Cape Town

Cape Town

Cape Town

Known as South Africa’s “Mother City,” Cape Town is a premier tourist destination and a cosmopolitan jewel of the African continent. Nestled between awe-inspiring mountains and a sparkling coastline, Cape Town bursts with history, art, culture, and natural beauty.

Natural and geological marvels abound in Cape Town. Table Mountain, the city’s iconic sandstone formation and most popular landmark, hovers over the Cape of Good Hope and offers spectacular views of the sprawling city below. The mountain can be traversed on foot, for those who enjoy hiking, or by a quick cable car ride. South of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens display a stunning variety of South Africa’s lush and colorful native plant life. Nearby beaches, including Clifton Beach and Boulders Beach, are excellent sites for swimming and surfing (though colder ocean temperatures may make your swim a bit chilly!). Boulders Beach, in particular, has become a favorite sightseeing spot; locals and tourists alike enjoy watching African penguins traipse along the sand.

Cape Town’s history of racial discrimination through the apartheid system, ended in 1994, and the people’s anti-apartheid revolution led by Nelson Mandela are essential to understanding the city’s current political and social makeup. Robben Island, the prison in which Mandela served 27 years for his anti-apartheid demonstrations, is a must-see historical landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Book a tour to explore the prison’s halls and see Mandela’s cell for yourself. The city’s many museums, including the District Six Museum and Slave Lodge Museum, provide an immersive look into Cape Town’s colonial and segregationist past.

Eat, drink, and be merry while partaking in Cape Town’s rich cultural life! Vineyards and wineries lie just beyond the metropolitan center and offer a diverse assortment of aromatic wines, including South Africa’s unique pinotage blend. Popular promenades near the city center, including the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Long Street, will delight you with an impressive array of dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. Be sure to sample biltong, a dry-cured beef peppered with delectable spices that has become a staple of Cape Town cuisine. If you’re in the mood for heartier dishes, step in a local restaurant for piping-hot bunny chow (with loads of flavorful curry) or fresh fish and chips. Fascinating Cape Town awaits. Kom ons gaan!

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For transportation around Cape Town, a nonshared taxi is one recommendation, while taking Uber is another option. Cape Metro Rail is another way to go, but remember that the trains stop weekdays at 6 p.m.

If you're feeling limber, bicycles are available for rent all around Cape Town, and the city has dedicated bike lanes.

The V&A Waterfront, named for Queen Victoria and Prince Alfred of the United Kingdom, is a bustling hub for shopping and home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars with offerings of fresh and authentic South African cuisine. This is a must-see destination during your travels to Cape Town!

Visit Nelson Mandela's former prison cell on Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of the apartheid system once enforced by the South African government. Deepen your knowledge of Mandela's courageous fight against racism and segregation in this historically significant Cape Town museum.

Ascend to Cape Town's highest heights on Table Mountain! Whether you trek by foot or glide along in a cable car, this peak (and the view from the top) is well worth a visit.