Question

What should I do so that I won't look like a tourist in Cape Town, South Africa?

I'll be studying in Caoe Town for about a year or so. Can someone please give me advise on what to do so I won't look like a tourist while I'm there? I want to be able to blend in and interact with the locals as much as possible. Any suggestions? Also, what places there are most frequented by the locals that are not known so much to the tourists?

Location

City: Cape Town

Province: Western Cape

Country: South Africa

Answers

Don't come to Cape Town wearing safari clothes as this will certainly make you stand out like a sore thumb.
Hi Kat!
Watch other people. Copy them.
NEVER flash obvious amounts of cash in public.
Conceal photographic equipment.
Don't wear wear flashy jewelry.
Beware of pickpockets - especially the street kids.
Keep your wallet in a tight pocket, preferably concealed.

Blending in?
Go around with other students, for starters.
Watch the notice boards on campus for parties, shows and and other gigs.
There's also the entertainment sections in The Weekend Argus and Friday's Cape Times - "Top of the Times" section.
Failing all that, just hang around the Waterfront until you find your feet.
To explore Cape Town, I recommend taking a ride around the city on the "Topless Bus".
Then spend a day seeing the highlights of the Peninsula and another day around the Winelands. One of the nicest ways to to that is to form a small group - say six of you, and get me to drive you and be your guide. (I am qualified, after all, to do exactly that!)
I've also lived in Cape Town for almost all my life.
With me as your driver-guide, you are not forced to stick to any itinerary which doesn't suit you - I'm at your disposal.
Avoid anything Khakhi!! Just a note, be yourself and you'll fit right in. Cape Town's got all sorts of characters anyway, so short of wearing a signboard around your neck that says "I'm Foreign", there are so many other visitors to the city that there's no way you'll stick out! Relax!!!
What can i say that have not been said
Don't worry 80% of the people in Capetown come from somewhere else any way or they are tourists themselves
Just be you self and enjoy the stay......

-- see the best in africa--
oh something to ponder about "capetonians speak funny and dress funny"
Hi, blending into Cape Town is arguably easier than in Durban... We south Africans are fascinating mixing –pot of cultural diversity. Check out
Throw some of these words out at the local scene and chameleon u will be… also if you want to get down and ‘with it’ shop at Mr Price… apart from fitting in with the clothes, you will be supporting local manufacturers (chk label, could be that it’s not all South African)
Also, find out what a Gatsby is… and dig in. if you want a late night food place after your partying in Long street (town centre) try Sols (ask any Capetonians).
Peace b your journey ;-)
I agree with Dave. Keep your valuables safe and beware of pickpocketing. Try to stay in a group. Follow the other students.
For starters, follow Dave's advice about safety - like in any other city.
Wear jeans and whatever tops are in fashion at the time you arrive. Capetonians are generally not the most fashion conscious crowd - stay clear of high fashion and mingle with the students. Just take one day to sit and watch them on campus and you will have no problem fitting in.
Don't miss going to the most stunning places in the Cape while you are here. Cape Point, Kirstenbosch, Big Bay and the Stellenbosch winelands. It would be a pity to go back home without having been up Table Mountain or swimming at Cape Point - even South Africans still do that.
Cape Town is very laid back and the friendliest city in South Africa - so just arrive and feel at home.
You will fit in right away try to get a sun tan though!!!!!!!
Good morning Kat,

what a funny question? I don't know where you're from but your accent will unfortunatly be your dead give away for starters. Hopefully you aren't from Scotland or Ireland, Australia perhaps the states, because a south african would probably recognise your accent while you breath. Secondly your appearance...! all the tourists rock up here wanting to express themselves or their origin and thats ussually their flaw to being recognised(targets),or they do the super funny and get dressed up in safari kits, or buy big leather hats and wear them with a outfit more suited for corporate events. You are who are and there is nothing to be ashamed of, but to be a chameleon i guess could be some fun! So as the guys below stated, to be south african is to simply be yourself, luckily for you Cape Town is the only place "wear" you could fashionably and physically get away with murder. Its so diverse and everthing is so acceptable that today, there are very few Cape Tonians labelled as strange, they're all just Capies!

To see the places tourists don't go, what places??? Tourists get to see everyday what the average South African gets to see maybe once or twice in a very long time. Sooo, to get to all the underground, less commercial spots and believe me they're there, don't stick to the tourist main stream, you got to fly solo and get to know the locals, hopefully they'll open up and perhaps share some special spots with you.

Otherwise, happy days and enjoy!!!! you'll be just fine.
HI KAT

dont worry as the others have mentioned CT is so cosmo-that like london there are so many different ppl there
you jst be yorself and enjoy-obviously be vigilant like avoid the lonely alleys and avoid walking alone in evenings
also try to minimise carrying loads of touristy stuff like huge cameras-of if you do rather have some friends wt you to be part of your group -safer in numbers i say
also be a bt vigilant wt your belongings for pick pockets and stuff
its like all major cities i think -just be aware- u will be fine though -jst enjoy...
hope u have a great time in CT
HI KAT

dont worry as the others have mentioned CT is so cosmo-that like london there are so many different ppl there
you jst be yorself and enjoy-obviously be vigilant like avoid the lonely alleys and avoid walking alone in evenings
also try to minimise carrying loads of touristy stuff like huge cameras-of if you do rather have some friends wt you to be part of your group -safer in numbers i say
also be a bt vigilant wt your belongings for pick pockets and stuff
its like all major cities i think -just be aware- u will be fine though -jst enjoy...
hope u have a great time in CT
That is the wonderful thing about Cape Town,nobody stands out like a sore thumb because is so diverse.That is why people come here and fall in love with the place.Just be yourself and you will soon see that it will be to your advantage :)
I'm from Joburg. If you're super friendly, you're going to stand out. I found capetonians rather clicky and not so friendly.
So much so, that when i was there for only 2 weeks, I connected people with other people who had been there for months but hadn't been able to make friends. I'm afraid to say capetonians are snobs.
Cape Town is however a very beautiful place so you must have your camera out and you must take as many pictures as you can as often as you can. Go for long walks on the promenade.
Definitely go and visit the buena vista social club...people there are very nice. Great food and great vibe. There's also a stunning pizzaria on seapoint drive...can't remember the name..but they were really nice too.
I must say, I am basing my opinions on seapoint and campsbay. I didn't go anywhere near the waterfront. That i'm sure is very festive and probably very friendly as it is probably full of tourists.
Hope this helps.
Sands
Just come. There are MANY students out here as well tourists. Just be yourself, be true to who you are, protect your self et voila, you'll fit in! Oh yeah, we generally dress like any other people in the Western world.

More Information

Get travel answers from locals in Cape Town

Find places to visit in Cape Town