Clear, blue skies and long, warm evenings is a standard feature of Cape Town’s long summer that stretches from as early as October and into March. It’s the sort of summer that you’d think wouldn’t require much preparation at all, save an extra pair of flip flops and perhaps, a fancy swimsuit. But, there’s plenty more to know about summer in the Mother City. Such as that the average daytime spans a glorious 15 hours and that the South Easter – the prevailing summer wind – can sometimes gust at 60 kilometres per hour at its strongest. Here are a few ways you can truly prepare for your visit:

Your checklist

The temperature

Cape Town’s summer is something akin to Mediterranean, meaning it’s dry and often fairly windy with breathtakingly blue skies to admire and which lasts from November through to March. The average day temperature during summer is a balmy 23 degrees Celsius, but it can often get as high as 35 degrees Celsius and if a Berg wind blows (from the inland Karoo desert), you’ll see temperatures soar closer to 40 degrees Celsius.

On your checklist: Pack summer clothes and that swimsuit

The wind

Wind is certainly a feature of summer in Cape Town. The prevailing wind direction comes from the the south east, blowing off the cool ocean and making the hotter days in Cape Town more bearable. Known as the Cape Doctor, it blows most during January and February and is well-loved by wind sports enthusiasts, such as kite surfers. The Cape Doctor can have you reaching for a cardigan or light jacket, even when temperatures are on the hot side, so be sure to keep one handy when you head out. If you’re looking to spend time outdoors out of the wind, then head over to Hout Bay beach, or one of the Clifton beaches.

On your checklist: Pack a light jacket or two

summer in cape town

The sun

It’s no secret that the African sun can be harsh, so don’t forget to apply a layer of sun block before spending any amount of time outdoors and be sure to reapply half way through the day. A hat and of course, keeping well hydrated, will also help those unaccustomed to the persistent heat to cope more effectively.

On your checklist: Buy sun block, a hat and some water

Water scarce

Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history. The city is open for business and welcoming visitors, and this year’s winter rains brought much-needed relief, but the region is still water-stressed. We need everyone to help by being water-wise when visiting Cape Town. We need you to save like a local, and keep your usage to under 70 litres per day.

On your checklist: Stay waterwise.

The outdoors

One of the best things about Cape Town is its range of amazing natural spots in which to picnic, enjoy the glorious views and explore. Whether it be on one of the many pristine beaches in Cape Town or at a mountainside stop, be aware that the consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

On your checklist: Always keep your belongings safe when visiting the beach

Boyes Drive hiker

Giving tips

Every city has its own rules. Luckily in Cape Town, these are straightforward. When tipping your waiter at a restaurant, a tip of about 10% of the bill is considered fair. Official car guards in the CBD will charge R3.40 for the first 15 minutes, and a flat hourly rate thereafter. Tipping car guards outside of the city centre is also acceptable, and usually at your discretion.

On your checklist: Carry loose change and smaller notes

Getting from A to B

If you’re moving around in the CBD, take in the sights and vibe of Cape Town’s city bowl by setting out on foot. This will mean a fair amount of walking, so make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes packed. And when it comes to longer distances, there are several transport options including  Uber, MyCiti Bus, railway services and bus systems.

On your checklist: A pair of comfortable walking shoes

Safety first

We know that Table Mountain looks easy to scale and who could resist taking advantage of an easy hike on a beautiful day? However, it’s important to take heed that the climb up – and down – calls for proper planning especially as the temperature is always a few degrees colder and that weather is prone to sudden changes at the top.

On your checklist: Good hiking shoes, plenty of water and a jacket.

 

Source Credit: www.capetown.travel

12 Des 2017

It’s natural to want to get out in the sun during warm summer days. It should also be second nature to take steps to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays – from the sun and other sources like tanning beds – are the #1 cause of skin cancer. Too much exposure can also cause sunburn, eye damage, and premature wrinkles. But shielding your skin with clothing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, and staying in the shade can help lower your risk.

Take these steps to stay sun-safe:

  • Cover up: When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher: Reapply at least every 2 hours, as well as after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade: Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.

Choosing the right sunscreen

While you should use sunscreen every day of the year, it’s even more important during the summer, when the days are longer, the sun is stronger, and it’s easier to spend more time outdoors. When choosing sunscreen, read the label before you buy. US Food and Drug Administration regulations require the labels to follow certain guidelines:

  • Choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. Sunscreens with this label protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Only products that pass a test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
  • Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%; SPF 50 sunscreens filter about 98%, and SPF 100 filter about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with an SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
  • “Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.

source: cancer.org

The end-of-year holidays are a great opportunity to spend time showing your children some of the wonderful things Cape Town has to offer. There are theatre productions and exhibitions, and activities ranging from learning to surf to tobogganing on dry land. Here are ten things to do in Cape Town with kids this summer.

Garden fun at Kirstenbosch

Pack the kids, the picnic, and the blanket and head off to Kirstenbosch, acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. In summer, there are plenty of shady spots to spread that blanket. The whole family—from grans and granddads right down to the smallest family member—can enjoy the rolling green lawns and beautiful surroundings.  A “walk in the trees” along the tree canopy walkway known as the Boomslang is a thrilling activity that children will enjoy. Picnics can also be pre-ordered from Moyo or the Kirstenbosch Tea Room.

