Problematic Days

Camps Bay has a long international visitor season from November till late March, with a shorter, more intense local season from mid-December (typically the 16th till the 1st week of January).

December builds slowly to its peak at New Years Eve. Expect beach promotions and mass influx of people.

There have always been 3 days traditionally when Camps Bay crowds can get a bit out of hand, a bit like an unwanted Mardi Gras. These are the 16th (Public Holiday) and 26th (Boxing Day) December, and 1st January.

In recent years, security services have gotten these under control with management strategies.

However New Years Day, still remains the 1 day blimp where Camps Bay undergoes a change of identity that can be shocking to those unfamiliar with this tradition.

Large mini-busloads of out-of-towners arrive with buckets of fried chicken, and hidden alcohol. The alcohol tends to be drunk, the bottles and the chicken littered, all much to the frustration of locals.

As the day carries on the crowds tend to become more bold and festive, taxis become massive beat boxes interspersed along the strip, with booty shaking ladies, bottle in hand spilling onto the streets and the pavements.

Getting them all home sometimes becomes a clean-up operation that tends to go on into the night.

This is a tradition that can be traced back far into history, when during the time of slavery, January 1st was the one day a slave was given off. It’s also the roots of the Cape Coon Carnival, something I highly recommend you see. Often maligned for its effect on traffic, this festival actually has much to offer as a visual spectacle.

Note that on 1st Jan virtually all businesses close and Camps Bay seems to be absent, occupied for a day by a whole new load of citizens. So don’t be confused, they’re all just staying at home.

We also close on January 1st.

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