The Western Cape is one of South Africa’s premier tourist attractions, and for good reason. It is home to the famous Table Mountain, vast winelands, magnificent beaches, world-class restaurants and cosmopolitan entertainment haunts.
Situated on the south-western tip of Africa, the Western Cape is the meeting point of the cold Atlantic and the warm Indian Oceans. Its capital city Cape Town, is dominated by the flat-topped bulk of Table Mountain.
The story of the Republic of South Africa began in the Western Cape, some 350 years ago, when it was inhabited by the Khoi, San and other Bantu-speaking groups. In the late 15th century European seafarers arrived here in search of a halfway stop on trade routes to the East and thereby changed the face of South African history forever. Today, the province boasts South Africa’s fifth largest population, numbering in the region of 4.5 million inhabitants.
BESIENSWAARDIGHEDE IN DIE WESKAAP
Cape Town Metropolitan area
The area between Table Mountain and Hottentots Holland comprises the Cape Town Metropole and encompasses pulsating cosmopolitan city life, beach playgrounds, forests and exquisite nature parks. Cape Town has many markets and impressive shopping centres and malls. One of the most talked about shopping venues is the impressive 400-outlet Canal Walk Century City. It also boasts a 20-theatre cinema complex and for adrenaline-pumping entertainment, there’s Ratanga Junction, a 30-attraction theme park with and the glitzy Grand West Casino & Entertainment World. Don’tforget to explore the fleamarkets too.
A day in Cape Town might end with a classical concert at sundown in one of the world’s great botanical gardens – Kirstenbosch, a repositoryfor many rare fynbos species and a wealth of indigenous plants, trees and flowers.
The nightlife in Cape Town city centre has earned her the title as the party capital of Africa. Down just a few streets in the Mother City there are hundreds of bars, restaurants and clubs just waiting to be explored until the early hours of the morning. Cape Town is also known as a ‘pink city’, offering a warm welcome to the gay and lesbian community
Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most famous landmark. A quick spin by revolving cable car to the 1 086m summit will give the visitor a grand view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and of course the equally famous South African `Alcatraz’ – Robben Island.
The mountain is sculpted from sandstone and it rises 1086 metres above the bay. Its flat summit measures nearly 3km from end to end. The mountain is home to approximately 1470 species of plants. Many of these are endemic, i.e. appearing nowhere else on earth. Included is the rare Silver Tree and the wild orchid Disa Uniflora.
The V& A Waterfront
The most visited attraction in Cape Town is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with its assortment of shopping, eating, entertainment and sightseeing facilities, all set within a working harbour.
Take an emotional journey to the former prison of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many other anti-apartheid activists spent many of their adult years. An absolute must on any journey to the Cape.
Most fabulous Beaches in the World
There’s a beach to suit every mood in Cape Town: Clifton for those who want to see and be seen, Sandy Bay for the nudists, Muizenberg with its colourful bathing boxes for a good swim in warmer waters, Kommektjie for watersports, Fishhoek – a quaint seaside village, Houtbay – a colourful fishing harbour and craft market, Kalk Bay for antique hunters and Boulder’s Beach at Simon’s Town is home to a colony of Jackass penguins.
The Cape Fortress
The oldest surviving building in South Africa is the Castle of Good Hope - the pentagonal fortress built by personnel of the Dutch East India Company back in the 1660s-70s. Today it houses the regional headquarters of the South African Defence Force in the Western Cape, and a military museum.
A stop at Cape Point gives the visitor the opportunity to boast of having been at the most southern point of the Cape Peninsula. Some 26 shipwrecks have been recorded at Cape Point, some of them presenting good diving spots. A funicular takes visitors on scenic trips to an old lighthouse and the spot is a bird watcher’s paradise