From adventurers to nature lovers, Cape Town appeals to all category of travelers, which is one of the reasons why in recent years it has become a rising tourist attraction. However, Africa’s newest star is far from becoming overcrowded and still offers some pleasant surprises to first time explorers.
Although Cape Town is mostly known for iconic locations such as the Lion’s Head and the Castle of Good Hope, there’s much more to this beautiful city than meets the eye.
Here are just 10 of the lesser known things that make Cape Town a unique and complex destination for your next vacation:
1. The weather in Cape Town is similar to California and the Mediterranean
Are you looking for a destination with warm, Mediterranean weather, but you’re tired of the same Greek and Italian vacations? Then you’ll love Cape Town, because the climate is exactly the same. With a long summer season spanning from November to March, Cape Town is just the getaway you need when temperatures in your country drop below freezing point.
2. Africa’s only penguin colony is near Cape Town
In the 1980s, two pairs of African penguins appeared near Cape Town. Now, in the same spot there is the only penguin colony in Africa. Counting several thousands of African penguins (also known as Jackass or Black-footed penguins), the colony is the only one of its kind on the continent.
3. Cape Town was the first city outside Europe to get Blue Flag status
Blue Flag is a certificate issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education to acknowledge that a city meets the highest quality living standards, respects and inhabitants and develops sustainable environmental actions. Cape Town was the first non-European city to receive the highly prestigious award in 2016, thanks to its clean beaches and modern facilities.
4. New York Times chose Cape Town as the best place to visit in 2014
Every year, The New York Times choose a notable city as the best place to visit. In 2014, the winner was Cape Town. According to the publication, Cape Town is again reinventing itself, and the world is invited to its renaissance, pointing out that it offers an irresistible combination between dynamic nightlife, innovative architectural designs and serene natural attractions.
5. You can go on a long wine tasting tour
If you love wine, Cape Town will greet you with a pleasant surprise: the open-sided Franschhoek Wine Tram can take you on the long wine tasting tour, where you can explore some of the oldest and most sophisticated vineyards in the region.
6. Cape Town houses the largest African art museum in the world
Another good reason why you might want to book cheap flights to Cape Town for your next vacation is that here you can find the Zeitz MOCAA- Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Not only is this the largest art museum in Africa, but also in the world, housing no less than 100 galleries and nine floors of superb art pieces.
7. Cape Town has a toboggan track
Are you looking for an unconventional activity to try on vacation? Why not try tobogganing? In Cape Town, you can go on the largest toboggan track in Africa, which reaches up to 40 km/hour and has 17 corners, S-bends and a tunnel.
8. The famous Robben Island is just 12km from Cape Town
12km off the coast of Cape Town is the brutal Robben Island – famous for incarcerating many political prisoners over the years, including Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years here. However, before functioning as a prison, Robben Island housed leprosy patients voluntarily and was also used by the British as a training station during World War II.
9. You can stand at Africa’s most South-Western Point
Cape Town is known for quite a few records and if this is one of the things you want from your destinations, you won’t regret coming here. For example, if you choose to visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve, you’ll hear that this is Africa’s most South-Western Point. Apart from that Cape Point Nature Reserve is a fantastic destination on its own, offering spectacular views of Table Mountain, functioning lighthouses and endangered wildlife.
10. Cape Town has some of the most amazing roads
Are you one of the adrenaline-loving tourists who would rather drive to their destination instead of hopping on a plane? Cape Town will not disappoint you. Chapman’s Peak Drive, Victoria Road and Boyes Drive are just three of the dozens of scenic roads that wind across the mountains and amaze you with unforgettable views.
11. Cape Town is the best place to get married
If you’re not looking for a place to visit on vacation, but a place to plan a destination wedding, you simply cannot go wrong with Cape Town. Offering an overwhelming number of superb wedding venues, from ballrooms to beaches, Cape Town has a world class wedding industry. And don’t forget, after saying I do, you can go on one of the famous Cape Town wedding cruises.
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