The Western Cape lies at the southern tip of Africa. The province’s unmatched natural beauty, famous hospitality, cultural diversity, excellent wine and rich cuisine make it one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. The tourism industry in the province has grown faster and created more jobs than any other. One in 10 employees in the Western Cape earns a living in the tourism industry, which contributes more than R25 billion to the provincial economy. (2015/2016)
Tourism in the city of Cape Town, which lies at the foot of the magnificent Table Mountain, centres on the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront. A working harbour, the V&A offers everything from upmarket shopping malls, arts and craft markets, and a variety of restaurants, to theatres, live music and museums. Table Mountain, which forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. A modern cableway takes visitors to the top of the mountain, providing spectacular views. Other major attractions in the city include the Bo-Kaap Museum, the Castle of Good Hope, the Company’s Garden, the District Six Museum, flea markets, the Grand Parade, the Houses of Parliament, the South African Cultural History Museum and the South African National Gallery. The Gold of Africa Museum, established by Anglo Gold, houses a celebrated collection of more than 350 gold artifacts.
Air flips and trips are available, as are many boat and yacht trips from Table Bay Harbour. There are also trips to Robben Island (proclaimed a world heritage site and also the place where former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in prison). The Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island is in the Clock Tower Precinct at the &A Waterfront. The gateway houses interactive multimedia exhibitions, an auditorium, boardrooms, the Robben Island Museum and a restaurant. Jazz is big in Cape Town. From traditional blues through progressive jazz to African influenced jazz, every taste is catered for at a number of restaurants, jazz cafés, cigar bars, pubs and wine farms. The top jazz event in the Western Cape is the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
The South African Rugby Museum in Newlands reflects the history of the sport as far back as 1891. The Rhodes Memorial in Rondebosch on the slopes of Table Mountain was built from granite from the mountain as a tribute to the memory of Cecil John Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape from 1890 to 1896. The University of Cape Town is worth a visit for its historic Middle Campus and many buildings designed by Sir Herbert Baker. Cape Point, part of the Table Mountain National Park, offers many drives, walks, picnic spots and a licensed restaurant. Care has been taken to protect the environmental integrity of this 22 100 ha reserve of indigenous flora and fauna.
Simon’s Town’s naval atmosphere and Historic Mile are major attractions in the area. A statue of the famous dog and sailors’ friend Able Seaman Just Nuisance stands at Jubilee Square. Hout Bay is renowned for its colourful working harbour. Seafood outlets, round-the-bay trips to the nearby seal colony, shell and gift shops, and a famous harbour-front emporium attract many visitors. Duiker Island is a seal and sea-bird sanctuary. The World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest bird parks in the world and houses some 3 000 Birds.
Big Bay in Bloubergstrand is a surfers’ paradise and hosts an international windsurfing event. Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a unique wetland area with over 110 bird species, including pelicans and flamingos. Canal Walk, Century City, is one of the largest shopping centres in Africa, with close to 400 shops, and is home to the largest cinema complex in South Africa. New Year in Cape Town is a festive affair, when the Cape minstrels take to the streets with their upbeat music and fancy costumes. The Monkey Town Primate Centre is home to over 200 individual primates and is located east of Somerset West on the N2. Strawberry-picking in Cape Town on the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm is available in season, which begins in November.
The Cape winelands feature dramatic mountains, rolling farmlands and peaceful vineyards. They are home to Route 62, the world’s longest wine route. The Stellenbosch Wine Route comprises over 100 wine estates, most of which offer cellar tours. Stellenbosch is the oldest town in South Africa. The town is a gracious blend of old Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture.
Dorp Street consists of one of the longest rows of old buildings in the country. The Stellenbosch Village Museum consists of four homesteads and gardens ranging from the late-17th to the mid-19th centuries.
The Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum houses a collection of 1:12 scale miniatures such as room boxes, miniature houses, antique dolls, cars and cuddly toys. The Spier Summer Arts Festival livens up summer nights from November to March at the Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch.
Supervised pony and cart rides for children are available on the lawns of the Spier Estate. There is also a horse-carriage tour and equestrian centre for older children. The Freedom Monument at Pniel commemorates the freed slaves who were the first settlers at the mission station, established in 1843.
