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Family Fun in Cape Town, South Africa
by Roy Witman © 2009

A great destination for all budgets from economy to luxury, Cape Town offers many surprises including world-class beaches, penguins and plenty of family fun.


Numerous festivals take place throughout the year in Cape Town. Sports fans, music lovers and cultural aficionados will all find something to enjoy. For instance, the Cape Argus Cycle Tour is one of the most popular sporting events in the area drawing over 30,000 cyclists from all around the globe. The Life Cycle Expo takes place during the week prior to the race with events happening daily that get the whole family involved.

The Two Oceans Marathon is a unique 56k footrace that follows a scenic waterfront course. Attracting both serious and casual runners, this marathon has become quite a spectator's sport. Crowds line the race route cheering the contestants on to victory. The finish line is located at the University of Cape Town. A carnival caps off the festivities.

If music is your passion, take in the North Sea Jazz Festival which occurs each spring. Talented musicians from Africa, South Africa and other countries delight festival goers with practically every style of jazz known to man.


Looking much like a colonial village, the working waterfront of Cape Town is a huge tourist attraction. With over 250 shops, you'll find everything imaginable from designer boutique clothing to homemade crafts. Restaurants of all sorts, coffee shops, nightclubs, an aquarium, two museums and a host of harbor tours make the waterfront a place where you could get gleefully lost for hours.

Penguin Colony

Did you know penguins need not live in the snow and ice? It's true! Cape Town and nearby cities are host to colonies of African penguins who thrive in the warmer climate of South Africa. Boulders Penguin Colony allows humans and penguins to watch each other by offering wooden walkways visitors can travel along while observing these amazing birds. It's terrifically fascinating for parents and kids alike. Don't forget to bring your camera!


While the weather in Cape Town is predicable, it has been known to have slightly erratic tendencies at times. The best months to visit are from September to April when the temps range from mild to warm and the rainfall is generally limited.


If sand and sea is what you live for on vacation, Cape Town is your kind of place. With a dozen or more beaches to choose from, you can enjoy the surf in family or trendy settings. Divided into two geographic areas, you can take your pick of seashores at either False Bay or the Atlantic Seaboard.

Clifton Beach offers a unique setting with four coves filled with very chilly water, each with its own beach referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Protected from the sometimes windy conditions, Clifton Beach is a trendy setting that stays busy during summer months. With vending machines, kiosks and strolling vendors; there is always refreshment at hand saving you the trouble of packing a cooler.

Deck chairs and umbrellas are available for rent and public bathrooms are onsite. Clifton Beach is a blue flag beach meaning it has earned an international award for meeting excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

If a quieter, family setting is what you prefer, head to Fish Hoek Beach in Cape Point. Walk in the waves till your heart's content down this long stretch of beach. With a playground for the kids and casual beachfront dining with to-go orders, it's an excellent place for a fun-filled day. Snacks and bathrooms are also available onsite, but you'll need to bring your own umbrellas and chairs.

With so much to offer, you'll want to spend at least several days in Cape Town. Check with your cruise travel agent to find itineraries that either depart from or call on this fascinating seaside city.