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20 Ways to Survive Tourist Season in Cape Town

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20 Ways to Survive Tourist Season in Cape Town

A round-up of a few helpful hints and practical tips for co-existing with the international influx

Like paying taxes and death, tourist season in Cape Town is inevitable.  Every year, thousands upon thousands of people flock to the Mother City’s sunny shores to make the most of one of the world’s top travel destinations.  And we can’t blame them, of course; Cape Town has all the makings of a perfect holiday spot thanks to its gorgeous beaches, stunning flora and fauna and its pièce de résistance, Table Mountain, among other things.

Naturally, there are many benefits to having a rapid influx of visitors every year:  our local economy gets a much-needed boost and it contributes to Cape Town rising on popular travel magazines’ lists of must-visit places.

But, of course, the tidal wave of foreigners can get a bit much for us locals, and can give us a sense that, for about four or five months a year, our seaside metropolis stops being ours. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to come up with a local’s guide to surviving tourist season in Cape Town.  Below are some practical and, well, not-so-practical tips, but we thought we should share our ideas anyway. After all, sharing is caring.

20 Ways to Survive Tourist Season in Cape Town

1. If you're a wine tasting type, stay clear of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and rather pick a more obscure route off of our overview of unique sip and swirl sessions in the Winelands - if you've never heard of a region, chances are holidaymakers haven't either- this is a good thing!

2. Befriend a group of tourists.  International visitors are usually quite generous and like making a good impression on us locals. (You could probably score a couple of free drinks off of them!) Hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.

3.  Furthermore, pretend to BE a tourist and sneak into a hotel pool. You will have to pull off some, shall we say, interesting garb - think the stereotypically German sandals and socks, the overtly American and slightly offensive moon bag etc.

4. Rather than visiting chaotic, crowded markets like The Old Biscuit Mill, head out to lesser-known bazaars on the outskirts of the city, like the Blue Bird Garage Market in Muizenberg.

5. Shop online so you can avoid crazed centres – think that scene in Mean Girls where everyone literally behaves like animals in the mall, but worse - and rather browse from the comfort of your own quiet home.  Also, if you have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, we’ve got you covered.

6. Add caving to your hobby list - this is a good time of the year to start exploring the dark caverns that exist in some of our peaks.  Also, if you think about it, you can literally climb into a hole and disappear for a while.  P.S:if you are serious about caving, check out the Cape Peninsula Spelaeological Society, a club that usually meet on the first Sunday of every month for talks and outings.

7. If you are the dramatic type, you can pretend that tourist season is the apocalypse, stock up on all essentials and pack them in your year-long DIY project: a bunker, of course.

8. Become a performance artist for a few months and wade through tourist hotspots to make a few extra pennies. Our suggestion for an eye-catching costume?  Channel Lady Gaga by wearing a Cape Town-inspired meat dress - we’re thinking a fringe masterpiece made out of bokkoms.

9. Or take up busking and take advantage of tourists taking advantage of the exchange rate.

10 . See how many tourists’ Kodak moments you can photobomb and pioneer ‘telfies’ (tourist selfies). 

11. Feel as though your personal space is being violated more than usual?  Well, you could also fashion a barrier of sorts out of suspenders and a hula-hoop. That way there will be no confusion around just how close people can get to you.  Also, if you decorate your equator with some cured fish, you’ve achieved number 8.

12. Have some cheeky fun and spend time convincing tourists that, yes, we do all still live in mud huts, and yes, we regularly have massive Cape cobras frolicking in our shark-infested waters. Their reactions will probably make great Vine posts. Just saying…

13. It’s also ‘TV and movie season’ in Cape Town, so sign up with an extras agency and make some easy cash while being within a couple of metres of Hollywood stars like Claire Danes, Sean Penn and onse meisie, Charlize Theron.

14. Prepare yourself for an increase in traffic congestion. Helpful hint: multiply your driving time by the ‘Jozi coefficient’ i.e times three.

15. Alternatively, use public transport.  That way you won’t develop asymmetrical calf muscles from the excessive clutch control necessary in gridlocked traffic.

16. To help you get through long waits in traffic and queues, create a new summer playlist for your car/phone and make sure Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' is on there - it is motivational after all. Not to mention, you will have to drown out the likes of Boney M and Michael Bublé quite regularly.    We have some other proudly Capetonian suggestions as well.

17. Holidaymakers are here to spend money, so avoid them by doing the exact opposite and picking a few activities off our overview of things to do for free.

