Luxury Villas in Cape Town

On South Africa’s Southwestern Coast, sprawled beneath the shade of the Table Mountain, stretching from the craggy mountain foothills to the glittering sea, lies the colourful and cosmopolitan Cape Town.

A hip, urban vibe meets with heritage charm; up-scale boutiques, artisan markets, eclectic fusion cuisine to a cutting-edge arts and design scene. Flanked by the Cape’s beautiful beaches and sun-lit vineyards, it’s difficult to pin-point Cape Town’s allure - with beaches, harbours, botanical gardens and museums telling an intriguing story of a diverse cultural mix - the things to do in Cape Town are breathtakingly varied.

At the end of a day taking in the charms of South Africa’s capital, watching the sun melt into the Atlantic Ocean from the comfort of your Cape Town villa, the magic of this pulsating city sneaks up on you unawares.

Why stay with us?

  • Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in Cape Town have this in spades.
     
  • We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.
     
  • Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

Read the Cape Town Travel Guide

Why visit?

  • Nature’s bounty: from the city centre to the water’s edge within ten minutes. Cape Town’s landmarks of the natural world include oceans, city-centre, mountains, valleys, island and botanical gardens: all in a day.
  • A kaleidoscope of cultures: African, Cape Malay, San, Dutch and other European cultures blend. Enjoy photographing the technicolour homes and minarets of Bo Kaap, followed by the the ornate Cape Dutch colonial architecture at Franschhoek.
  • A foodie mecca: the world’s Michelin-starred chefs go to Cape Town for inspiration. Fresh and local ingredients blend with the melting pot of cultures making for a globally-inspired culinary scene. From the achingly cool Eastern Food Bazaar at Longmarket Street to the traditional meat shacks of the townships, to the hip urban vibe at Bree Street.
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    Luxury Villas in Cape Town: Our Top Picks

    Why visit?

    The “mother city” as Cape Town is locally known as, sits in the foothills of the iconic Table Mountain, where the Indian Ocean flirts with the Atlantic. A city of stark and vivid contrasts, African, European and Malay influences jostle and jive. Today, the cultural blend is unique and spontaneous - villa holidays in Cape Town have a striking breadth.

    The gateway to Africa, Cape Town offers one of the finest spots in the world to dine, surf, spot wildlife, enjoy wine and discover local heritage. Enjoy the twee charm of Kalk Bay and its boutiques, take in the Malay history of the city at the Bo Kaap museum followed by a traditional Cape Malay meal.

    From the technicolour vibrance of the Malay quarter Bo Kaap, to the pretty historic charm of Simon’s Town; from UNESCO-status Robben Island to the majestic cliffs and valleys of the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town’s exhilarating landscapes never get old.

    The people, the sunny weather, the ease of travel both to and around Cape Town, relative affordability, untold natural beauty, and eclectic local culture: Cape Town’s landmarks pack an impressive punch within a manageable area.

    The Lifestyle

    The sunsets, the laughter, the smell of the ocean, and the unforeseen local ways that can’t be written into a tour guide are the ones that tug on the senses and give Cape Town its allure.

    It’s best to enjoy the city the way Capetonians do, sit back and moenie worry nie - visitors may wonder: is Cape Town safe? Cape Town is safe to enjoy wandering around - surrounded by sparkling oceans and jagged mountains, South Africa’s heart brims with a creative spirit and cultural verve.   


    Best time to go

    • The best times to visit Cape Town are from March to May and from September to November. These ‘shoulder seasons’ boast good weather, fewer crowds, and reasonable prices.
       
    • Autumn (March-May) and Spring (September-October) are sunny and temperate.
       
    • Throughout the year, there is a full calendar of exciting things to do, including the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts that run from January to May, Cape Town Carnival in March bringing music, dance, performance, and art to the streets of Green Point. Depending on the month, enjoy Winter Wonderlands, Wildflower Shows and Oyster Festivals.

    Insider tips

    • Tipping: typically it’s the local practice to leave a 10% tip at restaurants and bars, and to tip butlers, porters and the informal “car guards” who will insist on watching your car.
    • Safety: don’t wander around with valuables at night, and while the townships make for culturally interesting visits (on organised trips), crime rates are high, sticking to Uber and registered taxis is sensible
    • Health: Cape Town is malaria-free and generally clean; be part of the eco-tourism in Cape Town effort by shopping and eating sustainably
    • Advance booking: for the city’s most popular restaurants - Cape Town has become a foodie mecca and some of the top restaurants like Test Kitchen, La Mouette or La Colombe book for months in advance.  
    • Load shedding: while load shedding (electricity cuts) will be a thing of the past for visitors to South Africa once energy is purchased from independent suppliers, for now, visitors shouldn’t leave items plugged in unnecessarily, keep phones and tablets charged and carry cash (some ATMs use electricity to operate.)

