South Africa (Cape Town)

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Cape Town - airpano

Cape Town [1] is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province, as well as being the legislative capital of South Africa (the Houses of Parliament are here). It is located in the south-west corner of the country near the Cape of Good Hope, and is the most southern city in Africa. It is a stone's throw from

South Africa's world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

Understand

Cape Town is also known as Kaapstad (in Afrikaans) or the Mother City/Moederstad in South Africa. It is also one of the most iconic cities [2] in the world. [3] Safety Cape Town is less safe than you will be led to believe. As a newbie in town, you simply do not know the bad areas. ALWAYS take a taxi from the central bus station after dark. Better still, take one in the day time too, until you are more familiar of where to and where not to go, alone and loaded down with baggage. The police keep a fairly high profile

during daylight hours, but less so at night. You'll get little help from the locals, as they fear for their own safety, too. Knife attacks are not uncommon.

Geography

The Cape Town metropolitan area covers a large area, from Durbanville and Somerset West in the east to Cape Point in the south and Atlantis in the north. The city centre is located in a relatively small area between Table Mountain and Table Bay. For thousands of years, Cape Town was inhabited by the Strandloper (ancestors of Kalahari Bushmen). Cape Town's European history began in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post there on History

behalf of the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company). The first European settlers were mainly Dutch, with some French Huguenots that had to flee from religious persecution in their home country. The first settlers soon explored the adjacent hinterland and founded the cities of Stellenbosch and Paarl in today's Cape Winelands. The Voortrekkers (Pioneers of European descent) started from here to explore and settle the rest of South Africa. Today Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. It is a world- class cosmopolitan city with numerous sites of historical significance, and a lively night-life, as well as a large gay community.

Climate

The summer months are from December to February. Days are usually hot, but the humidity is low, so it is not uncomfortable. You should stay inside or in the shade during the midday heat and use sufficient sun block. You will fight for space on the beach around New Year's with all the local tourists but it is still a great time to visit as there are a lot of events happening.  The winter months of June to August tend to be rather wet, which does not mean rain every day although it can rain for two weeks straight on occasion. It can also get very cold at night, with temperatures as low as 2 or 3°C (this is the temperature of the ocean so it will not get colder unless you go far inland) but 5- 7°C normal.

It will become warmer during the day, with temperatures between 9-15°C typical. It is often very cloudy with far fewer hours of sunshine.

Best times to visit are:

 October and November: The weather is getting warmer. Spring is in the air, but it is not as hot as mid-summer yet. These months can be windy months. The South- Easter is known as the Cape Doctor as it blows away a great deal of pollution!  December to February: These are the prime summer months of long hot days. The sun sets late in the evening (it stays light up until about 8:30PM in December) and there is generally a lot going on. February is the most reliable month for weather, with week

after week of hot days.  March to May: This can change from year to year, but generally it starts raining and the temperature begins to become cooler. There are far fewer visitors around, and you can get excellent deals on accommodation, food and most tourism services. During the dry summer months ( even more so when there is strong wind ) fire poses a serious threat to the flora and fauna of the region, especially the National Parks. The fynbos in particular can become very dry and burn easily. Over the last couple of years a number of fires have almost devastated the slopes of Table Mountain. Please take care not to be the cause of any runaway Fire

fire and report any fires that you might see to Table Mountain National Park Fire Management on +27 (0)21 689-7438 or +27 (0)21 957-4700 outside office hours .

Get in

By plane

Cape Town International Airport is the second largest airport in South Africa (the largest being the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg). There are multiple flights daily to Johannesburg, Durban and all other major South African cities, as well as the Namibian cities of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and other destinations, including Gaborone, Maun and Nairobi. The most used airlines for international flights from Europe, the US and Asia include South African Airways,

Lufthansa [4] , British Airways [5] , KLM [6] , Singapore Airlines [7] and Emirates [8] . Further international flights arrive from Dubai, Doha, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Singapore. Formerly, nonstop service to/from the United States existed, but now, you must use OR Tambo in Johannesburg as a gateway city from/to New York City, Washington DC, or Atlanta. In the summer, (October-March) several charter airlines operate direct flights from all over Europe to Cape Town. Spare seats are sold with substantial discounts but during Christmas time and New Year prices rises significantly. Major local airlines include South African Airways [9] , British Airways

(Comair) [10] and low-cost airlines Kulula.com [11] and Safair [12] . There are MyCiti buses from the airport to the city centre at 20 minute intervals. One way costs R65. The Blue Train [13] is the legendary luxury train service, and is by far the most stylish and comfortable way to get from Pretoria to Cape Town. In its long history, this train had served uncountable numbers of presidents, celebrities and other public figures. Private facilities in every room; many fitted with full bath. Fare includes overnight accommodation, meals, drinks (alcohol included), cigars, butler service and an excursion during the trip. By train

All scheduled South African passenger trains are run by PRASA [14] (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa), which has different divisions for long-distance (inter-city) trains and commuter (suburban) trains. Shosholoza Meyl [15] operates inter- city trains and MetroRail [16] operates commuter trains in major cities. Shosholoza Meyl [17] has three classes of inter-city trains : Economy Class , Tourist Class and Premier Classe [18] . In economy class there are seats only (no bunk beds), tourist class provides bunk beds for overnight trips (bring a sleeping bed or buy bedding on the train) and premier class is slightly more luxurious and comfortable, with all meals and bedding provided. Economy

and tourist class trains have a buffet car for food. Prices on the three classes vary accordingly. Cape Town's main train station is located in the city centre, on the corner of Adderley Street and Strand Street. All trains to or from Cape Town arrive and depart from here. There are inter-city trains to Johannesburg via Kimberley every day of the week, with two trains per day on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Economy and Tourist Class); East London on Sunday (Economy Class only); Queenstown on Thursday (Economy Class only). MetroRail [19] has two classes on commuter trains in and around Cape Town: MetroPlus (also called First

Cape Town - South Africa.

