2011 Cape Town is named World Design Capital for 2014.
2010 South Africa hosts the FIFA World Cup, with 7 matches played in Cape Town. The world becomes acquainted with the vuvuzela: a monotone plastic horn that is popular at South African football matches and can be loud enough to cause hearing loss.
2004 Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
1995 Rugby World Cup hosted and won by South Africa. The story is told in the 2009 film Invictus.
1994 Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa’s first black president.
1990 Nelson Mandela released from prison after 27 years. He is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three years later. End of apartheid.
1970s Widespread civil unrest, often related to government race policies. Black South Africans no longer legally citizens.
1967 Dr Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.
1961 South Africa votes to become a republic and leaves the British Empire.
1940s Legal backing given for segregated workplaces and suburbs in Cape Town. Apartheid becomes official.
1930s Cape Town homes electrified. Foreshore land reclamation programme begins.
1918 University of Cape Town established.
1899 Start of the Second Anglo-Boer War, which ends with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies.
1867 Diamonds discovered in Griqualand West. Diamond hunters arrive.
1834 Official emancipation of slaves in the Cape. Boer farmers start “the Great Trek” out of the colony.
1814 Cape Town formally becomes part of British Empire after the Battle of Waterloo.
1703 Licences are issued to stock farmers, allowing them to graze their cattle on the land of the Khoi-Khoi, beyond formal colonial boundaries.
1672 Brandy is produced in South Africa for the first time. In 2010, Cape brandy is named the best in the world at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC).
1652 The Dutch East India Company establishes a refreshment station at Table Bay to provide fresh water, fruit, vegetables and meat for passing ships en route to India.
1580 English admiral Francis Drake rounds the Cape and writes in his diary “This Cape is a most stately thing, and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.”
1497 Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to land on South African soil and encounters the Khoi-Khoi, describing them in his diary: “'The inhabitants of this country are tawny-coloured. Their food is confined to the flesh of seals, whales and gazelles, and the roots of herbs. They are dressed in skins, and wear sheaths over their virile members.”
1488 In search for a sea route to India, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias circumnavigates the Cape, naming it "Cabo de Bõa Esperança" or the Cape of Good Hope.
c.1300-c.1500 The Khoisan are established as the dominant power in the southern and south-western Cape regions.
c.12000BC First signs of human habitation in Cape region.