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Highlights in and around Cape Town

Cape Town, also known as the Mother City, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where work and leisure activities can be perfectly combined. Where else in the world do you find a perfect climate with wonderful beaches, majestic mountains, tranquil winelands, trendy restaurants, bars and clubs in a relaxed atmosphere on your doorstep? Here is some information of must-do activities in Cape Town and surrounding areas.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

Table Mountain with its flat top is one of the most noticeable and popular attractions of Cape Town. Known as the city's landmark, the mountain is a part of the Table Mountain National Park, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point. The top of the mountain offers fantastic views of the city centre, Lions Head, the former prison island "Robben Island" and the southern suburbs. Table Mountain is also well known for its diversity of indigenous plants. The mountain, consisting of sandstone on the upper part, is home to more than 2000 species of plants. Many of these are endemic, including the Cape fynbos, the Silver Tree and different kinds of proteas.

For the nature and sports lovers, a hike to the top of Table Mountain is an absolute must. Different hiking trails lead you to the plateau, approx. 1,080 meters above sea level. Platteklip Gorge is a very popular trail with the most direct route to the top. Be careful and well prepared when climbing the mountain – some routes are relatively undemanding and some are extremely difficult. It is advisable to do the hike in a group and not alone. Besides talking your camera, make sure you bring comfortable walking/hiking shoes, enough water, a warm top, sun lotion and a mobile phone (in case of an emergency).

Alternatively, you can also reach the top of Table Mountain by taking the cable car. As the cable car rotates slowly when going up and down, you can enjoy great 360° views during the trip.

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Lions Head

Lions Head

Lions Head, located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill, equally shapes the cityscape as Table Mountain and also forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. The walk to the top offers great views and is one of the "must do" activities in Cape Town. The top can be reached via a spiral path in about 1 - 1.5 hours. The path winds around Lions Head until you get to the steeper part. The last stretch you have to climb rocks to make your way to the top. An absolute highlight is to walk up Lions Head when there is a full moon. On these days groups of people often gather at the bottom and walk up just before sunset, enjoy the great views from the top and equipped with torches make their way back down. Again, we advise that you do the hike in a group, with comfortable walking/hiking shoes, sufficient amount of water and a mobile phone.

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Cape Town and its surrounding areas offer a variety of leisure activities and nature lovers won't be disappointed with the outdoor opportunities to select from. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is known for its great biodiversity and is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. Situated at the east side of Table Mountain, the botanical garden features a variety of the Cape Flora and plants from various regions of South Africa. One of the highlights of the Botanical Gardens is the open air summer Concerts taking place every Sunday afternoon from November to April. Equipped with picnic baskets and blankets, groups of people gather at Kirstenbosch to enjoy the sunset concerts with its breathtaking setting.

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Cape Point - Cape of Good Hope

Cape Point - Cape of Good Hope

The legendary Cape of Good Hope is the southwestern tip of Africa and is also part of the Table Mountain National Park. When the Portuguese explorer and navigator Bartolomeu Diás reached the southwestern tip at the end of the 15th century, he described the coast as the "Cape of Storms". Today, Cape Point is not only known worldwide for its history, but also for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique flora and fauna. A trip to Cape Point is without doubt a "must do" during your stay in Cape Town. The trip to Cape Point is already very impressive and you should definitely keep your camera handy. Part of the journey leads you along the coast and the scenic Chapman's Peak Drive, a famous coastal road with breathtaking views. Cape Point offers visitors several hiking trails, one of which leads you to the lighthouse. The Cape Peninsula and Cape Point is home to many baboon families, which often pose an amusement for visitors. But be careful, before you know they run off with your food, bag, camera, etc. Own experiences have proven that baboons are talented enough to open unlocked car doors. It is therefore advisable to keep your doors closed and looked and to keep an eye on your personal belongings.

