Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province. It is fondly known as the Mother City. Cape Town has always been the most cosmopolitan city in Southern Africa because of its rich history, modern culture, and incredible tourist attractions.
Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town:
Boulders Beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town and is home to a colony of thousands of African penguins. It is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. There are over 60 000 visitors that flock to Simon’s Town to photograph and watch the famous Boulders Beach Penguins. These African penguins are formerly known as jackass penguins because of their distinctive donkey-like braying sounds to communicate. The penguins are seen in Boulders Beach throughout the year.
The Table Mountain forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world. It got its name for its uncanny resemblance to a table. The Table Mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is a great destination for nature-lovers and adventurous individuals. Tourists and locals can enjoy the activities like hiking, rock climbing, caving and mountain biking. It is also a home to large variety of unique flora and fauna. Visitors can take a casual walk on the top, explore the Cape’s unique fynbos vegetation and spot a variety of animals.
Going to and from the mountain is difficult because it is elevated 1,085 meters above sea level. The cable car transportation system has become the solution to the arduous walk and climbs to the top. This cable car transportation system offers visitors a five-minute ride to the summit. The cable cars hold around 65 people and revolve slowly to give the visitors the chance to see the spectacular panoramic view of the Cape Peninsula including the Table Bay, the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains and the rest of the Table Mountain National Park.
Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. It was built in the 1600s. The Castle formed part of a formidable defensive system at the Cape that discouraged attacks. It is shaped in a pentagon with five bastions and flaunts both elements of Medieval and English Renaissance architecture. The Castle of Good Hope arguably represents one of the best preserved 17th century DEIC architecture on the entire globe. The fortress was once the center of civilian, administrative and military life in the Cape. In 1936, the Castle was declared a historical monument, the first site in South Africa to be so protected. Today, the Castle houses the Castle Military Museum, the William Fehr Collection, and the ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Regiments. The Castle is also the home of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment, a mechanized infantry unit.
The Robben Island was used as a military base, a hospital for lepers and a prison for political prisoners in the span of three centuries. In 1999, the island was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, the island has become a popular destination for global tourists for its rich and wretched history. The Robben Island is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in South African history.
The V&A Waterfront
While it is still technically a working harbor, the V&A Waterfront is more frequently thought of as a shopping destination making it as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town. This busy commercial harbor is set in the midst of a huge entertainment venue with pubs, restaurants, specialty shops, craft markets, theatres, and movies. Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbor, it covers a 123-hectare area and is divided up into five shopping districts: Victoria Wharf, the Watershed, The Alfred Mall and Pierhead, The Clock Tower, and Breakwater Point. Visitors will find everything from local designers to big international brands because there are more than 450 stores. The exciting shopping and entertainment venues are intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments in the residential marina. This is why the V&A Waterfront attracts more than 23 million visitors a year.