The Western Cape province of South Africa can be divided into six areas.
Center and Klein Karoo:
The Klein Karoo lies between the Outeniqua, Langeberg and Swartberg mountain ranges, it is an area of contrasting landscapes, magnificent sunsets and ostrich-producing Oudtshoorn. The Central Karoo is drier and more extensive, it is the country’s main sheep-raising region, it is world-renowned for its fossils and its capital, Beaufort-West, was the birthplace of cardiac surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard. Be sure to eat Karoo Lamb at one of the excellent restaurants.
The West Coast is popular with photographers, artists, adventurers, and bird watchers for its pristine beaches, magnificent mountain ranges, spectacular spring wildflowers, San rock art, and areas that attract large numbers of birds. Many quaint little towns dot the coast, but don’t miss Darling for the flowers, Langebaan, Saldanha Bay, Citrusdal, Clanwilliam and the surrounding area, Vanrhynsdorp for the rock art and Elands Bay for the surf.
The Cape Peninsula stretches from Cape Town’s city center to Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Along this coastline you will find the famous beaches of the Western Cape, eg Camps Bay and Clifton and the nude beach at Sandy Bay. Visit the charming fishing villages of Hout Bay with its famous Mariner’s Wharf and Simon’s Town with its Boulders Beach and seal colony. The activities include bathing, diving, fishing, hiking, visiting museums, forts, art routes, shopping and tasting the excellent seafood offer. Carved out of solid rock, Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular mountain drives in the world, starting at Hout Bay and ending at Noordhoek, allowing you to take in the panoramic scenery at several viewpoints.
The Wine Lands:
Home to many of the country’s best and award-winning wines, the region boasts vineyards and fruit orchards in beautiful green valleys surrounded by mountain ranges and dotted with historic towns and villages. Must-see cities include Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, world famous for their whites, reds, sherries, ports and brandies. Wine routes and brandy routes can be explored, including tastings along the way.
Breede River Valley:
This is the largest fruit and wine producing valley in the Western Cape and is the main breeding area for racehorses in the country. The area stretches from Gouda in the west, McGregor in the south, Montagu in the east to Tankwa-Karoo National Park in the north. This is an area of magnificent views, panoramic landscapes and towering cliffs, clear streams, an abundance of trees and native flora such as fynbos and proteas.
The Garden Route:
The Garden Route, with its spectacular scenic beauty, runs parallel to the Cape coast and features lakes, mountains, tall indigenous forests, amber rivers, golden beaches and villages along the way. Winding trails are followed by hikers, the forest invites long leisurely drives, and the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming, boating and fishing. Must-see towns along the way include the Garden Route Gateway, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna with its famous Heads and Oysters, and Plettenberg Bay. The area is phenomenal for adventure and nature lovers.
Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world with a cliff path that stretches from one side of the city to the other and a direct whale watching line. Walker Bay is a nursery for the Great Southern Right Whale and don’t miss Bientang Cave, where you can sample great seafood inside a cave and watch the whales. Don’t miss the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden with over 5 hectares of cultivated fynbos and 195 hectares of natural fynbos; the charming fishing village of Arniston, the southern tip of Africa: the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse Museum, Caledon for its September wildflower display and hot springs and the charming colonial town of Swellendam.
Come to the Western Cape province in South Africa, a destination full of wonders.