Cape Town

From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldAfricaSouth AfricaCape Town
Cape Town
Port of Entry
33°53.721'S, 018°26.166'E Chart icon.png
lat=-33.89535 | lon=18.4361 | zoom=12 | y
Cape Town, South Africa
The Fairest Cape of All

Cape Town is one of the highlights of the Cape of Good Hope Cruising Route. Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa, forming part of the metropolitan municipality of the City of Cape Town. It is the provincial capital of the Western Cape, as well as the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located. Cape Town is famous for its harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is one of the most popular South African destinations for tourism.

The centre of Cape Town is located at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula. Table Mountain forms a dramatic backdrop to the city bowl, with its plateau over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) high; it is surrounded by near-vertical cliffs, Devil's Peak and Lion's Head. Sometimes a thin strip of cloud forms over the mountain, and owing to its appearance, it is colloquially known as the tablecloth. The peninsula consists of a dramatic mountainous spine jutting southwards into the Atlantic Ocean, ending at Cape Point. There are over 70 peaks above 1,000 feet (300 m) (the American definition of a mountain) within Cape Town's official city limits. Many of the suburbs of Cape Town are on the large plain of the Cape Flats, which joins the peninsula to the mainland. The Cape Flats lie on what is known as a rising marine plain, consisting mostly of sandy geology which shows that at one point Table Mountain itself was an island.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo - Damien du Toit


636 - Table bay to False bay
2082 - Cape Columbine to Dager point–Hout bay
1920 - Approaches to Table bay


The Cape Peninsula has a Mediterranean climate with well-defined seasons. In winter, which lasts from May to September, large cold fronts come across from the Atlantic Ocean with heavy precipitation and strong north-westerly winds. The winter months are cool, with an average minimum temperature of 7 °C (45 °F). Most of the city's annual rainfall occurs in wintertime, but due to the mountainous topography of the city, rainfall amounts for specific areas can vary dramatically. The suburb of Newlands which is to the south of the city is the wettest place in South Africa. The valleys and coastal plains average 515 millimetres (20 in) of rain per annum, while mountain areas can average as much as 1,500 millimetres (60 in) per annum. Summer, which lasts from November to March, is warm and dry. The Peninsula gets frequent strong winds from the south-east, known locally as the Cape Doctor, because it blows away pollution and cleans the air. The south-easterly wind is caused by a high-pressure system which sits in the South Atlantic to the west of Cape Town, known as the South-Atlantic High. Summer temperatures are mild, with an average maximum of 26 °C (79 °F). The only times when Cape Town can be uncomfortably hot is when the Berg Wind, meaning "mountain wind" blows from the Karoo interior for a couple weeks in February or early March.

Sources for weather forecasts:



  • Robben Island


  • Contact "Cape Town Port Control" on VHF channel 16 (Note - 16 is to be used only for initial contact and receiving purposes and DISTRESS). It is NOT to be used as a general talking frequency, ship to ship VHF Channels 06, 08 or 10 may be used. Channels NOT to be used, as they are pilot and Port working frequencies are as follows: 9, 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 67, 70, 74. PLEASE NOTE: ALL RACE COMMUNICATIONS WILL BE ON CHANNEL 71.
  • SA Maritime Net: The South African Maritime Net operates 7 days a week, and provides weather reports from around the coast, and maintains contact with boats off the coast of South Africa and up into the Mozambique channel. There are two regular schedule times as follows:
    • 06:30 UTC: Starts on 14316 kHz for 5-10 minutes, and then moves to 7,120 kHz.
    • 11:30 UTC: Starts on 14316 kHz for approx. 30 mins and then moves down to 7,120 kHz.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Yachts should not interfere with large vessels entering the commercial port. Craft should call "Port Control" (VHF channels 14 & 16).

Approaching the harbour, yachts should stay east of the buoys, entering close to the east mole and remain that side of the harbour. This applies also when entering the Duncan Dock. The yacht basin and yacht club are located at the SE end of Duncan Dock.


Cape Town is a port of entry for South Africa. For details see Entrance: South Africa.


The RCYC Skippers Register must be completed on arrival and departure. Foreign yachts/Skippers, when departing South Africa for a foreign destination must clear as follows:

  1. The Yacht Club where they will receive a clearance Certificate.
  2. Then proceed to Immigration (Passport Control), Room 535, 5th Floor, Customs & Excise Building (just outside Adderley Street Customs Gate), then;
  3. To the Harbour Revenue Office, Ben Schoeman Dock.
  4. Customs at the Main Gate, where the Yacht Club Clearance Certificate is required.

Local (South African) yachts/Skippers must first get approval from the Central Revenue office, in Plein Street. They may also need to get vaccinations and a health certificate - see the Government Medical Officer, also in the Revenue building in Plein Street.


  • Although Cape Town has its share of violent crime, you are safe if you keep your wits about you. Pickpockets and bag snatchers abound in the CBD (Central Business District), as do conmen and cholos, although during daylight police make themselves known. Simply put, leave everything you value - especially your documents and valuables - locked in your boat safe if you plan to stroll through Cape Town.
  • At night, make sure you stay on well-lit and crowded streets. Crime is especially high in Cape Town's CBD, Seapoint, Greenpoint, Salt River, Observatory, Mowbray, and the Cape Flats.
  • Glue sniffing children and junkies are a minor problem, called 'strollers' by the locals - these ragamuffins will strip you bare if you do not stay alert.
  • You should try not to appear to be a tourist, and you will not be targeted. Targeted tourists are generally spotted wearing cameras, shorts and golf hats - try not to do this. Do what you can to blend in, and if anything happens - don't try to be a hero, rather give them what they want, and keep your life.


