Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa and it's also the legislative capital of the country with a population of about 4 million. The city is one of the most beautiful in the world and was chosen as the number one place to visit in 2014 by The New York Times.
Because of Cape Town's history with a lot of European influences, it surely feels like the perfect mix between Africa, Europe and even America at the same time. Cape Town not only offers a great city pulse with a very diverse and energetic nightlife, but also beautiful surroundings like the Atlantic Ocean, Lion’s Head & Table Mountain just to name a few, an interesting history and many fantastic tourist attractions. And it is exactly that mixture of things that together make a trip to Cape Town an experience of a lifetime.
Here are 5 attractions in Cape Town that you shouldn’t miss:
Visiting the Table Mountain is probably the number one attraction in Cape Town for many visitors. At the top of it you're surrounded by the South African nature, you'll have millionth city at your feets and you'll even see Robben Island in the horizon. Wherever you are in Cape Town you'll be able to watch this great mountain that gracefully surrounds the city. There is an aerial cableway that can take you all the way up to the top if it's good weather. And if you feel adventurous and have good stamina there are many hiking paths that will also take you to the top and greatly reward you with spectacular views.
Once "home" to some of South Africa's mentally ill, criminals and many political prisoners during the apartheid era, including Nelson Mandela, Robben Island is one of the country's most visited attractions.
Visitors to the island arrive by a ferry that departs daily at the V&A Waterfront. The ride takes 30 minutes each way, and the tour itself lasts about 2.5 hours. If you are lucky you'll get a tour guide that is a former political prisoner who will share his/hers harsh experiences on Robben Island.
One of the main attractions on the tour is the cell in which Nelson Mandela spent 19 years of his life. The small, two-square-metre cell has remained almost unchanged since Mandela occupied it. Visiting the island is likely to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Kirstenbosch botanical garden is a must if you visit Cape Town and appreciate nature experiences and flowers. They have over 7000 different plants in a beautiful surrounding. You can walk for hours and find new walking paths where you'll constantly spot new flowers & plants. The botanical garden even has some hiking paths up the back of the Table Mountain. It's located in the Southern Suburbs, just 10 minutes outside of the city centre.
-Cheetah Outreach program at Spier Winery
Spier Wine Estate is one of the largest wineries in the Stellenbosch area. It’s located just 30 minutes outside of the Cape Town's city centre. The wine tasting there is really great, but it's Spier’s Cheetah Outreach Programme that's one of the biggest draw-cards for visitors. A small entry fee allows you to walk past the cheetah enclosures and take photos of them. For a more up close experience, you’ll also have the option of paying for a supervised visit inside the enclosure where you can view the cheetahs up close and even pet them.
The program focuses on preserving hand-raised cheetahs born in captivity. These animals are not able to be released into the wild, and so rely on their caretakers to survive. All money from the program is put towards the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Boulders Beach is one of the few places in the world where you can actually see penguins in their natural habitat. The beach has a very healthy population of African Penguins who have chosen the beach as their home and breeding ground. To view the penguins you will have to walk past the main beach and follow the boardwalk to the designated penguin beach. And you’ll even be able to swim up to them in the sea if you dare. Boulders Beach is located in Simons Town, about 1 hour drive from Cape Town.
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