The Western Cape Province, the 4th largest in South Africa, extends north and east from the Cape of Good Hope, and encompasses the metropolitan area of Cape Town, and other major cities such as Stellenbosch, Worcester, Paarl, and George. HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts breaks down the best of the region, and selects the top things to do when visiting Cape Town and the surrounding area.
Visiting Robben Island
A World Heritage Site since 1999, for nearly 400 years this small island was a place of banishment and isolation. Located about 12 kilometres from Cape Town, it was during the apartheid years that Robben Island gained world-status as the ‘home’ of Nelson Mandela (and other political prisoners). Daily tours lasting around 4 hours long, including the return half-hour ferry ride, are offered (weather permitting) from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Did you Know? Robben Island was once connected to Cape Town via a strip of land.
Climbing Table Mountain
Probably the most photographed landmark in all of South Africa, Table Mountain is now one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. There are several tracks for hiking up. Alternatively, there is also a revolving aerial cable car that can take you up. Soak up the sensational views of the city below, squeezed between Table Mountain and Table Bay.
Savouring a Malay Curry in Bo-Kaap
Cape Town’s technicolour Bo-Kaap area is the best place to taste Cape Malay Cuisine, a fusion culinary type blending Malaysian influences. A Malay curry is spicier, and not as hot as the traditional Indian curry.
Wine Tasting in The Cape Winelands
The Cape has 18 official wine routes, and two brandy routes. Featuring many historic wine estates that date back centuries, the Cape Winelands are among the most scenic in the world. Most Cape wine estates are characterised by classic Cape Dutch-style buildings and massive vineyards with picturesque mountains as a backdrop.
Spotting Great White Sharks
If you are a hard-core adventure tourist, head on to the small village of Gansbaii where you can easily catch a boat ride taking you to ‘Shark Alley’, a hunting ground for great whites. Operators here are so confident they can show you these animals that they will usually offer a free trip in the unlikely event that you don’t see one!
Did you Know? South Africa was the first country in the world to declare Great white sharks a protected species.
Whale Watching in Hermanus
If however, you prefer a safer experience, try a visit to the coastal town of Hermanus, considered one of the best land-based whale watching destinations in the world. Southern right whales start arriving in Walker Bay from June and remain until December. These massive creatures can be viewed from the shore, or from boats or planes.
Riding an Ostrich in Oudtshoorn
Yes you read it right, Oudtshoorn, a quirky town roughly 260 miles from Cape Town, is home to the world’s largest ostrich population and there are several ostrich breeding farms you can visit. One of the most popular activities here is getting to ride an ostrich. Some notes worthy of attention, are ostriches are not necessarily friendly, and can sometimes be quite vicious animals. Riding is completely optional and riders must weight less than 176 lbs.
Bungee Jumping on the Bloukrans Bridge
As far as adrenalin rushes go, you don’t get much better than this. The 216-metre Bloukrans Bridge along the scenic Garden Route is the highest commercial bungee jump from a bridge in the world, and attracts adventure seekers from all over the globe.
Want To Know More?
Download our free South Africa’s Western Cape Mini Travel e-Guide.
Where to Stay
On a Budget
Enjoy old world charm at The Stellenbosch Hotel. With air-conditioned modern comforts and friendly attentive staff, this 33 room boutique style hotel was built on land granted by Gov. Simon van der Stel between 1692 and 1701. The building was restored in 1987 and has been declared a national monument. From ZAR 670/£38.
Splurge a Little
The Alphen Boutique Hotel is a trendy 5-star housed in a former wine estate in Constantia, a mere 15 km from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and 23km from Cape Town International Airport. The hotel’s bohemian chic décor and the spacious rooms featuring free Wi-Fi, large bathrooms with double basins and stocked with luxury toiletries, are some of its highlights. From ZAR 3,201/£182.
For more South Africa Hotels click here.
Plettenberg Bay. Image by Tobias Nawrath Photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Robben Island. Image by Carolina Ödman via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Vineyards. Image by mrskyce via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
South Africa Crafts. Image by Jose Carlos Babo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Whale Watching Overberg Bay – image by Jono Hey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Table Mountain at Sunset. Image by Dietmar Temps via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Wine estate. Image by slack12 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Ostrich Farm. Image by Tom Steiner via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)