travelandhome logo

Western Cape Wonders: Your Essential Guide to Part 2 of South Africa's Epic 30-Reason Holiday Extravaganza!

Part 2 of: 30 Unbeatable Reasons to Make South Africa Your Next Holiday Haven!
Best destinations and places to see in the Western Cape Cape Town travel and home min

My list of unique experiences adds up to South Africa being one of the best holiday destinations in the world! Further to my previous writing, I gladly share more reasons why South Africa is a superb holiday destination of choice. The links to the rest of the 4-part series are published at the end of this article. 

Reasons why South Africa is worth going to, Western Cape Province, travel guide min

Jump to

Southern regions get their rainfall mostly during winter, while northern regions have a dry winter and scattered showers during the summer. Conversely, depending on the altitude and the surrounding oceans, breathtaking landscapes await in coastal subtropical regions, snow-topped mountains, hot deserts, and humid highlands.

To the north, the Gauteng climate is of the world’s best climates. Despite it being a summer rainfall region, its summer days are warm and wind free. Winter is crisp, clear, and dry. To the south, Cape Town’s summer is windier but less rainy. 

South Africa’s climate makes it undoubtedly the best vacation destination all year round. Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is known to have over 300 days of sun in one year.

Travelers from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Oman, and Europe – to mention just a few – get amazing value for their money based on currency exchange rates. However, it’s not just cheap at the price to shop in South Africa, you can find quality clothing, gorgeous souvenirs, authentic African jewelry, and specialty shopping unique to the country.  

For instance, Rooibos tea was made by the Khoisan people way before 1772 when it was first recorded. (By the way, I found red bush tea in Europe, but it’s not the same thing!) Wine lovers should buy a bottle or two of South Africa’s signature wine, Pinotage. Buy a pair of “stokies”, a toweling (in and out) slipper/house shoe for the gents, from Woolworths.  

The Western Cape Province

Cape Town South Africa Holiday Vacation Travel
Cape Town, Western Cape
first heart transplant into a human Cape Town South Africa museum
A world first - visit the Heart of Cape Town Museum.
Part 2 of 30 Reasons, Jackass Penguins Boulders Beach beach rock sand sea bird nature animal coastline south africa cape town
Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach
hermanus south africa waves wave ocean sea seas whale watching
Whale watching at Hermanus
Stokies South Africa Male slippers
Stokies

Cape Town, also known as the Mother City of South Africa, won the international Best City 2019 Telegraph Travel Award for the seventh year running and remains in the top five.

South Africa’s winning golf courses

The Western Cape was voted Golf Destination of the Year in 2017 (IAGTO – International Association of Golf Tour Operators).

When you do a trip on the spectacular Garden Route, go to Oubaai Golf Course, Ernie Els’s first signature course in South Africa. 

The Fancourt Country Club in George has three top-notch courses designed by Gary Player.

Western Cape wins’ award for “Best International Golfing Destination” - IAGTO

"Within the city of Cape Town, courses such as Royal Cape, Clovelly, Milnerton and Atlantic Beach boast magnificent views of the famous Table Mountain. Arabella Resort and Spa, situated on the Western Cape’s Whale Coast, is also a past winner of the prestigious “Golf Resort of the Year” award presented by IAGTO, and combined with Hermanus Golf Club and the opportunity to see Southern Right Whales nursing their young is just another unique experience on offer in this beautiful part of South Africa. The city of Cape Town, which is at the centre of this fantastic region, is one of the most celebrated tourism destinations in the world.

The IAGTO Awards were established in 2000 to reward exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel. IAGTO’s 500+ golf tour operators from 62 different countries cast their votes for these Awards."

Making History in Medicine

At the Heart of Cape Town Museum, you will meander in the same rooms where the first heart was successfully transplanted into a human (1967).

Christiaan Barnard received many honors, including the Dag Hammarskjold International Prize and Peace Prize, the Kennedy Foundation Award, and the Milan International Prize for Science.

Camping is not every person’s cup of tea, so luckily there is glamping… which I particularly love. There are some comforts and luxuries from home that I dearly miss on a camping trip. Furthermore, if I can combine glamping and a game safari, I am super happy.

I share my recommendations, but of course, the country has plenty of options.

Suggested Read: Best glamping sites in the Western Cape.

Hermanus is known for whale watching. In fact, it’s the whale-watching capital of the country. Whether it is from the comfort of your bed in your hotel room, from your restaurant table, or a viewing point, or from the beach, there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy them. For instance, the southern right whale in Walker Bay.

You may also spot them in the calving waves below Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town, between Noordhoek and Hout Bay.

When? The best time for whale watching is from July to November.

Suggested Activities: Top Whale-Watching Experiences in South Africa

Simonstown

At Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town (in the Western Cape) is an African penguin colony that settled there in 1982.

The penguins also referred to as Jackass, are a protected bird and can only be found on South Africa and Namibia’s coastlines. What started off as only two breeding pairs, there now is a substantial colony.

Another reason for visiting Boulders Beach is that the granite boulders are believed to be about 540 million years old!

Foxy Beach, which is part of Boulders Beach, has a boardwalk that brings you in close proximity to these vulnerable birds.

bientangs cave restaurant, Hermanus, travel and home
Bientangs Cave Restaurant, Hermanus
Napier Church, travel and home
Napier, Western Cape
Congo Caves, the Garden Route, travel and home
Congo Caves, Oudtshoorn
Travel Specials, travel and home, travel Clifton, South Africa, Cape Town
Clifton Beach, Cape Town

Imagine celebrating the Christmas season with lazy days at the beach. Get the full scoop!

