Language: South Africa claims a whopping eleven official languages but the most common you’ll hear in and around Cape Town is English—the lingo of business and media—followed by Afrikaans and Xhosa on the streets.
Currency: The currency in South Africa is called a Rand. 1 USD is equivalent to 13.54 Rand.
Credit Cards and Banks: The majority of retailers and restaurants accept debit cards as payment.
Climate: Humidity is quite low in Cape Town, so while the summers are hot, they aren’t too muggy. Wintertime, however, is chilly with the ocean winds blowing in from the southeast. The best times to visit are the cusp months, October and November, springtime in South Africa, or from December to February when the days are at their longest and warmest. Winter from June to August tends to be rainy and cold.
Plugs: Most plugs in South Africa are 2-prong or 3-prong so be sure to bring both power adapter so you’re prepared wherever you go.
Safety: Cape Town is one of the safer cities in South Africa, but there are still some petty crimes. Be sure to lock up your valuables and keep important belongings on your person.
GETTING AROUND IN CAPE TOWN
Uber: Uber is one of the best ways to get around Cape Town. The distances between most of the top attractions are short, making it a cost-effective option for your trip. You can also request a ride from Cape Town International Airport by using the free WiFi.
My CitiBus: Another affordable way to get around the city is with the My CitiBus service. You can buy a transport code from one of the stations and top it up as you go. There is a free app that you can download that lists the timetables for each stop, fares and a route planner.
Rent a Car: Cape Town is rather spread out and with many things to do around the Cape and beyond, I recommend renting a car. Remember that you drive on the left side of the road here! The street signage can be a bit confusing, but you’ll find that the city is auto-friendly with ample parking and not a lot of traffic.
Gas stations accept both cash and credit, but not all. There will be a sign outside telling you if they accept credit or not, but it’s a good idea to always have some cash on you just in case. You will also need small change for tolls on major roads.
Rent a Scooter: Scooters and Vespas are very popular in Cape Town. They’re a very fast and convenient way to get around, just remember to wear your helmet!