Western Cape is one of the most popular provinces in South Africa for tourism. Here visitors will find the metropolitan center of Cape Town, the Cape of Good Hope and the Garden Route. Located in the far southwestern corner of South Africa, this province touches the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south and both Northern and Eastern Cape to the north and east, respectively. It’s capital, Cape Town, is the largest city in South Africa and Western Cape represents the southern-most region of the African continent.
Western Cape’s history dates to the Stone Age. This is evident by tools and carvings found in the caves around the province. It has since been populated by a variety of tribes although it did not officially become the Western Cape until 1994 when the Cape Province was split into Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. While South Africa may have a troubled past, the nation has made leaps and bounds with the help of former president, Nelson Mandela. The country’s struggle with apartheid has brought everyone in the nation closer together although tensions can still run high. These tensions occasionally manifest themselves within the political sphere of Western Cape.
Today, about two-thirds of the Western Cape population lives in Cape Town. However, the rest of the countryside is gorgeous. In fact, Western Cape contains one of the world’s seven floral kingdoms almost exclusively. This means that most of the plant species in this floral kingdom are endemic to this part of South Africa. Table Mountain, one feature of Western Cape, contains more plant species than the entire United Kingdom. Between the natural beauty and readily available adventures, Western Cape is a must-visit province on any trip to South Africa.
As one of the most popular provinces for tourism in South Africa, Western Cape offers a wide variety of activities for travelers. Cape Town, with its historical importance and thriving night life, is an excellent entry point to this wild environment. Beautiful beaches can be found in Stellenbosch for those who wish to relax a little. A few other must see destinations include the Cape of Good Hope where visitors can view African penguins, Paarl or Franschhoek where some of the best South African wine is made, and the Garden Route on which visitors with cars will be impressed by fantastic landscapes. There are also a variety of hiking trails throughout the province. You are sure to be spoiled for choice on your holiday in Western Cape.
Cape Town International Airport in Western Cape is the second largest airport in South Africa and as such welcomes flights from around the world. It is also possible to reach Western Cape by train, car or bus from other parts of the country. The N1, N2, N12 and N7 highways connect Western Cape with other provinces in South Africa.