By now, most of us are back in the office, reminiscing about our well-deserved vacations. Nevertheless, Cape Town is still packed with tourists and local holidaymakers, making the city a rather crowded place. Add the traffic and heat, and you’ll come to realise that getting through the sunny season requires some survival guidelines. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up some top tips to help you make it through the next couple of months.
1 Relax at alternative beaches
If there’s one thing that the city is most famed for, it’s beaches. It’s understandable that the hippest shoreline locations will be frequented by those who don’t have the opportunity to visit them in their hometowns. Avoid the throngs of holidaymakers by taking a trip to lesser known beaches such as Beta Beach in Bakhoven, Water’s Edge in Simon’s Town, or the selection of beaches accessible through Cape Point Nature Reserve.
2 Watch out for sharks
Speaking of beaches, if you’re planning an outing to the seaside, be sure to familiarise yourself with the notices on shark spotting. If a white flag with an image of a black shark has been raised (this is also accompanied by a blaring alarm), there’s a monster in the waters so don’t even think of diving in! You do want to make it through summer alive, don’t you?
3 Drink at Paarl’s wine estates
Travellers typically flock to Franschhoek and Stellenbosch for a tipple but the Western Cape has so much more hidden wine gems if you take a closer look. Make your way to Paarl instead, where you can delight in wine tastings in a quiet, relaxing environment. Try Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Val de Vie Estate and Backsberg Estate Cellars to bask in mouthwatering beverages.
4 Shop at less crowded markets
Indulge in some retail therapy at a market where you’ll have more room to manoeuvre through the stalls and won’t have to worry about another customer stealing that last pack of homemade fudge. The Oude Molen Eco Village craft market will be heaven on earth for green warriors, bargain hunters will be thrilled with the Bay Harbour Market and those who prefer to savour the finer things in life will be lured by the Lourensford Market.
5 Compile a killer playlist
If you really must join tourists in visiting one of the top attractions, make your wait in long queues or traffic jams more pleasant by gathering all your favourite tunes on your smartphone.
6 Eat more fruit
Water may be the elixir of life but with the country experiencing a drought, water consumption in all forms should be restricted. To keep you hydrated, munch on some juicy fruits. Bonus: you’ll reap the benefits of healthy snacking and get a hearty sweet fix.
7 Wear breathable clothing
Spare your skin the brunt of overheating by opting for loose-fitting threads made with lightweight, breathable materials, such as those worn by athletes. These garments are just as suitable for outdoor jaunts such as a hike or brisk walk as they are for your next gym session. They’ll wick away moisture from your skin, leaving you cool and dry. If possible, you could even wear them beneath other clothing.
8 Stock up on mosquito repellent
We all know about packing in sunblock and a hat to prevent sunburn. But mosquito bites can also cause ailments that could ruin your good summer vibes. So pop into your local supermarket or pharmacy and purchase some repellent in the form of sticks, wipes or sprays. Our favourite is Tabard, which comes in a variety of forms and will keep those pesky mozzies at bay.
9 Bring your own food
Summer is usually a time of relishing culinary treats. Dietary restrictions tend to fall by the wayside with rather undesirable results. Reduce your intake of unhealthy foods by bringing along a wholesome dish of your own the next time you’re invited to a summer soirée. Your host will be pleasantly surprised by your generous contribution.
10 Take care of the kids
A whining tot is no fun, especially with the forces of Mother Nature already giving you a hard time. Keep the little one smiling and give yourself a chance to take a breather by investing in or hiring prams, baby chairs and other equipment. Should you feel the need to take a break from parenting duties, employ an au pair to step in during the time you’ll be away. Sitters 4U offers a range of childcare services that may come in handy.