Spreading like a carpet from the foot of Cape
Town's distinctive, flat-topped Table Mountain, the Western
Cape reveals itself as a province of diversity in a way no travel
brochure can equal.
Between the mountain's sheer cliffs and the sun-speckled sweep
of Table Bay lie many of the world's most famous beaches. You
can soak up the sun on secluded Clifton's or palm-fringed Camps
Bay's blinding white sands or frolic in the warm waters of Muizenberg,
False Bay's family beach. Or, from Bloubergstrand, you can admire
the famous view of Table Mountain rearing from the sea.
Join bustling throngs crowding the upmarket malls, theatres
and restaurants of the ever-exciting Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
or take a break from the hive of holiday activity in the green
peace of central Cape Town's Company's Garden.
Leaving the Tavern of the Seas, travel the Winelands' undulating
vineyards, where autumn's rust contrasts brilliantly with the
classical, whitewashed architecture of 17th century French and
Dutch settlers. Quaint towns, set in verdant valleys, offer
uncommon hospitality and some of the world's finest wines, fortifying
those keen to explore the orchards, vineyards and rivers of
the lush Breede River Valley.
Alternatively, roam sun-blasted heatscapes on the West Coast,
where ribbons of sand ripple to shimmering horizons. In small
hamlets clustered around boats and the cruel sea, old salts
and sea dogs spin long, chuckling yarns around traditional,
seafood barbecues (braais).
In the neighbouring Swartland and Sandveld, fields of golden
wheat thread green vineyards, weaving a tapestry of visual magic.
It is a magic mirrored in the Olifants River Valley, famous
for its breathtaking show of spring flowers. The life-giving
Olifants River harvests a rich citrus crop south of the Cederberg
Wilderness Area's magnificent rock formations.
To the north, the stark, arid beauty of the desert beckons.
East of the Cape Metropole and the Winelands, the Hottentots
Holland Mountains end in the Overberg, a rugged coastal range
rolling to Africa's southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas. Home to
the Southern Right whale and dotted with seaside resorts, the
Overberg borders the Garden Route, a bewitching world of indigenous
forests, enchanting freshwater lakes, golden beaches and mystic
The Garden Route's lush vegetation and brilliantly coloured
fauna and flora are offset sharply by the semidesert, ostrich-farming
Klein Karoo Kannaland and the vast, copper-coloured plains of
the prehistoric Central Karoo.
Once home to the ancient civilisations of the Khoi-Khoi and
the San, the Western Cape today emanates a seductive aura of
mystery, tranquillity, adventure and excitement!
Were the Western Cape's climate more flexible, we would offer
you the weather of your choosing any day of the year! Sharp
seasonal changes and varied climates make our province a destination
Overall, the climate is typically Mediterranean, with warm,
dry summers and mild, moist winters. The exception to this rule
is the arid semidesert of the Karoo, where dry winters and low
summer rainfall prevail.
Near the coast, summer's temperature rises from a pleasant
low of 15°C to a heartwarming 27°C. Inland temperatures
are some 3-5°C higher. Coastal winters see the mercury dropping
to a mild 7°C at night - and rising to a comfortable 18°C
by day. Away from the beach, morning wakens to an invigorating
5°C and midday arrives on a summery 22°C.
Visitors not bowled over by sunshine might be swept off their
feet by the bedside manner of the 'Cape Doctor', a southeasterly
wind clearing the air of pollution. Though forceful in character,
the 'Cape Doctor' visits infrequently, arriving only when the
Fairest Cape needs to freshen up. And, as if expecting to stay
for dinner, the wind drapes Table Mountain's flat-topped summit
with a stunning, snow-white tablecloth of cloud.
Puffed with enthusiasm, windsurfers flock to Big Bay at Bloubergstrand,
where the experienced cartwheel off huge Atlantic rollers. On
the beach, kite flyers paint kaleidoscopic patterns on the canvas
of the sky. The Mozambique-Agulhas current off the Peninsula's
east coast drives warm water into False Bay which makes the
beaches along this coastline ideal for swimming.
To many, March and April signal idyllic weather. Summer's heat
subsides, the wind settles and autumn casts its crimson, orange
and yellow mantle over the vineyards, generating red, russet
vistas spreading from the mountain tops to the sea.
In keeping with its tranquil character, a temperate climate
with gentle, intermittent precipitation complements the Garden
Route's warm summers and mild winters.
In winter (May-July), the snowcapped peaks of the Boland and
the Cederberg and the lush, moist earth evoke an atmosphere
conducive to log fires in cosy taverns.
With the onset of spring (Aug-Oct), the fast-retreating winter
merges with the newborn summer sun, bringing forth the world's
most spectacular wild flower displays.