Cape Town Info:
City Sightseeing Cape Town offer Hop On Hop Off day tours in and around Cape Town on their world famous open top double-decker buses. Two routes cover the city as far out as the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Hout Bay. Buses depart daily from 09h30 outside the Two Oceans Aquarium in the heart of the V&A Waterfront. www.city-sightseeing.com
Cape Town V&A Waterfront:
Your Cape Town vacation should at least include a visit to the V&A Waterfront.
It is one of the most popular attractions in South Africa with its unique combination of craft markets, shops, entertainment, aquarium and restaurants, and the working harbour. Transport is available from Cape Town station. Give yourself a few hours to explore.
Other places of interest in the city include St.Georges Cathedral which once served as a haven of resistance against the oppressive apartheid regime, the Jewish Museum which traces the story of South African Jews, and the adjacent holocaust centre.
Cape Town Nightlife:
Do you enjoy late night entertainment? After hours Cape Town develops a different character. It becomes a lively entertainment centre. In fact the Cape Town tourism nightlife and musical culture has become a reflection of many different influences. Cape Town has many bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from creating a vibrant nightlife that caters for a variety of tastes. Bars stay open late and clubs get going from 11pm. Many restaurants are open till midnight, some later. There are restaurants and bars a-plenty at the V&A Waterfront as well as in the city centre and along the Atlantic Seaboard areas of Clifton and Camps Bay. Alternatively, head to Grand West Casino for a glitzy night of gambling, wining and dining. The casino offers a host of restaurants and bars as well as cinemas and other entertainment. www.uncoverthecape.co.za/entertainment.htm
Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell. The way to the top has never been easy, and for many centuries only a handful of bold and enterprising people could say that they had climbed it.
Since it's opening in 1929, over 16 million people have taken the trip to the top of Table Mountain by the Table Mountain cableway and it has since become something of a landmark in Cape Town, carrying some of Cape Town's most illustrious visitors including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Stefi Graf, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Magaret Thatcher, Prince Andrew, Michael Schumacher, Brooke Shields, Micheal Buble, Tina Turner, Jackie Chan.
The cableway is closed in poor weather conditions but is usually open late into summer evenings. Apart from the spectacular views and walks there is also a restaurant and curio shop on the summit. Allow at least half a day of your Cape Town vacation, and more time if you intend hiking up the Mountain.
The entire six square kilometer island is now a UN World Heritage Site. Daily tours depart by ferry from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Waterfront. The ferry trip takes 30 min to the tiny harbour. From there a bus ride takes one to historic places like the kramat, leper graveyard, a church designed by Sir Herbert Baker and the lime quarry where political prisoners endured lengthy hours of tough physical labour. Driving along the shipwreck strewn coast you can spot antelope, plentiful seabirds and the lighthouse. The last stop is the maximum security prison. The guides are former inmates and they will take you along the Footsteps of Mandela tour in the notorious B-section. Mandela’s sparse cell is open, the others locked and empty.
Cape Town's Townships:
A visit to one of the many townships surrounding the city is an experience that will open your eyes to the way in which the biggest portion of Cape Town's population are living. Despite difficult circumstances and poor living conditions, you will experience the vibrancy and spirit of the South African people. Take a township tour of Langa, the oldest township in South Africa or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa. Township tours will usually be co-led by a resident in the area, showcase local industry and community projects and include a visit to a township bar or 'shebeen'.
A cultural Township tour in the company of an experienced guide, should be high on your list. www.aboutcapetown.com/township-tours
Cape Point - Cape Peninsula Nature Reserve: The historic peninsula of rugged land and a feature of the Cape's natural heritage should not be missed. The dramatic cliffs of Cape Point were originally sighted by the first seafarers who rounded the Point in the 16th century and it is here that you find the Cape of Good Hope – the South Westerly tip of South Africa.The scenic splendour of driving to Cape Point is a must for photographers and sightseers alike!
En-route to Cape Point you can visit Kalk Bay harbour; the old naval town of Simonstown; Boulders Beach – with its colony of delightful Jackass Penguins. On the return journey to the city - visit Groot Constantia Wine Estate (the oldest wine estate in South Africa). Here you can visit the Manor House and also do wine tasting. From Groot Constantia take the road to Hout Bay. This pretty fishing village and harbour is not to be missed! Here you can take a boat trip to Seal island or if you prefer you can wander around the harbour and take in the lovely views across the water to Chapmans Peak Drive.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens:
The beautiful Kirstenbosch gardens cover an area of 528 hectares with 36 hectares of cultivated garden. The gardens are a celebration of South African flora - showcasing only indigenous South African plants. Fynbos, proteas, cycads and rolling lawns are intermingled with streams and ponds and well-laid out pathways for easy walking. A great variety of birds inhabit the gardens and the sweeping views from the upper slopes are spectacular. There is a restaurant, self-service area and tea-room as well as gift shops and a nursery.
Whether for a casual stroll, a more stenuous walk or a lazy picnic, the gardens are a must-see when visiting Cape Town. www.aboutcapetown.com/kirstenbosch.htm