    Things to do

    From classy cocktail bars to windswept craggy cliff walks, to a hike up to the iconic Table Mountain, back down for a traditional South African braai, Cape Town’s rich diversity is hard to beat. Things to do in Cape Town equals a seemingly endless set of choice. Of course, Cape Town’s landmarks are as varied as they come; here we offer you our Cape Town tips.

    Woodstock Street Art is a myriad of wall murals showcasing breathtaking public art, while the well-heeled neighbourhoods around Camps Bay are a sight to behold, tinged with Dutch Colonial elegance.

    Enjoy wine tasting in the beautifully dappled vineyards around Stellenbosch and Constantia, and back into downtown - Bree Street for dining, Long Street for shopping, the Neighbourgoods Market for absorbing local flavour. The V&A waterfront is a classically glitzy harbour and boasts world-class cuisine. Then there are the Nature Reserves that frame the Mother City, the stunning coastline, the Garden Route and the sun-dappled wineries.

    Nature-lovers, thrill-seekers, art and culture enthusiasts, foodies and wine aficionados - things to do in Cape Town will meet everyone’s needs.

    A must-do

    Try a communal braai (barbecue) on the plastic tables at the open-air shack restaurant at Mzoli’s in the Gugulethu township, and when sunset falls, Long Street is known as the city’s party spot.

    Local Heritage

    Spend an afternoon at the Iziko South African Museum; home to the majestic Whale Well – a beguiling experience of marine wonder that includes a 20.5 metre blue whale skeleton, as well as fossils, art and heritage.

    Visit the penguins

    Check out the African penguin colonies at Boulders Beach, followed by a meander around the Neighbourgoods Market where you can feast on everything from biltong to craft beer in über-trendy surroundings.

    Soak up the culture

    The Zeit Museum of Contemporary African Art is a hub for experimental art; head out to Stellenbosch for a taste of Dutch Colonial life in the Village Museum, meandering there through the Cape Winelands.

    Explore the nature

    Enjoy wildflowers at the Postberg Flower Reserve in the West Coast National Park, (August - September) with views over the Langebaan lagoon, intriguing rock formations and stunning fields of of orange, pink and white daisies

    Extra things to do in your Cape Town villa holiday

    • Helicopter ride from Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
    • Paraglide down Signal Hill
    • Wander around the Bree Street late-night gallery and restaurant openings on a Thursday
    • Watch the sunrise from Lion’s Head
    • Meander around the historical centre of Cape Malay culture, Bo Kaap
    • Take a wine tour around Stellenbosch and Constantia
    • Sample local delicacies at the Neighbourgoods Market 
    • Have a glass of wine at Publik
    • Watch the sunset from Camps Bay
    • Visit the District Six Museum and its discover its story of the apartheid era
    • Surf at Muizenberg Beach

    Best beaches in Cape Town

    The Cape Peninsula’s rugged coastline has a stunning choice of beaches. From the upmarket, glitzy variety down to windswept seclusion and bohemian charm. Whether it be romantic sunset strolls, buzzing local life, well-heeled bars, kicking back or rocky coves, Cape Town beaches have it covered.

    There are the iconic spots brimming with trendy crowds, and there are the unknown gems tucked away in craggy tranquillity. Smitswinkel Bay is hidden down an offbeat path and has no electricity; Herolds Bay has vibrantly coloured beach huts, a braai area and ball games. Glen Beach is less “pumping” than its neighbouring glamour-zone Camps Beach, while Oudekraal Beach is a hidden beauty, ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling; swimming with African penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is a unique joy.

    Sea Point promenade traces the coastline, meandering its way from Mouille Point, setting the scene for a breathtaking morning stroll. Capetonians are a sporty bunch, so beach volleyball and games of soccer are a common sight; surfing conditions are excellent thanks to the break either side of the mountain - Muizenberg is the head to spot for surf school.

    For a dash of local flavour, and a little respite from the Instagrammers and holidaymakers of the more commercial beaches, Llandudno, Bakoven and Kommetjie are popular among locals.

    With many holding Blue Flag status, offering spectacular sunsets, colonies of seals and penguins, white sands or rocky coves, set against the dramatic Cape Fold Mountain range, Cape Town’s beaches are among the world’s finest.

    Oliver’s Hidden Gem

    Tucked away in the Cape Point Nature Reserve is the unspoilt Platboom. Surrounded by lush vegetation, this beach is ideal for picnicking, lazy strolls and wildlife spotting. The small fee to enter the reserve is well worth the visit. Swimming is not recommended as there are no lifeguards.

