Family Travel Ideas in Cape Town

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There is no dearth of Cape Town Family Travel ideas. The city has had varying cultural influences ranging from the historic Indonesian settlements to the colonial regime of the Dutch, the French and the British. Cape Town offers plenty of locales that are worth visiting. While most of them are suited for family travel, some Cape Town locations, like the V&A Waterfront, have the reputation of being perfect for family visits.

V&A Waterfront

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a popular harbor in Cape Town that has developed into a major tourist attraction. It is estimated that the V&A Waterfront alone accounts for millions of visitors who come to South Africa, every year. As a commercial port, Cape Town has been an integral part of international trade routes. The waterfront has existed for centuries and now the area has been developed into a touring spot, complete with heritage, Victorian-styled buildings and remnants of trading equipment from the past years. The V&A Waterfront has been developed in such a manner that it can entertain the youngest and oldest of visitors. The Waterfront offers:

  • Aquariums - This is a perennial favorite with the children. The Two Oceans Aquarium gives a real-life glimpse into the marine life of the surrounding oceans. Children are enthralled by the vast range of unknown, often weird, species of fish and other underwater creatures that are on display. It is estimated that the aquarium exhibits nearly 3000 living marine animals at any point of time. This is among the biggest of underwater reserves found in the world. Further, the entire family can participate in group activities like diving with the sharks that is conducted with utmost security arrangements. Children can also opt for spending a night at the aquarium under the vast screens. One part of the waterfront is dedicated to its most sought after residents—the seals. The furry, Cape seals here have become a local celebrity of sorts and special tours are arranged for watching seals landing on the beachfront.
  • Shopping Opportunities - There are more than 400 stores in the V&A Waterfront premises, ensuring that all shopping requirements are met under one roof. The shops are designed in a unique manner, ranging from the Victorian-styled boutiques to the hippie markets. Most stores at the waterfront remain open until 9 p.m., throughout the week. Along the main shopping area lies the Red Shed Craft Workshop that is popular for its collection of ethnic handicrafts, handmade art-pieces and mementos made from shark teeth. Another famous shopping zone is the Alfred Mall that provides upscale jewelry items and ancient artifacts.
  • Historical Visits - The entire family can walk along the waterfront area to observe some splendid buildings like the Gothic Clock Tower that was once the office of the port’s captain. The Time Ball Tower dates back to the 19th century. Just adjacent to the tower is the historical Dock House. Curious visitors can be seen trying to understand the working of the Time Ball which is an ancient shipping device. Just along the Time Ball Tower is the popular dragon tree that is believed to be more than a century-old. On the backside of the tower lies the infamous Breakwater Prison that was built in 1860 and is often mentioned in folklore of this part of Cape Town.

March 15, 2010 change by ak1980

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