South Africa is one of Airbnb’s fastest growing markets, with the highest number of listings in Africa and the Middle East—and half of those are in Cape Town. By far the continent’s most sophisticated city, Cape Town offers stunning mountain vistas, beautiful beaches (with penguins!), and design-savvy restaurants, shops and galleries. Winter is just settling in in that part of the world, which means cooler temps, a bit of rain, and reduced crowds.
Even the most luxurious Airbnb rentals are pretty fairly priced compared to other cities (just look at this fully staffed villa overlooking the Atlantic), but on average, whole-house rentals average $130—and you can get some pretty swanky ones for much cheaper than that. Here are 10 of our favorites to help you start your search.
1.“Ezulwini” apartment 2.Loft apartment 3.Peaceful studio 4.Quirky mirco-loft 5.Duplex apartment 6.Central apartment 7.Three-story penthouse 8.Tamboerskloof apartment 9.Studio apartment 10.Jewelbox of an apartment
Erica Jackson Curran is a former alt-weekly editor turned moonlight freelancer based in Richmond, Virginia.
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Given the luxurious furnishings, small infinity pool, daily cleaning service and spectacular ocean views, you might imagine the "Ezulwini" apartment would carry a hefty price tag, but rates currently start at just $72/night. Centrally located in an affluent neighborhood right above Clifton second beach, it's within walking distance to numerous beach bars and restaurants. The nearby MyCity Bus is an easy way to get into the city.
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With views overlooking both the sea and the city, this two-bedroom loft apartment in tony Sea Point is five minutes from the neighborhood's picturesque waterfront promenade and 10 minutes from Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything from a Smeg coffeemaker to treats like wine, chocolates and cakes, according to guests. If you stay longer than six nights, you'll have a housekeeper, too.
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With verdant houseplants and nature-inspired accents throughout, this peaceful studio looks as fresh and green as the park across the street. Recently renovated, the place is close to coffee shops, an art house cinema and a health food store, and a short walk from lively Kloof Street and Cape Town's central business district. Most of the reviews give a grateful nod to Denise, the helpful, friendly host.
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This quirky micro-loft in the oldest part of Cape Town manages to pack a whole lot of goodness into a little space. It's got a tiny but efficient kitchen, a book and wine library, a washer/dryer and a balcony with a view of Table Mountain. Plus, guests have access to a parking spot, gym and a pool, and it's a quick stroll away from Greenmarket Square and the Company's Garden, which the host calls Cape Town's version of Central Park (and apparently it's one of the only places in the world you can find a Werewolf cat). The Fan Walk to Greenpoint Stadium, laid out by the city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, starts just outside the door.
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You may not be able to pronounce Tamboerskloof, the historic neighborhood where this spacious duplex apartment is located, but you'll be able to enjoy its Victorian homes, hiking trails and nightlife. Hosts Jaco and Charl are a wealth of local information, offering a thorough guidebook for visitors. At more than 2,000 square feet, the apartment has an open floorplan, a roomy veranda, and views of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
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Recent guests call this central apartment "perfect," "beautiful" and "a rare Airbnb gem." It has calming, neutral décor, an open floorplan, and all the necessities like a fully equipped kitchen, organic toiletries and Wi-Fi. Plus guests have access to a parking garage, an indoor rooftop pool and a daily housekeeper. Superhost Charmaine is rumored to welcome guests with an ice-cold bottle of wine.
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Fair warning: You may not want to leave this three-story penthouse situated on the slopes of Table Mountain in the Vredehoek neighborhood. Soak in the private rooftop plunge pool, enjoy 360-degree views of the area while making dinner on the barbecue, or just lounge in the light and bright main living area. You can easily walk to the city center, or drive to the bustling Victoria & Albert Waterfront in under 10 minutes.
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This Tamboerskloof apartment, located on a quiet cobblestone street, has a cute, cottagey vibe. The kitchen has everything needed to cook a proper meal, the bed is comfortable and the balcony is perfect for enjoying a sundowner while overlooking the city. Kloof Street is a two-minute walk away, and beaches are within a five-minute drive. There's a bus stop on the corner if you don't have access to a car.
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Enjoy a private saltwater pool and views of the sea at this studio apartment close to the beach and Kalk Bay, a scenic fishing village. The bathroom has a roomy rainshower, and there's small kitchenette as well. Prices start at just $65/night.
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This jewelbox of an apartment is in the diverse Upper-Woodstock neighborhood, an area known for its "hipsters and creative," according to host Astrid. Outfitted with colorful midcentury furnishings, the studio also has a dedicated parking bay and a 24-hour security staff. Markets, designer studios, coffee shops and restaurants are all nearby, and the city center is five kilometers away.