The Telegraph Travel Awards survey result is a wonderful affirmation of Cape Town’s international appeal as a tourist destination.
For the beauty of Cape Town – Telegraph readers voted best city in the world for the seventh consecutive year – runs deep. The Telegraph readers are nothing if not loyal; astute, too.
“The votes have been counted, the results are in. We can reveal that the greatest city in the world is a coastal gem, lying in the shadow of a cloud-hugged mountain. Here wine flows, penguins waddle and – not too far away – majestic beasts roam.”
To find out the greatest city in the world, The Telegraph asked their trusted Telegraph Travel readers – to let them know their favourite holiday destinations.
One reason for their vote: set off in almost any direction and you are rewarded with undulating mountain peaks, slopes carpeted in the world’s richest floral kingdom, fertile valleys riven by amber streams, and wind-clipped plains producing unexpected culinary gems.
Over 39,000 readers responded in the Telegraph Travel Awards survey!
Here are those 10 reasons why Cape Town comes out on top of Telegraph Travel Awards
According to the Telegraph’s South African expert, Pippa de Bruyn, Cape Town is “rather like dating a mercurial model”, in that you put up with some discomfort in order to enjoy waking up to a natural beauty.
The original Khoi inhabitants named the iconic flat-topped massif ‘Hoerikwaggo’, Mountain of the Sea, and it is precisely this unique geography – towering mountains that drop, at times perpendicularly, into the vast blue – that is so seductive.
2. Boulders Penguins
The African penguin colony that settled at Boulders beach in 1982 has become a de rigueur stop on every peninsula tour, but those in the know pack a bather and join them in the bracing waters, or watch their antics while sprawled on the beach.
Every so often, there’s even the odd rare penguin visiting our shores.
3. Cape Dutch History & Winelands
The oldest winemaking region in the New World is a delight to explore, albeit rather overwhelming – you could spend an entire year sampling your way through more than 500 wineries, from historic Cape Dutch homesteads to modernistic cubes overlooking vineyard-clad valleys.
4. Table Mountain Cable Car
The fourth reason is Table Mountain Cable Car – I don’t think we need more details on that front.
5. Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).
Number five being the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Or, as one very odd email sent to us called it, the ‘Temple of Satan’.
6. V&A Waterfront
Sixth is the V&A Waterfront, and the number of visitors amply prove the point!
7. Cape Point
Cape Point: a 7750-ha nature reserve within Table Mountain National Park, the most southwesterly tip of the continent is oft beset by vicious winds, its sheer, jagged cliffs pounded by a wild Atlantic that devoured many ships prior to the 1859 lighthouse, accessed today via the ‘Flying Dutchman’ funicular.
8. Kirstenbosch Gardens
One of the world’s great botanical gardens, with manicured lawns that blend seamlessly into the dense indigenous forests that carpet the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch hosts sunset concerts in the summer – a backdrop that is worth a picnic, regardless of whose playing.
In a city that still suffers a geospatial hangover from apartheid, the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of Bo Kaap is to be treasured, not least when the plangent call of the muezzin floats across the city, calling the faithful to prayer.
Generally speaking, summers are hot and sometimes windy but temperatures and cloud cover can vary enormously at any particular moment, depending on which side of the mountain you find yourself, or how far you are from the coast. One weather pattern that is predicable: when it rains, the locals rejoice.
Pippa de Bruyn takes issue with this one? “When it comes to number 10, though, we may have an issue. I think the use of the words ‘sometimes windy’ is a serious understatement, especially for those who live at the base of the mountain in Vredehoek or Gardens.”
BRAVO CAPE TOWN for being the best city in the world!
See also Cape Town Green Map