Cape Town is
a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with dramatic mountains
as a backdrop, and expansive oceans stretching as far as the
eye can see. This world-renowned holiday destination is
consistently, rated the best South African tourist city
and each year there are even more visitors arriving on its
shores. What is truly unique about Cape Town is that you can
journey from wine farms to shopping centres to Table
Mountain, in a scenic 30-90 minute drive.
Top Cape Town Destinations
Wildlife enthusiasts will love the Cape Point Nature Reserve situated a scenic 25-minutes south of the Cape Town CBD, in the 22 100 hectare, Table Mountain National Park. The ocean at the nature reserve is crystal clear; this is where the warm Mozambique current of the Indian Ocean and the cold Bengula current of the Atlantic Ocean meet. There are hundreds of species of flora and fauna to observe whilst driving through the reserve there are also spectacular snorkelling spots, barbeque spots and the acclaimed Two Oceans Restaurant which offers world class cuisine and spectacular vistas over False Bay.
When we think of Cape Town, we often think of world famous Table Mountain. At a height of 1,073 metres, it is the single most prominent feature of the Cape Town region and one of the cities greatest tourist attractions. Whether you chose to travel up via the cable car or hike up one of the many paths once you reach the top you will be overwhelmed by some of the most gorgeous vistas imaginable.
The Cape Town beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. Most are in close proximity to vibrant restaurants and bustling shopping centres. Spending lazy summer days on the beach are a favourite pass time amongst visitors to the Western Cape and once you’ve had your fill of the sun what could be better than sipping cocktails at one of the beachfront cafes over looking the exquisite African sun setting over the clear ocean water.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, a popular hotspot among locals and international visitors, is a must visit on your self drive holiday in Cape Town. Live entertainment takes place in the amphitheatre and you can browse and buy anything from couture to curio at the craft markets and the wide variety of stores located within the V&A. Marine lovers should not miss a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. One of the greatest highlights at the aquarium is the predator tank, which is home to several Ragged Tooth Sharks.
A short boat
ride from the V&A Waterfront lies Robben Island;
former home to Nelson Mandela while he was imprisoned
under the apartheid regime – a South African national
monument not to be missed by visitors to the Cape.
Drive up the West Coast
an hour from Cape Town lies the West Coast - a region of
sheer beauty, which stretches 400km across the coast and
consists of several small towns and villages, each with its
own particular ambiance. The best time to visit is spring
when the wild flowers are blooming and form a carpet
on the ground from coast to mountain. The West Coast
wildflowers are world renowned, and people come here each
year, to view this spectacular sight. There are 38 towns
along the West Coast and a
self drive holiday up the coast stopping in at as many
of them as possible will be highly rewarding. Each town has
its own unique attractions and apart from the magnificent
wild flowers the entire coast offers excellent opportunities
for water sports and extreme adventures.
has earned international acclaim as one of the world's best
wine producing nations. The Western Cape is home to South
Africa's premier wine industry and the Stellenbosch,
Paarl, Franschhoek, and Constantia wine routes are all
within 45-minutes drive from the heart of Cape Town. These
wine routes consist of a number of wine estates, where you
can sample award-winning wines, take in some of the
most spectacular scenery and have lunch in an acclaimed
restaurant. The wine estates are set in impressive
expanses of vineyards; with Cape Dutch style farmhouses,
and incredible landscapes. The best way to see these estates
is to drive the wine route at your own pace, stopping at
locations along the way that tickle your fancy. No holiday
to South Africa is complete without a day on one of the
Western Cape’s gorgeous wine routes and don’t forget to buy
some wine while you’re at it – you’ll appreciate it when you
get back home.
The Whale Coast
From July to
December each year South Africa becomes home to thousands
of whales who leave the icy Antarctic to mate and birth
their calves. The Western Cape is a hot spot for whale
watching as these majestic creatures entertain crowds year
in and year out by breaching and flipper-slapping, while
frolicking off the shores of Cape Town. Although you can
spot the whales from almost all of the beaches the best
place for whale watching is in Hermanus. The quaint town
of Hermanus is a scenic hour’s drive from Cape Town and is
recognised by the World Wildlife Fund as the best land-based
whale watching area in the world. Apart from all the awesome
whale watching opportunities the town is alive with endless
other attractions such as unspoilt beaches, boat trips,
restaurants, craft markets and art galleries. A trip to
Hermanus, the heart of the whale coast, is not to be missed.
The Opportunities are Endless
Located at the tip of Southern Africa the Western Cape is a treasure trove of gems waiting to be discovered. This article only highlights a few of them – once you’ve been to Cape Town a part of you will always long to return.
Self-drive holidays around South Africa and Namibia are not only practical because of the easy driving distances between destinations but are extremely popular too. iDriveSA is a travel and car hire site that provides you with a virtual tour of Namibia and South Africa in order to make planning your self-drive holiday that much easier.
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