18. If you're a Boulders Beach fan, steer clear of this spot for a few months, and rather visit its more subdued sister, Windmill Beach, right next door. Similarly, instead of braving the masses at Kirstenbosch, you can visit De Waal Park or Deer Park. 

19. Looking for fledgling restaurants or recently opened activities that aren’t quite on tourists’ radars? Just search #CapeTownMagNew on our social media platforms.

20. Just get over it.

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Wanting to get of town for a bit?  Here are some quirky and unusual accommodation options that might tickle your fancy.

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Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook,  our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what's hip and happening in our pretty city.
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Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2018
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Shimmy Beach ClubBeach House Sundays at Shimmy Beach Club

Sun, sand, sea and glitz – the weekend isn’t over until you’re relaxing at Shimmy Beach Club

A Touch Of Madness Burgers and Beers 5Saturdays are for Sunny Daytime Parties at A Touch of Madness

Touchdown Saturdays’ DJ, drink specials and sunny courtyard are ideal for summer afternoons

Waterless dinner 2Waterless Dinners Are Coming to Cape Town

Enjoy a guilt-free meal comprising of crops farmed using salt-water agriculture

Pizza Sgt pepperDouble Tuesday Pizza Special at Sgt Pepper

Let the good times roll at this favourite Cape Town music haunt

Roast and Co 22-for-1 Drink Specials at Roast & Co

Every day “on your way” at Roast & Co. - enjoy 2-for-1 drink specials and discover the coolest mugs

Oude 2Enjoy a night of entertainment with the family under the stars at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

Picturesque views form the backdrop to this open-air Oude Libertas theatre. It’s just waiting to host you and your family for a night of delight

King Kong MusicalKing Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run

Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical

Galileo - BlaauwklippenA Weekend Spent with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Start your weekend with a little inner-city or wineland movie screening

Galileo - NooitgedachtDurbanville Get Ready for The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Celebrate summer with The Galileo Open Air Cinema’s new venue; Bloemendal

Queen in Exile 2Athi-Patra Ruga's Queens in Exile at WHATIFTHEWORLD

The renowned artist’s latest body of work is about telling better stories, ultimately creating a world where the exiled can reign again (watch trailer)

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell TheatreDinner and a Show with Rockwell Theatre

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Cape Town gets told to your mom, dad, tannie, ouma, second cousin and neighbour down the street

whale wine and wors wine flies logoWhale, Wine and Wors Tours with Wine Flies

Hop on board a fun-filled minibus and explore the hidden gems of the Western Cape

Boy Girl HairHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair Salon

Marry a tip-top cut with any of this edgy salon’s other services and save

FOREX Pub Quiz 2016 2Trivia Night at The Forex Bar

Test your general knowledge at this Observatory-based haunt’s Tuesday pub quiz

The Piano Bar Burger and Beer Special in Cape TownBurger and Beer Special at The Piano Bar

Visit this jazzy eatery and bar on any Tuesday for a burger (or pizza) and free beer

HintHunt Escape Game LogoCape Town’s Most Mysterious Tourist Attraction: HintHunt

Be sure to add this exhilarating live group escape game challenge to your Mother City bucket list

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Team Building Cape TownTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser tag activity

AquilaConferences and Corporate Functions at Aquila Game Reserve

Bring your corporate family along to experience team building and business functions featuring the Big 5

The Village Idiot Restaurant & Bar in Cape TownTuesday Mates and Dates Restaurant Special at The Village Idiot in Cape Town

Bring a partner for a two-by-two weekly special at this popular inner city neighbourhood haunt

Boschendal Wine FarmPicnic Lunches at Boschendal Wine Farm

Delight in an alfresco feast at one of the most picturesque wineries in the Cape Winelands

mischuFree Coffee Beans and Capsules at mischu Coffee Shop in Sea Point

Simply mention CapeTownMagazine.com while placing an order of coffee beans or capsules today and score a freebie

Dizzys Camps BayDizzys Tight Ass Tuesday Karaoke Nights

'Bray' the night away with some super specials to lubricate your lungs

Excentric HairTransformation Tuesday at Excentric Hair Salon

First-time clients will receive complimentary Olaplex treatment when booking a single or double colour process, cut and blow-dry

HQ Date performerTuesday Romantic Date Night at HQ Restaurant

Treat your loved one to an evening of succulent steaks, red wine and romantic ambiance at this Parisian-inspired Cape Town steakhouse’s #HQDateNight special

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