Answers to destination confusion. Western Cape tourism regions

Western Cape Regions

The Western Cape is divided into 6 tourism regions listed below, and some people have a fairly good idea of where they are.

Cape Town  |The Cape Winelands  | The Garden Route & Klein Karoo  

The Overberg  | The West Coast  | The Central Karoo

Western Cape Tourism Areas

These main regions are broken down further into municipal districts, and to many people, a confusion of overlapping named routes, areas, valleys and towns.

This is not a definitive list of every town in the Western Cape, but rather a guide to what is where, and a compelling argument for the value of a good map.


Cape Town refers to 8 areas namely the City Centre, the Atlantic Seaboard, the Southern Suburbs, the Northern Suburbs, the South Peninsula, the Blaauwberg Coast, the Cape Flats and the Helderberg.

Confusing  The CBD or City Centre is also referred to as the City Bowl. The Bo Kaap refers to a neighbourhood of few streets in the city, rich in Muslim history and culture. De Waterkant Village is on the Fan Walk that links the city and the Cape Town Stadium. It is home to the trendy Cape Quarter shopping or lifestyle centre, bars, pubs, clubs, coffee shops and restaurants.

More confusing. The Helderberg is the area around Somerset West, 44 km away from Cape Town. The Helderberg is also a region of the Stellenbosch Wine Route which falls under the Cape Winelands tourism region.

The Southern Suburbs is where the Constantia Wine Route is, while the Northern Suburbs is where you will find the Durbanville Wine Route

The South Peninsula is where you would experience the Cape Point Route and the visit the Republic of Hout Bay.

That is CAPE TOWN,  the least confusing of them all.


Where do we start. This does not just refer to Stellenbosch and Paarl, so lets do the first area breakdown of 5 district municipalities that are being used for tourism destination marketing.

Witzenberg refers to the towns of Ceres, Tulbagh, Wolseley. Here you will find the Tulbagh wine route, nice and easy.

Confusing  Some of the wine estates here are part of the Breedekloof Wine Route. ( see Breede River Valley)

Drakenstein refers to Paarl and Wellington and logically the Paarl Wine Route and the Wellington Wine Route.

Many estates on the Paarl Wine Route seem to be listed as part of the Stellenbosch Wine Route while others are part of Paarl Vintners.

Stellenbosch refers to the town of Stellenbosch.

Very confusing  Stellenbosch Wine Route takes confusion to a new level, having 5 sub routes named Greater Simonsberg, which overlaps with Paarl, which is part of Drakenstein, and includes the Dwarsriver Valley in case you were wondering, Helderberg which as we previously mentioned is part of Cape Town, and Bottelary Hills which is a name unknown to most Capetonians, let alone visitors.

 le confusion  The town of Franschhoek  falls within the Stellenbosch district, however they seem to stick to Franshhoek Wine Valley and  Vignerons de Franschhoek for their marketing.

Breede Valley is code for the towns of Worcester, Rawsonville, Touwsrivier and De Doorns. Within the Breede Valley   we have Breedekloof which is  the Rawsonville and Goudini area, The Hex River Valley which covers the De Doorns area.

Langeberg is the collective noun for the towns of Robertson,   Montagu, McGregor and Ashton. Here we have the Robertson Valley Wine Route.

Route 62.  This is apparently the longest wine route in the world. It goes through most regions of the Western Cape and into a whole new province, the Eastern Cape.

Confusing  Only a small section of Route 62 is on the road designated R62, this is the area of 237km between Montagu and Oudtshoorn. The total distance of the R62 route is 850km.

When travelling on Route 62 you could be on any number of these roads depending on the area you are in. R46, R44, R310, R60, R317, R43, R341, R339


The Overberg is synonymous with Whale watching, Shark cage diving, Cape Agulhas where the 2 oceans meet, (not Cape Point as so often incorrectly told) and Hermanus, a coastal town and tourist delight.

Confusion. Also referred to as the Overberg Coast or Whale Coast, yet 50% of the towns in the Overberg are over 80km away from the nearest coastline.

Recently I have encountered a partial breakdown of the Overberg region into the  following areas. Cape Agulhas area which includes the towns of Arniston, Bredasdorp, Elim. L’Agulhas, Napier and Struisbaai. The Cape Whale Coast which encompasses Gansbaai, Hangklip, Stanford, and Hermanus, and then we have The Greater Swellendam area   which includes all the inland towns and villages of Barrydale, Swellendam, Malgas, Stormsvlei and Buffeljachts River, and the coastal village of Infanta.

