Western Cape

Some geologists believe that the area we know today as Cape Town once formed part of an island that lay just offshore at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent. Evidence includes a stretch of below sea-level land known as the Cape Flats, which extends from Woodstock - a popular bathing beach in Table Bay in Victorian times - to Muizenberg, about 30 kilometres south of the city in False Bay. Shells recovered from this sandy corridor also support the island theory, before the tides receded and the island united with mainland Africa.

Imagine the view mainland landlubbers may have enjoyed of majestic Table Mountain rising some 3,000 feet sheer from the Atlantic Ocean, with oft-stormy seas separating island from mainland. Today, Cape Town forms an integral part of the South African landscape and the Cape Peninsula is a wonderland of nature that officially starts from Kommetjie in the west and Fish Hoek in the east. This magnificent isthmus continues south and embraces the Atlantic Ocean on its western flank and beautiful False Bay along its eastern shoreline. Spectacular Cape Point forms the southern boundary as the African Continent meets the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean.

Keep heading south from here and you will eventually arrive in Antarctica. The Cape Peninsula is a proclaimed nature reserve, which means no development can ever spoil it. Cape Point at the southern-most tip of the peninsula is where Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias stepped ashore in 1488, proclaiming it "The Cape of Good Hope" as he pursued a route to the east for King and Country.

With beauty in abundance, the Cape Peninsula has an unusually rich biodiversity. Its vegetation consists predominantly of several different types of unique Cape Fynbos, with the crown-like king protea topping the list of floral stunners. The Cape Peninsula forms only a tiny portion of Africa, but it is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. Majestic mountains and pristine beaches at their feet complete the spectacular landscape along the southwestern-most tip of Africa.