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Tourist Attractions of the Western Cape

Highlights

Tourist Attractions of South Africa

South Africa is a vast and extremely fascinating country that packs a powerful tourist punch. Few countries can match it for variety and diversity in attractions, activities and cultural groups. From art and history to food and wine, wildlife and nature, nightlife, shopping and even places of worship – there is so much on offer to attract, entice and entertain.

The Western Cape with its mountains and oceans offers scenery that has inspired thousands of descriptions. It has great beaches, World Heritage sites, romantic winelands and museums that celebrate a rich cultural heritage. You can’t talk about a trip to Cape Town without discussing the fabulous cuisine and shopping options that draw tourists time and time again.

Gauteng’s brash exterior belies its depth, uncovered at numerous cultural and historical attractions. Places like Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto feature alongside chi-chi restaurants, funky galleries, shopping malls and fascinating visits to the Cradle of Humankind, where all our stories began.

In Mpumalanga you’ll find a host of nature-related attractions, arts and crafts outlets, country towns, cultural villages and stupendous scenery along the well-known Panorama route. Of course one of the major attractions is the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Limpopo shares this wildlife sanctuary - the size of a small country - and has many of its own nature reserves. It also boasts the fascinating Mapungubwe, where once an ancient kingdom developed a field of influence that spread beyond the continent. Intriguing groups such as the Venda and the Balobedu still practise culturally-rich traditions in the far north of this region.

The North West is all about Sun City, and the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Game Reserves, but don’t forget the mampoer farms and the idiosyncrasies of the Marico, the cultural mélange at Lesedi on the shores of the Hartebeespoort Dam or the little town of Taung where the famous skull of the same name was discovered. From the Margaret Roberts Herbal Farm (De Wildt) to Sol Plaaitje’s house in Mafikeng, there’s much to explore.

Immense skies and enormous spaces characterise the Northern Cape, along with attractions such as the Big Hole in Kimberley, the Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum and the myths and legends as taught by the ancient San. The Augrabies Falls National Park, the Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and the Riemvasmaak community all offer interesting experiences and insights.

KwaZulu-Natal has its own brand of uniqueness when it comes to tourist attractions. Here you can visit a Hare Krishna temple in Durban, pay your respects at the Battlefields in the Midlands, come face to face with Zulu culture and celebrate some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline. Sunny year-round, the province has great places to shop, eat, and discover.

The Eastern Cape is a place of rich heritage and struggle sites. Here historic monuments find their place alongside fun aquariums and beachside establishments. Malaria-free game sanctuaries and numerous nature reserves thrill adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.

Small towns and homegrown hospitality are the distinctive attributes of the Free State. Visit the Basotho Cultural Village on the way to the spectacular Golden Gate National Park, visit the Choet Visser Rugby Museum in Bloemfontein or the Fertility Caves (outside Clarens). Make your way to the fun galleries of Clarens, feast visually on the sandstone sights of Ficksburg and drink in the fascinating history of the provincial capital, Bloemfontein.

Wherever you go around the country, you’re bound to find a fun attraction, a moving museum, a great place to enjoy the local vibes. Enjoy surfing the Nightjar site for the best attractions on offer in each of the provinces.

Articles & Blogs

Adam Tas at the Groot Plaasproe

Valda 4:41pm 3 Oct

The popular Afrikaans singer Adam Tas is to perform at the Groot Plaasproe on Saturday 14 October 2017 at Sandringham Farm outside Stellenbosch. Farmies as well as Townies will enjoy this brand new experience of all things farm. Tas, also a farmer and nature lover, will be on stage from 16:30 to 18:15. He will sing songs from his latest album, “Patatas & Pyptabak”, as well as from his Johnny Cash tribute album. Nic Stevens, solo singer also known as one of “Die Broers”, will perform from 14:30 to 16:30 and Die Wildberries from 12:00 to 14:30. From 10:00 to 14:30, line dancers...

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Go Straight to Jail

Valda 4:23pm 21 Feb

Words and pics Marion Whitehead

Eduard Cornelissen couldn’t wait to go to jail. He’d been plotting his break-in for years. And it wasn’t just any old jail he wanted to move into. 

The thick walls of the 1895 prison in Vanrhynsdorp, on the N7 in the West Coast district, looked so promising to him. Built back in the day when strong men made things to last, its decline into decay over the years had saddened him.

The last prisoners were let out in 1938 and the cells remained empty until someone had the bright idea of turning the old prison into a museum and tourist...

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Halaal Cape Town, A Visitor’s Guide

Valda 9:55pm 3 Dec

Words & pics Dilshad Parker 

All roads lead to Table Mountain. At least that’s how most Capetonians feel. Once you have roots here you will never leave. And that’s how it must have felt for the early Muslims that came here from Malaysia and India and made it their home. There are few places in the western world that are more Muslim friendly than Cape Town. In fact, South Africa ranks no.4 in Crescentrating’s list of non OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) countries. 

