South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town, is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions of the world and is known for its rich, multicultural heritage. Table Mountain stands proudly, watching over the city and is flanked by the legendary Devil’s Peak and historical Signal Hill.
Beautiful sandy beaches lie along the picturesque coastline. The Cape Peninsula is famed for its diverse fauna and flora, bountiful rivers and magnificent countryside.
Cape Town is regarded as a highly cosmopolitan city, known for being relaxed and friendly to all visitors and boasts a thriving tourist industry, excellent infrastructure, shopping malls, restaurants, theatres and museums.
The winter months (June to August) provide Cape Town with weather conditions that are generally wet and cold. Temperatures generally range from 2 – 20° C and the ‘Capetonians’ experience short days with late sunrises and early sunsets.
The summer season runs from October to March but sometimes it extends into a warm April as autumn approaches. The Cape summer evenings are long and pleasant, ideal for the traditional South African braai (barbeque) or pastimes such as sport and entertainment.
History Of Cape Town
The earliest known surviving trace that was found in the region was found at Peers cave in Fish Hoek and date to between 15 000 and 12 000 years ago. Little is known of the history of the region’s first residents because there is no written history from the area before it was first documented by Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, in 1486.
The area did not have regular contact with Europeans until 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company were sent to the Cape. Van Riebeeck became the first governor and acquired the Bishopscourt Estate in 1658 and established the first vineyard in South Africa.
The discovery of diamonds in 1867 at the confluence of the Gariep and Vaal Rivers catapulted Cape Town’s importance. In 1880 Cecil Rhodes acquired the monopoly over the Kimberley diamond mines and then went on to develop the De Beers diamond empire. In 1886, gold were discovered on the Witwatersand which further strengthened South Africa’s importance.
In 1910 the Union of South Africa came into being and the parliament was located in Cape Town. In 1918 the Afrikaners formed the National Party as a counter movement and became very powerful in developing hard line Afrikaner nationalism and the formation of apartheid.
Cape Town, as well as the whole of South Africa, struggled through Apartheid, which enforced segregation between white and non-white citizens. In 1994, South Africa became a democratic country.