|There is so much to
do and see in Cape Town that the 1st time visitor will find it challenging
to fit everything in. However, the city centre itself is small and
compact, and easy and pleasant to navigate on foot. TableMountain
watches over the proceedings, providing not only a stunning backdrop
but also a handy point of orientation, which makes getting lost
There is an amazing range of architectural styles,
including Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian buildings wedged in
between modern skyscrapers. The Foreshore’s V&A Waterfront
is a beautiful example of urban regeneration, where old style harbour
warehouses and buildings have been transformed into stunning shopping
centres, luxury hotels and a multitude of restaurants.
Travelling west, toward Signal Hill is the Bo-Kaap
(Top Cape) area, also known as the Malay Quarter (Malay is a misnomer
for Cape Muslims of Asian descent). This area was home to the freed
slaves, their descendants opposed all attempts at removal by the
apartheid authorities and were much more victorious than the District
Six (now Zonnebloem) inhabitants, whose homes were bulldozed, following
then Prime Minister Verwoerd’s enforcement of racial segregation
laws. Robben Island and it's infamous prision lies offshore, north
of Table Bay, where Nelson Mandela and several of the other current
top political leaders of South Africa were gaoled by the apartheid
The outlying areas of Cape Town are also of great interest to visitors
and an organised township tour, which explores
the mainly black areas of Langa, Kayalitsha and Gugulethu, is an
increasingly popular item on the tourist agenda. A classic tour
would include a visit to a noteworthy site of The Struggle, lunch
in a shebeen, a visit to a craft market and a stop at a self help
development project. It is unwise for visitors to venture into the
townships without a guide, as crime levels are very high and tourists
are often soft targets.
To the west of the city centre and extending south toward Cape Point,
the Atlantic Seaboard incorporates the upmarket
Sea Point, Hout Bay, Clifton, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Noordhoek and
Kommetjie seaside suburbs. Meanwhile, bending around the eastern
side of the Table Mountain range is the Southern Suburbs, with the
world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Constantia and
Tokai Winelands. These link to the cosy coastal towns of False Bay’s
Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town. The 2 sides of the peninsula
meet at the windswept and overwhelming beautiful Cape of Good Hope
Nature Reserve at Cape Point.
of Cape Town
Cape Town boasts some of the most fantastic beaches in the world.
With a long summer and pleasant winter days in between the rain,
these are an appealing attraction all year round. There is a beach
to suit just about every taste, from the family
orientated, easy swim sites, via the trendy spots,
where tanned bikini bodies are the order of the day, to wild and
rugged sundowner spots. Beaches are managed by
the Table Mountain National Park.
Set along the beautiful panorama of the Twelve Apostles mountain
range, beaches on the Atlantic seaboard are many
degrees colder than those on the False Bay side, which are warmed
by the L’Agulhas current, which diffuses into the eastern
end of Cape Point.
The beaches on the Atlantic seaboard are largely popular
and real estate here is hot property, the stretch of mansions that
lines the coast is known as Millionaire’s Row. The suburb
of Clifton has 4 beaches, 1 of which, Fourth Beach,
is Cape Town’s premier beach spot and the favored place for
the beautiful people to pose. All 4 beaches, however, are often
overcrowded in the peak summer months and parking on Victoria Road
above the beach can practically impossible.
An alternative, with a Californian feel and bars and restaurants
close at hand, is the neighboring Camps Bay. Further
out is the preferred sundowner spot, Llandudno, and the homely Hout
Bay. The nearby Mariner’s
Wharf fishing harbour (telephone: (021) 790 1100, email address:
email@example.com) offers great markets, seafood restaurants,
gift shops, boat trips and a fish market selling live lobsters by
the kilo, as well as the Cape speciality, smoked snoek.
