Since the Western Cape has so many facilities to offer, tourism authorities have mapped out certain routes to cater for the tastes of all visitors and to ensure that they do not miss any of the attractions that they are particularly interested in. Many of these routes are currently restricted to the Cape Metropolitan Area, but can you imagine how much the rest of the province has to offer?
This route was inaugurated in 1997 and was the first brandy route in the country. The route begins in Stellenbosch and incorporates brandy cellars such as Van Ryn Brandy Cellar, Oude Molen Brandy Museum and Backsberg Estate. South Africa’s unique brandy route is a definite must for any brandy enthusiast. And, even if you are not a brandy enthusiast, what better way is there to see the lovely countryside and to visit an inseparable part of the Western Cape’s past and its future?
Cape Adventure And Sport Route
Discover that adventure and excitement are synonymous with Cape Town. Mountains, beaches, the sea, forests and rivers – choose a few or explore them all. Abseiling can be done from Table Mountain, Chapman’s Peak and Kamikaze Canyon in the Helderberg Mountains. The protected harbours on the Atlantic Coast offer many angling and deep-sea fishing opportunities and sea-fishing can be done from boats, beaches or rocks. Boats may also be chartered for deep-sea fishing. For those who enjoy burrowing into the deeper recesses of the earth, there are more than 80 caves to explore in the Cape Metropolitan Area. Hiking and biking trails criss-cross the entire Cape Peninsula. Paragliding and sky-diving-enthusiasts enjoy the fast trip down Lion’s Head and the view of the beaches and the surf. To really experience the changing moods of the sea, one needs to undertake a trip in a sea kayak, a sailboat or a sailboard, while scuba-diving is the ideal way to explore the wonder world of the sea. Many round-the-world yacht races stop off in Cape Town. For the less energetic, there is kite-flying, horse rides on the wide, open spaces of Noordhoek Beach and fly-fishing.
Cape Floral Kingdom (Fynbos) Route
South Africa is the only country in the world that can lay claim to having its own exclusive floral kingdom. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the six floral kingdoms of the world, yet it has the greatest number of species. Fynbos is the name by which most of the plants of this kingdom are known and refers to the vegetation in the shrublands of the winter rainfall area of the Western Cape. It is a hardy type of vegetation that has adapted in its own special way to the dry summer season and strong coastal winds. The main types of fynbos plants are proteas, ericas and reeds. Generally, mountain fynbos is found in sandstone habitats and on the mountains. Coastal fynbos is found in more sandy areas, on the flats. Renosterveld grows on mountain slopes and the remnants of indigenous forests are found in mountain valleys. Milkwood thickets also occur on the western side of the Peninsula. Fynbos has something to offer all year round, but winter and spring are the times when its true beauty comes to the fore. The plants bloom with an amazing wealth of beautiful flowers, from the huge, striking king protea (South […]
Cape Whale Route
Humpback whales migrate along the Western Cape coast en route to their feeding and breeding grounds off Mozambique and Angola. Bryde’s whales are found in False Bay all year round, and the orca (killer whale) is also occasionally seen. The presence of these gentle giants draws many visitors to the Cape shores every year from June to November, evidence of the fascination they have always held for people. The whales share these waters with many other marine species, such as dolphins and seals whose activities are also a pleasure to watch. Heaviside and dusky dolphins are found in the colder waters on the western side of the Peninsula, and bottlenose, common and humpback dolphins often visit the eastern (False Bay) side. Large numbers of Cape fur seals can also be seen throughout the year. The Cape Whale Route stretches for 900 km around the southern tip of Africa. In 1998 this route won the British Airways “Tourism for Tomorrow” Award. Boat-based whale-watching is legal in South Africa, but only a few operators have been granted boat-based whale-watching permits. Make sure that you procure the services of one of these companies. The MTN Whale Route Hotline at +27 (0) 83 910-1028 […]
Cape Wine Routes
