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)

Cape Metropole
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 artefacts. 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.

Cape winelands

The Cape winelands feature dramatic mountains, rolling farmlands and peaceful vineyards. They
are home to Route 62, the world’s longest wine
The Stellenbosch Wine Route comprises over
100 wine estates, most of which offer cellar
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
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
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 awardwinning
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.
Garden Route
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 dolphi- 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 horseriding,
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.
Little Karoo
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
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
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.
Central Karoo
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
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.
West Coast
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
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
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
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
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
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
45 m 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
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. Awardwinning
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