Class) and Metro (called Third Class). MetroPlus is more comfortable and less crowded but also more expensive. Every trainset has both MetroPlus and Metro coaches; the MetroPlus coaches are always on the end of the train nearest Cape Town. Prices are cheap so it is better to be more comfortable and use MetroPlus. Note that there are steep

fines if you are caught in a MetroPlus coach with a Metro ticket (vice versa is allowed). MetroRail commuter trains are a great way to get between Cape Town and neighbouring towns such as Stellenbosch, Strand, Paarl, Somerset West, Malmesbury, Worcester and through the Southern Suburbs (Claremont, Wynberg, Retreat) or to the beaches at Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon's Town. Contrary to many reports that you might read, MetroRail trains are safe, but it is probably wise to avoid avoid traveling at night if possible. If you need to use trains at night, use the most crowded first class (MetroPlus) car and don't stay alone.

The train line from Cape Town to

Simon's Town is fabulous; from Muizenberg south to Simon's Town it runs right next to the sea. You can often see whales, and if it's windy you may have sea spray hitting the train windows. For the best views make sure you sit on the east side of the train (the left side as you face away from Cape Town and towards Simon's Town). This route previously boasted a moving restaurant coach (called Biggsy's) that did the return trip from Cape Town to Simon's Town between 2 and 4 times a day, every day except Monday. However, Biggsy's restaurant car was withdrawn from service on July 2007 for renovations and by June 2009 had not yet been re-introduced. You can buy a Tourist "hop on, hop off" ticket for the Cape Town-Simon's Town route that

allows you to get off and on any train for the entire day. Trains to Stellenbosch run every two hours (more or less), but this journey might take a while. Ask at the ticket counter if there is an earlier train you could use, as there are also trains to Stellenbosch starting in Bellville and Eerste River. The vast majority of roads in and around Cape Town are in a very good condition, making travelling by car an easy issue. However, please be aware of hijackers at night or at traffic lights. The danger is not as high as often emphasized by the media, but a good portion of precaution should be taken. Please ask your hotel staff or anyone familiar with the area By car

about where it is safe and where it is not safe. Several major highways start in Cape Town:  N1 runs north-east, passing Paarl, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg on its way from Cape Town to Harare in Zimbabwe. Also a good choice if you want to go to Kimberley and the northern Drakensberg.  N2 runs along the East Coast towards the Garden Route, George and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, through the Wild Coast up to Durban and Swaziland. Note that the N2 is a toll road through the Tsitsikamma National Park.  N7 goes north along the West Coast to the Northern Cape city of

Springbok and to Namibia. Also follow it to go to Upington and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Hiring a car in South Africa is not as expensive as in Europe or many other countries. Petrol is also cheap compared to Europe but a bit more expensive than in the United States. The locals will tell you that the Cape Town drivers are the most courteous drivers in South Africa (except the mini bus taxi drivers who are unpredictable) and generally drive slower in comparison with other cities. Car Rental companies in Cape Town:  First Car Rental ( Car Hire ), ☎ +27 11 230 9999 ( reservations@cmh.co.za ), [20] . Car rentals in Cape Town.  Reeds Car Rental ( Car Hire ), ☎ +27 21 443 5250, [21] . Car rentals in

Cape Town.  Wise Wheels ( Car Hire ), ☎ +27 21 551 9515, [22] . Car rentals in Cape Town.  Value Car Hire ( Car Hire ), ☎ +27 21 386 7699. Car rentals in Cape Town.  Cabs Car Hire ( Car Hire ), ☎ +27 21 386 5500 ( info@cabs.co.za ), [23] . Car rentals in Cape Town.  Aroundaboutcars ( Car Hire ), 20 Bloem Street, Cape Town, 8001, ☎ +27 21 4224022 ( info@Aroundaboutcars.com ), [24] . Car rentals in Cape Town. By bus All major bus companies have intercity connections from Cape Town, taking you to other cities in South Africa and to Windhoek in Namibia. There might be up to 6 buses a day to certain cities.

The starting point is next to the train station at the corner of Adderley and Strand Street, near the Golden Acre building. Please ask at the nearby tourist information or in your hotel for connections and where your bus is going to leave, as finding your bus can become difficult. Also, there are a few bus services available while travelling from eastern Africa, notably Tanzania and Kenya. The general route followed is Nairobi (Kenya), Dar-es-salaam (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe) in order to reach Johannesburg. The journey from Nairobi takes about two to three days.  Greyhound , ☎ +27 (0)83 915-9000, [25] .

