Cape Town Lures Visitors With Spectacular Beauty and a Rich Cultural Diversity

Cape Town has had a long and turbulent history. With Apartheid still linger in the minds and hearts of its people. Transformation has led to the new ‘Rainbow Nation’, which can be experienced in the cosmopolitan city centre of Cape Town.

Flower sellers, business executives, parking attendants, office workers and shoppers all rub shoulders in a setting of both historical and modern buildings, backed by the city’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain. The colourful Malay Quarter, the remains of District Six, St George’s Cathedral, Government Avenue and the old Castle are historically significant, while world-class African and international restaurants tempt travellers with their culinary delights.

Although an African city, Cape Town has a European flavour but the city has comforts of First World standard.

Cape Town’s unique setting means that it can be enjoyed from various vantage points: Table Mountain provide breathtaking vistas over the city bowl and the Cape peninsula.

You can find many scenic routes along magnificent stretches of coastline and inland terrain leading to special places like Cape Point.

The city has four distinct seasons.

Summer – White sandy beaches, Autumn – Crisp colours, Winter – Ferocity of stormy seas in winter, Spring – Show of Cape ‘fynbos’ flowers.

From culture, history and scenery – to an unforgettable experience.

Cape Town is a special place with much to contribute towards its growing reputation as a favoured travel destination.

Cape Town Excursions

** Robben Island and Table Mountain

South Africa’s most widely known tourist attraction is probably Robben Island, seven miles (11 km) from Cape Town in the centre of Table Bay.

For nearly 400 years this tiny rocky island outcrop was utilised as a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment for numerous categories of people ostracised by society, ranging from political protestors to lepers.

During the years of Apartheid, Robben Island became synonymous with institutional brutality as numerous freedom fighters, including the island’s most famous resident Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned here for more than a quarter of a century.

The island is now a museum, symbolising liberation and the triumph of the human spirit. Regular island tours are conducted, lasting three and a half hours. The tours, which are guided by former prisoners, include a visit to the maximum-security prison on the island where an estimated 3,000 freedom fighters were incarcerated between 1962 and 1991.

** Capman’s Peak Drive lookout Chapman’s Peak

Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular coastal roads in South Africa, linking the seaside community of Hout Bay to the Noordhoek Valley along the Atlantic Coast, with breathtaking views from along the narrow, winding road blasted into the cliffs.

Constructed in 1915, the six-mile (9km) route took about seven years to complete and was built as a shorter, alternative route between Cape Town central and the South Peninsula. Many visitors use this scenic route to reach Cape Point Nature Reserve situated at the tip of the Peninsula.

** Penguins on Boulders Beach

A recommended day excursion from the city includes a trip through the southern suburbs and along the scenically beautiful False Bay coastline via Muizenberg to Simonstown, South Africa’s principal naval base.

Simonstown lies about 25 miles (40km) from the city and is a quaint town built around a naval dockyard, with well-preserved Victorian buildings, museums, sidewalk cafes and local legends to learn about. One such legend is about a dog called ‘Just Nuisance’ who ‘joined’ the British navy, becoming their mascot, when Simonstown was a British base.

A short distance from the town is Boulder’s beach, famous for its protected colony of African Penguins (formerly Jackass Penguin) that can be viewed from the boardwalks.

Transport: Metrorail suburban train from Cape Town’s central station; Admission: Boulders Beach Penguin Colony: R15 (adults), R5 (scholars)

** Cape Point

Most visitors to Cape Town are keen to make a day trip 40 miles (65km) from the city to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, not only to take in its floral diversity in what at first sight appears to be a bleak landscape, but to stand at the top of the towering promontory at the most southerly point of the Cape Peninsula (not of Africa, visitors must go further afield to Cape Agulhus for this).

From the viewpoint and lighthouse at Cape Point, reached via a funicular, it is awesome to watch the thundering waves crashing at the base of the cliffs 686ft (209m) below. The reserve itself is worth exploring, particularly on foot, for those interested in birds and botany. The restaurant at Cape Point has a terrace offering spectacular views.

Resident baboons here enjoy the spoils from tourists’ snacks – particularly their ice-cream; they can be quite aggressive. Because feeding of the baboons carries a stiff penalty, it is worth ensuring there are no free lunches for these hirsute scavengers!

** Cape Town township Township Tours

The N2 highway that connects Cape Town International Airport to the city is lined with townships, consisting of a mixture of shacks and solid buildings. During the days of apartheid, people of colour were not allowed to live in the white suburbs and were banished to areas away from the city. Township tours allow visitors to experience how the majority of Capetonians live in the townships that surround the city.

Guides, often residents, take visitors around to meet the people, see community projects, have a drink in a ‘shebeen’ (township pub) and shop for local crafts. Each township has its own colourful character, and despite their difficult living conditions, residents are generally hospitable and delighted to receive visitors.

Townships were once no-go areas for many people, but today a visit is becoming a popular experience for tourists to Cape Town.

Visit Langa, the oldest of South Africa’s black townships, established in 1923, or the newest and second largest in the country, Khayelitsha, which dates from the 1980s. Guguletu and Nyanga were set up in the 1950s.

Visitors are advised not to visit the townships alone; there are many tour companies that offer tours, including transport to and from the township areas. Contact the Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre or its satellite, the Sivuyile Tourism Centre in Guguletu for information about tours, accommodation and entertainment in the townships.

