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Tourism in Cape Town, South Africa

With its good weather, picturesque scenery, friendly atmosphere and amazing beaches, Cape Town is an incredibly popular tourist destination for both local and foreign visitors alike. In fact, Cape Town is touted by some as the most popular tourism destination in Africa.



Tourism in Cape Town is a regular business however there is a sharp decline in visitor numbers in winter months. So much so that major airlines reduce the number of flights for the winter period. If the weather isn’t a major concern, then visiting in winter is attractive as the prices are considerably lower.


Tourism statistics for Cape Town

Statistics are at times hard to track for an individual city as there is no way to estimate the number of visitors entering through all the various transportation mediums.

That said, the number of visitors to tourism information centers are tracked and this allows some degree of statistical analysis. As of quarter 2 (April to June) 2012, tourist numbers to the greater Cape Town area were:

  • 119,713 people made use of the tourism help centers.
  • 70.8% percent of the above mentioned were overseas visitors and were specifically visiting Cape Town.

Tourist hotspots for Cape Town

The types of tourist spots are quite varied and there is definitely something to cater for everyone’s taste. The majority of the attractions are well known, but there are some that are off the beaten track and well worth exploring. Major tourist attractions include:

  • The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
  • Table Mountain
  • Robben Island
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • Stellenbosch and surrounding wine route
  • Clifton beach

Some of the lesser known attractions include:

  • The Bo-Kaap
  • The Cape Town Castle
  • Boulders Beach

Tourism activities

With a wide variety of activities ranging from the sedate to the adrenalin fuelled, Cape Town is guaranteed to offer something to get you excited. For the more adventurous, there are activities such as:


There are a number of hiking trails in and around Table Mountain and the surrounding mountains.

  • Difficulty levels range from easy to medium.
  • Some tourist companies even offering a small amount of rock climbing.


Various types of surfing are on offer (in addition to normal surfing), including kite surfing and wind surfing.

Helicopter rides

Boat trips

Around Table Bay harbor and surrounds are available from the V&A Waterfront and can include normal sightseeing or even some deep water fishing.

Shark cage diving

While not strictly based in Cape Town, the majority of tour operators will collect you from Cape Town and bring you back should you use their services.

For those seeking a bit less adventure, there are also a number of attractions such as:

The Cape Town museum and Planetarium

Sun downers on the beach

Sunbathing on one of the many beaches.

If you want to go for a swim, be warned that the Atlantic Ocean is quite cold while the Indian Ocean is comparably warmer.

Dining and shopping at the V&A Waterfront

Wine tasting

Cape Town has a number of wine routes to choose from.

Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island.

Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens

Worth noting is that sometimes there are concerts in the gardens and this is a great picnic event.


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This entry was posted on April 4, 2014 by in Cape Town and tagged , , , , .
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