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Wake up to steaming cappuccinos and close-up views of Table Mountain, experienced from the intimate comfort of a guesthouse in the cosmopolitan city bowl. Or fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the Atlantic shoreline, beneath cool cotton sheets, in a luxury seafront hotel. The choice is yours.
A myriad welcoming places await you on your arrival in Cape Town - to suit all your accommodation needs or preferences, or, simply, your heart's desires. Hotels abound, from large, well-known international names, situated in the heart of the city, to more exclusive, personalised establishments hidden far from the madding crowd. The city's growth into one of the world's most popular destinations has given birth to a culture of hospitality and service, sensed in both esteemed Five Star favourites and in smaller bed & breakfasts.
Your budget won't be a limitation, because the city offers a range of choices to please both soul and pocket. Cape Town has also gained a glowing reputation for backpacker accommodation and services, offering dozens of comfortable, but affordable, self-catering or fully-catered youth hostels.
You can also choose the convenience of renting "a place of your own" during your stay in Cape Town. The city's many holiday accommodation specialists - for short or long term rentals - have a comprehensive range of homes on their books, from family-sized houses to stylish city lofts and modern, sea-facing apartments.
Whatever you decide, you'll need to remember to book ahead. Cape Town is at its fullest (and hottest!) over the glorious, peak summer months of December and January, when most of the city's residents and visitors have kicked off their sandals and let their hair down in true holiday spirit.
So you didn't come all the way to Cape Town to sit in a traffic jam on the way to Cliflon or mill about the Waterfront? Not every day, in any case. Here's a quick A-Z of Cape Town adventures. Contact an Adventure Sports specialist or go direct if you can.
Hire a Dune buggy or 4X4, Explore. You can Ice-skate, Jump from a plane - singly or in tandem, Kayak or Kite-fly, flirt with a Life-saver, Mountain climb or bike, seize the Night, ride an Ostrich, Para-glide from Lion's Head to Camps Bay, Pick fruit on a fruit farm, Queue for a cue at a pool bar or go search for the re-bred Quaggas, Rollercoast at Ratanga Junction, go Rafting or canoeing on white-water winter rivers, Surfing or Spear-Fishing, Tablemountaining, go Up Up and Away in a balloon trip over the winelands, Dive with sharks at the V&A; Two Oceans Aquarium or out in False Bay, Wind-surf, do X-rated Cape Town (see the smalls pages of the newspaper if your imagination fails you), Yacht, go cycle after Zebras in the Cape Point Reserve. And that will bring us back to do.
As a major holiday destination Cape Town International airport is serviced by many of the major international and all the domestic airlines.
City of poets and poetry, and home to artists and performers of every description, Cape Town is indeed the erudite heart of South Africa. It's also a city warmly receiving those who seek to be inspired by her artistic wealth, offering a diverse range of these genres to be experienced and savoured - in historic or exhiliratingly modern galleries, open-air amphitheatres, concert halls and cinemas.
Occasions of note include an evening of world-class ballet or opera at the Nico Malan Theatre Complex, or listening to the best of South Africa's jazz artists performing live while basking on the sunny lawns of the Company Gardens.
Cape Town, her fascinating history spanning back to the mid-17th century, offers a myriad museums and places of cultural interest to visit, scattered across the Peninsula. From tours of the townships, a ferry trip to Robben Island and a wander through the District Six Museum, to a sojourn around the Castle of Good Hope or the Cultural History Museum.
Typically, such a tour will take in the Bo-Kaap or Malay Quarter and its Museum, District Six and the District Six Museum, Langa, Gugulethu and Khayehitsha. There are several general guided walking tours of historical Cape Town. Contact Cape Town Tourism for details.
A city caught between two oceans - Indian and Atlantic - it almost goes without saying that Cape Town can and should indeed be experienced by boat.
Your visit to Cape Town won't be complete without having seen the vibrant city, diminished against the imposing backdrop of Table Mountain, lit up on summer nights, still throbbing (in time to the flickering lights) with the pulse of its many cultures.
