Locals call it Kaapstad, iKapa, and Mother City, but to the English-speaking Western world, it’s Cape Town. South Africa’s second-largest city, Cape Town frequently lands on “best of” lists and has grown wildly popular among the digital nomad crowd.
Cape Town, South Africa: The Basics
The oldest urban enclave in South Africa, Cape Town grew up around Table Bay and served as a supply station on the 15th-century maritime trade scene. Located in a picturesque part of the world, the city’s emerald landscape gives way to bright blue waters, and the kaleidoscope of diverse residents adds to Cape Town’s vibrancy.
Weather wise, Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate and boasts several natural features, including two mountains and two oceans, that provide hours of outdoor fun. But remember, since South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Cape Town’s dry, warm summers fall between December and March. Wet winters descend from June through August.
Why Is Cape Town So Popular With Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads want to be where costs are low, people are welcoming, public transportation is reliable, and adventure abounds. That’s Cape Town in a nutshell.
Clean, safe accommodations are easily found for $10 to $160 a night, and delicious, budget-conscious restaurants are everywhere. Another point in Cape Town’s favor is that it’s awash in WiFi cafes, and coworking spaces are to Cape Town as Starbucks are to Seattle — there’s one on every corner!
Enjoying the great outdoors is a favorite Cape Town pastime. Sunset kayaking, paragliding, mountain climbing, hiking, and shark cave diving are always on tap. Or maybe you’d prefer to swim with a school of penguins, go on a safari, or spend the day gin and wine tasting. Whichever floats your boat, it’s all possible in Cape Town.
Droves of digital nomads spend time in Cape Town, and the scene is active. Events that cater to traveling workers are regularly advertised on social media, and people rarely have trouble making new friends with similar lifestyles in the South African city.
Cape Town Tips for Digital Nomads
- The best Cape Town neighborhoods for digital nomads are Greenpoint, Sea Point, and the Central Business District, commonly called CBD.
- Though internet connections are lightning-fast in coworking offices, speeds are considerably slower in WiFi cafes. And in many suburbs, connecting to the internet can be a glacially frustrating experience. As a workaround, invest in a portable connection device and some SIM cards.
- Tourists automatically have a three-month visa. You can extend it to six months but must be in the country when applying. If you decide to spend half the year in South Africa, start the visa-extension process sooner rather than later. It’s easy to get approved, but it can take a few weeks.
- Cape Town’s nightlife is legendary. Head to Victoria Road in Camps Bay, known as the “Sunset Strip,” Long Street, and Bree Street to join the fun.
- There’s no such thing as a crime-free city. In Cape Town, common sense caution is the key to staying safe. Don’t walk alone at night — nor flash valuables — and you’ll be fine.
- Remember to slap on loads of sunscreen. It’s super sunny in Cape Town!
Cape Town is incredible — like you! So make it your next stop and discover first-hand why digital nomads from around the world are flocking to the African city.