Cape Town is a vibrant, cosmopolitan coastal city in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and a top international destination. Established in 1652, Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, renowned for its beautiful scenery and the magnificent Table Mountain, a natural World Wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other major tourist destinations in Cape Town include; Robben Island, a historical site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, Cape Point, the most southern tip of the African continent. More than a hundred thousand tourists visit the Cape Point National Park each year, to see the lighthouse, birdlife and to learn more about the history of Bartholomeu Dias, who first named Cape Point the ‘Cape of Storms’ and then, more optimistically, The ‘Cape of Good Hopes.
Cape Town’s CBD, known as the ‘City Bowl’, lies between the ocean and the foothills of Table Mountain, creating an astounding blend of natural beauty and industrial workmanship. Each year, around five million tourists flock to the city from all around the world to soak up the sun on Cape Town’s white sandy beaches along the Atlantic seaboard, hike through the trails in the countless nature reserves around Table Mountain and the surrounding mountains and to visit historical sites in and around the city. There is plenty to do in the city and the prominent Victoria and Alfred Waterfront offers a myriad of restaurants, museums, galleries, high-end retail stores, chartered boat trips from Cape Town’s famous harbour, as well as the Cape Wheel. The nightlife in Cape Town’s City Bowl is exuberant; Long Street and Bree Street are popular among tourists and locals alike because of the vast variety of restaurants, nightclubs, live music and bars to suit any mood, any preference and any palette.
In addition to the hundreds of kilometres of pristine coastline and picturesque mountains, Cape Town offers a wine lover’s dream. In the leafy Constantia Valley, there are luxuriant wine farms with sprawling, immaculate vineyards. These Winelands offer free wine tastings and world-class dining. The borders of Cape Town reach from Atlantis in the west, Gordon’s Bay in the East and Philadelphia, Durbanville and Kraaifontein in the North. Along the coastline of the Atlantic Seaboard, suburbs like Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay hold some of the highest priced real estate in the province, offering lifestyles of gracious living and spectacular views of the coastline, the Twelve Apostles that form part of Table Mountain, and the natural beauty created by the mountains and the sea.
The Southern Suburbs of Cape Town include; Newlands, Rondebosch, Claremont and Constantia. Residents enjoy another aspect of Table Mountain and close proximity to the majority of schools in the Cape. Larger homes and gardens, some amongst ancient oak trees and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, attract many families to this side of the mountain. The University of Cape Town, with its ivy-clad walls, is situated on the mountainside overlooking the Southern Suburbs, making this area a popular residence for university students. The Southern Suburbs is also home to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, on the eastern foot of Table Mountain, which was planted in 1913 and tended to by a man called Henry Harold Pearson. Before Pearson managed to bring it to its present glory, wild pigs and weeds ran rampant in the area, today Kirstenbosch is considered the ‘most beautiful garden in Africa.’ The gardens feature a large conservatory taking plants from all over South Africa including the savanna and the Karoo. There is a strong emphasis on cultivating Cape region native plant life called Fynbos, highlighting the incomparable Protea. For a small fee, picnickers, walkers and tourists can explore the majestic gardens and stroll along the Tree Canopy Walkway. On most Sundays in the summer, concerts are held on one of the main grassy fields in the garden, which has great acoustics and of course a beautiful vista.
The Northern Suburbs of Cape Town is a predominately Afrikaans speaking community, and many residents commute into the city every day whilst enjoying the quiet suburban lifestyle away from the buzz of the city. The Northern Suburbs include; Century City, Plattekloof, Panorama, Bellville, Brackenfell, Durbanville and Parow.
The coastline north of the city includes; Table View, Milnerton, Blouberg and Melkbos and the beaches look out to Robben Island. Big Bay is a popular kite-boarding venue and, when the wind is strong, colourful kites dominate the skyline. The newer suburbs of Parklands and Sunningdale provide for affordable homes close to this coastline.
The Southern Peninsula includes the surfer’s beaches in Muizenberg and the quaint old seaside villages of Kalk Bay and St. James through Fishhoek to the South African navy base town of Simonstown. A popular tourist spot in the Southern Peninsula is Boulders Beach in False Bay, a National Park marine protected area which is home to the adorable African penguin colony. This is the only place in the world where you can get close to these precious creatures; actually, you’re even allowed to swim and sunbathe on the beach with them.