Cape Town in One Second
- Cape Town is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to its location with the Table Mountains in the center and the surrounding two oceans.
- It is a city that got it all. Diverse food, history, sports opportunities, cultural discoveries, natural beauty, and much more.
- The city also has a unique mood and vibe that you will only understand once there.
5 things to know about Cape Town
Since I was a child I wanted to go to Africa. It was the continent that for some reason inspired and interested me the most. When I then had to decide where I will do my master’s studies I decided to remain at my old university Viadrina. This was for a simple reason, it was one of a few that had partner universities in Africa. Luckily, later on, I managed to convince the international office of our university that I would be the most passionate student to send to South Africa. Shortly after, in January 2017, I found myself in the most scenic city I have ever seen.
Cape Town is situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa and is the home of around 4 million people. Early remnants can be found from 15 000 years ago. However, the city structure and development were heavily influenced by the arrival of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1644. The city was initially planned to only cater as a supply station for ships that were passing by on their travels to East Africa and Asia but quickly outgrow this sole purpose. 300 years later, Cape Town found itself in the middle of the apartheid regime where multiracial groups of the city were separated by race and forcibly relocated to the outskirts of the city. Leaving the city center to white people. This historical short recap might not be joyful to read. Nevertheless, this background knowledge is essential and helpful if you should ever have the chance to see this marvelous city.
Before I arrived in Cape Town I barely read about it, because I usually prefer to move to a new country to get my own perspective. Luckily, I had the privilege for 9 months to call this beautiful place my home. This is how I got the luxury to discover the entire city and make up my own mind. If you do not have the time and only visit for a couple of days, this article will tell you why you should go in the first place while sharing 5 things you should know about Cape Town.
A metropolitan city for nature lovers.
Yes, Cape Town is a huge city with a lot of people, but it does not feel this way thanks to the great nature that provides the city with some space. I still can remember that it took me almost a week to get over the beauty of the Table Mountains.
Before moving to Cape Town I lived in numerous cities like Berlin, Sydney, Istanbul, or Reykjavik. But I had never had such an impressive scenic view as in Cape Town. Right next to them, you will find Lions Head a little pointy mountain that splits the city again.
The city is also surrounded by two oceans: the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean, which provide plenty of beaches to visit. Last but not least, there is also the Table Mountain National Park with the Cape of Good Hope and loads of flora and fauna to discover.
Sunshine every day, but still seasonality.
While I was living in Cape Town, the city became sadly famous due to the lack of rain. This resulted in a severe water crisis for the entire city. Today the situation seems to brighten up a little due to a good winter with some rain.
The fact that the city is experiencing this situation in the first place proves what sunny weather you can expect. In Cape Town, the weather was so consistent I never checked the weather forecast. A habit that is quite common in Europe.
Still, the city experiences some seasonality with some colder periods or heavy wind, which keep the climate interesting.
Consequently, one of the things to know about Cape Town is that you should be careful not to waste water there. It is precious. As most of the countries with this kind of climate, they are among the first ones to experience the consequences of climate change.
The most sportive city in Africa.
After living in Australia and experiencing the lifestyle of people that are surrounded by the ocean, I came up with a hypothesis. If people are constantly able to go to beaches they are more likely to take care of themselves and become addicted to sports. The same feeling I had in Cape Town.
Locals in Cape Town love to do sports and the city provides the perfect playground for them. The Table Mountains are perfect for a hike. The two oceans provide some of the best surf spots in the world and the Chapman’s Peak Drive is arguably one of the most scenic routes to run or do some cycling.
Here is an article about the outdoor activities you can practice in the capital of sports in Africa.
A vibrant place with an infamous history.
As I tried to explain earlier the city has an infamous past that still influences the present.
Yet, the city tries to be transparent about these dark chapters and gives its visitors the chance to explore places like Robben Island, a prison where Nelson Mandela spent numerous years in captivity (on the left a picture of his cell).
Museums like the Slave Lodge or the District Six Museum also present the perfect opportunity to educate oneself about these dark chapters in human history.
Delicious cuisine from street food to high class.
After a topic that is hard to digest I wanted to finish with a subject that unites all people in the world, good food.
The South African city is not only one of the best food cities on the African continent, but also in the entire world. From local braais (South African BBQs) in townships to numerous food markets to luxurious course dinner in a vineyard, Cape Town can provide the entire price range.
The ingredients are fresh and the multicultural background of the city created a mixture of different flavors.
The city is definitely a vibrant, melting pot of mixed feelings but for me, it is the most beautiful city in the world. And I honestly believe that everyone should visit this place once in a lifetime.
I would like to get your feedback. Were you ever in Cape Town? Do you have a different opinion? Or did you enjoy reading this article? Then please let me know, I would love to get your feedback.