Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. Click Things to do in Cape Town to know more.
The city of Cape Town is famous for its harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom. Cape Town is also Africa’s most popular tourist destination. There are some well-known landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point.
Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East.
Cape Town is located at latitude 33.55° S (approx. the same as Sydney and Buenos Aires and equivalent to Casablanca and Los Angeles in the northern hemisphere) and longitude 18.25° E.
Table Mountain, with its near vertical cliffs and flat-topped summit over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) high, and with Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head on either side, together form a dramatic mountainous backdrop enclosing the central area of Cape Town, the so-called City Bowl.
A thin strip of cloud, known colloquially as the “tablecloth”, sometimes forms on top of the mountain. To the immediate south, the Cape Peninsula is a scenic mountainous spine jutting 25 miles (40 kilometres) southwards into the Atlantic Ocean and terminating at Cape Point.
There are over 70 peaks above 1,000 feet (300 m) within Cape Town’s official city limits.
Many of the city’s suburbs lie on the large plain called the Cape Flats, which extends over 30 miles (50 km) to the east and joins the peninsula to the mainland.
The Cape Flats is situated on what is known as a rising marine plain, consisting mostly of sandy geology and confirming that at one point Table Mountain was itself an island.
The Cape Town region generally, with its Mediterranean climate, extensive coastline, rugged mountain ranges, coastal plains, inland valleys and semi-desert fringes, has much in common with Southern California.