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a personal guide

Climate and nature in the Western Cape


This part of South Africa has a pleasant Mediterranean type of climate, sunny with most of the rain in the winter. We went there in October (Spring) and it was nicely warm. During our visit to Table Mountain it was quite hot, unusually for this exposed spot. Further down the Cape Peninsular it can get quite windy.


Plant life is very varied with some eight thousand species present.

It varies from finbos - the carpet of fine-leafed plants that cover much of southern Africa - through cultivated vines and the spectacular bird of paradise flower (pictured right) to the South African national flower, the Protea.

In addition, brightly flowering trees can be seen everywhere, especially in the Spring.

An excellent place to see some of this variety is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town.

Flower Bird of Paradise Flower

Wild animals include baboons and lizards. We saw jackass penguins on Robben Island and at Boulder Beach (see here). And on the Cape Peninsular a queue of parked cars beside the sea often indicates that someone has spotted a southern right whale - we saw several quite close to the shore. More exotic creatures, such as zebra, ostrich and varieties of antelope, can been seen on farms and reserves.

Baboon Whale off Fishhoek

Places to visit in and around Cape Town

More about the Cape area of South Africa


South Africa - a personal guide

South Africa - the Basics

Places to visit in South Africa

South Africa's Western Cape

South Africa's Garden Route

Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

South Africa: Mpumalanga

South Africa: Gauteng

Lesotho, southern Africa

Hotels in South Africa

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