Stellenbosch office of the Cape Winelands District Municipality
The boundaries of this municipality, which covers an area of 22,289 square kilometres (8,606 sq mi), coincide roughly with the boundaries of the geographical area that has been known since the early days of the Cape Colony as "The Boland". In Afrikaans Boland means "up land" or "the higher land" or "the land above" (i.e. in contrast to the low coastal areas of the original Dutch settlement at the Cape). However, the term "Boland", as originally used, was a loose concept, with no defined borders (cf. the informal but not meaningless terms "The Sahara" or "The Rocky Mountains"). The Boland is generally mountainous, with range after range of beautiful and isolated sandstone peaks reaching towards 2000m but also has broad, fertile valleys that are home to some of the country's finest vineyards.
The region has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry and winters cool and damp, with snow on the peaks during August and September. The extent and diversity of the geographical features here are truly marvellous. There are so many peaks, ranges, escarpments, valleys, cliffs, rivers, pools, waterfalls, screes, canyons, springs, forests, caves and other natural features that no person could visit all of them in a lifetime.
The Cape Winelands District Municipality is divided into five local municipalities, which are described in the following table.