Franschhoek has become known as the “Gourmet Capital” of the Cape. The Huguenot Monument was built in 1944 to commemorate the arrival in 1688 of the Huguenots who were predominantly French. In April each year, the region hosts the South African Cheese Festival. Visitors can also enjoy various hiking trails and historical walks, as well as the Vignerons de Franschhoek Wine Route. There is also an annual book/literary festival in Franschhoek.
Butterfly World, one of the more unique attractions of the Western Cape winelands, consists of a tropical garden in a 1 000 m2 greenhouse.
The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre is on 15 ha focuses mainly on African wildlife, Giraffe House provides a place for people to enjoy a picnic in the fresh air, while experiencing and learning about animals and conservation.
Drakenstein Lion Park was established as a sanctuary for lions born in captivity.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, which includes the smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, is near Stellenbosch, comprising the Jonkershoek Mountains and portions of the upper Jonkershoek Valley. The reserve stretches over 9 800 hectares (ha) and its rugged terrain is ideal for hiking. Assegaaibosch is much smaller and is suitable for shorter walks and picnics. On Le Bonheur Estate visitors can experience guided croc-pond tours, which lead across open dams via ramp-ways. Over 1 000 crocodiles are housed in these dams. Visitors can touch a baby crocodile, and during summer months, witness them being fed.
Paarl is famous for its Cape Dutch and Victorian architectural treasures found along a 1-km stretch of the main street. The area’s fynbos supports many south-western Cape endemics, such as the Cape sugarbird and orange-breasted sunbird. The Afrikaans Language Monument is on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, while the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum (Language Museum) is in the centre of the town.
The town of Wellington lies in a picturesque valley, with the majestic Hawequa Mountains on its eastern border. Wellington is also the home of South Africa’s dried-fruit industry.
Experience life as the pioneers did in years gone by at the Kleinplasie Living Museum. The KWV Brandy Cellar, the largest of its kind in the world, offers cellar tours and brandy tastings. The Hex River Valley is the largest producer of table grapes in southern Africa. Visitors can pick their own grapes at harvest time and sample the variety of export-quality produce.
The well-known Hex River 4×4 trail and the ochre san rock art trail is a must for nature lovers. De Doorns lies in the heart of the Hex River Valley. Bonnievale on the Breede River, features several cheese factories.
For the adventurous outdoor enthusiast there are canoe trips, as well as bird watching and river boating. Surrounded by vineyards, orchards, and roses, Robertson is known as “The Valley of Wine and Roses.” It is known for its connoisseur-quality wines and its thoroughbred horses. Renowned for its muscadel wines, Montagu is the gateway to the Little Karoo.
Relax in the healing waters of the Avalon Springs or visit the Montagu Museum, which houses, among other things, original cartoons and books by well-known cartoonist TO Honiball. The picturesque village of Gouda is known for the Parrotts Den pub, a living museum in the Gouda Hotel.
McGregor has a variety of charming thatched cottages and well-preserved Victorian houses, making it one of the best-preserved examples of mid-19th-century architecture in the Western Cape.
Prince Alfred Hamlet is the gateway to the Gydo Pass, known for its scenic views. This quaint village lies in an important deciduous-fruit farming area. Hidden amid vineyards and wine estates lies Rawsonville, known for its award winning wines.
Tourists can enjoy an afternoon drive along the beautiful Slanghoek Valley with its lush vineyards and panoramic views or relax in the mineral springs at Goudini Spa.
The Garden Route spans roughly 200 km of the southern coast, incorporating the stretch of coastline which includes Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley – each with its own charm and attractions. Famed for its lush greenery and the vast Tsitsikamma Forest, the Garden Route is the most biodiverse region in the world.
The Garden Route features the pont at Malgas, which is one of the two remaining ponts in the country, ferrying vehicles and livestock across the Breede River. The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve outside Heidelberg comprises the popular Bushbuck Trail, a wilderness trail and two mountain-bike trails. Riversdale is one of South Africa’s most important fynbos export areas. Other attractions include the Julius Gordon Africana Museum.
At the historical Strandveld Architectural Heritage Site at Still Bay, visitors can watch tame eels being fed. Ancient fish-traps can be seen at Morris Point and the harbour.
At the aloe factories at Albertinia, aloe juice is extracted for medicine and high-quality skin-care products. Nearby, bungee-jumping at the Gouritz River Gorge, hiking, mountain-biking and angling are popular pastimes.
