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Sightseeing in Cape Town

One of the best ways to see Table Mountain and the surrounding areas is to take the cableway there. The views from the cable car are fabulous. It is also possible to walk up to the summit, but make sure you are reasonably fit and willing to exert yourself. Also wear warm, waterproof clothing – it can get very windy indeed. Make sure you see the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations from atop the mountain. On the lower slopes of the mountain are the lush slopes of the Constantia Winelands, established by a Dutch governor way back in 1685. The wine tasting here is superb – do take the time to imbibe some of the local ambrosia.

When in Cape Town, take the time to visit Robben Island which features on most tours, and contains the tiny cell that Nelson Mandela called home (or prison?!) for two years. Cape Town’s major nightlife attraction is the newly refurbished Victoria and Albert Waterfront complex.

The picturesque Hout Bay is a ‘fishing village’ town enclosed between mountains and sea providing a relaxed atmosphere. For the water sports enthusiasts, the Hout Bay Beach offers many activities to keep them busy all day.

The Atlantic coast has some of the best beaches on the Cape, especially the four beaches at Clifton. These are accessible easily from the city by buses or taxis. The beaches at Camps Bay, although less frequented by the city’s cool crowd, are also very good.

When in Cape Town, it is inconceivable that one skips going to Cape Point, the tip of the great continent of Africa, and the undoing of many a European ship making its windy way to Asia. You can gasp at some of the shipwrecks that remain here at Olifantbos. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is not simply the area one must drive through to get to Cape Point, but an absolute must-see. It has some specimens of the luscious indigenous Cape flora and fauna including many gorgeous varieties of flowers and Cape animals like baboons, rhebok, jackass penguins, ostriches, eland and red hartebeest. The reserve is located on top of sheer cliffs that afford fantastic views of the ocean. The reserve can only be reached by car; when returning, do take the time to see Kommetjie and Chapman’s Peak drive.

Be it for a casual stroll, a day out for picnic or just lazing, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are a must visit on your tour to Cape Town. The gardens are spread over an area of 528 hectares, showcasing only indigenous South African plants.

The waters of False Bay are always several degrees warmer than those on the Atlantic seaboard, contributing to its history of seaside development. The whale watching on False Bay is superlative; in fact, it is arguably the best in the world. Boulders Beach, apart from being a great beach is also where you will be rewarded with the sight of colonies of endangered jackass penguins strolling unabashedly in one of only two mainland colonies of in the world.

Take the Whale Route that begins along the south of Cape Town and extends to Durban, covering a stretch of 900 km, plus the opportunity to witnesses 37 species of whales found in the waters of South Africa. One can also visit Hermanus for the whale festival for the best whale watching in South Africa or probably in the world.

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