Cape Town Travel Guide

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Freedom and slavery, incarceration and release, hope and despair--all these are exemplified in the Mother City, which sits on the shores of Table Bay at the southern tip of South Africa. This is Cape Town, the place of opposites and contrasts where the cultural heritages of three continents--Europe, Africa and Asia--converge to give visitors a spectrum of choices unparalleled by any other tourist destination. And you don't have to go far to experience it all: most attractions are within 30 minutes of each other, thanks to Cape Town's vast network of freeways and railroads. So whether you want to go paragliding at Lion's Head or savor the wine country of Stellenbosch or go for a heavy dose of history and culture at the city's many museums, it's all within easy reach.

 

Sights

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to popular and breathtaking Table Mountain, where you can rappel 112 meters down the "Long Drop" to the foot of the mountain. As a reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit, Robben Island, the former prison home of Nelson Mandela, is also not to be missed. Other points of interest include Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Woodstock Cave, Sea Point Promenade and the Hout Bay Museum. To experience the real Africa, you can also take a tour of Cape Flats, an expansive, low-lying township that became known as "apartheid's dumping ground."

 

Dining

Good food and great wine are a natural part of life in Cape Town. Because of its seaside location, seafood is a specialty. Check out the various delights at the more than 70 restaurants at V&A Waterfront. Fine food and wine can also be enjoyed at many of the vineyards near Cape Town. Try Constantia Wine Farm, where you can sample the menu at Buitenverwachting Restaurant overlooking the vineyards. Rust en Vrede and the restaurant at Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch are also worth visiting.   

 

Shopping

V&A Waterfront is not only a hotbed of restaurants, it also holds more than 400 retail stores that offer great shopping for all budgets. If that's not enough for you, check out Greenmarket Square at the city center. Antique collectors will be intrigued by the choices at the Antiques Craft Market at Long and Wale Streets. And be sure to make a stop at Cape Town North, where you can check out the Canal Walk Shopping Center, which is built around a series of canals. Be ready to spend and splurge in Cape Town because the shopping choices are endless. And don't forget to bring an extra suitcase.

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Cape Town Blog Posts

UPDATES FROM OUR TRAVEL TEAM

Bargaining in Cape Town
Awhile back I was doing some shopping in a local store (think CNA or 7-11) when, to the surprise of the shopkeeper and myself, a tourist started bargaining.  Seems this tourist just assumed that bargaining was the status quo in Africa.  So to prevent you from embarrassing yourself or coming off as... Read more

Navigating Cape Town's Minibus Taxis
Among the aspects of Cape Town that you're unlikely to miss (Table Mountain, the wind) are the public minibus taxis.  The yellow Golden Arrow buses may be bigger, the new "MiCiti" buses may be shinier, and the train may be tougher, but the collection of minibuses is certainly more omnipresent.  Whether... Read more

Film Festivals and Exploding Towers
One of the bigger South African film festivals, the Encounters 12th International Documentary Festival, is on until the 29 August.  There's a great lineup of local and international films with special focus on "green" films, Reunion Island, and South African heritage.  Showings are booking up quickly... Read more


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