 Intercape Mainliner , ☎ +27 (0)21 380-4400, [26] .  Translux , [27] .  SA Roadlink , ☎ +27 (0)11 333- 2223, [28] . Bus tickets can also be obtained from Computicket [29] . Most of the larger cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises [31] offer Cape Town as one of their destinations, but you can also try something different:  RMS St Helena , [32] . This passenger/cargo ship is the last working Royal Mail Ship and stops at Cape Town on its way to St Helena. Cape Town is also on the Baz Bus route. By boat

Get around

By foot

Unless you are staying within walking distance of the beach in Camps Bay (or some other area where everything you want is close by) then you will find it very frustrating not to have your own transport. Even short distance walks (like from V&A Harbour to the Castle of Good Hope) are problematic by foot, in a city with dividing motorways, and little or no signage or facilities for pedestrians away from the shopping precincts.

By car

There are numerous car rental companies located at the airport and throughout town. Remember that you drive on the left here which may take

some getting used to if you've never done it. It may be difficult to come by an automatic transmission at the rental company so reserve your car ahead of time if an automatic is what you prefer. When you are ready to put fuel in your car, it is required to let one of the petrol station attendants fill it up for you. Just stay in your car, he/she will come up to and ask you which fuel type and how much you want to put in. Cape Town also has a number of luxury and classic car chauffeur companies available that perform various services such as airport transfers, transport to corporate events as well as VIP bodyguards:  Luxury Chauffeur Services ( Luxury Car Hire ), 25 Harold Ashwell

Boulevard, Melkbosstrand, ☎ +27 (0)21 553 0339 ( leanne@luxurychauffeurservices.co. za ), [33] .  Cape Cobra Hire ( AC Cobra Chauffeur and Rentals ), 10 Hermes Street, Paarden Eiland, ☎ +27 (0)83 321 9193 ( ross- renee@capecobrahire.co.za ) , [34] .  Classic Rides ( Classic Car Chauffeur Service ), 66 Roeland Street, City Bowl, ☎ +27 (0)82 739 3338 ( info@classic-rides.co.za ), [35] . By metered taxi Metered taxis are widely available throughout Cape Town, though more so in more affluent or tourist-visited areas. Metered taxis can be identified by the typical yellow sign on the roof

Cape Town - South Africa.

of the car, and by clearly stated information printed on the side of the vehicle stating the fare and the rights of the passengers. Be sure to take only those metered taxis that are marked in this way, but be aware that quality between different vehicles, even those with the same operator, can vary. Typical prices per kilometer range from R9 to

R12 (equivalent to R14 to R19 per mile), often with a start or flag fall fee of up to R30 in 2016. For longer journeys, for example from the city centre to the South Peninsula, or Stellenbosch, it is often possible to negotiate a slightly better price with the driver. Keep in mind the metered taxi industry is under some pressure in Cape Town, and that paying the full rate benefits your driver and ensures the continuation of a sector that is comparably safe and convenient when compared to other transport options. There are a number of reputable metered taxi operators suggested by the City's Sustainable Transport Unit:  Marine Taxis , Unit 2, Monument Building, Old Marine Drive, Foreshore, ☎ +27 (0)21 419 4925

( info@marinecabs.co.za ), [36] .  Unicab , 1 Plein Street, Woodstock, ☎ +27 (0)21 486 1600 ( bookings@unicab.co.za ), [37] . Other metered taxi operators include:  Rikkis Taxis , ☎ +27 (0)21 447 3559 ( bookings@rikkis.co.za ), [38] .  Sainte Marie Taxis ( Service in English and French ), ☎ +27 (0)84 745-0312 ( sainte.marie.tours@gmail.com ), [39] .  Christo's Car Service ( Service in English and Dutch ), ☎ +27 (0)83 877-2334. Small, efficient, and family-run service based in Cape Town's city center. Popular and good safety reputation with visitors. For 24/7 toll-free call centre service that provides residents and visitors with

information on public transport in Cape Town:  Transport Information Centre ( Service in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa ), ☎ +27 (0)800 65 64 63 ( transport.info@capetown.gov.za , fax: +27 (0)86 576 0278). The network of minibus taxis is the most extensive public transport system in Cape Town, and primarily used by workers as transport to and from home. Many people will tell you it's way too dangerous to use these mini buses, but a growing number of expats and tourists seems to be using them anyway, mostly without trouble but always use caution especially if you are a lone female traveller. The main security issue is the By minibus taxi

hazardous driving - speeding, crossing on red lights, intoxicated drivers. Although slightly worse than other modes of transportation, these are also common issues when using metered cabs, or even letting a friend drive you home (drunk driving is a big problem in all layers off the South African population). The main challenge using the system is that there's no route map. You normally have to ask around a bit, and learn it over time. The main minibus station is located in the city centre, next to the train station. There you will find several platforms, each with the final destination indicated. Two popular tourist routes are Cape Town - Wynberg (which passes Observatory, an area with a few

backpackers') and the Green Point - Sea Point - Clifton - Camps Bay route. Fares are cheap, and from Cape Town to Observatory, you pay 6 rand (Dec 2014). When jumping on somewhere along the route, you have to wave your hand to flag down one of the minibuses. They are usually tooting their horn to solicit passengers and will pull off the road if you wave them down. Licensed taxis will have a 20cm x 25cm blue and white sticker on the back of the minibus which shows their final destination. As of early 2013 the Camps Bay - City Centre route cost R6, although this will probably rise soon because of higher fuel prices. When in doubt, ask the driver what the fare is loudly so that everyone else can hear. The other passengers will watch out for you.