Cape Town is a large and busy commercial harbour. Yachts usually moor in the marinas.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Royal Cape Yacht Club
Photo: sv Stingo

Royal Cape Yacht Club

Royal Cape Yacht Club/wiki/Cape_Town#Royal_Cape_Yacht_Club
Marina icon Royal Cape Yacht Club [[Cape Town#Royal Cape Yacht Club|Royal Cape Yacht Club]] (RCYC) 33°55.187'S, 018°26.614'E
Port of Entry

RCYC provides 412 block and chain moorings to both members and visitors. All moorings are fitted with fresh water supply, lighting, and 220 V electrical supply. Vessels in excess of LOA of 65’ or draft of 3m are to advise the Club prior to arrival. Bookings are required in advance of any visit. Strong shore lines needed, the wind can come up very strongly in no time. Facilities include hot showers, toilets, bar, a good restaurant, chandler with limited stocks.

The Club offers an 18tonne lift capability, complemented by a hard area which is able to accommodate both long and short-term repair areas. A Chandlery is conveniently positioned within the hard/lay-up area which is able to offer both equipment sales and contractual maintenance assistance. In addition to the crane facilities, a 40 tonne Slipway can be utilized by the larger vessels if/when required.; Tel: +27 (21) 421 1354; Fax: +27 (21) 421 6028; Mobile: +27 (82) 490 7097; VHF channel 71
Address: Duncan Road, Table Bay Harbour, Cape Town, Western Cape 8001, South Africa

V&A Waterfront Marina

V&A Waterfront Marina/wiki/Cape_Town#V.26A_Waterfront_Marina
Marina icon V&A Waterfront Marina [[Cape Town#V&A Waterfront Marina|V&A Waterfront Marina]] 33°54.520'S, 018°25.141'E

Access to the marina is via Bascule and Swing Bridges. On Approach call Cape Town Port Control on VHF Ch 14 (call sign being "Cape Town Port Control"). Request permission to enter V&A Waterfront stating intention of entering the V&A Marina. On rounding breakwater, call the V&A Swing Bridge (call sign being "Swing Bridge") on VHF Ch 71 or phone +27 (21) 408 7700, requesting opening of Swing Bridge and lifting of the Bascule Bridge to enter the V&A Marina.

Marina has 12 visitors' berths, all facilities, laundry, WiFi, fuel. Chandlery, internet cafe, provisions, restaurants and public transport all close by.; Tel: +27 (21) 408 7832 & +27 (21) 408 7500; VHF channel XX
Address: V&A Warerfront, P.O. Box 50001, Waterfront 8001, Cape Town, South Africa


Table Bay

Table Bay/wiki/Cape_Town#Table_Bay
Anchorage icon Table Bay [[Cape Town#Table Bay|Table Bay]] 33°52.301'S, 018°27.520'E
Anchoring off is possible N of the harbour in Table Bay. Before anchoring inquire "Port Control" (VHF channels 14 & 16).


Water In the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Electricity In the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Toilets In the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Showers In the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Laundry In Waterfront Marina
Garbage Bins in both marinas
Fuel Fuel dock in the Waterfront Marina basin
Bottled gas
  • In Action Yachting Chandlery; Telephone; +27 (21) 419 4835; Duncan Road, Capetown Harbour
Repairs In the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Internet WiFi in the Yacht Club and in Waterfront Marina
Mobile connectivity South Africa has four cellular operators and two fixed line operators. But be warned - calling rates are among the highest in the world.

To call abroad, dial 087 940 6966 and follow the voice prompts. This service, Celldial, allows you to call over 80 countries for the cost of a local call. See their website for a full list. Various prepaid international calling cards are also available, including Sundial and Worldcall.

Vehicle rentals ?


Give the names and locations of supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, etc.

Eating out

Give the name of recommended restaurants, tavernas, pastry stores, etc.


  • Cape Town International Airport serves both domestic and international flights.
  • The Shosholoza Meyl is the passenger rail operations of Spoornet and operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Cape Town.
  • Metrorail operates a commuter rail service in Cape Town and the surrounding area.



Cape Town was originally developed as a victualing (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East more than 200 years before the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869. Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope. It was the largest city in South Africa until the growth of Johannesburg.

Places to Visit

Cape Town

The Cape Town Waterfront is a must. It houses a great shopping mall and many fine restaurants. Various hotels and casinos too.

Adjascent are the city centre, with Long Street being the current centre of night life. De Waterkant (just behind the Waterfront) is the centre of Gay life, and is also home ot many fine restaurants. Sea Point is also worth a visit.

Further out are many other interesting destinations, including the winelands (Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Paarl).

  • Cafe Neo, in Mouille Point (opposite the lighthouse just down the road from the Waterfront) operates an open WiFi hotspot during the day. They also serve fine coffee and Greek food.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)




We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Cape Town and this page's details validated:

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki