Forming the most southerly part of South Africa, the Western Cape has a magnificent coastline that is bordered by both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, with the two meeting at the south-westernmost tip of Africa – Cape Point. The province is the oldest and most gracious in South Africa and is well loved by tourists, both local and international.
Offering a great deal of variety for tourists and business travellers, the Western Cape has ever-changing terrain, spectacular weather, and a host of exciting attractions.
From the semi-desert plains of the Karoo to the sublime, sparkling beauty of Cape Town, and to the earthy attractiveness of the fishing villages of the West Coast, the Western Cape makes for a truly spectacular experience. Just within the Cape Town city bounds is the iconic Table Mountain with its hitech cable car, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens with its fascinating and unique flora, and the ever-popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with its working harbour, shopping, entertainment and, of course, the ferry to the notorious Robben Island, once the home of many political prisoners including former president Nelson Mandela. The Winelands, famous for its wines and beautiful mountain scenery, has historic homesteads and fabulous gourmet restaurants, and the beloved Garden Route, that starts in Cape Town takes in varied and spectacular scenery.
Culture plays an important role in the Western Cape, and the heritage is possibly better preserved here than in any other region in the country. Wherever you find yourself in the province, there will be a sharp focus on arts and crafts, music and all other cultural pursuits, and numerous thought-provoking museums and galleries that are wonderful to explore, allowing you to contemplate the past and the present.
The Western Cape is a major player in the economy of South Africa. The incredible landscapes with amazing mountain and sea views have made real estate in the Western Cape very pricey indeed, and it is no wonder then that one of the major industries in the region is that of real estate. Other money-spinners include finance and business services, and the province is well regarded for its media and information sectors. Other industries include petrochemicals, insurance and textiles. It is possibly the tourism industry for which Western Cape is particularly well known, and the high standard of establishments, the natural scenery and attractions, the wine routes and the wonderful hospitality make it a top class destination indeed.
CAPITAL: Cape Town
PRINCIPAL LANGUAGES: Afrikaans; isiXhosa; English
POPULATION: Approximately 5.26 million
AREA: 129,370 sq km