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South Africa's Western Cape

Where Two Oceans and Many Cultures Meet

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 mountains.

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!

It will steal your soul.

Western Cape Snaps



Our Weather

A Sun For All Seasons

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 of choice.

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.



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