Western Cape South Africa

From the salty air of coastal hamlets to the refined breezes of the winelands, the Western Cape dazzles with its rich diversity. There is always something new to discover around the next bend in the road and the surpises weave together to form the impossibly rich tapestry that is the Western Cape Experience.


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Western Cape -South Africa

'Cape Town is a feast for the senses and a balm for the soul as natural beauty inspires adventure, fun and relaxation'

There aren't many places on earth where you can enjoy sundowners overlooking the sand and sea at the foot of coastal mountains in a vibrant, cosmopolitan international city.

Vineyards, skyscrapers and nature reserves nestle alongside gourmet eateries, shabeens, national monuments and colourful street traders to make Cape Town the magical mother city.

Area map of Wstern Cape







Table Mountain is the instantly recognizable symbol of the city of Cape Town and provides endless opportunities for adventure. Hike up the mountain via the many trails that criss cross its slopes, relax on the summit and enjoy the unparalleled view of the peninsula before descending Table Mountain in the rotating cable car. Kirstenbosch, the renowned botanical garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain is a wonderland of local flora and fascinating historical charm. Quiet pools and ponds shaded by towering oak trees and endless lawns compete with the beguiling attractions of the Colonels Bird Bath, the cycad ampitheatre, Lady Annes bath and the medicinal garden for visitor admiration. The gardens also boast a number of restaurants and tea rooms.

The citys beaches attract people from September to June The ever fashionable Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno on the Atlantic seaboard are the perfect sundowner destinations for enjoying a sandy picnic or a decadent cocktail at one of the many trendy sidewalk cafes and bars. During the day the beaches are the preserve of the toned and the tanned where many a bikini top has been discarded in the quest for all over bronzing.

Along the False Bay coastline on the other side of Cape Town, its all about old-world charm and a change of pace. The beautiful Railway House clock tower in Muizenberg beckons patrons to enjoy the culinary and musical delights at Fogeys, the stately homes overlooking the sea at St James whisper secrets of a bygone era and the retro glamour of Kalk Bay invites visitors to relax a while in the numerous bistros, delis and restaurants.

The coastal road wanders on to Fishhoek and Simonstown, where the Jackass Penguin colony at Boulders Beach is a must visit. A wooden boardwalk winding through the penguins breeding ground gives you a unique vantage point from which to observe these quaint sea birds and the sheltered beach affords even closer contact with the tuxedoed charmers that swim with bathers and waddle amidst the sun worshippers.

A few kilometres away the Black Marlin at Millers point is a delightful culinary detour on the way to Cape Point - the most South-westerly point of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Take in the vista of False Bay and marvel at the majestic cliffs - some of the highest in the world at 249 metres above sea level.

The Cape Point National Park with its many walks and hiking trails, tidal pools for relaxing bathing and striking sea life is a nature lovers paradise, attracting hikers, snorkellers, divers as well as the visitor who simply is delighted by the natural beauty.

From snorkelling to surf, the board-riders paradise of Misty Cliffs and Witsand drop off from the road that snakes along the mesmerisingly blue sea from Scarborough to Kommetjie.

Visit Mokwena the only black rhino on the Cape peninsula at the Solole private Game Reserve in Kommetjie and don't leave without sampling the delectable food at the restaurant overlooking a game watering hole frequented by lazy buffalo, buck and birds.

Drive on to Noordhoek where it's well worth braving the wind on Long Beach to be able to reward yourself with a drink and pizza, before continuing along Chapmans Point and on to Hout Bay with picturesque bends boasting some of the most spectacular views in the world.

At the fot of Chappies - as it's fondly called by the locals -enjoy a laidback seafood feast at Chapmans Peak Hotel or idle at the waters edge before taking a long digestion enhancing stroll along the lovely Hout Bay Beach. Heading back towards the Atlantic seaboard, youre suspended between shimmering sea and towering rock as you drive over Suikerbossie and along the foot of the majestic Twelve Apostles Mountains.

Atlantis Atlantis accommodation
Atlantis is a town situated in the City of Cape Town. Atlantis is located 40 km (25 miles) north of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD). It was established during the as an industrial centre and as a community for Cape Town's population.

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MelkbosstrandMelkbosstrand accommodation
Melkbosstrand (Afrikaans for "Milkwood beach") is a coastal village and beach located on the South West Coast, 35 km north of Cape Town. The town and its 7 km stretch of white sand beach is situated on the Atlantic coast, west of the Blouberg mountain
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Durbanville accommodation
Durbanville is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, part of the greater City of Cape Town metropolitan area. Durbanville residential suburb on the northern outskirts of the metropolis and is surrounded by farms producing wine and wheat.
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Bloubergstrand accommodation
Bloubergstrand is in the locality of Cape Town along the shores of Table Bay, about 25 km to the north of Cape Town city centre. Bloubergstrand in Afrikaans literally means "blue mountain beach" derived from Blaauwberg, a nearby mountain.
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Vineyards, skyscrapers and nature reserves nestle alongside gourmet eateries, shabeens, national monuments and colourful street traders.

