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|Nestled between the ocean and the mountains, with a national park at its heart, Cape Town is a special place where a person can renew ones soul and reconnect with life. The unique topography of the region makes it easy to orientate oneself as long as you remember that with Table Mountain behind you and Robben Island before you; you are facing north, looking across Table Bay and up the west coast of Africa.
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|Cape Town is positioned on the 34th latitude south. It is, considerably cooler in Cape Town, due to the cold Benguela current from Antarctica in the Atlantic Ocean west of the city. However, Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate. In summer it is usually pleasantly warm. The hottest days are often cooled by the Cape Doctor, the famous South-Easter, which keeps the city free of pollution.
It seldom rains in summer, and only briefly when it does. The winters are cool and wet, but the temperature hardly ever falls below 10° C. The water temperatures in the Atlantic are low, due to the above-mentioned Benguela current, but east of the city the influence of the Indian Ocean is noticeable, and the beaches and seaside places on that side of the Cape Peninsula are more populated. The beaches in the west do have the advantage of protection from the South-Easter by the Table Mountain massif.
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|Important Contact numbers:
Arrivals & Departures 086 727 7888
Cape Town International Airport 021 937 1200
Emergency SAPS 10111
Emergency Table Mountain 0861 106 417
Fire - Residential & Mountain 021 535 1100
Mountain Rescue 021 948 9900
Sea Rescue - NSRI 021 449 3500
Tourist Assistance - Police 021 421 5115
The usual opening hours for banks are:
Monday to Friday 9AM-3.30PM Saturday 9AM-11AM
The biggest banks are:
FNB (First National Bank)
Shops and Malls:
Most shopping malls are open till about 7PM. However, a lot of shops are open till 9PM or longer. The most well-known shops in South Africa are Pick and Pay, Checkers, Spar and Woolworths. [back to top]
The Garden is situated on Main Road, Claremont and has one of the richest collections of exotic trees and shrubs in South Africa. The Arderne Gardens, with its Japanese Garden, shady glades and romantic nooks has made it one of the favourite spots in Cape Town for wedding photographs. (Thomas Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town)
Bo-Kaap, or the old Malay Quarter, was declared an exclusive residential area for the Muslim Cape Malays under the Group Areas Act of 1950 during the Apartheid years, forcing people of other religions and ethnicity to leave and today is still closely associated with the Muslim community. The houses have been restored and colourfully painted, and the steep cobbled streets, mosques and minarets, and blend of Cape Dutch and Edwardian architecture makes it one of the most interesting historical and cultural areas of the city. The Bo-Kaap Museum on Wale Street documents the history of the Cape Malays (Tel: 021 424 3846, Website: www.bokaap.co.za)
Boulders Penguin Colony
Boulders Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. This colony is one of only a few in the world, and the site has become famous and a popular international tourist destination. (Boulders Visitor Centre: +27(0) 21 786 2329)
Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain National Park
So named by Portugal's King John II this area has captured the imagination of European sailors such as Dias who first named it the Cape of Storms in 1488 and later in 1580 Sir Francis Drake who called it the "The Fairest Cape in all the World".
Rich in cultural and natural heritage this is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa. Due to the variety of wildlife that occurs here it is the only section of the TMNP that is fenced and visitors should look out for Eland, Red Hartebeest, Bontebok and Zebra. (Visitor Centre: +27(0) 21 780 9204)
Castle of Good Hope
Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. (Main gate: Totius Road, Welgemoed)
Chapmans Peak Drive
Winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. (0217918222, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Company Garden, oldest garden in South Africa
This historical garden boasts a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary. A variety of trees are of great botanical importance. The tree-lined Avenue is popular for lunch time strolls and the garden is a haven in the middle of the city centre. (19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 021 4002521)
Constantia Uitsig Wine Farm
Constantia Uitsig is located in The Constantia Valley which is the cradle of quality wine-making in South Africa, and the name Constantia is linked with the most famous wines ever produced in this country. For over two centuries the wines of the valley were sought-after by royal courts and the aristocracy of Europe.
