Cape Town

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Cape Town

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

Known as the Mother City, Cape Town is a unique metropolis filled with a vibrantly modern city atmosphere, surrounded by magnificently alluring beaches, and overlooked by a mystical guardian; the gigantic Table Mountain. The city is currently Africa’s most popular tourist attraction and has recently been voted as the world’s top holiday destination. So you can expect nothing less than the best; world class infrastructure and an array of exciting activities that are sure to leave you with memorable experiences.

Other remarkable treasures and renowned historical landmarks include Robben Island and the Castle of Good Hope. Entertainment and nightlife is a big part of the Cape Town experience. To get you in the mood, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is always brimming with excitement; from chic boutique stores to lavish cocktail lounges, or unwind in the classy ambience of one of many dinning venues.

Cape Town is truly a remarkable example of historical vigour and modern extravagance intertwined with breathtaking landscapes; all guarded by a diverse cultural heritage. Better yet, combine your stay with a safari and explore the African wilderness in a nearby South African national park.

Access Details

Access to Cape Town, flights from almost all international airlines are offered and scheduled daily from London, Frankfurt and Dubai. Flights are also offered from Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, France, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul to Cape Town International Airport, as well as regional connections to Namibia and Mozambique. If travelling by road, Cape Town is best reached via the excellent major national roads, either the N2 or the N1.

Suggested Stay Details

If the storms are not hitting, you will never spend enough time in Cape Town. It is the perfect destination to spend time. We recommend a minimum of 3 days if you have other plans.

Type of Experience

CITY SPLENDOUR: Cape Town is definitely a world class destination that overflows with sophistication, beauty and opportunities to explore; if you are curious enough. The cosmopolitan city has everything to keep anyone entertained; from magnificent beaches and fine dining, to fabulous shops and chic boutiques. As soon as the sun sets, making room for the moon and glittering stars to play, Cape Town offers you an array of sophisticated bars and sassy clubs to help awaken the night.

CURIOUS ABOUT CULTURE: With age comes maturity, and as the oldest town in South Africa, Cape Town’s maturity is seen in the mixture of Dutch, Malay, French and British influenced architecture, the vibrant atmosphere and the friendly residents. The brightly coloured homes along the slopes of Signal Hill are home to a large community of Islamic residents living in an area known as Bo-Kaap. These residents are believed to be descendants of slaves imported by the Dutch. Cultural landmarks include the District-Six Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and much more to explore.

Infrastructure

Cosmopolitan, highly sophisticated and commercially appealing; Cape Town city is developed with the modern family in mind, catering for everyone from the energetic thrill seeking kids to the sophisticated businessman or woman. The city boasts premier hotels, irresistible restaurants and twenty-first century malls. The well maintained urban jungle of Cape Town is surrounding by many contemporary suburbs, as well as the odd township with informal and semi formal housing.

Geography

Cape Town city is nestled within the shadow of the iconic Table Mountain. The suburbs surrounding the city, most of which are modernized, are surrounded by mountainous landscapes and beaches.

History

First mentioned by Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, subsequent Portuguese described the Cape Town areas as the “Bay of Storms” and the “fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the earth.” The first European to land on the shores of Table Bay was in 1503, who named it Saldanha, but after 1601 a Dutchman renamed it to what is now.

In 1652, a young and adventurous Jan Antony van Riebeek set sail to establish Dutch rule, which gave birth to the Cape Town’s first erected building but replaced by the existing Castle of Good Hope. Since 1679, Simon van der Stel Governed the Dutch Colony and expanded the city. During this time, the Huguenots from Holland arrived on the shores of the Cape. Thereafter, the French arrived to aid the Dutch Colony during the war between Britain and Holland (1780-1783).

