There are so many ways to enjoy what Cape Town has to offer without spending a fortune. Here are 50 ways to explore this gorgeous city for a mere R50 or less.
1. Take a hop-on hop-off train trip along the Southern Line Rail Route
Cost: R30 for the hop-on, hop-off ticket
The Southern Line Rail Route stretches between Cape Town and Simon’s Town. Besides it being a great way of getting from A to B, it’s also a relaxing way of seeing Cape Town’s varied scenes. The part of the journey between Muizenberg and Simon’s Town winds along the edge of the ocean and the views are brilliant. Buy the hop-on, hop-off ticket and stop at Muizenberg for a surf; Kalky’s in Kalk Bay for some mouth-watering fish and chips; and Simonstown for a trip to Boulders Beach for a visit with the penguins.
2. Go hippo spotting and bird watching in Rondevlei Nature Reserve
Cost: R12 entry for adults and R5 for kids
Rondevlei is an unexpected treasure situated within the Cape Town suburb of Grassy Park, about 20 min drive from the city centre. Home to some 256 species of indigenous plants, it spans 290 hectares and has a museum, a network of footpaths, viewing towers, and several bird hides. It is also home to – wait for it – Hippopotami as well as 20 other mammal species, including the Cape Grysbok Porcupine, Cape Clawless Otter and Large-Spotted Genet. It makes for a really great family outing. Don’t forget to pack your picnic.
3. Go on a guided tour of the SLANGKOPPUNT LIGHTHOUSE
Cost: R16 for a guided tour
The bright white Slangkoppunt (Snake Head Point) Lighthouse, situated on the coast in the South Peninsula, is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in South Africa. The internal spiral staircase you will climb during the guided tour takes you up 100 feet from the bottom to the balcony. If the idea of climbing up all those steps gets you a bit nervous, rest assured that the views from the top are entirely worth it. The tour will leave you with all sorts of interesting facts including the reason for South Africa being one of the few remaining places to retain actual Light House Keepers.
Phone: +27 (21)789 2812
Physical address: Lighthouse Rd, Kommetjie, Cape Town
4. Ride a Camel in Kommetjie
Cost: R40 for kids for a courtyard ride
Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie is the only place in Cape Town where you’ll have the unique opportunity of riding a camel. Kids love sitting some two metres up on the camel’s hump and sauntering around the courtyard. Longer rides through a nearby forest area are also possible, but cost a bit more (R200 per person.) Once the kids have finished their rides, pay a visit to the interesting gathering of shops inside Imhoff Village, The Imhoff Farm Shop has a delicious range of fresh free-range foods, and be sure to visit the Higgledy-Piggledy Farmyard.
5. Check out the Sculpture Garden in Kirstenbosch Garden
Cost: R50 entry for adults and R10 for kids
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is reputed to be the most beautiful in the world. The experience of rolling greens, splashes of floral colour, shaded streams and the multitude of paths can only really be done justice with a visit. Take a walk long the treetop “Boomslang” (Tree Snake) walkway, picnic under a shady tree and definitely pay a visit to the exquisite Sculpture Garden. The annual Summer Sunset Concerts between November and April are incredibly popular (a bit above the R50 mark, but well worth it.)
6. Whizz down Africa’s only toboggan track at Cool Runnings
Cost: R40 for a ride
It’s hard to imagine tobogganing without snow, but Cool Runnings in Tygervalley offers exactly that. The stainless steel track has 17 s-bends, corners and a tunnel. Adrenaline junkies will love this experience, as you get to regulate your own speed and boy can things get speedy if you want! Sleds accommodate up to two people, so the little ones can go with Mum or Dad. It’s also a really popular venue for kiddies parties.
7. Bugz Family Play Park
Cost: R30 for adults, R35 for children and R15 for pensioners
This huge play park has both indoor and outdoor play areas suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 10 years. There is a wide variety of play areas and rides such as a choo-choo train, swing horses, water slide, horse rides, quad bikes, free play areas, a tree house and even castle. There is also a regular magic show and Bugz characters who often pay the park a visit. No shortage of fun here! Another popular spot for kiddies parties. More information here.
8. Stroll through the Company’s Garden
Cost: It’s free to visit
The Company’s Garden is situated right in the city centre of Cape Town. It was planted by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for the ships that were sailing along the spice trade route between Europe and the East Indies, via Cape Town. Today it is home to the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, said to have been planted in 1652; a rose garden built in 1929; an aviary with a variety of birds and many other interesting landmarks. It’s also well-known for the resident and perpetually hungry squirrels, so take along some peanuts to feed to them. What’s more the garden offers free wireless.
Tel: 021 426 1357/1218/1768
Physical address: 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
9. Free Yoga at Cape Quarter every Tuesday
Every Tuesday between 18h30 and 19h30 there is a free yoga class at the Cape Quarter in Somerset Road. It’s definitely something to check out if you’re looking for a way to stay in shape, relax or enjoy a different way to hang out with friends.
10. Explore the V&A Waterfront on a self-guided Historical Walk
Cost: Free – just grab a map and go!
The V&A Waterfront, situated at the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, has a rich and varied history that can be traced back as far as 1654. A great way to discover the stories of this iconic site’s past and its’ 22 landmarks is to do a self-guided historic walk. Simply grab a map at the Information Centre and off you go. And if you get hungry or thirsty along the way, there are plenty of food and drink places to choose from. A stop at The Creamery at the V&A Food Market for a scoop of their handmade peanut butter ice-cream is a must!