Today Constantia is seen as a benchmark of South African wine, identified in top-of-mind awareness as one of the Fine Wine Regions outside Europe. The significant awards garnered by producers over the last decade are testimony to the quality and consistently high standards of the wines. Given its proximity to the city and easy accessibility, Constantia is truly Cape Towns own Vineyard. The breathtaking rural beauty of a valley where vineyard rows stretch up the mountainside - within minutes of a capital city - is unique in todays overcrowded world. Constantia Uitsig produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Red and White Bordeaux blends- all noble cultivars ideally suited to the climate in the valley. With 30 hectares under vine, Constantia Uitsig produces 17 000 cases of superior wine a year. All The Constantia Uitsig Wines received 4 stars and more in the John Platter Wine Guide 2006. (Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, 21 7946500, E-mail: email@example.com)
Edith Stephens Wetland Park
The Edith Stephens Park is named after botanist Edith Stephens who bought the land in 1955 and entrusted it to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and in 1999 the City of Cape Town added another 35 hectares to form the Edith Stephens Wetland Park. This is a place where the natural biodiversity of the Cape Flats and the needs of the local communities are brought together.
Table Mountain Fund
But thanks to a project funded primarily by the City of Cape Town and World Wildlife Fund - South Africa's Table Mountain Fund - this has all changed dramatically.
One of the first tasks of the project was to clear the land of the uninvited alien plants. With the 'aliens' gone, there was no longer anywhere for the gangsters to hide or conduct their unsavoury business, and crime dropped substantially. The City of Cape Town led the regeneration of a small lake to which local birds now flock. So do residents.
From an initial 3.7 hectares, the park is now close to 40 hectares in size. A community and information centre has been built. Mzwandile Leon Peter, the park's on-site manager, says there have been inquiries about holding local weddings at the site. Community coordinated Sunday music concerts, picnics, and bird watching are all also on the agenda. It's remarkable progress in just over a year.
Green Point Lighthouse
The Green Point Lighthouse, Cape Town was the first solid lighthouse structure on the South African coast, first lit on 12 April 1824 The distinctive red and white striped building is a landmark in Mouille Point. Guided tours can be arranged where visitors can admire the woodwork, stone-work and architecture. (Beach Road, Mouille Point, Cape Town, Telephone 021 449 5171)
The historic Cape Dutch homestead of Groot Constantia, about half an hours drive to the south from the city centre, is the oldest house in the Cape and the main stopping point on the well-signposted Constantia Wine Route. The manor house, originally home to Dutch Governor Simon van der Stel in 1685, is the centre of a museum complex. There are two excellent restaurants on the site, and cellar tours and wine tasting are offered. Other estates on the Constantia Wine Route are Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig and Steenberg. (Telephone: 021 795 5140; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.museums.org.za/grootcon)
Helderberg Nature Reserve
The Helderberg Nature Reserve is situated in Somerset West on the slopes of the beautiful Helderberg Mountain overlooking False Bay.
There are picnic spots, an information centre, our Guinea gift shop, exhibitions and hiking trails for young and old. See our lovely Bontebok, and watch the tortoises lazily mowing our lawns. (Information Centre: (021) 851-4060 (open daily from 10:00-16:30, Website : www.helderbergnaturereserve.co.za)
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain..(Address: Kirstenbosch NBG, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town)
Peers Cave, archaeological site
Peers Cave dates back 12 000 years. The remains of the so-called "Fish Hoek Man" were discovered here.
A gentle walk will lead to Peers Cave for a peep into Stone Age history and sweeping views of the Valley. The site was first excavated n 1926 by Victor and Bertie Peers. (The Town Square, Fish Hoek, Telephone: 021 7824531)
From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom. (Telephone: +27 (0)21 409 5100 Website: www.robben-island.org.za/)
Signal Hill aka Lion's Rump, is a landmark flat-topped hill located in Cape Town, next to Lion's Head and Table Mountain.The hill is also known as "The Lion's Flank", but this term is obsolete. Together with Lion's Head, Signal Hill looks like a lion sphinx
It is known for the Noon Gun that is operated there by the South African Navy and South African Astronomical Observatory. In 1836, a time ball was set up at the Cape Town observatory, however it was not visible to ships in the harbour, so a second time ball was erected on Signal Hill in order to relay the precise moment of 1pm Cape Mean Time.
