July Events in Cape Town & Surrounds

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July Events in Cape Town & Surrounds

Warm up with the month’s great food, wine and comedy festivals and French celebrations

With the winter solstice (21 June) behind us, the nights will get shorter, but the weather will, unfortunately, still get wetter. Nonetheless, Cape Town still has a smorgasbord of hot and happening events this July to keep you entertained and cabin-fever free.

It’s also that time of the year when learners take a break from their books, so why not stock up on some quality family time and explore our guide to the Mother City’s school holiday activities; otherwise, have a look at our overview of 50 cool things to do for kids.

Not to mention, while July is one of the few months during the year (in South Africa) that doesn’t offer a reprieve in the form of a public holiday, it does host a distinguished occasion: Nelson Mandela’s birthday (18 July). The internationally recognised Mandela Day honours the late former statesman and his selfless sacrifices for the better of our nation and calls on ordinary citizens to donate a mere 67 minutes of their time to a charitable cause.

Take a break from the wet weather blues, spend your 67 minutes doing something our Tata would be proud of and have a ball enjoying all the awesome activities on offer this July!

If an evening meal and a good whodunit get you going, then listen up. The Mother City’s much-loved series of Murder Mystery Dinners is back to blow away the winter blues with new storylines, suspects and victims. Hosted at a number of venues, including Moyo Kirstenbosch, La Mouette and more, the dress-up suppers are scheduled to take place on the last Friday of each month from April to October. So, whether you’re looking to indulge your love of real-life Cluedo or simply want to have a bloody good time with friends, check out our overview of these thrilling events. 

COST: Varies according to event and prices range from R300p/p to R435p/p; price includes dinner, a mystery to solve and, where applicable, a welcome drink. Click through to the event for more information.

Whale season begins in June and continues until November, so take your winter woollies and get down to Hermanus to watch these majestic creatures frolic in the coves of Walker Bay – it makes for an easy day trip or an ideal weekend getaway. Wedged between the mountains and sea, Hermanus is a bustling little fishing village and a prime land-based whale watching destination. Aside from granting awestruck visitors countless opportunities to watch the mammoth mammals, the town also has a host of restaurants, art galleries, shops and a very popular Saturday craft market. 

While it’s FREE (and fun) to watch the whales, certain activities are individually priced. Click through for more information.

Winter is upon us, and there is no better place than Gordon’s Bay to enjoy the cold. The annual Winter Wonderland Festival is back in Gordon’s Bay this year, with the Festival of Lights promising to be bigger and better than ever before. The festival starts on Friday, 24 June 2016 and draws to a sad end on Monday, 18 July 2016. The Carnival Weekend is now a plural, with Gordon’s Bay giving you two opportunities to enjoy the spectacular festivities and atmosphere that only this event can provide. Dress up nice and warm, take a loved one (or seven) with you, and enjoy the picturesque twinkly lights that engulf the entire town!
COST: Access to the festival is free, but certain events are separately priced. Click through to the event for more information.

If you’re at a loss for what to do with the kids during the school holidays, check out the annual Traditional Children’s Magic Festival at Cape Town’s College of Magic from Wednesday, 29 June to Saturday, 2 July 2016. This marvellous event features tricks and illusions performed by current and former students of the Mother City’s Hogwarts, as well as by professional clowns, mimes, jugglers and even Cirque du Soleil alumnus. This family-friendly fantastical affair is sure to go down a treat and will likely entice your own little Houdini to enrol in the enchanting school.

COST: Tickets for the festival can be booked by calling the College of Magic at +27 (0)21 683 5480 and they cost R85p/p.

The 2016 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, a 10-day aphrodisiac affair, invites seafood lovers to tuck into ocean-fresh fare from Friday, 1 to Sunday, 10 July 2016. Hosted in the pretty Garden Route town of Knysna (roughly five hours from Cape Town), the food and wine fiesta is not just centered on mollusc munching and Champagne drinking; rather, the family-friendly celebration also offers competitive sporting activities and fun entertainment for all ages.