Although there are normally three seats per row, they normally squeeze in four, and it can get very tight sometimes. It might be a good idea to take out some coins before you enter the vehicle, as it can be hard to reach down in your pockets as the taxi fills up. Most of the time there is a doorman manning the door, collecting money, and shouting the destination to prospective customers on the streets. Normally you take a seat, and he will ask you for the fare after a while. People behind you will commonly give you coins to pass on, and change will also make its way back in the same fashion. In some cases, the driver will collect the money directly himself. When you want to get off, you normally tell the driver a supermarket or other landmark. Flex. Pick 'n Pay, Observatory

if you want to get off close to the main street there (Lower Main Rd). They will mostly drop you off wherever you want along the route. The minibus drivers often drive dangerously, and are known to drive through red lights, drive in the yellow lane, and not give way to anyone. Most of the minibus drivers "own the roads", and there are some horror stories, among them an incident where a minibus driver failed to stop for a train at a railroad crossing, and was hit by the train. [40] . Some minibus taxi operators have seen the value in the tourist market and are starting to provide safe and legal alternatives to the traditional minibus taxis. They are more expensive than the

traditional minibus taxis, but still far cheaper than metered taxis. No guarantee you'll get to your destination directly, but it is safe, fun, and all the drivers are characters. You may even meet supermodels going to their photo shoots or artists going to their studios. During busy times of day (or year) you

may have to wait a while and unfortunately, they do not take reservations.

By bus

There are two bus systems that run in parallel in Cape Town. The older, slower and more extensive Golden Arrow network [41] ) offers cheap connections connecting most of the city. These are not recommended for tourists due to security concerns. They run

mostly during the day. It is better to ask the driver where the bus is going, to make sure you won’t end up somewhere else. The newer MyCiti Bus Rapid Transport System started operating in 2010. The central hub for the system is the Civic Centre on the city centre foreshore. From there, routes radiate outwards to Tableview, Gardens, Walmer Estate and Salt River, Green Point (including the Waterfront) and the airport. The system is constantly expanding, however, so check out the MyCiti website MyCiti website for a current list of routes, maps and fares. Note that in order to use the MyCiti network you'll need to use a MyCiti cash card which can be purchased at their

stations or participating outlets. You can purchase one at the MyCiti station at the airport and use it to get into the city. Once you've loaded cash onto the card you can also use it as a debit card for small purchases. You can also hire a scooter or a small motorbike. A number of places in the city offer this service and it is a great way to be mobile and save over hiring a car; however, unless you love the pain of cycling up and down mountains while dodging city traffic on narrow streets, cycling for transportation is not recommended.  LDV Biking , 13D Kloof Nek Road, ☎ +27 (0)83 528-0897 ( mail@ldvbiking.co.za ), [42] . The By scooter or cycle

recommended place to rent a scooter or motorbike. From about R100 to R170 per day depending on how many days you are renting for and the time of year.  Cape Sidecar Adventures , 2 Glengariff Road, Three Anchor Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 434-9855 ( info@sidecars.co.za , fax: +27(0)21 434-9860), [43] . Open 9AM to 5PM weekdays and 9AM to 1PM on Sat. Explore Cape Town in a vintage World War II side- car.  Harley Davidson Cape Town , ☎ +27 (0)21 424-3990 ( rentals@harley- davidson- capetown.com), [44] . Explore the Cape on the back of a Harley. From R650 per day.

By train

Groot Constantia - Tjeerd Wiersma, (CC BY 2.0).

There is a system of public train transport, although it is mainly used by locals. Operator Metrorail [45] has done a lot to increase safety and comfort on board the trains, but they still do not live up to European standards. So make sure to buy a first-class ticket. Cape Town station is situated in the city centre on the corner of Adderley Street

and Strand Street and there is a reasonable suburban network of lines with more than 80 stations. A nice scenic ride can be done south to Simon's Town, all along the east coast of the Cape Peninsula. Stick to the Simon's Town line and make sure you are not on the train after 6:30PM or when it is dark. Make sure you do not carry anything expensive on the train as this is an invitation to thieves. If you must carry a camera, make sure it is well out of sight (preferably a small wallet sized camera). Ear rings, necklaces and any form of visible jewellery are not recommended as these can be ripped (rather painfully) from one's person by an enterprising thief. Keep your wits about you and it will make for a pleasant and safe journey.

See

 Bo-Kaap , [46] . This neighbourhood, located on a hill south-west of downtown, is the area historically inhabited by mainly Muslim descendants of slaves from South- East Asia (hence an older term for the area - 'Malay Quarter'. It's a common location for film shoots, as there are some very colourful buildings, quaint streets, mosques. Views over Cape Town and some great food sold on the side of the street. It's well worth wandering around for an hour or so, as well as visiting the Bo-Kaap Museum (a view of a prosperous Muslim family from the 19th Century). Atlas Trading is and old fashioned shop

where you can buy spices for any dish. Ask the proprietor to mix you the necessary spice for the meal you intend making. Approximately 1km from the Bo-Kaap, is the Noon Gun which is fired every day at noon - from Monday to Saturday. You can go and view the short ceremony that takes place before the actual shooting as well as the shooting itself.  The Castle of Good Hope , Buitenkant Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 787 1260, [47] . The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa's oldest surviving building. It was built between 1666 and 1679. It is popularly called 'The Castle' by locals. It has extensive displays of historical military paraphernalia, a history of the castle,

