The Western Cape in South Africa is home to many tourist must-sees, rolling vineyards, golden beaches, majestic mountains and fine restaurants. Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape and is also known as the Mother City of South Africa. Table Mountain, with its bank of clouds on windy days, presides over the city. If you really want to see a spectacular sunset, grab a bottle of sparkling wine, some snacks, and head to the mountain.
Robben Island off the Cape Town coast of the Western Cape is where ex-president Nelson Mandela spent many years of imprisonment. After a visit to the many shops and restaurants at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, catch the ferry to Robben Island, where you will be shown around by an ex-prisoner.
The vineyards around Cape Town is also worth a visit. Although the wine industry of the Western Cape is relatively young, compared to European standards, South African wines have already made name for themselves. From vineyards near the ice-cold Atlantic Ocean, to those in the warm Stellenbosch region, to those near the sparkling Ocean at Hermanus, you can taste wines to your heart’s content in the Western Cape.
During the spring, whales come to the warmer water near the coast of Hermanus to give birth to their young. It is a spectacular sight to see these giant mammals frolicking in the waves.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa. Experience the ambience of days gone by while you wander beneath the oak trees imported by Governor Van der Stel. The town of Franschhoek, only half an hour’s drive from Stellenbosch, boasts some of the finest restaurants in the country. Franschhoek is the town where the French Huguenots settled after their arrival in the country. To this day the townsfolk celebrate Bastille Day in July every year! Today Franschhoek in the Western Cape boasts the title of “Culinary Capital of South Africa”.
Drive along the coast from Gordon’s Bay to Hermanus, and then go to via the Hemel-en-Aarde pass to the Overberg. This is another interesting part of the Western Cape of South Africa. Visit the place where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa. Then head towards Swellendam, which is the third oldest town in South Africa. In 1795 the inhabitants of this town in the Western Cape revolted against the Dutch East India Company and promptly declared themselves a republic. This, however, was short lived, and three months later it was business as usual for the people of Swellendam in the Western Cape.