Cape Town is one of the most picturesque cities of South Africa, offering spectacular sea views, beautiful valleys and the most iconic Table Mountain, filled with the most wonderful flora. Whatever you prefer to do, this city will provide more than enough to satisfy the likes of each and every tourist.
How the city got its name
Portuguese explorers were the first to discover Cape Town in 1488 when they were caught in a storm off the Cape coast. One of them ultimately called it the 'Cape Of Storms', which was later renamed as the Cape of Good Hope.
Later, the Dutch started a trading a post in Cape Town, when a Jan Van Riebeek arrived and started trading cattle and tobacco with the inhabitants, known as the Bushmen and Hottentots.
Exploring the city: Best things to do
Your first visit should entail a drive around the peninsula, which offers a bit of the entire mountain, ocean view, and even the wildlife in Cape Town. Whether you start your journey at the Victoria Alfred Waterfront and enjoy breakfast at one of the fine restaurants or a casual meal, you will be blown away to see that this is a working harbor which offers a shopping mall and an extraordinary view of Table Mountain.
Table Mountain is Iconic for its spectacular views, which you can enjoy by hiking to the top, and take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy views of the town. For the less adventurous, you can take a ride in the rotating Cable Car, which gives a 360 degree view of the city. Later, visit Hout Bay harbor, which a is a fishing town where locals feed seals from the quay. You can also take a boat ride to Duiker Island, also known as Seal Island.
The Bo-Kaap offers an excellent opportunity to admire the colorful houses that give a brief insight to the past of the Muslim descendants of Cape Town. Here, you can learn about the heritage and life of the South East Asian community, and try the most delicious Muslim delicacies and entertainment.
Kirstenbosch gardens also classified as one of the 'Seven Magnificent Botanical Gardens of the World' is situated right behind Table Mountain, and has numerous pathways and hiking trails. Filled with the most impressive variety of rare African plants, you will not be at loss here, because it is clearly marked to educate people about African plants.
The city of Cape Town is surrounded by some of the most famous wine estates, which highlights the Dutch influence, and most importantly, the French influence. Franschoek is situated just over an hour’s drive from the city, with its neighboring Paarl and Stellenbosch valley. A short drive from the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens brings you on the doorstep of Constantia Valley, birthplace of wine-making in Cape Town.
Cape of Good Hope
A definite visit should be the Cape of Good Hope reserve. Famously known as the home of abundant wildlife, it is also known for being a sight with many shipwrecks. The many walking trails around here take you along the ocean, mountains, and many open landscapes covered in the most beautiful Fynbos varietals.
The highlight to your trip is a ride in the Funicular, which will take you to the lighthouses. When you head back to the city, drive through the Naval Town of Simonstown, where you may stop at the Boulders beach to visit the African penguin in their natural habitat. Next is the fishing town of Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, and finally Muizenberg Beach. Muizenberg is the surfing heaven of Cape Town and is a great place to meet shark spotters, and learn how they keep the beaches safe.
Cape Town is a city filled with people from various backgrounds; and with its eleven official languages, we pride ourselves in being voted by the readers of the 2017 Telegraph travel awards as the 'Best City in the World', five years in a row.
Welcome, and enjoy your visit!