Cape Town is very popular all year but even more so in summer, peaking from mid-December to the first week of January. We host visitors from abroad as well as elsewhere in South Africa, and many locals are on annual vacation. This results in long queues at certain attractions. Here are 3 important but simple tips to beat the Cape Town summer queues.
From 1 November to 31 January the cablecar company sells early access priority tickets. This is one of the Cape’s best kept secrets. It’s too secret in fact as very few people know of this. At R430 per person, including children, the tickets cost a bit more but the expense is worth it. Only a limited quantity is sold, and they are valid only between 07:30 and 08:00. This means you do not queue at all and when you reach the top you have it all to yourself! The tickets are valid for 2 days and if you need a refund it must be requested within those 2 days. These conditions, and the price, are well worth it to avoid standing in queues of up to 3 hours each way, in the heat! Oh, and your ticket includes a free coffee and muffin at the top, perfect for that time of the morning.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
No trip to the Cape is complete without a day touring the peninsula with a visit to the Cape of Good Hope Reserve. It’s on everyone’s bucket list so the queues to enter the reserve can be very long. Unless of course, you follow this simple advice. Leave as early as possible to ensure you reach the gates before 09:00! How simple is that? Do not stop in Hout Bay, do not visit the penguins at Boulders first, limit your photo stops on Chapman’s Peak Drive, go straight to Cape Point. Bring cash to avoid the card system that is sometimes slow because of the poor signal at the bottom of the world. Bonus tip: South Africans showing some form of identification pay a reduced price of R76 per adult and R39 for children under 12.
V&A Waterfront – New Year’s Eve
It’s the best New Year’s Eve party in town but everyone else is going there, too! Many people arrive early to get a good parking spot, but it won’t help them when thousands of other people are all streaming out to exit the Waterfront just after midnight. Gridlock doesn’t begin to describe what you’re in for. So, what to do? Simple – don’t drive there! Get dropped off by a cab at whatever time suits you, then walk out of the Waterfront to get a cab home from as far away from the gridlock as possible. Or if you are using your own vehicle, park it as far from the Waterfront as it is safe to walk back to afterwards. That’s one night of the year when it is perfectly safe to walk late at night. Try Main Road in Green Point or Beach Road in Mouille Point.
(Some photos: Cape Town Tourism)