The exceptionally fine wines of the Western Cape are enjoyed by casual drinkers and connoisseurs from all over the world. The tradition of winemaking is intricately interwoven with the history of the Cape and to a large extent has shaped the culture of the region. Today, visits to wine farms are among the most popular tourism activities of the Western Cape. Apart from affording an opportunity to taste and buy fine wines and learn more about winemaking, they are also a novel way of touring the lovely countryside and of viewing historical places, appreciating Cape Dutch architecture and sampling the excellent cuisine. Wine routes have been mapped out to allow visitors access to most of the vineyards in the province. Many of these vineyards have restaurants and also make cheese to complement the taste of their excellent wines. The valleys and hillsides of the winelands, known locally as the Boland, are awash with vineyards. Some of the best known wine routes are the Stellenbosch route, the oldest wine route in the country, as well as the Constantia, Franschhoek, Wellington, Paarl and Helderberg wine routes. South-Africa-Wine-Map Constantia Wine Route Constantia’s status as the birthplace of South African winemaking is undisputed. This […]
The West Coast Road (R27) leads to a world of tranquil towns, rough coastlines and endless stretches of beach. Route 27 explores the West Coast and its many small villages and towns. Situated on this route are the small towns of Aurora, Darling, Hopefield, Langebaan, Paternoster, Cape Columbine, St Helena Bay, Saldanha, Velddrif and Laaiplek, Vredenburg, Yzerfontein as well as Jacobs Bay, the West Coast Fossil Park and Dassen Island. More information on these places is contained in the West Coast Region of this article.
Route 62 covers the area between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Garden Route and Port Elizabeth. The route offers more scenic possibilities than the alternative N2 Highway, connecting the Breede River Valley region and the Little Karoo. The road was originally developed to link various rural towns and villages to major centres. Several small towns lie along the route and they have many treasures to be discovered. The scenic route passes through farming towns such as Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Barrydale, Amalienstein, Montagu, Bonnievale, Robertson, Ashton, De Rust, Rawsonville, McGregor, Worcester, Ceres, Tulbagh and Wolseley. route-62-map For more information on this tourist route, visit the website at http://www.route62.co.za Route 62 Brandy Route This is the second such route to be launched in the country with the aim of promoting and creating awareness of the region and of its superb brandies. The route follows the popular R62 road and incorporates estates such as the KWV Brandy Cellar, Montagu Museum, Barrydale Wine Cellar, Boplaas, Grundheim, Kango Cooperative and Mons Ruber
West Coast Bird Route
This route allows bird enthusiasts to explore the vast West Coast region. The bird route leads to ten popular birding destinations that include Rietvlei and the Milnerton Lagoon, the West Coast National Park, the SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve, West Coast Fossil Park, Vredenburg/Saldanha Golf Club, Berg River Hides, Rocherpan Nature Reserve, Verlorenvlei, Elands Bay, Bird Island, Lamberts Bay, the Olifant’s River Estuary and Papendorp. These sites are all well-known bird habitats and the ideal holiday for an avid bird-watcher would probably include a visit to all these sites. However, if this is impossible, rest assured that any one of these sites offers such diversity that it is worth the trip. Besides, you can always return next year to visit the other sites as well, can you not?
West Coast Fossil Route
Signs of the early creatures that roamed these plains are found all over the region. The route leads to spots such as the Hopefield Information Centre where one will find many fossil remains including the very famous Saldanha Man skull, as well as the West Coast Fossil Park and the West Coast National Park. Palaeontological remains dating back five to seven million years ago have been found in the West Coast Fossil Park. The fossils are those of animals such as the sabre-toothed cat, penguins and marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. The park has some fascinating displays and future exhibits will include life-size reconstructions of extinct animals. Excavations are ongoing and tours are offered. The West Coast National Park is located in Langebaan and features the oldest fossilised human footprint ever found. The West Coast National Park visitors map.