The Cape Winelands alone are good enough reason to visit the Western Cape.

Best Western Cape & Garden Route Escapes

The Western Cape and Garden Route – among South Africa’s best destinations – in some ways resemble the perfect red blend, like the many produced in the Cape Winelands. For bouquet, read the sheer loveliness of this region, and the diversity of its landscapes; for mouthfeel, the luxury accommodation; and then swirl in all the amazing activity options.

Tours of some of the most illustrious estates in the Cape Winelands – and the opportunity to taste their stellar creations – are sublime. In this region, the ocean feels as though it’s always close by, and you’ll find that it shapes much of the best Western Cape and Garden Route escapes.

It’s definitely worth going on a fynbos safari, to learn more about the incredibly rich botanical biodiversity found here. If you’re more into fauna than flora, a visit to Hermanus or Gansbaai gives you the chance to try and spot all of the Marine Big Five, which range in size from the African penguin all the way up to the southern right whale.

Back on dry land, enjoy encounters with the elephant of Addo – conservation efforts here have been so successful that you almost forget these creatures are listed as vulnerable.

Indeed, the riches of the Western Cape have attracted humans for millennia… Some of the earliest inhabitants left rock-art paintings at Bushmans Kloof, that can still be seen today – there’s no better proof that the Western Cape was special than knowing that it inspired such creativity.

Wine, whales and the song of the gulls – there’s so much to enjoy here!

When to Go

The weather in the Western Cape, and along most of the Garden Route, is almost the inverse of the rest of South Africa. These warmer summer months are the driest time of the year. The beginning of summer ushers in the end of the whale-watching season, but game drives in Addo Elephant Park and Bushmans Kloof can be even more rewarding as the vegetation dies back. For ideal beach weather, you should look to be here between January and March.

If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll find that winter in the Western Cape and Garden Route is much like spring back home: mild, sunny days interspersed with wet, windy ones. At it’s coldest, from June to August, daytime temperatures are usually 14–18°C. Southern right whales migrate into the Cape’s waters from June to November to give birth and nurse their young, with peak calving season being in July and August, easily seen from land.

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