Table Mountain has long been considered as one of the most powerful energy points on the planet, attracting spiritual seekers from around the globe who yearn to experience the ancient heart-beat of Africa. Once the hunting grounds of the Khoi San Bushmen, in centuries past when wild lion still roamed the slopes of Table Mountain, Cape Town is today regarded as the spiritual centre of the new South Africa. The Mother City hosted the Parliament of World Religeons in December last year, as well as the Festival of Spiritual Music initiated by the Dalai Lama.
One thing you can be certain of is that there is always something happening in Cape Town for those who wish to experience the metaphysical, healing and spiritual aspect of the city. If you’re feeling stressed out and in need of some nurturing, why not spend the day at one of our excellent healing centres or day spas. Or take a relaxing drive out of the city to bask in the luxurious waters of natural hot mineral springs. For the more adventurous, consider walking the labyrinth in Barrydale, and then taking in the renowned healing waters and tranquility of nearby Warmwaterberg.
If you’re experiencing health problems, we have a wide variety of conventional medical and alternative practitioners, offering world-class service for between R100 and R200 per hour. For fresh, whole, organically grown food, there are several restaurants and health shops where you can take in some healthy fare and network with like-minded people at the same time.
Celebrate the full moon with hundreds of Capetonians each month by joining the full moon meditation at the Novalis Institute or climbing up Devil’s Peak to take in one of the world’s most beautiful views. If you need to spend some quiet time, head for one of the beautiful medicine wheels built by the Hopi peace emissary, Roy Littlesun, in District Six, Stellenbosch, or on Robben Island.
The Tour starts with a visit to the Townships where you will encounter inspiring examples of how impoverished men, women and youth are building their own houses, growing their own food and developing skills to turn waste material into contemporary arts and crafts. You''ll be able to support emerging entrepreneurs through buying locally made goods and enjoying the multi-cultural cuisine of the area.
You will also learn how partnerships between buisness, government and communities are helping to protect the rich biodiversity of Cape Town. We take you to a threatened wetland - the only home of a rare indigenous plant - that has been transformed into a vibrant community nature reserve, a green jewel within a blighted urban environment.
Finally, you will see showcase environmental projects that demonstrate how technology and grassroots approaches have combined to provide people with a cleaner and healthier living environment. You will observe how partnerships in the Cape Peninsula National Park, an imminent World Heritage Site, have cleared alien vegetation in order to reduce water consumption and promote indigenous growth. You will also experience what upmarket tourist facilities are doing to reduce their consumption of resources and what they are doing to work with the poor communities in their midst.
There are many reasons why Cape Town is the ideal destination for a conference or convention - of any magnitude or description. There's an impressive range of venues from which to choose, whether large or more intimite, situated in the serenity of the winelands, the convenience of the V&A; Waterfront or the hub of the city itself. Cape Town's year-round temperate weather only adds to the attraction - the city has, in recent years, built itself into a very able, well-equipped and standards-oriented conferencing centre, playing host to a number of prestigious, high-profile international groups.
The city's leading hotels are all equipped with state of the art conference facilities, accommodating both smaller and large groups. Over 30 hotels in the Peninsula, ranging from three- to five-star, offer well over five thousand rooms, in addition to which there are dozens of guesthouses and country lodges specialising in conference guest accommodation and services.
Transport to and from venues in Cape Town is readily available: efficient, dependable tour and coach operators provide outstanding service, while Cape Town International Airport is a mere 15-20 minutes' drive away from the city centre.
Professional conference organisers, dedicated service providers and excellent facilities - as well as great entertainment and other amenities - mean that Cape Town is, indeed, an ideal venue! What's more, the Cape Town International Convention Centre - being built on the Foreshore - is expected to be completed in 2003. This will complete the city's ability to host world-class conferences and conventions on a large scale.
The Cape Town Convention Bureau (CTCB) promotes Cape Town and the Western Cape as a top international destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. It provides information for meeting planners and buyers on all aspects of business events in and around Cape Town. The Convention Bureau also assists local and national associations and organizations with bids to host conventions in the city. The Bureau can also advise you on the variety of venues available and provide you with a list of professional conference organizers, destination management companies, exhibition organizers and other service providers.