Cape Town

Situated right at the southern edge of the African continent, Cape Town is one of the world’s most isolated cities, but with its rich cultural heritage and relaxed atmosphere it is also one of the most vibrant. The city developed as a thriving port and trading centre in the Seventeenth Century, and has remained the parliamentary capital of South Africa, and the capital of the Western Cape. Thanks to the country’s world renowned precious metal reserves and flourishing wine industry, Cape Town has retained its original cosmopolitan feel, and is not surprisingly South Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Surrounded by stunning coastlines, imposing mountains and rambling vineyards, the city offers a huge range of attractions and activities to keep visitors entertained.


With its unbeatable panoramic views, a trip up Table Mountain is not to be missed, and it is an ideal place to get your bearings and start taking in the city’s attractions. For a sense of the area’s history and culture, the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1666, is worth exploring while the Seventeenth Century Botanic Gardens house both The National Gallery and The South African Museum.

The Victoria and Albert Waterfront is a popular gathering point with its numerous shops, cafés and bars, and the nearby aquarium is an entertaining way to see the area’s unique marine life. Boats also leave from here for The Robben Island Museum, where visitors can take tours of the prison where numerous anti-Apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela, were held for many years under brutal conditions.

Just a short drive from the city centre, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens display almost 10,000 varieties of indigenous plants and has numerous walks as well as outdoor concerts in the summer months. Nearby, visitors can sample the fine wines at the cape’s oldest vineyard, Groot Constantia. For the more adventurous, the Atlantic Seaboard produces some of the world’s best surfing, while Sea Point offers a wide range of water-sports such as diving and canoeing. Finally, a trip to the Cape would not be complete without visiting the southernmost point of Africa in The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, with its beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife.


Cape Town has a huge variety of shops, boutiques and markets and caters to every taste and budget. The jewellery shops on Adderley Street display some of South Africa’s famed gold and diamonds, while the Waterfront Area has numerous clothing stores as well as a market selling local crafts and souvenirs. Sea Point is known for its artists’ community and is a great place to buy African paintings, ceramics and hand made leather goods direct from the workshops. For the thriftier, the market at Greenmarket Square sells cheap clothing and traditional crafts.

Nightlife and Eating Out

With its diverse cultural ancestry, Cape Town is the gastronomic capital of South Africa. The Waterfront has many options ranging from Oriental to European to traditional African, while Main Road in Sea Point has some fabulous seafood restaurants with freshly caught produce on the menu.

The numerous cocktail bars, nightclubs and live music venues around Long Street mean that central Cape Town stays lively until the early hours, while the City Hall hosts the Cape Town Philarmonic Orchestra and ballet on a regular basis.

Tourist Information

Cape Town TourismPinnacle BuildingCorner of Castle and Burg StreetsTel: +27 (0) 21 426 4267Fax: +27 (0) 21 426 3266


Cape Town airport is located about 15 km outside of the city centre and offers both domestic and international flights. Domestic planes fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban, and flights to other major Southern African countries are becoming increasingly available.

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