Cape Town Basic Information
With 11 official languages in South Africa, including English (!), it pays to know some Cape Town slang. "Babbelas" is the local lingo for a hangover, "duidelik" translates as "awesome", and "howzit" means "hi". For more need-to-know info about holidaying in Cape Town, read on.
Australians travelling to South Africa on holiday are required to have a passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended stay, and at least 2 completely blank pages for your entry permit to be endorsed. Be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of South Africa.
The currency of Cape Town is the South African Rand. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and South African Rand fluctuates constantly, so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit card or debit card.
With a melange of cultures in Cape Town, the local dining habits are similarly influenced - check out the variety of international cuisines available along Long Street in the City Bowl for starters. South African food is based on meat in all forms: dried (biltong and droewors), sausages (boerewors), kebabs (sosaties) - you name it, you'll find in at a weekend braais (barbecue). The Cape Malay influence also means spicy curries are popular - try bunny chow or kota, a hollowed half-loaf of bread stuffed with curry, or bobotie, a spiced meatloaf topped with baked egg. Fish stews and Gatsby rolls are also popular meals in Cape Town. The area is also just an hour's drive from some of the world's best wine-producing regions such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
For Cape Town's vibrant after-hours scene, the places to go are Long Street in the City Bowl, Somerset Road in Green Point and Edward Street in Tyger Valley. Long Street is Cape Town's multi-ethnic dining, entertainment and nightlife precinct with clubs, bar and restaurants along the stretch. Check out sky-high Hemisphere, Deluxe for deep house and Long Street stalwart Jo'burg for live music. The beautiful people hit up Camps Bay when the sun goes down on the beach. Head to upmarket Karma Lounge or Baraza for cocktails, people-watching and seaside views. Cape Town also has a large gay community and plenty of pink nightlife options.