Situated on the southwestern tip of Africa, Cape Town and the Western Cape is recognised as one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The Western Cape is on Africa's southwesternmost tip. It's also South Africa's most popular tourist destination - deservedly so. It offers the urban thrills of Cape Town, its adjacent wine country and a lot more.
Affixed to the tip of Africa as it is, the Western Cape lies bordered by two oceans - the Indian Ocean to the south and the Atlantic to the west. The wild Cape Agulhas coast, the extraordinary magnificence of the Garden Route, the sparse, sweeping stretches of sand, punctuated only by rocky outcrops and fishing villages, of the West Coast notwithstanding, it is not the coastline alone that draws the crowds.
Forming the most southerly part of South Africa, the Western Cape has a magnificent coastline that is bordered by both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, with the two meeting at the south-westernmost tip of Africa – Cape Point. The province is the oldest and most gracious in South Africa and is well loved by tourists, both local and international.
Offering a great deal of variety for tourists and business travellers, the Western Cape has ever-changing terrain, spectacular weather, and a host of exciting attractions.
The Western Cape is home to the world's longest wine route, found along Route 62, a scenic tourist route that runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, 850 kilometres up the eastern coast. If you don't have time to complete the whole route, consider visiting the wine-growing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Ceres, Worcester, Bonnievale and Robertson.
The Garden Route, from Cape Town to Knysna, is gorgeous, passing through many a quirky town, complete with welcoming locals and fresh produce stalls. Stop in at Swellendam, a town where the jailer once doubled as the postmaster, to experience Cape Dutch architecture at its best.
A trip up the West Coast will take you through many a small town, mainly quiet fishing villages such as Langebaan and Paternoster. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the flora along the way - and stop in at Yzerfontein to experience a South African beach braai.
The Western Cape is a major player in the economy of South Africa. The incredible landscapes with amazing mountain and sea views have made real estate in the Western Cape very pricey indeed, and it is no wonder then that one of the major industries in the region is that of real estate.
Culture plays an important role in the Western Cape, and the heritage is possibly better preserved here than in any other region in the country. Wherever you find yourself in the province, there will be a sharp focus on arts and crafts, music and all other cultural pursuits, and numerous thought-provoking museums and galleries that are wonderful to explore, allowing you to contemplate the past and the present.
In historic times the Bushmen south of the Orange River may never have exceeded twenty thousand. They lived in small, loosely knit patrilineal bands of about 20 to 22 persons. They were highly mobile on account of their dependence on game, and for the same reason widely dispersed territorially.
The Hottentot were mainly located along the Orange River and in the coastal belt stretching from Namibia to the Umzimvubu River in the Eastern Cape. It seems that before the arrival of the Dutch, they conducted trade with their Bantu-speaking neighbours in cattle and dagga (marijuana), and to a lesser extent in iron and copper. After the arrival of men from Europe, they traded their cattle for tobacco, and began to act as brokers in developing trade between the Europeans and the Xhosa tribes to the east.
The European advance eventually cost the Hottentot their land, stock, and trading role. Twice defeated in battle and decimated by smallpox in 1713 and 1755, they ultimately lost their identity as a distinct cultural group and intermarried with slaves and others to form the Cape Coloured people. In the middle of the seventeenth century, when Europeans began to settle in the Cape Peninsula, the Bushmen and Hottentot were still in sole occupation of this region.Videos created by Integrated Marketing www.integrated-marketing.co.za