My Western Cape Best Destinations List
After traveling extensively in Asia I decided to return to South Africa. It was time for surfing and exploration of the Western Cape best destinations for scenic wonder.
I had traveled extensively through KwaZulu-Natal on my last visit however, now I wanted to see the best of the Western Cape. I would not be disappointed because there is a lot of amazing things to do for adventure travelers.
Next, I booked the flight and started planning my trip. As a result, I really looked forward to returning to South Africa. In addition, I had a new surfboard to bring with me.
Fortunately, it was fall season in the southern hemisphere and with winter approaching, the waves would be picking up. It was a good time for a surf trip to western cape.
#1 Table Mountain – Western Cape Best Destinations
The coastline of the Western Cape is characterized by craggy mountains and beautiful beaches. However, one exception is Table Mountain, which has a flat top. The climb up will get your heart rate pumping and the views on the way are fantastic.
I was staying below the mountain in Camps Bay and I had hiked all the way from my condo. This was a bit too far, so next time I would just hike in from the parking lot at the Table Mountain trail head.
However, Table Mountain is certainly one of the Western Cape best destinations for hikers. I definitely recommend that you hike to the top. Don’t take the tram unless you are physically disabled in some way.
Best Scenic Fun on the Western Cape!
On the top you will be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of Cape Town and the surrounding western cape. Most essentially, there is a pathway that walks around the perimeter of the summit. Fortunately, once you arrive on top it is flat! So you can enjoy views and catch your breath.
#2 Drive the Coast Road to Kommetjie
For more exceptional scenic fun drive the coastal road to Western Cape best destination Kommetjie. Kommetjie is an idyllic little South African beach town 30 kilometers south of Cape Town. Since the drive down will take you through some very scenic coastal roads, it is a trip full of awe inspiring scenic fun.
I enjoyed Kommetjie so much I rented a beach house there and stayed for 6 weeks after I left Camps Bay!
Fortunately, the surfing here is fantastic and Kommetjie is located nearby additional Western Cape best destinations for scenic fun such as the Cape of Good Hope.
However, in order to surf here you will need to get along with the locals. Good luck!
#3 Cape of Good Hope – Western Cape Best Destinations
The drive to the Cape of Good Hope is about 60 kilometers south of Kommetjie. However, the Cape of Good Hope is not the southern most point of Africa! This small detail notwithstanding, Cape of Good Hope is still one of the Western Cape best destinations!
(To get to the southern most tip of Africa you need to visit Cape Agulhas. Cape Agulhas is an additional 150 kilometers to the southeast of the Cape of Good Hope. See #4 below….)
The Cape of Good Hope was first rounded by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. Although there are records of the Phoenicians rounding the cape long before this.
The region between the two capes is the point of confluence between the Benguela current and the Agulhas current. In contrast, the Benguela current is a cold water current flowing north up the southwest coast of Africa. However, Agulhas current is warm and it flows south along the southeast of Africa.
Most essentially, there are lots of hiking trails around the Cape of Good Hope to enjoy.
#4 Cape Agulhas – Western Cape Best Destinations
If your goal is to reach the southern most tip of Africa, don’t forget to visit Cape Agulhas for scenic fun! Although as a destination, the Cape of Good Hope is more scenically rewarding.
However, the drive to Cape Agulhas takes you through the sweeping South Africa countryside plus you will have the nostalgic honor of having set foot at the southern most tip of Africa.
#5 Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
As a Western Cape best destination for scenic fun, the waterfront in cape town is a distant #5. However, Cape Town is a fair city and the V&A Waterfront is it’s main attraction. As a result, there is a big shopping mall, lots of cafes and things like this. However, if shopping malls are your thing, you are probably on the wrong travel blog.
Additionally, if faux adventure is your thing, then you can book a cage dive here with great white sharks. Or pay a few thousand USD equivalent for a short helicopter ride.
Both of these make the top of the list of ecotourism attractions in Western Cape. However, as a surfer I do not like the controversial idea of feeding great white sharks for entertainment.
#6 Cape Town Diamond Museum
Most essentially, diamonds and precious minerals are a very large part of the South African economy. Therefore, the Cape Town Diamond Museum is certainly one of the Western Cape best destinations.
Entry is free, however your guide is also a salesperson with Shimansky. Shimansky is the owner of the museum and they have a chain of jewelry stores specializing in diamonds. As a result, you will learn about the origin of diamonds in South Africa.
South Africa is the world’s top source for diamonds. They are mined in the Kimberly region in central South Africa. The area is very rich in diamonds due to the formation of kimberlites that bring the diamonds close to the earth’s surface.
Additionally, you will learn other fascinating details at the diamond museum. For instance, did you know De Beers was a Boer farmer who was more interested in farming than diamonds? Or did you know there was such thing as a black diamond?
Put on a nice shirt and act like you may be interested in buying some diamonds. If so, after the tour you are taken into the show room where they have a massive display. Including all kinds of exotic diamonds.
The diamond museum will definitely appeal to anyone with an educational interest in Western Cape.
#7 Robben Island
In addition, you can catch the boat to Robben Island from the V&A Waterfront. This is the one of the best cultural attractions in Western Cape. It is also one of the most popular Western Cape points of interest.
Unfortunately, I get sea sick really easy on tour boats. However, I was able to view Robben Island from the top of Table Mountain! Therefore, I will just say I was there if anyone asks me!
Although if you want to you can venture out, it is about a 10 kilometer boat ride.
#8 Stellenbosch – Western Cape Best Destinations
There is lots of good very affordable wine on the western cape. South African vineyards have a longer history than many French vineyards. Some vineyards in South Africa date back over 300 years! This makes it a solid selection for Western Cape best destinations.
Additionally, Stellenbosch is near Cape Town and it will impress the wine snobs. I am not really cut out for that, therefore when I wanted a good bottle of wine I would just buy it at one of the local market. The red wines from the western cape are all good. They go great with local red meat such as springbok.
Safety in Western Cape
South Africa has always had a relatively high crime rate compared to western developed economies. Unfortunately, it appears that things have not gotten much better since the last time I was here. During my most recent visit, there was a murder on one of the local hiking trails. It happened in a suburb about 20 kilometers south of Cape Town. Some guy was shot and the victim was a local Afrikaner.
I never had any direct contact with crime in South Africa, however, when there is that much poverty surrounding smug little enclaves like V&A Waterfront something has got to give. It is best to be cautious.
Great surf, great hiking, great scenic fun, great wine (also very affordable), great beaches, great weather, great natural landscape. Western Cape rocks!