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Beautiful Cape Town is South Africa’s second most populated city, the second sunniest city in the country, and is its legislative capital. Cape Town is also the provincial capital of West Cape. The city sits at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula, a rocky stretch of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean at the very bottom of the African continent. Table Mountain eclipses the city, its summit occasionally table clothed by a thin cloud strip. The subtropical climate means the winters are mild and wet, and the summers are dry and warm.
Cape Town is Africa’s third main economic hub, and attracts thousands of visitors each year. There is an airport right within Cape Town, making this African location one that is easy to get to. Cape Town has hosted 9 World Cup matches, including the 2010 World Cup, which brought in people who decided South Africa was a wonderful place to have a part-time or full-time residence. The recent real-estate market in Cape Town has enjoyed great success. People are draw to the cities temperate climate, incredible biodiversity, natural beauty, views of the Atlantic, and vibrant city life.
Cape Town is a safe African city. The water is clean, there is no danger of contracting malaria, and vaccines are not required to visit. The country of South Africa is modern, with completely paved roads and a global economy.
Cape Town is a biological wonder, boasting hundreds of indigenous species found nowhere else on the planet, thanks to the area’s micro-climate and soil variations. Cape Town is considered the world’s “hotspot” of bio-diversity. The earth is made up of six distinct floral kingdoms, and Cape Town is home to the smallest of these kingdoms. There are over 9,000 different plant species and many animal species. Unfortunately, this unique ecosystem is threatened because of overdevelopment. The new Green Point Biodiversity Park, located alongside the Cape Town Stadium, contains over 300 species of flora. The park has walkways, ponds, interactive displays, children’s areas, and picnic tables, and is free.
The downtown area of Cape Town is located within the “City Bowl,” a natural indented area shaped like an amphitheatre bordered by four looming mountains. Within the City Bowl lies the central business district as well as many suburbs and the bustling harbour. Cape Town is filled with Cape Dutch architecture, set against the backdrop of tall, African peaks beckoning visitors to come and explore. A walking tour lets visitors get up close to historic sites that help to preserve South Africa’s heritage.
Cape Town has a variety of beaches that attract tourists and locals alike. The False Bay Coast boasts warmer water temperatures, though beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard are just as popular. Beach lovers enjoy first-class surfing, and come from all over to visit the colony of African Penguins living on Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town. The V&A Waterfront is a must-stop destination for visitors; it provides first-rate shopping with over 250 shops, the Two Oceans Aquarium, and the Telkom Exploratorium. There is also the South Africa Maritime Museum, and the new Nelson Mandela Gateway. Restaurants and pubs line the waterfront, which is actually a working harbour.
The Cape Peninsula provides more than enough opportunities for the adventurous. Hikers are access to trails that lead through dense forests, or up towering mountains. The beaches are the destination for water sports, including kayaking, windsurfing, surging, scuba diving, fishing, and snorkeling. Those who want to catch a glimpse of South Africa’s diverse wildlife should be sure to visit Table Mountain Nation Parks, home to over 250 species, including baboons. Just an hour and a half from Cape Town is the seaside village of Hermanus, one of the best spots for whale watching in the entire world.
If you’re visiting Africa, you may be thinking “lions.” There are safari companies based in Cape Town that will lead you on an excursion to catch a glimpse of those large species, the “big five,” as they are called: rhinos, lions, leopards, buffalo, and elephants. Many enjoy taking their safari on horseback.
And for those who just want to relax, Cape Town caters to those seeking a pampering respite. The city offers many luxurious spas; some are found within the area’s luxury hotels, others are strategically positioned to showcase the beauty and wonder of South Africa. From massage to touch therapy to soothing soaks in a hot tub, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a visit to one of Cape Town’s premiere spas.
Cape Town comes to life at night, when restaurants, clubs, lounges, and theaters light up the city skyline and attract those who believe the fun truly begins when the sun goes down. Casinos, a myriad of fine dining options, and coffee houses invite visitors in for first-rate entertainment and food.
While some cities offer only offer the hustle and bustle of city life, and others leave visitors wanting for things to do, Cape Town is a city that simply cannot disappoint. Outstanding weather, friendly service, gorgeous scenery, abundant, clean sandy beaches, and a dynamic nightlife make Cape Town the quintessential vacation town. (Did we mention the lions?)
Cape Town - Highlights
Cape Town is multi-culturally and geographically diverse. The city lies in a natural basin, flanked by mountains on one side, and the ocean on the other. Downtown is an international business center; visitors can enjoy all the culture, dining, and other tourist destinations major cities like London, Paris, and New York have to offer, including (...)more +