Noordhoek and Kommetjie, both
part of Long Beach, are reachable via the Chapman’s
Peak Drive toll road. This well-liked scenic route collapsed into
the sea in January 2000 and reopened as a toll road in December
2003, after a R 157 million renovation involving high tech safety
features. These far flung beaches are still rather deserted and
Noordhoek can be hazardous for lone walkers, particularly after
False Bay offers its own set of coastal delights,
quite diverse from the chilly counterparts on the Atlantic side.
St James and Fish Hoek offers charming swimming, warmer waters,
smaller waves and a family feel, as well as the petite coves and
inlets of Kalk Bay and the long stretch of Muizenberg beach. Formerly
a whaling station and a prisoner of war camp, Boulders has a string
of brilliant coves that are always sheltered from the frequent and
blustering ‘southeaster’ wind.
However, visitors to Boulders will have to share
their beach with quite a multitude of African Penguins. The colony
of penguins is protected and although these tolerant birds are happy
to pose for photographs, there is a hefty fine for wilfully disturbing
them. They can also bite, so bird watchers are therefore encouraged
to admire them from a courteous distance. Boulders is just as trendy
with humans as it is with penguins, therefore sun seekers should
be sure to arrive early in order to stake their claim to a piece
of beach, boardwalk or boulder.
When not taking on the might of Cape Point’s wind ravaged
coastline or enjoying the consistently good waves of Long Beach,
surfers mainly head north for Table Bay and the
beaches of Dolphin Beach, Blouberg Strand and Milnerton,
where the incessant wind promises big waves and the location offers
incredible views of Table Mountain.
Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno
Address: Access from Victoria Road (M6)
Hout Bay Beach and Mariner’s Wharf,
Address: North Shore Road or Beach Road, Hout Bay
Address: Silvermine Road via Ou Kaapse Weg, Noordhoek
Address: Kommetjie Road (M65), Kommetjie
Address: Baden-Powell Drive, Muizenberg
Kalk Bay, St James and Fish Hoek
Address: Off Main Road (M4)
Address: Miller’s Point Road, from Main Road (M4), Simonstown/Miller’s
Cape Point beaches
Address: Several roads off Cape Point Road, Blouberg Strand and
Dolphin Beach, Otto Du Plessis Road, Blouberg
Address: Marine Drive and Otto Du Plessis, Milnerton
Beaches in Cape Town
Telephone: (021) 701 8692 (Table Mountain National Park) or 786
2329 (Boulders) or 780 9010/11 (Cape Point).
Facsimile: (021) 701 8773 (Table Mountain National Park) or 786
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.tmnp.co.za
Transport: Train to Simon’s Town (False Bay beaches), bus
to Sea Point, Camps Bay or Hout Bay (Atlantic Seaboard), self drive
for others (please see addresses / routes above).
Opening hours Boulders: Daily 8.00 am to 5.30 pm
Opening hours Cape Point: Daily 6.00 am to 6.00 pm (September to
April), Daily 7.00 am to 5.00 pm (May to August).
Admission: Free, R 15 (Boulders), R 35 (Cape Point), concessions
Built in the mid 1760's, the Bo-Kaap Museum was initially the home
of Turkish scholar, Abu Bakr Effendi, and is the
oldest existing residence in the Muslim community, as well as a
rare example of urban Cape Dutch architecture. The furnishings are
typical of an 18 th century Cape Town Muslim residence, right down
to the main bedroom, a genuine bridal suite. Effendi was a revered
Arabic teacher and wrote 1 of the 1st texts that
documented the emergence of South Africa’s 2nd language Afrikaans
(a language developed from 17th century Dutch). This is also a social
history museum, concentrating on the local community, with 2 new
displays comprising a photographic impression of life in the Bo-Kaap
and an exhibition that touches on the pressure of apartheid on the
area. The Bo-Kaap area is the customary home of the Cape-Malay community,
brought in as slaves from Indonesia. It has some of the city’s
most interesting history and architecture, as well as stunning views.
Address: 71 Wale Street
Telephone: (021) 481 3939.
