Spend your holiday in the Western Cape | Western Cape Government

Spend your holiday in the Western Cape

Enjoying your holiday with your family and friends doesn’t need to be costly. Relax in one of the Western Cape’s many unique towns, nature reserves and beaches scattered across the province.

Kicking off the tourism season on a high note is the recent accolade awarded to Cape Town, which has been named as one of National Geographic’s best beach cities

Explore the Western Cape 

We’ve compiled a list of some tourist destinations which you can enjoy with family and friends during the festive season.

1. Cape Town BeachesCT beaches If lying in the sun or splashing about in the water is your cup of tea, then visit one of our beautiful Cape Town beaches. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and you can enjoy the sun and the cool Atlantic sea breeze anywhere from False Bay to Camps Bay and Blouberg on the west coast. 

Our province also boasts 9 blue flag beaches, which is internationally recognised. The blue flag status is given to beaches that meet excellent standards in various categories.

2. The Garden Route

Stretching through 26 towns, including Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Wilderness, the scenic Garden Route, on the south-eastern coast of South Africa, have a range of activities and sites to see.

Sandwiched between Tsitsikamma, Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean; the Garden Route offers lush forests and various beach holiday accommodation along a magnificent coastline and buzzing seaside communities. 

3. Outeniqua Transport Museum

Learn about our country’s first locomotive and see it and other steam trains at the Outeniqua Transport Museum in George.

Take a trip down memory lane and see various models of steam trains, a model train room and a special selection of vintage cars. The museum is a great way to see how transport has evolved.  

4. South African Museum and Planetarium

Come see extinct animals, the evolution of man, stars during the day and so much more at the Iziko Museum and Planetarium. Learn while having fun at the museum that boasts more than 1.5 million specimens of scientific importance.
Located in the Company’s Gardens in Cape Town, South African Museum and Planetarium is right next to the planetarium and offers you an experience you can share with your family and friends. Entry fees are low and Fridays are free to pensioners and students who can produce a student card. 

5. Cape Town markets

Choose between a wide variety of arts and crafts, organic produce, foods, clothing and a multitude of other items at Cape Town's renowned markets. Not sure where to go? Cape Markets can help you locate the market best suited to your interests. 

6. Wine Farms
Wine farms are a great way to unwind and relax. There are many wine farms scattered across our province to choose from, in various places like Stellenbosch, Hermanus, Paarl and Durbanville.

Wine farms offer a range of activities in addition to wine tasting and restaurants. However these activities vary between farms. Find out what each wine farm has to offer and would suit you best.

7. West Coast 

Bordered by the Atlantic ocean, the West Coast of our province is a beautiful place to visit and stretches for over 400km from north to south. It is well known for its scenic beauty and fishing towns. 

The towns of Saldanha, St.Helena Bay and Paternoster are very popular with tourists and locals. Visit and enjoy the West Coast National Park, sandboarding, bird watching and a whole lot more. 

8. South African National Parks

The South African National Parks have been conserving both animals and indigenous vegetation, since 1926, in various parts of our country. Our province is lucky enough to have 7 of the national parks. These are parks which are perfect for day visits which the whole family will enjoy.

You will be able to experience game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and in some instances you will be exposed to cultural and historical experiences too. 

Come explore the wild side of our province. Have a look at the full list of park and choose one to visit. 

9. Robben Island 

Come see the world heritage site where our late president, Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. 

This historical landmark will allow you to see how political prisoners including Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Mac Maharaj spent most of their years. 

At Robben Island you take an educational tour, specialised tour or a general tour of the island and experience what life was like for many of our freedom fighters.  

10. Table Mountain
Cable Car One of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain is our pride and joy and as it may have served as a beacon of hope for the prisoners on Robben Island, it now serves as a popular tourist destination. 

Become a tourist in your own backyard and take a hike or use the cable car to view the city from the top of Table Mountain.

11. Groot Constantia

This fully operational farm which is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Western Cape is situated on the Cape Peninsula.

The area has a maritime climate due to the ocean surrounding the Cape Peninsula, and has an annual average rainfall of +/- 1,100 mm per annum combined with cool southern slopes and deep mountain soil which provides the ideal setting for the making of top quality wines. Other attractions include restaurants & museums. A visit to Groot Constantia will be an unforgettable experience.

12. V&A Waterfront 
If you’re looking to indulge in some entertainment and shopping, then the V&A Waterfront is the perfect place for you. Here you’ll find hundreds of speciality and craft shops, a choice of cinemas, local entertainment and helicopter rides.

There are also trips on board a sophisticated ferry service to the Robben Island Museum where former President Nelson Mandela’s prison cell can be veiwed.

A convenient information centre is also available to those looking for something specific in and around the V&A. It’s situated on Dock Road (alongside Ferryman's Pub). The Waterfront Information Kiosk in Victoria Wharf might also come in handy to those who are unfamiliar with the area.

13. Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point)

For those of us who are outdoor enthusiasts, the Cape of Good Hope is where you should be heading. Hiking, surfing, angling, picnicking, beaching and cycling opportunities are scattered all over this nature reserve, which forms part of Table Mountain National Park.  

The spectacular backdrop of mountains and coastline of the Cape Peninsula will leave you with a unique perspective on nature. Free guided walks are offered at Cape Point on selected Sunday mornings throughout the year.

14. Kirstenbosch
CT beaches
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town is a World Heritage Site where you can spend the day and explore the breath-taking botanical gardens maintained by over 100 gardeners. This beautiful garden was the first botanical garden in the Cape. 

15. Harold Porter Botanical Garden

Ideal for anyone who wishes to take a tranquil walk and breathe in fresh air. Located between a mountain and the sea, Harold Porter Botanical Garden this garden is situated on coastal fynbos and is open for a visit any time of the year. 

16. Bontebok National Park

To experience simplistic beauty and peaceful charm, visit Bontebok National Park which is the smallest national park managed under the South African National Parks service, that can be found in the town of Swellendam, on the banks of Breede River.

17. Agulhas National Park

Situated in the L'Agulhas, Agulhas National Park is for someone who loves extreme outdoor activities; diving into the depths, reaching poles and sailing around the tips of the continents are just some of the activities you can experience when you visit this coastal park.

18. De Mond

It will take you about 26km from Bredasdorp, between Arniston and Struisbaai to reach De Mond which is a popular spot for people who love nature and enjoy hiking. Bring your family and friends along and have a nice picnic under the shady trees along the banks of the river.

19. De Hoop

You know you love cycling, bird watching and whale watching, De Hoop which is 3 hours away from Cape Town in the Overberg is an ideal spot for you. It’s referred to as one of the largest natural areas managed by CapeNature.

20. Cango Caves

The Cango Caves are regarded to be the only and largest show cave in Africa. It's situated 29 km from Oudtshoorn and some of the activities they offer include a 60 minute moderate walk.

21. Tsitsikamma National Park

The Tsitsikamma National Park is a coastal reserve which is located on the stunning Garden Route. A visit to this park is ideal for anyone who enjoys scuba diving, mountain biking, forest excursions, hiking and nature walks as well as water activities.

22. Wilderness National Park

The Wilderness National Park is also in the Garden Route and is a combination of rivers, lakes, estuaries and beaches and some of the activities you can enjoy when at this park include birding and 4x4 trail driving.

23. Boulders Beach 

Boulders beach is situated in Simon’s Town, it’s one of the few in the world and has become a popular international tourist destination spot. Penguin viewing from the boardwalk is very popular in the area. This beach is suitable for the entire family to visit. 

The content on this page was last updated on 9 December 2015