St Georges Cathedral
Cape Town's Victorian Gothic style Anglican Cathedral, founded in 1901, is situated in Wale Street and is historically significant as it is the place where the enthronement of South Africa's first black archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, took place. The Cathedral is unique in that it became a political powerhouse in the struggle against Apartheid, known as 'the people's cathedral', stating openly from the 1950s onwards that it was open to all people of all races at all times. (Address: Wale Street; Telephone: 021 424 7360 (Cathedral office) Website: www.stgeorgescathedral.com)
Tygerberg Nature Reserve
Tygerberg Nature Reserve lies in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. Proclaimed as a Local Authority Nature Reserve in 1973, it supports one of the last remnants of the critically endangered Swartland shale renosterveld vegetation type. The reserve covers an area of 309 hectares and boasts 562 different plant species. Of these, 23 are threatened, eight are endemic to Cape Town, and three endemic to Tygerberg itself.
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Abseiling off Table Mountain is an experience of adrenaline and achievement not to be missed. The world famous Table Mountain soars above Cape Town at 1000 metres above sea level.
Step off the edge and make the 112-metre controlled descent with the safety of a harness and cable as a support. The views from here are breathtaking. (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: email@example.com)
These walks, where visitors are accompanied by a local zoologist enable people to observe two resident baboon troops in their natural environment. (Tours by appointment only: 021 783 2630, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Cape Town has many beautiful beaches, some of the better known ones being: Milnerton Beach, Muizenberg, Sandy Bay, Camps Bay and Clifton. Boulders beach together with adjoining Foxy Beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park. (Web address: www.tourismcapetown.co.za)
Bird Watching, Eco Tours
Experience our Capes endemic birds and unique habitats, fossils and bushman paintings.
The highest commercial Bungee Jump in the world stands at 216m high and is at the Bloukrans Bridge up the Garden Route of South Africa. Take the leap of your life and feel that xtreme adrenalin as you plunge towards earth with just a bungee rope attached to you. (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: email@example.com)
Canal Walk Shopping Experience
Canal Walk offers entertainment and shopping for the whole family. There are more than 400 stores, 17 cinemas and a gaming arcade. The centre also includes the MTN Sciencentre - an interactive science centre with more than 280 exhibits. It makes science and technology available to everyone by providing valuable hands-on learning experiences.
(Physical Address: Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century Boulevard, Century City. Info Telephone Number: 021 555 4433, Website: www.canalwalk.co.za)
Canoe Safaris/River Rafting - Orange River
For centuries the majestic Orange River has carved its way through the African landscape and in places has created an arid semi-desert mountain wilderness of rugged but compelling grandeur. Over-hanging long stretches of the river below Augrabies Falls is the towering Nama Plateau, which forms the backdrop for a memorable adventure on a desert river. Additional features are magnificent sunsets and the solitude, tranquility and incredible silence of this remote area.(E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: +27 (0)21 4220868)
Located at the southwestern tip of Africa, in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point has captivated travellers for centuries with its dramatic scenery and fascinating history.(Website www.capepoint.co.za)
Cape Point Ostrich Farm
The Cape Point Ostrich Farm was established in 1996 and turned into an ostrich breeding farm by the vision of Angelika Coelle. The 65ha farm was undeveloped and only the ruins of the 19th century Cape Dutch style buildings were visible underneath the growth of many years.
Dr. Coelle and his wife Angelika had a vision and within the year they had accomplished to turn the dormant land into a natural landscape breeding farm. The family run business has passed into the 2nd generation and is now managed by the children. (Plateau Road, Cape Point 021 7809294 email@example.com)
Casino, GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World
Sun International’s most successful casino development, and the largest entertainment destination of its kind in South Africa, offers an around-the-clock entertainment wonderland of casinos, restaurants, bars, theatre, cinema complex and night-club all under one roof. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 27 21 505 7777)
Childrens Park, Muizenberg Beachfront
The Muizenberg Childrens Park with a super tube Waterslide, Putt-Putt (mini-golf), open air pool and Play Park is a favourite with families. The promenade overlooks the sea and is frequented by those who enjoy a leisurely stroll. (The Pavilion, Beach Road, Muizenberg Telephone: 021 788 7881, E-mail address: email@example.com)
Copper Hat Dive
Take a step back into the 1800's and put on a canvass suit and copper hat worn by the divers in the good ol days.(Website: www.extremescene.co.za/copper-hat.php)
For beautiful hand-made paper, cards, beadwork and original gifts, visit the Iziko lo Lwazi Craftworkers in Hout Bay. Iziko lo Lwazi Craftworkers is a poverty alleviation project. It began as an adult literacy programme offering free English lessons to women of the informal settlement Imizamo Yethu. You should not miss the opportunity to visit this wonderful initiative! (Mrs. Jean Fairhead, Hout Bay Community Cultural Centre, Baviaanskloof Road, Hout Bay. Telephone: 021 7902123, Cell: 084 5808684)
Croc Cage Diving
Croc Cage Diving is based on the same principle as shark cage diving.