Facsimile: (021) 481 3938.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/bokaap
Transport: A 10 minute walk from Cape Town Station.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Admission: R5, concessions available.
Walk Shopping Centre
Telephone: (021) 555 4444.
Facsimile: (021) 555 0746.
Website address: www.canalwalk.co.za
Opening hours: Monday to Friday and Sunday 10.00 am to 9.00 pm,
Saturday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm.
Admission: Free, however parking charges apply.
of Good Hope
Construction began on this 5 pointed, star shaped castle
(initially a Dutch fortress) in 1666, which makes it the oldest
colonial building in South Africa. Possibly the most visible symbol
of the colonial occupation of Cape Town and South Africa, the Castle
of Good Hope became the apartheid government’s military headquarters
in 1948. However, since the liberation of South Africa in 1994,
South Africa’s oldest building has done much
to polish up its imperfect image and has become very much a museum
of the people. The castle hosts unconventional art exhibitions and
cultural events. Also within the castle, the William Fehr Collection
is a brilliant record of colonial Cape art and culture.
Address: Corner of Darling Street and Castle Street
Telephone: (021) 787 1249.
Facsimile: (021) 787 1089.
Website address: www.castleofgoodhope.co.za
Transport: A short walk from the Grand Parade/Strand Street.
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, guided tours daily 11.00
am, 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm.
Admission: R 18 (including guided tour), R 9 on Sundays, concessions
Just 10 minutes from the city centre, Africa’s largest
mall, Canal Walk, is situated in the massive and architecturally
astounding Century City development, which is also home to Africa’s
1st full scale theme park, Ratanga Junction, with over 30 rides,
as well as an entertainment complex, complete with
pubs, clubs and restaurants. The MTN Sciencentre provides a myriad
of scientific attractions for children of all ages, with a 200 seat
multimedia arena and over 250 interactive displays. The 16 hectare
(39.5 acre) man made Intaka Island is a haven for bird life, while
boat rides on the 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of canals are also available.
Address: Century City, Century Boulevard, Milnerton
Telephone: (021) 550 7000.
Facsimile: (021) 550 7001.
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.centurycity.co.za
Transport: By car, exit 10 off the N1, bus from Strand Street to
the new on site Ratanga Terminus.
Jan van Riebeek (the 1st
commander of the Dutch colony at the Cape) ordered the planting
of Company Gardens in 1652, to serve as a fruit and vegetable supply
for the visiting ships, to protect the sailors against scurvy. Nowadays,
the gardens are a green lung for the city centre. The park is not
just a botanical delight but is also home to St George’s Cathedral,
the South African National Gallery, the Houses of Parliament, the
South African Museum and the Planetarium.
The Anglican St George’s Cathedral has been
in existence for over 100 years but is also a powerful symbol of
anti apartheid resistance. It has been the site of many a political
rally in the past and, until 1996, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond
Tutu was archbishop here.
The Houses of Parliament, which flank the eastern
edge of the gardens, are a blend of Victorian and Georgian styles
of architecture. Designed by the British architect Harry Greaves,
they were completed in 1885, when the parliament became the seat
of British development into Africa. The building is also a significant
stop on the political tourist’s itinerary. This is where the
architect of apartheid, prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was assassinated
in 1966. It is also where Nelson Mandela gave his opening speech
as president of the ‘new South Africa’ in 1994.
The South African National Gallery contains 1 of
the finest collections of South African and international art in
the country and has regular exhibitions of work from around the
world. The South African Museum is a brilliant place for visitors
to spend a couple of hours learning about the natural and political
history of South Africa. It also boasts the oldest African artworks,
the Lydenburg Heads, which date back to 500 BC, as well as a fantastic
whale exhibit and a shop, situated on Orange Street. In the Planetarium,
the real time night sky displays are an entrancing introduction
to the stellar delights of Southern Africa.
Address: Government Avenue (between Wale Street and Orange Street),
Transport: A short walk from Adderley Street.
