Touring Cape Town
Areas of Interest in Cape Town |
Best Time to Tour Cape Town |
Entrance Fees |
Cape Town Tour Information|
Tipping and Gratuities |
Areas of Interest in Cape Town:
Cape Town is filled to the brim with attractions and places of interest which make more and more tourists visit this beautiful place
every year. Landmarks in Cape Town make it a place worth visiting and once visited by a tourist, they will be coming back for more as there
are endless sites to see and places to visit in Cape Town.
The V&A Waterfront: One of Cape Town's main attractions can be identified as the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront as it is home to many attractions all in one.
The waterfront in Cape Town houses the Two Oceans Aquarium which has growing appeal to those of all ages and provides entertainment for
the whole family. The V&A Waterfront consists of plenty of different types of shopping centres as well as craft markets and museums which echo
the heritage of Cape Town. Luxury accommodation can also be found at this spectacular waterfront in the form of five-star luxury hotels.
The world renowned IMAX theatre can also be found at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and has a constant flow of visitors daily.
The BMW Pavilion can also be found at the V&A Waterfront.
Robben Island in Cape Town is possibly Cape Town's main attraction. Being the home to Nelson Mandela, Robben Island has become
a heritage site of Cape Town for tourists to visit the place where the former president of South Africa spent the prime of his life.
Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter in South Africa and fought against the crime which was Apartheid. His freedom fighting was the reason
why Nelson Mandela was sent to Robben Island.
For an alternative option to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, tourists visit Century City which embodies entertainment for the entire family
and has something for everyone. Century City is a remarkable tourist destination and is a must when visiting South Africa as it forms such a large part
of Cape Town. Home to the Canal Walk shopping centre, Ratanga Junction Theme Park and Intaka Island, Century City offers an experience never to be forgotten.
Century City offers a world of opportunity and entertainment for all who visit which is a reason why Century City is such a popular tourist attraction
in Cape Town.
The Breakwater Lodge:
Being within a two minute walk of the V&A Waterfront, the Breakwater Lodge
is the ideal place for a tourist paying a visit to the beautiful city of Cape Town.
Not only does the Breakwater Lodge provide luxury accommodation to all its' guests
but the location of the Breakwater Lodge is ideal as tourists are within a close
proximity to all the main attractions of Cape Town. Mountain walks, sporting activities,
museums and the nightlife and clubs of Cape Town can be found within the vicinity of
the Breakwater Lodge making it the perfect place to be situated in while visiting Cape Town.
The magnificient beaches of Cape Town are also in a close reach from the Breakwater Lodge
and will therefore give pleasure to all those tourists wishing to catch some of the Cape
Town sun. The main beaches of Cape Town include Clifton, Camps Bay, Llundudno, Blouberg
and Noordhoek. Noordhoek is a 6km stretch of beach which starts from the foot of Chapman's
Peak and continues to Kommetjie.
Further Cape Town Attractions:
Kirstenbosch Gardens: Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
The formation of the gardens of Kirstenbosch was done with the purpose as a dedication to preserve
the indigenous plants of South Africa.
Cape Point:The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is an attraction in Cape Town
which is found at Cape Point. This nature reserve is renowned for the flora to be found there consisting mostly of
wild flowers in all their splendour and natural environment.
Kommetjie:Kommetjie can be found just 30 minutes from the city centre of Cape Town. Being a
small town, Kommetjie gives the Cape Town tourist a true feel for the rural Cape Town. Kommetjie can be found
on the way to the Nature Reserve of the Cape of Good Hope.
Chapmans Peak Drive:Starting at Hout Bay and ending at Noordhoek, Chapman's Peak Drive was
built between 1915 and 1922. Chapman's Peak Drive has been identified as the most magnificient mountain drive
in the world.
Simonstown:The location of Simonstown is on the False Bay side of the Cape Peninsula. Simonstown
is approximately 35 minutes away from Cape Town to the south. Simonstown has been nicknamed as "The Historic Mile" as
it is home to a large part of the heritage and history of Cape Town. A large number of museums housed in historical buildings
can be found in Simonstown which illustrates the Cape heritage. A nautical museum can also be found in Simonstown.
