Many a touring itinerary has crossed the desks of the Low Season Traveller office incorporating South Africa’s ‘Mother City’ into a lengthy trip across this beautiful nation. A fabulous adventure indeed and those couple of days scratching the surface of Cape Town’s plentiful offerings serve to tantalise and tease visitors into digging a little deeper. Ideally, we recommend spending a week or two in this surprising city if you can, you won’t be disappointed.
Grab the best bargains on low season deals in June and July with May and August also seeing great value, meaning those tied to school holidays can take advantage of reduced prices and minimal crowding for a refreshing change. Yes, the reverse climate of the southern hemisphere means you are in for lower temperatures and more rain than the peak November through February period but you can still expect decent highs of up to 18 degrees and certainly a good deal less wind than January’s strong gusts!
Don your boots and head up Cape Town’s iconic flat-topped Table Mountain for a rewarding climb. Routes vary depending on your fitness levels. Our favourite is the lengthier Skeleton Gorge Trail which is less steep and includes beautiful ravines and jungle areas, more lush than ever during the winter rain. Another memorable day out is Tygerberg Nature Reserve with its spectacular city and sea views, while those with extra time could venture to Cape Point for an extended hike around the stunning peninsula. If hills aren’t your thing, it’s okay. Enjoy charming Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens renowned for its beauty and diversity. Stroll the sandy crescent-shaped Camps Bay or wander past the colourful beach huts of Muizenberg before rewarding yourself with a glass of Pinotage in front of a roaring log fire.
Wild about Animals
Despite its low season status, June is actually peak for whale watching around the Western Cape. It’s at this time that pods of southern right whales arrive off Cape Town from the Antarctica and stay until around November. The WWF has rated Hermanus as one of the world’s best places to see cetaceans owing to its land based viewing opportunities, but boat trips are always a fun day out as well. Alternatively, head to Boulder’s Beach where literally thousands of penguins hang out year round. It’s true that over-fishing, marine pollution, the destruction of natural habitats resulted in the colony becoming almost extinct with only two breeding pairs remaining by 1982. Astonishingly, the brilliant team efforts at Boulders mean that there are now over 3000 of these delightful aquatic birds in the waters around the area.
Arts & Culture
If you really want to dodge the showers, you’ll find plenty of interest in Cape Town’s many venues offering a thriving and ethnically rich array of exhibitions and events. Don’t miss ‘First Thursdays’ which takes place each month and sees museums, art galleries and other cultural attractions extending opening hours and offering free admission. Shops and bars put on supporting events such as promotions or impromptu music performances. Impressive cultural events take place throughout the year, with the low season including Hermanus FynArts Festival in June and July’s Jive Cape Town Funny Festival.