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Cape Town is rated one of the world’s most beautiful cities and is a popular starting point to any South Africa holiday. Its vibrant atmosphere, cosmopolitan feel and eclectic mix of people, attractions and activities make it a must to see. You can explore the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – browse one of the many shops, eat in one of the restaurants or bars and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere; take a cable car ride up Table Mountain and enjoy panoramic views of the city and peninsula; drink tea at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens; take a ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned or soak up the rays on one of Cape Town’s magnificent beaches - Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno to name just a few.

Venture out of the city and you will be enchanted by the surrounding areas – not only is the scenery stunningly beautiful, you can spot whales just metres from the shore during the whale season June-November in Hermanus, sip fine wines in one of the Western Cape’s striking wine estates or come face to face with the Great White Shark in a never-to-be-forgotten cage diving experience off Gansbaai.

The nightlife

Seafood and curries are staples and the barbecue, known locally as a "braai", is a South African way of life. Meat is big! Eating, the theatre and cinemas are all excellent value.

The shopping

Shopping malls selling mainstream goods can be found, but many of the more interesting stores have moved into side streets. The main attraction is a fine range of handcrafted goods and beautiful jewellery made from locally mined gold.

The sights

Table Mountain - Cape Town’s most famous landmark is the unmistakable Table Mountain. Ascend to the top via the 360 degree rotating cable car. At the top, there are a number of walks affording fabulous views of Cape Town and the ocean below. Wear sensible shoes as some of the paths are hewn from rock and involve some steep steps. Cloud cover often affects visibility, so if it’s fine, grasp the opportunity and head for the mountain. To avoid the queues, go first thing in the morning.

Robben Island – clearly visible off-shore from Cape Town lies Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many others were imprisoned for their political beliefs. A visit is a moving experience, as the guides are all former prisoners of the island and tell first-hand stories of their time in captivity. Many of them still live there.  Tours do book up early, so either book before you leave home or ensure you do so as soon as you arrive.

Camps Bay – Cape Town’s main beach resort lies just 15 minutes drive from the city and is a bustling seaside resort with the stunning backdrop of the Twelve Apostles – an extension of the Table Mountain range.

Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront – Cape Town’s newest attraction is this development around the original working port. The shops, restaurants and bars overlook the spectacular harbour and marina. This is most certainly the place to be seen in Cape Town.

Cape Peninsula – Take time to tour around the Cape Peninsula. Stop at the pretty harbour at Hout Bay and take a trip out to Seal Island. Call in at the Cape of Good Hope and climb up to Cape Point (Africa’s second most southerly point) for spectacular views before continuing round to Boulders Beach to see the huge penguin colony just south of the naval port of Simon’s Town.

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