As with most countries South Africa usually requires visitors to apply for a visa to enter the country if they are staying for longer than 30 days. This usually does not apply if you are staying for 30 days or less and if you are in possession of a Passport from your country. Programmes are either two or three weeks in duration so in most instances you will not be required to apply for a visitors visa.

Please read the following Visa requirements to enter South Africa by clicking here.

Should you require a visa, the letter that we issue you, confirming your attendance of the programme should be submitted together with your application.

Please note the following requirements for those traveling to South Africa:

A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay

At least one blank page in your passport for endorsements

A valid visa, if required

Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay

A return or onward ticket

Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America. For more information about the yellow fever belt please click here

Your Accommodation

Cape Town has an abundance of accommodation from 5 star hotels to very comfortable guest houses and bed and breakfasts.

AHLE-X has negotiated a special discounted rate for delegates at The Hyde, a luxury, all-suite, self-catering hotel in Sea Point. If you would like to make use of this accommodation you will need to book directly with The Hyde using your Confirmation of Programme Attendence letter from AHLE-X.

The Hyde's contact details are as follows:

Telephone: +27 (21) 434 0205




If you would prefer to select your own hotel, you will need to ensure that you are staying in the CBD or Atlantic Seaboard areas to make use of the AHLE-X provided shuttle service to and from your accommodation. Please find a selection of accommodation establishments on the Cape Town Tourism website by clicking here.          

About Cape Town

Fondly known as "The Mother City", Cape Town is a vibrant and culturally diverse city that has a cultural history spanning thousands of years. The 1994 South African elections saw the inauguration of the first democratically elected State President, Nelson Mandela. The Mother City is home to South Africa's parliament (along with Pretoria). Today Tourism is a key economic driver in the Western Cape and two out of every three tourists ensure that Cape Town is a 'must' on their itinerary.

During your stay in Cape Town you will have some time off to explore Cape town and surrounds. You will find many restaurants, tourist attractions and places of interest. Here you will find some of the main attractions in and around Cape Town.  

Brief History of the Cape

The first known people to have lived in the Cape were the San and the Khoikhoi. The former hunter-gathers, the latter herders and the ancestors of the Khoisan people we know today.



The Cape was first discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 1500's and christened 'Cabo Tormentosa' (Bay of Storms) when they encountered wild storms off Cape Point.  Sir Francis Drake (1580) wrote about the Peninsula's beauty 'This Cape is a most stately thing and the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the earth'.

The first European known to have landed in Table Bay was Antonio de Saldanha (1503). Climbing the huge mountain, he named it 'Table Mountain'. A cross can still be found in the rock of Lion's Head carved out by Portuguese navigators. Table Bay, as we know it today, was originally named Saldanha until 1601 when it was renamed by von Spilbergen, a Dutch naval officer of the 17thcentuary, as 'Table Bay'.

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company, using the Cape as their trading route, decided to establish a post at Table Bay. Three small ships, commanded by Jan Antony van Riebeek were sent to Table Bay, and van Riebeek, with the ships surgeon, set up a trading station which included a hospital and a ship repair station. Van Riebeek was responsible for planting the Company Gardens (later improved upon by Simon van der Stel) and for planting the first grape vines. The Castle of Good Hope was where the original fort was built and the Castle still stands today. Simon van der Stel took over Governorship in 1659 and for 20 years made a marked impact on the Cape Colony including the first crushing of grapes for wine in 1659. Wine still being a primary source of revenue for the Cape.

The French arrived in the Cape between 1781 and 1783 when they were sent to fight against the British who were trying to take possession of the Cape but were unsuccessful. However in 1814, Lord Charles Somerset was the first Britain to became Governor of the Cape and established the first postal service between England and Cape Town; this was the beginning of the Union Castle Company's relationship with South Africa. In 1872 the Cape established its self-government.

Between 1910 and 1994, the Apartheid years marked the growth of South Africa as an industrial nation. 1948 saw the National Party win the election and, under the leadership of DF Malan legislated apartheid, segregation along racial lines, by establishing legislation such as the Group Areas Act and the Pass Laws.

On the 11 February 1990 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a Rivonia trialist and anti-apartheid freedom fighter, was freed from jail, after serving 27 years. Together with other political parties, they negotiated South Africa's freedom. In April 1994 the first democratic elections were held!

Did you know?

There are fewer people in Cape Town per square kilometre than Johannesburg and it is one and a half times its size.

Capetonian's have almost twice as much space as Londoners.Cape Town is three times the size of New York City and has 5.25 million fewer inhabitants.

Cape Town has many diverse historical, cultural, natural, and man-made attractions.

