5 ways to ring in the New Year in Cape Town

Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney are often hailed as some of the most beautiful cities in the world, with tourists descending on their captivating skylines to ring in the New Year. But Cape Town is also blessed with a magical location and is fast becoming a favourite destination to celebrate the year just passed and toast what is yet to come. Spread out along a series of breathtaking natural harbours and backed by the imposing Table Mountain, Cape Town offers up a diverse number of ways to celebrate the biggest party of the year and here are our top five ways to count down 2014.

1. Watch the last 2014 sunset from Table Mountain

For incredible views of the last sunset of 2014, head up to Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain on the special New Year’s Eve cable car run. Recognised as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, this spectacular flat-topped mountain offers mesmerising panoramic views across the city from Camps Bay to Cape Flats and is a uniquely Capetonian way to kick-off the New Year’s eve celebrations. The last run ascends at 8pm but as the sun sinks about this hour it is a good idea to head up early and find a comfy perch to watch the magic happen. Tickets cost 225R (return) for adults and are sell out fast!

Sunset

2. Mingle with the locals at the V&A Waterfront

Cape Town’s biggest New Years Eve party takes place at the stunning Victoria and Albert Waterfront. Not only does it boast beautiful harbor views and a superb selection of restaurants to choose from for your final meal of 2014, it also puts on the city’s most spectacular fireworks display. Live music and DJs at the open-air amphitheatre will keep you entertained throughout the night, and you can count down the New Year on V&A’s iconic clock tower. The waterfront is the place to mix and mingle in Cape Town with an expansive promenade offering plenty of space and a family-friendly atmosphere.

V&A Waterfront

3. Watch the fireworks explode from the water

Jump aboard a catamaran, motor boat or sailing schooner for front row seats of Cape Town’s waterfront fireworks display. A number of different vessels take to the water around 9.30pm and cruise to Clifton and back, allowing you to escape the crowds and watch the sky light up above you. Most vessels include complimentary bottles of champagne and full cash bars, as well as live DJs and snacks, or you are welcome to bring your own picnic baskets. Tickets start from around 500R.

4. Soak it all up in the beautiful surrounds of Kirstenbosch

Magnificent Kirstenbosch Gardens provide the backdrop for one of the friendliest New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cape Town. Bundle up your picnic rugs, baskets and bubbly and find a spot on the grassy lawns of Cape Town’s most famous botanical gardens to toast the new year in sophisticated style. And with South African legends Arno Carstens and Mango Groove headlining the event, there will be no shortage of tunes to help you party the night away. Tickets can be bought directly from Kirstenbosch Gardens and cost 310R.

Kirstenbosch

5. Celebrate in sophisticated chic at the Twelve Apostles

If only the best will do (and no price tag is too hefty) then book in for the New Year’s Eve dinner at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa’s Azure Restaurant. One of Cape Town’s swankiest New Year’s parties, the event includes sunset canapés, champagne and live music before a decadent six-course dinner is served. The night is topped off with French Champagne and a toast to 2015 before the Leopard Bar keeps things kicking on into the wee hours with live music and DJs. Dinner costs 2,200R, excluding drinks.

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

It’s important to remember that tickets to all these events are strictly limited and, due to their popularity, often sell out fast. While there are countless other parties across Cape Town to help you get in the festive New Year’s spirit, if you want to be front-row-centre for the biggest night of the year, you need to get in early.

Javier Luque is a Co-Founder and Director of Your African Safari.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (14)

  1. Penelope says:

    Love the idea of watching the final sunset of the year, and there are few better places to do it in the world than Table Mountain. The party locales in Cape Town seem quite lively as well!

  2. Emma says:

    Table Mountain is so gorgeous. I really really want to go to Cape Town someday and also climb Table Mountain. It really looks beautiful there.

  3. AJ Aerni says:

    What’s the weather like in Capetown late December? Christina and I want to spend some time in South Africa and we’d like to pick a time when the weather is right.

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    You should get good weather then as it’s the middle of their Summer. Summer begins in November and carries on through to February, and you can expect around 10 hours sunshine per day at that time of year. In fact, late December is when the schools break up as well, so it is paticularly busy at that time of year.

  5. AJ Aerni says:

    Thanks for the info Paul. We’ll definitely have to keep that in mind when we decide to head that direction. Do you have any specific places or experiences in SA that you recommend we add to our destination list?

  6. Fran says:

    The best weather is later in summer, February and March. It’s also the best time to come because it’s much less busy. End December is peak season so the city is packed and everything is very expensive (hotels etc).

    Best things to see and do in Cape Town?
    Cape Winelands – a full day
    Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope – a full day which basically takes in the entire peninsula.
    The V&A Waterfront is fun with lots of activities such as boat cruises, helicopter rides, restaurants, great shops, people watching, free concerts, etc.

    You also MUST spend a few days visiting the Garden Route – Google it to see what it’s like and what there is to do.

    Also, of course, a safari is an absolute must.

  7. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi AJ

    On our last visit, we stayed in Cape Town for a few days before then heading out to the Eastern Cape for a safari experience. You can read about it here if you’d like to know more about what we got up to… :)

    https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/tag/hayesandjarvis/

    Kind regards

    Paul

  8. Canita Domingo says:

    Hi AJ, Late Dec is s good time to visit. It will be in the heart of summer. Most of our visitors have gone home and our locals are back at work. So you can pretty much explore at your own leisure.
    In Cape Town we are blessed with approx 300 days of Sunshine every year.
    The list of things to do in Cape Town is endless as Paul and Fran mentioned. Try to fit in a visit to the Overberg region as well. Experience some of our most exquiste Wine farms close to Africa’s most southern tip or if you are also the more adventurous type come do a Shark Cage dive at a litle coastal town called Gansbaai. Also known as the capital of the Great White in the world. What more can I say. We have the best weather in the world. The list of things to do and places to visit is endless. We also have the most friendliest people in the world. :)

  9. Fran says:

    Canita, What on earth are you on about? “Late Dec is s good time to visit. It will be in the heart of summer. Most of our visitors have gone home and our locals are back at work.”

    ?????

    Locals are on holiday until early January and even those who don’t take long leave are on a break then, and it is the peakest of peak season!! The whole of the Cape is simply crawling with visitors, huge tour buses everywhere, no parking, restaurants are full all the time, Table Mountain queues for hours and hours …. it’s the worst possible time to come here unless you have absolutely no choice!!

  10. Canita Domingo says:

    What I am on about is, AJ I do believe your question was what the weather was like and ideas on what to do. It is beautiful. It is still very festive too that time of the year. You decide. That is my opinion. We have visitors throughout the year. Table mountain has a qeue 10 months of the year. But that should not come as a surprise. Everyone wants to see the New natural Wonder. You decide.
    Cheers.

  11. Canita Domingo says:

    Oh our schools close beginning of December and re-open from 6th Jan onwards. By then most people are back at work. :)

  12. Fran says:

    I don’t believe you live in Cape Town, let alone South Africa, because everything you say is completely wrong!

  13. Canita Domingo says:

    For 57 years. I am disapointed that in your line of work you could not gave given a better description of the places to visit in your itenrary you provided in your comments. Sell your city first before you attempt to sell your service. Please do not use this platform to be rude and insult me. It makes you look stupid. An public opinion was asked and that was mine. Thank you.
    Ps. I do apologise AJ. People do not normally behave like this in Cape town.

  14. Fran says:

    It is precisely because of my line of work that I know the seasons etc very well. I am not selling my services at all, simply answering questions with facts.
    AJ, I also apologise, there are many people who don’t know their own city and who just say any old thing.

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