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Cape Attractions

Cape Town and Western Cape Area Attractions

Table Mountain

table mountain

Table Mountain

A visit to Cape Town would be incomplete without a trip up Table Mountain which reaches a height of 1085 metres (3560 feet) at its highest point.  Table Mountain has a broad, flattish top which inspired the name.  Sometimes low clouds are pushed over the mountain by the wind as though a large table cloth has been set out on top.

Cape Town (also known as the Mother City) can be enjoyed from a modern cable car. Enjoy a hike up the mountain up well-established trails, enjoy a meal and some refreshments at the restaurant at the top and then relax on the cable car down to fully enjoy the mountain experience.

Table Mountain itself is a nature reserve containing many indigenous plants and animals. On the top there are a selection of viewpoints over the peninsula and many paths for all levels of skill and capabilities. Facilities are open and accessible to multi-abled people.

Official Cableway Website – https://www.tablemountain.net/

Signal Hill

lions head

View over Lion’s Head

Signal Hill is a lower, flat-topped hill located in Cape Town, on the slopes of Lion’s Head on Table Mountain.  Every day at noon a cannon is dry-fired to signal noontime. It can be reached easily by car and is a great vantage for viewing the city during the daytime.

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

One of Cape Town‘s biggest tourist attractions, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a large complex of open-air recreational spaces, shopping malls, hotals, waterside restaurants and pubs built around the structure of a fully operational harbour. Yachts and cruises are available, live shows in the centre arena, clothing, jewellery and foods from around the world.

Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town

Visit the Cape Town Aquarium to see the amazing local marine life up close. See over 3000 living sea animals, including sharks, fish, turtles and penguins on display. The Two Oceans Aquarium is without doubt one of the most exciting attractions in the city.  Children can enjoy educational puppet shows in the kiddies area on the lower level, as well as a ‘touch pool’ where children can touch and feel kelp, shells, anemones and other safe-to-touch sea creatures under supervision of staff.

 

Helicopter and Aircraft Charters

surfer

Surfer surrounded by blue water

Take helicopter or light aircraft ride over Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula. Aircraft can be chartered at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.   Discover the white-sand beaches of the beautiful Cape Town coastline from above!  See the white sands of Clifton, view Table Mountain from above and fly over the leafy area of Llandudno and Hout Bay.  Depending on the time of year you may spot whales or the ominous shadows of Great White Sharks lurking in the sea below on your way to Seal Island.

Robben Island, Cape Town

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost 3 decades.  Your visit to Cape Town will be more fulfilling to learn more and see first-hand what Mr. Mandela endured to make South Africa the free, open and friendly country we all enjoy today.

Daily tours to Robben Island include the ferry trip there and back, an island tour and a tour of the prison with a fomer political prisoner as your guide. Allow three and a half hours for the trip (this includes the 1/2 hour ferry trip each way) and book in advance. Ferries leave at regular intervals throughout the day from the Clock Tower precint at the V&A Waterfront.

Grand West Casino

Casino

Casino

Grand West Casino in Cape Town is the largest entertainment destination of its kind in South Africa. Part of the Sun International group, it offers a 24-7 casino, restaurants, bars, theatre, cinemas, ice-rinks and entertainment venues. Enjoy local foods and family entertainment.

The architecture draws from the character and cultural heritage of historic buildings in the Cape.  The interior has a maritime feel based on historic Cape marine lifestyle and an artificial sky.

 

Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town

Rhodes Memorial

Rhodes Memorial

Rhodes Memorial, nestling at the base of Devil’s Peak, provides panoramic views towards Table Bay, False Bay and the Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance.

Stop for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at the popular outdoor tea-room – check time of year and opening times.

 

 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is world-renowned for displaying and conserving the beauty and diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom.  Located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, a wide variety of birds frequent the gardens.  Enjoy plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

There’s a water-wise garden, a fragrance garden, a garden that explains the medicinal uses of South African plants and a shade garden featuring tree ferns and shade loving plants.  Themed walks are available, or if you prefer there are golf carts with local guides who will show you the park. Look out for events which are held frequently in the park depending on the time of year.  Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine are good options for hikers who enjoy a challenge.

Chapmans Peak, Cape Town

Chapman’s Peak Drive winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, at the south-western tip of South Africa, it is one of the most spectacular marine drives anywhere in the world. The drive offers stunning 180° views with many areas along the route where you can stop and take in the scenery or sit down for a relaxing picnic.

Chapman’s Peak Drive also offers superb hiking experiences up the peak, through Silvermine Nature Reserve and Cape Peninsula National Park and some whale-watching spots.

At the other end of the drive lies the village of Noordhoek and the neighbouring suburbs of Kommetjie, Scarborough and Fish Hoek

 

Cape Point

Experience huge sea cliffs towering above the wild ocean with sea vistas on all sides. On the west side the shore is littered with historical shipwrecks.  Enjoy a walk to the old lighthouse built in 1860, or a newer one which was built in 1914.

Drive or cycle through the nature reserve. The most popular route to cycle is from the main gate down to Cape Point. See animals living in the reserve, from tortoises and antelope to ostriches, baboons and snakes. See the endemic Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Peregrine Falcon, African Black Oystercatcher, Sunbirds and many other species of land and sea birds.

Surfers have lots of breaks to choose from although the eastern side needs the huge winter swells to wrap around the Point before it gets surfable.

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Situated near Simons Town on the False Bay side of the Cape Peninsula, Boulders Penguin Colony is home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat and there is also a new information centre. Boulders Beach is a good stop for safe and enjoyable swimming.

Table Bay Beaches, Western Cape

Table Bay’s beaches have views of Table Mountain and Robben Island and the miles of clean white sand to stretch your legs or relax.

Big Bay has two rocky outcrops that jut out into the sea, creating a bay.

Bloubergstrand has some lovely rock pools and the viewpoint from here of the bay and Table Mountain has graced many a postcard.

Tableview has a number of restaurants and venues for sundowners and Dolphin Beach is the first of this series of beaches. Many kitesurfers frequent these beaches.

Milnerton is well known for its lighthouse, which sits virtually on the beach and is great for swimming as, unlike Dolphin beach, it is manned by lifeguards

Saunders Rock at Sea Point has a little tidal pool and Three Anchor Bay has a tiny beach from which many sea kayakers embark. It’s the promenade that draws people here. This walkway is right near the sea and is enjoyed by joggers, walkers, dog walkers and families.

Clifton Beach is a popular hangout for locals and international visitors. Clifton has four beaches called 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th beach and has blue flag status, not least because of the turquoise water and white sands. These beaches are Cape Town’s premier beaches, divided by granite boulders and packed with people in summer.

Camps Bay, just next to Clifton, is a long, sandy beach with palm trees and a fantastic promenade lined with trendy restaurants, cafes and cocktail bars. Here Cape Town’s fashionable set mingle with visitors to the city against backdrops of Lion’s Head and the 12 Apostles. The beach is popular for sundowners, large sandcastles and picnics. From Camps Bay you can walk to Glen Beach – a small beach set in a little enclave and great for surfing – and Maiden’s Cove, which is very much a family beach just in front of the Glen Country Club. Bakoven Beach is a small beach with big boulders and white sands in a pristine setting.

Llandudno, set in an exclusive neighbourhood, is one of the most photographed beaches in Cape Town and one of the most beautiful. The currents can be strong but is great for surfers and sunsets.

Sandy Bay, near Llandudno, is enclosed by sand dunes and well protected from the wind. It’s Cape Town’s nudist beach and not as busy as the other beaches. You can escape the crowds here and don’t have to be naked in order to experience the beach.

Hout Bay is a protected harbour bay great for walks and horse riding with spectacular mountain surrounds. The Chapman’s Peak side of the beach is better for sunbathing and swimming is good here as the waves are gentle. Hout Bay beach consists of a large stretch of white sand with a small river running through the middle. Fish and chips are on sale and you can stroll along the pier to view the fishing boats. You may spot a Cape Fur Seal or whale during season.

