How to Make Friends in Cape Town

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How to Make Friends in Cape Town

Follow these tips to find life-long companions in this pretty city

Oh Cape Town, how we love you so! From the majestic Table Mountain to the cool (make that, cold) Atlantic, you certainly have it all; anyone who lives here is incredibly #blessed to call this place home.

There’s just one problem, and one that many who are not originally from the Mother City will know all too well: making friends in this lovely city is incredibly difficult.

Everyone knows that the seaside metropolis is made of near-impossible-to-penetrate-cliques. With this in mind we have put together a comprehensive list of 10 things we feel can make finding friends in the city with the gorgeous mountain, a lot easier.

Without further ado, here are 10 WAYS YOU CAN MAKE FRIENDS IN CAPE TOWN

1. Accept the fact that Cape Town is clique-y
Before even trying the suggestions in this article, the first thing you have to come to grips with is that it is generally tougher to make friends here than in other South African cities. Accepting this as fact will help you realise that you really have to put in quite a bit of effort in this whole friend-making business in Cape Town. Once you understand this, you may move onto points two to ten.

table mountain

2. Join
This nifty site, which was founded in 2002, is the perfect place to find people who rock your boat. The internationally acclaimed online space offers users the chance to join groups (known as Meetups) based on their interests and location. Examples of groups users can join include ‘Sunset Hike up Lion’s Head’, ‘Mellow Mondays’, ‘Food for Thought’ and so much more. There are literally groups for any kind of person and any kind of interest, from photography to fly fishing What’s more, in the unlikely event that you don’t find a group that fits your fancy, you can simply create your own around your unique interest.

3. Download the infamous Tinder dating app
You’ve probably heard some good and bad things about this app, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on the good side: this app is a really effective way of seeing the kind of people that are close to you (it works on location) and deciding whether you would like to get to know the person you see on your screen (by swiping right). For those not in the know, Tinder is a location-based dating app that matches a user with other users who have mutual interest online. While many use it to find potential lovers, others often make it clear on their profile that they are merely looking for friends, and so you can do the same. Remember, when it comes to meeting strangers, it is important to remain vigilant and use discernment when meeting offline. Happy swiping!

4. Join a sports club
Do you love sports? Then use that to steer you along a path where you can meet like-minded (or those with similar body strengths!) people in the city. Whether you’re into running, cycling, swimming, surfing, tennis or almost anything else, there’s probably a sports club waiting to welcome you into their team as the Mother City is home to many varied and exciting sports clubs. Sports are a great way to meet new people who you already have one thing in common with. Oh, and you’ll be getting exercise, which is also a bonus.

sports in cape town

5. Volunteer at an NGO
While the primary goal of volunteering isn’t to make friends, it does provide folk with the opportunity to meet people who have similar values regarding giving back to the community. And lucky you, because Cape Town has wide range of places people can volunteer at that have a variety of interests and causes they want to align themselves to.

6. Visit a church
Similar to the above point, the primary idea of attending church isn’t for social  purposes, but there are countless people who attest to the fact that joining a church, or a similar place of worship, has not only helped moving to a new city better, but has linked them to people who have similar beliefs. In addition, many churches host tons of social gatherings outside of the Sunday service that makes the possibility of meeting people you can do life deeply with a reality.

7. Attend at least one free event a month
This is probably one of the best things about the Mother City: there are many free events and things to do on a daily basis. From wine tastings at Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar to French cinema nights at Alliance Francaise, there is a plethora of activities which come with the potential of forming business connections and/or new friendships.

tjing tjing rooftop bar

8. Don’t be afraid to use social media
With an increased awareness of the power of social media, more users are becoming bolder by reaching out to people they find interesting online. Instagram, for example, has become a place where some IGers (a term for Instagrammers) take it upon themselves to host Instawalks where a group of users who share a mutual interest take pictures while exploring a place. These are a great way to meet interesting people in a specific context. Twitter is also a realm that helps with networking and solidifying coffee dates with potential baes, friends and mentors.

9. Invite a few people to a get-together
It is incredibly common to meet great people in this city, only to never see them again. One of the best ways to curb this, is to create a ‘hit list’ of people you would really like to deepen your bond with (make sure you collect as many numbers and Facebook names as possible), and host one big (or small) get-together inviting some of the people on your list. This shows that you are really serious about building a relationship and those who feel the same way will reciprocate (we hope).

10. Try something new
Again, the Mother City never fails to provide us with the goods. There are so many things you can do, be it signing up for a dance class, touring a wine farm on a Segway, or trying Turkish coffee for the first time. The best way to make friends – and broaden your horizons – is to do something you wouldn’t normally try. Go on, open yourself up to meeting people you wouldn’t regularly hang out with by doing something new and different. Try it… and let us know how it goes.

segway tours at spier in stellenbosch

Happy friend-making!


Skate, scoot or rollerblade every week with Promenade Mondays.

Take your kids to meet the best-selling author Andy Griffiths.

Dinner with a difference: try a cultured menu at the Fermented food pairing.

Discover exciting new experiences like wine-tasting in the middle of a lagoon and pirate-themed mini-golf to private fishing boat charters and picnics by the lake at Benguela Cove

Once you've made some great friends, you can check out some of the best Sundowner and Cocktail Spots or top Coffee Shops in Cape Town.

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City.

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