Some (no, make that many) of us are guilty of overspending during the holiday season. If your finances are looking a little lacklustre but you still want to have a good time, this list of 25 activities will be a godsend. At R25 or less, what more could you ask for?
1 See the wildlife at Rondevlei Nature Reserve
With 250 indigenous plants and 20 mammal species, Rondevlei Nature Reserve is a wondrous and lush natural hub. The reserve also has a museum, a series of footpaths, viewing towers and several bird hides. Eland, hippopotami and the Cape Clawless Otter are just a few of the animals who call it home.
When Weekdays 7:30 am – 5 pm, weekends 7:30 am – 7 pm
Where Corner of Perth Road and Fishermans Walk, Zeekoevlei
Cost R12 entry free
Contact +27 21 706 2404
2 Take a tour of Slangkoppunt Lighthouse
Located on the coast of the South Peninsula, Slangkoppunt Lighthouse is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in the country. Be warned that you’ll be climbing a staircase that’s about 30m tall! But you can delight on your reward of stunning views once you reach the top, plus learn many interesting facts on the way there.
When Weekdays 10 am – 3 pm
Where Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie
Cost R16 for a guided tour
Contact +27 21 783 1717, [email protected]nsnet.net
3 Admire the beauty of the Company’s Garden
South Africa’s oldest growing pear tree can be found in the Company’s Garden, which was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for its sailors. Say hello to the squirrels as you wander through the rose garden burgeoning since 1929 and an aviary with a selection of birds.
When Daily 7 am – 7 pm
Where 19 Queen Victoria Street, CBD
Cost Free entry
4 Collect precious stones
Nearly half of the world’s gemstones are available in South Africa, some of which are housed at the Scratch Patch and Mineral World,with branches at the V&A Waterfront and in Simon’s Town. You’ll have the chance to dive into massive pits and grab some of your own to take home.
When Daily 9 am – 6 pm daily
Where Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Cost R17 per bag
Contact +27 21 419 9429, scratchpatch.co.za
5 Discover the landmarks of the V&A Waterfront
Many of us know the V&A Waterfront to be a wildly popular shopping destination but if you linger a little longer, you’ll realise that this tourist destination is dotted with fascinating historical sites too. Simply pick up a map at the information centre to guide you then take a stroll across the property before heading back to Victoria Wharf for a bite to eat.
When Daily 9 am – 9 pm
Where Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Contact +27 21 408 7600, waterfront.co.za
6 Watch live music performances at the Bay Harbour Market
South Africa has been blessed with an abundance of artistic talent, as is evident at the Bay Harbour Market. The market not only displays the handmade works of craftsmen but offers local musicians a platform to perform their music, which you can enjoy as you browse through the items on sale or grab some grub from the food stalls.
When Fridays 5 pm – 9 pm, weekends 9:30 am – 4 pm
Where 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay
Cost Free entry
7 Join the Muizenberg Moonlight Meander
The sounds of the vast and mighty ocean together with the vision of a glowing full moon is an unbeatable combination. Bask in its splendour by partaking in the Muizenberg Moonlight Meander, a casual stroll along the beach. The walking group is supervised by a knowledgeable guide.
8 Get to know Muizenberg
If you don’t quite enjoy crowds and would rather go solo, whip out your smartphone and download VoiceMap. This nifty app will direct you through Muizenberg’s streets as though you were being shown around by one of the suburb’s residents. Muizenberg will feel like your new home!
Where Anywhere in Muizenberg
Cost Free to download
9 Be Inspired by the Cape’s arts and culture
Once a month, arts and cultural establishments in Cape Town open their doors to the public until late at night as part of the First Thursdays initiative. This is yet another happening that exhibits the country’s creative talent. There’s no fixed timetable or planned tour – just the follow the map to decide where to go.
10 Go exploring with Nielson Tours
Get some exercise and be enlightened on the many sites of Cape Town with Nielson Tours. Each on-foot tour allows you to look at the city through new eyes. Some of the walks on offer are the Historic City tour, Bo-Kaap tour, District Six tour and V&A Waterfront tour.
11 Journey along the Sea Point Promenade
Once weekly, a crowd gathers to enjoy the crisp air and ocean vistas as they travel down the Sea Point Promenade – on skates. Skates could be anything from rollerblades to a longboard or even a BMX. The occasion celebrates the removal of the ban on skateboarding and rollerblading in this zone.
When Mondays at 6 pm
Where Promenade, Sea Point
12 Chill at the Urban Park
As the name suggests, this spot is an oasis of greenery in a concrete jungle. Boasting a variety of amenities such as an outdoor gym, play park, adventure park and outdoor labyrinth, its a great spot for the young and old alike. The Urban Park is also home to an assortment of plant species and provides information about each one.
