Western Cape Regions
The Cape Winelands are characterised by ranges of mountains, with beautiful and isolated sandstone peaks reaching to 2000m and in between, broad, fertile valleys containing the vineyards that the Western Cape is so famous for.
The extent and diversity of the surrounding geographical features here is fabulous: peaks, ranges, escarpments, cliffs, rivers, pools, waterfalls, screes, canyons, springs, forests, caves and nature reserves.
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The well established wine estates, some of which date back to the 1700s, are also breathtakingly beautiful. Some have hotels and restaurants and of course wineries. Lying dotted between the estates are small rural towns.
The town of Stellenbosch, in the heart of the Cape Winelands is, the second oldest town in South Africa and is about 50 km (30 mi) from Cape Town CBD. Settled in the late 1600s Stellenbosch has retained much of its early character. Streets are lined with old oaks and some of the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape.
The main street, Dorp Street, is a national monument and the town center has secluded lanes, water furrows, cosmopolitan restaurants and coffee bistros, with superb views of mountain, vineyards and orchards. Stellenbosch has a major university, a number of museums and state of the art wineries.
The region has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry and winters cool and damp, with snow on the mountain peaks during August and September.
A few minutes from Stellenbosch is Cape Town Film Studios, the first custom-built Hollywood-style film studio complex of its kind in Africa, with state-of-the-art support services.
“In terms of technology, South Africa is actually ahead of the curve in many respects. Those sound stages at Cape Town Film Studios are incredibly advanced, and beyond anything I have seen before.” Kate Beyda, Senior Vice President of Production, Warner Bros.
Two highways connect Cape Town to the Winelands and to Stellenbosch. These highways and a network of smaller but well maintained roads service the entire Winelands area. There is also a rail service between Cape Town and Stellenbosch which stops at many of the small towns.
In the larger towns, minibus and metered taxis operate. Minibus taxis have the right to make random stops but metered taxis are not allowed to drive around the city to solicit fares and instead must be called to a specific location.
The Cape Winelands and Stellenbosch have a network of hotels, guest houses, self catering apartments and bed & breakfasts, in the towns and on the wine estates.