an art collection and the William Fehr Collection (including old Cape Dutch furniture).You can eat and buy wine inside the Castle at the restaurant or café. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 11:00AM, 12:00PM, and 2:00PM. Horse and carriage rides are offered daily at 10:30 AM, 12:45PM and 2:45PM. Booking is necessary. R28 entrance fee.  Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens , Rhodes Drive, Newlands, ☎ +27 (0)21 799- 8899 / +27(0)21 799 8783, [48] . Open daily 8AM to 6PM (7PM September to March). Created on land given to the South African people by Cecil Rhodes Kirstenbosch is one of the world’s most stunning gardens in possibly

the most stunning location set below the Castle Bustress cliffs of Table Mountain. View the hugely diverse and beautiful plants and flowers of the Cape flora. Plants from all of the regions of South Africa are on display, including rare succulents medicinal plants. There is also an avenue planted with a tree from every country in the Commonwealth, started during Rhodes time some of these trees are now an impressive size. Numerous paths wander through the grounds situated on the back side of Table Mountain. Several restaurants, a gift shop and indigenous nursery are also available. At various times of the from the Richtersveld, a giant baobab tree, and interesting

year concerts are performed in the open air amphitheatre. Art is frequently on display, including large Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. The gardens are also home to the National Biodiversity Institute. The latest addition to Kirstenbosch is an elevated wooden pathway through the tree tops. This is a must see if you are in Cape Town, walking through the tops of trees is an amazing experience, especially if you give the walk way a shake! It’s designed to move and sway in the wind. What makes the garden so special is that every season gives you something new to see - new flowers, different birds, etc. During the summer months, sunset concerts feature excellent

local and international music acts in diverse genres. Get there early to get a good spot on the grass amphitheatre. Bring a picnic, and enjoy the sounds of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, local rock bands, and popular artists like Freshlyground and Goldfish. R40.  Robben Island , ☎ +27 (0)21 413- 4200, [49] . Robben Island is located just off the coast from Cape Town, this was the location used during the apartheid days to hold political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela and the late Walter Sisulu. The tour consists of a guided bus tour around the island, before meeting a former political prisoner for a tour of the prison area. The island itself is quite scenic, with African penguins usually

seen on the tour. The bus tour stops to allow you to take in the view, and buy a snack. Tours run several times per day, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the clock tower at the V&A Waterfront. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone. There are three trips a day at 9:00, 11:00, and 13:00. The tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry ride to and from the island. R250.  Rhodes Memorial , ☎ +27 21 689 9151 ( roy@rhodesmemorial.co.za ), [50] . The memorial is situated on the slope of Devils Peak Mountain to the side of Table Mountain and commands one of the best views in to the Cape interior. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who also designed

the Union Buildings in Pretoria as a memorial to pioneer Cecil John Rhodes. It's built in the style of the Greek temple at Segesta on Rhodes favourite spot on the lower slopes of Devil's Peak. Rhodes's own wooden bench is still located below the memorial. The memorial is fronted by a large statue of a man on a horse, this is one of three called Physical Energy by George Frederic Watts, the others being in London's Kensington Gardens and in front of the Zimbabwe National Archive in Harare. The memorial is part of the Table Mountain National Park which is a great spot for picnicking. The memorial is also a start for the hiking along Devil's Peak. Rhodes Memorial and the surrounding bike

and hiking trails have become a very popular spot. The Cafe and tea room located just behind the memorial being very popular for lunch, it looks out over a corner of the national park which people can’t use so attracts lots of animals, it’s the only place in Cape Town where you can have coffee and watch wildebeest and Zebra walking on the slopes below you. Best to book a table as soon as you arrive at the memorial then do your sightseeing; otherwise you may need to wait.  South African Parliament , ☎ (021) 403 2266, [51] . Cape Town is the legislative seat of South Africa (the Presidential seat is in Pretoria and the Supreme Court is at Bloemfontein). A tour of this

compound will acquaint you with South Africa's recent history and its political system. The tour includes visits to the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and the old apartheid-era assembly which is now only used for caucus and committee meetings. Tours are offered a few times per day in various languages. Free entrance and tours.  Two Oceans Aquarium , V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 (0)21 418- 3823 ( aquarium@aquarium.co.za ), [52] . Open 9:30AM to 6PM. You can come and watch the sharks be fed every Sunday at 3:00 PM. There is an extensive series of events calendar for each month. Scuba diving is also offered. A walk around

Cape Town - South Africa.

the aquarium takes about an hour. Admission: Adults R125 Children (4- 13) R60 Children (14-17) R97  Victoria and Alfred Waterfront , ☎ +27 (0)21 408-7600, [53] . A huge shopping and entertainment area at the slopes of Table Mountain, next to the harbour. It is very popular with

tourists, because of the high density of shops, restaurants and amusement possibilities, like the Aquarium [54] or the Marine Museum. Harbour tours and trips to Robben Island start from here, as well as helicopter flights to the Cape Peninsula. The V&A Waterfront has more or less full wheelchair access.  Bo-Kaap Museum , 71 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 481-3939 ( info@iziko.org.za ), [55] . Open 9:30AM to 4:30PM Monday to Saturday. Located in a home dating from the 1760s, the museum offers an insight into the cultural life of the Muslim community of the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town. R5 entrance fee.

