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Cape Town

- The world's most beautiful city -
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South Africa's most famous city, Cape Town, is located in the province of Western Cape on the Atlantic coast in the southwest part of the country and has nearly 3 million inhabitants. The city is the legislative capital of South Africa, which means that Parliament has its seat here. Cape Town has a rich history and is a cultural melting pot with a diversity that can be traced from different African tribes as well as French, Dutch, British and German colonists.

© Destination South Africa

In Cape Town the seasons are clear - in the winter cold fronts come in from the Atlantic Ocean with heavy rains and strong winds, while summer is hot and dry when warm winds from the southeast blow over the Cape Peninsula. The average temperature is about 7 degrees in the winter months and around 26 degrees in the summer months.

Cape Town has been voted one of the top international destinations with its natural beauty and the great variety of activities. Cape Town's vibrant atmosphere, with influences from around the world, makes sure you never get tired of the variety of experiences the city has to offer. From pristine coastlines and magnificent landscape that offers a unique flora, to shopping centres, restaurants, flea markets, casinos and nightclubs – Cape Town caters to all.

Cape Town also has the world's undoubtedly most famous landmark, the more than 1 000 m high Table Mountain, that with its dramatic setting helps make Cape Town one of the world's most beautiful cities. The trip to the summit takes about ten minutes by cable car, which rotates and offers 360 degree views of Cape Town.

© Destination South Africa

At the top of Table Mountain there are plenty of trails leading to stunning lookout points where you can view Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island and the Cape Peninsula. There are also shorter walks and you can join a guided tour. In the 7 750 hectare Table Mountain National Park there are opportunities to hike, climb, explore nature or search for the more than 150 species of birds found here. For the more adventurous there is also abseiling and paragliding.

You can't visit Cape Town without a visit to Robben Island, the island where South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela was in prison for many, many years. A boat takes you across Table Bay to the historic island where a former political prisoner (if you're lucky) will guide you through the prison and talk about what happened inside these walls. The visit ends with a guided bus tour around the island.

Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with its unique commercial harbour and scenic views of Table Mountain. It has become one of Cape Town's main tourist attractions and offers unforgettable experiences combined with entertainment in the form of shopping, street musicians, museums, an aquarium, boat trips and cinemas.

Two Oceans Aquarium is Africa's largest aquarium where you can experience a fascinating underwater world with every imaginable species from the two oceans around the Cape Peninsula, a world usually only explored by divers. You can even, with full diving equipment, go down and feed the sharks.

© Destination South Africa

On the magnificent slopes of Table Mountains lies Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, an area of 528 hectares consisting of landscaped gardens with indigenous plants and trees, as well as natural forest that spread out along the slopes.

It has been estimated that there are 20 000 native plant species in South Africa and of these 4 700 can be found here in Kirstenbosch and almost 50 % of the flora of the Cape Peninsula is represented in the area. There are plenty of paved trails that wind through garden landscapes and forests. There are also trails that are specially designed for families with children, the elderly, blind and wheelchair-bound.
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