Cape Town is one of the most visited places in South Africa for good reason. Tourists come to enjoy its scenic landscapes and beautiful beaches while learning more about this port city. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Cape Town that can help you plan your trip to this popular travel destination in South Africa.
Historical Facts About Cape Town
As the oldest city in South Africa, there are many stories and history Cape Town is known for.
It Has Many Blue Flag Beaches
The Blue Flag status is an award that is given to the most eco-friendly beaches in the world. It signifies that the beach has high-quality water and safe facilities for visitors.
Cape Town has more than eight beaches with this label. These include Camps Bay Beach, Clifton 4th Beach, Fish Hoek Beach, and more. Swimming in these waters will cause no harm to your sensitive skin.
This is why beaches in Cape Town are well-developed and attract thousands of visitors every year.
South Africa’s First Successful Human Heart Transplant Happened In Cape Town
One of the interesting facts about Cape Town is that it is home to Groote Schuur Hospital. The first successful heart transplant in Africa occurred at this institute in 1967. Christiaan Barnard was the leading surgeon of this operation.
The first patient only survived for 18 days, but the surgery paved the way for other successful operations. This event was also one of the most publicized cardiovascular events in South Africa.
Cape Town Is South Africa’s Legislative Capital
Many people with information on Cape Town know that it is one of the three capitals of South Africa. The other two are Pretoria and Bloemfontein. Cape Town is mainly the legislative capital because it is home to the nation’s Parliament.
The history of this city and its position in politics also makes it more important than other capitals. Pretoria and Bloemfontein mainly serve as administrative and judicial capitals, respectively.
The Only Nuclear Power Plant In South Africa Is Here
Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is the only nuclear plant in the entire African continent. It is situated towards the north side of Cape Town. Two reactors at this site account for 5% of South Africa’s electricity.
The plant has been operating since 1984 to offer power to South Africa. Many parts of Cape Town face blackouts when the Koeberg experiences a shutdown.
The First Wine In This Area Was Produced In 1659
Cape Winelands date back to the ancient era of Dutch settlers in South Africa. Many wines have been produced through vineyards in this area. The best thing is that this makes the wine industry of South Africa the oldest after the European industry.
One of the world’s longest wine routes is also present in Cape Town. Route 62 is 850 kilometers long and starts right outside the city. There is a reason why a Cape Winelands Wine Tour is one of the most popular things to do when traveling in Cape Town.
Cultural Facts About Cape Town
The bustling city beautifully highlights the true South African culture. Let’s look at some cultural facts about Cape Town.
Cape Town Has Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
You may have heard that many South African landmarks are present in its legislative capital. This is true in part thanks to how big the city is. In fact, Cape Town has several UNESCO Sites.
Robben Island is one of the oldest heritage sites in this city. Cape Floral Region was also inscribed on the UNESCO list in 2004. It contains eight protected areas that contribute to the city’s beauty.
You can use the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus to get around some of the major highlights and attractions.
It Has The Largest LGBTQ+ Community In South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities. There are many accommodations for these communities in Cape Town. The place also earns a lot through LGBT tourism.
An interesting Cape Town fact is that many also call this city the gay capital of Africa. The Cape Town Pride Festival which happens between February and March attracts thousands of visitors to South Africa.
Gatsby Is A Dish Unique To Cape Town
South African food includes many dishes such as game meat and bobotie. However, one item mainly originated in Cape Town during the mid-20th century. Gatsby is a sandwich that is filled with meat and multiple sauces.
They are mainly found in small shops in Cape Town instead of famous restaurants. The portion size is usually highly filling, and great for two people to split.
If you want to uncover more of the local food gems in Cape Town, be sure to hop on a food tour and go savor some treats with other foodies!
Cape Town Is Famous As South Africa’s Mother City
Cape Town, with its rich cultural history, is called South Africa’s Mother because many people believe that civilization rose from here. This city was formally created in 1652, making it ancient.
Some claim that Cape Town is the true metropolis, or capital city, of the world.
It Played Host To FIFA World Cup Games
South Africa is known for being the first African country to host the FIFA World Cup. This international sporting event, which happens only once every 4 years, attracts fans from all over. The organization chooses a different country for every series, and South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The matches were held in nine cities of the country, including Cape Town. Spain’s game against Portugal was held in this legislative capital on 29th June 2010.
Simple Facts About Cape Town For Kids
Two Oceans Do Not Meet At Cape Point
One of the interesting facts about Cape Town is that it served as a halfway point for ships in past eras. This is why many tourists are misinformed that the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean at Cape Point.
The place where these oceans meet is actually Cape Agulhas. You will also encounter a marker in this region that indicates the dividing line between the two vast oceans.
One of the most YOLO things you can do here is to hop on an incredibly scenic helicopter ride to check out the Two Oceans and surrounding landmarks.
The Population Of Young People In This City Is High
More than 22 million people in South Africa belong to the age group of 0 to 19. Most of these young individuals are in Cape Town. The average age within this city is 29 years.