Visitors, 12 years and older, who are brave enough, will encounter these 4 metre Nile crocodiles while they swim around in a crystal clear heated croc pool. Croc Cage Diving is not for the faint-hearted. (No dive xperience necessary). (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deep Sea Fishing
Take a trip on a deep sea big-game fishing boat about 15 to 40 nautical miles from land and prepare yourself for the fight of your life. The most common catches include yellowfin, swordfish and bigeye and albacore (longfin) tuna, but for the very lucky can also produce black, blue or striped marlin. (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: email@example.com)
Dining & Entertainment
African, European & Eastern flavours fuse with fresh local ingredients to create something quite unique. Cape Town offers an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, nightlife & entertainment. Try some of the traditional Cape Malay dishes, visit an African restaurant or try one of the many cosmopolitan restaurants. Cape Town is well known for excellent seafood. Other favourites include sundowners on Camps Bay, on top of Table Mountain, concerts at Kirstenbosch, High Tea at the Mount Nelson and jazz in Langa - Cape Town has dining & entertainment experiences to suit your needs. (Contact Cape Town Tourism Office: 021 487 6800)
Oudekraal is a popular dive site situated between Bakoven and Llandudno. It is also a lovely spot for picnics. The site with its boma (thatched building) can be booked for functions. (Telephone: 021 701 8692)
Footsteps to Freedom Tours
The best way to start your visit to any city is surely to do a walking tour. Footsteps to Freedom invites you to reach into the soul of Cape Town, by retracing 350 years of dramatic history. Specially trained tourist guides will bring to life the challenges facing the early Dutch Settlers, the pain of slavery, the Cape as a colony, the tragedy of apartheid and the joy and triumph of our new Rainbow Nation. (Contact: Garth Angus, Address: 5 Church Square, Corner of Spin & Parliament Streets, Cape Town, Telephone: 021 465 2032, Web address: www.footstepstofreedom.co.za)
Gold of Africa Museum
The Gold of Africa Museum is located in Martin Melk House. The building has had a varied history as private residence, lodging house, art gallery, offices, restaurant and now a museum.
The museums state of the art gold jewellery workshop is venue for courses and demonstrations. See local goldsmiths using South African gold to design, prototype and manufacture exquisite pieces of jewellery. Some are later sold in our shop.
Crocodile Café - relax awhile in the museums beautifully situated coffee shop. Sample premier South African wines in our 200 year old cellar or enjoy a snack or light meal in our tree-shaded courtyard. A moment in this urban oasis and youll forget youre in the middle of the city. Both courtyard and cellar are utilized for venue hire, and snacks and winetasting can be built into any of our tours.
The Museum shop - sells unique jewellery pieces. Many have been inspired by our collection of African gold artifacts while some have been crafted on the premises by museum goldsmiths. (Telephone 021 405 1540, Physical Address: Cape Town City Centre 96 Strand Street)
The Cape Town golf courses are a reflection of the dynamic and varying aspects of Cape Town. (Website: www.aboutcapetown.com/golf.htm)
Health & Wellness
Visitors who wish to refresh, revitalize and rejuvenate can enjoy a variety of body, mind and spirit treatments.
(Contact Cape Town Tourism Office: 021 487 6800)
Experience the wonder of the fairest Cape from above and indulge in an adventure never to be forgotten... Civair Helicopters, based at the V&A Waterfront, offer scenic Peninsula and Winelands Tours including personalised itineraries to your specifications. (Civair, V&A Waterfront, Telephone: 021 419 5182, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hiking and Mountain Bike Trails
With the number of walking and hiking trails in and around Cape Town and its surrounding mountains and forests, one could easily be kept busy for weeks. The Cape provides an array of hiking backdrops from waterfalls and ravines to dry fynbos and lush forest - beautiful scenery as well as an abundance of flora and birdlife waits. Enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna in the Koeberg Nature Reserve. (Koeberg Nature Reserve, Melkbosstrand, Telephone: 021 5504021)
Horse riding, Noordhoek
Noordhoek, with its rural charm, is ideal for horse-riding. A popular activity is horse-riding along the shoreline of Long Beach, which stretches for 8km. (Telephone: 021 7892812, E-mail: email@example.com)
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning can be one of the most peaceful xperiences ever while enjoying the great scenery of the Drakenstein Mountains and views to Table Mountain in the far distance. (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hout Bay Harbour
The harbour is a popular attraction in Hout Bay. The Hout Bay Harbour is home to the fishing community of Hout Bay. Visitors can enjoy trips to Duiker Island, the seal colony, kayaking, fishing and boating.
