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IIn Western Cape province you will discover world-class wines, wonderful whale watching, contrasting landscapes, ample adventure options and the magic of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Western Cape is one of South Africa’s most beautiful and diverse provinces, from its magnificent but diverse coastal areas like the drier West Coast and the green Garden Route, through its fertile mountains and winelands and into the semi-desert landscapes of the Little and Great Karoo.
The jewel in the provincial crown is the city of Cape Town, recognised the world over for its iconic Table Mountain, and popular for its vibrant mix of culture and history. Among the most popular tourist spots to visit here are the top of the mountain, Robben Island and the Cape of Good Hope.
Western Cape is also home to the Cape winelands, including the world’s longest wine route, found along the R62. This scenic mender between wine estates runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape province, 850km along the southern coast.
If you don't have time to complete the whole route, consider visiting the more compact wine-growing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Ceres, Worcester, Bonnievale or Robertson, all within easy reach of Cape Town.
The Garden Route, from Cape Town to Knysna, passes through many a quirky town, complete with welcoming locals and fresh produce stalls. It gets its name from the stunning coastal forests, lakes and beaches found along the way, and the indigenous fynbos that grows everywhere in a profusion of contrasting stems, leaves and blooms.
Stop in at Swellendam, a town where the jailer once doubled as the postmaster, to experience Cape Dutch architecture at its best.
Several hours south-east of Cape Town is the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. The journey to Cape Agulhas will take you through the scenic Overberg, along what is known as the Whale Coast. You could take a detour to Hermanus, a town famous for its whale watching.
A trip up the West Coast will take you to quiet fishing villages such as Langebaan and Paternoster. Although not as green as the Garden Route, this region boasts a carpet of flowers every spring (September and October). If you’re here at the right time, be sure to take the time to enjoy the flora along the way, in particular the West Coast National Park.
Also found on the West Coast is the dramatically beautiful Cederberg, an area of rocky mountains popular with climbers and campers and renowned for its rock art and rooibos tea, which comes from a plant endemic to this area.
For serious peace and quiet, head north into the Karoo, one of the most arid regions in the country. This sparsely populated, semi-desert area offers open space, fresh air and historical architecture.
Outdoor enthusiasts are by no means left out when it comes to things to do in Western Cape. Kite-surfing along the West Coast, shark-cage diving in Gansbaai, sea kayaking in Simon’s Town, hiking along the Otter Trail and ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn are sure to keep the most ardent adrenaline junkies entertained.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Western Cape Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 8600
How to get here
You can fly directly to Cape Town International Airport from most major airports around the world. The city is also linked by rail and air to the rest of South Africa.
Best time to visit
Any time of year, though it will depend on what you plan to do and see: summers (October to April) are warm and dry; winters (May to September) are cooler, much windier and often much wetter. The flowers up the West Coast and in Namaqualand, Northern Cape, are in bloom in September and October.
Public transport in Cape Town is good, but hiring your own vehicle allows you to explore the entire province at your own pace.
Length of stay
Cape Town alone will take at least a week to experience properly, so plan a 2-week trip, and perhaps repeat visits, to fully explore Western Province.
What to pack
Sunblock and a hat are important, year-round. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for those who enjoy exploring on foot.
What to eat
Coastal towns in Western Cape specialise in fresh seafood such as fish, mussels, crayfish and calamari. Cape Town and the nearby winelands boast many of the country’s best restaurants.