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
Son of the Soil4:15pm 25 Jun
Words Fiona McIntosh, pics Shaen Adey
The mood is festive at Koelenhof Wine Cellar, where we’re gathered for the launch of a new wine brand, ‘Son of the Soil’. It’s the culmination of four years of work by a young man from the Stellenbosch winelands, Denzel Swarts.
Voice full of emotion, but wearing his usual contagious smile, he thanks the room-full of supporters; his proud mother, wife and children; friends that span several generations; representatives from the wine industry.
His has been a tumultuous journey, a story of unwavering determination in the face of...
Dalebrook Café6:51pm 19 Mar
A new and buzzing casual restaurant and deli has opened opposite the iconic Dalebrook tidal pool in Kalk Bay and its already a stalwart.
The Kalk Bay community is legendary for its arty residents, its quirky businesses, time-honoured drinking and dining destinations and of course its historic tidal pools that see swimmers young and old take their daily dips in summer – some in winter too. Newly opened Dalebrook Café, situated directly opposite Dalebrook tidal pool in the landmark building Dalebrook Place, is set to become a Kalk Bay favourite, thanks to the...
Neil Ellis Pesto & Wine Play9:55pm 29 Jan
Neil Ellis Wines, the family owned winery on the slopes of the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, is a must-visit this summer. In addition to a wide range of highly-acclaimed wines, food and wine lovers can embark on an epicurean journey with a unique food and wine adventure, aptly called “Pesto & Wine Play”.
The Neil Ellis team, along with the help of a chef friend, dreamed up a selection of recipes which have been tweaked over time to create four yummy pestos to cross-pair with four of the highly-acclaimed Neil Ellis Terrain-Specific Wines. Pesto & Wine Play is a fun...
Delheim’s 2019 Harvest Festival2:11pm 22 Jan
It's time to get your PINK on! This happy colour is the theme for Delheim’s 2019 Harvest Festival hosted by this renowned Stellenbosch wine stalwart on Saturday, 26 January to celebrate the bounty of the vineyard.
At the beginning of every year, the Cape Winelands become a hive of activity as harvest gets underway and Delheim is traditionally one of the very first Stellenbosch wine estates to ring in the new vintage in high spirits. This year’s pink-theme celebrates the harvest of Delheim’s world-renowned Pinotage Rosé – a wine that has built a loyal following since its launch in...
Platter's 2019 Launch2:28pm 11 Dec
Three Wineries of the Year Recognised for Excellence
Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2019 was launched at Cape Town’s Table Bay Hotel on 5 November 2018 with over 200 guests in attendance, the VIPs including the wine producers who achieved the maximum Five Star rating in the new edition – reserved for wines that are “South African classics” and scored 95 points or more on the internationally recognised 100-point scale.
A total of 90 wines achieved the coveted Five Star status this year. Publisher of Platter’s by Diners Club...
Summer is for Stellenbosch Street Soirees7:52pm 14 Oct
Toast with the locals, when the ever-popular, Stellenbosch Street Soirees return to the streets of the City of Oaks for some festive feasting and laidback mingling with fellow food and wine lovers this summer.
Proudly presented by the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the first soiree of the season will take place on 28 November, when Stellies will share its vibrant street culture, enviable lifestyle and cosmopolitan charm in the heart of this historic town – all blended with cool tunes, sizzling street food and superb wines.
The Test Kitchen6:02pm 17 Jul
Pics Andy Lund
On the evening of 19 June 2018, arguably one of the globe’s most famous culinary destinations, Bilbao, saw a gathering of the world’s greatest chefs for the annual prestigious “The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna”.
The Test Kitchen by chef Luke Dale Roberts was placed at 50th at the awards and number one on the African Continent, once again a phenomenal achievement.
Dale Roberts is ecstatic about the award, saying “My team and I have taken some risks over the last year and worked extremely hard to evolve...
CHEFS1:02pm 3 Jul
One of Cape Town’s stylish local eateries, CHEFS epitomises the KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid).
It really is a fabulous concept. The daily menu of three mains (a meat - free range, obviously - fish and vegetarian dish) and a dessert, is presented in a very visual (read mother-watering fashion) on an iPad on your table. Then you can watch the action as the dishes, all made from fresh tasty ingredients and garnished with fresh herbs, are whipped up in the open kitchen and wood-fired oven before being brought to you on a tray by a white-jacketed chef. Simple,...
Get Your Gin On1:18pm 13 Mar
The newly launched ‘The Gin Lab @ The Conservatory’ at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is sure to be the destination of choice for Cape Town’s ever-burgeoning population of gin lovers.
Summer in Cape Town is better than being on the French Riviera. The place to be and be seen is The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa where the sun’s last rays touch the hotel before sinking beneath the Atlantic Ocean’s golden horizon. The only thing that could make this sundowner moment more perfect is a perfectly crafted gin. Short of decking the halls with Gin and Tonics, the hotel’s...
Haute Cabrière Embraces Summer9:55pm 4 Feb
Haute Cabrière boasts one of the most unique views in Franschhoek, making it a popular winelands destination year round. The farm is nestled at the foot of a majestic mountain, and serenades the sunset daily.
“With summer approaching it only makes sense to make this beautiful setting available for longer, and extend our food and wine offering,” comments Marketing Manager Lientjie McLachlan.
New tapas and oyster menu for summer
From 1 November, the Tasting Room extends its hours until 18h00 to celebrate the golden hour. The addition of a tapas-style small plates menu to...
