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Discover Cape Town

By Paul Gettings

Posted: 15th August 2014 14:44

Nestled between flat topped Table Mountain, and the infamous Table Bay, South Africa’s southernmost city is the second most populous in the country.  With a history of settlement dating back to the arrival of the Dutch East Indies Company in 1652, Cape Town is a city of racial diversity which, unlike many of its South African counterparts, is inhabited by a unique ethnic mixture of citizens.  Many of the residents originate from mixed backgrounds and as the generations progress, Cape Town is on a fast track towards a truly integrated and harmonious society.  In 2010, Cape Town witnessed an urban revival as the World Cup tournament awakened and transformed the city and parts of its infrastructure.  To this day, the cultivation is ongoing and Cape Town is progressively becoming a safer and more cosmopolitan destination.  Municipal developments aside however, the thing that really sets Africa’s “Mother City” apart is the revered surroundings which make for some of the most stunning geographical landscapes in the world. 

Explore the Outdoors

Many sports blossom from Cape Town’s rugged terrain; from peaceful walks to strenuous climbs up vertical rock faces, Cape Town gives you no good reason to stay indoors.  The most iconic outdoor spot in the area is undoubtedly Table Mountain and no self-respecting tourist would dare to visit Cape Town without the intention of taking a trip to the table top.  Whether you choose to hike or take advantage of the cable cart service, the view from the top will make the whole trip worthwhile. Cape Town is notoriously home to some of the most prominent surfing and kite surfing hotspots in the world, but for those who fancy something a little more controversial, this is your chance to throw on your harness and get ready to abseil down a flowing waterfall.  Kloofing is Cape Town’s answer to canyoning and in the company of a professional guide you will be at liberty to explore some of the country’s most fantastic gorges. 

Cape Town Culture

Cape Town’s poignant past is far from forgotten and the city, with its evocative history of oppression and resistance, draws in more tourists than any other in the African continent.  From the ashes of apartheid, many enlightening museums and galleries have arisen in attempts to commemorate the losses and formulate an insight into what it was like for those involved.  Africa’s dark past is fantastically told at the District Six Museum, which provides a tribute to this former area of the city that was destroyed by the apartheid nationalist government in the 1960s.  Additionally, the Iziko museums are another influential display of South African heritage.  The impressive collection of over 10 museums are scattered throughout Cape Town and showcase collections that date back up to 700 million years.  However the most famed cultural attraction remains to be the cell on Robben Island in which Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life before his liberation in 1990.

Cape Town by Night

Feel the city’s pulse on Cape Town’s Long Street by night as you absorb the vibrant atmosphere and watch as the bars compete for your attention.  Whether you are in the market for a rave, a spot of stand-up comedy or even a poetry reading, this street has a uniquely customised activity for every night of the week.  Cape Town’s buzzing heart is not only appreciated for its cheap beer but also revered for the cultural diversity; backpackers and locals can both be spotted heading down to Long Street in search of chilled, bohemian hang outs or some intense clubbing.  If you are looking for a night brimming with sophistication, then look no further than Cape Town’s jazz scene.  Every night, a wealth of clubs showcase exclusive live performances, lulling the city with the melancholic tunes of trumpets and the sounds of saxophones.  This thriving jazz scene has been internationally recognised and the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival is among the most prominent in the world.

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