Cape Town - The “City Bowl” of South Africa
Location: A Dramatic Mountainous Backdrop
The central area of Cape Town is known as a bowl, as it is enclosed by majestic mountains like Lion's Head, Table Mountain, and Devil's Peak. In fact, more than 70 peaks here rise above 300 meters. It is often compared to Southern California, offering rugged mountains along a long coastline, with valleys and plains inland as well as semi-desert areas on the fringes of the city. The Mediterranean climate makes for warm and pleasant summers.
Business: South Africa's Second Main Economic Center
Government industries are some of the largest employers in the area, which makes sense because it is the seat of National Parliament as well as the capital of the Western Cape. Beyond that, Cape Town hosts both the primary airport and harbor in the province, making it important for trade and transportation. However, a surprising 75% of the local enterprises are driven by small businesses that really keep the economy going. To top it all off, it is a popular place for conventions with Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Culture: Gardens, International Architecture, and Shopping
If you love nature, then Cape Town is the place for you. The almost 40-hectare Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden contains rare and threatened species, a protected natural forest, and even fynbos heathland vegetation. In fact, over 7,000 species live within the garden. The area also offers some amazing architecture with the highest density of Cape Dutch buildings in the world, staying true to the heritage in the area. The city's most visited tourist spot, the Victoria & Albert Waterfront offers several hundred retail shops, where you can get anything from local fashions to souvenirs.
Activities: Natural Features and Beautiful Views
Some of the biggest attractions in Cape Town are the things that have naturally formed, such as Table Mountain National Park and the many hiking and driving paths, where you can see the beautiful coastline as well as unique mountainous structures. For those who want to relax or swim, there are beaches on either side of the cape, offering different amenities. The cooler water of the Atlantic brings shops, restaurants, and bars while False Bay offers warmer waters and seclusion. Both offer surfing and unique sites on every beach, such as natural features and even African Penguins.