Cape Town - Virtual Tour

Cape Town tourist information

Cape Town is a cosmopolitan and modern city at the southern tip of the African continent. The central city is somewhat small by world standards, being confined as it is between mountain and sea, but the wider metropolitan area is enormous with a journey from Simonstown in the south to Table View in the north involving a journey of about100 kilometres, (60miles).

Cape Point nature reserve Cape Town

The city is at the northern end of a 54 km long peninsula which culminates in the dramatic headland at Cape Point, often mistakenly referred to as the southernmost tip of Africa. That distinction belongs to Cape Agulhas, a few hundred km to the east.

There is a dramatic difference in the ocean on either side of the peninsula. The western, or Atlantic side is influenced by the cold Benguela current and experiences near freezing temperatures, even in summer. The eastern, or Indian Ocean side however experiences temperatures several degrees warmer making for pleasant bathing.

Most of the peninsula comprises a well watered, green mantled sandstone plateau which is at its most spectacular in the towering bulk of Table Mountain.

"The Mountain" as it is affectionately known by Capetonians rises over 1000metres out of the ocean and is visible from 200km out to sea on a clear day.  There are numerous hiking trails to the 1087m high summit or the revolving cable car is an option for the less energetic. 

Table Mountian Cape Town South Africa

V&A Waterfront Cape Town

 Cape Town used to be very much a port city but over the years highways, container terminals and oil storage tanks separated the city from the sea.

The V&A Waterfront development has reunited the citizens of the city with their maritime heritage. It has been inspired by (but is not a copy of) the Sydney and San Francisco harbour projects. 

The waterfront development has been a huge success with restaurants, shopping centres, hotels, offices, an aquarium and residential developments having transformed the once bleak landscape into a popular tourist destination.

The Cape Peninsula has arguably some of the best beaches in the world and Capetonians are usually to be found sunning themselves on a hot summers day.

The Atlantic coast beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno are popular venues overlooked by multimillion Rand mansions and apartments. 

On the Indian Ocean side are the warm water beaches at Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Boulders Beach in Simonstown where sun worshippers share the beach with the only land based penguin breeding colony in Africa.

Cape Town beaches

Mountains trout fishing and hiking trailsThere is none of the classical Africa here, no wild animals circling your tented safari camp at night, no dusty veld stretching to the distant horizon and no steaming mangrove swamps.

The countryside has been settled for too long for that and the city is to old. This is rather a land of gentle green vines, towering mountains, snow capped in winter and trout filled streams. The area known as the Western Cape has been settled since the 17th century and the land which once teemed with game such as elephant, lion, rhino, hippo and vast herds of antelope, has been subdued and put to the farmers plough.

Although leopards are said to still roam the most inaccessible mountain peaks, the wild game has long since been hunted to extinction.

The Western Cape is synonymous with wine and the area bounded by the eastern mountains are the Cape Winelands. The early French Huguenot settlers brought their passion for wine-making with them and many of the wine estates carry their legacy with names such as L'Ormarins, L'Avenir, La Provence and Mont Rochelle.

The towns of Franschoek and Stellenbosch are at the centre of this wine growing area. Some world class wines have come out of the valleys and hills of the Cape and the annual Nederberg Wine Sales attract buyers from all over the world.

Cape Wine Route

West Coast