Cape Town is at the extreme South West corner of Africa, with the cold Atlantic on the west and the warm Indian Ocean to the east. The first sight of Cape Town is the awesome massive flat outline of Table Mountain soaring above the city against a brilliant sky.
Surrounded by sheer mountains, with forests, lakes and rivers, glorious natural flora and Nature Reserves, and a sparkling ocean with pristine white beaches, Cape Town is possibly the most beautiful city in the world. It has been nominated the No 1 Travel Destination by the New York Times, Telegraph and Guardian in London.
It is the nearest international city in the southern hemisphere for European tourists . As South Africa is the most peaceful and economically developed country in Africa, it offers tourists a chance to explore Africa .
Things to Do
Cape Town is a vibrant city with a rich colourful cultural history and influences from both East and West.There are endless choices of activities for everyone.
Cape Town was elected World Design Capital in 2014 and is the musical and artistic centre of the country.
The city centre has modern malls, charming shops, restaurants, cafes, designer boutiques, art and antique galleries, and flower markets. African curios are sold at stalls in Greenmarket Square, a small cobbled square in the centre of town.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa. It began as a stop off point for the Dutch East India Company ships to replenish supplies on the long voyage from Europe round Africa to the Far East. In 1662 they built the Cape Town Castle , a stone fort complete with surrounding moat and market gardens. The castle, looking much as it did 350 years ago, is the oldest building in South Africa and is open every day to a steady stream of tourists.
The city, accessible only by sea, grew gradually around the castle over the next couple of hundred years . The city centre has many fine Historical Buildings of architectural importance, elegant Georgian architecture built in the 1700’s, and much more.
There are the National Art Galleries, Museums, and Company Gardens in the town centre, all within walking distance.
Cape Town, set in a vast Nature Reserve, has several climbing routes up the mountains. Tourists need to dress appropriately, with hats and the right shoes, and take water, to avoid calling out the helicopter Mountain Rescue teams.
Many different guided walks are available along the towering mountains, through forests and lakes past waterfalls, with spectacular views of the ocean.There is an amazing floral kingdom in the nature reserve unique to the Western Cape.
The Table Mountain Cable Car is thrilling, the views from the top of Table Mountain over the city and ocean are overwhelmingly magnificent and visitors can walk about the top as there are trails, and have lunch there too.
South Africa is a sporting country, partly due to its good climate.
Apart from Hiking and Walking, there is Mountaineering, Paragliding from Signal Hill, Bicycling, and Mountain bike scrambling.Cape Town city centre is minutes away from phenomenal mountains with incredible views.
There are numerous beautiful Beaches a short drive from the city centre for surfing, swimming,and kite surfing.
Boating cruises out to Robben Island and helicopter flights can be booked.
Entertainment , celebrations and parties are a big priority in Cape Town. There are always Plays, Dance and Jazz festivals, live music and events on.
There are many Nightclubs in the city , a large variety of amazing clubs for the fun loving locals.
Where to Eat
Cape Town has dozens of superb world class restaurants, Cafes, bars and restaurants line the city streets. A large selection is available, from sushi, pizzas, seafood,Indian, Portuguese, Italian, to French and Mediterranean.
There are more typically south african restaurants a little out of town on vineyards and wine estates like Buitenverwachting, De Grendel and La Columbe in Constantia.
Where To Stay
Cape Town has an established tourism industry and there is a large variety of comfortable well organised accommodation. As a port, it is accustomed to catering for visitors and has everything to offer from modern luxury to old colonial style hotels, like the Mount Nelson. Recently many new luxury hotels have been built in the city centre.
The city centre itself is beautiful and relatively small, being enclosed by mountains and sea. There are numerous self catering lofts, penthouses, guest houses and backpackers, excellent convenient accommodation for both business trips and family holidays.
Cape Town is a favourite destination for international celebrities. It is a popular location for film crews, both commercials and movies, because of the exquisite scenery and also the incredible good value due to the exchange rate.
Transport is easy and fast, one can hire a car or order taxis. The Uber Taxi service is never more than minutes away in town.
There is also the efficient Myciti Bus service around the town. The red Hop-on Hop-Off tour bus takes fantastic scenic routes along the seashore, and round the mountain. There are beautiful scenic drives in every direction from the city centre.
Cape Town is a gateway to the rest of the country, a central point from which to explore the Western Cape coastlines or even head further north to the game reserves.