The Western Cape
Capital – Cape Town
Total area – 129 462 km2
Percentage of country – 10.6%
(Approximately the size of the UK or Louisiana)
Density – 40.8/km2
Coloured – 50.2%
Black African – 30.1%
White – 18.4%
Indian/Asian – 1.3%
Afrikaans – 55.3%
Xhosa – 23.7%
English – 19.3%
Time zone – UTC +2
4th Largest province in the country
Prior to 1994 it was part of the larger (now defunct) Cape Province.
Western Cape is bordered on the north by the Northern Cape, on the east by the Eastern Cape, on the south by the Indian Ocean and the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Major Rivers: Breede, Berg and Olifants Rivers
The Capital is Cape Town and the other major cities include Stellenbosch, Worcester, Paarl and George.
Vegetation is extremely diverse, with one of the world’s seven floral kingdoms almost exclusively endemic to the province – Cape Floral Kingdom. Most of which is covered by Fynbos (unique group of plants). There are more plant species occurring on Table Mountain than the entire United Kingdom. The natural vegetation is characterised by shrubs, thousands of flowering plant species and small trees.
The Garden Route is extremely lush, with temperate of Afromontane forest areas covering many areas next to the coast and along the mountain ranges. The hardwoods found here are the Yellowwood, Stinkwood and Ironwood trees.
The Little Karoo and West Coast form semi-arid areas with many species of succulents and acacia trees and drought resistant shrubbery
Most of the province has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The Karoo has a semi-arid climate with cold, frosty winters and hot summers with occasional thunderstorms. The Garden Route and the Overberg on the south coast have a maritime climate with cool, moist winters and mild, moist summers.
Thunderstorms are not that common in the province, except for the Karoo interior. Extremes of heat and cold are common inland, but rare near the coast. On the higher ground and mountains, snowfalls occur sometimes, but frost is rare.
January: 16◦C – 26◦C
July: 7◦C – 18◦C
Rainfall- Cape Town averages:
Airport: 515mm pa
Kirstenbosch: 1395mm pa
January 15◦ – 25◦C
July 7◦C – 19◦C
annual rainfall 715mm
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