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January 09, 2013

Travelling solo can be fun in Cape Town

Solo travelling in Cape Town. Photo courtesy Daniel Russell

There are many reasons why people chose solo travelling, and Cape Town is filled with tourists who come on their own. Be it a soul-searching journey, to be master of their itinerary, or to meet new people, the Mother City embraces solo travellers.

Solo travelling can be daunting for first-timers but it need not be if you stick to some basic safety rules, like not hikingswimming or taking night walks alone, keeping your valuables locked up, not carrying a large amount of cash, and telling your hosts where you are going to be and what time to expect you back.

A good tip is to make a photocopy of your passport and any other important documentation you may need to carry with you, and leave your originals at your accommodation. Many places have lock-up safes for your convenience, where you can store valuable documents. 

Cape Town is a relatively safe city, with visible security patrols and a network of CCTV cameras, but it is still advisable to keep your camera in your bag when you are not using it. If you are walking through the city centre on your own, a good companion is the walking tour of Cape Town app. Using the app, there is no way you will get lost – and you will get to know a whole lot more about the city.

It is easy to get around Cape Town: you could hire a car, hop on a bus, or catch a train during the day. As a solo traveller, the city is your oyster. Hiring a taxi for a few hours is a good way to familiarise yourself with the city, and taxi drivers are generally knowledegable when it comes to good places to explore, places to relax and where the best restaurants are.

Sitting at a sidewalk café on Greenmarket Square and enjoying a drink is the perfect place to watch the world go by and meet new people. 

You may want to visit a township, and it is advisable to do so with a guide. Coffeebeans Routes, for example, offers a number of tours which promise to give you deeper insight into Cape Town.

Birding, a calming and restorative activity, is increasing in popularity and there are myriad bird species to be encountered in and around Cape Town.

While it is not advisable to hike up Table Mountain on your own, you can still experience the joys of being on the summit by taking the cable car.

The City's beaches are generally safe and many, like Blouberg beach, offer great activities such as kite- and windsurfing.  

No matter what you choose to do on your solo holiday, Cape Town has it all!

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