Most of us in Cape Town are staying indoors nowadays, but at the same time, we are looking forward to going out again and rediscovering the beauty of our region once this whole Coronavirus thing blows over. One of the places that we are looking forward to visiting the most is the spectacular Western Cape. Blessed with natural beauty, the Western Cape is South Africa’s fourth-largest province that is well-known for its picturesque landscapes, gorgeous scenery, and iconic landmarks.
From beautiful Cape Dutch destinations such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to charming parks like the West Coast and Karoo National Park, this photogenic province has it all. Without further ado, here is my list of the best places to visit in the Western Cape.
1 Karoo National Park
Home to the largest ecosystem in South Africa, Karoo National Park is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Western Cape. This extraordinary park was established back in 1979 and boasts a vast array of wildlife including animals such as lions, buffalo, and rhino. Travelers can also look forward to seeing mountain zebras, brown hyenas, and kudus, as well as a bunch of unique plants. Bird-watchers will be happy to hear that Karoo National Park is home to the rare Verreaux’s Eagle, while nature lovers can look forward to visiting picturesque destinations such as the Klipspringer Pass, Fossil Trail, and Rooivalle View Point.
There is no shortage of awesome places to visit in the Western Cape and the town of Stellenbosch falls into this category. The second oldest European settlement in South Africa, Stellenbosch is a real haven for wine lovers. The town boasts many amazing wine estates, vineyards, and wineries where travelers can enjoy wine and food tastings. Whether you wish to admire the beauty of Cape Dutch colonial architecture, experience the lively university scene, or explore the grounds of the famous Stellenbosch Botanical Garden, a visit to this small city is a memorable experience.
3 Cape Point
Located just a short drive from the Mother City, Cape Point is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area features plenty of birdlife, nature trails, and wildlife including zebra, baboons, and eland. The views from the famous Cape Point Lighthouse are magnificent and worth the hike. Bird-watchers visiting Cape Point will have a chance to see pelagic birds.
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages in the region and an excellent destination to get away from the busy streets of the Cape Town city center. Admire the beauty of white-washed cottages, wander along the white-sand beaches, or enjoy a vast array of outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking here at Paternoster. The town also offers many beach activities ranging from kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving to joining a whale or dolphin boat excursion.
If you wish to see whales up close in their natural habitat, Hermanus should be included on your list of places to visit in the Western Cape. Join one of the whale-watching boat tours at this popular holiday resort and see these majestic creatures. The best time to enjoy this activity is from July to November when large groups of southern right whales can be found along the coast. Hermanus also boasts dozens of hiking trails, excellent restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine, and plenty of accommodation options.
Franschhoek is one of those magical places to visit in the Western Cape, especially for wine lovers who wish to learn more about South Africa’s wine scene. Home to fantastic vineyards and wineries, the town offers a wine tram route that takes you to some of the best wine estates in the region. Apart from vineyards, there are many spectacular hiking paths and mountain biking trails to enjoy here in Franschhoek.
Planning to visit Cape Town in the future? Learn more about the Mother City, how to get around, free things to do in Cape Town, and more from our blog. We can help you find the perfect place to stay. Get in touch if you’d like help finding accommodation or Cape Town tours to indulge in when you are around.