Fun Facts about Cape Town that will make you want to intern there.

In the past few years, Cape Town was often voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world to visit. So we are not surprised you and many others are keen to make this phenomenal city the destination for your internship abroad. (We think it’s a good choice! We’re lucky to be based here ourselves.)  And we’re here to give you some interesting information about Cape Town. You probably know about its beaches, Table Mountain, Robben Island and beautiful sunsets (and sunrises) – but here are twelve fun facts you probably didn’t know about this South African gem. 

1. Cape Town’s nickname is the Mother City.

Legend has it that in the 1930s a local Cape Town newspaper claimed that Cape Town was the only city in South Africa that could justly call itself a metropolis. The public took to this description and because the word metropolis is taken from the Greek derivative of meter or metros meaning mother and polis meaning city, the nickname of “Mother City” was born. Although some people joke everything in Cape Town goes at a slower pace compared to Johannesburg – everything takes nine months.

2. Romance on top of Table Mountain.

Table Mountain is 1,860 meters high and it is estimated that every month at least two couples get engaged on top of Table Mountain.

3. The Castle of Good Hope used to have a sea view.

Back in the days, the Castle of Good Hope used to be on the coastline, hence the name ‘Strand Street’ (‘strand’ means ‘beach’ in Dutch and Afrikaans). Land reclamation to create Foreshore and the current harbor caused the coastline to move to the west.

Imagine gaining valuable working experience while exploring Table Mountain and this city in your spare time. Check out our internships in Cape Town!

4. Cape Town is one of the youngest regions in the world.

During the last national census, it turned out that almost half the population of the Western Cape is younger than 25 years old.

5. In Cape Town, you will find the most ‘trophy homes’

Trophy homes are houses worth more than ZAR 20,000,000. Most of South Africa’s trophy homes are found in Cape Town – in Camps Bay alone there are at least 150 of these houses. However almost half of the richest people of South Africa (48%) live in the City of Gold, Johannesburg.

6. Cape Town hosts the largest LGBTI-party of South Africa.

Every year in December one of the biggest dressed-up parties takes place in Cape Town: the Mother City Queer Project (MCQP).

7. Lion’s Head is not called Lion’s Head because lions used to walk around there.

When looking at the mountain from a distance, (some) people recognize the shape of a lion with head and tail (‘Leeuwen Kop’ and ‘Leeuwen Staart’, currently known as Lion’s Head and Signal Hill).

Cape Town can have four seasons in one day. Read our tips for packing your bag when doing an internship in Cape Town!

8. Afrikaans is the most spoken language in the Western Cape.

Even though it’s one of the youngest languages in the world it is the most spoken language in the Western Cape. Xhosa and English are the second and third languages.

9. The world’s first heart transplant took place in Cape Town.

In 1967 the South African doctor Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplantation in the world in Cape Town.  Less known is the fact that the patient, unfortunately, died of pneumonia 18 days after the ‘successful’ transplant.

10. Cape Town has a ‘second New Year’.

Every year on the 2nd of January as many as 13,000 minstrels take to the streets garbed in bright colors, either carrying colorful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. The minstrels are self-organized into klopse (“clubs” in Kaaps Afrikaans, but more accurately translated as troupes in English). The Kaapse Klopse (or simply ‘Klopse’), as it is called, is also referred to as the Tweede Nuwe Jaar (meaning ‘second New Year’).

11. The Cape of Good Hope used to be called the Cape of Storms.

The waves and storms caused the explorer Bartholomeu Dias to name the peninsula ‘Cape of Storms’ in 1488. Later the Portuguese king changed the name to ‘Cape of Good Hope’ to make clear to other colonial powers that as from this point they were close to the sea route to India.

12. The ‘Cape Floral Kingdom’ is unique.

This floral kingdom is the smallest in the world (only 90,000 km2) but contains approximately 9,600 plants and flowers – and 7,000 of them appear nowhere else in the world. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


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