Why go to Cape Town?
Cape Town is one of Africa's most exciting cities, with a good blend of modern conveniences and historical sights. Visitors with a keen interest in politics can visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, or take in a tour at the South Africa Parliament buildings. The city also has many thriving museums and galleries, including several devoted to local artists and exhibits. The South African National Gallery is particularly impressive.
An extremely popular attraction is Table Mountain, which overlooks the city. Cable cars run daily, though tourists are advised to prepare for much colder conditions at the top. It is also possible to undertake a more strenuous walking and climbing route to the summit. Water sports are extremely popular, with visitors trying kite surfing, swimming or surfing on Cape Town's many beaches - Langebaan lagoon is a particular favourite for its shallow waters and gentle winds. Deep sea fishing and diving is also extremely popular, while adrenaline seekers can even try shark cage diving!
South Africa is famed for its wine, and Cape Town is blessed with many fine vineyards and wineries. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek boast dozens of vineyards open to the public, and many organised tours provide access to the best in the area. The city also boasts impressive shopping centres and malls, home to many of the world's leading department stores.
How far is the airport from the city centre and which major airlines fly to Cape Town from UK?
Cape Town International Airport is among the busiest in Africa and is located around 20 km southeast from the city centre. It is well served from the UK by operators such as British airways and Virgin Atlantic, which have direct flights, plus many others including Emirates, KLM, and South African Airways. Flights are available from various UK airports, including Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham and Glasgow.
How to get to city centre from the airport?
Getting into Cape Town from the airport is very easy. You can hire a car at the terminal and take the N2 freeway, or use the MyCiTi bus service, which offers a shuttle service every 20 minutes throughout the day. Taxis and other bus companies also operate in the area.
What are the visa requirements for UK and non-EU nationals?
Citizens of many countries, including the UK, are exempt from visa requirement for visits of up to 90 days - tourists seeking a longer stay must apply for a visa according to the guidelines for their country as set out by the South African Immigration Service.
How to get around Cape Town?
A popular way to travel around Cape Town and its surroundings is by car; however be advised that travelling at night can be more hazardous due to the possibility of car-jackings so keep doors locked. Roads are generally in excellent condition, however, and well-signposted. MetroRail operates train services in and around the region, a quick and relatively cheap way to get about. Taxis are also a safe and reliable form of transport.
When is the best time to visit Cape Town?
The climate in South Africa is pleasant all year round, with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C at most times during the day, with night frosts extremely rare. High season is December to February, which sees stable, warm temperatures and long daylight hours. From March onwards the weather cools, but it's possible to make good savings on travel and accommodation out of peak times.