Tourist Attractions of the Western Cape
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
Celebrate April Fool’s Day in Style at Paul Cluver6:59pm 19 Mar
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town this celebration on Saturday 1 April 2017 promises to be a fun day out for young and old. Choose to self-drive or, even better, embark on a scenic train trip from Cape Town to Elgin.
The train departs from Cape Town Station at 9am, with a second collection point in Somerset West. The journey should last no more than two hours, and a few treats along the way will make for a fun and memorable journey. Upon arrival in Elgin you’ll be met by a fleet of John Deere tractors ready...
The Quirkiest Out of Town Stay at Old Mac Daddy6:30am 20 Aug
The Quirkiest Out of Town Stay at Old Mac Daddy
Leani Jansen van Vuuren for Cape Town Tourism
Been there, done that, right? Well, that’s just the refreshing thing about Cape Town. It continues to have unusual, unexpected but wonderfully creative surprises around every corner.
And literally around the corner from the Mother City, an hour’s drive on the N2 highway lays probably the quirkiest accommodation available for a weekend break-away: retro airstream trailers at Old Mac Daddy.
As you turn off the main way and drive in on the...
Sheepstakes, Wine Tasting and Bring-And-Braai at Doran Vineyards’ Open Days6:37pm 25 Jul
At DORAN VINEYARDS in the Voor-Paardeberg, five pet sheep entertain visitors to the farm in a unique way. Rambo, Sid, Lucky, Séan and Alice are regularly decked in colours then, lured by offers of delicious food, amble along a short 80-metre course while spectators shout encouragement from the sidelines.
Two years ago, these five Île-de-France lambs, born on Doran Vineyards farm between Wellington and Malmesbury in the Western Cape, were rejected by their mothers – something that isn’t unusual among sheep – and were taken in by farm manager Basson Potgieter and his...
Your Guide to Ultimate Glory: Bachelor Party Ideas in Cape Town6:30am 16 Jul
Your Guide to Ultimate Glory: Bachelor Party Ideas in Cape Town
Alessandro Candotti for Cape Town Tourism
So you're thinking a cross between the mad tiger-blood fueled imagination of Charlie Sheen and the legen-dary lunacy of the great Barney Stinson? You've come to the right place. Welcome to Cape Town, home to the most glorious bachelor parties known to mankind. And yes, we do mean MANkind.
Rustle your chest hair, because it's time for the games to begin when you...
1. HIT THE BATTLEFIELD
Experience a new breed of...
Celebs in Cape Town6:30am 9 Jul
Celebs in Cape Town: Hollywood stars spotted in the Mother City
Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism
Lights! Camera! Action!
If you’re hearing these commands being shouted out while you’re enjoying a stroll in our bustling Mother City, chances are you’ve stumbled across a film set in movie-loving Cape Town.
With the fourth season of popular political thriller TV series, Homeland, starring the beautiful Claire Danes, currently being filmed here and Hollywood’s bad boy himself Sean Penn being spotted...
Free Winter School Holiday Things To Do6:30am 2 Jul
Free Winter School Holiday Things to do with the kids in Cape Town
By Cape Town Tourism
So, the winter school holidays are upon us and you’re eager to treat your little ones but you’re just too strapped for cash to do the big ticket activities? No need to worry, Mom and Dad, because there are plenty of free things to do with the kids in Cape Town.
Bundle up your young ones, brave the chilly weather and join us for these free winter school holiday things to do in Cape Town:
Green Point Urban Park
On those rare...
Unique Cuban-Themed Comedy Festival To Hit Cape Town6:12am 26 May
The Cuban-themed lifestyle and comedy festival, Comedians for Smiles: Havana Night, will run for one day only at Villiera Wine Farm near Stellenbosch, Cape Town, on Saturday 31 May in an effort to raise funds for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative, which raises funds to perform corrective surgery on children born with cleft lips and palates.
The festival will feature well-known comedians ‘KG’ (headline act), Mum-Z, Brent Palmer, Dalin Oliver, and Carl Weber (MC) among others, who will perform alongside other artists to support this worthy cause...
Verses at Beerhouse on Long8:30am 25 May
For all you intellectuals, local entertainment enthusiasts and beer fanatics, or even all three at once, I’d like to highlight this entry in our events calender. Verses Spoken Word and Live Music Sessions is back, and will take place at Beerhouse on Long Street, Cape Town, Thursday 5 June.
Confirmed artists include talented comedian Goldie Shevlane; spoken word gurus NaMa Xam and Melisizwe Moni; and new-comer to the Verses stage, Inga Steyn. On the music front, songstress Bianca Smith, along with the featured musician Maya Elizabeth Spector, will tickle your ears.
Verses Spoken Word & Live Music Sessions is Back2:40pm 22 May
After a 2 year hiatus, Cape Town's most eclectic platform for spoken word and live music - Verses Spoken Word and Live Music Sessions - is BACK and has found a new home in the form of Beerhouse, 223 Long Street.
Verses started off in 2004 and ran for seven years before taking a bit of a break, but now it’s back and promises to be just as entertaining and inspiring as before. Each event features a poet/spoken word artist, a live band/musician and an incredibly popular open mic session. The latter often enjoys spontaneous collaborations and it’s...
Prince Albert Revamped6:45am 9 Dec
The small town of Prince Albert is buzzing these days with the recent opening of a brand new world-class theatre in Church Street, The Showroom, which is offering a feast of entertainment for the holiday season.
