April 2013
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Western Cape of South Africa – Part 3

The Western Cape is a province located in the south west of South Africa. The capital of this province is Cape Town. The region that now forms the Western Cape was part of the much larger before 1994. Before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, it was called the Cape Colony.

National Parks of Western Cape

Garden Route National Park
• The Garden Route National Park is located in the Garden Route region of South Africa which was found and established on 6 March 2009.
• It is a combination of Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks, the Knysna National Lake Area, and various other areas of state-owned land.
• The area covered by the park is approximately 1,210 square km (470 sq mi).
• There is a complex in the park which covers an area of approximately 605 square km(234 sq mi) of local forest.
• The new Garden Route National Park was established by SANParks and covers an area of approximately 1,21 000 hectares.
• This garden route is regarded as an important focus area.
• The fynbos of the Garden Route falls within the Cape Floristic region – a global diversity hotspot.
• The geographical location of Garden Route National Park falls across both the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
• Tourist facilities available at the national park includes:
– camping areas
– chalets
– hiking trails
– mountain bike trails
– forest trails
– canoeing
– diving
– hiking and Nature Walks
– birding
– camping
– other local activities

Tsitsikamma National Park
• The Tsitsikamma National Park is a coastal reserve on the Garden Route in South Africa.
• The famous points of attraction are local forests, coastline, and the Otter Trail.
• It was combined with Wilderness National Park on 6 March 2009 and combined with other areas to form Garden Route National Park.
• It spans an area of 80 km of coastline.
• Nature’s Valley is located at the west side of the park.
• Storms River Mouth is the main place to stay in this park.
• Bloukrans Bridge is near to this park and the highest bungee jump at 216 m is available.
• The word tsitsikamma is a Khoisan phrase. It means place of abundant water.
• This park covers a stretch of 80 km which starts from Krom River Forest Station to the Salt River.
• It lies between the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the coast.
• Tsitsikamma is Africa’s oldest and largest marine reserve.
• It helps in preservation and conservation of marine fauna and flora.
• It protects inter-tidal and marine life.
• It conserves 11 percent of South Africa’s Temperate South Coast rocky shoreline.
• Approximately 30% of the park is covered in fynbos (Cape Floral Kingdom)
• The fybnos is scattered among-st the forest vegetation, boasting a wide variety of beautiful flowers, including proteas and heath.

Karoo National Park
• The Karoo National Park is a wildlife reserve.
• It is located in the Karoo area of the Western Cape in South Africa.
• This reserve is near Beaufort West.
• It was found in 1979.
• Very few people come or live there because of desert like conditions.
• Many desert mammals live in the national park.
• Most common attractions of this park are the Black Eagle and various species of tortoise.
• Black Rhinoceros and Riverine Rabbit also are found here.
• The park is also a home for many fossils which are assumed to be approximately three-hundred million years old.
• The mountains that are in the shape of cone and table-shaped are characteristic of Karoo area.
• Quagga project is run by Reinhold Rau to bring back an extinct animal quagga and this national park has a connection with this project.
• In 1998, fourteen quagga-like zebras were released into the park.
• By January 2005, the most quagga-like foal was born.
• Rau predicted that a full quagga would emerge by the fourth generation of breeding
– Nuweveld EcoTrail (90km) and Afsaal EcoTrail (13km)
– Guided game drives
– Guided walks
– Fossil Trail
– Birds hide
– Bulkraal picnic spot

Best time to visit / climate

• The interior Karoo has a semi-arid climate.
• It has cold, frosty winters and hot summers with occasional thunderstorms.
• The Garden Route and the Overberg on the south coast have a maritime climate.
• It has cool, moist winters and mild, moist summers.
• Mossel Bay in the Garden Route is considered to have the second mildest climate worldwide.
• This is after Hawaii.
• Thunderstorms are generally rare in the province.
• Extremes of heat and cold are common inland, but rare near the coast.
• Snow is a common winter occurrence on the higher lying ground.
• Frost is relatively rare in coastal areas and many of the heavily cultivated valleys.
• Cape Town International Airport averages: January maximum: 26 °C (min: 16 °C), July maximum: 18 °C (min: 7 °C), annual rainfall: 515mm
• Kirstenbosch, Cape Town annual rainfall: 1395mm
• George averages: January maximum: 25 °C (min: 15 °C), July maximum: 19 °C (min: 7 °C), annual rainfall: 715mm
• Marion Island (Prince Edward Group) averages: January maximum: 10 °C (min: 5 °C), July maximum: 6 °C (min: 1 °C), annual rainfall: 2401mm

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:

How to get there?

By Plane
• Cape Town’s international airport is the country’s second largest after Johannesburg.
• There is also an airport in George which offers connections to most major cities in South Africa.

By Train
Spoornet operates regular inter-city trains from Cape Town to:
• Johannesburg
• Worcester
• Beaufort West
• Durban
• Kimberley
• Bloemfontein
• Pietermaritzburg
• East London

MetroRail operates frequent commuter trains to towns and suburbs near Cape Town, such as:
• Simon’s Town
• Bellville
• Malmesbury
• Somerset West
• Stellenbosch
• Strand
• Worcester
• Paarl

By Car
The Western Cape is easily accessible from the rest of the country by car.

By Bus
Greyhound offers a plethora of inter-city routes nation-wide.

How to Get around?

By Bus
The main bus companies offer regular services in the Western Cape as does the Baz Bus.

By Car
Car rental is available in Cape Town and in the larger towns.

Some Travel Books on South Africa

South Africa South Africa – Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at cape.hotelguide.co.za
Hotels at sa-venues.com
Hotels at hotelclub.com

Blogs / Sites about Western Cape – South Africa

blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at westerncape.gov.za
blogs at sa-venues.com
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.in

Images and photos about Western Cape – South Africa

images at westerncape.gov.za
images at wikipedia.org
images at tripadvisor.in
images at sa-venues.com

Videos of about Western Cape – South Africa

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