Located on the southern edge of Africa and lying at the foot of Table Mountain, the metropolis of Cape Town is certainly one of the world’s most beautiful cities, an exciting combination of Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.
In the park-lined Government Avenue and Queen Victoria Street, there’s a wonderful collection of well-restored Victorian houses and the Anglican St. Georges Cathedral is where Archbishop Desmond Tutu protested against Apartheid.
Part of the historic harbor is the Victoria And Alfred Waterfront. In 1860, Prince Alfred ordered construction of a new harbor basin, followed by the Victoria Basin that contained two watchtowers. Today, the whole of the old port is an internationally-styled entertainment and shopping complex. The two large water tanks in the harbor's Two Ocean Aquarium contain around 3,000 examples of sea life from the Indian and Atlantic oceans. In the adjoining South African Maritime Museum, there are examples of the city’s historic ships, its fishing industry and details on the construction of its outstanding harbor.
Robben Island is situated 11 km off the coast and in the 16th century, the Dutch used it as a prison. During apartheid, political prisoners were incarcerated there. The prison’s most famous inmate, Nelson Mandela, spent 18 years of his 28 year sentence on the island. After the closure of the prison in 1997, the South African government opened both the island and its former prison to the public. Thus the face of Robben Island changed from being a place of terror and suppression to one of pilgrimage, a symbol of resistance and also a major tourist attraction!
The Cape of Good Hope is the southernmost tip of Africa and since 1936, this section of the Cape Peninsula has been a nature reserve.
Cape Town and its environs are completely different to the normal expectations of Africa. No desolate bush land reaching to the horizon and no life-threatening wild animals. But it’s certainly another remarkable and beautiful dimension to South Africa’s magnificent Garden of Eden!