The Point in Mossel Bay is not only popular among surfers, but its natural pool formed by rock is also a favourite swimming spot at low tide. The St Blaize trail starts here and is the ideal place from which to watch the whales and dolphins at play in season. The harbour at Mossel Bay is one of the most modern commercial and recreational harbours on the southern Cape coastline. Other attractions include the Attequas Kloof Pass, Anglo-Boer/South African War block-houses and the Bartolomeu Dias complex. Great Brak River offers a historic village with many opportunities for whale- and dolphin watching along the extensive coast.
The Slave Tree in George, located just outside the Old Library, was planted in 1811, when George was laid out. It is known to be the biggest English oak in the Southern Hemisphere. George is popular among golfers and is home to the renowned Fancourt Country Club and Golf Estate, as well as various other acclaimed golf courses. Visitors can board the Power Van at the Outeniqua Transport Museum, and enjoy a glimpse of the Garden Route Botanical Garden from this rail bus. The Big Tree at Woodville, an Outeniqua yellowwood, is estimated to be around 850 years old. It is located about 40 km outside of George in the direction of Knysna.
The George Airport, Outeniqua Pass, railway line and the N2 offer convenient access to this region, making George the ideal hub from which to explore the Garden Route and Little Karoo. Victoria Bay and Wilderness are popular for their unspoilt beaches. Wilderness is the western gateway to the southern Cape lakes area. It is a nature lover’s paradise, best known for its beaches, lakes, placid lagoon and lush indigenous forests.
The Langvlei and Rondevlei bird sanctuaries in the Wilderness National Park, which hosts over 230 different bird species, is popular among bird watchers. Sedgefield borders Swartvlei Lagoon, the largest natural inland saltwater lake in South Africa. Activities include beach horse riding, hiking, angling and bird watching.
Knysna nestles on the banks of an estuary, guarded by The Heads (two huge sandstone cliffs) and surrounded by indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches. This natural wonderland is home to the largest and smallest of creatures, from the Knysna seahorse to the Knysna elephants, rare delicate butterflies and the endemic Knysna loerie, a colourful forest bird.
The abundant fynbos and forest settings host over 200 species. Knysna is also famous for its delectable home-grown oysters, enjoyed with locally brewed beer in quaint pubs and restaurants. The Knysna Oyster Festival, a celebration of the good life, has established itself as one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape.
An eclectic mix of art galleries presents the diversity of talent in the area. There are also lagoon cruises, forest hikes, golf and adventure sports on offer.
Plettenberg Bay is adventure country, offering boat-based whale watching, black-water tubing, hiking, and forest and cycling trails. The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve at Plettenberg Bay offers a canoeing trail, while the Robberg Nature Reserve is a treasure trove of land, marine, geological and archaeological wealth.
The Little Karoo’s fascinating landscape is fashioned almost entirely by water. Its vegetation ranges from lush greenery in the fertile river valleys to short, rugged Karoo plants in the veld. Gorges feature rivers that cut through towering mountains, while breathtakingly steep passes cross imposing terrain. The region is also home to the world’s largest bird – the ostrich. The Little Karoo is rich in culture and history. Oudtshoorn, the world’s ostrich-feather capital, is the region’s main town.
The Klein-Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (National Arts Festival) is held in the town annually. Some 29 km from Oudtshoorn lie the Cango Caves, a series of subterranean limestone caverns. Bearing evidence of early San habitation, the cave features magnificent dripstone formations.
Amalienstein and Zoar are historic mission stations midway between Ladismith and Calitzdorp. Visitors can go on donkey-cart and hiking trails through orchards and vineyards, while the Seweweekspoort is ideal for mountainbiking, hiking, and protea and fynbos admirers. Calitzdorp has four wine estates, three of which are open to the public.
The spring water of the Calitzdorp Spa is rich in minerals and reputed to have medicinal properties. The Gamka Mountain Reserve is home to the rare and endangered Cape mountain zebra.
Excellent wines and port are produced in the Calitzdorp and De Rust areas. The Swartberg Nature Reserve and Pass with their gravel roads are also worth a visit. De Rust lies at the southern entrance to Meiringspoort. The Meiringspoort Gorge extends 20 km through the Swartberg Mountain Range. Halfway through is a beautiful 69-m waterfall. Wine farms in the area are open to the public.
Ladismith is home to the Towerkop Cheese Factory. There are various hiking, mountainbiking and 4×4 trails in the area, as well as the Anysberg, Little Karoo and Towerkop nature reserves.
