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This is what makes Cape Town unique

28 December 2021

Cape Town is a vibrant city, filled with people of diverse cultures, and surrounded by breath-taking natural beauty. The list of things that makes the Mother City unique is endless. It’s got something for everyone – whether you’re a foodie, adventure seeker, history nut, party animal, or nature lover.

The most obviously unique thing about Cape Town is Table Mountain – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The dramatic, flat-topped mountain forms the iconic backdrop to the city when it’s not hidden by a blanket of clouds. Table Mountain is a must-visit location when you’re in Cape Town. There are several ways to experience the majestic mountain.

The cable car shuttles visitors up and down daily, weather permitting. For those who are reasonably fit, the mountain’s three-kilometre-long plateau can also be reached through one of several hikes. To take postcard-pretty photos of Table Mountain, visit Blouberg Beach and shoot your heart away.

Cape Town’s abundance of nature

Cape Town is famous world-over for its natural beauty. From mountains to beaches, this special city has it all. The Cape Point Nature Reserve with its rugged cliffs and magnificent views is worth a visit. Ride the Flying Dutchman funicular to the viewpoint below the lighthouse, or go on a hike, cycle or dive to soak up the natural beauty.

Beta Beach in Bakhoven is a tranquil, hidden gem of a beach. At Boulders Beach, visitors can swim amongst endangered African Penguins in crystal clear water. The wildly popular Camp’s Bay beach is great for tanning (unless you’re brave enough to venture into the icy cold water). With the striking Twelve Apostles mountain range as a backdrop, this strip beach is also conveniently lined by trendy restaurants and bars.

Some of the best whale watching can be done along the Cape Whale Route between July and November. Take a short drive to the nearby Hermanus to stand a particularly good chance of spotting playful whales.

The stunning Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden lies on the slopes of Table Mountain and is the perfect location for hiking and picnicking. Walk the Kirstenbosch Boomslang – a 130m, elevated walkway that winds its way through and above the tree canopy of the gardens.

If you’re wanting to make most of the outdoors, then summer, between November and March, is the best time to visit Cape Town.

Cape Town adventures for thrill seekers

There is no shortage of adventure options for thrill seekers in Cape Town. Paraglide off Signal Hill if you want to see the Mother City from above. For a proper adrenaline-rush and a unique way to experience panoramic views, take part in an abseil experience off Table Mountain.

Other fantastic adventure options in Cape Town include kayaking in the ocean, surfing at Muizenberg Beach, kite-surfing at the windy Blouberg Beach, shark-cage diving in False Bay, or exploring the city by bicycle.

Food and fun in Cape Town

When you visit Cape Town, you will soon realise what a multicultural delight the city is. It teems with people from across the country and globe who have either made it their home or are visiting as tourists. This eclectic mix of cultures spills over into everything that the city has to offer, from food to arts.

The city centre’s Long Street is a bustling strip of bars, restaurants, bookshops, coffee shops and other stores that hum with activity day and night. Beginning at the top of Long Street, is the iconic Kloof Street with its cafes and boutique stores.

Music lovers are spoilt for choice with many music festivals held in and around the city. This includes the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Rocking the Daisies, and the performances of top South African artists at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens summer concerts.

The phenomenal Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) boasts over 100 galleries which contain the world’s largest collection of cutting-edge contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.

Food enthusiasts can eat their hearts out at Cape Town’s culinary scene. Visitors must definitely try Cape Malay food, an Asian, African, Dutch-inspired cuisine that is unique to the city. From streetside cafes to trendy restaurants, the city offers everything from Japanese fine-dining to shisanyama (barbequed meat), township-style.

Drink fine wine and eat delectable food at one of the many wine farms along the Cape Winelands wine route.

Cape Town is steeped in history

Cape Town is a treasure trove for history lovers. Take a short ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is best known for being the place where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated during Apartheid.

Visit the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th century bastion fort. It contains the Castle Military Museum and various other cultural and historical exhibitions. Other fascinating museums worth visiting in Cape Town include the Iziko South African Museum, the District Six Museum, and the Slave Lodge.

A stroll through Bo-Kaap, one of Cape Town’s oldest residential neighbourhoods and former Malay quarter, will give you a feel for the past. The cobbled streets are lined with unique, multi-coloured houses and 18th century architecture.

With so many exciting places to visit in Cape Town, it’s worth staying for at least a few days so that you’ve got time to really immerse yourself in the magic that this city offers.