Ideas in the Western Cape
Here are some suggestions for activities and attractions in the Western Cape that your guests might be interested in. It is important to be knowledgeable about attractions in your area – if you recommend something that your guests really enjoy, it will make their day.
Most visitors love cultural experiences, and it pays to know about those in your area.
Here are some ideas for how tourists can experience culture in the Western Cape:
- Go on a tour of the Robben Island World Heritage Site, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for the majority of his 27 years in jail
- Go on Cape Malay heritage tours – the Cape Malay people have a distinctive religious, social and political culture and heritage, and many played a significant role in South Africa’s freedom struggle
- Visit one or more of Cape Town’s several Iziko Museums, which celebrate South Africa’s rich and diverse heritage
- Pay a visit to the picturesque town of Darling, established in 1682, which is the home of Pieter-Dirk Uys, a famous South African satirist
- See !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, where San people (the first group of people to call South Africa home) share their history and show their skills and knowledge to guests
Scenic beauty spots
Many tourists look forward to enjoying the natural beauty of our country. Make sure you can point them to the most picturesque spots.
Here are just a few examples:
- The Cape Floral Region, which is a World Heritage Site where a rich diversity of plants grow, specifically endemic fynbos
- Cape Point, the place where Bartholomew Dias, the Portuguese mariner, rounded the tip of Africa
- The Garden Route, which runs along the N2 through George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay
- Table Mountain, where guests can ride to the top in the famous cable cars and enjoy expansive views of Cape Town
- The Cango Caves in the Klein Karoo, which are 4 500-million year-old dripstone caves filled with naturally formed 'sculptures'
- The Cape Winelands, where they can not only do wine tastings and tours, but also enjoy the scenery
South Africa is famed for its wildlife. Our land is home to many, diverse creatures, many of which tourists will have never seen before, and which they probably haven’t seen in the wild.
The majority of visitors to South Africa can’t wait to go on a safari or game drive, so make sure you know where they can do this.
Here are a few examples of where guests can see South Africa’s spectacular wildlife:
- Along the Cape Whale Route, where travellers could see whales from land, or can stop over in Hermanus, a town famed for its land-based whale-watching opportunities and many whale-watching boat tours
- At Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, where the stark landscape is home to the Big Five, the highly endangered riverine rabbit, and many more species of animals and birds
- On Boulders Beach (part of the Table Mountain National Park), where over 2 000 endangered African penguins congregate in a breeding colony
- At the Karoo National Park, which might not be Big Five country, but it is the perfect habitat for many rare species of small game, and is a well-situated stopover point for tourists who are self-driving from Johannesburg to Cape Town
- At the Gondwana Game Reserve, where the Big Five can be seen among the protected fynbos that grows exclusively in the Western Cape region
Deep blue plus
The ocean is not just for swimming and fishing. In the Western Cape tourists will find a number of water-based sports and activities to keep them occupied for days.
- If you have ever considered swimming with sharks, try shark cage-diving in Gansbaai. The best time of the year to dive with sharks is from June to September.
- Cape Town has great surf, and the place to learn to surf is Muizenberg, where instructors will readily teach your guests the basics.
- Guests can also go sea kayaking in Simon’s Town, Langebaan along the Western Coast, or Hermanus in the Overberg.
- Witsand beach, at the mouth of the Breede River, is another place that people flock to to swim, windsurf, snorkel, deep-sea fish and explore rock pools.
One could reach for the sky or go to the depths of the earth in the Western Cape to satisfy one’s appetite for adventure.
- Take your guests to go paragliding in Hermanus from May to October, and they might spot humpback and southern right whales breaching out of the water as they glide over the ocean.
- The rock formations in the Cederberg wilderness area will leave hikers speechless. Fissured and weathered by the elements, the Wolfberg Arch and Cracks, the Maltese Cross, Tafelberg and the Spout are awe-inspiring.
- Another adventurous option is the new zipline over a canyon at Silvermist Mountain Lodge situated in Constantia Nek, Cape Town.
- If following a watercourse through mountains, scrambling or abseiling down small cliffs and waterfalls, and sometimes having to swim through deep pools sound like things your guests would enjoy, let them try kloofing at the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and the neighbouring Suicide Gorge.
- The best months for kitesurfing in the Western Cape are November to April, when the winds are at their strongest.
- The Cango Caves, 30km outside Oudtshoorn, are open for caving tours. Tourists will be amazed by the range of dripstone formations they contain, some resembling real-life objects and even historical figures.
If you are interested in reading about more attractions in the Western Cape, visit the South African Tourism website.
Guests also appreciate having an idea of what there is to do in other areas, so find out where they are going next and offer some ideas for what they might like to do when they get there.