Museums and Galleries

 District Six Museum , 25A Buitenkant St, ☎ +27 (0)21 466- 7200 ( info@districtsix.co.za ), [56] . District Six is an area near downtown Cape Town which remained multiracial well into the 1960s against all attempts by the government to declare it a "white only" area. Eventually the residents were all evicted and the buildings were bulldozed. The area remains uninhabited. The museum provides information about the area, the eviction, the Group Areas Act, and the people who used to live there. The director of the museum is a former resident. There is a small bookstore with an excellent selection of books on South Africa's history, District Six and apartheid.

 Groot Constantia , Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia, ☎ +27 (0)21 795- 5140 ( info@iziko.org.za ) , [57] . Open daily 10AM to 5PM. One of the oldest wine estates in South Africa R8 entrance fee.  Slave Lodge , cnr Adderley and Wale Streets, ☎ +27 (0)21 460- 8240 ( info@iziko.org.za ), [58] . Open 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM to 1PM on Sunday. One of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. R7 entrance fee.  South African Jewish Museum , 88 Hatfield Street, ☎ +27 (0)21 464- 1267 ( info@sajewishmuseum.co.za ), [59] . Open Sunday-Thursday 10AM to 5PM and Friday 10AM to 2PM. Closed Saturday. The Museum about

this small community that has made large contributions in South African society and bringing down Apartheid. The museum is about Jews but Non- Jews will find it very interesting and informative. R35 adults, R15 students.  South African Maritime Museum , Union Castle Building, V&A Waterfront, ☎ +27 21 465 1546 ( jboshoff@iziko.org.za ), [60] . This Museum displays include evidence of the early seafarers round the Cape Of Good Hope. Small craft, locally made and a wide variety of maritime artifacts displays are also offered.  South African National Gallery , Government Avenue, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 467-4660 ( info@iziko.org.za ), [61] . 10AM to

5PM Tuesday to Sunday. Located in the Gardens area of Cape Town off Government Ave (about a 20 minute walk from downtown). Contains extensive displays of South African art, as well as information on the history of censorship of art during apartheid. R10 entrance fee.  Galleria Gibello , 67 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, ☎ +27 (0)21 422-1144 ( caro@carolinegibello ) , [62] . Open 10AM to 5PM Monday to Friday. Galleria Gibello is a photo gallery that

is filled with visually captivating moments of life on the African continent. Admission is free.

Performing arts

 Armchair Theatre , 135 Lower Main Road, Observatory, ☎ +27 (0)21

447 1514, [63] .  Artscape Theatre , D F Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21 421 7695 ( artscape@artscape.co.za ), [64] .  Baxter Theatre , Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch, ☎ +27 (0)21 685 7880 ( linda.louw@uct.ac.za ), [65] . Theatre performances, comedy, jazz and others.  Labia Screen , 68 Orange Street, Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 5927 ( labiatheatre@labia.co.za ), [66] . Has an African Screen showing African-made and African- oriented films all year round.  Masque Theatre , 37 Main Road, Muizenberg (adjacent to False Bay

train station), ☎ +27 (0)21 788 1898 ( masqueTheatre@mweb.co.za ), [67] . Amateur plays and performances. The whole theatre is run by unpaid volunteers.  On Broadway , 88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, ☎ +27 (0)21424 1194 ( info@onbroadway.co.za ), [68] . Almost everything is possible in Cape Town, from a nice guided city tour through an adrenaline kick in an old fighter jet. The easiest way to get an overview on things to do, nice restaurants, clubs, tours etc. is to walk into one of the visitors centres which are in several areas. (V&A Waterfront, City Do

Bowl, Green Point etc).

 Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain , Lower Cable Station, Tafelberg Road, ☎ +27 (0)21 424 8181, [69] . Open between 8AM to 10PM (usually 8:30), last car down is at 9PM. Both the cable car and the pathways on top of the mountain are wheelchair accessible. Always take something warm to wear when going up the mountain, even if it is a nice toasty 30C at the bottom of the mountain. Weather conditions at the top of the mountain are not the same as at the bottom. There is a cafe with a limited range of snacks, coffee, beer and wine at the top. Table Mountain is the home of a small animal, the rock rabbit (known locally

as the 'Dassie') whose closest relative, DNA-wise, is the elephant, and you can see them running around on the rocks at the top of the mountain. R225 return ticket or R115 for one way (down. accessible and therefore the most popular route for climbing up Table Mountain. You start from Tafelberg Road and proceed up a steep gully to the top of Table Mountain. It's a steep 2 hours but well worth the effort and you can jump in the cable car back down to spare your knees. Be cautioned that the cable car does not operate in strong winds so you need to check before departing. Take water, sun block, hat and jacket. The  Climbing Table Mountain - Platteklip Gorge is the most

cloud comes down unannounced and the temperature could plummet. Poorly equipped hikers often have to be rescued. Although it is very steep this route is extremely popular and you are guaranteed to meet many people on the way up and down. The gorge is shaded in the afternoon but earlier in the day it can be extremely hot with very little shade. Most of the route involves rock steps which can be challenging and many people find coming down even harder than going up. Don't underestimate the time and energy required for the downward section of this hike. Remember to take lots of water - this climb can be hot! Wear appropriate hiking shoes. Leave plenty of time to get down before dark. As this is a well-known

route and easy accessible, many inexperienced hikers attempt the climb. Take care, or consider a guide. Guided hikes can be booked through the ever resourceful local company SABP Tours or call +27 (0)21 813 6005, info@sabptours.com  Cape Peninsula — Go to the Cape of Good Hope via Simon's Town and the African penguin colony at Boulders. Visit Cape Point in the Table Mountain National Park, maybe have lunch there before taking a hike in a quieter part of the reserve to immerse yourself in the essence of the landscape. Then take Chapman's Peak Drive (if it is open) through Hout Bay and along the Atlantic seaboard via Llandudno and Camps Bay, stopping off at one of

