Top 10: Natural attractions in the Western Cape
Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand
Table Mountain National Park
No doubt the biggest natural attraction in the Western Cape is the beloved Table Mountain, situated within the Table Mountain National Park which encompasses a chain of rugged mountains that stretch for 60 kilometres from Signal Hill to Cape Point.
Cape Floral Kingdom
Stretching from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape, the Cape Floral Kingdom is a World Heritage Site – recognised as one of the richest areas in the world for plant biodiversity. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains 3% of the world’s plant species.
A major highlight of any trip to the Western Cape is seeing the whales. From June to October is a particular good time to view the whales. During September the Whale Festival takes place in the coastal town of Hermanus.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
In a gorgeous setting at the foot of Table Mountain, the world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are renowned for showcasing the unique beauty and diversity of the Western Cape’s flora.
This narrow finger of land is covered in indigenous fynbos (part of the Cape Floral Kingdom) as is also renowned for its incredible birdlife (especially pelagic birds). The baboon population is also prominent.
Well-protected from the wind by huge granite boulders, Boulders Beach (close to the naval port of Simon’s Town) is home to more than 3000 African penguins, and the beach is a major attraction for holidaymakers.
The Garden Route
Stretching from the Southern Cape to the Tsitsikamma Forest, the Garden Route is one of the most scenic regions in the country – consisting of forests, lakes, mountains and pristine beaches.
The Cango Caves are known as the ‘underground wonderland of the Klein Karoo’. These caves are a series of dripstone caverns that were formed around 4500 million years ago.
Karoo National Park
The Karoo contains the largest ecosystem in South Africa and boasts unique plants and creatures. The Karoo National Park is home to lions, rhino and buffalo.
Storms River Mouth
The dramatic scenery of Storm’s River Mouth is a major draw card for travellers and adventure-seekers. The steep kloofs and waterfalls are a major attraction.