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1st April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
The Republic of South Africa

Cape Town and Table Mountain

Best time to go: In the west, between September and December and in the east, between March and June. It is prettiest just after the wet season and is more temperate

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Craig Doyle
Cape Town and Table Mountain were in at number 5 of your top 50 places to see before you die.

Reputed to be South Africa�s most beautiful and most visited city, you will find Cape Town nestling below Table Mountain, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean.

Even though Cape Town is relatively small, there is plenty to see and do. The architecture is a mix of Dutch and English colonial styles, and attractions include the Castle of Good Hope, built in the 17th Century and the District Six Museum.

The city is dominated by the majestic Table Mountain backdrop with its dramatic cliffs and impressive gorges.

Wherever you are, you will see the huge flat topped icon rearing high above the buildings, which makes it very difficult to get lost. If you are facing the mountain, you are facing west; if it is to your right, you are facing south; to your left, north and if it is behind you, you are facing east.

The mountain is a haven for wildlife, and indigenous mammals include baboons and porcupines. The north face of the mountain overlooks the city centre. To the west is Lion�s Head and Signal Hill, and Devil�s Peak is to the east, joining the mountain to the Peninsula Mountain chain.

Many ambitious visitors attempt to climb the mountain, but by far the most relaxing route to the top is via the fish bowl shaped cable car, which goes through a 360 degree turn on its way to the top to provide a dizzying panoramic view.

See our other reports from Cape Town.


All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights about £550 return

Approx flight time: 12 hours to Cape Town

  • Table Mountain is more than a kilometre above sea level
  • in the summer months, the clouds resemble a table-cloth on the mountain top
  • there are more than 250 species of daisies found on Table Mountain
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

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Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 2 hours ahead

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required

South Africa High Commission
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Inoculations & health
Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A recommended, Hepatitis B Diphtheria, Rabies and Malaria sometimes recommended

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