Mariners Wharf, the waterfront emporium at the harbour, has a seafood restaurant and delightful shops. (Telephone: 021 7901264, E-mail address: email@example.com)
Imhoff Farm offers a warm country welcome with something for the whole family to enjoy.
Restaurants, cheese dairy, 15 art and craft shops, camel & donkey rides, snake park, beach horse rides and a childrens farmyard. Imhoff Farm is the perfect venue for families, with plenty of entertainment for all. The children just love to ride on Barrys donkeys, Greedy Guts and Juliet and also feed the animals in the farmyard.
(Susan Wright, Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie, Telephone: 021 7834545. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
The J&B Met
One of the most prestigious and anticipated events on Cape Town's social calendar, the J&B Met is not only about thoroughbreds, but is a day of glamorous fashion, entertainment and sophistication, accompanied by J&B Scotch Whiskey. The R1.5-million prize money is in keeping with its status as the premier horseracing event in South Africa, and the Official After Party is a highly rated post-race event that continues the festivities well into the early hours. (Venue: Kenilworth Race Course; Website: www.jbmet.co.za )
Jet Fighter Flight
Come along and don't be shy to live out your Top Gun fantasy! Not for the feint heated but certainly provides the ultimate adrenaline junky the ride they have been waiting for their whole lives! Xperience the Cape at supersonic speeds! (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: email@example.com)
Kalk Bay Arts & Crafts
Kalk Bay is a Shopper's Delight. The Main Road of Kalk Bay has become a major attraction on the False Bay Coast. A variety of arts and crafts, pottery, clothing, antiques and bric-a-brac shops line the Main Road and adjoining alleys. A number of restaurants, side-walk cafes and bistros add to the unique vibe of Kalk Bay. (Telephone: 021 787 9140, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kloofing at Kamikaze Canyon
Join us for a great day of hiking, kloofing and a 65m abseil through "Thunder Falls" We meet for breakfast and prepare for the day ahead. A leisurely walk takes us to the rock pool where you can kloof from heights of 3 to 23 meters. Depending on how brave you are feeling! After a healthy picnic lunch you take on the falls and abseil 65m through the middle of a raging torrent of water! (Tel: 021 882 8112: Email: email@example.com)
Monkey Town Primate Centre is a wildlife Centre for monkeys and apes with more than 230 animals and 28 different exotic species including Tammy, Ruby, and Sunny, our famous chimp sisters. There are also koi ponds, many bird species and small antelope on the premises. (Mondeor Road - Off N2, Somerset West, Telephone: Website : www.monkeys.co.za)
Mountain Biking is a great way to xperience Cape Town and the rest of South Africa. Whether you are taking an easy trip through the Cape Point Nature Reserve or hurtling down a steep mountain pass, you will be absorbing some of the world's favourite sceneries and inhaling some of Africa's finest air. (Xtreme Adventures, Telephone: 072 538 1574, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pubs, dance venues, theatres, casinos, jazz clubs, you name it, Cape Town has it. When it comes to nightlife Cape Town offers such a huge variety that a visitor could be entertained at a different venue for weeks on end and would still just have scraped the tip of the iceberg. (Contact Cape Town Tourism Office: 021 487 6800)
Noordhoek Farm Village
For a novel and interesting experience visit the Noordhoek Farm Village, Cape Towns No. 1 Farm Village.
Nestling under the shady oaks at the southern end of Chapmans Peak Drive lies the Noordhoek Farm Village. It is a unique place featuring three restaurants and many craft shops all designed to blend in with rather than dominate the beauty of the natural surroundings. To visit the Noordhoek Farm Village is to step back in time, as though one has entered an era of charm when life was generally more gracious and less hurried. It is difficult to believe that this enticing place of character and historical appeal is not centuries old. It has become established as a focal point for both locals and visitors to relax in cool shade and rediscover the simple pleasures of a country lifestyle. (Telephone: 021 7892812, E-mail: email@example.com)
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