South Africa trip – Johannesburg to Cape Town – South Africa Tourism & Vacations
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Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province, as well as being the legislative capital of South Africa (the Houses of Parliament are here). It is located in the south-west corner of the country near the Cape of Good Hope, and is the most southern city in Africa. It is a stone’s throw from South Africa’s world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.
See in Cape Town
Bo-Kaap. This neighbourhood, located on a hill south-west of downtown, is the area historically inhabited by mainly Muslim descendants of slaves from South-East Asia (hence an older term for the area – ‘Malay Quarter’. It’s a common location for film shoots, as there are some very colourful buildings, quaint streets, mosques. views over Cape Town and some great food sold on the side of the street. It’s well worth wandering around for an hour or so, as well as visiting the Bo-Kaap Museum (a view of a prosperous Muslim family from the 19th Century). Atlas Trading is and old fashioned shop where you can buy spices for any dish. Ask the proprieter to mix you the necessary spice for the meal you intend making. Approximately 1km from the Bo-Kaap, is the Noon Gun which is fired every day at noon – from Monday to Saturday. You can go and view the short ceremony that takes place before the actual shooting as well as the shooting itself.
The Castle of Good Hope, The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest surviving building. It was built between 1666 and 1679. It is popularly called ‘The Castle’ by locals. It has extensive displays of historical military paraphernalia, a history of the castle, an art collection and the William Fehr Collection (including old Cape Dutch furniture).You can eat and buy wine inside the Castle at the restaurant or café. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 11:00AM, 12:00PM, and 2:00PM. Horse and carriage rides are offered daily at 10:30 AM, 12:45PM and 2:45PM. Booking is necessary. R28 entrance fee.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, ☎ +27 (0)21 799-8899 / +27(0)21 799 8783, . Open daily 8AM to 6PM (7PM September to March). View the hugely diverse and beautiful plants and flowers of the Cape flora in one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world. Plants from all of the regions of South Africa are on display, including rare succulents from the Richtersveld, a giant baobab tree, and interesting medicinal plants. Numerous paths wander through the grounds situated on the back side of Table Mountain. Several restaurants, a gift shop and indigenous nursery are also available. At various times of the year concerts are performed in the open air amphitheatre. Art is frequently on display, including large Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. The gardens are also home to the National Biodiversity Institute. What makes the garden so special, is that every season gives you something new to see – new flowers, different birds, etc. During the summer months, sunset concerts feature excellent local and international music acts in diverse genres. Get there early to get a good spot on the grass amphitheatre. Bring a picnic, and enjoy the sounds of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, local rock bands, and popular artists like Freshlyground and Goldfish. R40.
Robben Island, ☎ +27 (0)21 413-4200, Robben Island is located just off the coast from Cape Town, this was the location used during the apartheid days to hold political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela and the late Walter Sisulu. The tour consists of a guided bus tour around the island, before meeting a former political prisoner for a tour of the prison area. The island itself is quite scenic, with African penguins usually seen on the tour. The bus tour stops to allow you to take in the view, and buy a snack. Tours run several times per day, seven days a week from the Nelson Mandela Gateway near the clock tower at the V&A Waterfront. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone. There are three trips a day at 9:00, 11:00, and 13:00. The tour takes 3.5 hours including the ferry ride to and from the island. R250.
Rhodes Memorial, The memorial is situated in recognition of Cecil John Rhodes. It’s built in his favorite spot on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak. Rhodes’s own wooden bench is still located below the memorial. The memorial is part of the Table Mountain National Park which is a great spot for picnicking. The memorial is also a start for the hiking along Devil’s Peak. Rhodes Memorial and the surrounding bike and hiking trails have become a very popular spot for muggers in recent months. If you just have to explore the nature in this area as it is very beautiful, make sure you are never alone and never carry valuables with you.