Some Attractions
Cape Town
Table Mountain
Wine/Garden Routes

Cape town City
Incredibly Cape Town is not only blessed with a gorgeous coastal periphary. The businees district is a throbbing powerhouse of vibey clubs, fascinating boutiques, outdoor markets and stylish restaurants. Greenmarket Square delights browsers and serious shoppers with its electic treasures, as does the Pan african Market in Long Street. Walk around the Company Gardens, the original vegetable garden of the early Dutch settlers and pop into the Natural History Museum, Planetarium and Jewish museum if you're in the mood for engagingmore actively with the history and culture of Cape Town.

The Bo-Kaap with its multi hued buildings adorning the slopes of Signal Hill is another treasure celebrating the Capes Malay heritage.

Robben Island

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandelas incarceration for most of his 27 years behind bars, trips to the prison island leave from the Clock Tower precinct at the V&A Waterfront.

Victoria & Albert Waterfront
An all in one shoping and recreation mecca frequented by locals and visitors alike the V&A waterfront is another larger than life Cape Town attraction. Buskers entertain crowds that wander between outdoor restaurants and shopping areas and the atmosphere is unfailing festive.

Food and wine in Cape Town
For those who love good food, Cape Towns diverse and internationally renowned eateries are sure to captivate and delight the most discerning palates. In the Cape food is brought to life by the regions stellar wines and Cape Towns immediate vicinity contains 2 of the Capes 14 wine routes: Constantia and Durbanville. Both wine routes boast award winning and prestigious restaurants set in dreamy landscapes of vineyards, valleys and mountains.

The Wineland Routes:
The wineland towns of Stellenbosch, Franshoek, Paarl and Wellington are proud and graceful. Gabled Dutch homesteads pepper the vineyard estates and add a gravitas to a wine industry that has exploded over the past years. The farms give the region its distinctive flavour, with wine related attractions being top of the list of must-see activities.

History, culture, cuisine and adventure come together in these regions where a day could start off with a dawn hot air ballon flight from Paarl over the Berg Valley continue with breakfast then stroll in the wild flower garden beneath the majestic Paarl Rock, a short drive to Franshoek for lunch in one of the gourmet capitals world class restaurants - the Inspiring view at La Petite Ferme, the cellar charm of Haute Cabiere, Reubens laid back chic and Chamonix's faultless cuisine would make choosing a dining venue exquisite torture....

After lunch a visit to Huguenots Fine Chocolate in the high street would be in order, followed by some French cheese shopping at the La Cotte specialist wine and cheese store.

An afternoon siteseeing from a mountain bike or horse back is the perfect way to explore the valley and surrounding mountains. Great hiking trails, paragliding, golf, fly-fishing and 4x4 trails are just some of the attractions on offer in Franshoek. The perfect wineland day could be rounded off by a culinary and cultural adventure in Stellenbosch, where you are spoilt for choice with the town and surrounds packed with celebrated restaurants. Entertainment abounds, with open-air ampitheatres at Oude Libertas and Spier hosting star studded line ups in the summer months and the many small theatres and pub venues bristling with talent throughout the year.

Breede River Valley
The towns and hamlets of the Breede River Valley are like a family blessed not only with graceful looks, but a generous spirit. Although each of the towns has its own distinctive features, the overall impression of the region is one of unique natural beauty and disarming hospitality. Tulbagh is the whimsical, picture perfect youngest daughter of the family, with its fairytale mountains towering over the prestine green valley adorned with gracious homesteads and wine estates. Well stocked with visitor comforts from art galleries and museums to fine eateries, Tulbagh is the perfect weekend breakaway destination, only one hour from Cape Town.

As you wander down the valley from Tulbagh through the orchards of Ceres and Worchester towards the Robertson, don't miss a chance to explore the tranquil village of McGregor. Off the beaten track at the end of a road going nowhere, the village is home to an eclectic artistic community that runs the quaint local galleries and cafes, a pottery and a multi-faith meditation centre.

The pride of the region is the Robertson wine route, enjoy corn fritters and wine tasting under the trees at Van Louvern on Saturday mornings or take a picnic to Springfields and taste the estates excellent wines while overlooking the tranquil lake. De Wetshof, Mayors Hill, Zandvliet and the beautiful Fraai Uitzicht estate and guest farms should not be missed by wine lovers meandering along this wine route.

The Breed River Valley is also a favourite for eco-tourism and adventure destination with river cruises, canoeing, hiking and 4x4 trails to delight the outdoor enthusiast.

