Cape Town (South Africa)
According to ALLPUBLICLIBRARIES, Cape Town was founded in 1652. In 1795, the British began to settle here, which began the colonization of South Africa. The city is located in the southwest of the country on the Cape Peninsula at the foot of Table Mountain. This mountain is the most popular tourist attraction. An ultra-modern cable car stretches to its top, along which you can climb to a height of 1068 m and enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Cape Peninsula.
In Cape Town itself, a favorite vacation spot is the restored Old Port. Here you will find many shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and discos. Among the historical sights stands out the oldest building in South Africa – a castle that was built in 1666 from granite cobblestones to protect local settlements. Also of interest are the Parliament building, in front of which there is a monument to Queen Victoria, the residence of the President of South Africa and the majestic building of the City Hall, the University of Cape Town.
In Cape Town, ancient buildings coexist with modern ones, and Christian churches coexist with synagogues and mosques. The South African Museum of Cultural History is located in a building where slaves used to live, and later the Post Office and the Supreme Court were located. In addition to the historical finds of Cape Town, there are also exhibits from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.. The Cape Town Art Gallery exhibits paintings by artists from around the world. The local Botanical Garden covers an area of 500 hectares, which contains more than 6,000 species of unique plants. Robben prison island is located 12 km from the coast of the city; political prisoners were previously kept here, among whom was Nelson Mandela. Cape Town is also known for its beaches. However, coastal waters are cool enough for swimming, so vacationers usually just sunbathe. The most popular beaches are Camps Bay, Clifton, Llandudno, Bantry Bay, Hout Bay and Blouberg. The best time to relax here is from November to March, and from August to November you can watch frolicking whales on the Cape Town coast.
Durban (South Africa)
Durban is the second largest seaport in South Africa. It is located in the east of the country in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The population of Durban, together with the suburbs, is 2.5 million people.
There are three main national groups in Durban, each with a rich history and tradition. The largest group is formed by the descendants of the powerful Zulu nation of Shaki, who made the city the commercial and industrial center of the region. The second group are the descendants of the British settlers. The third group is formed by the descendants of Indian laborers who arrived here in the 19th century. In addition to these “big three”, people from the Netherlands, Portugal and China. The cosmopolitan spirit of the city is most clearly manifested in its architecture. St. Paul’s Church (the first Anglican church in the region), the Sri Ambalavaanar Alayam Hindu Temple and the Juma Mosque stand close to each other here. But still, the city is dominated by Asian features. Durban is divided into two parts: the old district with old buildings, the Indian quarter, shopping centers and restaurants, and the new district, located along the ocean, in which glass and concrete buildings are skyrocketing. The colorful oriental bazaars of the city are widely known. Tourists are especially popular with the six-kilometer Golden Mile embankment, where, in addition to many restaurants, bars, shops, there is a huge water attraction center, a snake park, a museum-aquarium and a wonderful dolphinarium. Main museums Durbana – the Center for African Art, where you can get acquainted with the culture of the ancient Zulu tribe, and the Museum of Natural History, which displays stuffed mammoths and mummies of pharaohs.
Durban is a year-round resort, the water temperature even in winter does not fall below +20 degrees. The beaches here are covered with yellow sand. Swimming is absolutely safe – there are special nets against sharks along the beaches.
In Durban and along the entire south coast, once a year you can see a very interesting phenomenon – the sardine race (The Sardin Run). In June-August, these areas are on the path of the annual migration of these fish from the coast of KwaZulu-Natal to Mozambique. Sardines move in schools many kilometers wide along the coast, and birds, sharks, dolphins, game fish and even whales follow them. This spectacle is attended by many people from all over the world. Some just watch, others with fishing rods, nets, baskets and all kinds of utensils suitable for “catching” sardines, literally scoop the fish out of the ocean. You can watch this phenomenon not only from the coast, but also from the ocean, for which you can rent a boat (the approximate cost for half a day with all the equipment is $50).
Durban – the diving capital of South Africa. The coral reefs of this part of the Indian Ocean are visited by whole groups of whale sharks in the summer. For fans of diving and swimming with sharks, South Africa, and Durban in particular, are the best places, as the number of sharks per capita is higher than anywhere else in the world. To the south of the city, an hour away by car, is the resort town of Shelley Beach. At the end of August, there is a massive accumulation of sharks on sandbanks. There are so many sharks that in one dive you can see several species: tiger, Zambezi, copper, sand, twilight and even great white sharks.
Tswane (Pretoria) (South Africa)
Tswana is the capital of South Africa. This is a large agglomeration, which includes about 13 cities. Until March 2005, Tswana was named Pretoria. Now Pretoria is called only the historical part of the city. The city is located in the northeastern part of the country, 60 km from Johannesburg. It was founded in 1855. Tswana is home to the largest administrative building in the world, the Union Building, which was built in the early 20th century in the English style. The Government of South Africa sits here. Along the edges it is decorated with 55-meter towers.
The center of the historical part of the city is Church Square. Here stands a monument to the former president and national hero of South Africa – Paul Kruger, and is surrounded by the former town hall with a clock, the Palace of Justice, the Old Post Office and the Mint. On the outskirts of the city, it is worth seeing the modern monument to the First Settlers, which symbolizes the mass migration of Boer farmers to these places in 1835. At the top of the monument is an observation deck, which offers a beautiful view of the city. The tallest building in Tswana is the building of the South African Reserve Bank. Tswana has a large number of museums – the Police Museum, the Science and Technology Museum, the Transvaal Museum of Natural History and the Kruger Museum. The Kruger Museum presents things that belonged to this President of South Africa, as well as exhibits from the Anglo-Boer War. The Presidential Residence is located in Brintirion Park, and the State Theater Complex, consisting of 5 halls, is located nearby.
From September to October, Tswana’s lilac-colored jacaranda trees bloom, making the city very colorful.