COST: Access to the fair is gratis, mahala, FREE! Though, certain activities and events require an entry or booking fee and will have to be paid for separately. Click through to the event for more information.

The fifth annual edition of the black-tie event, 5 For Change, is back this July to raise more funds for five more deserving charities. The beneficiaries this year are Bridging Abilities, Code4CT, Ikasi Youth, Lumkani and Township Roots. Over the last five years, 5 For Change have raised over R500 000 for 20 charities, and have raised a huge amount of awareness for the very worthy recipients. Grab your ticket, and don your best for this charity gala to match them all.
COST: Tickets are available online through,za, and cost R480p/p, excluding a R5 processing fee. For more info, visit our event page.

Billed as the largest of its kind on the continent, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival returns from Friday, 1, to Sunday, 10 July 2016 at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape for another round of orchestral music, public master classes and student mentoring. Over the course of 10 days, spectators can indulge in daily student and faculty concerts culminating in performances by the event’s Festival Concert and Symphony Orchestras. What’s more, local and international students will be given the opportunity to receive coaching, attend lectures and perform in front of large audiences.  

COST: Tickets for the evening and orchestral concerts are available at and cost between R125p/p and R140p/p. The public master classes and lectures cost R20p/p to attend, and tickets will be available at the door. A festival pass can be purchased for R1050p/p for adults and R750p/p for students and pensioners at Click through to the event for more information.

Fans of South African literature can descend on the small R62 town of Montagu (180km from Cape Town) for the annual Breyten Breytenbach Book Fair from Friday, 8 to Sunday, 10 July 2016. This year the bilingual book fair celebrates literary greats with a wonderful line-up of keynote speakers, exhibitions and other highlights, including book presentations, author talks, live music, and historical and architectural walks. There’ll be wine tastings too, because we all know how well vino and books pair together.

COST: Tickets for the Breyten Breytenbach Book Fair are available at the Montagu Tourism Office for R100p/p per day. 

Disney on Ice skates onto SA soil (ice) for yet another enchanting bout of entertainment from Wednesday, 6, to Sunday, 10 July 2016. This year’s school holiday show is aptly titled Worlds of Enchantment, and, as the name suggests, it celebrates the beloved storytelling franchise’s legacy of producing animated films and breathing life into some of cinema’s most recognisable characters. Enter the magical kingdom of Arendelle with Anna and Elsa, the gifted sisters from Disney’s smash hit Frozen, and then head into the speedy world of the cast of Cars. Audiences are spoilt for choice, as around 50 of the beloved Disney characters will be joining the children’s extravaganza.

COST: Tickets are available via and Computicket outlets and cost between R150p/p and R400p/p. Ticket prices vary according to seating proximity to the ice rink and day of the show. Disabled patrons can be accommodated. Click through to the event for more information.

Avid canoeists and the super brave take part in the 2015 Berg River Canoe Marathon, which paddles off on Wednesday, 13 July in Paarl at the Market Street Bridge and ends on Saturday, 16 July 2016 in Velddrif with a festival celebration. Now in its 55th year, this 240-km long race is not for the faint-hearted: the course is riddled with fast-flowing water and narrow paths overwhelmed with trees; plus, long, challenging stretches of flat water and the downpours of the Cape in July further exacerbate the already trying conditions. Entrants are fighting for prize money and, of course, the title of the best river racer in the country. Spectators can look forward to all the thrills and spills along the route with small town hospitality along the way. 

Entry for the Berg River Canoe Marathon costs R2100p/p for seniors and R1700p/p for juniors. Please note that meals and campsites incur extra costs, which are outlined on the entry form. The race rules are also available online.  Forms are available online at

The Berg River Winter Carnival is the perfect way to bid farewell to the annual Berg River Canoe Marathon which takes place from Wednesday, 13 to Saturday, 16 July this year. The bash is sure to be filled with good food, great  drinks, fun times and happy people. This year the musical talents are provided by Ghapi and Steyn Fourie, so get down to Velddrif and enjoy this family-friendly country festival. 

