Books about Cape Town

Finding your escape through the pages of a book is often the best travel inspiration. To celebrate International Literacy Day on 8 September, we highlight some books with Cape Town as the backdrop.

A selection of fiction and non-fiction that will inspire you to visit Cape Town and uncover the best the Mother City has to offer.

If you’re in Cape Town, head to the Open Book Festival between 4 and 8 September.

Best Walks in the Cape Peninsula, Mike Lundy

Whether you’re an expert hiker or a just starting out, Mike Lundy’s Best Walks in the Mother City will having you packing your hiking gear for your next visit to Cape Town. The walks were chosen around points of interest – think waterfalls, grottos, shipwrecks or spectacular viewpoints – and the routes range from challenging climbs to easy strolls.

More info:

Hidden Cape Town, Paul Duncan and Alain Proust

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the doors of an iconic building? Wonder no more as Hidden Cape Town reveals the artworks and architectural secrets that lie behind the doors of some well-known, and lesser-known, landmark buildings in and around Cape Town.

More info:

Secret Cape Town, Justin Fox and Alison Westwood

This is a guide for anyone who wants to know the Mother City’s secrets and hidden gems. From beaches on top of mountains, magical healing trees and women disguised as men to be doctors, the secrets will astound you.

More info:

The Cape Town Book: A Guide to the City’s History, People and Places, Nechama Brodie

The Cape Town Book presents a fresh picture of the Mother City, one that brings together all its stories. From geology and beaches to forced removals and hip-hop, Nechama Brodie, author of the best-selling The Joburg Book, has delved deeply into the hidden past of Cape Town to emerge with a lucid and compelling account of South Africa’s first city, its landscape and its people.

More info:

You Can’t Get Lost In Cape Town, Zoe Wicomb

You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town is a timeless narrative that spans almost 30 years in protagonist Frieda Shenton’s life. As Frieda finds the courage to tell her ‘terrible stories’ – working through her tangled feelings for her family, her heritage, her country and her art – she can start to create her own place in a world where she has always felt herself an exile.

More info:

Apocalypse Now Now, Charlie Human

Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. He’s making a name for himself as the kingpin of his smut-peddling high-school syndicate, the other gangs are staying out of his business, and he’s dating the girl of his dreams, Esme. But when Esme gets kidnapped, things start to get seriously weird. Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse.

More info:


Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.

For inspiration and insider tips, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Tag #lovecapetown to share your pics with us, or subscribe to our newsletter to get the best Cape Town has to offer sent direct to your mailbox.

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Cape Town Tourism is the city of Cape Town's official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for tourism marketing, visitor and industry services.

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