13 Tackle a game of Cave Golf
Grab your friends and get competitive with a friendly round of putt-putt in a cool cave-like setting! The convenient location and child-friendly facilities make it the ideal place for a fun-filled family outing in an unconventional and intriguing setting.
When Daily 9 am – 5 pm
Where Next to Scratch Patch and Mineral World, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Contact +27 21 419 9429
14 Teach your kids about the environment at Helderberg Nature Reserve
Go a little further afield by taking a trip to Somerset West to visit Helderberg Nature Reserve. The reserve gives you the opportunity to arrange a fantastic edutainment experience for the kids. Apart from a plant herbarium and environmental education centre, it also has a kids’ play zone and jungle gym.
When January – February 2017 7:30 am – 8 pm, March – November 2017, 7:30 am – 7 pm; April 2017 – October 2017 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Where Verster Avenue, Somerset West
Cost Kids R10, adults R20
Contact +27 21 851 4060 or +27 71 359 4139, [email protected], helderbergnaturereserve.co.za
15 Go for a hike
With Cape Town’s splendid mountain ranges, it would be sinful not to plan a hike or three. If you like the sound of losing yourself in a sea of greenery, make your way to Newlands Forest. If, on the other hand, you’re up for a challenge, try trekking up Lion’s Head – the vistas will leave you awestruck.
Where Various locations
16 Unleash your inner child at Warrior Toy Museum
Whether you’re looking to keep the kids occupied or are simply enchanted by toys, you have to pop in at the Warrior Toy Museum in Simon’s Town. The thousands of toys on display – including dolls, model cars, boats, trains and aeroplanes – make it worth the lengthy drive to its seaside locale.
Where Daily 10 am – 4 pm
Where St George’s Street, Simon’s Town
Cost Kids R5, adults R10
Contact +27 21 786 1395
17 Step inside Rhode’s Cottage
The internationally recognised politician and mining maven Cecil John Rhodes made a difference in both South Africa and Zimbabwe’s political landscapes. His former home Rhode’s Cottage has now been converted into a museum where you can get a taste of life in a bygone era.
18 Get moving on a trail run
Cape Town is filled with so many running routes that mentioning all of them seems nearly impossible. Put your endurance to the test with the 5.3 km Devil’s Peak route: start at the top of Devil’s Peak Estate and run along the gravel paths until you reach Rhode’s Memorial.
Where Various locations
19 Bond with Mother Earth at Rietvlei Wetlands Reserve
Based at the foot of the Diep River floodplain, Rietvlei Wetlands Reserve is rich in reed beds and boasts a tidal lagoon. The reserve is also home to a whopping 10 000 birds! The Friends of Rietvlei society regularly hosts holiday events such as fishing while water sports aficionados will be taken with the reserve.
20 Jump in the pool
If swimming in the ocean seems a bit too daunting to you but you don’t have a pool in your backyard, never fear. Cape Town’s public baths have got you covered. Those in Newlands and Woodstock have grass areas for you unwind on, while the one in Gugulethu is accompanied by a kiddies pool.
21 Get a caffeine fix at Xpresso
This hip coffee shop is the first in South Africa to trade every single item on the menu for only R10. Yes, you read properly – just 10 bucks. You could easily relish a mid-morning snack of a Red Cappuccino and Copenhagen without breaking the bank. Phone battery need a charge? Just plug it into the socket at your table.
When Weekdays 7 am – 6 pm, Saturdays 7 am – 4 pm, Sundays 8 am – 1 pm
Where 6 Wellington Road, Basol Building, Durbanville
Cost R10 per item
Contact +27 21 975 4209
22 Go back in time at Koopman’s De Wet House
After the passing of its owners, sisters Marie and Margaritha, Koopmans de Wet House was transformed into a museum. The oldest house museum in the country, the attraction showcases a selection of the most exclusive Cape furniture and silver in the country, along with an invaluable collection of ceramics.
23 Read at Centre for the Book
When life’s pressures become a little too much to handle, nothing beats getting absorbed in the pages of a good book. The Centre for the Book, situated in an ornate vintage building, has plenty for you to choose from, most of which have been written by South Africa’s most celebrated authors.
24 Buy a drink at Department of Coffee
Three bright entrepreneurs brought The Mother City’s coffee culture to the township by opening Department of Coffee. Savour the buzz of the Khayelitsha community as you sip your espresso shot in the outdoor seating area. Can’t make it to the cafe? If you work nearby, they can deliver to you.
When Weekdays 6 am – 6 pm; Saturdays 8 am – 3 pm
Where 158 Ntlazane Street, Khayelitsha
Contact +27 73 300 9519
25 Learn some yoga moves
Want to get fit on a tight budget? You’re in luck! Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village hosts weekly yoga classes conducted by professional instructors, in conjunction with Yogalife. Remember to bring your own water bottle, towel and mat. Classes are on a first-come-first-serve basis so it’s best to arrive early.
Photography Courtesy Images, Archives, HSMImages.com