It’s no surprise than these 8 of the best are the most popular attractions in the Western Cape, as recently reported by tourism statistics.
Kirstenbosch. This world-famous botanical garden celebrates 100 years of showcasing South Africa’s unique fynbos plant kingdom. The best way to enjoy it is to spend a day with a picnic and several hours exploring the gardens. If you’d rather not walk too much take a guided tour in a golf-cart. If a picnic is not for you, the lovely Moyo restaurant won’t disappoint! Summer concerts on the lawns every Sunday from November to April are a must.
Our tip: We’re looking forward to the newest offering coming soon: tree-top canopy walks.
V&A Waterfront. The only working harbour that is also home to all the fun you could ask for. Wonderful shops and restaurants, boat rides and free entertainment – be there for sunset concerts in summer, museums, including a rugby museum opening soon, ferries to Robben Island, an aquarium where you can watch shark-feeding, and a big wheel. How about a self-guided tour of the historical waterfront?
Our tip: visit the Food Market next to the Aquarium for a selection of fabulous treats.
Table Mountain. The most famous of all landmarks in Africa! Hike up and ride the cable car down, or just enjoy the ride both ways in the ultra-modern cable car that revolves as you ride up. Once at the top you can choose from a variety of walks, all are marked and full of interesting information boards. How about abseiling a short distance down from the top?
Our tip: Our favourite time of day is sunset but afternoons are the quietest.
Boulders Beach. Around 30 years ago African penguins began returning to this beach after a long absence. Although they are still endangered, they are happily breeding and living at this well-protected beach and enjoy complete protection from both man and the elements.
Our tip: do the longer walk starting at the furthest point from Simon’s Town and look out for them hiding in the bushes or walking around local residents’ gardens.
Cape Point. The tip of Africa, the Cape of Storms, the Cape of Good Hope, the fairest Cape of all. This beautiful nature reserve has many names and many faces. In spring it’s a carpet of flowers, in winter it’s easy to understand why many ships were wrecked in days gone by. Whatever time of year you visit, it’s a special place with much history and unspoiled wilderness.
Our tip: Do the walk along the top of Dias Beach to the peak known as Cape of Good Hope. Click here for more info on how we suggest the reserve should be visited.
Cango Caves. At the foot of the Swartberg mountains, just outside Oudtshoorn and part of our Route 62 roadtrip tour, this is South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction. These ancient limestone caves full of stalagmites and stalagmites are magnificent and full of history and mysteries, some of which remain unsolved. You can do the adventure tour or the more sedate heritage tour.
Our tip: Stay close to the official guide and ask questions about the mysterious discoveries in the caves.
West Coast National Park. Only an hour and a half from city centre but you’ll feel as if you’re much further away. A magnificent lagoon and 30 000 hectares of unspoilt beauty await you. Antelope too if you’re lucky and you look out for them. Also keep a look out for the tortoises as you drive slowly down the road.
Our tip: The best views of the park are at Seeberg view point. Photographers’ delight and there’s a great little walk nearby so make time to stop there.
Wilderness National Park. This park, together with the equally beautiful Knysna and Tsitsikamma parks, forms part of the Garden Route National Park and is set in what is without doubt the most beautiful region of the Western Cape. Lakes, indigenous forests, magnificent coastline, hiking, birding, the famous Otter Trail … it’s no wonder this is such a popular destination.
Our tip: Make this your base to explore the rest of the Garden Route.