The Drakensberg – Dragon Mountains, South Africa airpano

Clifton's famous four beaches.  Ratanga Junction , ☎ +27 (0)21 550-8504 ( info@ratanga.co.za ), [70] . Open 10AM to 5PM, but not open all year round. Usually open during summer, Easter and winter holiday periods. Enjoy a day with your kids at this theme park. R25 to R100 depending on what rides you want to

do.  Swimming . Beaches on the False Bay side of the peninsula are the most popular with swimmers as the water is warmer. St James has the most picturesque tidal pool on the stretch between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, while Clovelly and Fish Hoek beaches wrap around a sheltered bay with soft, white sands. Fishing boats, hobie cats and kayaks launch from here too. Brave hearts can sun-worship and swim naked in the freezing water of the isolated and breathtaking nudist beach Sandy Bay near Llandudno. Major spot for gay tourists as well. There's a 1.5 km walk down from the parking lot. Camps Bay and Clifton also have great beaches to visit if you want to

try the chillier waters of the west coast.  Surfing — Cape Town is one of the best places to surf. Muizenberg is a good place for beginners to learn to surf, Gary offers reasonably priced lessons from a shop facing the beach. Don't forget that the False Bay area (where Muizenberg is located in addition to Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek) is known for its sharks! If you're an experienced surfer, try the reef break at Kalk Bay, Outer Kom near Kommetjie or Misty Cliffs on the coast road near Scarborough. You could head up the west coast and sample Milnerton, Table View or Big Bay, although Big Bay is often crowded with people kitesurfing due to the windy conditions. When the

swell is really cranking, the big wave surfers gather at Dungeons, near Hout Bay, for some of the biggest surfable waves in the world.  Kite Surfing — Cape Town is one of the best Kite Surfing destinations in the world. Being on the South Western tip of Africa allows kitesurfers to gain access to two oceans, and the famous Cape Doctor which is also known as the South Easter blows most days from October until April. Cape Town offers great kitesurfing to those just starting in the sport as well as seasoned professionals who often spend their off season training around the Cape. Some of the most popular Kite surfing hot spots are Dolphin Beach in Blouberg Strand, Muizenberg and

Langebaan Lagoon. Langebaan lagoon is one of the best places in the world to learn how to kitesurf, with its warmer waters, shallow sand banks and steady wind.  Winelands — Tour the beautiful Constantia Valley wine estates Groot Constantia [71] , Buitenverwagting, Klein Constantia and Constantia Uitsig before checking out the Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Stellenbosch has the added attraction of being an historical university town and Franschhoek, well established as the food capital of the Cape, is home to three of the country's top ten restaurants. The views are extraordinary. Have a drink and a snack at Dieu Donne estate for an

unsurpassable vista of the entire valley, or take your own picnic to the top of a little hill they have by the parking area. Most wineries charge for a tasting session, but usually refund it on a purchase. Your best bet of course is to let someone else to the driving whilst you do the drinking. There are numerous wine tour operators and using them means you will get to see off the beaten track farms and they are often much cheaper than paying for individual tastings. One of the best is operated by SABP Tours as of March 2016 a full day tour cost R800  Exploring the Cape Floral Region Cape Town is the perfect base for exploring the eight protected areas of the Cape Floral Region, inscribed as

a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, including the Table Mountain National Park and the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Mid-August to late- September is an incredible time to visit the area when the normally barren landscape of the west coast north of Cape Town celebrates the arrival of spring by erupting into a blanket of wildflowers. Discover World Heritage specializes in private and small group tours focusing around Cape Town and the Cape Floral Region, including a special spring tour to see the wildflowers. Visit their website for further information. [72]  Seal Snorkeling , [73] . Marvel at these curious and comical creatures

in their natural underwater habitat in Hout Bay. Seal snorkeling trips are run daily from September until the end of May from the Hout Bay harbour with Animal Ocean, but there are no tours in June, July or August. experienced guides to ensure you have a wonderful and safe time. Book a Seal snorkeling trip 550.  Freediving — Cape Town is one of the premier recreational cold water freediving locations in the world. The Atlantic side of the peninsula boasts wrecks, caves and seals, while the warmer False Bay side has sharks, rays and a wide range of reef fish. Most dives sites are easily accessible from shore and range in depth from They provide all the neccesary equipment, hot chocolate and

5m to 15m. The Blue Rock Quarry in Somerset West is ideal for deep freediving as it has year-round calm conditions and is at least 50m deep. Cape Town Freediving specialises in guided freedives and courses. Visit their website for further information. [74]  Climbing Lion's Head , Signal Hill Road. Within easy reach of the city centre, Lion's Head can be summited via 4 routes. The popular and recommended route is to hike up the Circular Route offers increasable views. The Non-Circular Route is more difficult and takes a more direct approach. The South-east Arete is seldom used scramble and requires the use of a rope. The final route called the White Face is considered a

rock climb. The last two routes should not be attempted by hikers or inexperienced traditional rock climbers.

