Western Cape

The Western Cape is situated on the southwestern tip of the African continent. It is a region of majestic mountains, well-watered valleys, wide, sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery.

The cold Atlantic Ocean along the west coast is a rich fishing area, while the warmer Indian Ocean skirts its southern beaches.

Visitors to the Western Cape can disembark at Cape Town International Airport or at the Port of Cape Town in the shadow of Table Mountain. A network of roads also leads to Cape Town, the capital, also known as the Mother City.

Other important towns in the province include Vredenburg-Saldanha, an important harbour for iron exports and the fishing industry; Worcester and Stellenbosch in the heart of the winelands; George, renowned for 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 six accepted floral kingdoms of the world. Although the smallest of them all, the Western Cape Floral Kingdom, locally called fynbos, contains more plant species than the whole of Europe. These include the world-famous protea and heather.

The Knysna-Tsitsikamma region has the country's biggest indigenous forests. This is a fairyland of age-old forest giants, ferns and colourful birdlife. Products of the forests include furniture made from the indigenous yellowwood, stinkwood and white pear, and these are sought-after pieces.

The tourism sector is perceived as the most important growth force in the Western Cape.