17April2014

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About Cape Town

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The City of Cape Town, the tourism capital of South Africa, is the southern most city in Africa and home to about 3.5 million people. Colonised by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, Cape Town has been ruled by the Dutch, French and British over the centuries and is now home to a wonderfully diverse range of people and cultures.

Getting There

Travelling by car, vistors can reach CapeTown either along the N1, typically the route taken by travellers from Johannesburg, or along the N2, the most popular route for visitors coming from Durban. The N1 takes you through Beaufort West and a rather desolute drive through the Karoo,but once you get closer to Cape Town a wonderfully scenic drive awaits you as you pass through Worcester and drive through the Hugenot Tunnel to get into Paarl and ultimately Cape Town.

Visitors travelling along the N2 can enjoy the wonderfully scenic Garden Route, which will take them along the coast through Plettenberg Bay, the beautifull hamlets of Knysna and Wilderness and then through Mosselbay before cutting inland to Swellendam. From Swellendam visitors travel to Somerset West via the scenic Sir Lowry's Pass and then straight into Cape Town.

Travelling by air, visitors fly into the ultra modern Cape Town International Airport. After it's recent upgrade, it is an absolute pleasure of an airport (believe me, I've been in a couple around the world). Although one can take a taxi from the airport to the city centre (a 20 min drive outisde of peak traffic, quite a bit longer in peak traffic) a relatively new alternative is the My Citi bus service, which provides a shuttle service to town every 20min between 5:10am and 9:00pm in the evening. Tickets are a very reasonable R53.

Getting about in Cape Town using public transport is not that great. Although a bus and rail system is available it does not cover the peninusla regularly and extensively and I would recommend hiring a car if you are going to do a lot of sight seeing.