The Muslim community forms an integral part of South Africa’s cultural diversity. It has...

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Travel like a local in Langa

Cape Town Tourism 9:30am 19 Aug

Travel like a local in Langa

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

We are always on the lookout for authentic experiences. The word ‘authentic’ obviously means different things to different people, but generally I like to think if you are sincerely welcomed into a community and their homes, invited to eat their food and immerse yourself in their culture, then you are dealing with genuine authenticity.

Globally, more and more people are looking for authentic travel experiences, which allow them to see the city like a local would, by seeking...

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Museums in Cape Town CBD

Cape Town Tourism 9:30am 24 Jun

Museums in Cape Town CBD

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town is a cultural hub and where the history of the country really began, so you can bet we have plenty of both to offer visitors. The Mother City’s history is rich – and at times tragic – and is has a number of world class museums that offer up a treasure trove to the past – both the good and the bad.  A number of these museums are located in the city centre – all within walking distance of each other – and together offer a view as diverse and entertaining as the city...

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A Cut Above

Valda 6:10pm 12 Feb

Words Marianne Heron, pics David Morgan and supplied

Constantia Valley

The roots of flower farming run deep along the Spaanschemat River in Constantia Valley, none deeper than those of Moses Jaftha’s family. Their story stretches back to the 1800s to Moses’ great-grandmother Susan Williams, a member of the Christian community who grew flowers and strawberries in the area for generations, a vanished tradition remembered in the name Strawberry Lane. 

In those days Susan and her eldest sons would rise before dawn to walk to Adderley Street, Cape Town to sell...

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Langa through expensive lenses: touring the township

Valda 8:37pm 4 Dec

By Paul Maughan-Brown 

Impressions gained through township tourism might contribute to a foundation for more real and significant empathy and respect between South Africans.

The smell of fermentation hangs heavy in the muggy half dark. Flies buzz about, pausing on a knee or toe, only to be swished away by a pale hand. On our arrival, four Xhosa men quickly make room for us. They...

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The Fugard Theatre

Nightjar Travel 9:30am 11 Nov

The Fugard Theatre 

As I sit in the balcony seats waiting for the show to start, I look around me an am surprised at the array of people attending this production of 'The Rocky Horror Show'. From the moment I walked into the door of the Fugard Theatre, I was entertained by salesman and hosts who were dressed up in accordance to the theme of the musical and because the theatre is an intimate space, I am holding a box of goodies in my hands that will allow me to interact with what is happening on stage. I get ready to throw the confetti and suddenly...

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Stellenbosch 360 cements Township ties on Madiba Day

Press Releases 4:44pm 28 Jul

Inspired to make every day a Mandela Day, Stellenbosch 360, the town’s dynamic tourism outfit, reunited with Heart Capital in its ongoing efforts to create social and sustainable change in the poverty-stricken Kayamandi community, by lending some green fingers and elbow grease to its Foodpods Project.

Earlier this year, Stellenbosch 360 joined forces with Heart Capital, a boutique impact investment company based in Cape Town, by donating a Sandbag House towards the Heart Capital Foodpods Hub which was rooted in the township to establish food security for the locals in a financially...

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The Best Apps for Exploring Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism 6:30am 23 Jul

The Best Apps for Exploring Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Hey there explorer. Are you ready to take fate into your own hands?

Get connected with Cape Town when you pick up these 5 free apps and begin your adventure that much more adeptly:

1. EVERYTRAIL

Using GPS, EveryTrail creates an easy-to-read map as you explore, providing street names, a compass, audio guides and useful Points of Information.  Over 400,000 people have tracked their adventures on EveryTrail, so using these guides...

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9 Ways Thando Can Make Your Life Easier

Cape Town Tourism 6:30am 18 Jun

9 Ways Thando Can Make Your Life Easier when Exploring Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

So you've come to Cape Town to explore, not only the icons but the little discoveries, the sights and sounds and smells and surprises - and what better way than through the eyes of a local? Especially one who gives you free stuff! 

Cape Town Tourism has launched an innovative mobile Visitor Information Centre called Thando to assist visitors to explore (aka fall in love with) Cape Town. Here are 9 ways Thando...

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Winter Romance

Erik Brits 6:30am 29 May

Winter Romance

There is something strange about a winter romantic getaway. Think about it – you remove your loved one from their natural comforts and take them somewhere cold and desolate as a ‘reward’, even better if it is snowing?! And yet; wrapped up in a blanket, glass of wine in hand and fireplace chattering in the background... I can’t explain it, but man! do I want it.

