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Travel

Western Cape Province – Why I love this place

When visiting South Africa, the Western Province and its westerly edge are generally the first on most peoples lips. And who could blame you?! She’s a beaut bar none! And there’s one city which is usually at the top of that list. Yup, you guessed it! Cape Town! A stunner by any definition, the city of my birth is without doubt, worth any bucket list spot. And I say that with absolute bias. But legitimate bias.

The iconic landmark that is the Table Mountain National Park, is the crown jewel of a city bursting with culture, world-class food and wine and undeniably drool-worthy landscapes, our Mother City could hold you for weeks (or indefinitely) on her own, if you let her!

The thing is, Cape Town’s laid-back mellow vibe lets you ease in without too much fuss. And there’s no shortage of things to do either.

If you’re an outdoorsy type, you’re spoilt for choice. There are hiking or mountain biking trails for days. Surf spots to match any grade; learner to pro. You could even tandem-paraglide off Lion’s Head or abseil off the top of Table Mountain! Or if you’re willing to venture a little further up the Province’s coast you could even opt-in for quad biking, sandboarding or on a clear day, go skydiving up the West Coast.

A little too adrenaline driven? Hot air balooning over the winelands is without doubt a winner.

If views are your thing, there’s no shortage of magic here and a self-drive is just a key turn away. Whether you’re into two wheels or four, a cruise along the Western Cape Peninsula is a great way to take in the city and its surrounds. Sampling some amazing food and wine along the way. This drive – officially of my favourites – called Chapmans Peak Drive is recommend hands-down.

Just beyond the well-known land-based whale watching town of Hermanus lies The Hemel en Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth Valley). Besides the wine (and food), you will be privy to absolutely magical views of the Overberg region… This is one serious sightseer’s paradise.

Don’t forget to jot Peregrine Farm Stall down to pick some THE BEST apples and apple juice you’ve ever had. This is beside the great wine and assortment of fresh baked; jarred and handcrafted goods on show. You won’t regret it, I promise!

Which brings me to this point. If you’ve heard anything about the Cape, or the Western Province, you must have heard about the wine (and food). Oh, the glorious wine (and food)! That’s beside the really cool bar, craft beer and gin scene. But if you love wine (and food), you can be in no other heaven on earth than here! This I vow. Whether it is the infamous Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or lesser-known Paarl or Hemel en Aarde Valley, or (my latest off-track meandering) the Swartland, you’re in for such a treat! And don’t even get me started on the City Bowl and its ever-expanding quirky cool epicurean scene. The Craft Beer or the local Gin scene are taking hold strong and fast here! But, I digress!

Moving along from the City Bowl, the Cape’s Colonial Heritage and the picturesque vineyard-covered mountains of the Cape Winelands; you will meet the well-known “longest wine route in the world”, Route62. Worth every single road tripping second, Route62 takes you along forested roads, rugged mountain passes, and one of the most breathtaking pieces of coastline you’ll ever see, along the much-loved Garden Route.

Moving further eastward, the landscape shifts again, and a dry interior takes hold. As if by magic. This time quaint little towns (or dorpies as we call them) give off a unique charm, an honestly warm character and real friendly hospitality amid a seemingly arid landscape. The Little Karoo, with its semi-desert lands of aloe and dwarf baobabs, sits against blue hazy mountainous horizons; and for a moment you understand why time seems to have come to all but a standstill here. It’s a space in time you wish you could be suspended in forever.

A few of my favourite places in WC:

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