There are some questions we always get asked: Why Cape Town? What do you like about the city? What were your reasons for choosing to live in South Africa?
Now that the world has noticed that South Africa is capable of hosting -very successfully - spectacular world events such as the Soccer Worldcup in 2010 and especially that Cape Town will become World Design Capital in 2014, more and more people are considering to travel or even live in one of the world's most beautiful cities: Cape Town.
And you might wonder: Why is South Africa's Mother City one of the firm favorites with tourists and expats?
Well, Cape Town has a big draw: Stunning scenery, great lifestyle and the most friendly people. The easy pace of life and cosmopolitan mix of own culture attracts many people from around the world. The stunning scenery with the table mountain range, the white sandy beaches and not to forget the adjoining winelands also come up first when you ask anybody about what makes Cape Town so attractive.
Tourists and business travelers love to visit Cape Town for the last years and made this vibrant city one of the most favorite travel destinations in the world. Be prepared the list is long, but be sure that there are even more great accolades, just not enough space here...
• In 2013 Cape Town was named in the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards as one of the 25 best destinations in the world, ranking 16th. And the majestic Cape Grace Hotel at the V&A Waterfront is the second best hotel in the world.
• In 2012 Cape Town' Boulders Beach was named in the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards as one of the 10 truly unique beachesin the World.
• In 2012 Cape Town South Africa is voted the Top City in Africa in the Travel and Leisure survey and 4th best city in the world!
• In 2012 Cape Town was named one of the Ten most loved cities in the World by CNN World.
• In 2012 two of the three best city hotels in Africa and the Middle East were according to Travel and Leisure Awards, these top hotels in Cape Town: One & Only at the Cape Town Waterfront and The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa near Camps Bay. (Not to forget, the second best hotel in Africa is also located in South Africa, the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg)
• In 2011 Cape Town was named in the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards as the Best Destination in the World. The award is based on reviews of more than 20 million users reviewing destinations and hotels around the world.
• In National Geographic 2011 as well as in the Lonely Planet Awards 2011, Cape Town South Africa is listed No. 2 of Top 10 Beach Cities in the World.
• In November 2008 the currently biggest survey of travel habits among 25,000 readers of the UK Daily and Sunday Telegraph voted Cape Town as one of the favorite cities in the world.
• In 2010 Cape Town was again the Winner in the category Africa's Leading Destinationat the World Travel Awards with the Westin Grand Cape Town was voted the best meetings and conference hotel in Africa in 2010.
• In 2010 the luxurious Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Resort in nearby Clanwilliam (3hrs drive from Cape Town) was voted the Best Hotel in the World by US Travel and Leisure Magazine, while three year back in 2007 the Mother City was named to be the 10th Best City in the World.
• In 2011 UK travelers voted Cape Town as the 13th best city in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler magazine with South Africa being in 2011 the 9th most popular country with the greatest variety of attractions and coming even before France (10th) and Canada (12th).
• In 2010 to 2012 Cape Town’s International Conference Center (CTICC) was again a finalist in the category: world's best overseas conference centers in the M&IT (meetings & incentive travel) Industry Awards 2010 and the World Travel Awards and is considered to be one of the top destinations for business travelers.
• National Geographic even added the Mother City to their listing of the "places of a lifetime" in 2008. What more you can ask for?
But as an expatriate who will not only enjoy the sweet life of a tourist, you will have to deal with the facts of work in an African country and routine in a developing country. So many questions regarding the quality of live of your expat destination will pop up.
If you are comforted by figures let me give you these convincing facts:
• In 2012 the newest Mercer Study put Cape Town on 88th place regarding the quality of life for expatriates and their families. The cost of living is low compared to many cities in the world. According to the Mercer Survey Cape Town ranks at 179 out of 214 major cities around the world.
• In the latest HSBC Expat Survey 2012, South Africa ranks 3rd in overall expat experience.
• In 2010 the Mercer Study Eco-City Listing Cape Town ranked 30th ahead of Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
• In 2006 Cape Town was voted one of the top 20 expat destinations worldwide by fDi (Foreign Direct Investment) and I am sure many expats still would support this ranking.
To tell you my reasons why Cape Town is one great destination for expats I had to make up my mind to limit the huge choice down to only ten good reasons. And trust me there are loads of more good reasons. Here the final choices I have come up with:
1. Beautiful scenery and attractions : mountains, winelands and great sandy beaches
2. Lifestyle is outdoors oriented, exciting expats lifestyle , great for walkers, hikers, surfers…and the whole family loves it
3. Mild Mediterranean climate with blue skies and lots of sunshine
6. Big potential for business expansions in the emerging markets
7. Due to European influence the business customs and etiquette are similar
8. First class health care in the private sector
9. Good school options for the kids
10. Last but not least, the South African people are open and very caring and welcoming
Read here why children enjoy living or staying in the Mother City and why Cape Town is so popular with families.
Do you want to know what to do with kids when in Cape Town?
And there are many more great free activities in Cape Town you should check out too.
Have fun exploring!
Any questions or suggestions for this "Why Cape Town" page or any other expat related issues? Please feel free to contact me:-)
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