Right now we are seeing the rise of the “digital nomad” - people who travel and work remotely from different spots around the world - all they need is a laptop and a strong internet connection! As technology develops and with the global pandemic this past year throwing the usual working norms out of the window, remote working is steadily growing in popularity.
There are a number of incredible destinations across the world that offer excellent remote working opportunities. Digital nomads will be seeking a spot that has connectivity, affordable cost of living, expat-friendly communities and a great quality of life. Cape Town, South Africa, has all of these things and more! It is a cosmopolitan city that attracts travellers from all over the world thanks to its diverse landscapes, incredible culture and an almost endless list of things to see and do!
The idea of an independent working environment and the freedom to travel appeals to many. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is choosing where to work! Here are a few reasons why Cape Town should be at the top of your list of choices for remote working cities:
1. The Scenery
Of course we have to start off talking about the sheer beauty you will be surrounded by in Cape
Town! From the mountain peaks and golden beaches to the sprawling vineyards and character filled suburbs. Imagine waking up to views of the Atlantic Ocean and going for a quick surf before work. Or working in the shadow of Table Mountain and finishing your day off with sundowners on Signal Hill. Nothing quite compares! Cape Town and its surroundings are bursting full of incredible scenery!
In general, South Africa is an affordable country for foreigners to visit. The same is true for digital nomads who are looking for their next remote working destination - South Africa is definitely a cost-savvy option! Cape Town specifically is one of the more expensive cities in which to live in South Africa, but this cosmopolitan destination is nearly 60% cheaper than living in places like New York or London.
The cost of living in Cape Town is generally affordable - especially if you are earning in foreign currency! Local South Africans also flock to Cape Town to live, work and play so it could be an excellent option for South Africans looking for a change in routine. A nice meal out won’t cost an arm and a leg, there is a range of activities available at different price points and there are a number of options for areas to live in - whether you are renting long term or looking for a shorter holiday rental!
One of the biggest draws for Cape Town as a remote working destination is that it has a wellconnected expat scene. The city is a cultural melting pot of people from all over South Africa, Africa and further abroad. There are strong, expat-friendly communities and you are sure to come across another traveller from your home country either at one of the city’s co-working spaces or while you are out discovering the city.
4. Connectivity and co-working spaces
Speaking of co-working spaces, there is no shortage of these in Cape Town! Check out Workshop 17 at the stunning V&A Waterfront, Inner City Ideas Cartel and Work & Co (both in the CBD) and much more! Even better, Cape Town could almost rival cities like Vienna, Seattle and Rome with its growing coffee scene and cafe culture. There are dozens of stylish, quaint and quirky spots across the city (most with free wifi) where you can work for a couple of hours - be sure to try a cup of coffee wherever you are!
Another excellent option is to work from your home-away-from-home. Find a holiday rental with good connectivity or wifi included and make this your office base. Top tip - choose somewhere with a view!
Ultimately, you need to pick your work spot by seeing what best fits your needs.
Once you are done with work for the day, it’s time to get out and discover your new location! The beauty of Cape Town is that there is so much to see, do and experience! From free activities to things that are worth saving up for. You will be surrounded by so many fun options! So much so that many digital nomads choose to stay for months at a time. Fill your days with adventure and fresh air before checking out the vibrant nightlife!
For nature lovers, there are walks, hikes, cycling routes and more to enjoy. Take a dip in the ocean, go surfing, kayaking and even snorkelling with seals! Any foodies out there? You’re in for a real treat in Cape Town! The city is home to world-class restaurants and you’ll find award winning wineries nearby in Constantia, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl. There is an exciting range of fine-dining, popular eateries, foreign cuisine and local hotspots - and good old fast food too. Culture and Cape Town go hand in hand; check out the local music scene, explore one of the museums, catch a theatre performance and browse local arts and crafts at bespoke stores and markets. Sports fans can share their passions at the local rugby and soccer stadiums (once big group gatherings are on the cards again).
Another huge “pro” of choosing Cape Town as your remote work destination is the weather. Summer in Cape Town is simply divine. Long, hot days when the sun rises early and sets around 8pm. Spring and autumn are mostly warm and pleasant - perfect weather for exploring the outdoors! While winter becomes cold and rainy with temperatures sitting at 11°C – 22°C, it is mild compared to winter in most major cities in Europe and North America. There are also great accommodation and restaurant specials at this time of year!
7. History, heritage & culture
South Africa is a country unlike any other. After stepping forward from the turbulent history of apartheid, today the ‘Rainbow Nation’ is a truly unique mix of people, heritage and cultures. History is all around. When you’re in Cape Town you can learn more about South Africa’s past at places like Robben Island, the District Six Museum, Bo Kaap, the Castle of Good Hope and the Iziko South Africa Museums. Take a local tour of the city and surrounds or travel up the West Coast to !Khwa ttu to learn about South Africa first people - the San.
Good to remember:
Two important things to remember when picking your remote working destination: Visas and safety. Do some research beforehand to check what visas you will need when travelling to South Africa. Safety is another important thing to keep in mind. South Africa is generally safe for tourists just be sure to keep your wits about you and remain vigilant as you would in any major city - be aware of pickpockets, don’t walk alone at night, try not to flash valuables around and be sure to have emergency contacts listed somewhere you can access easily.
With its incredible scenery, an abundance of activities, affordability and more, Cape Town appeals to locals and foreigners who are looking to live the digital nomad lifestyle. There’s no doubt about it - Cape Town definitely needs to be at the top of your remote working destination list!