Uniondale, on the main route between George and Graaff-Reinet, features the largest water-wheel in the country, the Old Watermill. Uniondale Poort is a scenic drive linking Uniondale with Avontuur in the Langkloof Valley. At Vanwyksdorp, visitors can see how fynbos is dried and packed for the export market. Donkey-cart rides take visitors to Anglo-Boer/South African War grave sites.
The Central Karoo, a fascinating semi-desert area, lies in the heart of one of the world’s most unique and interesting arid zones. This ancient, fossil-rich land is five times the size of Great Britain. Here, visitors will find the Earth’s largest variety of succulents. Beaufort West, the oldest town in the Central Karoo, is often referred to as the “Oasis of the Karoo.” The local museum displays awards presented to heart-transplant pioneer, Prof. Chris Barnard, a son of this town. A township route introduces visitors to the Xhosa culture in the area. The Karoo National Park, on the town’s doorstep, is home to a variety of game, as well as the highly endangered riverine rabbit. Matjiesfontein, a national monument, offers tourists a peek into yesteryear and the opportunity to overnight in Victorian splendour. The village houses a transport museum and the Marie Rawdon Museum.
Experience the vastness of the Great Karoo in Murraysburg, an ecotourist and hunter’s paradise. Laingsburg, a tiny village that was devastated by floods about a century after it was established, was rebuilt afterwards. It is the best place to study the geology of the region.
Prince Albert is a well-preserved town at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. It is the ideal place to sample Karoo cuisine, see examples of local architecture dating back to the early 1800s and enjoy several scenic drives.
The Fransie Pienaar Museum introduces visitors to the cultural history of the area. It has a fossil room and an exhibit covering the gold rush in this area in the 19th century. The museum has a licence to distil and sell “witblits” (white lightning). Prince Albert is the closest town by road to Gamkaskloof.
The Hell, a little valley in the heart of the Swartberg Mountains, was the home of one of the world’s most isolated communities for almost 150 years. Gamkaskloof is a nature reserve and national monument managed by Cape Nature Conservation. It has overnight facilities and can be accessed by a 57-km long (but two-hour drive) winding road which starts at the peak of the Swartberg Pass.
The West Coast is a region of outstanding beauty and contrast. The coast’s scenic beauty is challenged only by culinary experiences of mussels, oysters, calamari, crayfish and abalone in season, or linefish pulled from the Benguela Current’s cold waters.
During April every year, Lambert’s Bay has the Crayfish and Cultural Festival. The area is not only a birder’s paradise, but every year migrating whales visit the coastal waters from July. Vredenburg, the business centre of the area, has a popular golf course with a bird hide. Lambert’s Bay is a traditional fishing village, with Bird Island as a popular tourist attraction. It is a breeding ground for African penguins, the Cape cormorant and other sea birds. Within two months of the first good winter rains, wild flowers on the West Coast explode in a brilliant display of colour.
The Swartland region is known for its wheat fields, vineyards, wineries and outdoor activities. Further north, visitors encounter the Olifants River Valley and the vast plains of the Knersvlakte with its wealth of indigenous succulent plants. The citrus area in the Olifants River Valley is the third-largest in South Africa.
The town of Darling draws visitors to its country museum and art gallery, annual wild flower and orchid shows, basket factory and wine cellars. The entertainment venue “Evita se Perron” is situated at the old Darling Railway Station and offers top performances by South African entertainers.
Malmesbury is the biggest town in the Swartland. Major attractions include the Malmesbury Museum and the historical walk-about.
The Riebeek Valley is known for its scenic beauty. The area has become a popular haven for well-known artists of various disciplines. Wines and olives can be tasted at various cellars. Elands Bay is a popular holiday resort and surfer’s paradise. Khoi and San rock art can be viewed at the Elands Bay caves.
Moorreesburg and Koringberg are major wheat-distributing towns. Tourists can visit the Wheat Industry Museum, one of only three in the world. Bird watching, hiking, 4×4 routes, clay-pigeon shooting, mountain-bike trails, canoeing and waterskiing at Misverstand are popular activities.
Yzerfontein is famous for its unspoilt beaches, fynbos, beautiful views and whale watching. Another major attraction is the historical lime furnaces.
