Best times of year to play golf in Cape Town

Wondering which is the best season to book a golf holiday in Cape Town? You’ll need to balance the crowds and the southeasterly ‘Cape Doctor’ wind, says Justin Roux, Golf Director at the acclaimed Steenberg Golf Club.

In the Western Cape I’d say that summer (November to March) is a great time of year to come and play in Cape Town. Even if it’s a little windy, the days are much longer and the weather is generally fantastic.

The Western Cape gets its rain in winter (June to August), so you do get wet days, but then you also get the days in between the cold fronts that are just perfect for winter golf: clear skies, moderate temperatures and little wind. In winter the availability of tee times is also much better, and you’ll usually get a better rate on green fees from the club.

Clubs generally have a set rate for the high summer season, but they may have a sundowner rate or specials on offer.

Most courses need to accommodate their members first and foremost, so it becomes a balance of making sure there are sufficient tee times for members, as well as providing spaces for visitors.

At Steenberg we have limited visitor rounds available, so it’s best to book far in advance. Throughout the year, Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays are the most popular days for members, and visitors will struggle to find available tee times on these days.

Cape Town’s summer festivals are where love and live music meet

Over the summer months, Cape Town and surrounds play host to a wide variety of music festivals – from folk to rock and more – and they’re a must for any music lover.

Looking for a thrilling summer festival experience? Cape Town has it all. In October Rocking the Daisies, one of South Africa’s biggest music festivals, draws thousands to Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, where seven stages boast top local and international acts. Expect to pay a premium price as tickets range from R650 to R950 for a full four-day trip.

Synergy Live takes place over the last weekend of November at Theewaterskloof Dam in Villiersdorp and boosts a weekend of top international headliners, local live talent and electronic artists to welcome in the holiday season. Tickets range in price from R200 to R600 for a full weekend.

Taking place in Swellendam on the last weekend of January, Up the Creek is one of the longest-running South African music festivals, charmingly set beside a river, where you can float leisurely by on your lilo as bands rock the River Stage. Tickets for this cosy festival with limited numbers sell out at a rapid pace and R900 will get you in the gate.

The Flamjangled Tea Party is another must-do and is like stepping straight into Wonderland, as three days of music and fun and tomfoolery take place at Elandskloof Wine Farm on the last weekend of March. Tickets range in price from R200 to R500 for the full weekend.

Could this be the best beach in Cape Town?

Cape Town’s beautiful beaches are some of the city’s most alluring natural attractions. Clifton is not only the best in Cape Town, according to Fiona McIntosh, it’s one of the best in the world.

Surrounded by ocean, Cape Town has an array of beautiful golden beaches, including eight top standard Blue Flag beaches (beaches that conform to a range of strict social, educational and environmental standards). Five of these — Bikini Beach, Clifton 4th, Llandudno, Camps Bay and Silwerstroomstrand — are on the western, Atlantic seaboard. The remaining three — Mnandi, Muizenberg and Strandfontein — are on the eastern, False Bay coastline.

But which is the best beach in Cape Town? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but my favourite beach in Cape Town is Clifton, which has Table Mountain and Lion’s Head as a spectacular backdrop . Flanked by dramatic granite boulders and with good protection from the summer wind, Clfiton is one of the world’s finest beaches. It attract crowds of scantily-clad locals and tourists onto its white sands and (less frequently) into its freezing waters every year.

Though occupying one bay on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, Clifton is, in fact, divided into four distinct beaches separated by rocky outcrops and called Clifton 1st, 2cnd, 3rd and 4th.

In typical Cape Town style, each of Clifton’s beaches has its own distinct personality: Clifton 4th, the most southerly of the lot, is the popular strip. The largest and most accessible of the four beaches, it has Blue Flag status and attracts the biggest crowds; on sizzling summer days there’s barely room to move as bodies, towels and umbrellas cover the sand.

Clifton 3rd is where the beautiful people hang out, while Clifton 1st, which is secluded and well-protected from the wind but the least accessible of the four, is generally frequented only by Cape Town residents and those in the know. Clifton 2nd is the greatest beach of them all: small enough for atmosphere and large enough to handle a few bodies, it is perfectly sized for frisbee throwing and other beach games. It is also perfectly positioned, enjoying the best wind protection when the southeaster (the dominant wind in the Cape Town summer) really pumps.

My top 3 Cape Town summer music festivals

Publicist Liny Kruger has worked with some of this country’s top musicians over the last two decades and knows what it takes to put on a well-orchestrated event. She shares her top three summer music festivals in Cape Town.

RAMfest (Real Alternative Music) is a raucous spectacle of sound and light, an adrenal delight of the fun and chaos that alternative culture brings to a solid community that loves this music. It showcases the best in local and international alternative music. The Fourie brothers, who started RAMfest 10 years ago (and partner with Hilltop Live), take special care with the infrastructure of the festival, which has no determined venue (the 10th anniversary event takes place at Coetsenberg Stadium in Stellenbosch in March 2016), Whatever the venue, expect big impressive stages, only the best tents, gear and even fencing – I love that they love their festival.

To my knowledge Up the Creek is the only festival in South Africa that has a stage on a river. Set on the banks of the Breede River just outside Swellendam, about 200 kilometres from Cape Town, festivalgoers get to watch bands while floating on an array of colourful lilos. The capacity is limited to 3 000 people, so it almost feels like a VIP weekend away for all who attend. It’s a festival that has grown into its skin over a period of 25 years. The organisers could make it bigger, but have decided against it. The small size of the festival has much to do with its personality – fun-loving, water-based, dance vibes; a fantastic riverside venue that is not overcrowded. One of the best weekends away you will ever have – and child-friendly too.

Rocking the Daisies is an established annual rock music festival with a blooming future. Set on Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, it is also at the forefront of innovative growth and design that includes green initiatives, impressive apps and ticket down-payment options as part of the festival experience. From folk to electronic, Rocking the Daisies caters to all musical tastes, and makes for a fabulous weekend of musical delight.

Pack a picnic and head to Kirstenbosch for a sublime Sunday

Pack a picnic, gather your favourite people and get set for a blissful Sunday at any one of the fabulous Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.

The majestic Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the slopes of Table Mountain, is a crucial stop on any tourist’s itinerary. It is also an essential Sunday summer destination for many Cape Town locals.

Thousands descend upon the luscious green lawns with overflowing picnic baskets and blankets. With their families and friends in tow all who have attended a Summer Sunset Concert agree, there’s nothing better than kicking back against one of the most picturesque views in South Africa, with top-notch musical entertainment to complete the experience.

A showcase for the best local – and quite a few international – musicians, these concerts have played host to almost every legendary South African artist from Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove to Freshlyground and more. Kirstenbosch’s line-up also caters to a variety of musical tastes, from jazz to rock to classical – and include the beloved Carols by Candlelight in December.

The Summer Sunset Concerts season runs from November to April and gates to the concert area open at 4pm. Tickets almost always sell out, so it’s wise to buy online to avoid disappointment.

Always at the forefront of quality entertainment and sound, Sundays at Kirstenbosch are flawlessly orchestrated and are highly recommended for any music or nature fan.

Cape Town Weather Basics

It must be said that the mother city usually has no common decency to keep your hair in the same style that you walk out the house with. Winds in Cape Town Weather Basics have been known to reach up to excessively Gale-force speeds and the nickname for these types of insane winds that blow you round the corner without you lifting a foot is ‘the Cape Doctor’. There have been severe storms which are mainly linked to cold front and low pressure systems that move from the West to the East, however these occur mainly in the Winter months.

Continue reading “Cape Town Weather Basics”