Known as the “Mother City” of South Africa, Cape Town is the country’s legislative capital and second most populous city. It is an economic hub with moderate Mediterranean climate, spectacular natural beauty, a fine academic legacy, and an impressive portfolio of history-makers. It is also a top holiday destination worldwide and one of the leading cities in Africa, with outstanding infrastructure, hotel accommodation, fine dining, and entertainment for visitors.
- Born at a crossroads of Old World trade routes, Cape Town is a vibrant, multicultural city with a fascinating history shaped by the mixing of peoples and cultures from Africa, Europe and Asia, including slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mozambique; Dutch, English and French explorers; indigenous Khoi and San people; and local African tribes. This rich cultural diversity, along with a painful history of racial segregation during apartheid and efforts to reintegrate and reunite post-apartheid, has led to a diverse metropolis with a wealth of cultural attractions and heritage sites.
- The city is set within the unique Cape Floral Kingdom and is surrounded by the historic winelands of the Western Cape that have earned the city its reputation as a gastronomic destination. Iconic Table Mountain forms a stunning backdrop for the central business district, which runs down to its famous harbor and Table Bay, and gives the city its visual splendor and photogenic quality.
- When you combine its natural beauty and unique cultural makeup, Cape Town is a wonderful place to visit and an ideal gateway to Africa.
- For more information, please visit: http://www.capetown.travel/
Things to See and Do Nearby
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Established in 1913, Kirstenbosch covers 528 hectares on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and is home to more than 8,600 native plant species, some 5,800 of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Gardens offer a wonderful glimpse of the fynbos.
- Table Mountain A world heritage site, Cape Town’s famous landmark is even bigger in stature than its 1086 m summit. Enjoy lunch from the top after riding up in the new revolving cable car. The mountain also offers a myriad of enchanting walks featuring everything from wild flowers, native plants, and its famous silver trees.
- Robben Island A World Heritage Site, Robben Island is the location of the penal settlement where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were housed during the apartheid era. The island is a short ferry ride from Cape Town harbour and offers stunning views across the bay with Table Mountain as the backdrop.
- Winelands Nestled amidst rolling, picturesque valleys featuring Cape Dutch homesteads, the winelands of the Cape are among the most beautiful and scenic in the world. Today, the Cape’s vineyards produce an extensive variety of cultivars that are blended and matured to create award-winning red and white wines.
- Cape Point Nature Reserve Marking the southern extremity of the Cape Peninsula where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, this narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of unique flora and fauna including baboons and Cape mountain zebra as well as over 250 species of birds.
- Lions Head Hiking Trail Lion’s Head in Cape Town is a peak situated at 669 meters above sea level. The hike up Lion’s Head is 5.5km round-trip and takes approximately 90 minutes at a moderate pace. Views of the city and the coastline from Lion’s Head are amazing.
- Open-top Bus Tours Official city tour on the double decker hop-on, hop-off bus. Day tours available to Cape Point and the Wine Country.
- Whale Watching Whale season is June to November. Southern right whales are the most common species seen in the waters around the Cape. However, you might also get a chance to see humpback whales and Bryde’s whales. False Bay is the best place close to town for whale watching. Opt for the higher vantage points along the False Bay coastline such as Cape Point, Boyes Drive between St James and Kalk Bay, and Clarence Drive between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els. Further east, Hermanus is rated as one of the top 12 whale-watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund. It offers some fine land-based viewing opportunities because the whales often come within metres of the shoreline. To fully immerse yourself in the whale experience, visit Hermanus during the first week of October when the seaside town hosts an annual whale festival.
- For details about other things to see and do during your stay in Cape Town, click here.