Cape Town Travel Guide

Cape Town is one of the most popular destinations in Africa. Located on the southern tip of South Africa, between the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Table Mountain, Cape Town welcomes close to two million visitors each year.

Affectionately known as the Mother City, Cape Town is South Africa's oldest city. It was founded in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck and other Dutch settlers, and has grown into a gorgeous destination that is frequently rated one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The backdrop of the iconic Table Mountain is an internationally-renowned Cape Town landmark. The city is also famous for its Mediterranean lifestyle, and is home to spectacular scenery; the Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek on Cape Town’s doorstep.

If you’re wanting to book flights to Cape Town and explore the South African capital, find out more about the city before you leave home.

 

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

The summer months from November to March are generally warm and dry with temperatures rarely exceeding 30°C. While winter in Cape Town (May to September) is a cool 12°C during the, on average. The end of summer is one of the best times to visit Cape Town with fewer rainy days and mild temperatures.

 

Cape Town Beaches

Known for its pristine shorelines and relaxed culture, Cape Town is one of the best beach holiday destinations in the world. There are three blue flag beaches in and around Cape Town. Blue flag beaches are an international standard that recognise a high level of water quality, facilities, cleanliness and safety.

The meeting of two oceans (the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean) means there are different beach styles available. The west side of the Cape Peninsula, facing the Atlantic Ocean, is where the more fashionable set go to see and be seen.

North of the Atlantic Seaboard are the beaches of Table Bay, which sport picture-postcard views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and Robben Island, and tend to be more popular with locals.

The east side of the peninsula, overlooking the warmer Indian Ocean, is generally more laid back than the Atlantic coastline, although in peak season these family-oriented beaches can still become quite busy.

 

Table Mountain

It was a proud moment for all South Africans when the official inauguration of Table Mountain as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature took place at a ceremony held at the foot of the Mountain.

Table Mountain is not only a spectacular backdrop for Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it also offers visitors the unique experience to walk around the summit and enjoy the most remarkable 360-degree panoramic views.

 

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a vibrant cosmopolitan area offering an abundance of chic shopping malls, arts and crafts markets, theatres, fine restaurants and bars, and live music. One attraction sure to pique the interest of families is the Two Oceans Aquarium. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area is also known as a historical site and is a working harbour for export.

 

Robben Island

Robben Island is one of the most significant historical sites in South Africa. Located a short boat ride from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island was first used by the Dutch East India Company after Cape Town was first settled in 1650. From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. It most famously was where Nelson Mandele was imprisoned for 18 years. Today, the site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.

 

Cape Town Food and Culture

There is something for all visitors to sink their teeth into upon arrival in Cape Town. Visit the Cape Winelands to take a course in cheese making, or stroll through one of Cape Town’s food markets including Stellenbosch’s Slow Food Market, Woodstock’s Biscuit Mill and the Tokai’s Porter Estate produce market. Cape Town’s cultural influences and melting pot of cuisines will ensure everyone’s tastes are catered for.

 

Great White Shark Tours

If it's an adventure you’re after, visit Gansbaai for a close encounter with a great white shark. Gansbaai is a small fishing town, located about two hours’ drive from Cape Town, and is most well-known for the opportunity it offers for visitors to come face-to-face with fearsome great white sharks. There are two main shark-viewing experiences available: from within a 6-man steel cage, or from a shark-viewing deck onboard a boat. Some of the other wildlife you might see on your tour include Cape fur seals, gannets, cormorants, African penguins, whales and dolphins - all native to the Cape Town area.

 

Bo-Kaap

Located on a hill south-west of downtown, Bo-Kaap has a rich history and a large community of the descendants of slaves from South-East Asia. Today, it is a frequent location used for film shoots, thanks in part to its streetscapes of colourful buildings and mosques. Bo-Kaap also offers great views across Cape Town and delicious local street food. Spend an hour or two wandering around the neighbourhood, and make a point to stop in at the Bo-Kaap Museum to learn more about the historical and cultural significance of the area. Take the flavours of Bo-Kaap home with you by visiting Atlas Trading, an old-fashioned spice shop that has blends needed for authentic dishes and other delicious recipes.


Book Car Rental Cape Town    Free Cape Town Arrival Guide