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Gold of Africa
Although gold is more often associated with South Africa’s
‘City of Gold’, Johannesburg, Cape Town’s Gold
of Africa Museum is concentrated entirely on all that glitters and
is indeed gold. Situated in the historic, 18th century Martin
Melck House, this museum is the 1st of its kind in the
world and is all about the history and artistry of African gold,
with numerous dazzling temporary and permanent exhibitions. Highlights
include the West African gold artefacts from the Barbier Mueller
Museum in Geneva, the goldsmith workshop and design studio, the
wine cellar and a pretty, shady tea garden. Tours are accessible
on request and the museum shop is there to satisfy the jackdaw in
all of us.
Address: 96 Strand Street
Telephone: (021) 405 1540.
Facsimile: (021) 405 1541.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.goldofafrica.com
Transport: A short walk from Cape Town railway and bus stations,
secure free parking on the corner of Buitengracht and Strand streets.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: R 20, concessions available.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Set over a magnificent 528 hectares (1,325 acres) and home to 5,000
indigenous plant species, Kirstenbosch is rated 1 of the
top 7 botanical gardens in the world. With strikingly beautiful
formal gardens dotted with African stone sculptures, Kirstenbosch
is a delightful place for a picnic, a stroll or even an energetic
hike through the natural fynbos (indigenous and unique to the Western
Cape) and forest on the lower slopes of Table Mountain.
Attractions include a forest trail for the blind,
a protea garden, a useful plants garden and a fragrance garden,
a water wise garden, as well as a cycad amphitheatre, a glasshouse
complete with Boabab tree, an authentic African mud hut, garden
centre, a gift shop, bookshop, restaurants and café. Over
the summer months (December to March), enormously popular Sunset
Concerts are held on Sunday afternoons at 5.30 pm, with music that
ranges from classical to jazz, African traditional and folk.
Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Telephone: (021) 799 8899.
Facsimile: (021) 797 6570.
Website address: www.kirstenbosch.co.za
Transport: Bus from Adderley Street or Mowbray Station.
Opening hours September to March: Daily 8.00 am to 7.00 pm
Opening hours April to August: Daily 8.00 am to 6.00 pm
Admission: R 22, concessions available.
De Wet House
Built in 1701, Koopmans De Wet House reflects patrician life at
the Cape in the 18th century. Designed in the characteristic ‘Cape
Dutch’ architectural style (a style repeated in several of
the grand manor houses on rural estates and recognisable by curly
gables) the house is also furnished with fine examples of Cape
craftsmanship. Many of these hand carved items of furniture
were designed by slave fundis or experts from the East, as was the
exclusive decorative plasterwork on the exterior of this and other
buildings. The quiet, cool and darkened interior is also a tranquil
retreat from the commotion and heat of the city centre.
Address: 35 Strand Street
Telephone: (021) 481 3935.
Facsimile: (021) 424 6441.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/koopmans
Transport: A short walk from Cape Town Station and Grand Parade.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Admission: R 5, concessions available.
Address: 407 Canal Walk
Telephone: (021) 529 8100.
Facsimile: (021) 529 8179.
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.mtnsciencentre.org.za
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 6.00 pm, Friday to
Saturday 9.30 am to 8.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Admission: R 24, concessions available.
The Cape Town Pass (telephone: (021) 409 7038 email address:
was launched in May 2004. The pass gives free entrance to more
than 50 tourist attractions and includes 20 special offers
and a free tourist guide with maps. The pass is available for 1
(R 275), 2 (R 425), 3 (R 495) or 6 (R 750) days (there are concessions
for children, who pay R 180, R 285, R 350 or R 550) and is available
online or from the Waterfront Tourism Centre, The Clock Tower, V&A
Waterfront at the Ashanti Lodge, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, at the
Villiage & Life de Waterkant, 1 Loader Street, de Waterkant
or the Villiage & Life Camp’s Bay, 59 Victoria Road, Camps
Attractions included on the pass are numerous museums,
the Cape Town Explorer bus, the Two Oceans Aquarium, Kirstenbosch
Botanical Gardens, Koopmans de Wet House, Groot Constantia and the
Address: 25 Queen Victoria Street
Telephone: (021) 481 3900.