Hout Bay: Hout Bay can be described as a popularly visited fishing village in Cape Town as it is a favourite among
tourists as well as locals of Cape Town. Fishing vessels occupy the docks at Hout Bay reemphasising the feel of a true fishing
village traditionally kept. Seals and sea gulls can be found in Hout Bay in the thousands.
A sunset cruise can be taken to the Cape Town Waterfront from Hout Bay.
The Houses of Parliament: The Houses of Parliament in Cape Town are known for their remarkable achievement in
architecture and architectural development. The Houses of Parliament has been described as being a master piece in relation to architectural
City Hall: City Hall was built in 1905 in the style of a colonial architectured building.
The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra only makes use of the City Hall for performances.
Observatory: Numerous restaurants and specialist shops can be found.
This suburb was named after the South African Astronomical Observatory.
Rhodes Memorial: The Rhodes Memorial can be found on the slopes of Devils Peak.
This memorial was built in 1912 by Sir Herbert Baker. The Rhodes Memorial is a memorial to Cecil
John Rhodes. The memorial resembles a Greek temple.
Signal Hill: Signal Hill is known for the amazing views of the city lights which
can be seen of Cape Town. A view of signal hill can also be seen from the Cape Town Waterfront. Signal Hill
is the perfect place to see Cape Town in all its' wonder.
Bo-Kaap: Bo-Kaap is also referred to as the Malay Quarter. The inhabitants of Bo-Kaap has been discovered as
being the slave descendants who were brought to the settlement. The slaves were originally from the East Indies and
The Castle of Good Hope: The building of the Castle of Good Hope was completed in 1679 with the main objective of
providing protection to the new settlement. The Castle provided protection from the possibility of attack. The Castle of Good Hope has
been ranked as being the oldest building not only in Cape Town but in South Africa. A symbol of the western civilization
on the subcontinent is what the castle stands for.
St George's Anglican Cathedral: The founding church of the Anglican community situated in Cape Town. St George's Anglican
Cathedral was designed by Sir Herbert Baker who created the Rhodes Memorial. This cathedral was formed out of the sandstone of Table Mountain.
Cape Town is a city which experiences a variety of seasons throughout the year. Certain seasons appeal
to tourists of Cape Town more than other seasons. The most visited season in Cape Town is that of the long summer which
is experienced between the months of November and February. A mediterranean climate can be experienced during these months
with little rain spoiling the 11 hours of sunshine which occurs during the day.
For the best beach weather, the mornings are the best as much less wind is experienced in the morning than later during the day.
It has been said that the best seasons to visit Cape Town will be during Spring (September and October) as well as Autumn (April
and May). These months are the in-between seasons when little wind is present and the nature of Cape Town is most beautiful.
The vineyards are at their best and whale-watching is turned into a memorable experience during these particular months.
The winters of Cape Town are known for their wind and rain. However, the rain and wind may stop for days or even weeks to provide
tourists with the most enjoyable weather. The change in climate has been discovered as being the result of winter rainfall
being diminished over time. The greenery of Cape Town is enjoyed when the skies clear and the rain stops. Temperatures can sometimes reach a
high if 26C.
The currency which is made use of in South Africa consists of Rands and Cents. There are 100 cents to one rand.
The South African banks notes used are available in R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10. Coins are made in R5, R2, R1, 50c,
20c, 10c, 5c, 2c and 1c.
The exchange of currency foreign to South Africa can be performed at any American Express, commercial bank,
Rennies or Diners Club Office, Thomas Cook or Bureaux de Change. These places which coordinate services relating to
foreign currency exchange can be found in large shopping centres and airports.
The majority of shops in Cape Town accept credit cards as South Africa has a generally modern banking system.
Cash needs to be payed for goods bought at informal markets and roadside hawkers. On the other hand, formal businesses
will accept travellers cheques and credit cards.
The electricty used in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa is particularly modernised, especially in the
larger cities. Electricty stands at 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. The universally used three pronged plug
requires a tourist to bring an adapter with when touring Cape Town and South Africa. The majority of
hotel rooms have 110 volt oulets. These outlets are ideal for electric shavers and other small appliances.