    Camps Bay

    Cape Town’s best-known beach curves around the bay with a unique elegance, only 10 minutes from the centre of town, boasting fine white sands and majestic views of the Twelve Apostles mountains. One of the world’s most glamorous beaches, in season (December - January), its strip is a bustling melting pot of local life, influencers and upmarket appeal. 

    Bantry Bay

    A relaxed and low-key vibe at Queen's Beach contrasts with the uber-trendy Clifton Beaches, tucked away from the “Cape Doctor” wind, there’s a sedately residential feel, brimming with local flavour and up-market holiday rentals, overlooking The Sea Point promenade - Cape Town’s most popular beachfront stroll.

    Clifton Beach

    More than just a beach - this stretch offers no less than four beaches, not more than a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Each beach boasts the silkiest sand, separated by majestic boulders, attracting families, young and trendy crowds, a gay contingent and local vendors, white yachts bob on the sparkling waters - this is one of our top picks of Cape Town beaches for a reason!

    Llandudno

    Ideal for getting off the beaten track, this hidden gem is 12 miles south of Cape Town towards Hout Bay. As romantic as they come, this beach is popular with locals, makes for a great surfing spot, doesn’t have anything for sale, and is a natural slice of beach heaven known for its sunsets.

    Bakoven Beach

    Nestled between Camps Bay and Llandudno, Bakoven Beach is exquisitely secluded, offering respite from the crowds, with stunning mountain views of the Twelve Apostles and rock pools, framed by boulders creating a sheltered enclave for sun-bathing and picnics.

    Muizenberg Beach

    Framed by pretty Victorian multi-tone wooden beach huts, with warmer water, Blue Flag status and a smattering of surf schools, this laid-back village beach is only half an hour ride from central Cape Town, and it is a favourite for families, dog walkers and bodyboarders.

    Family friendly

    From the outlandish, think abseiling off Table Mountain, a catamaran cruise or hang-gliding, to the culturally immersive like Bo-Kaap Museum showcasing the history of former slave houses to an afternoon in the Two Oceans Aquarium - Cape Town covers every niche, with something for every family member.

    With adventure, sports of all kinds, history and culture and an eclectic culinary scene, family-friendly Cape Town meets the needs of the whole group. The choice of beaches is endless, and proximity to National Parks and wildlife makes for a thrilling trip.

    From Go-Karting to watching seals, cookery classes, educational exhibitions and outdoor adventures, Cape Town is a safe bet for the whole group.

    Highlights

    • Spend a morning at Boulders Beach enjoying the colonies of African penguins followed by fine cuisine at the Noordhoek Farm Village and a trip to the urban skate park, Battery Park, to round the day off

    • Take a trip to the Science Centre for its interactive displays, followed by a frolic in the Company’s Gardens, find out about the San people at the Khwa ttu cultural centre just north of Cape Town 

    • Take the ferry out to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years), followed by an afternoon at surf school on Muizenberg Beach and finish up with a barbecue dinner

    • Head to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve; home to Chacma baboons, large antelopes (elands,) ostriches, rare tortoises, bonteboks and zebras, followed by a pit stop at Monkey Viz for gifts; the shop sells hand-made souvenirs that are intricately made, supporting local women offering work in traditional beadwork.

    Suggestions for a family holiday

    • Nature: a nature lover’s playground, family-friendly Cape Town is a great place to spend time outdoors, with an endless choice of beaches along its rugged coast, the dramatic mountain range and National Parks - be sure to pack sunscreen and sun hats, the South African sun can be deceptively potent.
       
    • Wildlife: aside from its 5 million inhabitants, Cape Town is home to a diverse wildlife population, from seals around Kalk Bay Harbour to African penguin colonies at Boulder Beach; from large species (Humpback Whales) to small (malachite kingfishers).
       
    • Cultural heritage: From Dorp Street’s (Stellenbosch) unmistakable elegant Cape-Dutch architectural charm to the vibrant colours of Bo Kaap (an Instagramer’s dream) to a township tour to Gugulethu or Khayelitsha - Cape Town’s cultural heritage is diverse and full of contrasts. For rainy days, the Science Centre, the Planetarium and the Bo Kaap Museum offer family-friendly Cape Town hotspots.
       
    • Travel minus the hassle: Affordable, direct flights, no jet lag, no need for vaccinations or malaria tablets, no need for a visa, and so much to see in and around Cape Town without driving for hours.