South Atlantic Beaches, Western Cape

The beaches of the South Atlantic, though a further drive, are rugged and unspoilt and are ideal for those looking for peace and quiet and natural beauty.

Noordhoek Beach, at the end of Chapman’s Peak drive and south of Hout Bay, has a wide expanse of white sand. Views of the bay are spectacular and the beach is lined with dunes that offer shelter from the wind. The beach borders on local wetlands and because of its size, is rather isolated.

Long Beach at Kommetjie is a long, sandy beach with a large tidal pool here great for swimming and families. Also a good surfing spot.

Witsands, between Kommetjie and Scarborough, is popular with surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers. For locals, this is a haven as it’s further from Cape Town and thus not very well known. The beach is big and there are plenty of sand dunes, which contribute to the beauty of the natural surrounds.

Misty Cliffs, situated below a conservation village of the same name, is wonderfully remote with some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic. Waves here can get notoriously big, so it isn’t really a swimmers paradise and even surfers take along an extra fin. It is popular with locals, divers and those wanting to escape it all.

Scarborough Beach is large with plenty of sand for sunbathing, popular with surfers and body boarders and has some beautiful views. Because it’s so far from Cape Town (it’s the last residential suburb before Cape Point), it never gets crowded here although it can get busy in summer. When the wind blows, it’s an ideal spot for flying kites and kitesurfing.

False Bay Beaches, Western Cape

Muizenberg, is lined with characterful and colourful wooden beach changing-huts. This lengthy beach can get busy during peak season but the waves are more forgiving and there are other facilities here such as put-putt courses and water slides. Many nearby restaurants and fast food outlets are available.

St James Beach is not wide or big and it can get crowded in summer, but it offers a delightful tidal pool which is great for children. During high tide big waves can break against the tidal pool wall. A similar tidal pool can be found in Kalk Bay (Dalebrook Pool), just a little further down the main road. Danger Bay Beach, nearby, is much quieter and tends to be used by local residents.

Fish Hoek Beach is very popular with pensioners and families and its calm waters offer plenty of space for games, swimming, walking and exploring. The walkway that hugs the right hand side of the beach makes an enjoyable Sunday afternoon stroll and is a good place for spotting whales that come right into the bay during season. Clovelly Beach adjoins Fish Hoek beach on the far left hand corner of the beach and tends to be used by younger surfers.

Glencairn Beach is great for swimming and sunbathing or for spotting great whites, which shouldn’t deter you from the waters as there is more chance of being killed by a falling coconut in Thailand than by a shark in South Africa!

Cape Helderberg Beaches

Just a 45 minute drive from Cape Town, the beaches of the Helderberg offer slightly warmer waters. A visit to any of these beaches is essentially a family friendly day out with views over False Bay, safe swimming opportunities in shallow waters and rock pools ideal for children.

Bikini Beach is a small beach and one of Cape Town’s three Blue Flag Beaches, which means it has a high level of water quality, facilities, cleanliness and safety. It is popular for sunbathing as it is sheltered from the wind. Kogel Bay (or Cool Bay) is just around the corner from Bikini Beach and is essentially a surfers beach, but has a long stretch of white sand and a couple of exciting caves.

Strand has a 5 km stretch of white, sandy beach ideal for long walks. Fishing, surfing and wind surfing are popular here. There is also an Olympic size public swimming pool at Strand.

Gordon’s Bay, regarded as one of the safest swimming beaches, has wonderful sheltered rock pools great for exploring and paddling.

Hermanus Beaches

Hermanus is the whale watching capital of the Southern Hemisphere, offering some of the best land-based whale watching vantages in the word.  The whale-crier lets off his horn when sightings are near to alert visitors where to look.  White sandy beaches, locally-caught crayfish and seafood restaurants are attractions.

