Quick Facts: Western Cape
- Capital of the Western Cape: Cape Town
- Languages: 55.3% Afrikaans, 23.7% isiXhosa, 19.3% English
- Population of the Western Cape: 4 739 090 (2006)
- Share of South Africa’s population: 10%
- Area: 129 462 square kilometres
- Share of total area: 10.6%
- Population density: 37 people per square kilometre
- Gross regional product: R181-billion (2003)
- Share of total South Africa’s GDP: 14.5%
Introducing Western Cape
The city of Cape Town in South Africa nestles in the curve of Table Mountain at the start of the hook-shaped Cape Peninsula, which ends in the jagged cliffs of Cape Point. The Western Cape is situated on southern tip of the Africa continent. The most southern point of Africa is Cape Agulhas, which is located about 200km east of Cape Town towards the Garden Route.
The Western Cape province is one of South Africa’s most beautiful regions, attracting the majority of foreign tourists. It is an area of majestic mountains, colourful patchworks of farmland set in gorgeous valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semi-desert South African Karoo.
The two oceans meet on the coast of the Western Cape: the cold Atlantic Ocean in the west, while the warmer Indian Ocean lies on the southern coast of Africa. The plankton-rich cold Benguela current flows along the west coast and is considered to be one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.
The size of the Western Province, South Africa
With a total area of 129 462 square kilometres, the Western Cape in South Africa is roughly the size of Greece. It is South Africa’s fourth-largest province, only slightly smaller than the Free State, taking up 10.6% of South Africa's land area and with an approximate population of 4.7-million people.
People and language
A mixture of diverse cultural backgrounds gives the Western Cape a cosmopolitan atmosphere, creating a demographic profile quite different from the national pattern of South Africa. Centuries of trade and immigration have created a population with genetic and linguistic links to different parts of Europe, southeast Asia, India and Africa. Afrikaans is spoken by the majority, with isiXhosa and English being the other main languages.
Topography and climate of the Western Cape, South Africa
The Western Cape is topographically and climatically varied. It has a temperate southern coastline fringed with mountains. It is in this area where the typical vegetation, especially in the western section, is the famed fynbos. To the north, the Western Province stretches deep into the Karoo plateau, while the west coast is extremely dry.
The Mediterranean climate of the Cape Peninsula and the mountainous region is ideal for grape cultivation, with a number of vineyards producing excellent wines. These areas include Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek. Other fruit and vegetables are also grown here, and wheat is an important crop to the north and east of Cape Town.
The southern coastal area of the Western Cape, South Africa, is also fertile, while fishing is the most important industry along the west coast. Sheep farming is the mainstay of the Karoo, and other forms of husbandry take place in the better-watered parts of this province.
Access to the Western Cape, South Africa
Visitors to the Western Cape can disembark at international airports in Cape Town and the city of George at the Garden Route, or at the ports of Cape Town, Mossel Bay or Saldanha.
Tourism in the Western Cape
The Western Cape's unmatched natural beauty, cultural diversity, excellent wine and rich cuisine make it one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. Perched between the ocean and the mountain, and with a national park as its heart Table Mountain Nature Reserve, Cape Town is a wonderful city not to be missed. Among its attractions are climbing, surfing and diving along with vibrant nightlife, excellent wine and endless shopping.
Flora in South Africa’s Western Province
The Western Province in South Africa is home to the smallest of the world's six floral kingdoms, the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is characterised by fynbos and the protea family. The Cape Floral Kingdom contains more plant species than the whole of Europe. The kingdom is one of the Western Cape's two Unesco World Heritage Sites, places of "outstanding value to humanity".
The other one is Robben Island in Table Bay near Cape Town, which was used for centuries as a prison for dissidents and outcasts. Now an essential stop for visitors to the region, it was on this island that South African statesman Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his 27 years in prison. To the east, the region around Knysna and Tsitsikamma is home to South Africa’s largest indigenous forests, a fairyland of ancient tree giants, ferns and abundant birdlife. Products of the forests include sought-after furniture made from the indigenous yellowwood, stinkwood and white pear trees.
Industry and economy of the Western Province
Saldanha, which is situated north of Cape Town along the West Coast of South Africa, is the country’s only natural harbour. This is a major harbour for iron exports and the fishing industry. Other towns include Worcester and Stellenbosch in the heart of the Winelands, George, a centre for indigenous timber and vegetable production, Oudtshoorn, known for its ostrich products and the world-famous Cango Caves, and Beaufort West on the dry, sheep-farming plains of the Great Karoo.
The Western Cape economy contributes roughly 14,5% to South Africa’s GDP, growing at an average of 3,2% a year. More sophisticated sectors such as finance, real estate, ICT, retail and tourism have shown substantial growth, and are the main contributors to the regional economy. The value of residential property has increased significantly.
Many of South Africa’s major insurance companies and banks are based in the Western Cape. Most of South Africa’s petroleum companies and the largest segment of the printing and publishing industry are found in and around Cape Town. After Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape’s manufacturing sector is the third-largest contributor to the national manufacturing sector. The clothing and textile industry remains the most significant industrial source of employment in the Western Cape. Cape Town remains the economic hub of the province, encompassing industrial areas such as Epping, Montagu Gardens, Parow and Retreat.
