The second largest city in South Africa, Cape Town, also known as Mother City, is the host of South Africa’s Houses of Parliament and one of the most iconic cities in the world. Cosmopolitan and set against a stunning natural backdrop, Cape Town is a major immigrant destination and popular with expatriates. Filled with the richness of biodiversity, it boasts one of the finest flora and fauna in the world, with much vegetation exclusively located on its shores and no place else. Its Cape Dutch architectural heritage is also world-famous. Here, we introduce some of the top things to do in this great city.
Enjoy the view from Table Mountain
Perhaps the most iconic mountain in Cape Town, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers panoramic views of the entire city and Table Bay. This flat-topped landmark has an extremely rich flora and fauna, with more than two thousand species of plants, some of which exist exclusively on the mountain and nowhere else in the world. Travellers can take the famous Table Mountain Cableway up to the summit (a whopping 3560 feet above the ground) and enjoy the views on the ride. It’s important to book beforehand, however, since the queues for the tickets are as well-known as the cable car ride itself! More adventurous travellers can also opt for hiking up the mountain for an experience off the beaten track; there are numerous trails with varying difficulty levels.
Explore the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Located at the base of Table Mountain, this waterfront offers travellers a buffet of entertainment options to cater to all kinds of travellers. There are more than 80 restaurants which serve a refreshing variety of international cuisine, helicopter flights for an aerial adventure, and 3 different markets selling handcrafts and other retail items which make great souvenirs. Travellers can walk around and visit attractions such as the Iziko Maritime Museum, which shows the history of shipping in Cape Town; the Nobel Square, featuring South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; the Diamond Museum; and take a ferry to Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to mention South Africa’s largest aquarium, the Two Oceans Aquarium. Featuring over 300 different species of mammals, reptiles and flora, it contains six galleries, with each ocean having its own exclusive gallery, and a predator exhibit, which includes ragged-tooth sharks, stingrays and a loggerhead turtle. Qualified divers who want to have an experience of a lifetime can also do a scuba shark dive at the aquarium to have the thrill of species such as yellowtails and sharks swimming freely around them.
Waddle with Penguins at the Boulders Beach
A distinctive beach unlike any other, Boulders Beach is near the Boulders Penguin Colony. This beach has huge granite boulders, hundreds of millions of years old, which shelter the cove from currents, and the beautiful turquoise waters are warm to swim in. The Boulders Penguin Colony is well worth a visit; travellers can see the colony of some 3000 African Penguins wander about freely in a protected environment. The adorable mammals started off initially as only two humble pairs. Wooden walkways are built for visitors to get into close range of them and view their oft-hilarious antics. Travellers should note, however, that feeding or touching them is prohibited.