The Western Cape province is situated in the southwestern part of South Africa. Cape Town is the largest city and also the capital of the Western Cape. Other major cities in the province include Stellenbosch, Worcester, Paarl and George. The Garden Route and the Overberg are popular coastal tourism areas.
The far interior of the Western Cape forms part of the Karoo, which is generally arid and hilly. The vegetation in the Karoo is mostly dominated by drought resistant shrubs and acacia trees. The principal rivers of the province are the Berg and Olifants which drain into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Breede and Gourits which drain into the Indian Ocean.
The vegetation in the Western Cape is extremely diverse. The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s seven floral kingdoms and is almost exclusively endemic to the province. Most of the vegetation consists of Fynbos which is characterised by various types of shrubs, thousands of flowering species and some grasses.
The climate of the Western Cape is also diverse, with many distinct micro- and macroclimates created by the varied topography and the influence of the surrounding ocean currents. Most of the province is considered to have a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The Karoo region in the interior, has an arid to semi-arid climate with cold, frosty winters and hot summers with occasional thunderstorms. The Garden Route and Overberg regions have a maritime climate with cool, moist winters and mild, moist summers. Snow is a common occurrence in the Mountains of the Western Cape.
The Western Cape has an excellent network of highways and its telecommunications are highly sophisticated. The Western Cape is famous for wine production and is home to some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world. Over half of all cheese in South Africa is produced in the Western Cape.