The Western Cape - Attractions

the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Cape Town, the capital and major city of the Western Cape, is often spoken of as the "Mother City". It was here that settlement by people began by people of Europe in 1652. Read more about these settlements here.

Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate with wet, temperate winters and hot dry summers. The summer season is principally at it's height in December and January. Rainy days are rare, and daily maximum temperatures average around 26 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit). The strong south-easterly wind (called the "Cape Doctor" as it blows the smog & bad air away) that blows at this time of the year can be uncomfortable. The winter temperatures are often pleasant, the daytime average being around 17 degrees Celsius (63 Fahrenheit).

As mentioned several times before in this site, Cape Town is regarded as the most beautiful city in South Africa, and boasts many tourist attractions. Bustling streets, historic buildings, flea market bargains, and a flamboyant cafe society... this is everyday Cape Town, where the old blends with the new in harmony. By night, millions of lights sparkle like diamonds as a warm glow settles over a backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain. This landmark, standing 1086 meters high (3,563 feet) is visible from 200 km out to sea. It is home to a large variety of wild flowers, birds and small animals like the "dassie" or rock-rabbit. This is a major tourist attraction, and a modern cable-car lifts thousands of visitors to the top of the mountain daily.

A visit to Cape Town will not be complete without experiencing the recently restored historic dockside buildings; the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This is a quaint "dockland" of museums, taverns, restaurants, shops, hotels and marinas. Most nights live entertainment is offered which goes well with the outdoor cafes.

Sun, sea and sand are synonymous with Cape Town and it's surrounds. The Cape Peninsula is world-renowned for it's awesome beaches. At the foot of "The Twelve Apostles", Clifton's four sandy coves (separated and sheltered by enormous rocks) are favored by sun-worshippers for their crisp white sands and gentle blue seas. All the way down to the south is the Cape Point, a rocky outcrop of land the juts out into the pounding Atlantic.

Travelling inland, the Wine Routes are necessary items on the itinerary. Mile upon mile of orchards, lush vineyards; the fertile valleys of the Western Cape make up a colourful patchwork of scenic beauty, dotted with the whitewashed gables of the historic homesteads of the early settlers. Visitors to the wine routes may sample the wines and enjoy various styles of lunches whilst experiencing the serenity of this beautiful region.

Other visits in the Western Cape should include the the National Botanic Gardens of Kirstenbosch, the elegant Cape Dutch homestead Groot Constantia (granted to Governor Simon van der Stel in 1685), the oldest building in South Africa - the Castle of Good Hope (built by the Dutch between 1666 and 1679), the world renowned prison that held Nelson Mandela - Robben Island, and various towns in the wine-route area such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The possibilities are endless, and this page does little to emphatically display all this region has to offer.

The Western Cape - A Complete Guide to Cape Town