One of the top tourist destinations worldwide, Cape Town is the gateway to Africa for many visitors to the continent. The city is a cosmopolitan mix of European, African and Asian cultures with a first class banking and financial sector, a magnificent array of restaurants and entertainment venues able to compete with the finest in the world, beautiful beaches, wine routes and mountain scenery. Give yourself at least a week to explore it all.
Accommodation in the city varies from 5-star hotels, bed and breakfasts, guest houses, self-catering vacation rentals and backpackers’ lodges.
Some of the recommended outdoor parks to visit in Cape Town include:
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is world renowned for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch has a gift shop, a bookshop as well as Coffee Shop for refreshments.
Botanical gardens are living museums. They contain collections of plants which are used for display, scientific research and education, and play a vital role in the conservation of plant biodiversity.
Kirstenbosch is the largest of a country-wide network of eight botanical gardens administered by the National Botanical Institute. The National Botanical Institute, with its head office at Kirstenbosch, also maintains plant reference collections at three national herbaria, and is actively involved in research and environmental education.
Kirstenbosch – flagship of National Botanical Institute – was established in 1913 to conserve and promote the indigenous flora of southern Africa. Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world.
Situated on eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the estate covering 528 hectares includes a cultivated Garden and a nature reserve. The developed Garden (36 hectares) displays collections of southern African plants including many rare and endangered species. Theme gardens include the Fynbos Garden, Braille Trail and Fragrance Garden, Useful Plants Garden and a Water wise Demonstration Garden. There is a fine restaurant situated in the Garden.
Kirstenbosch also houses the headquarters of the National Botanical Institute, the Gold Fields Environmental Education Centre, the Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Compton Herbarium and Harry Molteno Library.
Hours: The Garden is open every day of the year from 8 am to 6 pm (April to August) and 8 am to 7 pm (September to March). The Conservatory is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Situated in the 7750-hectare Cape Peninsula Park, on the most South-westerly point of Africa, this breath-taking scenic outlook is a bird watcher’s paradise with at least 250 species of birds found here. There is approx. 1100 indigenous fynbos species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world. At 249 m above sea level, Cape Point is one of the highest sea cliffs in the world offering numerous scenic walks and trails as well as excellent diving and angling spots. Overlooking the point where the cold Benguela current on the West coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East coast seem to merge, you are invited to breathe the freshest air in the world and marvel at Creation!
Cape Peninsula National Park
Visitors to the National Park can hope to see Cape Mountain Zebra, baboons, a variety of buck and ostrich, as well as many sea birds. The trip up to the promontory of Cape Point, by funicular of foot, leads to a stunning prospect over the False Bay coast and back towards Cape Town. The park has several seaside picnic spots and offers boating and other leisure. Sportive tourists can arrange to cycle in the park. Cape Point has a restaurant and shop.