The Western Cape of South Africa has much to offer the visitor. Here are some recommendations for fascinating places to visit.
- Cape Town. Watched over by the imperious Table Mountain, Cape Town boasts many splendours. Try the Company’s Gardens, the V&A waterfront, the District Six Museum and the colourful Bo-Kaap section. Ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for some stunning views.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. One of the finest botanical gardens of the world displays a fantastic range of the remarkable flora of the region. Be sure to try the fantastic tree canopy walkway and the statue garden. Time your visit to benefit from one of the free guided tours.
- Simon’s Town. With its attractive hillside location overlooking False Bay and its lovely Victorian architecture the town is well worth a visit. The beaches are excellent. Seaforth beach and Boulders Beach offer great opportunities for watching penguins.
- Stellenbosch. One of the oldest and probably the most beautiful town in South Africa. Its streets and its University revel in elegant Dutch style grand architecture. There is a little gem in the botanical garden. Wander down Dorp Street. Browse in the ancient trading store of Oom Samie Se Winkel. There are many fascinating sights and excellent restaurants. The drive from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek passes through a beautiful valley containing many outstanding vinyards.
- Franschhoek. A pretty and elegant town founded by French settlers. It has fine art galleries, shops and restaurants. Outside lie many grand wine estates including Mont Rochelle, La Motte and Boschendal. Their gardens, cellars and restaurants are a joy to visit.
- Vergelegen. If you had to choose one wine estate then this would be my recommendation. It is near Somerset West. The house itself is a historical treasure. The gardens are magnificent. Take the cellar tour. Enjoy the wonderful views over False Bay.
- Township Tour. The townships are remarkable sprawling slums housing thousands of poor South Africans. Many offer guided tours and welcome visitors. We went on one in Lwandle and found it highly informative. It started at the Migrant Labour Museum which showed the harsh conditions endured by Black people under the Pass Laws. Well worth seeing the other side of South Africa.
- Hermanus. 120 km to the South-East of Cape Town lies the attractive town of Hermanus. It has a wonderful cliff-top walk along its lovely coastal rocks. A great place for whale and dolphin spotting.
- Betty’s Bay. There is a lovely drive along the coast from Strand to Betty’s Bay. The road runs between the sparkling sea and the towering mountains. The reason for visiting Betty’s Bay is to see hundreds of penguins close up.
- Cape of Good Hope. A large and dramatic national park contains the actual cape. A beautiful drive with super walks and views.
I should also mention that the steaks and seafood in this area are of outstanding quality and reasonably priced. Enjoy!