If there was ever a city in Africa that punched above its weight, it was Cape Town. Though relatively small compared to many metropolises on the continent, the charm of the town is utterly unique, thanks to both its stunning setting and unique culture.
Many people who haven’t been to the Cape imagine that it must have, by now, been overrun by the urban sprawl of the city below. But Cape Town remains remarkably constrained, hemmed in by the sea to the south and the Cape mountains to the north. Yes, the city has spread somewhat along the coast, but like Hong Kong, it has a very defined boundary, with nature providing the backdrop.
The mountains to the rear are nothing short of stunning. Forming a natural plateau, they stretch off to both east and west, topped off with stunning boulders and opportunities for taking in the view. The sea isn’t as tropical or as warm as many imagine, but there are beaches, and it can be pleasantly warm in the summer months of December and January.
The Cool Urban Edge
Cape Town has had a checkered history. First an outpost for the colonial powers launching expeditions into the interior of Africa, it then became the seat of power for the Afrikaner Nationalists and then, in recent times, the ANC. All that history is beautifully catalogued in the city and reflected in its culture. The town has one of the most vibrant art scenes you’ll find anywhere in the world, as artisans work to divert their creative talent into explaining what happened to their nation. There are also relics of the slave trade, diasporas of different types of immigrants from all over the world, including spice traders from Malaysia and English settlements. Although Cape Town is more than 7,000 miles from London, it’s easy to stumble upon a Georgian mansion as you traverse the city streets.
The Value For Money
Accommodation and entertainment is cheap in Cape Town, with companies like Cape Town Villas offering luxury accommodation without the premium you’d find elsewhere. It’s only in the last three decades that Cape Town has become a tourist magnet, following a period of relative political stability. And so, even though South Africa is one of the wealthiest countries on the continent – and Cape Town the most prosperous city in the country – prices are low. Many locals travel to the Cape from the outlying townships to work in the tourist industry, often for low wages, and this shows up in lower prices.
Wine Tasting And Incredible Produce
South African wine has grown in prominence over the last few years, thanks to some excellent vineyards and an ideal climate. Travellers can take a trip out of the town and up into the hinterland and enjoy wine tasting and a walk through stunning vineyards. Much of the food for fine dining is grown right in the city’s backyard, so it’s no surprise that people flock here for the food too. The best time of year to go is in the summer and autumn when produce is readily available.
Have you ever visited Cape Town? Share your experiences with us below
Like ‘4 Reasons why you should visit Cape Town’? Pin it!