Wine Tasting

Cape Town has some of the world’s best wine producing vineyards and arguably the world’s most scenically stunning on its doorstep. The wine regions of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are all with in an easy hours drive, these historic and lush regions offer stunning views and world class wine tastings. There are more than 250 wine farms within 30 minutes' drive of Stellenbosch - you can comfortably visit 3 or 4 in day. Most wine farms charge a tasting fee of R20 - R50, but waive this if you buy wine. You can self-drive but you cannot

legally drink wine and drive so you will need to find a designated driver. The safest way to see the winelands is to trust your day to a dedicated wine tour company. An excellent day tour is offered by SABP Tours.  Ama Feesh Charters , ☎ +27 (0)21 788-9689 ( info@amafeesh.co.za ), [75] . At the time of writing, the telephone number and web site were not available. Per charter, R4500 for inshore fishing, R6500 for offshore fishing, 1 to 6 people.  Cape Charters , 31 Antigua, The Water Club, Granger Bay, ☎ +27 (0)21 418-0782 ( info@capecharters.co.za ), [76] .  Hooked on Africa , ☎ +27 (0)21 Deep Sea Fishing

790-5332 ( sean@hookedonafrica.co.za ), [77] .  Millers Point & Simonstown - on the way to Cape Point, ☎ 50 ( rob@sportfishing.co.za ). contact Rob Naysmith from R4'000 per boat (4 pax) per day in False Bay to R5'000 for Tuna. Cape Town is one of the world’s best places to see the Great White Shark. Cape Town offers the most accessible diving opportunity to witness the great white shark that will leave you in awe of these magnificent ocean predators. Shark cage diving is available in Gaansbaai all year round. Between June and October we can also dive around Seal Island in False Bay. Shark Cage Diving

Pano - Camps Bay & Lions Head - Vaughan Leiberum. (CC BY 2.0).

 Shark & Safari - Tours and Shuttles , V&A Info Centre, Dock Road, Waterfront, Cape Town, ☎ 0027 21 418 4873 ( info@sharkandsfari.co.za ), [78] .  SABP Tours , ☎ +27 (0)21 813 6005 ( info@sabptours.com , fax: 0027 21 426 0201), [79] .

Surfing

Cape Town is one of the coolest cities on the planet, to make it even better, it has great surfing. Expect cold water, especially in summer when the Antarctic currents brush past. Swell degrees warmer. Winter months (June August) are best with the most swell being pushed in by huge storms between Cape Town and the Antarctic but generally South Africa is one of the world’s most surf spoiled countries, which means there is surf all year round, depending where you are. Contact one of the local surf shops below for more information.  Vudu Surfboards Cape Town , 60 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town 8001, ☎ +27 21 426 0503 ( info@vudusurf.com ), [80] . Mon-Fri

09h00-17h00 Sat 09h00-14h00.

Diving

Cape Town is located near two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Because of the Benguela Current the Atlantic Ocean is relatively cold (about 8°C to 14°C). The Indian Ocean is warmer (12°C to 17°C), and here you can see the more colourful fish. The official border between the two oceans is at Cape Agulhas, but currents and eddies take the warmer water father west and these waters can reach the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula in False Bay, so from a diving point of view, the Cape Peninsula may be considered the interface between the two marine biological regions, and there is a notable difference in character between the

waters of the two coasts of the peninsula. This manifests itself in the different range of marine life found on the two coasts. These regions are the South Western Cape inshore bioregion and the Agulhas inshore bioregion. Permits: The waters around the Cape Peninsula have been declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA). Permits are required to Scuba dive in any Marine Protected Area. This is a politically controversial issue due to disputes on whether due process was followed and whether the government department exceeded its authority, but the consequence is that a tax is imposed on all Scuba divers who dive in an MPA. The permit (valid for 1 year) may be purchased for R75 (2009) at a some branches of the Post Office, or

a temporary permit valid for 1 month may be purchased at most dive shops. Failure to present this permit when requested by

an official of MCM may lead to harassment and possible arrest.

Dive Sites:

Detailed information and suggestions on local conditions, service providers and more than 100 local dive sites is provided in the guide to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. If the open ocean does not appeal to you, the Two Oceans Aquarium also offers diving opportunities in their 2.2 million liter tank.  Diving at Two Oceans Aquarium , ☎ +27 (0)21 418- 3823 ( info@aquarium.co.za ), [81] . 9AM, 11AM and 1PM daily. You need to be

in possession of a valid diving license (PADI, CMAS, NAUI, BSAC etc.). Swim along with the ragged tooth sharks, Yellow tail, Kob, Musselcracker, Bull rays and a lonely turtle. The dive master Iain, a barrel shaped bearded little man with a distinct Scottish accent, is both nice and knowledgeable and accompanies you into the aquarium ready to fend off the sharks with his broomstick should they become cuddly. Dive time is around 30 minutes. For advanced divers, the Kelp forest tank puts you into the water with more and bigger local reef fish than you will see in the sea. R400 (R325 if you bring your own diving gear), this includes the R70 aquarium entrance fee.

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