Western Cape

Cape Town

Situated at the south-western tip of South Africa and the African continent, it’s the city of Table Mountain, of Robben Island, of the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens, and the spectacular Cape Point… But aside from its natural assets, it’s home to colourful characters from a cross-section of cultures and it has a fascinating history.

A national park within city limits. Two World Heritage Sites. Enough said. Cape Town has one of the widest ranges of attractions in the world.

This includes a diverse mix of cultural and heritage sites, outdoor and adventure activities, health and wellness options, entertainment, nature and environment, and wining and dining. Cape Town is set in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

It is dominated by the mood-setting Table Mountain, which cradles the busy commercial hub of the city between itself and the Atlantic Ocean.

It is a key tourist destination because of diverse scenery that includes beaches, forests, mountains and wildlife, but at the same time offers the international visitor world-class service in some of the best hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and shopping malls in the world.The city is known for its good weather and outdoor lifestyle.

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities from skydiving off Lion’s Head onto the world-renowned Camps Bay Beach, to sitting at one of the many outdoor cafés enjoying the mix of local flavours and people.

There are fun activities for the whole family, romantic destinations for couples, and an exciting nightlife for all ages.

Walk the streets of Cape Town, meet its people and fall in love with a city of hope, creative freedom and incredible spirit.

The Penguins of Boulders Beach, Simons Town

Thing is, they’re just irresistible.

Memories of penguin animation classics like Surfs Up and Happy Feet meet a serious resurgence at the sight of these tail coated waddling gentlemen and their fluff ball penguin chicks.

Locals are not alone in their appreciation as daily bus loads of tourists succumb to their appeal.Boulders Beach in Simons Town is home to a growing colony of African Penguins now said to number over 3000, though the species as a whole is listed as endangered.

Oil spills and declining food resources decreased the numbers dramatically from millions in the 1930s to under 180 000.

Previously known as the Jackass Penguin on account of the braying sound it makes when on land, the name ‘African Penguin’ was adopted to distinguish it from the Jackass Penguin found in South America.

In 1983 a pair of African Penguins were spotted on Foxy Beach at Boulders and in 1985 they began to mate, leading to the rapid growth of the colony.

African Penguins remain with the same partner and only ever separate if breeding has failed for some reason. They breed throughout the year but the Boulders population breeds between March and May.

The increase in tourists has encouraged the Table Mountain National Park to oversee the area, establish an information centre and create a fence and boardwalks to restrain the birds from wandering inland.

At Boulders the penguins are protected and safe.

Their biggest threat is the possibility of being run over by cars, beneath which they sometimes migrate to for warmth.

Garden Route

There is no need for clichés when describing the scenically diverse Garden Route and Klein Karoo regions.

Along the Garden Route, the mighty Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, whales and dolphins frolic in the bay, cool waterfalls cascade down shimmering rock amid lush forest, mountains tower over the surrounding landscape and lakes and rivers deposit their wealth into the sea.

A semi-Mediterranean climate compliments the scenic magnificence of the region to which visitors from far and wide flock to enjoy nature’s gifts and a myriad of fun-in-the-sun leisure and adventure activities.

Endless stretches of pristine beach, lakes, rivers, lagoons, mountains, valleys and forests, and indoor and outdoor activities means that the region is geared at entertaining and accommodating visitors throughout the year.

Did you know that you can get ‘up close and personal’ with the Big 5 on one of the many game reserves, enjoy elephant-back rides , feed tame eels, stroke a cheetah, explore a shipwreck, or participate in an ostrich race? And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

The semi-arid Klein Karoo is a magical landscape dotted with ‘ostrich palaces’ built by 19th century ostrich industry ‘feather barons’, spectacular mountain passes, hot springs, long-neck ostriches preening and fanning their sought after plumage in the hot sun, and world renowned caves. 

The Karoo also plays host to Route 62, reputedly the longest wine route in the world, along which South Africa’s ‘port wine capital’ is situated.

The capital of the region, Oudtshoorn, is situated between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains and it is here that you will find the Cango Caves, an underground system of limestone caverns.

Sculpted by nature over millions of years, the Cango Caves offer a magical journey through subterranean caverns with fascinating limestone formations in a variety of spectacular colours.

Cango Caves

Tucked away in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains 29km from Oudtshoorn in the picturesque Cango Valley, lies the spectacular Cango Caves.

Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.Lost in absolute darkness, a deep stillness, a constant temperature and high humidity, it is a wonder world of unique scenery and calcite masterpieces formed by gently dripping water.

Tours are through just a few of the natural chambers and take one to one-and-a-half hours to explore. Each chamber displays a limestone masterpiece created by the forces of nature.

Over a period of 20 million years, a 24 km limestone band with cracks and fissures formed in the ridge. 

Water percolated into the fissures, gradually dissolving limestone and forming the incredible formations that we see today.

Hermanus 

With its unparalleled scenic beauty, modern infrastructure, upmarket shops and endless adventure options, it’s little wonder that Hermanus has grown in size and popularity during the last decade.

Visitors from near and far flock to the town to enjoy its many charms while local residents and homeowners savour the privilege of living in this unique region.

West Coast

The West Coast

A region of spectacular contrast and Beauty.

Destinations include beautiful and desolate coastal regions with magnificent lagoons and numerous fishing villages; grain and wine farms; citrus and arid Namaqualand beauty.

The scenic beauty of this coast is complimented by its plentiful sea life.

The migrating whales visit coastal waters from around July to December and heavy side dolphins are often sighted. 

The West Coast region is located along the south-west coast of South Africa within the Western Cape Province.

Made up of 44 towns, it extends from Blaauwberg in the Cape Metropolitan Area in the south, to the provincial border of Namaqualand in the north.

The coastal route from Cape Town to Lambert’s Bay is about 270km and includes 16 Mile Beach at Yzerfontein, the stunning West Coast National Park, Langebaan Lagoon and the charming seaside towns of Velddrif and Paternoster where you can climb to the top of Cape Columbine lighthouse and watch the return of the multi-coloured fishing boats.

Travel inland to Riebeek Valley, a haven for artists and sculptors and known for its varied dining experiences, or head off to the Matzikama Coastal region where you can enjoy whale watching, fishing, bird watching and carpets of multi-coloured spring flowers.