Cape Town is one of the world’s great cities, with a unique location, set between the surf-lapped Atlantic Ocean, and flanked by the iconic Table Mountain, along with Signal Point and Lion’s Head. Gateway to the Garden Route and Cape Winelands, Cape Town itself has fantastic shopping, dining and nightlife, plus plenty of museums and cultural attractions. A trip to the top of Table Mountain by cable car or on foot is a must, for panoramic views of the city and coastline. From the fashionable new Victoria and Albert waterfront to the traditional Cape Dutch architecture of Bo-Kaap, Cape Town is incredibly diverse and always exciting.
Here are some of our recommended hotels located in and nearby to Cape Town or call us for a tailor made quote
Cape Town is set on the peninsula of South Africa’s most south-westerly point in the Western Cape region. The Western Cape also incorporates the Garden Route, which stretches from Mossel Bay to Storm’s River Mouth, along a stunning coastline where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.
As one of South Africa’s major cities, Cape Town offers great shopping opportunities, with particular emphasis on gold, diamonds, semi-precious stones, leather, wood carvings and locally crafted ceramics. In Cape Town, the Victoria & Albert Waterfront has a wide range of shops, restaurants and bars, while the city centre offers antiques markets and major shopping malls.
South Africa has several distinct regions divided into areas such as the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. The Western Cape is lapped by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean while the Eastern Cape is brushed by the waters of the Indian Ocean. Each area has a stunning combination of mountain ranges, beautiful coastlines, desert regions, verdant forests and abundant waterways including lagoons, lakes and many rivers.
South Africa’s turbulent history is varied and vast. It is believed the origins of mankind began here, with fossils having been uncovered that provide evidence of human life on these shores as long as 50, 000 years ago. The original inhabitants of the Western Cape are believed to have been San hunter-gatherers and Khoikhoi herdsmen. In the 1400s, Portuguese explorers discovered and named the Cape of Good Hope, although it wasn’t until 1653 that the Dutch East India Company established a firm European-style base here. The Dutch, intending the area to be a pit-stop point between Europe and the Far East, met with reluctance from the natives and found themselves at war with the Khoikhoi herdsmen. Defeated by the Dutch, the Khoikhoi moved further inland, away from the Western Cape and left the way open for the French and German religious refugees, who set up home here in the 1700s. With the large influx of European settlers also came the slavery trade. The new settlers and trades required more housing and supplies and the small, new colonial town fast developed into a bustling city – Cape Town. In 1795, British forces captured Cape Town and abolished slavery. The town burgeoned into a cosmopolitan city with a major sea-port. By the 1860s, docks lined the coast and a railway was laid. Racial segregation soon became a problem and by 1910 the first ‘black-only’ town had developed at Ndabeni. Increasing industrialisation brought many black and African workers to the city but legislative bans ensured no African housing was built. In 1948 the National Party was elected into power and promised to stop the influx of black and African people to the city and by 1960, anti-apartheid groups were outlawed. Many years of segregation and oppression followed before the 1983 formation of the United Democratic Front, a party intent on abolishing apartheid.1986 saw the removal of influx control and Cape Town boomed with a surge of new residents and workers. After his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected black president in 1994. Although divisions are still apparent between races and amounts of wealth, and the country’s politics is still as muddled as ever, a great deal of progress has been made and is still ongoing to unify and standardise the existence of all peoples, cultures and races in Cape Town.
Afrikaans is the official language but English is widely spoken.
South African rand (ZAR) is divided into 100 cents. Sterling traveller’s cheques and all major credit cards are widely accepted. ATM machines are available.
220/230 volts AC 50 Hz
Opening hours Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. and Sat 8.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.
Driving is on the left. Main roads and freeways are very well maintained. Freeways have a maximum speed limit of 62mph and highways have a maximum speed limit of 74mph.
GMT + 2 hours
Tipping and local customs
10% is generally expected in restaurants where service is not included on the bill.
Bottled mineral water is recommended.
No visa is currently required for British passport holders, for stays of less than 3 months. This should be re-checked on booking for any changes. A full ten-year passport is required with at least six months validity.
What makes it so special?
The fantastic scenery and friendly, hospitable atmosphere.
Where to visit?
In Cape Town there are a number of sites to see: take a revolving cable car ride to the summit of Table Mountain for fantastic city views, head to the Bo Kaap district, one of the oldest residential areas, for gardens and colonial architecture or visit the Victoria & Albert Waterfront for shops, restaurants and bars.
Most popular tours
In Cape Town:
Along the Garden Route:
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