12 October 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Five wonderful Western Cape experiences

The magnificent province of the Western Cape is home to Table Mountain, Robben Island, part of the scenic garden route, picturesque winelands, and so much more.

View of Table Mountain. Image courtesy of Paul Bruins, aka Panorama Paul

The Western Cape is beautifully portrayed in these pictures shared on our Love South Africa Flickr group. They show five of the many wonderful places you can visit in this fascinating province.

A popular feature in postcards from Cape Town is the iconic Table Mountain. It's not enough to marvel at its flat top or at how the clouds cover it like a tablecloth would a dinner table – you should get to the top. You can hike to the top or you can take a ride in the cable car to enjoy wonderful views like these:

Looking at Robben Island from the top of Table Mountain. Image courtesy of <a href= Looking at Robben Island from the top of Table Mountain. Image courtesy of farz3
Looking down towards Camps Bay from the top of Table Mountain. Image courtesy of <a href= Looking down towards Camps Bay from the top of Table Mountain. Image courtesy of farz3

Another great vantage point is Cape Point, located at the tip of the Cape Peninsula and within the Cape Point Nature Reserve. The Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet around this area – the actual point at which they meet is rather fluid due to the movement of the water. It is quite a walk up to the lookout point, but well worth the exercise. Be warned that the wind up here is very strong so hold tightly onto anything that could blow away. Between the months of May and November, this is a great place to spot whales.

View of Cape Point from a helicopter. Image courtesy of <a href= View of Cape Point from a helicopter. Image courtesy of Bas Leenders, aka Bas L
Pathway up to the lookout point. Image courtesy of <a href= Pathway up to the lookout point. Image courtesy of Fredrick Henriksen, aka Bergenseren
Directional signage at Cape Point. Image courtesy of <a href= Directional signage at Cape Point. Image courtesy of Julia S., aka juliaschilling

For an even closer look at the incredible creatures that move through our waters from May to November each year, head to Hermanus for some magnificent whale watching. If you enjoy a good market, you will love the foods, crafts, art and live music at the Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival. The whales, of course, are the stars of the festival.

Festival goers. Image courtesy of <a href= Festival goers. Image courtesy of Randall Langenhoven, aka WITHIN the FRAME Phototgraphy

However, if you prefer some peace and quiet, you can head to one of the lookout points and take in the scenery ...

Tourists enjoying the Hermanus atmosphere. Image courtesy of <a href= Tourists enjoying the Hermanus atmosphere. Image courtesy of Randall Langenhoven, aka WITHIN the FRAME Phototgraphy

Don't miss the official Whale Crier of Hermanus, who informs visitors about where whales have been seen and how many of them have been spotted. One of the highlights of whale watching is spotting a mother with a newly born calf.

A whale breaching in Hermanus. Image by South African Tourism A whale breaching in Hermanus. Image by South African Tourism
A southern right whale breaching in Hermanus. Image courtesy of <a href= A southern right whale breaching in Hermanus. Image courtesy of Pascal Parent

The Western Cape is also home to massive canola fields. The seeds of canola plants are used to make oil. These plants can grow quite tall, and together they form these lovely, yellow "carpets".  

Canola fields in Durbanville. Image courtesy of <a href= Canola fields in Durbanville. Image courtesy of Paul Bruins, aka Panorama Paul
Image courtesy of <a href= Image courtesy of Yulia Schoeman

If you are feeling adventurous, head to the Klein Karoo where you can interact with ostriches in Oudtshoorn and visit one of nature's most interesting works of art, the Cango Caves, about 30km outside Oudtshoorn. These caves were discovered in the late 1700s and consist of magnificent rock formations, some of which resemble well-known events and locations like Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa. You can also enjoy a guided adventure tour of the caves, involving lots of ducking and manoeuvring. 

Cango Caves. Image courtesy of <a href= Cango Caves. Image courtesy of Khaled AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100
Cango Caves. Image courtesy of <a href= Cango Caves. Image courtesy of Khaled-AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100

So head to the Western Cape, explore its fantastic vistas, and share your photos with us on the Love South Africa Flickr group. We love looking at your photos and reading about your experiences.

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Category: Attractions, Wildlife

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