Langebaan, a popular holiday destination, is home to the West Coast National Park. An internationally renowned wetland that houses about 60 000 waterbirds and waders, the park attracts thousands of visitors each year. The oldest anatomically modern fossilised human footprints were also discovered here.
The Langebaan Lagoon forms part of the park and is zoned for specific activities. The Postberg section of the park, across the lagoon, is famous for its wild flowers that bloom mainly during August and September.
Cape Columbine at Paternoster is the last manned lighthouse build on the South African coast. The Columbine Nature Reserve is home to a variety of seabird species.
Saldanha is a water sport enthusiast’s paradise. Its attractions include Doc’s Cave, a landmark on the scenic breakwater drive, and the Hoedjieskoppie Nature Reserve. There are various hiking trails in the SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve.
St Helena Bay is best known for the Vasco Da Gama Monument and Museum. Visitors can enjoy fishing (snoek in season), hiking and whale and bird watching. Piketberg offers arts and crafts, fauna and flora, wine culture and recreation. The Goedverwacht and Wittewater Moravian mission stations are close to the town. Porterville is famous for its Disa Route (best in January and February).
The Groot Winterhoek Mountain Peak in the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area is the second-highest in the Western Cape. The Dasklip Pass is popular with hang-gliders.
At Velddrif/Laaiplek visitors can indulge in bokkems (a West Coast salted-fish delicacy) at factories along the Berg River. Tourists can also visit the salt-processing factory and the West Coast Art Gallery in town.
The wine route from Citrusdal to Lutzville produces a selection of internationally acclaimed wines. Citrusdal is famous for its citrus products and wines. The Citrusdal Museum depicts the pioneering days of the early colonists. The Goede Hoop Citrus Co-Op is the largest single packing facility in South Africa. World-renowned rooibos tea is also produced here.
The annual Citrusdal Outdoor Calabash features 4×4 outings, lectures and visits to rock-art sites and an arts and crafts market. Annually, scores of sky-diving enthusiasts visit Citrusdal for a skydiving “boogie” that lasts several days. The oldest orange tree in the country, calculated to be more than 250 years old, grows in the Citrusdal Valley. The Sandveldhuisie is an example of a typical Sandveld dwelling.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area features the elephant’s foot plant, the rare snow protea and some of the best examples of San rock art in the Western Cape. Visitors to Clanwilliam can visit the rooibos and velskoen factories and the grave of the well-known South African poet Louis Leipoldt. Various historical buildings can also be viewed. The Clanwilliam and Bulshoek dams are popular among watersport enthusiasts.
Wuppertal, at the foot of the Cederberg mountains, features the oldest Rhenish Mission Station. Proceeds from 4×4 trails in the area fund the creation of new hiking trails and the building of more overnight huts and guest houses. Wuppertal, which is well-known for its rooibos and buchu production, has added one more attraction to its tourism offerings – the Cederberg Donkey Cart Route. The project entails a three-day tour through the Cederberg Mountain area and Heuningvlei with accommodation facilities for overnight visitors.
Vredendal is the centre of the Lower Olifants River Valley. Major attractions include marbleprocessing and manufacturing, industrial mines (dolomite and limestone), the KWV Grape Juice Concentrate Plant and Distillery and the South African Dried Fruit Co-Operative. The town is also home to the Vredendal Wine Cellar, the largest cooperative wine cellar under one roof in the Southern Hemisphere.
The picturesque town of Doringbaai with its attractive lighthouse is well known for its seafood. Strandfontein, about eight km north of Doringbaai, is essentially a holiday and retirement resort with a panoramic view of the ocean. Klawer was named after the wild clover that grows in the area. During the flower season, the area is a riot of colour. The Doring River features hiking trails and opportunities for river-rafting. Lutzville and Koekenaap are synonymous with wine and flowers in season.
Visitors can also view the Sishen-Saldanha Railway Bridge. Where the railway line spans the Olifants River, it is divided into 23 sections, each 45m long. The 14 100-t deck was pushed into position over teflon sheets with hydraulic jacks from the bridgehead. It is the longest bridge in the world built using this method.
Vanrhynsdorp houses the largest succulent nursery in South Africa. The Latsky Radio Museum houses a collection of old valve radios, some dating back to 1924. The Troe-Troe and Rietpoort mission stations are a must-see for history enthusiasts.
