Western Cape

Western Cape

The Western Cape’s unmatched natural beauty, famous hospitality, cultural diversity, excellent wine and rich cuisine make it one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions.

The Western Cape is home to the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is characterized by fynbos and the protea family, and contains more plant species than the whole of Europe.

The Western Cape is also home to the famous Table Mountain, vast Winelands, magnificent beaches, numerous cultures and tourist treasures that are waiting to be discovered.

Table Mountain is a national monument. It is a natural wonder of the world that is often used as a symbol for Cape Town and South Africa.

The province is one of the country’s most beautiful, attracting the lion’s share of foreign tourists. It is a region of majestic mountains, colorful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semi desert Karoo.

Two oceans meet on the coast of the Western Cape: the cold Atlantic Ocean is in the west, while the warmer Indian Ocean lies on the southern coast. The plankton-rich cold Benguela current flows along the west coast and is considered to be one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.

 

History

In 1993, the Cape Province was divided into three smaller provinces. One of them was the Western Cape. The Western Cape is a province of South Africa, situated in the south-western part of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces in terms of both area and population. The capital is Cape Town.

Robben Island is just off the coast of Cape Town. There was a jail on the island where political prisoners were kept. Many leaders of the Freedom Struggle were sent to Robben Island, including former President Nelson Mandela. Mandela was released in 1990 from prison and helped the country become a non-racial democracy. Today the jail is a museum and a World Heritage Site because of its importance to our historical heritage.

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa that is still standing. It was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), a big trading company from the Netherlands.

The Western Cape, historically, was home to the KhoiKhoi people, however, over time the San people moved into this region and start taking over.

In 1652, the first European settlement occurred in the Cape of Good Hope. When this colonial settlement was formed, slavery was used to help build this establishment. However, in 1795 the British took over the Cape Colony and shortly afterwards slavery stopped.

Amenities