Facsimile: (021) 481 3990.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/planetarium
Opening hours: Shows Monday to Friday from 2.00 pm (excluding 1st
Mon of the month), Tuesdays 8.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12.00 pm,
1.00 pm and 2.30 pm.
Admission: R 20, concessions available.
Telephone: (0861) 200 300.
Facsimile: (021) 550 8556.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.ratanga.co.za
Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday 10.00 a, to 5.00 pm, Saturday
10.00 am to 6.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (End of November
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Saturday 10.00
am to 6.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (December 15 to January
Admission: R 100, concessions available.
Visiting Robben Island, a World Heritage Site, is 1 of the most
profoundly moving experiences to be had in South Africa. The infamous
men only prison and former leper colony was home to a generation
of the senior statesmen of Africa, imprisoned because of their political
beliefs. The most well known inmate was, of course, Nelson
Mandela, who spent 18 years of his 27 year sentence here.
The daily Robben Island Tour leaves from the Nelson Mandela Gateway
at the V & A Waterfront Clock Tower Precinct. Once on the island,
guided tours are all given by former political
prisoners here, while the 1st class museum, situated on Robben Island,
offers a wealth of information on this period of South Africa’s
history. There is more to Robben Island than history and politics,
however. The physical beauty of the island itself is fantastic,
with penguin and seal colonies, as well as the brilliant view of
V&A Waterfront and Robben Island
Telephone: (021) 413 4200 (information) or 409 5100 (museum) or
413 4208/9 (reservations).
Facsimile: (021) 425 0206 (information) or 411 1059 (museum) or
419 1057 reservations).
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.robben-island.org.za
Transport: Ferries from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Clock
Tower Precinct, the V&A Waterfront.
Opening hours: Ferries depart daily at 9.00 am, 10.00 am, 12.00
pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm (weather permitting).
Admission: R 150 (ferry ticket and admission), concessions available.
South African Museum
Address: 25 Queen Victoria Street
Telephone: (021) 481 3800.
Facsimile: (021) 481 3993.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/sam
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: R 8, concessions available, entry is free Sun.
South African National Gallery
Address: Government Avenue
Telephone: (021) 467 4660
Facsimile: (021) 467 4680.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/sang
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: R 5, concessions available.
Cape Town’s defining landmark is also 1 of
the city’s greatest tourist attractions. A cable car trip
to the 1,086 metres (3,563 feet) summit of Table Mountain takes
just 6 minutes and the state of the art gondola (1 of just 3 of
its kind in the world) rotates through 360 degrees on the way up
(booking is recommended during summer). Once there, more than 2
kilometres (1.2 miles) of pathways lead walkers over the massif,
with breathtaking views of the city and ocean below. A bistro, perched
right on the summit, is by far the most amazing sundowner spot in
A popular option is for day trippers to take a
1 way ticket up and then climb down Platteklip Gorge, although visitors
should take care. The local Mountain Rescue teams (telephone: (021)
948 9900 or 10177 in an emergency) carry out over 100 rescues a
year, many involving foreign tourists. The routes up and down the
mountain are treacherous and sheer cliff faces with pounding winds
are a very real danger. Peering over the edge of the mountain, no
matter how tempting, is basically not a good idea. The signposts
warning of limited areas must be observed at all costs. Additionally,
the weather can change in a matter of minutes and mist and darkness
descend very quickly. Hikers should carry food, water, sunblock,
a silver ‘space blanket’ to prevent hypothermia and
a mobile phone.
For the wary wanderer, The Table Mountain Guiding Company offers
guided hikes up the mountain.
