Closer to South Africa – Cape Town

Cape Town – this is where the second stage of round-the-world single-handed yacht race VELUX 5 OCEANS began.

Cape Town (Afrikaans Kaapstad) – the capital city of South Africa and the biggest city in the country, with an estimated population of 3.6 million.


Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, was founded in 1652 by Dutch East India Company as a supply station for its ships on their way to dominions in Asia. It was chosen because of its bay location, which made Cape Town a safe harbour, sheltered from strong winds. The first Europeans settled in Cape Town on 6 April 1652.

Location and tourist attractions

The location of Cape Town itself makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Stretching in the shape of an amphitheatre along the Atlantic, its districts are protected by the range of the Table Mountain from cold blasts of Antarctic wind. It is the mountain that is the most important point on the tourist itinerary. There is a winding road leading to the foot of Table Mountain, from which you can admire fabulous views of the city, Table Bay and the ocean. You can reach the peak by cable car with its cars rotating around their axis, ensuring a panoramic view of the city and the approaching Table Mountain.

Visitors to Cape Town invariably direct their steps towards the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – the old docklands – its old buildings now house cafes and restaurants. There is also a modern shopping, dining and entertainment centre built on the site of the old docks. Not only can you buy anything you like here – from milk to cars, but you can also have a nice meal, dance or watch a movie.

Cape Town is an excellent base for day-trips. From here you can easily get to the famous Cape of Good Hope, discovered in 1486 by a Portuguese sailor Bartolomeu Dias during his first voyage to India. The discoverer chose this name in hope that his further journey would end well. In fact the area around the cape is a most difficult sailing spot, implied by its other name – the Cape of Storms.

The Cape of Good Hope is a rock of a few dozen metres surrounded by waters of the Atlantic Ocean on three sides. The information boards read that you are in the most south-western point of the African Continent. In fact, this point, called Cape Point, is situated further southwards. The tourist guide says that from the peak you can see the point where the waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The truth is that the official dividing point between the two oceans is located some distance from here, near the most southward point of Africa – Cape Agulhas.


1.    A geographical web portal:
2.    City of Cape Town. Municipal Demarcation Board
3.    Community Survey. Basic Results Municipalities. Statistics South Africa