Various fees are required when visiting the numerous travel destinations in South Africa. The beaches found
along the peaceful coast of Cape Town are free of charge, with the exception of Boulders beach which requires a small
fee for access to the beach area. The entrance fees to popular travel destinations in South Africa are reasonably priced
which enables swarms of tourists to visit these remarkable historical sites of Cape Town.
Cape Town is home to a highly advanced airport which can perform flights to anywhere and everywhere in the world.
Flights take place with the use of technologically approved aircrafts. The services which come along with the flights are
impeccable. Highly qualified pilots take care of the flights and ensure the safe arrival of all attending their flights.
The Cape Town airport is home to all the professional airlines which fly from all over the world to Cape Town. Hundreds of international
flights as well as national flights are recieved by Cape Town airport at a daily rate. All flights are handled professionally
and safety is always put as most important when it comes to coordinating outgoing flights from Cape Town and incoming flights to Cape Town.
When it comes to health in Cape Town, tourists can be assured that no health risks exist and that there is no
need for a tourist to be vaccinated before entering South Africa. It is however advised for all tourists to take out
medical insurance, not only when visiting South Africa but for other destinations as well. The majority of hospitals
in Cape Town have units dealing with emergency and casualty. The private hospitals are the best in the country, offering the
best medical service at a reasonable rate according to international standards. The government hospitals are incredibly
under-staffed and run under budget pressure as well, which is another reason why the private hospitals in Cape Town are
the best option for a tourist requiring medical attention. The hygiene standards thoughout Cape Town are high and the mediical services are provided by highly trained doctors. The hospitals
are fully equipped.
Cape Town is clean and safe and the tap water of South Africa is safe to drink, unless otherwise stated, without the risk of contracting malaria.
Europeans which visit South Africa may be sensitive to the strong South African sun and
therefore a good sunscreen must be applied for protection against the strong rays of the sun and in turn, skin cancer as well.
Many places in South Africa brave the presence of poisonous snakes and spiders. In summer, Bluebottle stings are quite common.
Aids is a serious problem in South Africa. It is essential for tourists to be wary at all times and take care against this fatal disease.
It is not required for tourists of Cape Town to bring any non-prescriptive drugs along as the Pharmacies of South Africa are stocked
with medicines of local and international branding. Staffing of Pharmacies is by highly qualified pharmacists.
Cape Town Tour Information:
Various tour options are available to tourists of Cape Town. These tours and tour options are there to ensure that the tourist
recieves all which was expected out of their trip to Cape Town, and more. Because Cape Town is perfectly situated for the main objective
of pleasing their tourists as coastal tours, mountain tours, wildlife tours as well as wine route tours can be made available to tourists
The Beaches of Cape Town: The beaches to found along the coastal regions of Cape Town can be described as being the most
beautiful and tranquil in the world. These natural beaches are clean and offer tourists an unforgettable and relaxing experience of Cape Town.
Entrance to the beaches of South Africa is free with the exception of Boulders Beach in False Bay. The beaches are situated between sea and mountain, from False
Bay to the Atlantic Coast. The beaches offer more than just a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful setting to all tourists. Clifton beach and Camps Bay are renowned for the
activities which can be performed by tourists. These beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, frisbee throwing and surfing, as well as amazing spots for
scubadiving and fishing for the enthusiasts.
The Company Gardens: Situated opposite to tthe entrance of the Mount Nelson Hotel is Government Walk which leads down to the Company Gardens.
The Company Gardens are the oldest gardens to be found in South Africa. These founder of these beautiful gardens was Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. He firstly
established the garden as a vegetable garden to supply fresh produce to passing ships. However, today the Company Gardens are home to a variety of indigenous
as well as exotic plants, an aviary and a restaurant. The sun dial present at the Company Gardens is as old as
1787 and the bell tower looming over the gardens dates back to the year 1855.