In 1840, the municipality of Cape Town was born and in 1875, the first foundation stone was laid in the current House of Parliament. After the extensive industrial growth of South Africa, the first National Party, under the leadership of D. F. Malan, won its first election in 1948, and as such, Afrikaners lead the country and adopted the apartheid policy. For 46 years, South Africa was segregated by racial law, which ended in 1994 with the country’s first democratic election and inauguration of black State President, Nelson Mandela.

Activities & Highlights

TABLE MOUNTAIN: Recently crowned as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain is firmly planted in the Table Mountain National Park. The mountain stands 1086 meters above sea level and is rich in biodiversity. Most remarkable about the Guardian of the Cape, as it is known, is the level plateau which is nearly 3 kilometres wide. To reach the top plateau, the mountain is equipped with a cableway. For the adventurous amongst us, choose between numerous hiking trails, traditional rock-climbing and abseiling, depending on your level of fitness.

FLORAL KINGDOM: Cape Town is home to one of the world’s most diverse areas of plant life. The area is so prolific that it has been dubbed as the hottest-hot spot in the world in terms of plant diversity. The colourful Cape Floral Kingdom consists of more than 9500 plant species, of which 70% are found nowhere else in the world. There is certainly no wonder why UNESCO added the floral kingdom as one of its Natural World Heritage sites.

V&A WATERFRONT: The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is the most visited destination in South Africa, because it amalgamates a bustling harbour with lavish entertainment hot spots, luxuriously spectacular accommodation and the glamour offered by nothing other than retail therapy. The waterfront has a range of fantastic activities such as seal watching, the Two-Ocean Aquarium, Maritime Museum, helicopter flips and boat trips.

ROBBEN ISLAND: Robben Island is hailed as a World Heritage Site and in the past, was the location where former South African president, Nelson Mandela was incarcerated during the apartheid regime. Currently, the prison is a museum and an international symbol for the fight of freedom in South Africa. Other than the historic significance of Robben Island, it is home to a colony of African Penguins which makes the site popular amongst tourists.

CAPE POINT: The southernmost point of the Cape Peninsula is a beautiful picturesque landscape and at the same time, powerfully overwhelming. The dark rugged rock juts out amongst the green patched gigantic cliffs; descending and cutting into the ever changing blue ocean from above 200 metres. Built as a navigational landmark in 1859, the lighthouse warned sailors to approach the Cape of Storms with caution. Today, the navigational beacon still stands 249 metres above sea level and is accessed by a one of a kind cliff railway, which is named after the mythical Flying Dutchmen.

BOULDERS BEACH: Appealing, exquisite and dazzling are words used to describe many of the surrounding beaches of Cape Town. Cute and adorable, on the other hand, belongs exclusively to Boulders Beach and its many feathery residents. What on earth are we referring to? Three thousand indigenous African Penguins of course. See these adorable black and white birds stroll along the shore of their protected habitat, on which large 540 million year old granite boulders are scattered. These penguins may be social birds, but please keep your distance, because they tend to waddle their heads and snap their beaks whenever feeling threatened. Remember, Boulders Beach belongs to the penguins, but if you cannot resist the oceans alluring call; adjacent to the colony you will find beaches designated for your enjoyment.

WHALE WATCHING: Between the months of May and November, you are guaranteed to see whales from the shores of the south west Cape Coast. Most frequent sightings of these giant sea mammals are the Southern Right Whale. Whether they are breaching, lobtailing, spyhopping, blowing, grunting or mating; these endangered fish are a remarkable sight to see. Among other whale species, seen in the False Bay area, are Humpback Whales, Bryde’s Whales and killer whales, dolphins also tend to frequent these shores so grab your binoculars and do not forget to blink.



Season Travel Details

Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with some micro district climates within the Peninsula. These regional differences are mostly caused by the varied topography and the influence of both the warm Indian and cold Atlantic oceans.

Cape Town experiences cool, wet winters between May and September and warm, dry summers. Average maximum temperature in January is 26°C (79°F) and a average minimum of 16°C (60°F), July average maximum is 18°C (64°F) and a average minimum of 7°C (44°F).

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