Welcome to Cape Town - a city with a diverse range of attractions, sights and activities to offer. From lavish and luxurious to back-packing on a budget, Cape Town has something for everyone. From the landmark beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay to the vibrant V&A Waterfront and Cape Town city centre and the award winning wine farms of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek - time spent in Cape Town will not be forgotten.
Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot: it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds and tastes. While walking through the city's streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty, creative freedom and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored across the city border.
The city of Cape Town, in the Western Province, situated at the tip of South Africa is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and is a prime tourist destination in Southern Africa. The city is famous for its harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is also Africa's most popular tourist destination.
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In 2012 Table Mountain was also named as one of the 7 Wonder of Nature following a three-year global race to choose the world's seven most wonderful natural sites.
The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent's flora.
The Cape Floral Protected site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora are of outstanding value to science.
Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of
the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation.
Most shops in the city centre and suburbs open between 08.00 and 17.00 to 17.30 hours. Shops in major shopping malls open at 09.00 and close at 19.00 hours or later. Government agencies still keep to traditional weekday only hours.
Cape Town enjoys an ocean Mediterranean climate, with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Cape Town is never out of season, with a particularly good, long summer from November to March. These are the most popular months for visitors, who come to enjoy the 11 or more hours of sunshine every day. The average summer temperature in Cape Town is 24.3 degrees Centigrade, with January and February temperatures averaging 26 degrees Centigrade. February is the driest month of the year, with 15 mm (0.6 inches) of rain.
South Africa is an incredible destination in so many ways - it is the kind of destination that will touch all of your senses in a myriad of ways, and once all is said and done you probably won't be the same again. Our incredible diversity is a key attraction - from the deserts of the Kgalagadi to the lush green forests of Tsitsikamma to the unspoilt beaches of the Wild Coast to the vibrant nightlife of Cape Town - we really do have it all.
South Africa is mercurial in nature, one moment you'll be exploring the origins of ancient man, the next you're cage-diving with Great White Sharks and the next you're drinking traditional beer in a lively township shebeen. South Africa really is a destination where you can experience it all, more.
As a people, we are known for our humanity - we may have come from a past filled with separation and struggle but our future is one of unity and possibility. In true African spirit, we understand the value of a warm South African welcome, and we can't wait to welcome you to our Rainbow Nation - in 11 official languages.
There are nine spectacular provinces for you to explore - nine incredible diverse parts of the country that will open up your sense of possibility in ways you never thought possible. Oh, and by the way - we do have a sensational climate (with over 300 days of sunshine per year in some parts). We are also extremely proud of our superb infrastructure - excellent roads, a great variety of accommodation options and world-class service.
South Africa truly is a ground-breaking destination for explorers and adventurers who want to experience life in all its fullness. We're a destination that allows you to scratch below the surface and experience endless possibilities, and to walk away the richer for having been here.
Courtesy: South African Tourism
South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time and seven hours in advance of Eastern Standard Winter Time. Calculate the time difference between South Africa and your city here.
The official conference language will be English. Please indicate on your registration form if you speak a foreign language.
The unit of currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR) and is indicated with a capital R so that, for example, three Rand and fifty cents would be written R3.50. South Africa has a decimal currency system with one Rand equaling 100 cents. Denomination of Rand notes are R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10 and of the coins are R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c.
Facilities for cashing traveller's cheques are available at banks (operating hours are Monday - Friday 09:00 - 15:30, Saturdays 08:30 - 11:00) and at most hotels. Banks are closed on Sundays. Foreign exchange agencies are open during the week and on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are open 24 hours and are located at most banks as well as at the conference Venue. International credit cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard and American Express) are accepted at the majority of hotels, restaurants and shops.
Gratuities are expected in South Africa. A guideline for visitors is the following: Airport porters ZAR5.00 per item, taxis 10%, waiters and waitresses in restaurants 10%.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220 - 240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. Most hotels provide dual-voltage two-pin razor sockets (100-120 volts and 220-240 volts).
There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for persons entering South Africa however certain areas of the country, including the North-Eastern half of KwaZulu-Natal are Malaria regions. We do have to advise that if you anticipate travelling to a malaria area it is recommended that you take prophylactics before arrival and the necessary precautions while in the area (e.g. protective clothing, insect repellents). NOTE: The Malaria areas are small and largely in the remote bush areas.
We are pleased to announce that to date South Africa is declared as "Ebola free". We have had no reported cases of Ebola and thus it is still safe to travel to South Africa.
South African doctors and dentists are highly trained professionals and hospitals are well equipped. It is strongly advised that delegates take appropriate health insurance prior to their departure. Yellow fever infected countries require inoculations to enter South Africa, i.e. Brazil, certain South American neighbouring countries and central Africa.
It is safe to drink tap water throughout South Africa. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, this is readily available in various stores. Smoking is prohibited by law in most public buildings in South Africa (airports, hotels, restaurants etc) except in designated smoking areas.
For those participants who have not previously visited South Africa and are concerned about personal safety, we wish to assure all visitors that Cape Town is like any other major city with good and bad areas. Common sense will ensure a trouble free and enjoyable conference and vacation. The area around the BOE Auditorium and surrounding hotels is safe and well monitored at all times but we advise that you do not walk alone after dark in unpopulated streets. Ostentatious displays of wealth should be avoided at all times.