Table Mountain: Table Mountain is a world heritage which can be located in the heart of Cape Town. Many tourists travel across the globe
to catch a glimpse of the grandeur of this awe-inspiring mountain. Cape Town can be identified with the symbol of Table Mountain towering over the founding
city of South Africa. The summit of Table Mounatin reaches 1 086m above sea level. With the use of a revolving cable car, tourists are enabled to reach the top
of this amazing feat of nature. Tourists of Cape Town can enjoy a meal and refreshments while marvelling at the wonder of Cape Town. Rocky mountain trails can
also be enjoyed while on top of Table Mountain. Table mountain is covered with fynbos and wiild flowers and is the natural home of the famous silver tree.
All in all, Table Mountain is a hiker's paradise.
Boulders Beach: Boulders beach can be found between Simonstown and Cape Point. Famus for the colony of African Penguins which dominate the sheltered beaches, Boulders beach
is pure paradise. Boulders beach is the only area in which these African Penguins can be viewed from close range in the protected beaches of Boulder beach, even though Boulder beach is situated within
a residential area. Boulder beach is the only beach on the coast of Cape Town which an entrance fee is required to gain access to the beach area. The rest of the beaches in Cape Town have no
entrance fees and are free of charge. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Boulder beach is a popular destination among tourists in Cape Town.
Cape Town is vibrant with many people out of a variety of races and cultures. The people in Cape Town
are friendly and tourists will feel welcomed by the hospitality and warm smiles of this truely rainbow nation.
The Dutch and other Europeans: The first European settlers arrived at the Cape in 1652 with the establishment of the
refreshment station. The first French Huguenot refugees arrived at the Cape in 1688. The first British occupation occured in the Cape in
1795, after which a large settlement of immigrants from Britain in 1820 took place in the East Cape.
The Black Africans: The origins of the Bantu speaking people of Cape Town can not be identified by historians of South Africa.
However, it has been thought that origin occured in the Congo deltas and in the Niger. Establishment occured by 700AD in the Transkei by these
Bantu people. As a result of government ruling, the black population of Cape Town remained low until the 1980s. The 1980s saw a migration from the
rural areas. These rural areas could no longer be controlled by the white dominated South African government.
The Cape 'Coloureds': The cape 'coloureds' are descendants of Europeans, Slaves, Khoisan, Free-blacks
The San: The San were hunter-gatherers named 'Bushmen' by the Dutch. The San have been discovered as being the first inhabitants
of South Africa. The outer appearance of the San was different to anything a European was used to. They were short wiith high cheekbones and distinctive
facial features which were flat. The San's skin was golden-brown. The rock art of the San hasa been dated as far back as
20 000 years ago.
The Khoikhoi: The Khoikhoi have also been referred to as the 'Hottentots' and were pastoralists. They lived in the north of Botswana approxiately 2000 years ago
and later migrated to Cape Town where they met the San. It is difficult to distinguish between these two groups as they look and act so alike, which is perhaps a reason
for creation of the name Khoisan. Persecution of the Khoisan occured constantly by the Europeans. However, the Khoisan was killed off
mostly by the spread of the Smallpox epidemics which occured in the years 1713, 1753 and 1767.
Trying to estimate the population of Cape Town at present is a difficult task to perform. Cape Town is most probably made up of
approximately 1 million 'white', 1.5 million 'coloured' and 2 million 'black' people.
Tipping and gratuities:
Tipping in South Africa is to be expected as payment for services rendered. There are no strict rules when it comes to appropriate tipping
in South Africa. However, certtain guidelines do exist for those who struggle with the notion of proper tippign according
to service. Porters get tipped R2 per item, taxis get payed 10%, and waiters and waitresses working restaurants should recieve a minimum of 10% of the bill.
South Africa has no self-service fill-up stations and therefore, petrol attendants should recieve a tip for aiding
the driver, determined by the quality of service. Generally accepted tip is between R2 and R3.
Because of the low wages paid in South Africa, tipping has become crucial in order for people in the service industry to survive.
10 to 15% can be determined as being the generally accepted rate concerning tips and gratuities.
A tip can however be determined according to the standard and quality of service being recieved.