Oudtshoorn

The astounding Congo Caves sits in Oudtshoorn, a spectacular underground wonder dating back to 1780. A tour (only guided tours are permitted) of the caves requires some stretching and crawling between warm and humid caves. With the help of some artifacts that were discovered and paintings, it is believed that Oudtshoorn’s cave system, located in the Klein Karoo of the Western Cape, is about 4,500  million years old!

L’Agulhas

At the most southern village of the country L’Agulhas, you get to be where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It is only two hours’ drive from Cape Town along a scenic route that includes the idyllic seaside town of  Hermanus and the quaint countryside village, Napier.

It’s time to wine down in the Western Cape Province.

The country’s been producing wine for over 350 years. For the best of the country’s wines head on to the Western Cape, home to over 300 vineyards. 

Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is unique to South Africa. It’s a deep red wine “high in tannins with smoky dark fruit flavors accented by earthy bramble characteristics.”

Indulge in some of the best wine tastings in the world at wine estates in Stellenbosch, Constantia, Franschhoek, and Paarl (the second oldest wine area).

No less than 38 South African wines claimed ‘Gold’ (95+ on the 100-point scale) at the 2019 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Durbanville Hills vineyards Western Cape South Africa winelands wine
Durbanville Hills vineyards, Western Cape
Travel Tips
stellenbosch south africa hidden valley wine estate scenery travelandhome
Hidden Valley Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Discover the country’s awe-inspiring and diverse landscapes, scenic views, and abundance of flora and fauna by foot.

The country has more than 270 hiking trails safe to do with a tour guide. It is not recommended to go hiking on your own.

Cape Town alone has more than twenty hiking trails with breathtaking views.

For instance:

  • Twelve Apostles Kasteelspoort Hiking Trail from Camps Bay up to the top via a meandering path. 
  • Skeleton Gorge hiking trail to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, Western Cape.
  • Probably the most well-known and finest in the world amongst skilled hikers is the very challenging Otter Trail, within the Tsitsikamma National Park.   From Storms River Mouth (in the Eastern Cape province) in the east to Nature’s Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park of the Western Cape, it is 26 km long as the crow flies and has a 44 km hiking trail. Set aside 5 days and 4 nights from start to finish.

Are getting tired of waking up and not being at the beach?

With 27,000 km of dazzling coastlines of which 46 are Blue Flag beaches, there is no shortage of a summer holiday destination.  You have well-known beaches such as Clifton, Camps Bay, Jeffrey’s Bay (in the Eastern Cape Province), and Plettenberg Bay. And then there are those hidden spots, not so well known and slightly away from the main cities. Like, Cape St Francis, Cape L’Agulhas, and Struisbaai.  Incidentally, Struisbaai’s 14 km coastline is the longest, uninterrupted white sand beach in the Southern Hemisphere.

Best hotel stays in Cape Town with ocean view

Very few things beat the sound of the ocean. And although you hear nothing when you close your sliding door, it’s the best sound when you open the door in the mornings.

This is the best hotel in Cape Town for getting the view of the majestic Table Mountain to your left, and Robben Island to your right. In addition to that, it’s the best hotel setting in Cape Town for the most perfect sunsets ever. In fact, you’ll be rushing back to your room not to miss the sunset.

Put a glass of bubbly in your hand, and add a friend or two and you’ll create memories that will stay with you forever. 

Lagoon Beach Hotel, Travel Specials, travel and home
The view from Lagoon Beach, in Milnerton
Lagoon Beach Hotel Milnerton Cape Town South Africa © TravelAndHome
Sunset at Lagoon Beach
Plettenberg Bay travel and home beach travel the Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay
Improve Mental Health
Struisbaai
Table Mountain Blouberg
Blouberg
Stilbaai beautiful beaches in Western Cape Province South Africa min
Stilbaai
Muizenberg beach Cape Town South Africa blue flag beach
Muizenberg
Travel Specials, travel and home, travel Clifton, South Africa, Cape Town
Clifton

Extreme Big Wave Surfing

Dungeons Beach is the most extreme big wave surf spot in the country for those thrill-seekers. Not only is it known as one of the world’s biggest wave beaches with unpredictable waves up to 40 feet and higher, but it’s also known for icy waters and sharks. You can only reach it by a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay Harbour.

Surfer extreme surfing min
Extreme Surfing

I bet you did not know that the very first cycling event outside Europe to be included in the Union Cycliste Internationale‘s Golden Bike Series, was actually the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Previously known as the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the 109 km (68 mi) is cycled by international cyclists from across the world. 

Although South Africa does not have a formal paved network of cycling lanes, it is many a cyclist’s dream holiday. Tour the Winelands or go on a wildlife safari… by bike. 

Cycling Holiday Travel

Top 10 Myths about Cycling in Africa

Cycling safety tips from the pen of an experienced cyclist. Have a look...

You've seen part 2 of the series on South Africa, now explore the rest...

Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces, Kwa Zulu Natal travel guide, South Africa, things to do, travel and home min
North West Province travel guide, South Africa, things to do in the northwest province, travel and home min
Reasons why South Africa is worth going to, Gauteng Province, travel guide min