    Getting there and around

    Travel to and around Cape Town can be done easily, responsibly and without hassle, if you follow our guide.

    Is Cape Town safe for travelling around? Put simply, yes, so long as tourists take normal precautions, don’t flash expensive items and are mindful of the surroundings. Avoiding walking alone at night in certain parts of the city is sensible, and using the very affordable Uber taxis or registered pre-booked cars for getting around Cape Town is wise.

    Flights from the UK

    British Airways offers direct flights from London Heathrow (12 hours) to Cape Town, with only a 2 hour time difference (one hour during the summer), meaning no jet lag. Alternative options are offered by Virgin Atlantic or South African Airlines, which offer flights to Cape Town with a stop at Johannesburg.

    Affordable flight options including a stop-over are offered by Emirates (stop at Dubai). Qatar Airways (stop at Doha) and Ethiopian Airlines (stop at Addis and Johannesburg).

    Public transport

    Cape Town International Airport is the second busiest airport in South Africa and is about 20 kilometres from the city centre. Options for getting into town range from hired car, Uber, metered taxi, bus or shuttle. MyCiTiBus runs regularly from the airport. Expect the journey to cost between R300 and R400 for a taxi or Uber.

    Getting around by car

    Getting around Cape Town using Uber is an efficient and very affordable way to get the best of out of the city, without having to worry about tickets or cash; shared taxis (Ricci’s Taxis) are a way to save expense and the environment, they can also be used privately too. Other options are metered taxi, rented bikes or MyCiTi buses (for the latter, no cash, myconnect card only.)



    Top tips

    • Getting around Cape Town using Uber is an efficient and very affordable way to enjoy Cape Town landmarks, without having to worry about tickets or cash.
    • The villas near the beach in Camps Bay can be a sensible option to minimise the use of transport; as the beach, restaurants and bars are mostly within walking distance.
    • To support eco-tourism in Cape Town, shared taxis (Rikki’s Taxis) and The Green Cab are a way to save expense and the environment.
    • Take the Table Mountain Aerial cable car for an unique excursion to the top of the mountain. The 360° views are out of truly breathtaking.

      Ecotourism

      South Africa’s “mother city” offers seemingly endless natural jewels, but taking care of these through responsible tourism in Cape Town has never been more current.

      Earth-friendly travel can involve simple, day-to-day choices, from morning coffee to bigger choices such as which wineries, restaurants and sites to enjoy, choice of travel and shops to endorse when supporting Cape Town through ecotourism.

      Planet-friendly options are everywhere if you take the time to discover them; they can also be unique small businesses with something authentic and sustainable to offer along with a dash of local flavour.

      Supporting local entrepreneurship and making sustainable shopping choices go hand-in-hand, observing animals in their natural environments and enjoying delicious, locally sourced cuisine all contribute towards climate-conscious ecotourism in Cape Town.

      Head down to Artvark for local crafts, or Mungo for beautiful linens and woven homewares produced with conservation and community uplift in mind. Neighbourgoods Market is a bustling bazaar for artisan goods, unprocessed local produce from home-grown fare to locally made handicrafts. Monkey Viz supports local women in the traditional beadwork industry - their worry dolls are ultra-cute as gifts. Nude Foods encourages shoppers to bring their own containers, Spaza Shop (homewares) and Unpacked Pantry (Food) are all part of the effort to bring ecotourism to Cape Town.

      Eating sustainably is a great way to travel in an earth-friendly style. The Test Kitchen, is not only one of Cape Town’s best-known restaurants, but also one of the most eco-friendly places to eat with seasonal produce, supporting local and natural farming methods. Opting for delicious vegetarian options or going for ethically sourced free-range cuts of meat contribute towards responsible tourism in Cape Town. Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants are an eco-friendly provider, perfect for a typical braai.

      Low impact ways of enjoying Cape Town include hiking, cycle tours through the Stellenbosch Winelands, walking tours and of course the five stunning National Parks: Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo and West Coast, all of which preserve this region’s natural habitat; an ideal way to support ecotourism.

      Top Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel

      • Go organic: opt for organic choices for food, clothes and toiletries
      • Opt for compostable over plastic: go for a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic, use cloth bags for shopping, opt for glass bottles, and aim to cut out non-reusables - reusable coffee cups are a good start
      • Shared travel services: MyCitiBus is Cape Town’s network of busses, and there are carpool services such as The Green Cab 
      • Carbon offsetting: When booking a Cape Town villa holiday with us, you can choose to plant a tree to offset the CO2 emissions of your villa stay.
      • Support eco-friendly businesses: opt for the eco-initiatives, locally produced food providers, planet-friendly dining and sustainable life shopping