You may know that Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa, know that there is great weather, suspect that there is tasty food and be aware that it’s a popular holiday destination. You may even know about the stunning table mountain it or heard about the V&A Waterfront, but here are seven things that you probably didn´t know about the historic city and they may just make you intrigued to find out more…
Its Original Founding
Cape Town was not originally founded by Jan Van Riebeek and the Dutch East India Company in 1651 when they landed to set up and half way port where ships could stop for water and supplies, as many believe. In fact it was first sighted by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in the 15th century when on his way to India, exploring the Sothern extents of Africa.
People from Cape Town call themselves Capetonians and come from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. However they come together in their passion and pride for their city creating a warm and vibrant atmosphere. The community consists of a large Malay community, Dutch descendants, British descendants and native South Africans. This creates an interesting society where Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism are practiced and where more than ten official and non-official languages are spoken, most popular being Afrikaans (based on Dutch), English and Xhosa.
One of the most visited places in Africa
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, set at a heart of Cape Town´s working harbor is the most visited tourist destination in Cape Town and is actually one of the most visited places in the whole of the African continent. Situated at the foot of the Table Mountain, millions descend on the waterfront each year for shopping, great restaurants and breathtaking views.
A great place to learn English
Cape Town, South Africa is probably not one of the destinations that comes to mind for those wishing to perfect their English language skills. The UK, USA and Australia are more well known options. However there are many quality English schools in Cape Town. As English is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa and Cape town´s most widely understood as well as being the primary language of the media, business and government, it is a great place to practice away from the classroom. Also providing the chance to spend a few months, a year or more in one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world.
Cape Town has many wild Cape Baboons that can be seen wandering around at the side of the street. They don´t venture right into the city centre of course, but on the outskirts, families of Baboons can be seen in their natural habitat.
Cape Town is relatively inexpensive and can be enjoyed at a reasonable cost, especially when it comes to food and wine. Extremely high quality meals can be enjoyed at a very low cost. It is possible to find 5 star, 5 course meals for around 40 Euros a head.
The Cape Town area has some distinctive and unique floral and rare bird species protected in vast nature reserves and conservation areas. The most common category of plant found in the Cape Province are called Fynbos, which has some species which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.