For most South Africans, Cape Town is considered somewhat of a country of its own, one that could survive almost independently without the rest of the country. Not only is it a buzzing metropolis with all the world class amenities that any world class city could offer, it also has the breath-taking natural beauty that leaves even the old “Capetonian” completely mesmerised. Cape Town has the biggest tourism industry in all of South Africa, and it is not difficult to ascertain why. Cape Town is home to some of the world’s most prestigious and renowned heritage sites, both natural and cultural. With the awe-inspiring might of the Atlantic ocean, overlooked by some of the world’s best real estate, Cape Town is not only a tourist’s paradise, but also it is the dream of any prospective home owner.
Before we delve into some of the high points of living in Cape Town, it is important to remember that there is a lot more to Cape Town than its scenic views, magnificent landscapes and world-class facilities; Cape Town is plagued, like the rest of the country, with poverty and growing inequalities. Interspersed between some of the more popular tourist destinations, are many informal settlements and townships, where some of Cape Town’s citizens do not have access to basic needs such as sanitation, water and electricity. The old racial divides of the Apartheid era, seem to still haunt this beautiful city, in spite of the earnest efforts of its government. However, its tourism industry provides the economic growth needed to alleviate some of these problems, and township tours are very much a part of the exploration of Cape Town’s historical landmarks.
The tourist or resident is spoiled for choice in Cape Town, especially when it comes to the activities they can partake in. They can take a cable car atop Table Mountain, drive along the spectacular garden route, take a trip to Robben Island where they will learn much of the history of the country and its heroes or even shop at the beautiful V&A Water Front or Cavendish Square. With a rich cultural tapestry that includes theatre, fashion, festivals and a buzzing film industry, combined with some of the country’s foremost educational institutions, Cape Town is most certainly, the place to be.
The many attractions in Cape Town
Contrary to popular belief Cape Town is not all about Table Mountain. Granted, the mountain is a big part of what makes the tourism industry so big there, but there is a lot more to this city than just the mountain. Cape Point is also a well known landmark for overseas tourists and also local tourists. Cape Town is truly a beautiful city with many wonderful beaches and long stretches of blue ocean as far as the eye can see. In the history of Cape Town we find that the National Party won the election in 1948 and this is where apartheid came about. Cape Town has many museums and national history sites where the details of this and many other historical happenings can be viewed and learned about.
Robben Island is one of the biggest attractions in Cape Town because former president Nelson Mandela was held captive their in prison during apartheid and during the struggle. Robben Island is open to visitors and a lot of people hold their wedding ceremonies there as well. Not to be forgotten is also the seals of Robben Island which is also a sight to see.
Cape Town has many historical buildings in the city centre that date back to previous centuries. They also have many traditions such as the Kaapse Klopse marching throughout the city streets and they also hold carnivals. Cape Town has the distinction of being the oldest known city in the whole of South Africa and this is what makes travelling through it’s streets and suburbs such an experience.
The Castle of Good Hope is a major tourist attraction and is also situated in Cape Town. It was built in the 1600’s and there are many tales of ghosts and hauntings because of the slaves that were held captive there in those years. For this reason Cape Town also has many ghost hunters and paranormal researchers that visit the Castle on a regular basis to see if they can find any ghostly activity. If you are an avid horror watcher or interested in ghost stories, Cape Town will not disappoint with its ghostly tales.
Film and Stills Photography in Cape Town
Cape Town, in South Africa, is not only one of our favourite places on Earth, but also one of the most photogenic cities in the world, with countless stunning backdrops for your next Instagrammable photo op. Every time we come here, we fall a little bit more in love with its breathtaking coastline, vibrant streets, and stunning sunsets. The following is a list of locations in Cape Town that YLO believe to be among the best for taking photographs. From sunrise hikes to sunset drinks by the water’s edge, we’ve rounded up Cape Town’s top photo ops in the hopes that you’ll have as much fun as we did.