Agriculture in the Western Cape of South Africa
The sheltered valleys between mountains in the Western Province of South Africa are ideal for the cultivation of export-grade fruit such as apples, table grapes, olives, peaches and oranges. A variety of vegetables is cultivated in the eastern part of the Western Cape, while the wheat-growing Swartland and Overberg districts are the country's breadbasket.
The inland Karoo region and the Overberg area around Bredasdorp produce wool and mutton, as well as pedigree Merino breeding stock. Other animal products include broiler chickens, eggs, dairy products, beef and pork. The Western Cape is the only province in South Africa with an outlet for the export of horses, earning millions in foreign revenue.
The Western province, South Africa, is also a leader in the export of ostrich meat to Europe, with its abattoirs turning out R1-billion in export products every year. In addition to meat, fine leatherware and ostrich feathers are also exported to destinations all over the world. The rich fishing grounds on the west coast of South Africa are protected from exploitation by a 200km commercial fishing zone and a strict quota system. Snoek, Cape lobster, abalone, calamari, octopus, oysters and mussels are among the delicacies produced in these waters.
General Information about the Western Province in South Africa
The Western Cape which features Western Cape hotels encompasses the West Coast, Breede River Valley, Cape Town, the Winelands, Overberg, Klein and Central Karoo and the Garden Route. Western Cape hotels, with its beautifully diverse landscape and luxurious Western Cape accommodation, is arguably the most scenic province in South Africa.
The Western Cape and reflected in Western Cape hotels one can recognize the unique culture and natural heritage of this South African region which is combined with a rural easy-going atmosphere in the Western Cape accommodation.
Complemented with luxurious hotels and a well-developed infrastructure which make Western Cape accommodation and hotels in Western Cape a favourite attraction on any discerning traveller's holiday itinerary to South Africa. Western Cape hotels feature accommodation in regards to hotels, golf estates and guest houses for every setting. Western Cape hotels provide you with a backdrop of Table Mountain, the pristine coastline of white sandy beaches and a magnificent countryside filled with blue rivers and lakes, which are characteristic for hotels in Western Cape.
Western Cape hotels and Western Cape accommodation provide for a perfect South Africa holiday destination. By any standard, Western Cape hotels and Cape Town hotels provide for a wide choice of hotels and accommodation in South Africa.
The selection of Western Cape hotels is vast, to name a few (hotels Cape Town Western Cape):
- Cape Grace Hotel - (Five Star Cape Town Hotels)
- The Radisson Hotel - (Five Star Cape Town Waterfront Hotel)
- The Commodore Hotel Five Star Cape Town Hotels)
- Victoria & Alfred Hotel (Four Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
- The Portswood Hotel (Four Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
- The Westin Cape Town (Five Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
- Mount Nelson Hotel (Five Star Cape Town Hotels)
- Cape Milner Hotel ( Four Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
- City Lodge V&A Waterfront Hotel (Three Star Cape Hotels)
- The Bay Hotel - (Five Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
- The Twelve Apostles Hotel - (Five Star Cape Town Western Cape Hotels)
The Western Cape, which provides the traveller with beautiful and unique Western Cape hotels, is one of the most beautiful and compelling places to visit while visiting South Africa and enjoying Western Cape accommodation.
Besides comfortable and exclusive hotels in the Western Cape, Cape Town's features a lot of fascinating historical sites, vibrant markets and the handsomely restored V&A Waterfront, with its beautiful shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels.
Cape Town, located in the Western Cape and famous for its Table Mountain and well-appointed Western Cape hotels, is not a city to be missed whether you are a discerning business person, pleasure-loving holidaymaker, adventure seeker, sports fanatic or inquisitive historian. The Cape Metropolitan Area, with its wide range of hotels Cape Town Western Cape, offers you a rich variety of activities to excite the senses.
A short and scenic drive from Western Cape hotels in Cape Town will bring you to one of the greatest settings in South Africa - the Western Cape Winelands which prides itself with the magnificent Western Cape accommodation on working wine estates . Immensely popular throughout the year, the natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, world-renowned wines and the grand hotels in Western Cape of the Winelands are synonymous with all the best that the Western Cape has to offer.
Hotels in Western Cape Winelands are set amongst lush vineyards which form the backdrop surrounded by gabled Cape Dutch Western Cape accommodation from the colorful history of a bygone era. The hospitality, well-appointed and historical.
Western Cape hotels and beauty of the Western Cape with towns like Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, and Franschhoek will make your visit to the Western Cape unforgettable.
The wines produced in the Western Cape, South Africa, are world-renowned, and you will be spoilt for choice between small, boutique wineries and the larger, more commercial wine estates of which some offer beautiful Western Cape hotels in well appointed Cape Dutch style properties. Taste the fruit of the vintner's labour in the magnificent Cape surroundings that are so characteristic of the Cape Winelands, or join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the precious harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover's delight.
The Western Cape in South Africa provides scenic beauty, towering mountains, a cultural melting pot of diversity complemented with comfortable Western Cape hotels and Western Cape accommodation which offer a great holiday to travelers in South Africa.