Onrus Beach, adjacent to a warm, calm lagoon, is ideally suited to family outings where small children can play in the calmer waters of the lagoon, and larger children and adults can enjoy the waves. The Milkwood Restaurant is set right on the beach.

Langbaai Beach, which is located between two rocky outcrops, and has limited parking is a more private and secluded beach suitable for long lazy days spent soaking up the sun. It offers excellent swimming and is clean and well maintained.

Grotto Beach is a Blue Flag beach with lifeguards. It offers a restaurant, play park and well-maintained ablution facilities. A favourite with locals and tourists alike, endless stretches of white sand makes it an excellent location to walk dogs, ride horses or build sand castles.  Lately many a fatwheel bicycle can be seen on the beaches (rentals available in town).

Kammabaai is another beach with shallow water, ample parking and excellent facilities; making it ideal for family outings, especially for those with small children. The beach at Voelklip, flanked by green lawns, and with good facilities, is especially popular with younger adults during the peak tourist season.

Day Drives from Cape Town

Langebaan, Cape West Coast

The popular town of Langebaan is just over 100 km from Cape Town on the West Coast off the R27 next to Langebaan Lagoon. The white Caribbean like beaches surrounding the crystal clear waters of the Langebaan Lagoon are one of the main attractions of Langebaan.
The West Coast National Park is worth a visit to see the variety of fauna and flora which this unique eco-system has to offer and the ecological history of Langebaan can be viewed at the West Coast Fossil Park.

Feast on Seafood at Die Strandloper (Langebaan)

Just 125km up the Cape West Coast you will find Die Strandloper, an open air, very casual restaurant with sand underfoot, blue skies above, and at the water’s edge, a magnificient view of Langebaan Lagoon. To the accompaniment of live traditional guitar music, meals are served in individual courses extending over a leisurely three to four hour period.

The central focus is an open braai area where everything from black mussels in wine to “really strong” coffeee takes its turn. Traditional treats include, paella potjie rich in calamari, angel fish and snoek, grilled haarders, smoked angel fish, snoek with sweet or steamed potato, plus waterblommertjie bredie.

West Coast National Park

Just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay one finds the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park.

Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere.

During the spring the strandveld is embroidered with a tapestry of multi-hued flowers, while in the Postberg section many antelope are to be seen in a setting that is as unique as it is idyllic.

Ceres

Years ago Ceres was the gateway to the diamond fields. Today the Ceres museum is home to some of these wagons and also boasts an exhibition on the wildlife species and of the apartheid years in the Ceres district. The old Tolhuis in the Michells Pass was the pay point for drive through travellers to the diamond fields. There are a number of arts and crafts shops in the district and visitors will be treated to some of the local homemade treats, such as jams, chutneys, liqueurs, etc.

Ceres is also home to the largest model car collection in South Africa. Art lovers can indulge themselves in local arts or simply have a picture framed. Mainly deciduous fruit is farmed. The town has shown rapid growth in industry and business development in the past years. Snow is very common in this area during the winter months.

Hermanus

The entire Cape Overberg coastline offers generous sightings of the whales and the Walker Bay area, between Gansbaai and Hermanus, is a whale sanctuary. Hermanus arguably offers the best land-based whale watching in the world. For this position it competes only with Plettenberg Bay, further along the coast.

Not only does Hermanus boast the world’s only ‘whale crier’, but there is a 14 km cliff path that offers a bird’s eye view of the 100 or so Southern Right Whales that visit Walker Bay every year and often come within five to ten metres of the coast. Hermanus celebrates the arrival of the whales with an event-filled annual Whale Festival in late September

Gansbaai

Get away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life, let down your hair, kick off your shoes and come to Gansbaai. Get back to basics with warm friendly people to welcome and pamper you. So what makes Gans Bay cool? Simply it’s natural, rugged and unspoilt beauty.

Gansbaai (Goose Bay) is renowned for good fishing, fine boat-based and land based whale watching, but over recent years it has really established itself as the great white shark capital of the world. Gansbaai is one of the few places left in the world where one can still shark cage dive with these magnificent creatures.