** Bathing houses at Muizenberg Muizenberg

A historical beach-side suburb on the False Bay coast, Muizenberg is popular with families for its long, gentle-sloping beach, warm water, beautiful views, and activities such as mini-golf and supertubing. The beach is famous for its row of colourful changing houses and is a photo favourite from the mountain road far above. Muizenberg beach has also long been the preference of beginner surfers and several popular surf schools have been established at Surfers Corner, the closest side to the mountain. False Bay is known for its Great White Shark population, but a shark watch service is in operation to give warning to bathers and surfers. A scenic walkway below the railway line links Muizenberg to the next seaside village of St James with its tidal pool. The delightful fishing village of Kalk Bay is a few minutes drive away with its protected harbour, and its main street lined with fascinating antique and art shops, as well as cafes and restaurants.

Green Iguana Surf Camp – Guaranteeing A Great Vacation

Want to be a part of something fun while doing some learning in the process? If you said yes, then the Green Iguana Surf Camp is meant just for you.

The Green Iguana Surf Camp has been around for some time now, teaching guests to be pleasured by the surfing experience, not just ride the waves with no regard to the power they bring. It’s the lifetime experience of keeping you well and good while you are on Costa Rican waters.

The Green Iguana Surf Camp can be found in the heart of Playa Dominical where waves are constant in Costa Rica. The camp tenders to the one of the kind adventure idea for both the young and the young at heart. This can be good for the surfing fanatic to the typical vacation junkie or even the lifetime thrill seeker and even the weary traveler.

Camp Attractions

Imagine yourself at the beach with the ability to look out over the entire ocean. The Playa Dominical and the surrounding shorelines and reefs provide the perfect picture setting. The ones surrounding Playa Dominical area Playa Guapil, Playa Dominicalito, Playa Hermosa and Playa Ventanas.

There are many different kinds of waves to ride from the easy breakers to death defying odds, the places talked about above have no flat surfs. This is the reason that it makes a wonderful place for surfer wannabes to get started on their surfing skills.

For the more intermediate and advanced surfers, Papas Point is available to further their surfing abilities. For many native residents, this is often termed “The Point”.

Despite the name, there are other activities that can be taken advantage of. A person wanting to explore can take in the sights of the beaches and the rainfall canopies. Tours are offered along with kayaking and rappelling. For those that just need a relaxing time, can sit back and watch the sunset while laying in a hammock, outstretched. They can listen to the roar of the waves as they come crashing to shore.

Camp Lodgings

The Green Iguana Surf Camp offers two kinds of lodgings for its guests: beachside lodgings and rainforest lodgings.

– Diuwak (pronounced “Dee-you-wak”) Resort is for those who wish to be next to the ocean. This resort lies 100 feet from the sea and is elegant, rustic and very comfortable. Diuwak has two packages to its rooms:

* Package A is a standard room with single or double beds, a private bathroom with a heater, telephone and with an electric fan or air conditioner.

* Package B is a deluxe room with all the amenities from the first package but it is bigger. It also has a television set and a mini refrigerator.

– Rainforest lodgings is, as the name states, in the forest. Those who choose to be here can be surrounded by a profound silence of only nature. Should you want to be taught how to surf in Costa Rica and do some self-reflection, then this lodging is the one you want.

Other Camp Features

For people who wish to do more than surf, there are tour guides who will show you the different beaches and surfing areas around the area. They will even take you to see the waterfalls. You can get surfing lessons by experienced teachers and lifeguards as well as getting a CD featuring photos from your surfing instruction. You’ll get a Green Iguana shirt, a Reptile Park trip and transportation to and from the airport. This includes all meals and even a massage.

Holiday & Travel Guide For Azores, Portugal

Sightseeing

Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel island is an absolute delight to visit. It’s one of the larger Islands out of the nine in the Azores and temperatures fluctuate around the year from 14-23 degrees. Ponta Delgada is a wonderful town with narrow winding cobbled streets and wonderful black and white buildings. There is so much architecture to see. The main one is Sao Sebastiao church, with its decorative frontage as well as the side entrance and the tall bell tower. Then there is St Peters Church which is another must see. In fact there are a lot of churches in this small area. Sao Bras Fort is a great building with 2 guards standing at the main gates, and 2 great old canons stand just along from the gates. There is also a war memorial to those that fell in WW 1. You can casually walk around this delightful town or take one of the horse drawn carriage tours so you don’t miss any of the sights. Your driver will give you all the local knowledge about the area and buildings that are most interesting. After you have explored the town area you must take the trip up to the volcanic craters that sit aside one another. One is filled with deep green waters and the other is a turquoise blue. They are amazing, and the countryside around them consists of lush rolling green hills and is very photogenic.In fact all of Ponta Delgada is. There are lots of other things you can do in Ponta Delgada like go whale and dolphin watching or visit the hot springs, not forgetting the pineapple farms. For families there is a water park and some wonderful parks like “Terra Nostra” and excellent museums to visit too. During the months of June and July there a few festivals that take place, these add to the pleasure of this idyllic place.

Shopping

There is plenty of shopping to be had in this town with many small shops selling a variety of items and plenty of souvenirs. Walking around the town is a pleasure on its own, with its decorative black and white stone pathways and pedestrian areas. Just outside the centre is a large shopping centre that does increase the shopping potential, but Ponta Delgada is best known for its historic buildings and fabulous landscape not its shopping malls.

Eating

There are many fine restaurants dotted around the city selling international and typical Portuguese foods. The prices of a meal are expensive due to the main town being close to the harbour where many of the cruise ships come in to dock, so this trade has inflated the prices. They do have a burger king and pizza hut for those wanting a fast food fix, and the bakeries and patisseries sell some wonderful breads and pastries – you must give them a try.

Beaches

There are some small beaches in Sao Miguel offering water sports like swimming, diving and surfing in the summer months between June and October, but generally the area is known for its lush green hills and ideal weather for walking and trekking.