Cape Town – South Africa, Africa

Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad; Xhosa: iKapa) is the second-most populous cityin South Africa,and the provincial capital and primatecity of the Western Cape.As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital ofthe country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The city is famous forits harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom,including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountainand Cape Point. Cape Town is also Africa’s most popular tourist destination.
Located on the shoreof Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as avictualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East.Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first permanentEuropean settlement in South Africa. Cape Townquickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope,becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony.Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg,Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.
Today it is one of the most multicultural cities in theworld, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants andexpatriates to South Africa.As of 2007 the city had an estimated population of 3.5 million. CapeTown’s land area of 2,455 square kilometres (948 sq mi) is largerthan other South African cities, resulting in a comparatively lower populationdensity of 1,425 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,690 /sq mi).
The centre of Cape Town islocated at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula. Table Mountain forms adramatic backdrop to the City Bowl, with its plateau over 1,000 m(3,300 ft) high; it is surrounded by near-vertical cliffs, Devil’s Peakand Lion’s Head. Sometimes a thin strip of cloud forms over the mountain, andowing to its appearance, it is colloquially known as the”tablecloth”. The peninsula consists of a dramatic mountainous spinejutting southwards into the Atlantic Ocean, ending at Cape Point. There areover 70 peaks above 1,000 feet (300 m) (the American definition of amountain) within Cape Town’s official city limits. Many of the suburbs of CapeTown are on the large plain of the Cape Flats, which joins the peninsula to themainland. The Cape Flats lie on what is known as a rising marine plain,consisting mostly of sandy geology which shows that at one point Table Mountainitself was an island.
TheCape Peninsula has a Subtropical Mediterranean climate (Koppen Csa),with mild, wet winters, and dry and very warm summers. In winter time, whichlasts from the beginning of June to end of August, large cold fronts comeacross from the Atlantic Ocean with heavy precipitation and strongnorth-westerly winds. The winter months are cool, with an average minimum of7.0 °C (45 °F) and maximum of 17.5 °C (63 °F).Most of the city’sannual rainfall occurs in wintertime, but due to themountainous topography of the city, rainfall amounts for specific areas canvary dramatically. Newlands, to the south of the city, is the wettest suburb inSouth Africa.The valleys and coastal plainsaverage 515 millimetres (20.3 in) of rain per annum, while mountain areascan average as much as 1,500 millimetres (59 in) per annum.

Posted on October 15, 2011, in Africa. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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