Don’t just Travel … Explore !
South Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the world. Western Cape has a stunning natural beauty and it’s immensely varied terrain supports a rich diversity and offers an incomparable range of experiences.
Cape Town with its V&A Waterfront, the Table Mountain or the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope or the penguins in Simonstown.
The wine estates of Stellenbosch, Somerset, Paarl and Franshoek offer great wine tastings. All that plus the scenic beaches of Strand, Gordon’s Bay, the Garden and Whale routes and Karoo unspoiled wilderness are all within easy reach.
- Little Karoo Desert
EThe Little or Klein Karoo, which is a long valley bordered by the Swartberg and the Langeberg Mountains in the Western Cape, forms the southern sibling of the larger Karoo – the Great or Groot Karoo occupies the northern part thereof. This is the land of succulents – their thick, fleshy diversity unparalleled anywhere else in the world – peppered only by the odd bush and tree that gives the Karoo, at first glance, the appearance of arid, dry and very flat land devoid of living matter and given over to hot days and cold nights. Herds of buffalo, elephant and kudu once dominated these plains only to be hunted or driven out by modern development. Today the mainly visible animal in the area is the ostrich, farmed for his meat, eggs and feathers, but stay awhile and you’ll hear the rustlings of the bat-eared fox, the suricate or meerkat and the common barking gecko.
This bleak landscape is, on second glance, an area of towering cliffs, clear streams and a unique biome dominated by the aloe and dwarf baobab tree with its yellow peeling bark and midsummer red tubular flowers. Majestic mountains lend a blue haze to the distant horizon and spring flowers draw huge numbers of tourists from all over the world for a few weeks every year when sand becomes a tapestry of flowers.
EThe Somerset & Stellenbosch area is a golfer’s paradise with numbers of world class 18-hole golf courses eg Stellenbosch golf course, Devonvale, Royal Cape, Arabella, Erinvale Golf and Country Club, Strand Golf Club, Somerset West & Helderberg Golf Clubs. Golf is extremely popular in South Africa and you can play it all year round. From November to April – when it is cold in Europe – golf players from overseas can enjoy playing golf in fine weather on one of the many golf courses.
Whale, Shark, Orca & Dolphin Watching
ECape Town & Somerset has several species of dolphin, shark, orca and whale that frequent the shores throughout the year, Southern Right Whales are the stars of the show. They begin arriving in May and stay until late November, entertaining thousands of visitors from the elevated roadways all along the South Western Cape Coastline. The highest density of these Southern Right Whales occurs in the De Hoop Nature Reserve coastal area, where regularly numbers of between 40 & 60 whales are seen mating in the small bay during “Whale Season”
Surf, Wind Surf & Kite Surf Paradise
South Africa quickly rise to a leading destination for kite surfing enthusiasts.
Strand at 5 minutes from Explorer Guesthouse has fantastic seas and strong enough winds for kite surfing it’s among South Africa’s premier kite surfing destination and leading kite surfing school.
EThe fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by proud mountain ranges. Stellenbosch and Somerset have many historic homesteads and monuments, and every so often fruit orchards are to be seen, whose produce may be found in all corners of the world. It is the Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall of the south-western Cape that produces some of the best wines in the country. The rich, fertile soils along the Breede River Valley and especially the areas of Somerset West, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek have become world famous for their whites, reds, sherries, ports and brandies.
ERestaurants in Somerset, Stellenbosch area offer the diner an extraordinarily wide range of food types to choose from including traditional South African fare, German, Greek, Italian, Thai, Cajun, French and Vegetarian to satisfy your culinary desires.
EThe Garden Route is probably South Africa’s most celebrated area, a stretch of coast heralded as one of the country’s highlights. The publicity it receives has made it hugely popular and few visitors to Cape Town miss it. The area is undeniably beautiful: a 200-km stretch of rugged coast backed by mountains, with long stretches of sand, nature reserves, leafy forests and tourist-friendly seaside towns. Officially the route runs from Heidelberg in the west to the Tsitsikamma National Park in the east, though the most popular stretch is the coast from Mossel Bay to Storms River in Tsitsikamma National Park. The region is separated from the interior by the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountain ranges. In contrast to the dry and treeless area of the Karoo on the interior side of the mountains, rain falls all year round on the Garden Route, and the ocean-facing mountain slopes are covered with luxuriant forests. It is this dramatic change in landscape, which occurs over a distance of no more than 20 km that prompted people to refer to the area as the Garden Route.
The larger towns, such as Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, are highly developed tourist resorts, while other areas offer untouched wilderness and wonderful hikes, including one of the most famous in the country, the Otter Trail. This runs along the coast in Tsitsikamma National Park, one of the most popular national parks in South Africa. There is a second national park, Wilderness, which is also very popular. If hiking isn’t your scene, the beaches are stunning, offering a mix of peaceful seaside villages and livelier surfer spots, and there are various attractions hugging the N2 to distract the traveller