Get to know our Country!
South Africa is a beautiful country with so much to do! There are 9 official provinces in South Africa and has a population of over 49 million people.
The Western Cape takes up the South West corner of the country and is said to be the most beautiful of the 9 provinces and attracts the lion's share of the tourism trade.
A few quick facts on the Western Cape:
- Population (2010): 5,223,900 people
- Total Land Area: 129,462 sqm
- Capital: Cape Town
- Languages: 55.3% Afrikaans, 23.7% isiXhosa, 19.3% English
The Western Cape is bordered by both the warmer Indian Ocean on the southern coast and the cooler Atlantic Ocean on the west coast. Where the two oceans meet is a popular tourist destination and if you are lucky enough to visit Cape Point on the right day, it is possible to actually see the two oceans colliding.
The southern most point of South Africa is however Cape Agulhas (not Cape Point) which can be found 100km's east of Cape Point (about 2 hours from Cape Town).
Topography and Climate
Along the coast, the Western Cape has majestic mountain ranges and long stretches of sandy beach. Further inland, you will find colourful farmlands and beautiful valley's until the land flattens out somewhat and vast stretches of semidesert Karoo is found.
Due to the topographical differences, the weather is varied quite drastically through out the province. The Southern coastline is considered temperate and is fringed with mountain ranges and receives a fair amount of rain during the year. The West Coast is generally dry and far more baron. The Cape Peninsula is considered a Mediterranean climate as winter is the rainy season (opposite to the rest of South Africa which experiences a rainy summer season) and therefore is perfect for grape cultivation, hence the hundreds of vineyards which can be found in the Western Cape. The Western Cape is infamous for it's internationally acclaimed wines and a must do part of your stay in or around Cape Town is to take a wine tour in one of the famous areas of Constantia, Paarl, Franschhoek or Stellenbosch.
Popular Towns of the Western Cape
Cape Town is arguably the most beautiful city in South Africa with Table Mountain being at the focal point. Originally a refueling station for ships travelling from East to West or vice versa, Cape Town is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
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Hermanus is situated 120km's to the south east from Cape Town. This is an ever popular weekend getaway destination for Capetonians as well as a must-do stop over for tourists driving the Garden Route towards George and Knysna. Hermanus is famous for Southern Right Whale spotting as well as it's wine making.
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Knysna is situated between the towns of George and Plettenberg Bay on the southern coast of South Africa, along the very popluar Garden Route. Knysna is about a 420km drive from Cape Town. The drive is very scenic with many potential stopovers along the way.
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