Cape Town is vibrant, modern and rich in history, cuisine and culture. It is a tremendously popular tourist destination and whether you are a sports aficionado or looking to experience local festivals with a twist, it truly accommodates every taste; no wonder, since SA’s second-largest city is home to more than 3.7 million people – and is expected to grow beyond four million in population by 2025. Cape Town is probably the ultimate sporting destination in SA, whether you like to participate or to watch – but there is a lot more going on in the city every month.
Rugby for Everyone!
Sport is embedded in South African culture – and rugby probably takes the cup. Loved throughout SA for its competitive and physically challenging nature, the sport truly resonates with Cape Town locals, as the city is home to the world-renowned Stormers, with the new season creeping around the corner. If you are new to the sport, treat yourself to one of their matches – upcoming fixtures kick off on February 17, when they are set to battle Buenos Aires’ Jaguares – and see for yourself what the fuss is about.
South Africa is so good at rugby that the national team regularly dominate internal competition – as of January 10, SA are priced at even money with bookmaker Betway to place either first or second in this year’s Rugby Sevens World Series, starting on May 19. Only last year, the Springboks placed third in the same championship, and Cape Town hosted the final between Argentina and winner New Zealand – which Fox Sports reported attracted a crowd of 50,000 excited fans.
Earlier last year, SA barely – and unexpectedly – lost the bid to host the 2023 World Rugby Cup to France, despite scoring highest (at more than 78%) on all criteria – and officials expressed “bitter disappointment” at the vote outcome. If you’d like to get over that unfair decision by trying the sport out on an amateur level yourself, you can join one of the many local clubs under the umbrella of the Western Province Club Rugby Association in and around Cape Town and get a taste of the action-packed world of rugby.
Roller Derby on the Rise
Cape Town knows how to do traditional, but knows equally well how to think out of the box. Besides rugby, soccer and cricket are immensely popular – but new sports are beginning to catch the attention of sports fans in the city. Cape Town prides itself on being home to the Cape Town Rollergirls – an all-female team founded in 2012 to spread the word on roller derby. Some say that it is equally brutal to rugby, and some say it is even harsher, but the truth of the matter is that the full-contact roller-skating sport is intense, filled with action and very hip at the moment – truly worth checking out.
If you want something slightly weirder and equally exciting, why not try drifting? This weird and unique motoring sport revolves around drivers demonstrating amazing steering skills as they skid or drift around sets of obstacles and against each other. Last year Cape Town hosted Drift City for the second time with great success, so be sure to drop by this year.
After Sports – and Beyond
Even if you come here for the sports, there is plenty more to make you wanna stay in Cape Town. Music enthusiasts are in for a treat as the Ultra South Africa electronic music festival dates looms in – featuring the likes of Armin van Buuren and Hardwell – and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest music festival, follows later in March, featuring more than 40 artists across five stages in two days – including Cesária Évora, Lauryn Hill and Herbie Hancock.
Whether you enjoy drifting or jazz, everyone appreciates a nice glass of local wine – and thanks to local climate and soil conditions, the Mother Town is the country’s ultimate wine destination and home to its greatest wineries. Every year Cape Town and the surrounding region hosts several wine festivals that celebrate South African varieties, appellations and wineries, with Stellenbosch and Constantia (upcoming in February) being the most prominent.
So wherever your loyalties may lie, from roller derby to sampling great wines, Cape Town will not disappoint. With so much going on in the city every month, it will be hard not to find something to get excited about!