COST: Entrance to this event is absolutely free, but individual activities may incur a cost. For more info, contact the organisers directly on

Fungi fanatics will once again descend on Delheim Estate in Stellenbosch for the ever-popular annual Wild Mushroom Hunt. Under the guidance of winery co-owner Nora Sperling-Thiel and the ‘Mushroom Guru’ himself, Gary Goldman, guests will get to forage in the estate’s secret woodlands for pine-rings and porcinos after an interesting and informative talk on edible and inedible wild ‘shrooms'. Afterwards, hunters get treated to a buffet featuring the earthen delicacies and Delheim wine. 

COST: The mushroom hunt is an extremely popular event and there are limited bookings available; tickets cost R650p/p and the event starts at 10am. 

The centuries-old celebration of Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day, is painting Franschhoek red, white and blue on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 July 2016. The much-anticipated fête celebrates its 23rd jol in the quaint village this year and features a feast of good food and great wine and a host of beguiling entertainment. Apart from the decadent fare and top-class vinos, the festival also includes a number of fun games, like the boules competition, the barrel-rolling contest, and a quirky caricature artist to capture your finest Francais moments!

 Tickets are available via and, depending on availability, at the door on the day. Costs vary according to day and range between free and R220p/p. 

Get ready to sip and swirl your way through mugs of hearty, farm-style broths and glasses of top-notch vinos at the 2016 Breedekloof Soetes & Soup festival from Friday, 22 to Saturday, 23 July 2016. Spread over a number of wine farms in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini, and Breede River areas, this decentralised event allows visitors to explore the Route 62 Winelands and taste the wide range of multi award-winning soetes (dessert wines) as well as a selection of yummy and interesting good-for-the-soul soups. Each estate will be offering up its own take on the theme, and there will be plenty of entertainment, like live music and markets, on the schedule. 

COST: Festival passes cost R120p/p and can be purchased from 

One of Mzansi’s toughest off-road races will once again put runners through their paces as they circumnavigate the peaks of Hout Bay as part of this grueling 41-km race on Saturday, 23 July 2016. Said to be one of the oldest trail runs in South Africa, the Hout Bay Challenge will see individuals and teams (of up to three runners) bound across the harsh terrain and, possibly, battle torrents of rain on the closed circuit route. The race starts at the Hout Bay Yacht Club.

COST: Entries are still open, but tickets are limited. Entry costs between R950p/p and R2000p/p depending on the ticket type. Click through to the event for more info.

Go flex your (stomach) muscles at the third annual Ultra Mussels Wine Tournament (formerly known as Ultra Mussels in May) on Saturday, 30 July 2016 at Den Anker Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. Guests get to devour one kilogram of shellfish and enjoy delish wine. Sip ‘n swirl wines while diving into succulent shellfish, but be warned you might not want to stop! Do note, there are only 200 places and tickets go fast. Grab a friend or take a loved one to fully enjoy these treats from the sea
COST: Tickets are available via and entry costs R230p/p. This includes wine tastings, a branded glass and one kilogram of mussels. Click through to the event for more information.


PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.
And, if you needed some reminding we’ve put together some of our favourite reasons to visit Cape Town in winter. Alternatively, check out our comprehensive overview of winter warming specialsrestaurants with fireplaces and winter weekend getaways in the Western Cape. But, if you really insist on hibernating, we’ve rounded up a list of things to do indoors and online shops to get all the conveniences of life delivered to your door.

These are only a few of the happenings in Cape Town and surrounds for the month of July, so be sure to check out our Cape Town Events Calendar for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add to your home screen for quick access on the go!

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Cape Town Events Calendar
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