The Western Cape is a must-see destination for anyone visiting South Africa. The city of Cape Town, the Whale Coast and the Cape Winelands are very popular tourist attractions in the Western Cape each year.
Western Cape Highlights
Cape Town, the Whale Coast, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route are very popular tourist attractions in the Western Cape and draw visitors from all over the world, each year. Visitors can enjoy some of the best land-based whale watching in the world between the months of June and November in the small town of Hermanus, situated in the heart of the Whale Route.
The Cape Winelands offers scenic beauty with snow-capped mountains in winter and green, lush valleys in summer. Visitors can enjoy warm South African hospitality in a variety of small towns like Stellenbosch and the historic Franschhoek, steeped in aged culture and vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see.
World-class wine estates along the wine route (Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl) produce some of the best wines on the planet, while the eateries that accompany these tasting rooms are spectacular and deserving of the awards they have won.
In Cape Town , visit Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Cape Point Nature Reserve; just a few of the top recommendations to tick off on one's list.
The arrival of the whales to the Cape Whale Coast , between June and November, creates a huge stir throughout the Western Cape and towns on the overberg coastline, like Hermanus, receive an influx of visitors.
The Western Cape is home to Bushmans Kloof wilderness reserve, which is world-renowned for its 130 rock art sites and has been declared a South African Natural Heritage Site. A superb and luxurious safari destination with the added attraction of bushman culture.
Route 62 and the Wine Route towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek appeal to not only tourists, but locals too. A sense of heritage, natural beauty, and not to mention world-class wine and food, make the Winelands a must-see.
Take a drive along the Western Cape's many wine routes and visit global award-winning wine farms in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for a spot of wine tasting, cellar tours and an opportunity to purchase some good local, internationally-recognised wines.
From Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay, the Garden Route with its lush forests and wide meandering rivers is an adventure playground for scuba diving, golfing, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, biking, hang-gliding, ballooning and parachuting.
Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop : sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains.
Cape Town itself (voted number one destination of 2014) has a smorgasbord of attractions, from the peak of Table Mountain to the turquoise Atlantic waters at a number of the blue flag beaches; Cape Point, Robben Island; Boulders beach; and the city arts and culture.
How to Get there
Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights from most major airports to Cape Town International Airport. Based about 20km from the Cape Town city centre, the airport is conveniently located for guests to catch a cab, or a scheduled road transfer, or hire a car for the trip to the city.
Many guests opt to drive themselves around the Cape, working on their own weather-dependent schedules, and taking their own time.
Driving in and around Cape Town is easy and safe; however, Sun Safaris can arrange a private driver and vehicle for geusts seeking a more luxurious stay.
There are some beautiful driving routes around the Western Cape, and the consistently changing landscapes and vegetation, coastlines and semi-deserts make for some spectacular road-trip vacations.
Western Cape Game Viewing and Activities
The most popular tourist attractions in the Western Cape are Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Cape Whale Route. Table Mountain is one of the most visited tourist sites in the Western Cape, as well as an historic trip to Robben Island.
Cape Town is renowned for its shopping and dining quality, with the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront forming the hub of city life.
The beautiful Cape Winelands is only a short drive from Cape Town and the Whale Route destination of Hermanus is approximately 90 mins away. The Western Cape also offers a number of worthwhile wildlife reserves where guest can enjoy game drives and fantastic game viewing opportunities.
Last but not least, the Western Cape offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. White sand and clear (albeit cold) water, and a little drive away from the City itself puts one in touch with the more remote, yet equally as wonderful beach locations.
The Whale Route
At the southern tip of Africa, where two of the world's greatest oceans converge, a total experience of land, sea and the rainbow culture of the Western Cape presents The Whale Route, which starts along the south of Cape Town and extends to Durban. The route traverses several famous protected areas, including the Garden Route, Tsitsikamma National Park, and the Transkei. The Route is most famous for encounters with southern right whales, humpback whales, and several coastal dolphin species. You can also see African penguins, Cape fur seals, black oystercatcher birds and a variety of other marine life.
A luxurious farmhouse retreat 2.5 hours from Cape Town in the rugged and peaceful Cederberg Mountains where ancient rock art lies preserved, and hiking and biking trails contour through botanical fields and boulder-strewn ridges.
De Hoop Nature Reserve
Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop with the sea, sand dunes, the vlei, rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains, which are home to a colony of endangered Cape vultures. Hikers and cyclists have close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich. Activities are diverse and guests choose between various day walks through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline or mountain biking along the many gravel roads or scenic game drives.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve consists of 54 000 hectares of rolling mountains and indigenous fauna and flora. Sanbona is home to white lions and big game, as well as, the rare riverine rabbit. The White Lion Project at Sanbona that aims to return white lions to the wild has proved to be a success. This makes Sanbona home to the only free-roaming white lions in the world.