

Foreign visitors can reclaim some of their VAT expenses on departure.

Don't miss a trip to Robben Island

Used as a prison from the early days of the VOC right up until the first years of majority rule, Robben Island's most famous involuntary resident was Nelson Mandela. For this reason alone, it is one of Cape Town's most popular pilgrimage spots.

Don't get (too) lost in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Covering over 500 hectares of Table Mountain, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

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