Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city at the southern tip of the African continent
The city is small by world standards, being confined as it is between mountain and sea, but the wider metropolitan area is enormous with a journey from Simonstown in the south to Table View in the north involving a journey of almost 100 kilometres, (60miles).
The city is dominated by the towering bulk of Table Mountain which rises over 1000 metres out of the Atlantic Ocean and is visible from over 200 km out to sea on a clear day. There are numerous hiking trails to its 1087 metre summit, or a cable car whisks the less energetic to the top where the restaurant offers dinning to one of the most spectacular views to be found anywhere.
Cape Town used to be very much a port city but over the years highways, container terminals and oil storage tanks separated the city from the sea.
The V&A Waterfront development has reunited the citizens of the city with their maritime heritage. It has been a huge success with restaurants, shopping centres, hotels, offices, an aquarium and residential developments having transformed the once bleak landscape into a popular tourist destination.
Cape Town is a city with something for everyone, with a vibrant night life and plenty of daytime activities visitors will never be bored. The bustling city centre with the historic castle and cobbled markets are a popular destination.
The National Botanic Gardens at Kirstenbosch on the lower slope of Table Mountain cover 560 hectares and around 9000 of the 21 000 southern African flowering plants are cultivated there.
The gardens also have a picturesque restaurant and tea garden, famous throughout Cape Town for its breakfasts on the covered terrace. The Sunday evening concerts are a pleasant way to spend a warm summer evening, bring a picnic basket and a bottle of your favourite wine.
The Western Cape is synonymous with wine and the area bounded by the eastern mountains are the Cape Winelands. The early French Huguenot settlers brought their passion for wine-making with them and many of the wine estates carry their legacy with names such as L'Ormarins, L'Avenir, La Provence and Mont Rochelle.
The towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are at the centre of this wine growing area. Some world class wines have come out of the valleys and hills of the Cape and the annual Nederberg Wine Sales attract buyers from all over the world.
At the southern end of the peninsula is the historic town of Simonstown which is ideally situated for easy access to Cape Point, a forty minute drive to the wine routes and a spectacular train journey from Cape Town.
Established in 1743 as a port, Simonstown was taken over by the Royal Navy in 1814, under whose control it remained until finally being handed over to the South African Navy in 1957. The Simonstown Museum has displays on the early history of the town, and is open to visitors daily except Sunday.
No visit to this part of the world is complete without visiting the Boulders Beach penguin colony, one of only two mainland breeding colonies in Africa. This must be the only place in the world where bathers and swimmers can share a scenic beach with these intriguing birds.
The northern areas of the city are a vibrant combination of urban sprawl and green belts. The area has in recent years become a playground for locals and visitors alike. Some of the more popular attractions include the huge Canal Walk shopping mall and the nearby Ratanga Junction theme park.
Also in the area are Cape Town's only legal casino, the Grand West Casino in Goodwood and the vibrant Table View sea front entertainment area, which is well served with top class restaurants, pubs and beautiful views of the city and Table Mountain.