I recently heard about Tulbagh’s Christmas in Winter (28 & 29 June)– decorations, lights, theater, Rock with Santa... definitely an excuse to head out to their valley. And if you do so...

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Planting seeds for the future

Valda 9:55pm 27 May

Words Fiona McIntosh, Pics Shaen Adey

The rugged Cederberg mountains have long been a playground for those who indulge in extreme pursuits. The dramatic range is criss-crossed by hiking and mountain biking trails while the sheer sandstone cliffs are Mecca for climbers. In fact Rocklands, at the top of the Pakhuis Pass in the northern Cederberg, is one of most famous bouldering areas (gymnastic climbing without ropes on low boulders) in the world. 

A couple of...

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How to Avoid Winter Hibernation

Travel Ideas 6:30am 27 May

How to Avoid Winter Hibernation

Franki for Travel Ideas Magazine

As a Capetonian you either make peace with very chilly winter temperatures or you remain disgruntled. The former option is obviously the better one and when you put your feelers out it’s not that hard. Just as winter set in, Alluvia, a specialist winery that offers boutique accommodation just outside of Stellenbosch,  invited me and a partner for a night out in the country.

Within 90 minutes, we transitioned from our Cape Town-based offices to a warm fireplace with a...

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Cape Town Takes Stock At Indaba: Sustaining The New Tourism

Press Releases 11:30am 15 May

Cape Town Tourism has returned from a successful Indaba 2014, which saw the Western Cape’s Gold Award-winning stand showcasing various facets from across the region, in partnership with Wesgro.

Enver Duminy, Cape Town Tourism CEO, was among the panellists at the Tourism Cities at Indaba Conference - attended by tourism businesses, authorities and academics. Consistent with South African Tourism’s theme for Indaba 2014, “Twenty Years of Freedom”, the event examined the explosive growth in tourism over the past two decades.

Says, Enver Duminy; “Demand in tourism has increased...

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Cape Town Travel Cards

Cape Town Tourism 6:30am 14 May

Your Guide to Travel, Transport and Cash Cards in Cape Town

By Cape Town Tourism

It’s the number one tip we’ve all heard when travelling: don’t carry all your cash on you, use traveller’s cheques or get a card.

In gorgeous Cape Town, the same advice holds true for our visitors from around the world and this is why we went in search of all of the travel, transport and cash cards you’ll need to enjoy your next visit to our sunny, fun-loving shores:

Unique Rand (UR Card)

To paraphrase Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry Maguire: “Don’t...

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Net Worth

Valda 9:55pm 1 May

Words Sarah Titley, pic Jean Tresfon 

Human/wildlife conflict is a global problem, with people increasingly competing with animals for space and resources, both in the terrestrial and the marine environment. Cape Town is no exception to this, a buzzing metropolis with a population of 3.74 million people, bordering a national park and surrounded by a marine protected area. In False Bay, negative interactions between great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and people, while extremely rare, have resulted in the necessity for local government to find ways to balance the...

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Zeekoegat Primary School Project

Press Releases 7:08pm 1 May

Now in existence for over 76 years, Zeekoegat Primary School, situated on the private property of Seekoegat Farm, continues to strive to expand its programs and offerings to the community. 

Our small school has already helped shape and form hundreds of children into young successful adults. Currently with 71 children from grade 1 – 6 & 20 toddlers, we are just too short on finances to offer the necessary resources to accommodate all the underprivileged children. Unfortunately the department of Education provides too little for the school to continue and we lean on the help...

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Surviving cape Town Weather

Cape Town Tourism 6:30am 19 Mar

Your Ultimate Guide to Surviving the Weather in Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town has notoriously capricious weather so we’ve compiled your ultimate guide to surviving the weather:

Summer: 

Cape Town’s mecca season, summer is exquisitely hot and dry, with sparkling conditions starting in November and lasting until February.  Alongside the gorgeous African sun a blustery wind from the South-East, the famous 'Cape Doctor', is also a frequent visitor. 

Cape Town glistens...

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Top 3 Places to Watch the Rugby in Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism 6:30am 12 Mar

Top 3 Places to Watch the Rugby in Cape Town

Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism

Watching the rugby with a passion bordering on religious fervour (the ref naturally being Satan-spawn should he call against your team) is a beloved ritual for many a Capetonian. Many a visitor has reached the shores of Cape Town to be told they haven’t experienced South African culture until they’ve watched a game. Here are the best pubs to go to:    

FORESTERS ARMS

Boasting Guinness World Record for the most beer sold...

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Welcome Message

Nightjar

Welcome to our website. South Africa is awesome and you've come to the right place to help you explore it!

Enjoy the site
Erik