Cape Town is Africa’s most popular travel destinations thanks to its natural beauty from iconic landscapes like the Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, beautiful beaches, the most scenic road in the South of Sahara, and the popular meeting point of two great oceans, Atlantic and Indian.
Cape Town is perhaps one of the most civilized cities in Africa in terms of public transport which means getting around is fairly easy.
With so much to do, you will need to know which means of transport works for your budget and convenience, depending on the things on your to do list while in Cape Town.
MyCiTi Bus is among Cape Town’s civilized public transport with connections to most zones and neighbourhood in Cape Town.
The bus doesn’t accept cash payments and uses myconnect card loaded with enough money for a single trip or more. The card can be easily obtained in the various MyCiTi kiosks, including Cape Town International Airport and retail stores for 35 South African Rands. Single trip cards are also available for visitors but are non-refundable in case you don’t take the journey.
Probably the best means of transport in Cape Town if you’re visiting. Uber in Cape Town is super cheap.
To enjoy this, all you need to do is download the Uber App, register and start using. The catch is, you will need the internet to access it. Most cafes have WiFi you could borrow. Shopping Malls like Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Century City Malls in Cape Town have public Wifi you could take advantage of.
Transport by train in Cape Town is provided by the local government offering thousands of commuters affordable transport to and from Cape Town City Centre.
The Southern line serves the Southern suburbs with the last stop being Simon’s Town. Train fares are depended on the distance travelled with prices ranging from 7- 22 South African Rands for single journeys. There is a choice for weekly and monthly cards which are more economical than several single tickets.
Minibuses or Matatus as we call them in Nairobi are a fair share of cheap public transport. Although safety is not guaranteed, the 14-seater or 16-seaters are available almost every corner of Cape Town.
The Minibus Taxis are white in colour with a Yellow line around them. One-way fares start from 5 South Africa Rands and the range is determined by the time of the day. Rush hours are obviously more expensive than normal 11 AM to 3 PM.
It’s advisable to carry loose change especially coins for your convenience.
Car rental services are available right from Cape Town International Airport. Renting a car gives one the freedom to explore the best of Cape Town at leisure.
Choose from different service providers like Europcar, Budget, Avis among other local car rental companies. Visitors can choose to pick the car at Cape Town International Airport and drop it back at the same point or rent on the go which means you will drop the car at any other outlet in the city.
Don’t miss the most scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak where you drive literally under the Table Mountain with panoramic views of the beautiful coastline.
This mode of transport was quite popular before Uber arrived in Cape Town. They, however, come in handy when there is no internet to power Uber or need to get somewhere not very common with public transportation.
It’s common for taxi drivers to approach travellers in Cape Town airports. At that point, you can’t tell if their taxi is licensed and may have to walk a little bit to access the taxi, not to mention the safety risks involved.
It’s advised you try to locate the Taxi stand outside the Arrivals section and choose from the many metred taxis that will safely take you to your destination.
One of the best ways to explore downtown Cape Town (city centre) is on foot. Cape Town streets are easy to manoeuvre and master. Walk around the Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap area) and admire the rainbow coloured houses, walk to Greenpoint Flea market and back to Long Street for a beer seated at the bar balcony.
One thing I must caution though is while walking in the Mother City, be extra vigilant on who is walking behind and beside you. Avoid deserted streets and alleys and don’t walk after dark, all for safety reasons.
If you like, you could join in one of the many free walking tours organized by different tour companies, including the City Sightseeing Bus company which organizes free walking tours in neighbourhoods like District Six Museum and Greenpoint. Be sure to check with your hotel/hostel.
Sightseeing Bus (Hop-in-Hop-Off)
The sightseeing bus service is available in Cape Town and Johannesburg only. The open-top red buses operate 7 days a week throughout the year connecting visitors to all the tourist attractions Cape Town has to offer.
Popular tourist destinations in Cape Town like V&A Waterfront, the Table Mountain, Camps Bay beach, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Long street, South Africa Museum, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town Winelands, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden among others are interconnected by the City Sightseeing Bus.