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
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.
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
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
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.