Connecting with Cape Town

Whether you're staying for three weeks or three months, Cape Town is a great place to get involved in grassroots initiatives and events.  Sustainability is the biggest hurdle for many of these groups, but all are (so far) building momentum and keeping their following connected and involved.  It's this kind of momentum that will ultimately make a broad, positive difference in the city.

Open Streets Cape Town

Open Streets is based on the Colombian 'ciclovia', a once-a-week car-free day in Bogotá, in which the streets are closed to traffic and bicycles roam freely.  It's also very similar to the American 'block party' concept, when a city or town shuts down an area to traffic, and people come together to enjoy the space with the freedom and safety to move about.  Cape Town can be very divided among neighborhoods for a variety of socioeconomic reasons, and Open Streets is one way of breaking down those barriers, as well as, discussing how to benefit from utilizing existing outdoor spaces more frequently.  You can follow


 or like

Open Streets Cape Town

 on Facebook for their latest updates.

First Thursdays

A select group of art galleries, shops, and restaurants in downtown Cape Town (in-between Adderly and Bree Street) are staying open later (9pm) so that you can browse and gather with your friends to discuss all things hip.  From live music to short movie screenings, this is what the cool kids are doing on the first Thursday of every month.  For the latest updates, you can like the

First Thursdays Facebook page

or check the

First Thursdays website

to see which galleries are participating next month.


#Moonlightmass is simply a bicycle ride at night under a full moon.  #Moonlightmass aims to raise awareness of Cape Town's growing bicycle culture and the need for drivers to share the road safely with cyclists.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see more bicycle lanes appear downtown and into the suburbs in the next few years to enable commuters and leisurely riders a safer route.  The next #moonlightmass is July 22nd, and you can follow


on Twitter or


for their latest updates.

Alive Cafe 

Muizenberg has got a fantastic sense of community, so I'm not surprised to see this is the location where a new 'creative experience hub' has opened.  This cafe has an open floor plan and ample room for live music, art classes, etc. and encourages vistors to open their minds, be inspired, and get involved.  You can find the latest events scheduled at the cafe posted on the

Alive Facebook page

 or follow them on Twitter 



So there you have it - four ways to get social this winter in Cape Town.  To the casual visitor, it offers a closer glimpse into life as a local, and for the residents, it's all about discovering the greatness that surrounds you.  Enjoy!

Marie Frei

One Carry-On is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a travel expert and photographer with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for culture and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.