South Africa’s second largest city has a population of over 2 million made up of a highly homogenized African and European cultural mix. The African tribal migrations stopped here and to the early European navigators (15th century), Table Mountain was visible from up to 150km away, beckoning just like a giant sign outside of a tavern. It has been known as “The Fairest Cape”, the “Tavern of the Seas” and the “Cape of Good Hope”. It was also referred to as the “Cape of Storms” by the Portuguese sailors, who battled with the turbulent waters created where two ocean currents meet.
Originally established as a refreshment station for passing ships on the Spice Route to the East, Cape Town is still an important port, is home to the Houses of Parliament, and offers much of historical and geographic interest.
This is the second oldest town in South Africa, founded in 1679, and named after the Dutch governor of the Cape at the time, Simon van der Stel. He also planted many superior cultivars of vine, and the river valleys and slopes round Stellenbosch provide ideal conditions for wine producing, with each valley adding a different characteristic to the wine produced. It is also an academic and cultural centre, with fine examples of historic Cape Dutch architecture to be seen.