Formally named ‘The Cape of Good Hope’, Cape Province sprawls over a large proportion of the South African terrain. It has been divided into three constituent provinces—Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape—since the end of the Apartheid era. With its extensive parameter, Cape vacation rentals can be found in the midst of a plethora of varied landscapes and panoramic scenery, imparting an aura of unmatched aesthetic appeal. The Western Cape is a sublime universe that encloses a striking mesh of fresh beaches, intoxicating vineyards, magnificent mountains, abundantly vegetated forests, citrus groves, animal farms, diverse gourmet cuisines and historic landmarks. Cape Town, of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, also lies within The Western Cape’s circumference. Here, one can depart on remarkably exciting excursions to the Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

Destinations for Cape Province vacations

Ideas for Cape Province vacations

Western Cape South Africa

The Western Cape covers the southernmost tip of Africa and is smallest in geographic size of the three Capes. Its Capital is Cape Town, home to one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature: Table Mountain. Pictures of the flat-topped mountain overshadowing the city is synonymous with Cape Town, the Western Cape Province and even South Africa. Whether the tourist climbs via ones of the trails or takes the cable car, watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from the top of Table Mountain is a breathtaking must for even the seasoned traveler.

Cape Town’s peninsular and surrounding areas offer much to tantalize the tourist’s taste buds including fine dining at restaurants situated on historic wine estates all the way through to traditional African food served in a traditional way in one of the City’s townships.

A trip to the Western Cape is certainly not complete without embarking on at least one of the over fifteen wine routes on offer. The most well known routes are in Stellenbosch, Franchhoek, and Paarl, but the newer routes in Durbanville Hills closer to Cape Town or the Hermanus routes over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains should not be overlooked. For those who may not be wine drinkers, there are the alternatives of craft beer tasting and superb brandy tasting available. Your ever-helpful Cape Vacation Rentals host will be able to point out those routes close to where you are staying. And you will enjoy the area while staying in several quaint Cape vacation rentals or Cape boutique hotels.

Lovers and admirers of flora will not be disappointed in the Western Cape, and enthusiasts will have their time filled with the varied and unique habitats waiting to be explored. Methods of exploration range from a gentle stroll in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, to a challenging mountain bike ride along one of the many trails through South African fynbos of which there are over 9,000 species.

Situated along the southern coast of the Western Cape, the Garden Route stretches through Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, and Knysna, joining the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape. Each town or village along the way offers visitors a host of entertainment options, including: a choice of private game lodges boasting the Big Five; world class golf courses; craft markets; indigenous forests; and just over the Outeniqua Mountains, the Cango Caves and ostrich farms outside Oudtshoorn.

In addition to the Big Five being observable in their natural habitats across South Africa, both the coastal Capes boast the Big Seven: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, rhino are the “common” five; the great white shark and southern right whale make it seven. There are adrenalin pumping shark cage dives available at various coastal locations. Hermanus is the most popular spot for viewing southern right whale mothers and calves, anytime from June to December. Cape Boutique Hotels abound in this region, but booking ahead is advised especially around peak whale season, September / October.

Eastern Cape South Africa

The Eastern Cape stretches along the coast from Storms River up to Port Edward, and includes the Wild Coast where some of the most picturesque spots are still only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. Hiking along the Wild Coast will ensure that you are able to appreciate fully the landscape and indigenous people, but it is strongly recommended that you make use of experienced guides.

Mkambati Nature Reserve and The Hole In The Wall at Coffee Bay, as examples, offer the less energetic traveler the opportunity to experience the pristine Wild Coast and natural phenomenon in “wild coast” type Cape Boutique Hotels style with luxury accommodation and services in traditional hut buildings.

The capital of Eastern Cape is Port Elizabeth. Just a few kilometers away is the Addo Elephant Park – home to the Big Seven as it extends into the ocean. But the real marvel of this park is its population of over 600 elephants. What makes this even more remarkable is that these 600 have grown from an original herd of just 16 in the early 1900s.

Inland, the Eastern Cape covers the area known as the Little Karoo, which includes Graaff Reinet. Here a visitor is treated to South African settler history as well as the geographical majesty of the Valley of Desolation, formed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Northern Cape South Africa

Although the Northern Cape is the largest of the three Capes, it is the most sparsely populated and does not have major cities like Cape Town or Port Elizabeth. Exciting attractions still exist in abundance, from the wide-open planes of the Kalahari Desert to the mountains of the Richtersveld with its Fish River Canyon.

The Northern Cape borders in the north with Namibia and Botswana. Both these borders include cross-country or bordering national parks and reserves. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a large conservation area between South Africa and Botswana and the first of its kind in Africa.

Kimberly in the east is the capital of the Northern Cape and here visitors are treated to the Big Hole and all the history that went into creating this massive pit in search of diamonds. On the opposite side on the West Coast, spring and the first rains bring the colorful masses of flowering Namaqualand daisies.

In the south of the province, the small town of Sutherland is the delight of star gazers with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) providing the eye into the sky. This astronomical observatory is used by astronomers and scientist around the world but also offers a unique star gazing experience to the visiting traveler.

The Cape Provinces truly offer endless reasons for repeated visits.