The lighthouse at Danger Point is open to tourists, and you can climb the stairs to the revolving light and peer out at the restless waters that cover the remains of the famous Birkenhead wreck. Whether you come to Gansbaai to fish, dive, ecotour, or simply to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, you can enjoy the opportunity to visit our unique and interesting communities during your vacation.

L’ Agulhas

L’Agulhas is the southernmost town in Africa. Being located at the very tip of the legendary foot of Africa, it is a prime tourist destination.

L’Agulhas also boasts the oldest working lighthouse in South Africa, which has an interesting museum to visit. The koppie behind the lighthouse offers a panoramic view of the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and of ships passing by.

This coastline is extremely ominous and many ships have floundered here. This region also lays claim to a National Park which has more than 8500 species of flowering plants and a bounty of birds in the wetlands. L’Agulhas has several hiking trails. There are also two tidal pools and two rock pools for swimming.

Wine Routes

The Swartland Wine Route

The Swartland Wine Route was established in 1986 and stretches from the Berg River in the North to the Paardeberg in the South, encompassing Piketberg, Porterville, Malmesbury and the Riebeek Valley.

Each cellar presents a unique experience. Some boasts beautiful historic homesteads and others brand new modern tasting rooms, while smaller wineries offer intimate wine tasting in rustic cellars or outside amongst the vineyards.

Olives is an integral part of the agricultural products of the region and some wineries offer a variety of olive produce for sale.
A map of the Wine Route can be obtained from the wineries and local tourism offices.

Breedekloof Wine Route, Breede River Valley

The youngest wine route in South Africa and just 90 km outside of Cape Town, the Breedekloof wine route lies in the Breede River Valley, which stretches from Gouda in the west, McGregor in the south, Montagu in the east and the Tankwa-Karoo National Park in the north.

Wine in this region was initially produced by co-operative cellars that focused primarily on producing sweet wines in bulk.

Today individual wine growers create award winning red, dry white and sweet wine varieties and there are some 23 cellars to visit and scenery to take your breath away.

Cape Agulhas Wine Route, Western Cape

Most of the vineyards of this, the southern most point of Africa, are found in the little village of Elim. The pretty village is a national monument in its entirety and lies on a peninsular washed by two oceans – the Indian and Atlantic.

Elim is something of a phenomenon as its unique ‘terroir’ has caused much excitement in the wine community worldwide. The cool and strong winds that prevail – south westerly and south easterly – have the effect of providing a very cool ripening season, perfect for Sauvignon Blanc and promising for Semillon and Shiraz.

But more than that, this aspect, together with other climatic factors, results in the vineyards here developing unique explosive flavours that have not been tasted before, even by seasoned connoisseurs.
The farms here have as their slogan – ‘Real wine, Real people’ and this encapsulates the atmosphere and flavoursome wines in this little hamlet.

Cape Point Wine Route, Cape Wine Routes

It was only in 1998 that the new Cape Point Wine District was declared and the Cape Point Vineyards are still relatively new on the tourist itinerary. They were established in 1996 with the first vines on the Noordhoek wine estate, overlooking Noordhoek beach and the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in 1997. The influence of the cooler breezes off the Atlantic and warmer winds from False Bay, allow the grapes to ripen slowly, producing premium quality wines. These young vines have already received awards both at home and overseas.

At the moment there are 30 hectares under vine on the Noordhoek and Scarborough sites with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as their main focus although a recent planting at Red Hill, bordering the Cape Point Nature Reserve, means that the first red wine vineyards have joined the stable. These promising vineyards, some of them a mere kilometre from the sea, are situated on the western edges of the Cape Peninsula. This cool-climate district is recognised for its Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Now the first red wine vineyards, planted at Red Hill bordering the Cape Point Nature Reserve, have come on stream.

