Cape Town Area Information
Come home to South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the world’s favourite destinations. In 2016 it was named Best City in the World by The Telegraph, taking the title for the 4th consecutive year in the British newspaper’s Telegraph Travel Awards. Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards named it the Number One Food City in the World and the Luxury Travel Guide Africa & Middle East Awards named it the Luxury City Destination of the Year for the second year in a row. Buzzfeed.com recently called Cape Town the Most Beautiful City in the World, the city was crowned as the World Design Capital and the New York Times travel section listed Cape Town as the top destination for 2014.
And it is no surprise that Cape Town is everyone’s favourite. The city and its surrounds is blessed with a rich natural beauty and cultural diversity, cosmopolitan shops, the complete range of accommodation options, and world class coffee shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Cape Town’s vibe attracts the international jet set of celebrities, but is equally accessible to adrenaline junkies, adventurous souls, nature lover and those in search of authentic cultural experiences.
While visiting Cape Town, a scenic drive along the Atlantic Seaboard is a must. This breath-taking drive includes the upmarket suburbs of Camps Bay, Bantry Bay and Llandudno and continues along the False Bay coastline. Boasting picturesque seaside hamlets and villages, picnic spots and viewpoints, this ‘Riviera’ of Cape Town is home to the whales that enter the bay during calving season. The waves of the Indian Ocean are popular with swimmers and surfers throughout the year, while shoppers are lured to the craft shops and boutiques of the quaint towns of Kalk Bay and South Africa’s historical naval base, Simon’s Town.
World renowned for the beauty and assortment of its plants indigenous to South Africa, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden boasts a variety of unique Cape fynbos, and supports a natural forest. It is set nearer the city’s centre, against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
Then, of course, there is Table Mountain itself. This majestic giant guards over the city and, when the south-easterly wind blows, is often draped by a cloudy ‘tablecloth’. You can drive or hike up the mountain, but we suggest taking a trip to the top in the famous cable cars. And, once you’re quite literally on top of the world, you’ll enjoy one of the best views on earth.
Those with an interest in Cape Town’s history should visit the Castle of Good Hope. After it was built in 1666, it was the centre of civilian, political and military life in the Cape for many years. Today the world considers the Castle to be a sterling example of preserved 17th century Dutch East Indian Company architecture. The oldest surviving building in South Africa is a national monument and hosts the Castle Military Museum, as well as the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks. A visit to the Company Gardens where the Slave Lodge- and the South African Museums are located is also a must.
The colourful Bo-Kaap below Signal Hill is an historical centre of Cape Malay culture and the District Six Museum casts a light on the history of forced removals in South Africa during the apartheid era.
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 27 years. A ferry ride across Table Bay transports you to an emotionally charged visit to his prison cell in what was once a place of banishment, exile and isolation.
If the bustle of people and retail therapy is more your kind of bag, Cape Town is your one-stop-shop. The lively Greenmarket Square, in the centre of historical Cape Town, is bursting with interesting African curios and hand crafted works of art. The more urbane shopping centres at the V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk and Cavendish Square offer chain store and boutique shopping, along with a host of cinema theatres, games arcades, bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
The city itself is known for its tremendous variety of excellent restaurants offering not only local Malay delicacies and traditional African meals, but global culinary delights. French, Italian, German, English, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and many more restaurants wait to tempt your taste buds. Most restaurants offer a good selection of top international and local wines.
The Cape Town area contains 13 wine producing regions, some closer to home, and others a short, scenic drive away. Constantia is the birthplace of South Africa’s wine farming history, but Stellenbosch is undoubtedly at the centre of the wine industry, with nearly 100 cellars open to the public for wine tastings and meals. Paarl and Durbanville are also top wine producers, as well as Franschhoek – which also enjoys the reputation as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa.
With its mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and oceans, Cape Town and the Western Cape is a sporting Mecca. Mountain biking, hiking, running, rock climbing, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, paragliding – the area offers nearly any sport you can do on earth, in water, or even in the air. Just come and play in our natural playground.