With millions of year old fossil remains and mountains, Cape Town has an out-sized impact on South Africa’s historic past. Much before the settlement of Europeans in the mid-17th century, the region was mainly inhabited by a semi-nomadic group, known as Khois.
Al though the Portuguese were the first European to discover Cape Town in the 15th century, it was Dutch who established the first European settlement in 1652, with the main intention to grow as well as supply fruits and vegetables to the company trade ships which pass through the region. It was during the Dutch rule most Asians mainly from Indonesia and Malay regions flocked to the region. Later, Huguenots – the first non-Dutch immigrants made their way to this land, and they are credited to strengthen the region’s wine producing industry.
Following a series of events and battles, the British completely took over the control of Cape from Dutch in 1806, and they ruled the region for over 100 years. From 1948 to 1991, the region as with the rest of the country, struggled through the unpleasant apartheid system which segregated the people into four racial groups. Among many of its significant consequences were the limitation of voting rights based on color and race, the demolition of multi-racial suburbs and the declaration of White-only areas.
Cape Town’s history is not complete without a mention of Robben Island. Being a leprosy colony and a prison for more than 300 years (starting from the Dutch regime to 1990s), it had remained a silent witness of the worst of the worst. Many prominent political figures were imprisoned in this island prison, such as Autshumato, Patrick Chamusso, Ahmed Kathrada, and mostly Nelson Mandela. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is now a museum.
After the abolition of apartheid system, Nelson Mandela became the first black president in 1994. Today, Cape Town is now the legislative capital of South Africa and also one of the most visited destinations, with an incredible array of attractions to cater to every interest.