Cape Town at a glance
According to many people, Cape Town is the crown jewel of South Africa. With its blend of eclectic architectural styles, beautiful white-sand beaches, seemingly endless list of beautiful places to see and plethora of things to do, it's no wonder that Cape Town has been receiving a long list of awards. In recent years, Cape Town has had various honours bestowed upon it, such as "World's Leading Festival and Events Destination", "Top City in Africa and the Middle East", "One of the World's Top 20 Cities" and "Best City" amongst many others.
Historically speaking, Cape Town is South Africa's oldest urban area, having been developed in the 1600s as a supply station used by the Dutch East India Company. Over the years, Cape Town as we know it today has been shaped by a multitude of cultural influences including British, French, German, Dutch, Indonesian and, of course, African.
Constantly under the shadow of the famous Table Mountain - whether or not it happens to be covered by cloud at the time - Cape Town is home to a well-designed blend of stunning green areas and an eclectic range of buildings, together with a floral kingdom that can't be found anywhere else in the world.
Like any great tourist destination, Cape Town offers no shortage of indoor and outdoor activities to keep locals and visitors alike entertained. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is renowned as one of the most visited spots in Africa, and with the range of trendy shops, sophisticated restaurants and views of the harbour, one doesn't have to wonder why. From the V&A Waterfront, one can hop on a ferry to Robben Island and go on a guided tour of the infamous facility at which Nelson Mandela and many other struggle stalwarts spent years imprisoned and working the limestone quarry.
Head back into the city and you can visit any number of iconic and memorable sights. Among the most popular is The Castle of Good Hope, a bastion fort dating back to the 1700s, and the District Six Museum, which is dedicated to the neighbourhood from which thousands of people were forcibly removed during Apartheid. There is no shortage of galleries, museums and exhibitions in the cultural smorgasbord that is Cape Town.
Most Capetonians will tell you that the most distinctive feature of their city is the mountain, and no trip to the colloquially named "Mother City" can be complete without either a cable car ride or a hike to the top. If you choose the cable car, you'll be one of over 27 million people to have reached the summit this way.
Another of Cape Town's iconic features is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in South Africa. Having first been established in 1913, the gardens are a glorious showcase of the flora and fauna of the Western Cape. The "Boomslang", a well-loved walkway which takes one through the tree tops, is 130 metres long and a firm favourite, both with visitors and with residents who visit on a regular basis.
Over and above the never-ending list of places to go and things to see, Cape Town makes a fabulous home for a number of reasons. With its extra hours of daylight during the summer months, Cape Town strikes the perfect balance between work and play, with the beach or a scenic stroll beckoning at the end of a long day. When the weekend rolls around, locals can head out of town to a wine farm or restaurant that will probably look like it belongs in a coffee table book.
There is no shortage of reasons why residents of Cape Town love their city. Whether you're an indoor person or an outdoor person, you will find lots to love in close proximity to your new home in Cape Town.