Cape Town

Introduction

Cape Town, the oldest city in southern Africa, is regularly mentioned in lists about the most beautiful cities on earth. The massive sandstone bulk of Table Mountain, often draped in a flowing "tablecloth" of clouds, forms an imposing backdrop, while minutes away, pristine sandy beaches can be found along the cliff-hugging coast.

Situated in the country's far-South Western corner, Cape Town is physically separated from the rest of the continent by a barrier of mountains, and it feels -- and is -- very different from the rest of Africa. The hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters are Mediterranean, while the Atlantic Ocean remains icy throughout the year. It is by far the most cosmopolitan city in Southern Africa, and you're as likely to hear locals speak German and French as you are Afrikaans and English. Unique, too, is the Cape's architectural heritage -- Cape Dutch home construction, neo-Gothic churches, Muslim minarets, and English-inspired Georgian and Victorian buildings are examples of the influences of a multifaceted colonial past.

Language Spoken

The main language in South Africa is Afrikaans with its Dutch influences, but the second language is English which is widely spoken as well, certainly in the major cities.

Currency

The currency in South Africa is the Rand. R100=£6.99

The currency in South Africa is the Rand. 1 GBP = [CCExhange base="GBP" currency="ZAR"] ZAR*

Time Zone

SAST – South Africa Standard Time (GMT + 2)

International Dialing Codes

+27-21 (+ local number)

Climate

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the hottest months are December and January. The autumn months of May and June bring warm days and cool nights. The winter months (July-September) can be cold and rainy.

Emergency Numbers

National emergency number: 107

Public Transport Information

Public transport options around Cape Town include city buses, taxi's, Rikkis, commuter trains and minibuses. The way most South Africans get around is by minibus taxi. They are cheap, efficient and plentiful. You can hail them like you would a cab anywhere in the world. You'll also see Rikkis in the centre of Cape Town, they are small brightly coloured vans that operate like taxis. Metro trains run to all the suburban areas and they go as far as Stellenbosch and Paarl in the Winelands. The commuter train out to Simons Town is actually worth taking just for the ride itself. It travels so close to the ocean, passengers sometimes get soaked by the spray.

Airport Code

CPT – Cape Town Airport is located 22 km East of Cape Town and is connected with Cape Town via a bus link and taxis are widely available as well.

And Another Thing...

Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa and in the world.