Photos of Western Cape, South Africa’s southernmost province, South Africa

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Western Cape, South Africa’s southernmost province

Created in 1994 from the southwestern part of the large Cape Province, Western Cape stretches about 500 kilometres along the western Atlantic coast and around 400 kilometres along the Indian Ocean on the south coast. Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point of the African continent. Cape Town, 64 kilometres north of Cape of Good Hope, is the capital of Western Cape Province.

Olifants River near Klawer
Olifants River near Clanwilliam
Olifants River near Clanwilliam
View to Robben Island
View across Table Bay
Suikerbrood rock
Cape Point
Lighthouse, Cape Point
Cape of Good Hope
View, Cape of Good Hope
St. George's Street, Simon's Town
Naval Base Simon's Town
Coast at Chapmans Peak
Camps Bay, Twelve Apostles
View of Cape Town
View of Table Mountain
View of Klein-Koeëlbaai
Cape Coloured children
Cape Coloured children
Cape Coloured children
Cape Agulhas
Rocky coast, Cape Agulhas
Tidal pool, Cape Agulhas
Coloured boy, Swellendam
Cape Dutch architecture
Cape Dutch architecture
Street in Riversdale
Boy in Riversdale
Aloes along the road
Arriving in Mossel Bay
Pine Lake Marina
Coast at Plettenberg Bay
Location, Beaufort West
Road near Kruidfontein
View to Laingsburg
View to De Doorns

It is a very diverse region. In the interior are the semi-arid Great Karoo and Little Karoo, a place with summer heat and winter frosts, while the 200-kilometre Garden Route leading east from Mossel Bay along the coast has lush and diverse vegetation, with many beaches, estuaries and lakes. The province is well known for its wine production and vineyards. It is the site of Stellenbosch University, the oldest university in South Africa. There are many examples of Cape Dutch architecture, a traditional Afrikaner architectural style, like in Swellendam.

Around 50% of the population have Afrikaans as their first language due to the early Dutch settlement of the Cape. Liaisons between the various peoples living there gave rise to a new, distinct ethnic group: the Cape Coloureds. Nowadays, 49% of the people of the Western Cape describe themselves as “Coloured” and 17% as “White”. Black African people live mainly in the province’s east; their first language, spoken by 25% of the population, is isiXhosa.