What is the best time to travel?
Cape Town is attractive all year round. Unlike much of the rest of Africa, Cape Town has a seasonal climate with spring, summer, autumn and winter. The seasons are opposite to the seasons in the northern hemisphere, so if it is summer in South Africa, it is winter in Europe. During spring time (September to November) the temperatures are mild and people come from all over the world to visit the west coast during its flower season or to see the whales in Hermanus. In summer (December to February) the weather is warm and temperatures can reach the lower 30’s; most people go to the beaches and do outdoor sports. Autumn (March to May) also offers warm weather and there is hardly any wind. This is the best time to enjoy nature at its most colourful, visit wine estates or to do outdoor sports, like surfing. Winter (June to August) can be rainy and cool at times, but also sunny and warm. Capetonians spend most of their time at one of the city's many great restaurants, bars or theatres.
Is it safe to be in Cape Town?
As a tourist, you will experience Cape Town to be a safe city, as long as you follow the same rules that apply to most big cities (don’t display valuable items, avoid deserted streets, especially at nights, etc.). We will inform you about these rules on your first day of school.
What is the weather like in Cape Town?
January and February can be very hot, with temperatures as high as 32 – 34 C. There are plenty of daylight hours and the wind can be strong at times.
March to April is warm, sunny and the wind drops considerably. May and June are the autumn months. This is when sunny days alternate with rainy days and the evenings become cooler.
July and August are the winter months. It seldom freezes in Cape Town and on a sunny day it can easily reach 20 C. However, there are rainy days and evenings become colder.
September and October, it rains less frequently and the daylight hours increase by the week. During November and December you may find occasional hot days, but usually there are mild temperatures and a little rain. For the current weather in South Africa see www.weather.news24.com/sa/cape-town.
What kind of food is served in South Africa?
South Africans eat a variety of food including pasta dishes, chicken and rice, fish and rice, meat (beef, lamb and pork) and vegetables. Local meat is sometimes also available, such as ostrich or kudu. You may get to try traditional dishes such as pap (corn meal), boerewors (spicy beef sausage) and vetkoek (deep fried dumplings with either sweet or savoury fillings).
Do I need any vaccinations?
No vaccinations are required except for travellers going to the north-eastern areas of South Africa, where anti-malaria precautions are recommended. However you should consult your doctor for advice. Students coming from South America or travelling through a Yellow Fever belt need to ensure that they have their Yellow Fever vaccination.
For accommodation options that provide meals, ZAR500 – ZAR1000 a week should be sufficient.
Do I need a visa?
For a stay in South Africa of up to 90 days, you can travel on a visitors' visa. Some nationals need to apply for a visitors' visa at the nearest South African embassy in their home country, other nationals will receive the visa at the port of entry. For a list of countries as well as the latest information please visit the homepage of the department of home affairs.
You can extend a visitors' visa once while you are in South Africa by a further 90 days. However, if your visa is endorsed to attend a language school, you will not be able to extend your visa.
If you intend to stay for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a visa in your home country. Details will be given on request.
Do you offer sightseeing tours and assistance with travel arrangements?
The Good Hope Studies Social Club organises activities for students to get in touch with local people and learn more about South Africa and its culture. Activities are organised based on the students’ interests. You can find the current programme and book online under “Activities in Cape Town“. Some activities are free of charge; for others, transport and entrance fees apply. All guided tours start at both centres. We have a dedicated travel advisor at the school, who manages our social programme and also helps students with booking additional services such as car hire, Kruger safaris, overland tours, etc. We are also available to assist students in booking sightseeing tours that may not be on the social programme for that week.
What sports are available in and around Cape Town?
Cape Town is great for almost any sporting activity. Close to school, students can play tennis, swim at a public pool, train at one of the well-equipped gyms, or rent a bicycle from the school.
Cape Town is also well-known for its many excellent golf courses, for surfing (at Muizenberg beach and Big Bay, along the West Coast), for the hiking trails up Table Mountain, for diving, horse riding, sky diving, sand boarding and much more.