Cape Town - South Africa
Cape Town, the gateway to Africa for many visitors to this spellbinding continent, is one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. The beautiful city was recently named Africa's leading destination at the fifth World Travel Awards in Antigua - and once you've visited, you'll understand why. This unique area is considered one of the most spectacular in Africa. Nothing about Cape Town is predictable, from its cosmopolitan mixture of European, African and Asian culture to its first-class banking and financial sector, and its thrilling array of restaurants, entertainment venues, stunning beaches, wine routes and mountain scenery.
Cape Town's City Bowl, comprising the city centre and surrounding areas north of majestic Table Mountain and east of Signal Hill, is well stocked with humming restaurants, pubs and clubs, and exotic sights, sounds and smells. Expect a global mix of culinary delights, from the freshest sashimi in a traditional Japanese sushi bar or a fiery Thai dinner to a seafood feast or the Cape's own brand of spicy Malay cuisine. Whatever your taste, you'll find something that sets it alight at a Cape Town restaurant.
After dinner, head to a late-night jazz pub, wine bar or glitzy night-club, or if laid-back is more your style, you might choose to linger on a leather sofa at a cigar bar or catch a cabaret or comedy show at one of Cape Town's theatres of revue bars. There's plenty of talent and history in this bustling city, not only seen in the energy of live performers, but also in the art galleries, diverse museums and the African curio shops, a must for souvenir-hunters.
St George's Mall, a vibrant pedestrian walkway, and Greenmarket Square's popular outdoor market are both lined with shops, restaurants, pavement cafés and vendors selling clothing, jewellery, books, art and African crafts. Over a drink or a meal, listen to the colourful local street musicians who fill the air with the heart and soul of Africa.
Impossible to ignore and difficult to resist is Table Mountain, one of Cape Town's major attractions. This incredible natural feature, situated south of the city centre and more than 1000 metres high, offers stunning views over Cape Town and its surrounds, whether you reach the top by foot or cable car. Renowned as an entire floral kingdom in itself, Table Mountain is home not only to a rich botanical diversity but also a plethora of animal species, such as the small, furry dassie, the closest biological relative to the elephant. A vigorous hike or a smooth cableway ride up Table Mountain? You decide. Once you're on the top, take a walk, shop, use telescopes to view the city below, take photographs or watch the sun setting over amazing scenery while sipping a cocktail.
Accommodation in the city ranges from five-star hotels that rival the world's finest to bed and breakfast guest houses, self-catering apartments and backpackers' lodges.
Cape Town is a magical place where old and new harmoniously converge, as seen in its fascinating history, culture and, above all, in the essence of its people. Enjoy your stay!