5 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Cape Town


I make no apologies that this is obviously going to be a very biased article. The fact that it’s based on verifiable evidence, means I’ve got the right to brag about the most beautiful city in the world. Here are 5 things you probably never knew about Cape Town.

1. We live longer

Where should you move to in South Africa if you wish to live longer? Well according to the South African Cities Network, Cape Town is your most likely bet. With men in the Mother City having a life expectancy of 64, they outlive men in other South African cities by up to five years. Women go on to beat the national average by four years, with a life expectancy of 70. So if immortality is what you’re seeking, the closest you can get to it in South Africa; is living in the most tranquil city of them all.

2. We have the best weddings/funerals

If your wedding or funeral does not have flowers from the Cape, it can’t be regarded as unique. Ok, that may be stretching it a bit; but here’s my rationale behind it. There is an area of 90 000 sqkm in Cape Town known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. It just happens to be the most diverse and populated floral area on earth, boasting a record 9600 different species of plant life. UNESCO agreed, by declaring this floral area a world heritage site. Oh yes, so back to your wedding! 70% of the plant life here is astonishingly found nowhere else in the world! So unless you have Peninsula Snapdragons or perhaps the Good Hope Satinflower, your wedding or funeral is going to be pretty boring.

3. We have the oldest building in SA

The Castle of Good Hope was built in the 17th Century. It is a star fort that was -surprisingly- first located along the Table Bay coastline. Due to the infamously strong Cape winds, the castle was actually blown back inland, where it stands today! Hopefully you weren’t dof enough to believe that previous sentence 🙂
Land reclamation which is the process of creating new land from ocean beds, is the reason the Castle of Good Hope is now no longer along the coast. Thanks to the expert restorations in the 1980s, this historical colonial monument is the oldest building in South Africa. (Please don’t tell EFF supporters.)

4. We love shooting guns

No I’m not talking about the sad plague of gun violence in the Cape Flats. Cape Town has many traditions, one of the oldest being the firing of the Noon Day Gun. Taking place at Lion Battery on Signal Hill, this shooting has been going on for the past 200 years now. Regarded as the oldest living tradition in the Cape, it takes place every day to signal 12:00 noon.

5. We started Afrikaans

Afrikaans, which is the third most spoken official language in South Africa, evolved from a language birthed in Cape Town by the ‘Coloured Community’. In the 17th Century, the diverse collection of Cape Malay slaves began a language revolt against their Dutch slave masters, by forming a new language called ‘Kaaps’. Today’s popular Afrikaans was in essence a hijacking of this original Creole language. Read more about it here.

(Image Credit: Rose en Bos)