Constantia Wine Route, Cape Town

One of the very few appellations in the world just minutes outside of a city, the Constantia wine route includes five producers, each with a rich history and winemaking that dates back to late 1600s.
The original Constantia farm was cultivated by Simon van der Stel and today the smaller farms, into which the original was divided, produce unique, award winning wines that benefit from the cool sea breezes blowing across False Bay just a few kilometres away.

The Constantia valley, just 20 minutes outside of Cape Town’s city bowl, is breathtakingly beautiful, with vineyard rows that stretch up the eastern slopes of the Constantiaberg mountainside.

The route is an easy morning or day trip and the farms provide quality restaurants for lunches and tea. Rich in heritage and beauty, Constantia Wine Route is made up of three famous wine estates, namely Buitenverwachting, Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia. Constantia was one of the first wine-producing areas of the Western Cape.

Darling Wine Route, Western Cape

Although traditionally part of the Swartland, Darling is now a demarcated wine district and home to her own wine route, including five wine cellars all of which benefit from the cool breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and the long, hot summers to produce some stunning wines with concentrated flavour, depth and intensity.

The Cape West Coast has recently been recognised as a viticultural region with great potential and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa. Darling is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town and one can visit the cellars easily within a day’s trip. If you’re in a hurry, the Vyge valley farmstall, on Route 27, stocks some of the local wines at cellar prices.

Franschhoek Wine Route, Cape Winelands

Franschhoek is just 50 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and the heart of one of the oldest and most beautiful wine routes in the Cape. Just half an hour’s drive from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and the Somerset West wine routes, Franschhoek is also part of the Four Passes Fruit Route.

The Valley of the Huguenots, as Franschhoek is also known, became home to a community of French Huguenots who fled their country from religious persecution. They soon recognised that this valley had very similar weather to the wine growing regions in France. Today, over 300 years later, this tradition continues and the valley produces all the classic styles and noble cultivars – from whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chenin Blanc through to the reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Over 30 wine cellars produce some of the country’s top wines.

The valley has just launched a Cap Classique route that includes nine cellars, within a distance of 4 km, in a combined marketing initiative. The sparkling wine tour includes teaching visitors about the methods of making Cap Classique in a unique attempt to add value to wine consumption. The long restaurant row on Huguenot Street in Franschhoek list Franschhoek wines on their menus.

Helderberg Wine Route, Cape Wine Routes

A sub-route of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the Helderberg route is only 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s airport and is near the town of Somerset West. These vines lie on the slopes of the Helderberg and combine the influences of both a mountain and maritime climate, producing some very unique wines.

The 25 members of the Helderberg route follow distinctly different methods of growing grapes, from a 300-year old historical cellar to state-of-the-art boutique wineries and visiting the wide range of family-owned estates and grand manor houses is a superb weekend or day’s outing. Helderberg wineries include Vergelegen, Ken Forrester Wines at Scholtzenhof Vineyards, Morgenster Estate, Post House Cellar and many others.

Stellenbosch Wine Route, Cape Winelands

Just 45 minutes from Cape Town, the Stellenbosch wine route is the oldest in the country and represents over 300 wineries. Because of this it is divided into a number of sub-routes to make it easier to travel, namely: Bottelary Hills, Devon Valley Vintners, Helderberg and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch.

Bottelary Hills lies on the slopes of the Bottelary Mountain range with most of its vineyards facing north thus producing excellent red wines. This area is considered at the forefront of viticulture and viniculture when it comes to Pinotage. Devon Valley Vintners lies to the west of Stellenbosch. Most of the wineries are small and focus on red wines although they have also produced some enviable premium white and sparkling wines. Simonsberg-Stellenbosch is known as ‘Cabernet country’.

The town of Stellenbosch, which lies at the heart of this winemaking area, is a gorgeous, historical university town with some of the best-preserved Victorian and Georgian buildings along Dorp Street, itself a national monument. Its oak-lined streets are home to a number of excellent restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and galleries. The university is the only one in South Africa with a viticultural and oenological department and Stellenbosch is home to one of the most modern experimental wineries in the world.

