Located on the southwest tip of South Africa’s Western Cape Province, Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in all of Africa. The metropolis known as the “Mother City” enjoys a mild, Mediterranean climate, a well-developed infrastructure and a spectacular natural setting. The city also serves as a home base for exploring nearby attractions, including the region’s many diverse beaches as well as the rolling hills and valleys of the Winelands.
Surrounded by mountains, the central area of Cape Town is known as the City Bowl. The rest of Cape Town reaches upwards into the more than 70 granite and sandstone mountain peaks that lie within the city limits. With its flat-topped summit and sheer cliff sides, the 1 km (3,300-foot) high Table Mountain is the most famous of the soaring peaks. Visitors can scale the mountain by foot or take a cable car up to the top. Table Mountain National Park also includes the jagged peaks of Lion’s Head where adventurous travelers can paraglide or abseil down a 100-meter (350 foot) rappel.
Those who prefer the attractions of sun and sea won’t be disappointed either. The southernmost tip of Cape Town stretches out in the sea, forming Cape Peninsula. Nestled between Cape Peninsula and Cape Hangklip to the north is False Bay, where the water temperatures remain between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year round. The water is colder on the Atlantic-facing beaches of Cape Town, but they’re better developed with numerous upscale bars, restaurants and cafés.
The city architecture is notable for its Cape Dutch style, which visitors can admire while enjoying the Cape Town’s most popular attractions. Whether shopping at the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront center, strolling through the famed Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or taking in a show at the Artscape Theatre, Cape Town offers surprises around every corner.