With so much to see and do in Cape Town, you’ll want to dart all over the show, soaking up the sights and sounds, and making the most of your holiday. And it’s important to do this efficiently and safely, while also not wasting too many precious South African rands.
So here are the top 10 modes of transport in the Mother City, so that you can hit the waves on your surfboard and still make it back in time for sundowners up Table Mountain.
Probably one of the most easys ways to get around in Cape Town is by Uber. Just download the app on your smartphone, register, and start using it straight away. The best part is that you register yourself with your credit card details, so you don’t need to always have cash on you to be able to catch a ride.
2. Rikkis Taxis
Save money, time and the environment by sharing your journey with anyone heading in your direction. People love the social side of Rikkis as you can make friends with anyone on the same journey as you. However, they do also offer a private taxi service, which will deliver you right to the door of your destination. If there’s a few of you, you can also choose the Rikkis Share Ride, which is a door-to-door taxi service that takes groups of 2 to 22 people to and from multiple destinations in Cape Town.
3. Minibus taxi
Minibus taxis frequent most areas on dedicated routes and are regularly available and inexpensive although safety can be a concern. Loading and offloading happens on demand pretty much anywhere. Payment is made on board but make sure you have change as the driver may not always be able to assist. Prices start from approximately ZAR5 per trip with amounts increasing according to the distance travelled.
A minibus taxi’s destination will either be shouted out of the window or be displayed on a sign behind the windscreen. The driver will usually hoot if they have space available, and you simply have to raise your hand to get them to stop. When you’re nearing your destination, you just tell the driver/fare collector where to stop – usually by shouting a local landmark.
At the minibus taxi rank, they usually only leave when they are full.
4. On foot
Cape Town is the perfect city to walk around. In the city centre, you can easily walk to many main landmarks or you can go for a free city walk with Nielsontours, which has three tours daily. These are:
– The Historic Tour: The Cape Town tour of heroes and villains, political violence and peaceful revolutions, drama and harmony and a great deal of personal insight into what it means to be a Capetonian.
(Every day at 8.50, 11.00 & 14.00)
– The Bo-Kaap: See the colourful houses, smell the spices of the East, hear the mosques calling for prayer, and let the Cape Malay food tempt your tastebuds. They might even show you a hidden place to get a local beer.
(Every day at 11.00, 14.00 & 16.20)
– District Six Tour: Walk the partially rebuilt slopes of the world famous District Six and relive the dramatic history of the place that affected so many people, caused a world to protest and inspired Hollywood Blockbusters.
(Every day at 16.20)
5. By bicycle
Travelling through Cape Town by bike is an easy and fast way to move around. There are multiple places where you can rent good quality city bikes or mountain bikes.
Alternatively, you can decide to go on a bike tour, like the CapeTown city cycle tour. Leaving daily at 10am from the V&A Waterfront Information Centre, the city cycle tours are led by experienced local guides, and make cycling the perfect way to really experience this incredible city.
6. Meter taxi
Various fleets of metered taxis are available in Cape Town and fall under the jurisdiction of the city. All legitimate operators use the taxi-metre, and fares are clearly displayed on the outside of the taxi per metered kilometre.
As metered taxis in Cape Town are theoretically not allowed to stop for customers on the streets, they should be ordered in advance or found in one of the city’s designated taxi ranks. Taxi ranks can be found, for example, in Bloem Street, Adderley Street, opposite the Civic Centre MyCiTi station and outside most large hotels in the CBD.
Examples of reputable taxi companies include Marine Taxi, SA Cab and Unicab. You can also make use of The Green Cab.
7. MyCiTi bus
MyCiTi is Cape Town’s modern, scheduled bus service, and it is an easy and cheap way to get around the city. Current routes link the central city with major landmarks, such as the V&A Waterfront, the Table Mountain Cableway, the pristine beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, and the seaside fishing village of Hout Bay. The MyCiTi service also travels north from the city centre to the suburbs around Table View and along the Blouberg coastline.
MyCiTi does not accept cash on the buses so each passenger needs their own myconnect card to travel. Get yours from MyCiTi stations or select retailers, and load your card with money for travel.
When you leave Cape Town, you can also keep your card for your next visit to the city.
8. City Sightseeing double decker bus
Explore Cape Town at your own pace by buying one ticket for the double-decker red bus then hopping on and off at any of the exciting stops on the way. Your ticket is valid all day, so you can take your time to explore your favourite attractions.
The City Sightseeing open-top bus tour runs seven days a week, 365 days a year, and arrives at each stop at regularly scheduled intervals to encourage visitors to hop off the bus throughout the tour and explore the surrounding areas.
9. Rental Car
Hiring a car directly after you land is the easiest way to cruise around Cape Town. By renting a car you can ensure that you get to see all of the major attractions at your leisure. It also means that you can afford to be more relaxed about your holiday planning.
There are many car rental agencies to choose from, and most will give the option of picking up your chosen vehicle at the airport and dropping it off at a corresponding outlet in Cape Town. You could even choose the one-way car rental option, which allows you to pick up a car from Cape Town and drop it off in another part of the country (e.g. Johannesburg). This creates the perfect opportunity for a roadtrip!
Another option to get around in Cape Town is with your board. Skateboarding is pretty popular in the Mother City, so it is not difficult to find a skate shop to buy a board if you haven’t brought your own.