South Africa's "Mother City", Cape Town is the country's oldest, most cosmopolitan and arguably most picturesque city.
With a gorgeous coastline, view the beautiful city from the peaks of Cape Town’s dominating Table Mountain. A popular tourist destination, it is proudly multicultural and offers beaches, vineyards, heritage, waterfront restaurants, scenic drives and plenty of action. At around 500 million years in the making and 1,088 metres tall, Table Mountain towers protectively over Cape Town providing a stunning backdrop to the scenic city. You can enjoy hiking on one of over 300 routes up and down the mountain or take the more leisurely option using the Cableway.
Cape Town’s city centre sits between Table Bay and Table Mountain in a natural amphitheatre-shaped area known as City Bowl. The commercial heart of Cape Town, City Bowl has plenty to see and do. Visit the District Six Museum for an emotionally moving presentation that tells the story of the area in Cape Town, which was once a vibrant centre. Established as a community for freed slaves, labourers, immigrants, artisans and merchants, in 1966 it was declared a white area and by 1982, the strong community that once was, no longer existed with 60,000 people forcibly removed. With all houses flattened to prevent their return, until 2004 it remained an empty segment of land in a prime location - acting as a stark representation of the country’s history of apartheid and segregation.
Stroll along Long Street, day or night, for antiques shops and secondhand book stores, boutiques, beautiful Victorian-era buildings and a lively nightlife. Visit the Waterfront for restaurants, bars, shops and harbor cruises or take a walking tour of the distinctive township of Bo-kaap, with its delightful multi-coloured houses and narrow cobbled streets. No visit to Cape Town is complete without a boat trip over to Robben Island where prisoners, and most famously Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated, up until 1996 when the last remaining prisoners were removed. For over 400 years the island served as a place of banishment, for all unwanted members of society including lepers, the mentally ill and supposed political and common-law criminals. In 1999 it became a fascinating museum and World Heritage Site.
Outside of Cape Town you’ll find South Africa’s most famous wine-growing region, the Winelands. Visit the vibrant University town of Stellenbosch, one of the oldest European settlements in South Africa and a good place to base yourself to visit the many wineries in the area. Be enchanted by the natural beauty of South Africa’s spectacular Garden Route. Running along the south-eastern coast for approximately 300 kilometres from Mossel Bay to the Storms River, it comprises of verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation, wildlife, picturesque lakes and lagoons and plenty of outdoor activities that make the most of the breathtaking scenery.
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