Vaguely confusing   Wine routes in the Overberg region go by the following names. The newest name is the Cape South Coast wine area.Other wine routes include the Elgin Valley Wine Route,  the Hemel en Aarde wine valley or the Hermanus Wine Route,  Stanford wine route and Bot River Wines, many of the Bot River estates are also covered by the Green Mountain Eco Route.

More confusing  Villiersdorp, a town in the Overberg, falls under the Worcester Wine Route which is the the Cape Winelands region


The West Coast is divided  into 6 areas as follows. The Swartland, The Peninsula,  Bergrivier,  Cederberg,  Matzikama and the Hardeveld. Confusion. The name Matzikama ?

The West Coast wine route seems to be the major wine cellars in the  whole tourism region.

The Swartland area includes the towns of Darling, Malmesbury, Riebeek- Kasteel and Riebeek-West, Moorreesburg and Yzerfontein.

It is home to the Swartland Wine and Olive Route   as well as the Swartland Revolution and the Darling Wine and Art Route.

Confusion. The Peninsula area is not to be confused with the Cape Peninsula in Cape Town. This region is about 150km away and is the Cape West Coast Peninsula and includes the “Jewel of the West Coast” Langebaan. Home to golf, water sports, seafood and most outdoor activities you could think of. The West Coast National Park and the West Coast Fossil Park are both in this area.

Bergriver area is obviously named after the river which starts in the Franschhoek area, which is miles away from the West Coast. However it is not too confusing and has a number of quaint towns, riverside accommodation and loads of natural beauty.

Cederberg area is where you will find the incredible mountain range of the same name, as well as the Olifants River Valley. Rooibos Tea, citrus fruit, wine and seclusion define this area. The towns of Clanwilliam, Citrusdal, Lamberts Bay, Leipoldtville and Lutzville are in this area.

Confusion. The Olifants River Valley wine route covers a large part of this area but also includes the Matzikama area to the North and the Bergrivier area to the South.

Matzikama is probably not the easiest name to remember. It means “place of water”.

Confusion  This area is also referred to as Southern Namaqualand.  Vredendal, Van Rhynsdorp, Lutzville, Klawer, Doringbaai, Nuwerus, and Strandfontein are the towns you will find here. Wines, wild flowers, whale watching and unspoiled beaches in this area which becomes more sparsely populated as you head North.

Hardeveld area is in the extreme North and is very remote. The National route from Cape Town to Namibia, the N7 runs through this area and the whole of the West Coast and is part of the fairly new Cape To Namibia Route


This is probably one of the better known areas to South Africans and visitors alike. The area stretches from Albertina to Storms River, and includes the well known tourist towns of Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Golf courses, nature reserves, game and safari ranches, elephant and other wildlife sanctuaries , water sports, hiking trails and scenic routes are abundant throughout the region.

Confusion. The name Eden is often used, this refers to the district municipal area and is used in a fair amount of marketing material. This municipal area is broken down into areas, most of which are named for the towns, however Bitou refers to Plettenberg Bay and Hessequa is the area that includes Albertina, Heidelberg, Stilbaai, Riversdale, Witsand and Gouritzmond. Here we also have the recently marketed area of Goukou River Valley which is near Riversdale.

The Klein Karoo, also part of Eden, area refers to the inland towns of Oudtshoorn, Dusseldorp and De Rust.

Maybe confusing.  Prince Albert, being just 111km away via the scenic route through De Rust and the Meiringspoort Pass, or 70km away via the dramatic Swartberg Pass is often included in Oudtshoorn marketing although it is part of the Central Karoo region.

The Klein Karoo is where you will find everything to do with the ostrich industry, and the world renown Cango Caves. This area is sometimes referred to as the Karoo or the Swartberg area. The Klein Karoo wine route is in this area.

General confusion. This entire area is also referred to as the Southern Cape area, in the Western Cape Province. Tsitsikamma and Garden of Eden are also found fairly frequently in descriptions of this area.


The Central Karoo is the biggest area but is sparsely populated, with only a handful of towns, namely Beaufort West, Three Sisters, Laingsburg, Majiesfontein, Prince Albert Road, Nelspoort, Merweville, Murraysberg and Prince Albert .

Vast and uncomplicated ,the Central Karoo has no fancy sub areas, oddly named routes or pretentious areas. It is the place to go to get away from it all, commune with nature, really look around and find wonderful things and peace and quiet. Hiking in the unforgiving mountains, walking through the veld, discovering the history of the Khoi-san people, seeing the stars clearly, noticing the ever changing flora and enjoying the .slower way of life in these remote towns.

