About Cape Town

About Cape Town

Cape Town is South Africa’s legislative capital and the second most populous city after Johannesburg. As the largest Western Cape Province’s city, Cape Town is commonly referred to as the Mother City.

It’s part of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. With the other two capitals in Bloemfontein and Pretoria, Cape Town is home to the country’s parliament.

Set in the Cape Floristic Region, the city has a harbor and popular landmarks such as Cape Point and Table Mountain. About 64% of the population of Western Cape resides in Cape Town.

In 2014, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design named the city the World Design Capital. In the same year, both The Daily Telegraph and The New York Times named it among the best places in the world to visit.

Located beneath the Table Mountain on the southwest coast of South Africa, rotating cable cars climb to the top of the mountain. It gives breathtaking views of the city, boats headed for Robben Island, the busy harbor, and a living museum that once held Nelson Mandela as a prison.

Whether you’re visiting Cape Town for business or vacation, you’ll enjoy your stay at the beautiful coastal city. However, there’re some things you must never do to ensure your safety and avoid pushing the locals’ patience to the limits.

Never do any of the following if you’re planning a trip to Cape Town:

5 Things to Avoid When Visiting Cape Town

  1. Taking more than two minutes in the shower

Cape Town is fast running out of water due to serious water restrictions in the area. As a result, it’s experiencing the worst drought in a century.

When visiting the water-scarce city, don’t take long showers to save on the scarce resource.

  1. Leaving your valuables in the car unattended

Cape Town, just like any other city in the world, experiences opportunistic crimes. Thieves take advantage of vulnerable tourists.

Never expose your valuables or leave them unattended in the car. They may include:

  • Cameras
  • Cash
  • Jewelry, etc.


  1. Throwing cigar butts out of a moving car’s window

Cape Town deals with countless wildfires in summer due to strong winds and dry weather conditions. Studies have shown that cigarette butts can ignite fires when thrown out moving cars.

Avoid lighting your cigars in dry and windy conditions.


Don’t toss them outta window of your car.

  1. Using the term “African”

When enquiring about languages and cultures in Cape Town, don’t use the word “African” as it may sound offensive to the locals.

Find out what languages are spoken in the area before your trip. Some commonly spoken languages in Cape Town include:

  • Afrikaans
  • isiXhosa
  • English


  1. Being lured by the stories beggars tell tourists in the streets

Although poverty and homelessness is an issue in Cape Town, avoid talking to beggars extensively for your safety. The city also cautions against giving directly to the beggars.

Other things to avoid include:

  • Don’t bargain lower than 50% of the asking price at curio markets
  • Expecting to catch the cable car in the morning without queuing, especially in summer
  • Taking a township tour as the way to explore Africa
  • Accepting assistance at an ATM
  • Expecting to catch your flight during rush hour
  • Hiking at Lion’s Head during full moon

Cape Town Traditions to Experience

South Africa is a country rich in history and heritage you’d love to experience while visiting. Here’re some to consider:

  1. Learning to prepare Malay food in the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood
  2. Wine tasting in the Cape winelands
  3. Going camping and doing braai (barbecue) the South African way
  4. Visiting the prison at Robben Island
  5. Pairing wine with a traditional food
  6. Watching a rugby tournament at the Cape Town stadium