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Picnic & Sunset at Signal Hill

Picnic & Sunset at Signal Hill

If you like watching sunsets, you should not miss a picnic on Signal Hill, the last stretch of the Table Mountain National Park. Dividing the City Bowl and the Atlantic Seaboard, Signal Hill has become one of the most popular places in town to watch the sunset, especially on warm summer nights and with Table Mountain lit up in the backdrop. Signal Hill is not only known for watching the spectacular sunsets, but it has also preserved an old tradition - the noon gun at Lion Battery, situated a little lower from the viewpoint, is fired every day expect on Sundays. You can easily get to Signal Hill via Kloof Nek Road from the city, turning right at the top of the hill into Signal Hill Drive.

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Penguin colony at Boulders Beach

Penguin colony at Boulders Beach

Situated on the False Bay coast and on the outskirts of Simon's Town you will find the famous jackass penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Boulders Beach is home to about 3000 penguins that can be observed in immediate vicinity. A short stopover or even a picnic at the penguins' beach is a worthwhile excursion and can be perfectly combined with a trip to Cape Point. Make sure you don't forget your camera.

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Camps Bay, Clifton und Llandudno

Camps Bay, Clifton und Llandudno

Nestled between the Twelve Apostles, Lions Head and the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cape Town. Well-known for its white sandy beaches and a vibrant beachfront, Camps Bay offers first class restaurants, bars and shops. Only a few minutes' drive from the city centre, this exclusive suburb offers the perfect location for a day at the beach, a sundowner in one of the trendy sidewalk cafés or an excellent dinner at a restaurant on the beachfront.

Other hotspots for beach lovers are Clifton and Llandudno. Clifton, situated between Camps Bay and Sea Point, is another up-market suburb and famous for it 4 beaches, of which 4th beach is the biggest and most popular one. Alternatively, just a short scenic drive from Camps Bay brings you to the most beautiful secluded beach of the seaside suburb of Llandudno.

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Waterfront

Waterfront

The famous V & A Waterfront, located at the harbour and set against the backdrop of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain, is one of the most visited places in Cape Town. The V & A Waterfront offers a great variety of attractions and things to do. You can visit the Two Oceans Aquarium, enjoy delicious cuisines from a great variety of restaurants, bars or cafés, go on a harbor tour or a sunset cruise, book a scenic helicopter flight, take a trip to the former prison island "Robben Island" or simply take a stroll through the Craft Market or watch a movie at the cinema. The V & A Waterfront is also a popular shopping domicile with over 450 exciting shops and boutiques.

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Winelands

Winelands

South Africa is known for its excellent wines and beautiful wine regions with breathtaking sceneries. Stellenbosch is one of the most popular towns in the winelands and the second oldest town (after Cape Town) in South Africa. There are numerous excellent wine farms where you can enjoy wine tastings, but also the historical centre of Stellenbosch with its preserved Cape-Dutch and Victorian architecture has a lot to offer and should not be missed. Somerset West and Paarl are close by to Stellenbosch and are also home to well-known wine estates. Franschhoek, known for great wine and foods, is about 15 minutes from Stellenbosch and about a 45 minute drive from Cape Town. Nestled between magnificent mountains, Franschhoek is often referred to as South Africa's Gourmet town which can be traced back to the Huguenot settlers, who brought with them their wine and food culture.

When talking about the winelands, one should not forget the wine estates in the Constantia Valley. Situated in a great location and with beautiful mountain scenery, the Valley boasts famous wineries with award-winning wines.

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Shark cage diving

Shark cage diving

One of the most spectacular and exciting sensations outside of Cape Town is to dive with the great white shark. Shark cage diving is mainly offered in the Gansbaai region, about 120 km from Cape Town and offers a great opportunity to watch the sharks roaming the water from close proximity. A diving certificate is generally not needed as the cages are not left too deep into the water and non-divers can snorkel. To observe the sharks you don't necessarily need to get into the cage – you can also observe the sharks perfectly from the boat. To ensure that the predators are not violated and disturbed, you should carefully choose a licensed operator for shark cage diving. We will gladly assist you when choosing or booking a recognised tour operator.

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