The Western Cape can be divided in the following regions:
|Cape Peninsula |
The centre of tourism in South Africa, encompassing the Cape Town metro area, Cape Point and the False Bay area.
|Cape Winelands |
East of Cape Town and easily visited in a day trip from Cape Town
|West Coast |
Less crowded with tourists, this region offers beautiful scenery for the nature lover
|The Overberg |
An area rich in biodiversity between Cape Town and the Garden Route
|The Garden Route |
Lovely scenery and one of South Africa's tourist hot-spots
|The Western Cape Karoo |
The part of the Karoo in the Western Cape province, including the Little Karoo, a popular semi-desert region easily reached on the R62
Cities and towns
- 1 Cape Town — one of the world's top destinations
- 2 Stellenbosch — a university town in the winelands
- 3 Paarl — famous for having one of the world's largest rock outcrops and the Afrikaans Language Monument.
- 4 George — gateway to the Garden Route
- 5 Knysna — a beautiful city in the Garden Route
- 6 Mossel Bay — stunning beaches
- 7 Oudtshoorn — the ostrich capital of the country, near the Cango Caves
- 1 Cape Agulhas — the southernmost point of Africa
- 2 Gansbaai — on the majestic Walker Bay and with an unspoilt and untouched hinterland, ruled by floral abundance
- 3 Hermanus — famous for the whale-watching
- 4 Montagu — hot spa water, high quality rock climbing routes, and plenty of adventure activities
- 5 Swellendam — one of the oldest European settlements in South Africa, houses some fine examples of Dutch-Cape architecture
- 6 Yzerfontein — spring flowers, whales, a sixteen-mile beach and west coast hospitality
- 7 Wupperthal — a tiny beautiful village near the Cederberg Wilderness area
- 8 Paternoster — a tiny fishing village on the West Coast, an area with stunning flowers
- 9 Storms River — near the Tsitsikamma National Park
- 10 Agulhas National Park
- 11 Bontebok National Park — a small but beautiful park near Swellendam
- Garden Route National Park
- 14 Karoo National Park — a sanctuary for herds of springbok, Oryx, zebra, buffalo, hartebeest, rhinoceros, eland, kudu, klipspringer, bat-eared foxes, black-backed jackal, ostriches, and lions
- 15 Table Mountain National Park
- Tankwa Karoo National Park
- West Coast National Park — 120 km north of Cape Town, between Yzerfontein & Langebaan
Other nature reserves
- Cederberg Wilderness Area, ☏ . Rugged and isolated area with some fine hiking options. Permission is required and the number of hikers is limited.
- 16 De Hoop Nature Reserve - perfect for whale watching
- Great Winterhoek Wilderness Area.
- Knysna Elephant Park.
The Western Cape is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa and offers a broad range of attractions. From the tourism hot-spot of Cape Town to the lovely scenery of the Garden Route the region offers something for everyone. So this is the right place for starting your South Africa experience.
The Western Cape is easily accessible from the rest of the country by car.
Greyhound offers a plethora of inter-city routes nation-wide.
The main bus companies offer regular services in the Western Cape (e.g. Intercape, Greyhound, Translux) as does the Baz Bus.
There is a good road network and as some places are not accessible by public transport this is a good way to travel the Cape. Car rental is available in Cape Town and in the larger towns.
By a guide
There are a few hundred registered and qualified guides who know their way in Cape Town and the Western Cape. The Cape Tour Guides Association[dead link] can provide travellers with a list of all tour guides and their specialities.
- Table Mountain in Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula
- Cape Winelands around Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
- Garden Route along the South Coast
The Western Cape offers nearly everything a traveler could want. From buzzing night-life in Cape Town and Stellenbosch to wonderful beaches and many outdoor options. So the basic itinerary should include some days in Cape Town, a visit to the Cape of Good Hope (and don`t miss the penguins at Boulders Beach), wine tasting in Paarl or Franschhoek or Robertson, Swartland and Overberg, and a trip along the Garden Route. There are also a number of smaller National Parks with hiking trails for a day out. One of the newer 'primary unusual destinations' is Soekershof Walkabout located in Klaas Voogds along Route 62. This place consists among others of the largest permanent hedge mazes in the world; a philosopher's garden and unique succulent gardens with the oldest cactus -anno 1910- of South Africa. Visitors can earn a memento by fulfilling a quest. In the Robertson Valley are diverse hiking trails such as Arrangies Kop and Die Vrolijkheid
- Rock Climbing
- Scuba diving
- Diving in the Western Cape
- Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay The waters of Cape Town are relatively extensively surveyed and explored by divers. There are more dive sites than most people would visit in a lifetime's diving, some of them quite deep, and many requiring specialised equipment and the competence to use it. Also a large number of relatively easy and accessible dives, including shallow shore dives. There is also relatively good supporting infrastructure of dive shops, schools and charter boats. Conditions are variable and mostly depend on recent weather conditions, but there are sites reasonably protected from wind and waves from most directions.
- Diving in Hermanus
- Diving at Gansbaai
- Diving at Agulhas and Struisbaai
- Diving at Knysna and the Dalgleish Bank
- Diving at Plettenberg Bay
- Diving in the Western Cape
The Cape Epic is a seven-stage mountain bike race from Cape Town to Val de Ve Estate in March.
The wine producing areas in the Overberg, Swartland and Robertson are gaining international recognition. The wine tasting in these areas is free. While the wines of the traditional wine-producing areas of South Africa are moved to the lower shelves of the European supermarkets, the ones from the upcoming areas can be found in top restaurants and special liquor stores and wine boutiques in Europe and North America as premium brands.