Upcoming events include De Rust classical pianist Neels Coetzee performing a piano recital on 8th December, The Bacchus Nel band performing part of their end-of-year tour on 13th December, Anna Davel performing her blend of cabaret and jazz on 14th December, and Gys De Villiers' one man show 'Wit Manne met Wapens' on 20th and 21st December. The final performance for the...
Summer in the Mother City11:55am 4 Dec
Summer in the Mother City: Cool Events in Cape Town
Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism
Hot days, sunny skies, gorgeous sunsets and white sandy beaches naturally lend themselves to cool summer entertainment in gorgeous Cape Town.
If there is one thing I love more than delicious cocktails and sexy people watching, it’s being entertained in the fun, flirty Mother City, and this season there is plenty to keep us all amused:
OLD MUTUAL SUMMER SUNSET CONCERTS AT KIRSTENBOSCH
My Top Five Cape Town gems11:55am 14 Aug
My Top Five Cape Town Gems - Lesser-known things to do in the Mother City
By Sarah Gurney for Cape Town Tourism
Every visitor to Cape Town will have the same things on their must-see list: Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Robben Island...
There’s no denying that these are attractions not to be missed, but there are many lesser-known gems in the beautiful Mother City that should definitely be added to that list.
Here are my top five things to do:
1. Go for a walk in the Tokai Forest.
Southern Line Tourist Route12:17pm 7 Aug
Southern Line Tourist Route: A beautiful day trip around the Peninsula
By Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism
Imagine a train ride around the gorgeous Mother City. The sun is shining, the skies are blue and you’re free to hop on or off at any stop all the way from Cape Town to Simon’s Town to visit any of your favourite tourist attractions… sound fantastic? With the Southern Line Tourist Route, it’s possible!
I recently had the privilege of enjoying a trip aboard the stylish Southern Line coach to experience this fantastic ride...
Cape Town Spas10:38am 10 Jul
Cape Town spas: Indulge in a little more “me time”
Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism
Sometimes we need to break away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. My “me time” means one thing – a day at the spa.
You could say I’ve become a bit of an addict. I’ve had Swedish massages in Newlands, back massages at the V&A Waterfront, manicures in Vredehoek and most recently, a Thai massage to die for in Gardens.
A quiet room, someone attending to my aching body and total bliss ... What’s not to love?
These are my...
Cape Town in 48 Hours4:55am 26 Jun
#LoveCapeTown City Breaks: what to do in Cape Town in 48 hours
By Cape Town Tourism
The chilly season might be upon us but things are only getting hotter in Cape Town, the inspirational Mother City. So throw aside the bedcovers, stop staring at your boring four walls, and come and experience 48 unforgettable hours in our bustling hometown, with our #LoveCapeTown City Breaks.
Partnering with travel agency extraordinaire Thompsons Holidays, we are delighted to bring you value-for-money #LoveCapeTown City Breaks packages until 30...
Living on student coin11:55am 27 May
Living on student coin in Cape Town
By Lynnette Johns for Cape Town Tourism
There are many ways of surviving your student years in Cape Town: you could get a part-time job, or you could find ways of making your rand stretch as far as it will go. Students love to party and some of the best places to hang out at include Long Street, Edward Street, Bellville and Lower Main Road, Observatory. Most pubs have happy hours so show up early, before sunset, to get your drink on. Share a cab with friends if you are pub hopping or use the Myciti bus...
Ferrari Review11:59am 22 May
Luxury vehicles, scenic drives – Cape Town has both!
By Stuart Buchanan for Cape Town Tourism
Cape Town is already one of the most beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by unparalleled natural scenery. So what happens when you add one of the greatest feats of human engineering and design, and let it loose on the roads around the Mother City?
A jolly fun morning, I'd say.
This is what the crew at Overdrive TV were lucky enough to experience recently. The show airs on Expresso every Friday on SABC 3, and in a first for South...
Bree Street1:34pm 25 Apr
Bree: Cape Town’s hippest street
Hannah Deall (Images courtesy Andrew Brauteseth)
What’s fast becoming known as the hippest street in Cape Town ,Bree Street is where you will find a hive of artisan activity. And if you’re a food lover, there’s plenty to sample here too, from burgers to gourmet pizza, craft beer and cupcakes.
As one of the main arteries of the city, this street is building a reputation as the retail, culinary and design centre of the city. These are my favourites:
BEAUTIFULL LIFE BUILDING – 70-72 BREE...
Lazy Lizard1:55pm 18 Apr
The Lazy Lizard has to be your first stop in Prince Albert. Not only does it serve delectable light meals, and sell a pleasant collection of curios and home crafts, it is also a fount of information on just about everything that is worth knowing about the town and its environs, including things to do and places to stay. It is a lively and homely place with people dropping in for a chat or a word of advice the whole time. Something is always going on.
Lazy Lizard started life as a bus terminal, then became a curio shop, then a coffee / curio / Internet caffe. In the days before...
Rooftop Bars5:50am 12 Apr
The City Bowl is a hub of unusual night spots where not only the cocktail prices climb sky high. Rooftop bars and lounges, located several storeys above Cape Town’s lively streets, are both popular filming locations and prime VIP real estate for the city’s after-dark scene. Diners and ever-punctual happy hour-goers can take in the panorama from these elevated vantage points.
Sky Bar is the crowning glory of the always-popular Grand Daddy Hotel at 38 Long Street. This local rooftop jol is a seventies Airstream time warp with a dash of Kubrick...