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Western Cape Province, South_Africa: A Self Drive Tour Of Major Sites
By:Mairead Foley

The Western Cape Province only dates back to 1994, prior to this, since the Union of South Africa in 1910, it was part of the Cape Province. Today the province is home to around 4.5 million people, as well as some of the country's most breathtaking scenery.

It's made up of 6 Tourism Regions – Cape Town, Cape Overberg, Cape Winelands, Cape Garden Route and Klein Karoo, Cape West Coast and Cape Karoo.

The best way to discover the area is to hire a car. It's South Africa's 4th largest province but attracts the most tourists each year.

The province covers a diverse geographical area from stunning mountain ranges to farmland valleys, beaches lapped by the waters of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, to the semi desert Karoo Landscape.

It's bordered to the north by the Northern Province, to the south by the Indian Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic and the east by the Eastern Province.

What to do and see in the Western Cape Province…

Cape Town Region: The scenic beauty of the Western Cape, its cultural diversity, and landscape make it a great place to visit and get around.

Cape Town, the capital city of the province, and one of the oldest cities in South Africa, is a perfect place to start your self-drive tour of the region.

Cape Town is positioned between the ocean and the majestic Table Mountain. Among the many activities you can enjoy in this vibrant city, apart from shopping and the nightlife, are surfing at the many beaches in the area, climbing, wine tasting and much more!

Roads into Cape Town include the N1, which links to Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, the N2 to Port Elizabeth and Durban, and the N7, which takes you to the Northern Cape Province.

Table Mountain National Park is perhaps the jewel in the crown of the tourism industry in the Western Cape.

Located at the southwestern point of Africa, the park incorporates the Table Mountain Chain from Signal Hill in the North to Cape Point in the south, and looms large over the city of Cape Town, the surrounding seas and coastline.

The truly stunning Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope are located within the park. It's a wonderful area of steep cliffs, seascapes, diverse and unique flora and fauna you are ever likely to see, and it's well worth a visit.

Accommodation and tours of the area can be arranged.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden on the slopes of Table Mountain is also highly recommended as a day trip.

How to get to Table Mountain National Park…

To get to Simons Town, where the Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach is, take the M4 from Cape Town city centre. You can also get to Muizenberg, in the National Park through the M3 or M5, which will eliminate some city traffic hold ups! To get to Cape Point, take the M4.

Located in the Cape Winelands Region, Stellenbosch is another city in the Western Cape that is well worth exploring. Founded in 1679, it's the 2nd oldest city in South Africa. Noted for its Cape Dutch architecture and the wine industry, it's located in a fertile valley in an area of mountains, vineyards and plentiful orchards.

If you're interested in the production of wine, and tasting, you should try the "Wine Route"! The Cape Winelands are divided into various different regions, each offering their own 'wine route'. The most renowned wine routes are Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington and Paarl routes.

To get to Stellenbosch, from Cape Town Airport, take the N2 towards Somerset West. Take a left onto the R310 and follow the road to Stellenbosch.

From Cape Town take the N1 in a northerly direction and get onto the R304 and follow through into Stellenbosch.

Mairead Foley writes for www.Novacarhire.com/ where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world.

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