A Guide for First Time Visitors to Cape Town
Flights to Cape Town from London let guests visit an original Dutch colony in South Africa. This strategic site between Europe and the East was much sought after. The British fought and won the land twice before 1910 when the South African Union was formed. Cape Town enchants visitors with a mix of cultural heritage which included a time of slavery, when exploitation prevailed.
The modern day Cape Town boasts incredibly beautiful nature sights, a creative economy, where flight deals make it a wonderful tourist destination. Alongside these positives, South Africa also has many social problems, including a high rate of poverty connected to its past history. A 3 ½ hour tour on Robben Island starts at the Mandela Gateway on the waterfront. Tourists visit the former maximum-security jail which held political prisoners. At various times the island has been a leper colony, a mental hospital, military base, Muslim activists against Dutch colonization, and finally area leaders opposing the British including Nelson Mandela and Robert Sibukwe.
Splendors of the coastline are accessed by CapeMetroRail passes which allow easy access to major tourist attractions. The route winds past pristine beaches, significant historical and cultural sites, even views of Southern Right Whales calving close to shore for fortunate travellers. With MetroPlus train tickets guests may enjoy unlimited travel between the Cape and Simon’s Town. Stop at Observatory Station, District Six Museum, the South African Astronomical Observatory, and Groote Schuur Hospital where the first heart transplant was performed.
Sports enthusiasts spend most Saturday afternoons playing or watching soccer, cricket or rugby. Newlands Rugby and Cricket Stadium rests at the foot of intriguing Table Mountain. Visitors quickly love this city of incredible spirit, creative freedom and hope. The train takes guests along to Muizenberg Station allowing them to alight at Muizenberg Beach, the most popular surfing beach on the Cape. From Muizenberg Station the most picturesque views take the travellers’ breath away. It is amazing the nearness of the waves to the windows on the train along False Bay as the railway hugs the side of the mountain.
Summer voucher booklets provide discounts on activities, attractions, even feature the latest innovations, and long time favourites. These can even be downloaded from internet sites. Many include specials on accommodations. “Summer . . . Differently” is encouraging visitors to experience the Cape through visiting the Winelands, Overberg, Garden Route, Klein Karoo, Cape Karoo, and Cape West Coast.
South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain, being considered as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, would be part of a structured tour should it be voted in. This rugged coastal plain is part of Agulhas National Park providing nature trails and one unique trail traversing the southern tip of the African continent. A splendid museum, environmental, and interpretive centre gives visitors intriguing information about the local area. One of the oldest working lighthouses in South Africa is set on the tip of South Africa in Agulhas. Built in 1848, it still operates lights that range about 60 kilometers over the choppy waters.