10 Facts you probably didn’t know about the Mother City

Table Mountain Night

1. Cape Town’s Before and After

Cape Town was originally named Cape of Storms after Bartholomew Dias caught himself in terrible storms on the East Coast. The name was later changed to Cape of Good Hope to please the king of Portugal. So from Cape of Storms to Cape of Good Hope, we officially have Cape Town.

2. Cape Town is the hub of SA’s tabogganing

While there are over 300 tabogganing tracks worldwide – Cape town houses the only one in Africa! If you’re keen on visiting,slipping and sliding downhill in a sled then you’ll find the track at Cool Runnings just 25km outside of the city centre on Carl Cronje Drive.

3. Lions head…

In actually fact Lion’s Head has not seen a single feline in the past 200 years (or well over). After once thriving in the area, the last lion seen in the area was 1802.

4. It’s just like London and Paris – to a certain extent

Just like London and Paris, Cape Town is situated on a river called the Fresh River. Flowing from the slopes of Table Mountain, the river runs through the Company Gardens.

5. The heart of Camps Bay

Most of the locals in the area can’t tell you where the Heart of Camps Bay is situated. But we can – travel to Maddens Cove parking area, look up at the cable car station and see the narrowest view of Table Mountain, below the cable car station towards the left. If you look very carefully you will see a huge ditch that forms the perfect shape of a heart…this is known as the heart of camps bay!

6. The place of sweet waters

Cape Town is situated on an underground river called Camissa which means “The Place of Sweet Waters”

7. Table Mountain’s constellation

Not only is Table Mountain an iconic landmark, it is also the only natural site on the planet to have a constellation of stars named after it – Mensa, meaning “The Table.”

8. The Cape Floral Kingdom claims nearly 7000 plants

The Cape Floral Kingdom, which spans 90 000sq km, is the smallest and richest recognised floral area on the planet and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO’s committee. Of the 9600 species of plant life that are found in this kingdom, around 70% occur nowhere else in the world.

9. Cape Town is the most equal city in South Africa

Though the ANC and DA might never come to consensus over who will most effectively run the Western Cape, both the UN-Habitat’s (the United Nations agency for human settlement) 2010/11 and 2012/2013 State of the World’s Cities reports concluded that Cape Town is the most equal of all South African cities. According to the account, which looks at income inequality, the three cities topping the inequality list are Buffalo City (East London), Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni (East Rand).

10. Cape Town nearly followed in Australia’s footsteps

Adderley Street, the iconic Cape Town street that is today famous for its flower and fruit-and-veg sellers, took its name from Mr Charles B. Adderley, who passionately protested against a plan by the British government to turn Cape Town into a convict colony. History books have it that the road was originally made entirely from wooden blocks, but these were ultimately covered over with tar to make the road we know today. Remnants of these wooden tiles can still be found towards the upper end of the street today.

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