One of South Africa’s three capital cities and colloquially named the Mother City, Cape Town is famous for its picturesque lakes, scenic coastal views and gorgeous farmlands, attracting a lot of foreigners. If you are planning to visit or move to Cape Town, check out some things that are going to be useful to know beforehand.
The locals are friendly and welcoming
A lot of people might have apprehensions about visiting Cape Town. While it would not hurt to be careful (as you should in any foreign country), you will find that you will be incredibly at ease there. This is because the locals are very warm and welcoming people. Accepting of different cultures, they will gladly strike a conversation with you or help you out, which makes it easier for you to learn and embrace their culture.
Uber or rent a car instead of local taxis
Getting a local township taxi would prevent you from enjoying Cape Town fully since they will just focus on moving the greatest number of passengers as quickly as possible. Moreover, you cannot be sure about their safety. A secure alternative would be Uber, which is completely reliable. Another exciting option would be to rent a car and go on a trip on your own, as so many tourists do! Self-guided driving tours are quite popular in Cape Town and surrounding areas.
There will be a lot of walking
Cape Town is full of fun things to discover and the best way to enjoy them is by walking. Many of the city’s cultural and touristic attractions is within walking distance of hotels. However, to prepare yourself for a day out or a shopping spree, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, especially since the streets run uphill. If you feel a bit tired, you can always opt for the bus.
Make sure to tip
This is expected in Cape Town. At restaurants, tip 10% of your bill. However, you must calculate the tip yourself, add it to the bill and then tell your server how much to charge. Another little tip would be to keep some coins on hand if you are renting a car. These will come in handy to tip gas station attendants or the guys who ‘look after’ your car when you park it.
Tap water is drinkable
Even if you have no money on you, you will not die of thirst in Cape Town, you can just drink the tap water. It is among the best in the world and is safe for cooking and drinking. Thus, you will always be hydrated. You can even ask for tap water in restaurants, but you have to ask your server for it specifically.
Learn the lingo
Last but not least, learning the slang and lingo will be incredibly useful in Cape Town. It will help you acclimatize to the city more easily. For instance, if someone tells you ‘Now now’, it does not mean “right now’. It is just a vague indication of time in the future.