Valley of the Wagonmakers9:55pm 19 Jul
Words Brandon de Kock, pics Gareth van Nelson/hsmimages.co.za
The French Huguenots stumbled into this valley, looked up at the Hawequa Mountains and proclaimed it Val du Charron, ‘Valley of the Wagonmakers’. The English were so enamoured that, in 1840, they named the town after their greatest military hero, the Duke of Wellington – who squashed Napoleon like an overripe grape. But, for modern travellers, it’s mostly ‘that place on the R301’ you have to pass through en route to breathtaking beauty, Bainskloof and beyond.
On the wine front, it is seen as a provider rather than a...
Breakfast in Bokkom Laan5:46pm 24 May
Words & Pics: Anita de Villiers
It was a bleak Monday morning. The blues had kicked in after a wonderful week with an outrageously creative group of photographers. The inner woman was craving the comfort of a big breakfast.
Starting off in Langebaan on the West Coast, I was joined by two friends for a post-photography-workshop sojourn of the flower-carpeted West Coast. But alas, the sun was curtained behind an insistent drizzle, no flowers were to be seen and the ATM hungrily gulped down my card, refusing to regurgitate either card or cash.
Kleinood’s De Boerin Extra Virgin Olive Oil hits new heights6:50pm 19 Jan
First wine, then olive oil – Kleinood’s De Boerin Extra Virgin Olive Oil rockets to success as one of the Top 5 Olive Oils in South Africa 2015.
Shortly after the release of the 2015 De Boerin Extra Virgin Olive Oil in October, this vintage won the ABSA Top 5 SA Olive Oil Award, the topmost achievement in the olive oil industry in South Africa. This achievement follows on a gold medal for the fifth year running at the SA Olive Awards Association.
Kleinood is primarily a wine farm, which has received numerous accolades for its flagship Tamboerskloof...
10 Reasons to Visit Signal Gun Winery9:30am 17 Jun
10 Reasons to Visit Signal Gun Winery
Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism
I’m a sucker for anything unique to do in Cape Town. So, when we recently visited Signal Gun Wine Estate, I was very impressed with all they have to offer for these 10 reasons.
When you think wine farms, the first area that comes to mind isn’t exactly Durbanville. All the more reason why I love that Signal Gun is located here. It’s not as busy as the usual wine routes and it offers great views for all to enjoy.
Wine with a view at Beau Constantia9:30am 10 Jun
Wine with a view at Beau Constantia
Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism
Think The Shire with a modern-day twist and you may come close to the boutique wine farm that is Beau Constantia. Close, but not quite on the money, because chances are you have never experienced a wine tasting in a venue quite like it.
A rolling green embankment is the first thing you see as you walk down from the parking, but what grabs you is the squared, brick structures, sitting alongside huge glassed companions at the top of the hill. It is quite simply breath-...
Five amazing Cape Town breakfast spots with a view9:30am 3 Jun
Five amazing Cape Town breakfast spots with a view
Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism
THE ANNEX - KALK BAY
Sitting just behind Kalk Bay Books, the Annex Restaurant is just off the main road and sits in a historical building. Guests can enjoy their meals on the Annex veranda, in the courtyard, on the terrace or alongside a cosy fireplace in the library while overlooking the ocean. Delicious breakfast items include poached eggs served on Annex ciabatta toast with spinach and a Hollandaise sauce, French-toasted...
What’s Up at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs at the V&A Waterfront1:52pm 29 May
Introducing Roll’s Royce Burgers, Red-Hot Dogs, 40 Decadently-Divine Gourmet Shakes, To-Die-For Belgian Beer Waffles and Fabulous Monday and Wednesday Specials
A few years ago, the Slick Restaurant Group, owners of the award-winning Belthazar and Balducci’s Restaurants, embarked on a quest to create the ‘Best Burger’, visiting the top burger joints in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas, and working with their Master Butcher at Belthazar. The result was ‘The Ultimate Burger’, proudly showcased at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs at the V&A Waterfront.
Coffee Shops with Character in Cape Town9:30am 27 May
Coffee Shops with Character in Cape Town
Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism
The coffee culture is strong in Cape Town with shops lining the corners and main strips across the city, calling on java connoisseurs to sample their latest brews. From little nooks in the CBD to seaside meeting places in Simonstown, check out some of our local coffee shops with character.
Deluxe Coffeeworks makes the list for so many reasons: As well as offering fantastic coffee, this popular coffee house also offers...
Last chance to visit Oranjezicht City Farm's Market at Villa Zille7:11pm 26 May
Words Fiona McIntosh, pics Shaen Adey, Elsje Schoeman and supplied
This Saturday is the last chance to visit the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Villa Zille before the market day relocates to its winter premises at Granger Bay in the V&A Waterfront. If you haven’t been to the current location at the premier’s residence at Leeuwenhof you’ve missed out. With straw bales out on the lawn, pony rides for kids and a whole load of passionate stallholders peddling their wares, the vibe is amazing. Make a date to check it out this Saturday, 30 May.
Land of Shipwrecks and Farms5:48pm 10 May
Words & pics Franki Black
Conrad Vlok, winemaker and manager of the Strandveld Winery, doesn’t understand how it’s possible for anyone not to know their neighbour. In the Strandveld, where he comes from, neighbours sample wine together, they fish together and they celebrate catch of the day by opening another bottle of top-notch wine. Dirk Human, Conrad’s friend who lives five kilometres down the road, sums it up perfectly, “When a newcomer moves to the area, we arrange a party so that he or she can meet everyone.”
The low-lying Strandveld is situated between Gansbaai, Cape...