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Western Cape Attractions

Shopping in Cape Town

Cape Town
Cape Town is the ideal place for a bit of retail therapy, with visitors often mesmerised by the sheer variety of goodies to be purchased. And the experience need not be expensive as one of the best things about shopping here is the enjoyment to be had from browsing itself. The city's intricate streets, enticing markets and glamorous malls offer a splendid way to while away the entire day. Make sure to visit retail havens such as the Victoria Wharf at the V&A Waterfront complex and Cavendish Square in the Southern Suburbs. One should not, of course, forget the enormous Tyger Valley Centre and the Somerset Mall - a short drive from the city centre.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain range overlooking Cape Town and is a prominent tourist attraction. Visitors can hike or take the cable-way to the top. The main vegetation of the mountain is the unique and rich Cape fynbos, which forms part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. These protected areas are a World Heritage Site, and an estimated 2,200 species of plants are found on the mountain alone. Amongst these species are many kinds of proteas. The Table Mountain Cableway takes passengers from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road, about 302 m above sea level, to the plateau at the top of the mountain. The upper cable station offers views overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.

Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park, previously known as the Cape Peninsula National Park, is a national park in Cape Town, South Africa for the purpose of protecting the natural environment of the Table Mountain Chain, and in particular the rare fynbos vegetation. The park is managed by South African National Parks. Two well-known landmarks are Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope. The park runs approximately north-south along the range of mountains that make up the mountainous spine of the Cape Peninsula, from Signal Hill in the north, through Lion's Head, Table Mountain, Constantiaberg, Silvermine, the mountains of the southern Peninsula, terminating at Cape Point. The Table Mountain Cableway carries visitors from the Lower Cable Station on Kloof Nek Road to the top of Table Mountain, allowing visitors to avoid the fairly arduous walk up. Boulders Beach, south of Simon's Town, contains a large colony of African Penguins. Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are very scenic, although they are neither the southernmost tip of Africa nor the meeting-place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as is often believed.

Robben Island

Robben Island

Robben Island is located about 11 kilometres off the coast of Cape Town and is about a kilometre wide. Robben Island is most famous for that it was here that former South African President Nelson Mandela, alongside many other political prisoners, spent decades imprisoned during the apartheid era. Today the island is a popular tourist destination and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It is reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and is open throughout the year, weather permitting, and tours of the island and prison are led by guides who were formerly prisoners there. Robben Island Museum operates as a site or living museum. There is also a penguin colony on the island.

Golf Tours in Western Cape

Western Cape Golf
With a golf tour you will enjoy the picturesque beauty that Western Cape is famous for while playing golf on the best golf courses South Africa has to offer. When you are not playing golf you will get the opportunity to explore the region extensively and get to know the history and beauty of Western Cape. With trips to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held captive for 27 years, and up Table Mountain to enjoy the unhindered views of the Western Cape and the Peninsula, a golf tour is the best way for the golf lover to experience the best the Western Cape has to offer.

Table Mountain and Cable Way

Table Mountain Cable Way

The best way to experience the beauty of the Western Cape is to take a hike up Table Mountain. The unforgettable view that you will encounter at the summit of the mountain will definitely make the effort worth your while. For the less energetic amongst us the cable car is an good alternative with some phenomenal views on the way to the top.Table Mountain is home to over 1400 species of flowering plants, which are particularly spectacular in spring. For an adrenalin rush like no other consider doing the abseil. It's also possible to walk up the mountain from both the City Bowl side or the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens side.


Ecotourism in Western Cape

Table Mountain Eco Tourism
Table Mountain is a vital part of the attraction of the Western Cape. You can walk, climb, bike, absail, para-glide the mountain or take the elegant new Swiss-designed cable car to the top of the mountain. And of course, there are other climbs in the mountains near Cape Town; on Lion's Head, or in mountains above Kalk Bay or Simonstown. Table Mountain, Lion's Head, Devil's Peak, and the other mountains in and around Cape Town offer walks that are gentle to challenging within easy distance of the city centre. Locals go to Newlands Forest, the Constantia Green Belt, or walk on the Sea Point promenade. There are several excellent guides to walks in and around the Western Cape. A lot of the best nature in the Western Cape is unexpected: a school of hundreds of dolphins early in the morning off Camps Bay; whales in False Bay; baboons with babies on their backs engrossed at the roadside near Cape Point. Even in the Cape Point Reserve, viewing's are wonderfully unpredictable. If you want to be certain, try the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront, or the World of Birds. Kirstenbosch offers the best detailed introduction to the Cape fynbos floral kingdom.

Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

Cape of Good Nature Reserve

Visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve for awesome scenery, fantastic walks, deserted beaches and spotting wildlife. You can take one of the many tours that whip into the reserve, now part of the Cape Peninsula National Park or hire a car. If the weather is good - or even if it isn't - you can easily spend at least a day here. It's particularly beautiful in spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom. There are a number of picnic spots as well as a decent restaurant at Cape Point, generally packed with the tour bus crowds. It's not a difficult walk, but if you're feeling lazy a funicular railway runs up from beside the restaurant to the souvenir kiosk next to the old lighthouse. Pick up a map at the entrance gate if you intend to go walking, but bear in mind that there is minimal shade in the park and that the weather can change quickly.

Western Cape Boat Charters

A boat charter is one of the best ways to see the beauty of the Western Cape. You can get an excellent view of its various mountains and slopes, smooth-rocked bays and rugged capes. You can also take a boat charter to the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The Island is also known for its startling natural beauty and many species of birds. Other fun boating expeditions are: a fun family trip on a bobbing boat in the Waterfront, an elegant champagne breakfast while moored off Clifton Beach on a luxury yacht, a festive sunset booze cruise with a bunch of friends to Hout Bay, or a romantic soujourn under the stars on a specially chartered vessel. At the V&A Waterfront, Water Taxis operate regularly between 9am and 9pm, connecting all sections of the harbour. From here operate several Boat and Yacht Charters and cruises, which are undertaken weather permitting. Contact the V&A Waterfront Visitors Centre for further information.

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