Communication and communication tecniques in South Africa and being implemented in Cape Town are advancing at
a rapid rate. A cell-phone can be hired at the airport or in other major centres. The cost of hiring a cell-phone
is approximately R12 per day. R2.85 is the cost of a call per minute with use of a hired cell-phone. A credit card
deposit will have to be left when it comes to hiring a cell-phone. It should be added that however some international
cell-phones will work in South Africa, a local SimCard will have to be added.
The city of Cape Town is spread with many public phones which can be made use of by tourists of South Africa. Two types
of public phones can be found in South Africa. The blue public phones of South Africa accept coins while the green public phones
require local Telkom phone cards. These phone cards can be purchased from numerous shops and post offices. International travellers
will find that purchasing a phone card is extremely beneficial for their trip. The cost of local calls per 3 minutes is 45c.
National as well as international calls can be made with these phone cards.
Costs are very reasonable when it comes to sending post froom Cape Town. Local courier companies will aid in the shipment of purchases to
the tourist's home. These couriers will also take care of all the formalities.
A revolutionary new mode of communication is being widely accepted in Cape Town and many tourists are making use of these specific communication
facilties which offer cheaper communication at a faster pace. Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in Cape Town.
South Africa has now got 11 official languages which can be heard dominating the streets and Cape Town and the rest
of this spectacular country. In Cape Town, the most commonly used languages have been determined as English,
Afrikaans and Xhosa. The rest of the languages include: Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, and Zulu.
English is a widely spoken language in South Africa and therefore tourists should not fret about possible langauge boundaries
because of the wide use of English in Cape Town and other areas of South Africa.
Some tourists of Cape Town may have trouble understanding the South African accent as it is different to the rest of the world.
Cape Town boasts many various modes of transport which tourists can make use of in order to get around this
beautiful city. The public transport of Cape Town is safe and reliable in that the tourist gets to their destination
safely and with no hassles.
Cape Town Car Hire: Driving in South Africa occurs on the left side of the road. The roads are well kept
and highly developed in regards to the latest technology applied in the construction of decent roads. Sign posts are clearly
marked and set out alongside the road. In order to hire a car in Cape Town, a tourist must have possession of an
international drivers license and a minumum of 5 years experience in driving.
Public Transport in Cape Town: While the public transport of south Africa is not as well implemented and developed
as the public transport of that of foreign countries, constant developments are underway in which this situation will be improved upon.
Tourists must ensure that transport is arranged before travel occurs in order to ensure a holiday which is not rruined by stress as a cause
of transport problems.
Cape Town Roads: The road infrastructure of Cape Town is superb. Even though driving is a good option, South Africa is a large country
and not easily travelled in one day. Therefore travelling needs to be planned carefully in conjunction with touring plans. Most of the national roads of
Cape Town and South Africa are in an amazing condition and tarred. However, the rural roads of Cape Town contain such obstacles as pot-holes and poor surfaces
such as gravel. Many of the roads situated along rural areas are not fenced and therefore drivers should look out for animals such as dogs, chickens, cattle, etc
roaming the streets. Other areas display road signs which state that drivers must be aware of large antelope crossing the road. Caution must be taken especially at nightime.
The wearing of a seat belt is compulsory at all times. The use of hand-held phones will driving is illegal and therefore a hands-free kit must be used.
On national highways, urban highways and other main roads, the speed limit is 120km/h. On rural roads the speed limit is reduced to 100km/h. In the urban areas of South Africa
the speed limit is at a low of 60km/h. Any drivers license is acceptable as long as the driver's photograph and signature is displayed on the card and it is printed in
the English language.
For visits of up to 90 days in South Africa, citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan
and the other European Union do not require a visa to stay in South Africa. The South African missions abroad issues visas.
These visas must be attached to the passports of visitors before they depart for South Africa.
The issuing of visas does not occur on arrival at the South African ports of entry.
It is advisable for all visitors to check with their nearest South African Diplomatic Mission or travel agent whether a visa is
necessary. The formalities of visa applications must be dealt with at least eight weeks before departure.
It is important to note that visas can not be issued on arrival. Tourists wishing to travel to neighbouring states are required to
obtain multi-entry visas.