Notoriously distinct for its Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and slightly wet winters, Cape Town is the seat of the National Parliament of South Africa and the most popular tourist destination in Africa.
Situated on the coast of Table Bay, Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape Province and the second most populated cosmopolitan city after Johannesburg. A tourist is spoilt for choice in this city as you can do just about anything and go absolutely anywhere. Here is how you can choose to spend your first day.
Your first stop will be at Robben Island, a prison 10 kilometers from the city. It engages its visitors in a sobering experience of what was home to many political prisoners during the Apartheid regime such as the likes of Nelson Mandela and other prominent political activists who spent decades living in this prison.
From Robben Island, take the time to appreciate the beauty of the city at the Peak of Table Mountain. At its highest peak of 1 085m (3 560ft) Table Mountain has beautiful views of the city centre, surrounding suburbs and the Atlantic Ocean. Other landmarks in view include the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island and Camps Bay beach. Table Mountain is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to over 1 500 species of plants.
At this point you will be starving and the best place to gratify your appetite is at Mzoli’s Place a ‘Chisa nyama’ (a local term for barbequing meet) in a township called Gugulethu. The butchery and restaurant sells meat that you can braai while you are entertained by a live band. By the late afternoon, over 200 people including celebrities, swarm the restaurant and enjoy the ultimate township cultural experience.
And If you are not yet ready to retire for the day, Long Street will be your next pit stop. It has been described as the ‘party’ capital of Cape Town with some of the best bars, night clubs and cultured restaurants. Here you will be surrounded by a diverse population of people, who represent a piece of the South African Rainbow nation.