Absa Cape Epic riders enjoy a rare opportunity to explore some of the most remote and spectacular parts of Cape Town and the Western Cape during the race. For riders and their supporters wishing to experience more of the unrivaled natural beauty this area has on offer the Absa Cape Epic makes for an ideal launchpad. Whether they arrive before the race to familiarise themselves with the climate and terrain, or decide to stay after the event to relax and unwind.
Cape Town is the tourism capital of South Africa and the city is famous for its incredible beauty, set amongst towering mountains, historic vineyards, turquoise waters and white beaches. The wider Western Cape is picturesque and caters for all travelers, be it five-star luxury or wild adventures they seek. The weather is very enjoyable over the months of March and April with an average high of 25 degrees Celsius and an average low of 14 degrees Celsius. Rain is unusual but not unheard of.
For more tourist information on Cape Town and the Western Cape:
Cape Point is in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve within Table Mountain National Park, which forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. It includes the majestic Table Mountain chain, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point, and the coastlines of the Cape Peninsula. This narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of extraordinarily diverse and unique fauna and flora.
Named the ‘Cape of Storms’ by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488; the ‘Point’ was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it was a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline.
In 1859 the first lighthouse was completed; it still stands at 238 metres above sea-level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralised monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa. Access to this historical building is by an exhilarating three-minute ride in the wheelchair-accessible Flying Dutchman funicular that transfers visitors from the lower station at 127 metres above sea-level, to the upper station.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora.
Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos, including South Africa's national flower, the King Protea. Plants from all the diverse regions and biomes of southern Africa are also grown at Kirstenbosch, including a near-complete collection of cycads (Encephalartos spp.). The Botanical Society Conservatory is a custom-built glasshouse to grow and display plants from the arid regions that cannot survive outdoors. There are over 7 000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species.
One can also enjoy the 'Boomslang" a walkway which takes the visitor from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats.
Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of South Africa and some of the best views of Cape Town can be found using the Table Mountain Cableway, a unique and 87-year-old method of seeing the wonders of the city. Travel up to the summit of the majestic flat-topped mountain and be astounded by vistas of the Mother City, Robben Island and the Peninsula.
The mountain is also the country’s most photographed attraction and its famous cable car took millions of people to its top.
There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain with 1470 floral species, many of these plants and flowers are endemic to this mountain.
The whole area has a biodiversity that is rare to find in other places on earth. Its many valleys and streams make it an idyllic getaway from Cape Town. The national park’s most unique feature is its fynbos vegetation that is displayed here better than anywhere in the world.
The Cape Floral region of the national park is one of the richest floral regions in the world. Over 70% of the flowers are endemic to the Table Mountain. It is no wonder that the mountain was chosen as one of the new seven world wonders.
Its fauna is no less thrilling either. Although animals such as the cape lion, mountain zebra or the leopard are no longer found here, the park is still home to caracals, rock hyraxes or chacma baboons.
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, within a stone's throw from the Cape Town Stadium and in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers the visitor an abundance of unforgettable experiences.
Indoor shopping and entertainment venues seamlessly merge with ocean vistas and mountain views and the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere. More than 80 restaurants bring a fusion of international food, from rustic al fresco fish and chips to starched table-cloth cuisine.
Boulders Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. This colony is one of only a few in the world, and the site has become famous and a popular international tourist destination.
The Boulders section of TMNP consists of 3 pristine beaches, 1 penguin viewing area and 3 boardwalks. The boardwalks were built as a measure to allow for viewing of these wonderful birds, whilst keeping them safe from poking fingers, so please be sure to stay on the boardwalks at all times within the viewing area.
This beach is ideal for children as immense boulders shelter the cove from currents, wind and large waves - but please always take care. Don't touch or feed the penguins – they may look cute and cuddly but their beaks are as sharp as razors and if they feel threatened they have no qualms about nipping the odd finger or nose.
Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th century and the 20th century as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups, and a military base. Its buildings, and in particular those of the late 20th century maximum security prison for political prisoners, testify to the way in which democracy and freedom triumphed over oppression and racism.
What survives from its episodic history are 17th century quarries, the tomb of Hadije Kramat who died in 1755, 19th century ‘village’ administrative buildings including a chapel and parsonage, small lighthouse, the lepers’ church, the only remains of a leper colony, derelict World War II military structures around the harbour and the stark and functional maximum security prison of the Apartheid period began in the 1960s.
The symbolic value of Robben Island lies in its somber history, as a prison and a hospital for unfortunates who were sequestered as being socially undesirable. This came to an end in the 1990s when the inhuman Apartheid regime was rejected by the South African people and the political prisoners who had been incarcerated on the Island received their freedom after many years.