Driving from Robertson to Montague you'll pass through the spectacular foldings of the sandstone mountains that seperate the Breede River Valley from the Little Karoo and emerge into a town with manicured flower gardens brimming with lavendar and roses. Montague, the gateway to the Little Karoo, resonates with the graces of a bygone age with its white-washed thatched cottages and picture perfect historical frontages. The soothign waters of the famous hot springs 3km outside the town attract visitors all year round, the tractor rides to the top of the Langeberg Mountains on the nearby Protea Farm are another favourite and provide a birds eye view of the surrounding valleys.

Route 62
The Overberg region stretches inland from Barrydale and Swellendam to the coastal towns of Hermanus and L'Agulhas and meanders through the charming villages of Stanford, Napier, Bredasdorp and Elim. Driving from Montague to Barrydale you will be travelling along part of the worlds longest wine route - Route 62 - and it's a good idea to watch out for piglets crossing the road, the cute adventurers from the farmland that flanks the well maintained road have been known to wander onto the warm tarmac and startle motorists dreaming of the welcoming warm fire and fine food and wine of the area. Travel over the scenic Tradouws Pass, often shrouded in mist on a rainy day, to the beautiful historic town of Swellendam at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. National monuments abound in this town, where imposing old churches, gracious houses and vibrant restaurants compete for your attention. An Abundance of accommodation makes Swellendam a great place to spend a few days while exploring the surrounding nature reserves of Grootvadersbosch, Bontebok, Marloth and De Hoop providing endless opportunities for discovering the natural charm of the area.

Travelling away from the mountains towards the coast you'll go through Bredasdorp and Napier and arrive at the pretty fishing village of Arniston or Waenhuiskrans. No longer a modest rural village it once was, it has become a favourite holiday destination for the well heeled, the town echoes with the simple beauty of its past. Wander among the white-washed fishermens cottages or explore the intruging coastal rock formations that include the famous cave from which the village gets its name.

Further along the coast towards Cape Town is Hermanus, one of the countries favourite coastal holiday destination. Feted for ts springtime flowers and whale watching friendly bay, the town draws thousands of whale watchers throughout the year and particuarly in September over the annual Whale festival. Visitors can enjoy the towns many restaurants and shopping attractions as well as venture a bit further to the little village of Stanford just a few kilometres along the road.

The Garden Route
From Mossel Bay to the mighty Storms River, the Garden route is the verdant region along the N2 national highway linking Cape Town and Port Elizabeth as it meanders through Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Sedgefield and Wilderness. Hop onto the Outeniqua Tjoe-Choo at George with a picnic breakfast and watch the world go by as you're transported over wetlands, through forests and along the breathtaking coastline by one of the last passenger steam trains in use. Arriving in Knysna you will be just in time for a walkabout of the towns inviting craft and flea markets before lunch at one of the many deli's or exclusive restaurants. A haven of tranquility or a bustling market town with a vibrant nightlife in seasonm, Knysna is the coastal chameleon with everything on offer. Don't leave without sampling the local oysters, touching tame elephants at the elephant park and experiencing scenic flight over The Heads - the twin sandstone cliffs at the mouth of the Knysna lagoon.

Plattenberg Bay is another crowd pleaser, catering for a wide range of tastes and budgets. The town woos one and all with its startling natural splendour between forest and sea, offering world class premium hotels, guest houses, restaurants and self catering accommodation.

The areas spectacular rivers, beaches and bay are ideal for all types of watersports including sailing, rock and surf fishing,and scuba diving. If its a day soaking up the sun, riding the waves,fishing or browsing the lifestyle shops you're after, Plettenberg is guarenteed to please.

If it is serious rest and recuperation you are after, head to the laid back resort towns of Wilderness and Sedgefield between George and Knysna. An endearing sleepy coastal village with abundant natural attractions, make these perfect downtime destinations and if wave gazing makes you restless, the more vibey centres are just a scenic drive away. But don't be seduced by the bright lights of the bigger towns before taking in the views at the famous 'Map of AfricaViewpoint' and Dolphin Point, where you might catch a glimpse of a whale or a dolphin as you gaze across the miles and miles of ocean.

Before you leave the Western Cape heading towards Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape, you'll find yourself in the wonderland of the Tsitsikamma forest, home of the giant Outeniqua yellowwood. One of the most succesful species in existance, this enormous tree has survived unchanged for millions of years. The hiking trails and walks in this area are legendary, with the famous Otter Trail being booked out years in advance. For the less energetic, there are more sedate ways of enjoying the natural beauty of the area with camp sites, guest houses and self catering accommodation providing for the intrepid hikers.

From the salty air of coastal hamlets to the refined breezes of the winelands, the Western Cape dazzles with its rich diversity. There is always something new to discover around the next bend in the road and the surpises weave together to form the impossibly rich tapestry that is the Western Cape Experience.

Cape Town Hotels Wine Route Accommodation Garden Route Hotels Karoo Accommodation Overberg Accommodation Breede Valley Accommodation West Coast Accommodation and Information