The Western Cape is a South African province with coasts bordering the Indian and Atlantic oceans. It’s known for the port city of Cape Town, set beneath Table Mountain, part of a national park of the same name. In Table Bay, Robben Island is the notorious prison that once detained former president, Nelson Mandela, and is now a living museum. Farther afield, winelands surround historical towns like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
Population: ± 6.5 million
What is the Western Cape known for?
The oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town, also called ‘The Mother City’, is here. The Western Cape is known for its wine production and vineyards. The winelands are divided into six main regions: Boberg, Breede River Valley, Cape South Coast, Coastal Region, Klein Karoo and Olifants River. Each has unique climate, topography and fertile soil.
The Western Cape (with Cape Town as its capital) boasts a heady mix of mountains, vineyards, and oceans that appeal to millions of visitors annually. More than any other province its attractions border on iconic and, as a result, the province is the most popular for foreign visitors.
Why is the Western Cape a wonderful destination?
The holiday destinations in the Western Cape are South Africa’s premier tourist attraction; places where visitors can experience the Cape’s natural beauty, mountains, vineyards and its vibrant capital, the city of Cape Town.
North of Cape Town, the West Coast incorporates the West Coast National Park, well known for birds and spring flowers (in late August and September), and the West Coast Fossil Park in Langebaan. Also in the province is the Cederberg, an area of contrast where 71 000ha of rugged mountains are offset in spring by carpets of yellow, orange, blue and purple flowers.
Along the province’s eastern coastline lies the picturesque Garden Route, which stretches several hundred kilometres from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.
Is Cape Town safe?
Statistically, Cape Town may be a dangerous city, but thousands of tourists are relatively unaffected by crime during their visits. The best way to avoid crime is to be cautious, stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings.
Did You Know?
The Western Cape is the fourth largest of the nine provinces. South Africa’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve lies just 90 km east of Cape Town at Kogelberg. The reserve combines 1880 plant species, an incredible bird life, wetland wild horses and whales just offshore with day hikes, mountain bike trails and overnight trails. Possibly the world’s greatest biodiversity hot-spot, the true drawcard of the Kogelberg is its incredible scenery – beaches, rocky shores, mountains, vineyards, orchards and exceptional fynbos.