In the most southerly region of Africa east of Cape Town, lies the Overberg. The Hangklip-Kleinmond area comprises Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooi Els. It is a popular holiday region, ideal for whale watching, and includes the Kleinmond Coastal Nature Reserve and the Harold Porter Botanical Garden.
The Penguin Reserve at Stoney Point, Betty’s Bay, is one of two breeding colonies of the jackass penguin off Africa. South Africa’s first international biosphere reserve, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, was proclaimed by Unesco in 1999. It runs along the coast from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River Vlei, stretching two km out to sea, and inland to the Groenlandberg Mountains near Grabouw. Hermanus is a popular holiday resort and famous for the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Stanford is one of the few villages in South Africa where the market square has been retained. The central core of the village has been proclaimed a national conservation area. Award winning wines are produced in the area. Gansbaai is known for its excellent rock and boat angling, diving, shark-cage diving and whale watching.
The Danger Point Lighthouse, named as such because of the ships that have been wrecked and lives lost on this dangerous coast, is open to the public. De Kelders is the only freshwater cave on the African coast. Spectacular views of southern right whales can be enjoyed from the cliffs at De Kelders and along the coast to Pearly Beach. Also popular are white-shark tours, diving safaris and fishing trips.
Elim was founded by German missionaries in 1824, with its only inhabitants being members of the Moravian Church. Visitors are welcome to attend services. The Old Watermill (1833) has been restored and declared a national monument. Popular sites in Napier include the Militaria Museum and Rose Boats and Toy Museum.
The Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp, founded in 1975, specialises in shipwrecks found along the South African coastline. The town also has the Audrey Blignault Museum. De Mond Nature Reserve is home to some rare bird species, including the damara tern and giant tern.
The Geelkop Nature Reserve derives its name from the mass of yellow flowering plants that cover the hill during spring. The lighthouse at L’Agulhas, which forms part of the Agulhas National Park, is the country’s second-oldest working lighthouse. It celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1999. The Agulhas National Park is a ruggedly beautiful coastal plain of 20 959 ha.
At Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the continent, the waters cleave into the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The wrecks of some 130 seafaring craft – yachts, Spanish galleons, Dutch East Indiamen, the legendary Birkenhead, and even modern-day fishing trawlers – have found a watery grave around the notorious Cape of Storms.
Struisbaai has the longest white coastline in the southern hemisphere. Arniston was named Waenhuiskrans (coach-house cliff) by the local fishers in honour of the huge sea cave capable of housing several oxwagons. For outsiders, it was named after the Arniston, a ship wrecked there in 1815. The Waenhuiskrans Cave can be explored at low tide.
The De Hoop Nature Reserve on the way to Swellendam includes an internationally renowned wetland and bird sanctuary. It is a winter retreat for the southern right whale and the Western Cape’s only Cape griffen vulture colony. The red Bredasdorp lily and many species of protea and erica are found in the Heuningberg Nature Reserve.
Swellendam is well-known for its young-berries and eclectic architecture. The Drostdy Museum consists of a group of buildings containing a huge selection of period furniture.
The Bontebok National Park, about seven kilomteres from Swellendam, provides sanctuary to the threatened bontebok and other species. Known for its world-class wine, Barrydale offers the visitor fruit and fresh air in abundance. Situated on the N2, about 160 km from Cape Town, Riviersonderend offers beautiful mountain and river scenery, a nine-hole golf course and sightings of the blue crane. Caledon is famous for its natural mineral waters, hot springs and wild-flower shows. Southern Associated Maltsters is the only malt producer for the South African lager beer industry and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Genadendal is the oldest Moravian village in Africa, with church buildings and a school dating back to 1738. The Genadendal Mission and Museum complex documents the first mission station in South Africa.
Villiersdorp houses the Dagbreek Museum that dates back to 1845 and was declared a monument in 1994. The historical home, Oude Radyn, is possibly the only building in the Western Cape to have Batavian wooden gutters and down pipes.
The Theewaterskloof Dam outside Villiersdorp is the seventh-largest dam in the country. The Villiersdorp Wild Flower Garden and Nature Reserve has an indigenous herb garden and a reference library.
The Grabouw/Elgin district produces about 60% of South Africa’s total apple exports and fine wines. The valley is also renowned for cultivating fresh chrysanthemums, roses and proteas. The Elgin Apple Museum is one of only two in the world. Sir Lowry’s Pass offers spectacular views of False Bay from Gordon’s Bay to Cape Point.