Cape Town: South Africa’s Iconic Coastal City

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As a coastal city, Cape Town offers a wide range of water activities, beach lounging and numerous nature spots and reserves. Popular for its iconic view with the uniquely-shaped Table Mountain towering in the background, the city has something for everyone to do. Here are some popular attractions and spots that make Cape Town so unique.

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Cape Town: South Africa’s Iconic Coastal City:table of contents

1. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

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With spectacular views including the picturesque Table Mountain behind it, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has been designed as a mixed-use project with residential and commercial properties, hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities for both local and international visitors. The facade also includes a number of heritage sites and popular tourist attractions.

2. Table Mountain National Park

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Cape town is surrounded by oddly-shaped rock formations and none more spectacular than Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain popular for its panoramic views over the city. Rising over a thousand meters, the cliff-like natural wonder towers over the city and surrounding area, leading it to become a symbol for Cape Town. The hike to the top takes about two hours however there's a cable car too for those not wanting to brave the climb. The national park also contains a plethora of natural wildlife and flora and is a popular spot for animal watching.

3. Boulders Beach

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Famous for its little furry friends that call this beach home, Boulders Beach is one of the few spots you can get close and personal with a colony of African penguins. Around 3,000 of the penguins are found roaming around the beach and surrounding area and visitors can even swim with the little critters, though be warn they may bite if provoked.

4. Neighbourgoods Market

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It's often said the best way to understand a place is through its food and there's no better place to do this than Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town. Apart from local eats like South African barbecue, there are vendors offering food from all over Africa and the world offering a number of mouth-watering dishes. The market is only open on Saturdays however from the morning till late afternoon, so make sure it's open before you head down there.

5. Two Oceans Aquarium

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The Two Oceans Aquarium was opened in 1995 on the Victoria and Alfred's seafront in Cape Town. The basin has seven galleries with large display windows, and its special charm comes from its strategic location at the confluence of the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the fairgrounds, there is a children's play center which offers various activities and an opportunity to get close to marine life.

6. Robben Island

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Robben Island is most famously known as the prison island where a number of political prisoners including Nelson Mandela were held, who spent 18 years imprisoned there. Apart from exploring the famous prison buildings, the flat, oval-shaped island is also home to a number of different wildlife such as penguins and seals. The island is a short ferry ride from the mainland and gives views over the coast and of the iconic Table Mountain.

7. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are a beautifully well-maintained stretch of greenery containing a wide variety of plants from numerous different regions and environments. The gardens are arranged into different section based on their attributes such as the fragrance garden with lovely-smelling flora and a garden preserving 1,500 different endangered plants from around South Africa.

8. The Cape of Good Hope

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The Cape of Good Hope and the nearby Cape Point are some of the best spots in Cape Town for watching whales and other wildlife common to the area. Long thought to have been the most southern point on the continent of Africa, nowadays it's clearly known that point is actually Cape Agulhas, further down the coast. The cape has a huge significance in maritime history as ships would often pass by en route to the Far East and Australia before the Suez Canal was completed.

Conclusion

No trip to the country is complete without a visit to South Africa's favorite city. Cape Town offers some breathtaking, out-of-this-world scenery you won't find anywhere else on earth. For the more adventurous of travelers, a little further down the coast you'll find Gansbaai, often referred to as the great white shark capital of the world. Here you can enter an underwater cage to come face-to-face with this monstrous predator.

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