The Western Cape is situated on the southernmost tip of the African continent. It is a region of majestic mountains; beautiful valleys; wide, sandy beaches; and breathtaking scenery, making it one of the South Africa’s prime tourist destinations. The cold Atlantic Ocean along the west coast is a rich fishing area, while the warmer Indian Ocean skirts the province’s southern beaches. Visitors to the Western Cape can disembark at Cape Town International Airport, George Airport or at the ports of Cape Town, Mossel Bay or Saldanha. A network of roads also leads to Cape Town, the capital, fondly known as the Mother City. Other important towns in the province include Saldanha, a notable harbour for iron exports and the fishing industry; Worcester and Stellenbosch in the heart of the winelands; George, renowned for its indigenous timber and vegetable produce; 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 boasts one of the world’s six accepted floral kingdoms. Although it is the smallest of them all, the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is characterised by fynbos, contains more plant species than the whole of Europe. These include the famous proteas and heathers. The Cape Floristic Region became South Africa’s sixth world heritage site in 2004. Covering an area of more than 553 000 hectares (ha), the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site comprises eight separate protected areas stretching from the Cape Peninsula into the Eastern Cape. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is included in this area, which makes it a world-first for South Africa, since no other world heritage site includes a botanical garden. The Knysna-Tsitsikamma region has the country’s biggest indigenous forests; a fairyland of ancient forest giants, ferns and colourful birdlife. Products of the forests include sought-after furniture made from the indigenous yellowwood, stinkwood and white pear trees.
Cape Town & Table mountain
Cape of Good Hope
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