Name: Cape Town The city’s name is derived from its association with the Cape of Good Hope.
Province: Western Cape
Map: Google Map
Population: 1,3 million
Geography: The city is located on either side of a mountain ridge on the Cape Peninsula and low-lying flat areas at sea level.
Climate: Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall and temperatures around 18°C. Summer time is generally warm with temperatures in the range of 25-27°C.
Key Economic Sectors: Tourism, Agriculture, Manufacturing
Professional Football Clubs: Ajax Cape Town, Santos (Premier) Hanover Park, Ikapa Sporting, FC Cape Town (1st Division)
Stadium: Green Point Stadium
Place to See
District Six Museum – Your one essential museum visit in Cape Town should be here. As much for the people of the now vanished District Six as it is about them, this is a hugely moving and informative exhibition which repays repeat visits.
Heart of Cape Town Museum – Capetonians are very proud that their city was the first place in the world where a successful heart transplant operation was carried out (never mind that the recipient died a few days later). This museum allows you to see the very theatre in Groote Schuur Hospital where history was made in 1967.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – Covering over 500 hectares of Table Mountain, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The landscaped section merges almost imperceptibly with the fynbos (fine bush) vegetation cloaking the mountain and overlooking False Bay and the Cape Flats. Apart from the almond hedge, some magnificent oaks, and the Moreton Bay fig and camphor trees planted by Cecil Rhodes, the gardens are devoted almost exclusively to indigenous plants.
Robben Island – Proclaimed a UN World Heritage Site in 1999, Robben Island is unmissable. Used as a prison from the early days of the VOC right up until the first years of majority rule, Robben Island’s most famous involuntary resident was Nelson Mandela. For this reason alone, it is one of Cape Town’s most popular pilgrimage spots.
Rondevlei Nature Reserve – Hippos hadn’t lived in the marshes here for 300 years until they were re-introduced in 1981 to this small, picturesque nature reserve west of Muizenberg. There are now eight hippos, but they’re shy creatures and it’s unlikely that you’ll spot them unless you stay overnight – which can be arranged.
South African Museum – South Africa’s is the oldest museum. Although not a must-see, it does contain a wide and often intriguing series of exhibitions, many on the country’s natural history. The best galleries are the newest, showcasing the art and culture of the area’s first peoples, the Khoekhoen and San, and including the famous Linton Panel, an amazing example of San rock art.
Two Oceans Aquarium – This excellent aquarium features denizens of the deep from both the cold and the warm oceans that border the Cape, including great white sharks, penguins, stingrays and turtles, along with an astounding kelp forest and pools in which kids can touch sea creatures. Qualified divers can swim with the sharks!