Introduction to Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa's most popular destinations with the winning tourism trifecta of beautiful beaches, iconic mountains and fantastic weather, not to mention the Cape Winelands nearby. The stunning, natural sights of South Africa's second largest and most cosmopolitan city is complemented by a vibrant mix of people and lifestyles that strives to embody the 'Rainbow Nation' South Africa is working towards.

Located at the southwestern end of South Africa, Cape Town is lapped by 2 oceans: the icy Atlantic and tropical Indian. Framed by the iconic, flat-topped Table Mountain, the central area of Cape Town is known as the 'City Bowl' due to the natural shape that encompasses the CBD and inner suburbs, while the light cloud that sometimes covers Table Mountain is affectionately known as the 'Tablecloth'. With different weather and geographic attributes to the rest of South Africa, Cape Town still shares national post-apartheid issues of poverty and crime, although the common thread is of hope and confidence in the future.

Historically, Cape Town was the economic and cultural hub of European trade in East Africa prompting the goodtime nicknames of 'Tavern of the Seas' and the 'Mother City' for its pivotal role. The unique ethnic Cape Town mix comes from the slaves brought from Indonesia and Madagascar - the initial Cape Coloured communities - by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Under apartheid, many of these multi-racial communities were forcibly relocated, and many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement hailed from Cape Town or were held at Robben Island penitentiary.

Despite this dark past, what draws international travellers to this sunshine-filled, world-class international city is its enviable natural attributes - sand, surf and sun - as well as the sunny dispositions of the welcoming locals and their vibrant and diverse lifestyle.

For more things to do in Cape Town, check out our things to do page and start planning your Cape Town holiday.

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