Cape Town, South Africahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Central_Cape_Town.jpg
is the third largest city in South Africa. It is the most popular South African destination for tourism, and has well known landmarks such as the Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is often regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities because of its geography.
Cape Town was founded around 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck arrived there, and established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town was originally developed as a victualling station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East. It was an important stop as the Suez Canal would not be built for another 200 years. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, and was the largest city in South Africa until Johannesburg and Durban surpassed it in size.
Robben Island Prison, Cape Townhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SafrikaIMG_8414.JPG
Today, Cape Town has a population of 2.95 million (2001). With an area of 2,499 square kilometres (965 sq mi), Cape Town is larger than other South African cities. As a result, it enjoys a comparatively lower population density.
Table Mountain forms a dramatic backdrop for Cape Town. It is a plateau that is 1,000 m (3,300 ft) high and surrounded by near-vertical cliffs, Devil's Peak and Lion's Head. Occasionally, a thin strip of cloud forms over Table Mountain, and the locals call it the "tablecloth".
Cape Town Waterfront
Cape Town is located at the north end of a peninsula called Cape Peninsula. The peninsula consists of a dramatic mountainous spine jutting southwards into the Atlantic Ocean, ending at Cape Point. There are over 70 peaks above 1,000 feet (304.8 m) (the American definition of a mountain) within Cape Town's official city limits.
The plain that joins the peninsula to the mainland is called Cape Flats. Many of Cape Town's suburbs are located here. Cape Flats is a "rising marine plain". It consists mostly of sandy soil, probably an ancient sea bed. There is indication that Table Mountain itself was once an island.
Travel to Cape Town
Cape Town International Airport is the main gateway to the city, and the second largest airport in South Africa. Its new terminal opened in 2009. A taxi from the airport to downtown Cape Town, 21 km away, should be bargained down to R180.
Travel within in Cape Town
The most reliable form of public transport in Cape Town are the metered taxis. The flag fall rate is R8-R10 per kilometer.
Cape Town also has a good network of public buses run by Golden Arrow Buses.
Perhaps the safest way to get around in Cape Town is to rent a car. Be reminded though that payment for petrol in South Africa has to be done by cash.
Places of Interest in Cape Town
The City Bowl
Sights within the Central Business District of Cape Town.
Hout Bay, Cape Townhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hout_Bay_Jan_07.jpg
- Iziko Michaelis Collection
National Monument on Greenmarket Square.
- Iziko Slave Lodge
Site of building that housed slaves who worked in the Company's Garden.
- Grand Parade
Site of Van Riebeeck's first fort in 1652.
- City Hall
Italian Renaissance building from 1905.
- Iziko Castle of Good Hope
Oldest structure in South Africa.
- Lutheran Church
Church that began as a "storeroom" founded by businessman Martin Melck.
- Martin Melck House
Home of Lutheran businessman next door to his church.
- Iziko Koopmans-De Wet House
Neoclassical house from 1701.
- Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum
Oldest house still in its original form, dates back to the 1760's.
- Table Mountain
Most famous landmark of Cape Town, formed of sedimentary sandstone.
- Jan Van Riebeeck's Vegetable Gardens
Vegetable patch dating back to 1652, today a leafy park.
Waterfront initiated by Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria.
- Two Oceans Aquarium
Marine life complex with a great diversity of sealife.
- Alfred Basin (West Quay)
A harbour section for docks and marketplace.
- Iziko South African Maritime Museum
Museum housing South Africa's largest collection of model ships.
- Red Shed Craft Workshop
Place where glass blowing, pottery and ceremics are crafted.
- King's Warehouse
Place where the day's catch is stacked.
- BMW Pavilion
Modern showroom with the ritziest cars in town.
Small island off V&A Waterfront.
Sights Further Afield
- The Lighthouse
Lighthouse dating to 1863.
- Governor's House
Historical Victorian building from 1895.
- Church of the Good Shepherd
Stone church built by lepers in 1895.
- Lime Quarry
Site where political prisoners had to do hard labour.
- Robben Island Prison
Detention centre established since 1658.
- Green Point
Suburb of Cape Town.
- Sea Point
Suburb of Cape Town.
- Cape Riviera
Stretch of coast with million-dollar homes.
- Bantry Bay
Bay in Cape Riviera with luxury apartments.
Trendy neighbourhood with four small beaches.
- Maiden's Cove
Cove with tidal pool and public facilites.
- Glen Beach
Site popular with surfers and sunbathers.
- Camps Bay
A broad stretch of beach with stately palm trees.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town.
- Sandy Bay
Cape Town's naturist beach.
- Hout Bay
An important fishing centre for Cape Town.
- Mariner's Wharf
A wharf built by the Dormans family in the 1900's.
- Hout Bay Museum
Museum charting the history of Hout Bay and its people.
- World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary
Larest bird sanctuary in Africa and second largest in the world.
Small coastal settlement with pristine white sand.
- Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
Reserve at the tip of the windy peninsula.
- Simon's Town
Picturesque town in False Bay used as base for the South African navy.
- Simon's Town Museum
Museum in the oldest building in Simon's Town.
- Fish Hoek
A stretch of beach settlement with cafés and yacht club.
The premier holiday retreat of South Africa.
- Iziko Groot Constantia
Farm established by the Commander of the Cape Simon van der Stel in 1685.
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Botanical garden dedicated to the preservation and propagation of rare indigenous plant species of South Africa.
Suburb at the foot of the Table Mountain's southern slopes.
- Rugby Museum
Museum exhibiting rugby memorabilia collected from South Africa's legendary players.
- Josephine Mill
Mill built in 1840 by Jacob Letterstedt.
- Mostert's Mill
Old-fashioned windmill from 1796.
- Groote Schuur Hospital
Hospital where the world's first heart transplant was performed in 1967.
- Rhodes Memorial
Official Cape Town residence of the state's president.
- South African Astronomical Observatory
National astronomy headquarters of South Africa.
- Ratanga Junction
The first full-scale theme park in South Africa.
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