Cape Town

Cape Town, the 'Mother City' of South Africa

Cape Town is set amidst countryside that is tremendously rich in wildlife, as well as being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Seen as the 'Mother City' of South Africa, Cape Town is notable for its easy-going vibe.
The city gets its name from the Cape of Good Hope, located around fifty kilometres distant. It lies between Table Mountain and Table Bay and is home to almost one million people.
Cape Town is very popular with tourists. During the summer, the city offers a wide range of things to do: water-sports, mountaineering and hillwalking, leisure aviation activities and cultural events. You can go scuba-diving one day and rock-climbing the next!
The city itself stands out with its fine colonial architecture from the Victorian period. The city centre is particularly appealing, with attractive buildings, good shopping and interesting historical sites to visit. These include the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th century fortress, and the town hall, the Old Town House.
Just off the coast of Cape Town lies Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 19 years in prison.
If you want to escape to the great outdoors, why not head for Boulders Beach where you can enjoy a spot of penguin-watching!

Come face-to-face with South Africa

South Africa has become an extremely popular holiday destination, with Cape Town being an excellent illustration of what draws visitors to the country. Nature-lovers will jump at the chance of making the journey, with South Africa being home to numerous wildlife reserves such as the Pilanesberg National Park and Kruger National Park. These reserves make it possible to watch wildlife roaming free in its natural habitat. At the same time, eco-tourism, which aims to use the country's natural resources in a more sustainable way, has expanded rapidly. Attractions which are best-explored on bicycle or foot include tours of the vineyards around Cape Town and the Garden Route, which wends its way through lush, unspoilt countryside.
The Wild Coast offers up sumptuous vistas of untouched natural habitats and glorious waterfalls tumbling into the ocean. To round things off, perhaps you'll be lucky enough to see one of the biggest canyons in the world, the Three Rondavels
Feel free to inquire about any hiking trails or shorter walks which you might be interested in undertaking during your stay in Cape Town - the South Africa Tourist Office will be able to help. It's also worth remembering that there are many UNESCO World Heritage sites in South Africa.

South Africa: facts and figures

Population: around 53 million
Currency: the South African Rand
South Africa has 4 distinct climatic zones: Mediterranean around Cape Town, humid subtropical in the southeast, tropical in the north and semi-desert on the Atlantic coast.
There are 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele.