Ways to beat the heat in Cape Town

Cape Town is a top summer destination and with good reason. Sultry summer days are always going to be a big draw with the beaches and rooftop bars across the city spilling over. But what about when you want to cool off after a day of soaking up the rays or escape the heat altogether? Don’t worry we got you covered with some tips on how to stay cool and our top 10 ways to beat the sizzle in the Mother City!

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water as often as possible. Get in the recommended two litres a day plus some more!
  • If you’re going to be in the sun, wear sunblock with a high SPF (anything over SPF 50 is highly recommended)
  • Wear a hat if you’re outdoors
  • Wear loose, cool clothing in light colours
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine as both promote dehydration
  • Stay in the shade or visit public buildings with air conditioning
  • Lighter meals like salads and fruits are encouraged as it keeps you cooler
  • If you’re going for a hike in Cape Town, go as early as possible to get the cooler morning air and take LOTS of water with you. Keep emergency numbers at hand in case you need assistance (Emergency Number: +27 86 110 6417 or Mountain Rescue: +27 (0)21 948 9900)
  • If you want to go to the beach, try not to be there outside the hours of 11h00 and 15h30. The sun only sets at about 20h15 during this time, so go in the evening when it’s cooler
  • Try one of the activities below to beat the heat and still have a great time in Cape Town

CHILL ON THE ICE

What better way to cool down than by hitting The Ice Station at Grand West to spend some time on the ice? Beat the heat by gliding around the ice. It’s a fun, inexpensive way to keep cool in the summer sizzle. And even if you, like me, flounder around the ice like a hippo on rollerblades, you can at least do it knowing that one part of your body is bound to be kept cool…

ICE CREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM…

Few things are quite as good as a couple of scoops on a blistering hot day. Thankfully, Cape Town has plenty to choose from when it comes to spots to indulge in your favourite flavour. Sinful Ice Cream Emporium, The Creamery, Ice Dream and Mozart Ice Cream Classics will all ensure you get your fix and chill back.

girls eating ice cream

CATCH A SHOW

Beat the glare of the sun by heading indoors for a show. Cape Town is hive of activity when it comes to the stage with the Theatre on the Bay, Rosebank, Artscape, Fugard, Magnet, Masque, Playhouse, Baxter, Grandwest and more ready to entertain you with a huge variety of entertainments. And that’s not even counting the movies!

TAKE A DIP

If the beach is not your vibe or the bite of the Atlantic is a little too much to endure, there are plenty of public, hotel and resort swimming pools open to the public. Bellville Swimming Pool, Camps Bay Tidal Pool, Long Street Baths, Elsies River Swimming Pool, Hanover Park Swimming Pool, Mnandi Resort Swimming Pool and Sea Point Pavilion Swimming Pool will all ensure you are quite literally ‘cool by the pool my bru’.

MUSEUMS OFFER SHADE AND ENLIGHTENMENT

Cape Town has a cultural centre second to none. The Iziko Museums of Cape Town are an amalgamation of national museums located near the city centre, along what has been dubbed the “Museum Mile”. The natural history collections – the Iziko South African Museum and the Iziko Planetarium – and the social history collections – the Iziko Rust en Vreugd, Iziko Koopmans-De Wet, Iziko at the Castle of Good Hope, Iziko Groot Constantia, Iziko Bertram House, Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, the Iziko Slave Lodge, the Iziko Maritime Centre and the Iziko Social History Centre – combine to tell and celebrate Cape Town’s and South Africa’s heritage.

SA National Museum

FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN

Get ready to feel like a kid again by hitting one of Cape Town’s waterparks! The Blue Rock Cable Waterski in Somerset West offers an awesome range of activities includes diving, cable water skiing and more. The Water Slides in Muizenberg is an institution and a perfect way to keep cool and have a jol at the same time. There are a trio of water slides offers one ‘advanced’ slide, one straight and fast ‘speed’ slide, and one ‘junior’ slide for smaller kids, all on Muizenberg Beach.

CHILL WITH A SEAL

Not only will seal snorkelling keep you cool, it also gives you the opportunity to swim, and play, alongside the silky smooth animals. Sharks? Never fear, the cold water of the Atlantic is a tad too nippy for the finned predators, meaning it’s just you and the seals!

CRACK OPEN A COLD ONE

Nothing chases away the heat better than an ice cold beer. Thankfully, beer tasting is a popular pastime in the Mother City. Microbrewery beers from Boston, Jack Black’s or Mitchell’s are in the hands of Cape Town’s Friday night cool set, while Coffee Beans Routes runs the Cape Town Beer Route, which takes visitors on a half-day journey from mainstream beer production and emerging craft-beer culture to traditional African beer-brewing history and techniques. The world famous Newlands Brewery also offers guided tours, which see you meandering all over the extensive site, capped with two free beers in the underground pub.

READ A BOOK

Sometimes the simplest things in life are just what you need. Find a shady spot at Kirstenbosch Gardens and get comfortable with a book. Heat? Not an issue anymore. If you don’t have a book, visit Clarke’s Book Shop, which specialises in new, used and out-of-print books on Southern Africa and a wide range of second-hand books. Or head to the Book Lounge where you can enjoy a coffee in the lounge with your choice from the eclectic selection of books.

Kalk Bay Books

CELLARS ARE COOL

You can’t get much further away from the sun than a brandy distillery cellar. A tour of Van Ryn’s Distillery in Stellenbosch will provide you with some respite from the sun and provide you with a unique outing. Rated as the best distillery tour in the world, according to judges at the 2015 Distillery Experience Awards, it integrates everything on site, from how barrels are put together to a brandy tasting and pairing of your choice.