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Western Cape

In the Western Cape you will discover world-class wines, wonderful whale watching, contrasting landscapes, ample adventure options, as well as the magic of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, which meet at Africa's most southerly point.

The Western Cape is home to the world's longest wine route, found along Route 62, a scenic tourist route that runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, 850 kilometres up the eastern coast. If you don't have time to complete the whole route, consider visiting the wine-growing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Ceres, Worcester, Bonnievale and Robertson. The Garden Route, from Cape Town to Knysna, is gorgeous, passing through many a quirky town, complete with welcoming locals and fresh produce stalls. Stop in at Swellendam, a town where the jailer once doubled as the postmaster, to experience Cape Dutch architecture at its best.

Several hours south of Cape Town is the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. The journey to Cape Agulhas will take you through the scenic Overberg, along what is known as the Whale Coast. You could take a detour to Hermanus, a town famous for its whale watching. A trip up the West Coast will take you through many a small town, mainly quiet fishing villages such as Langebaan and Paternoster.

Be sure to take the time to enjoy the flora along the way - and stop in at Yzerfontein to experience a South African beach braai. For serious peace and quiet, head north to the Karoo, one of the most arid regions in the country. This sparsely populated, semi-desert area offers open space, fresh air and historical architecture. Outdoor enthusiasts are by no means left out when it comes to things to do in the Western Cape. Kite-surfing along the West Coast, shark cage diving in Gansbaai, sea kayaking in Simon's Town, hiking along the Otter Trail, ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn, bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge in Nature's Valley, and scuba diving along the East Coast are sure to keep the most ardent adrenalin junkies entertained.

How to get there:

You can fly directly to Cape Town International Airport from most major airports around the world. The city is also linked by rail and air to the rest of South Africa.

Public transport in Cape Town is excellent, but hiring your own vehicle allows you to explore at your own pace.

Best time to visit:

Any time of year though it will depend on what you plan to do and see: summer's are warm and dry; winter is cooler and wet.

Where to stay:

There are accommodation options to suit all tastes and needs.

What to eat:

Coastal towns in the Western Cape specialise in fresh seafood such as fish, mussels, crayfish and calamari. Cape Town and the nearby winelands boast many of the country's best restaurants.

Who to contact:

Western Cape Tourism Information Tel: +27 (0) 21 405 4500 Fax: +27 (0) 21 405 4524 Email: info@tourismcapetown.co.za