Cape Town the eclectic, cosmopolitan City of South Africa

Cape Town is the culinary capital of South Africa! Cape Town has the widest selection of restaurants and, at the last count has 30 top notch, five star hotels. For Hospitality Managers, Cape Town provides an amazing variety of culinary and wine experiences that offer top quality service, innovative ideas and outstanding dining. Western Culinary history dates back over 350 years as Cape Town was founded to grow food for the Dutch East India Trading Company when trade ships traversed the Cape. The Cape, also known internationally for its fine wines, is a perfect destination to expand your knowledge and experience of wine. 

Cape Town the World Design capital for 2014

Cape Town was awarded the accolade of World Design Capital for 2014 (WDC2014) in the 2012 International Design Alliance Congress in Taipei. Plans are now well underway to host a year long programme of design focused events in 2014 that will see creative communities across the globe turning to Cape Town for design inspiration and direction.

In your free time you will have time to explore the various art galleries, design houses, architecture and other places of interest.


8 Amazing places in the Mother City

Of the tourist attractions we have selected eight of the most popular.

Table Mountain


Say the word Table Mountain and you think Cape Town. Known for its natural tablecloth when the South Easter wind blows, Table Mountain allows you 360 degree aerial views of the Peninsula and is in the running as one of the 7 new wonders of nature. Table Mountain is home to more than 2000 species of plants, mostly fynbos, one of the world's six plant species. Table Mountain at its highest point reaches 1083m (3563ft). Accessing Table Mountain is via the Table Mountain Cable Way that was established in 1929. Visitors are taken to the top in one of two cable cars, each boasting rotating floors and huge windows ensuring visitors a memorable trip.

Cape Point

Cape Point falls within the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. The Cape Point Reserve is covered with natural fynbos and is the southernmost finger of land. In order to make the most out of your trip, take The Flying Dutchman funicular to a lookout point over the Atlantic Ocean and visit the most powerful lighthouse on the South African Coast.


Boulders Beach

Get close up with the Penguins! At Boulders Beach you can view breeding colonies of penguins on the beautiful white sandy beaches. Situated about 2km from Simonstown, Boulders Beach works on protecting the breeding penguin colony that lives there.


Robben Island

'Robben Island' or 'Place of Seals' was used for centuries as a prison, hospital and mental institution, and the military base was made famous for being a political prison during the Apartheid Years. Many political prisoners and freedom fighters were incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, the most famous being Nelson Mandela who spent 18 of his 27 years on Robben Island. Robben Island was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.

Today Robben Island boasts the Robben Island Museum and Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront, where you can experience multimedia exhibits and a museum, shop and restaurant. To visit Robben Island you need to take a ferry to the Island from the Gateway and once there you will be afforded a 3.5 hour tour of the island and its history. Today Robben Island is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cape Town.



Kirstenbosch Gardens in Newlands, is a world famous national botanical garden set with Table Mountain and Devil's Peak as its backdrop. The 528ha (1 305 acre) Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is home to more than 22 000 indigenous plant species. 

Paved walkways enable visitors to explore the gardens easily and safely and excellent signage provides information on flora and fauna found in the gardens.


The Cape is recognised internationally for its wines. The Cape Winelands comprises of wine regions, each popular for their wine experiences and tastings.

The wine regions in Cape Town include Constantia, Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson, Stellenbosch and Wellington and they have hundreds of wine estates to choose from.

The first wine was produced in 1659 by Jan van Riebeek. In 1685 the Constantia Estate was established by the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel and his Vin de Constance achieved an excellent reputation. Hendrick Cloete, who bought the Constantia Estate in 1778 really made the Constantia wines famous with his unfortified wine made from a blend of Muscat de Frontignan, Pontacred, white Muscadel and a little Chenin Blanc.

The Wine of Origin system (WO) was introduced to South African Wines in 1973 to designate production regions, districts and wards and to define standards of wine production. WO wines must be made using 100% of the grapes from the designated area.

Vibrant Townships

The Townships were created as living areas for 'non-whites' under the Apartheid system and many people were forcibly moved to these areas. Today the Townships are still home to a large percentage of Cape Town's population. Langa, is Cape Town's oldest African Township but Khayelitsha is the largest being home to approximately 1.5 million people.

Vibrant Township life can be experience by taking a Township tour where you visit people in the communities, development projects and even enjoy a meal in a local restaurant. It's a place where, despite the poverty, you will experience friendly Cape Town hospitality and a 'must' for locals and visitors alike.

The Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium situated at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town showcases the amazingly diversity of marine life found in the Cape's two converging oceans, the Indian and Atlantic.

The Two Oceans Aquarium boasts over 3 000 living sea animals including sharks, fishes, turtles and penguins, all viewed in their spectacular underwater nature reserve.

The Two Oceans Aquarium, a key player in environmental awareness offering high quality exhibits, conservation and educational programmes and is one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town.


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