Neighbouring Countries Highlights

Namibia: Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon hiking trail is unique among trails in Africa. The Canyon itself is the second largest in the world, only being surpassed by the famous Grand Canyon in Colorado.

It is approximately 180kms long and stretches south from Seeheim down to the Orange river which forms the border between Namibia and South Africa. The trail itself, follows 90kms of this amazing wonder of nature, from the view site at Hobas to finish at the hot water spa resort of Ai-Ais.

The canyon is the habitat of some small hardy mammals such as rock-hopping Klipspringer Antelope, little Dassies (rock hyrax) and Baboons. There are also Kudu, Leopard and Mountain Zebra, whose spoor you might come across, but are unlikely to see. Birdlife is more prolific with well over 60 species such as Herons, hammerkops, Egyptian Geese, Plovers and Wagtails. In an area plagued by drought, the Fish River was an oasis to early inhabitants of the region. The sights are so incredible that your camera can hardly do justice to its natural magnificence.

Namibia: Skeleton Coast

The world famous Skeleton Coast is an area of remarkable contrasts, and is named because of the skeletons of numerous ships that were wrecked here. This beautiful area is one of the main drawing cards for tourists to Namibia.

The Skeleton Coast Park extends nearly 500 km to the Ugab River in the south to the Kunene in the north and covers an area of around 16,000 sq.km. It is a remote area often covered in a blanket of coastal fog or suffering from cold sea breezes.

The landscape of the Skeleton Coast ranges from huge sand dunes to deep canyons and mountain ranges, whose slopes are covered by a variety of plants which have adapted to the environment, such as the peculiar elephant foot plant.

Namibia: Swakopmund

With palm-lined streets, seaside promenades and fine accommodation for all budgets, Swakopmund is Namibia’s most popular holiday destination, and its pleasant summer climate and decent beaches attract surfers, anglers and beach lovers from al over Southern Africa.

Thanks to its mild temperatures and negligible rainfall, Swakopmund generally enjoys grit in the oyster. When an easterly wind blows, the town gets a good sand-blasting, and almost perpetual drizzle. The fog rolls up to 30km inland and provides moisture for desert-dwelling plants and animals, including 80 species of lichen.

Namibia: Etosha

Etosha National Park, situated in Namibia, is a huge oasis in the midst of a semi-desert, providing one of the most extraordinary game viewing experiences in the region. Namibia cannot be beaten for the perfect African Safari.

One of Africa’ greatest and most important game parks, Etosha covers an area of more that 22 000 square kilometres. The area is a mixture of dense bush, open plains and the incredible salt pans for which Etosha is best known.

The heart of the park is the amazing, shimmering Etosha Pan. This shallow depression fills up in the rainy season and forms a magnet for waterfowl, as well as an incredible diversity of game – Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Eland and many more.

The dry season also presents fantastic game viewing opportunities as the animals congregate around the waterholes. Large herds of plains game crowd the waterholes to drink and apart from the animals mentioned above, one can expect to find Leopard, cheetah, oryx, kudu and wildebeest.

Botswana: Okavango Delta

The Okavango is a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 17,000 square km and the largest inland delta in the world. Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the permanent waters of this unique feature.

Sometimes called a ‘swamp’, the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious, placid, gentle and beautiful, from a wide and winding channel it spreads through tiny, almost unnoticeable channels that creep away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever expanding network of increasingly smaller passages.

Botswana: Chobe National Park

There are few places in the world that can equal Chobe’s enormous variety of big game and bird life. Chobe National Park is located in the north of Botswana, about 80km from Victoria Falls. The Chobe National Park, is the second largest national park in Botswana. Its uniqueness in the abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region, offers a safari experience of a lifetime.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its elephant population currently estimated at around 120,000. The Chobe elephant are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains.

Zimbabwe: Kariba

Lake Kariba, nearly 7700 square kilometers of blue water, studded with islands, fringed by mountains and forests, is a haven for the wildlife along its shores. Lake Kariba, running nearly three hundred kilometres from one end to the other, is a paradise for the discerning tourist who wants to catch a glimpse of an unspoilt Africa that has all but disappeared from the rest of the continent.