The Table Mountain
Telephone: (021) 461 6658/9
Facsimile: (021) 462 5823
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.active-africa.com
Address: Tafelberg Road (lower cable station)
Telephone: (021) 424 0015.
Facsimile: (021) 424 3792.
Transport: Bus from Adderley Street / Strand Street to Kloof Nek,
then a long walk to Tafelberg Road, a minibus taxi from Plein Street
(post office) to Kloof Nek.
Opening hours December to January: Daily 8.00 am to 10.00 pm
Opening hours February to March: Daily 8.00 am to 9.00 pm
Opening hours April: Daily 8.30 am to 6.30 pm
Opening hours May to mid September: Daily 8.30 am to 6.00 pm
Opening hours mid September to October: Daily 8.30 am to 7.00 pm
Opening hours November: 8.30 am to 8.00 pm
Note: The cable car operates weather permitting.
Admission: R 110 (return cable car ticket), R 57 (single cable car
ticket), concessions available.
Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre
Address: Pinnacle Building, corner of Burg Street and Castle Street
Telephone: (021) 426 4260/5639.
Facsimile: (021) 426 4266/5640.
Email address: email@example.com
www.capetourism.org or www.tourismcapetown.com
Opening hours summer: Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm,
Saturday 8.30 am to 2.00 pm, Sundays 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.
Opening hours winter: Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Saturday
8.30 am to 2.00 pm, Sunday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.
There is also a Visitor Information Centre at the
Clock Tower Precinct, at the V & A Waterfront. There are many
other information centres located around the peninsula, including
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, The Pavilion in Muizenberg, Sivuyile
College in Gugulethu, the Tyger Valley Shopping Centre and Cape
Town International Airport.
& Alfred Waterfront
The creation of this waterfront, known as the V&A Waterfront,
was possibly the city’s best commercial idea,
transforming a rundown harbour area into a booming centre of culture,
tourism, leisure and business. The area is now the most visited
spot in Cape Town, attracting 85 % of international tourists. Renovated
Victorian warehouses, buildings and offices created in the Victorian
vernacular style, and many dozens of restaurants
and cafés complete this waterside area and
working harbour. A host of boat and yacht charter operations tout
for business and it is worth taking 1 of the many cruises around
The Waterfront is also residence to the world class Two
Oceans Aquarium. Feeding in the huge predator tanks takes
place daily at 3.30 pm and should not be missed. Aquarium dives
can additionally be arranged. Also, with over 250 retail outlets,
the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre is another premier attraction.
The Waterfront Trading Company and the Red Shed Craft Workshop supply
local arts and crafts, while, in summer, several music acts perform
on the bandstand.
The Clock Tower Precinct is the departure point
for Robben Island cruises and is also packed with bars, shops and
restaurants. During the initial construction of the area, the ruins
of the Dutch East India Military installation, dating back to between
1715 and 1726, were revealed and are now on show to the public.
The Waterfront Canal, which links the Waterfront and the Cape Town
International Convention Centre and passing through a residential
marina, opened in June 2003. Word on the quay is that a new luxury
hotel is intended for the area around the vast New Basin, adjacent
to the Two Oceans Aquarium.
& A Waterfront
Address: Dock Road, off Coen Steytler Avenue, Beach or Portswood
Road, or Ebenezer Road, off the Western Boulevard
Telephone: (021) 408 7600.
Facsimile: (021) 408 7605.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport: Waterfront Shuttle from Adderley Street or Beach Road.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours, the shops are open daily 9.00 am
to 9.00 pm.
Two Oceans Aquarium
Address: Dock Road
Telephone: (021) 418 3823.
Facsimile: (021) 418 3952.
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.aquarium.co.za
Opening hours: Daily 9.30 am to 6.00 pm.
Admission: R 60 (concessions available).
William Fehr Collection
Telephone: (021) 464 1260.
Facsimile: (021) 464 1280.
Website address: www.museums.org.za/wfc
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9.30 am to 4.00 pm.
Admission: R 18, concessions available.