Karoo lamb, olives and the warmest hospitality to could ask for are what this region is all about. Big African skies, space to breathe, real people and open hearts.

Confusion.  None.

So the big question is are we out destination marketing ourselves?

Do we have too many conflicting destinations, routes and areas?

Is it only locals who are baffled because they are not reading tourism marketing copy?



7 little ways to be more Proudly South African


Most of us might have felt a fleeting urge to kill someone once, wished we could rob a bank so we could afford a world cruise or merely noted that it would be easy to walk out of a shop without paying for something.

We dont act on any of these thoughts because we see ourselves as law abiding, and we are, or are we?

Being Proudly South African means upholding and respecting the laws of the land. All of them. It is not so easy

The little laws that we think are silly, inconvenient or just dont suit us tend to be the laws we break, often with a clear conscience.

How many of these can you tick off as laws you always obey?


1. Traffic violations. Think speeding on a deserted road , stopping at a stop street when there is nothing coming, driving after a few beers cos you are fine, parking illegally after driving around for 10 minutes looking for a space. Done any of these ever?

2. Insurance claims. The always say you were under insured so you might as well pad the claim a little bit, just to break even, after all, you pay high premiums every month

3. Pirated goods. The music, the series, the movie that you cant wait for, or dont want to pay high street prices for. So you copy from your friends, buy from a guy who knows a guy or download from a site you were told about, every one does it

4. Tax. SARS are good these days,  but do you have a great accountant who knows all the “mostly legal” loopholes, are you registered for tax, do you have some cash transactions that dont go through your books ?

5. Licenses. Car, TV, Fishing, permits for everything… do you comply ? What am I paying this for, another money making  racket for the government that taxes me to death

6. Reporting. Everyone knows what x is doing, so surprised he has not been caught yet. Someone will blow the whistle on him , someone else that is. I dont want to get involved

7. Petty theft and fraud. A few pens and things from the stationery cupboard, my employer makes millions and pays me peanuts, they can afford it. Creative expense and travel claims to make up for the crappy salary they pay me ?

Could we be more law abiding?  I could.

Please add to this as I am sure I have left out many little laws we prefer not to apply to ourselves.

Another 10 steps to make South Africa greater

Sometimes we just need a reminder that changing small things can make a big difference.

So building on 10 steps to make South Africa Greater,  reblogged here by MzansiGirl, here are another 10 ideas

Natural awesomeness is a given in South Africa, but our biggest strength and our hope for the future are our people. Every single South African has some Mzansi magic inside them. Pick just one thing from the list below to focus on, and South Africa will be greater..



1.  Be law abiding | not selectively. All of them.

2.   Be respectful  |  if you give respect you will earn it it return

3.   Be accountable  | we all make mistakes, own up and make amends

4.  Be responsible | speak up and hold others accountable

5.  Be constructive | master the art of constructive criticism

6.  Be graceful  |  if you commit to something, do it with good grace

7.  Be active  |  do more, speak less

8.  Be open minded  | learn about and celebrate different cultures

9.  Be a role model  | a whole generation needs to look up to you

10. Be a dreamer  | dreams give hope and can become a reality


Why blogging should be taught in kindergarten

When the world finally implodes and vanishes up its own anus, I shall be in my happy place called Blogland.

Stepping into the blogging community is a culture shock.

It is a different world with a set of values that would resonate with your grandmother.

It is a respectful and gentle world that embraces all opinions, supports and encourages novices and advocates integrity at all times.

We have become accustomed to the notions of self and instant gratification, admiration for ruthless ambition and an increasing inability to really communicate and engage.

Blogging is about sharing. Not vacuous “I just ate a pizza ” sharing, bloggers share their expertise and insights freely, in part as self promotion but also as they have embraced the concept that knowledge should be shared. It seems to encourage the innate kindness in people.

If other social media is described as “I am, I can, I did, I like, look at me  me me me me me me me me me me me……..

Blogging is “can I help you, let me show you, you could try to, here is how to, I like what you did, I see what you did, I have connected you with others who will also assist and encourage you.”

So I say, teach blogging in kindergarten. We could raise a generation who see integrity as the core of who they are, who love to share, who respect themselves and others, who engage in their communities both real and digital and who are helpful and supportive of others.

Thank you to the travel blogging community for helping me find my home,  a special mention must go to Meruschka,   Dawn Jorgansen , and all members of Face Book South AfricanTravel Bloggers