Many people call it one of the youngest cities in the world. The best thing about the large youth population is that there are more activities for teenagers and young adults.
More Than 7,000 Plant Species Are Present In Cape Town
The floral kingdom of Cape Town includes thousands of endemic species. This means that these plant varieties are only available in this city and not elsewhere. It’s one of the impressive facts about Cape Town and its surrounding nature.
You can view these species in various places, such as the Table Mountain National Park. They can be reached by cableways, bicycles, and other vehicles.
You can also take a highlights day tour for an insightful and convenient way to explore the diverse flora and fauna (read penguins!) around Table Mountains, Cape Point.
Lion’s Head Forms The Backdrop Of Cape Town
You will no doubt hear about the Lion’s Head in many Cape Tow guides. The site is an iconic landmark that will allow you to see the city from a unique view. It’s located within Table Mountain National Park, making it more popular for visitors.
Useful Cape Town Facts For Travelers
Victoria And Alfred Waterfront Is A Famous Entertainment District
One of the fun facts about Cape Town is that it has an excellent district with gift stores, fashion stores, museums, and cafes. The waterfront is one of the most popular sites in the city, welcoming more than 23 million visitors every year.
It has many rides and a playground for families with kids. You can also take boats to nearby islands from this district.
African Penguins Have The Highest Population In This City
African penguins are seen in many places in this city and attract animal lovers from all over. You can take aesthetic pictures around the penguins for memories.
However, they have become endangered due to their decreasing population. You should avoid causing distress to these Cape penguins while observing them. Boulders Beach is one of the top places in Cape Town where you can see these flightless birds.
South Africa’s Oldest Building Is In Cape Town
The Good Hope Castle was a fort in the early history of South Africa. It is now one of the most famous landmarks in Cape Town due to its rich history. The building has been standing since the 17th century.
You can visit it to learn more about the old architecture of Cape Town. The fort serves as a museum to help history and art lovers enjoy a good time in this South African city.
Table Mountain Is A Famous Landmark In This City
Table Mountain is a famous attraction for tourists because of its many offerings. You can visit its national park to see rich floral species and a unique view of Cape Town. The best way to reach the place is through cableway rides.
You can also hike to the top of the mountain. This activity is suitable for solo travelers or those who want to get an adrenaline rush in Cape Town.
A Cycle Tour Is One Of The Biggest Events In Cape Town
The world’s biggest timed bike race is the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which happens once every year. Its route is usually 109 kilometers long and offers an exciting experience to tourists. You can socialize with the locals through this tour.
It will also help you explore different places in Cape Town without needing an itinerary. Remember, 35,000 people participate in this race every year. The course may be a bit challenging for first-time participants.
Common Facts About Cape Town
Here are some common facts about South Africa and its capital city.
World’s Largest African Art Museum Is In Cape Town
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a spacious museum built in 2017. It attracts at least 24 million visitors every year.
The museum hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year. It also has a permanent collection, retail shop, coffee shop, and restaurant for tourists.
You will no doubt also learn many interesting facts about Cape Town through the various African museums on offer.
It Is Also Called The Tavern Of The Seas
Cape Town is surrounded by many beaches with a clean environment for locals and tourists. It is often called the “Tavern of the Seas” because of its position. Though the two oceans don’t actually meet here like people often think, the city has a long history of being a port for sailors and travelers of all kinds.
Many International Wine Varieties Are Grown In Cape Town
One of the best Cape Town facts is that it has a well-developed wine industry. International varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are mainly grown here. The city also has other indigenous options for wine lovers, such as Pinotage.
If you want to dive deep into the scene, take a private wine tour with an expert in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine regions.
English And Afrikaans Are The Most Common Languages Of This City
Many languages are spoken in Cape Town because of its diverse heritage. More than 35% of people speak Afrikaans here, while 28.4% of people speak English. Another prominent language of this city is Xhosa.
Other Interesting Facts About Cape Town
One Of The Greatest Botanical Gardens Of The World Is In This City
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens was founded in 1913 to preserve various plant species in South Africa. It is one of the ten national botanical gardens in the country. Five out of six biomes of South Africa are also covered by this site.
The Island Where Nelson Mandela Was Imprisoned Is Near Cape Town
Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first democratically elected President. He was awarded a 27-year life imprisonment sentence. Mandela spent 18 of these years at Robben Island in Cape Town.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AFRICA
Discovering More Fun Facts About Cape Town
These are some of the top facts about Cape Town but there is still so much more to see and experience.
Take a cable car up the iconic Table Mountain and marvel at the panoramic views that stretch out before you. Embark on a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak with its dramatic coastal cliffs. Explore the bustling markets of Greenmarket Square, where local artisans display their crafts and treasures.
Cape Town is a city that invites you to peel back its layers, to immerse yourself in its vibrant energy and its warm, welcoming people. Every street corner holds a new discovery, every interaction a chance to forge a lasting connection.