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Cape Town is a cultural gem and the cosmopolitan capital of South Africa. More relaxed than the populous Johannesburg, the city is beloved for its incredible scenery and panoramic views. Table Mountain hugs the city's rim while the surrounding sandy beaches, wine lands and scenic countryside all add to Cape Town's possibilities. With such beautiful surrounds, outdoor activities are incredibly popular. In summer Cape Town's beaches come alive while in winter, locals head to the mountains to trek and enjoy the cold.

Cape Town: Camps BayCamps Bay

Cape Town's history is as diverse as its landscape. Originally the area was inhabited by ancestors of the Kalahari Bushmen. A European colony first settled in the area in 1652 and later went on to be occupied by the French and then the English in 1806. In 1946 South Africa established apartheid, resulting in the segregation of races throughout the country, including Cape Town. As a result of apartheid, South Africa was withdrawn from the Commonwealth. This period ended in 1990 after Nelson Mandela was released from jail and made his first public speech from the balcony of Cape Town City Hall. In 1994 the country was re-established as part of the Commonwealth and tourism boomed as a result. With such a distinct history, Cape Town's museums are incredibly interesting, particularly those surrounding the history of apartheid and Nelson Mandela.

Cape Town: City HallCity Hall

Today Cape Town is home to a colourful community spanning a wide range of ethnicities. Its cultural melting pot can easily be seen at the city's numerous open-air markets. Loud, colourful and uniquely creative, Cape Town markets, such as the Greenmarket Square Flea Market, are a great place to mingle with locals and get an idea for life in Cape Town.

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