Most of all, of Kariba, you will remember the smells of Africa. The dust of the day, the moisture of the lake and, most evocative of all, the smell of advancing rain.

At any time of the year Lake Kariba offers entertainment, relaxation, sport and adventure. There is something at Kariba for everybody – and all of it unforgettable.

Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls constitutes one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world.
The Falls are remarkable. There is a magic about them manifested in the towering column of spray when the river is high, the thunder of the falling water, the terrifying abyss and tranquil lagoons upstream in which hippo and deadly crocodiles lurk.
The Victoria falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world.

The famous bridge straddling the mighty Zambezi at the Victoria Falls provides easy access between the two neighbouring countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe: Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is one of Africa’s finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra and has a very large concentration of giraffe. It is also home to many predators and endangered species plus very large and varied birdlife.

The park is situated on the main road between Bulawayo and the world famous Victoria Falls. All Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. The population of wild dog to be found in Hwange is thought to be of one of the largest surviving groups in Africa today.

Zimbabwe: Great Zimbabwe Ruins

The ruins at Great Zimbabwe are remarkable; lofty, majestic, awe-inspiring, timeless. The quality of the building in places is outstanding. It was built by craftsmen who took a pride in their work. There is nothing to compare with it in southern Africa.

The two main areas of stone wall enclosures are the Hill Complex, on the long, steep-sided granite hill and the land below this hill where the Valley Enclosures and the Great Enclosure are situated.

Mozambique: Archipelago de Bazaruto

This string of idyllic islands, situated just off the coast of Mozambique, is a must for anyone planning to visit the area. With rich tropical reefs, clear warm water and isolated palm shaded beaches, it is also one of the world’s greatest fishing spots.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is on the spectacular southern coast and also is a national park and number one destination in Moambique. The main islands making up the archipelago are Santa Carolina, Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magaruque.

Mozambique: Inhambane

Inhambane is a photographers dream; it possesses a unique charm that can only originate from a rusty old town with delapidated buildings and neglected maintenance. It is worth exploring the fascinating mix of African, old-world Portugese and muslim cultures.

It is a sleepy historic town known for its rusting colonial architecture and has been popular with tourists in recent years. The settlement owes its existence to a deep inlet into which the small river the Matamba flows. Two protective sandy headlands protect the harbor and form a sandbank.

Mozambique: Reserva do Niassa

The largest conservation area in Mozambique, the Niassa Reserve covers parts of Cabo Delgado Province and nearly one third of Niassa Province and is twice the size of the world-famous Kruger National Park.

This huge wilderness preserve, covering 42 000 square kilometers, is only just being discovered and contains by far the greatest concentration of wildlife in Mozambique.

Niassa National Reserve is truly a Mozambique wildlife paradise, providing refuge for over 200 endangered Cape Hunting Dog (African Wild Dog), as well as other predators such as lion, leopard and Spotted Hyena, and general game such as kudu, bushbuck, impala, wildebeest, waterbuck, reedbuck and hippo.

Three sub-species, the Niassa Wildebeest, Boehm’s Zebra and Johnston’s Impala are endemic to the Niassa area. This is one of the last areas in the world where such a wide array of wildlife thrives without any management by man.

Mozambique: Ponta do Ouro

Ponta do Ouro, the southernmost point in Mozambique, is a seaside resort town popular among adventurous holiday-makers trying to get away from the crowds at Sodwana. There are many dive sites and coral reefs. Ponta do Ouro is a tourist destination to please any person interested in scuba diving, deep sea fishing, snorkelling, swimming on white sand beaches.

Gentler pursuits in Ponto do Ouro include whale- and dolphin-watching trips (you can even swim with the dolphins), viewing turtles (who lay their eggs on the beach in the summer months), swimming, and long beach walks. It is a beautiful three kilometre stroll along the beach to South Africa’s border at Kosi Bay.