When: 8am-5pm daily
Where: Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Website: sanbi.org

20 Nov 2017

V&A Waterfront

A visit to the V&A Waterfront is a no-brainer for people with kids. In fact, you could probably fill a whole holiday with all activities available here! There are countless specials to keep your little ones happy: you can grab a free voucher booklet at the info kiosk. Future Park is great fun for kids and their parents. The Two Oceans Aquarium never fails to impress, and there’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not, with displays that are as fun as they are educational. There are also a number of kid-friendly restaurants and playgrounds, and the amphitheatre offers performances on most days to entertain people of all ages. Check out their other kids’ activities on their website.

When: 9am-9pm daily
Where: The Clocktower at the V & A Waterfront
Website: waterfront.co.za

20 Nov 2017 1

Learn to surf at Surfers Corner

Surfers Corner in Muizenberg is recognised as one of the best beaches to learn to surf. There are several surf schools here offering lessons to aspiring surfers from the age of 4 to 94. The beach is lovely for swimming and sandcastles, and parents will enjoy the great beachfront restaurants and coffee shops. It is weather-dependent, so always phone ahead to see if conditions are good.

When: Most schools are open 8am-5pm
Where: Surfers Corner, Muizenberg
Website: There are a few options, like garysurf.co.za;  learn2surf.co.za; and stokedsurfschool.com

things to do in Cape Town with kids

Transformers Animatronics

This exhibition brings the planet of Cybertron to Cape Town where visitors can meet up with their favourite transformers, from the iconic toys of the ’80s to towering sculptures of the transformers we see in films today. The incredible sculptures are up to 11 meters (36ft) high and are animated with amazing animatronic technology. There is a dedicated kids’ zone where children can build their own transformers.

When: 10 November to 21 January;  10am-7pm
Where: Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Goodwood
Website: transformersafrica.com

20 Nov 2017 3

Cool Runnings Toboggan Family Park

Visitors from the Northern Hemisphere will be familiar with tobogganing, but at Cool Runnings, the activity has a Southern Hemisphere spin. There is not a snowflake in sight—instead, you’ll hurtle down a stainless steel track under the summer sun. You can choose to ride in a two-person toboggan and you control the speed, so it’s a great activity for all ages.

When: Weekdays 11am-6pm; weekends 9am-6pm
Where: Tygervalley, Cape Town
Website: coolrunnings.capetown20 Nov 2017 2

Movie night at the Galileo Open Air Cinema

There are few things more exciting for kids than being out at night under the stars watching one of their favourite movies. Various venues around the city are transformed into an open-air cinema with stalls selling food, drinks, and popcorn. There are all sorts of films on offer and their Family Sundays, screened at Kelvin Grove in Newlands, feature such classics as UpMoana, and Home Alone.

When: Every Tuesday to Sunday evening between October and April
Where: Various venues, but Kelvin Grove in Newlands is their family venue
Website: galileo.co.za

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

See the penguin colony on a sea kayak trip

Children over the age of 10 can join a parent in the 2-person kayak for this unique marine adventure with Kayak Cape Town. The route goes along the stunning coast from Simon’s Town jetty, towards Boulders Beach where you enjoy a unique view of the African penguin colony. You might even see the birds up close, darting through the water or sunning themselves on the coastal boulders. The activity is weather-dependant so it’s a good idea to call ahead.

When: Daily trips leave at 8.30am
Where: Simon’s Town
Website: kayakcapetown.co.za

20 Nov 2017 4

Cinderella on Ice

The ice stage at Artscape is a perfect way to escape the city’s heat and introduce some enchantment to your children’s holiday activities. Imperial Ice Stars bring this well-loved classic to Cape Town and their theatrical choreography, amazing speed and lifts, and stunning costumes add to the magic of the Cinderella story.

When: 10-28 January, 7.30pm on weekdays with matinees on Saturday and Sunday
Where: Artscape, Foreshore, Cape Town
Website: artscape.co.za

20 Nov 2017 5

Imhoff Farm

For a fun-filled day outdoors pay a visit to the Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie. Here, kids can play a round or two of laser tag or paintball. Laser tag welcomes kids six and up. Camel rides are a popular activity as well. The snake park is filled with weird and wonderful reptiles, and the Higgeldy Piggeldy farmyard is where the kids can feed the ducks and goats. The Blue Water Café has a wonderful outdoor wooden jungle gym where parents can grab breakfast, lunch, or drinks while the little ones have a great time.

When: All year round – check website for opening times of various activities
Where: Kommetjie Rd, Kommetjie
Website: imhofffarm.co.za

Imhoff Farm

Acrobranch Adventure Park

This tree-top obstacle adventure park provides an action-packed day of tree-top adventures for visitors of all ages. The Acro-twigs course is perfect for kids, with onsite safety guides keeping a close eye. Kids between three and six can tackle nine obstacles that will test their abilities and provide a heap of fun. The setting in the Constantia Nek forest is idyllic and it’s close enough to the Constantia Winelands to combine the day with some wine estate visits for the adults as well.

When: Wednesday to Sunday, school holidays and public holidays; 9am-5pm
Where: 1 Hout Bay Main Rd, Constantia Nek
Website: acrobranch.co.za

20 Nov 2017 6

Source: CapeTownTravel.com