While spending a few days in Cape Town checking out the sites is great and sure to leave you with fond impressions of the seaside city, some of the best travel advice I can offer is to plan a weekend trip from Cape Town or complete a few of these day trips from Cape Town instead. Each of these day-outings from Cape Town offer something incredible to witness and experience, one day you could be drinking some of the best wine while completing a Stellenbosch wine tour and the next you could visit boulders beach and find yourself staring for hours at the cute little local residents they have living here.
Of course, there is plenty to do right in the heart of Cape Town and I have mentioned the “Top 5 things to do in Cape Town” in my other blog. Them along with these amazing locations all within an hour or twos drive make Cape Town a great vacation destination. Lets go through a list of my favourite day trips from Cape Town now.
Below are five trips I did either by hiring a car or via an organised tour while I spent two weeks falling in love with South Africa and in particular Cape Town. Find details of Cape Town tour prices now and ensure all tours are run by a trusted and professional company you can rely on.
Best Day Trips From Cape Town:
Stellenbosch Wine Tour
When in Cape Town you will no doubt hear the word Stellenbosch being thrown around a bit or displayed in tourist brochures throughout travel tourist shops. Or maybe you’re already a huge wine fan and heading to South Africa just to visit this exact location? Either way, grab a tour and check it out as a Stellenbosch wine tour is one of the most popular day trips from Cape Town or if you have the chance, why not turn it into an adventurous weekend trip from Cape town instead.
You have two options, tour or hire car, personally I suggest the tour option as you can ensure you get to taste as much of the delicious wine as possible without needing to drive back to Cape Town. Which ever way you decide is best for you, a trip out to these awesome wineries is one of the must do day-outings from Cape Town, it become one of the highlights of my trip, to be honest. Although the group of 7 strong Irish lads also made it a pretty memorable trip as well.
The day will start when you are picked up from your accommodation and transported to the wineries, from here you will begin the tour at one of the 4 wine estates you can expect to visit. You are taught all about the process involved in making the wine in this region, some of the unlikely employees that are crucial to ensuring the grapes stay safe and of course the most import part taste testing the wine.
Throughout the day you will taste the wine on its own, paired with cheeses, chocolates and of course enjoyed over a freshly made lunch menu that uses the finest ingredients that are also sourced locally. After lunch, you will get the option to enjoy a tour through one of the wine cellars themselves located onsite, even having the chance to taste the wine straight out of the cellar.
This is a great day out but word of warning from my own experience, the drive back is a long one, roughly one hour, and in that time, it is possible for the wine to catch up with you. Drink in moderation or you will end up like me, sleeping for the next 15 odd hours and then feeling a little unwell once awake. I still think it was worth every minute of it though.
Visit Boulders Beach
Boulders beach is a spot located further south of Cape Town, just past the friendly town known as Simon’s Town. Boulders Beach is famous for two things, one being that it is a nice spot to be able to swim in a sheltered beach cove, perfectly safe for kids. It’s also rarely busy and has plenty of rock-pools where the hot South African sun warms the water perfectly and creates inviting natural spa baths.
The other and more important reason the area has become known as one of the favourite day trips from Cape Town for tourists is because of the local residents that call this place home. The one and a half hour trip to visit boulders beach is famous for the local population of African Penguins that call this area home. Some 60,000 tourists visit Boulders Beach each year simply to stand and watch these cute little animals go about their daily lives, it is a spot you can spend many an hour watching them without even realising it.
I done this independently by hiring a car for the day and truthfully I found the entry price a little expensive as I have watched penguins in the wild before, in Tasmania, where there is no fee. On a positive note though the money is used as funding to keep the conservation efforts running and ensuring future penguins have this place to call home.
NOTE: In the end it was a little more expensive to hire the car and do it myself. I combined this with a visit to Cape of Good Hope National Park as do most of the tours.
Entry fee to visit Boulders Beach:
International Travellers – R152 p/person ($10USD)
SADC Nationals – R76 p/person ($5USD)
South African Citizens & Foreign Nationals with South African Residence – R39 p/person ($2.50USD)
Go to Cape of Good Hope National Park
If you have made the effort to go and visit boulders beach to see the African Penguins, then I strongly urge you to travel an extra 30 minutes along the coastline and make this a full day trip from Cape Town by exploring the Cape of Good Hope National Park. If you have booked a tour to see the Penguins, chances are you can find a dual option that will enable you to include both locations when booking. I strongly urge you to do this for the most enjoyable day out.
The national park itself is set inside a fenced-in area that is home to over 250 different bird species as well as having wild buck, baboons and even zebra. The baboons are cheeky buggers and certainly not shy of humans so please take extra care around these animals.
Also, inside the park, you can find many different hikes or walking paths where you can plan an adventure or simply check out the stunning views and beaches located throughout. The other part of the park you must venture to is the Cape of Good Hope Lighthouse. This is actually the most South-Western part of the African continent and a pretty sweet spot to grab your holiday pic at. Climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse and stare out into the never-ending horizon below, these waters are actually the same ones I went Tuna Fishing in.
NOTE: if your planning to do any of the hikes or longer walks inside the park you will need to plan ahead your routes. You also won’t have time to do these if travelling in a tour.
Entry fee to the park:
International Travellers – R303 p/person ($20USD)
SADC Nationals – R152 p/person ($10USD)
South African Citizens & Foreign Nationals with South African Residence – R76 p/person ($5USD)
Visit Hout Bay for lunch
Another of the day trips from Cape Town I strongly recommend, if you have the time, is a drive to Hout Bay. It is only around 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and is considered the halfway mark if driving this direction to Cape of Good Hope National Park. The bay itself is known to have some of the best fish and chips in the Cape Town area.
I strongly recommend taking in the views of the whole harbour while eating a delicious feed of the fresh seafood on the wharf, which is located in the town. I doubt you will be too disappointed with the result.
The other cool attraction that was on offer while out on the wharf was the chance to feed the local fur seal that call the harbour home. He even poses for photos if the kids or you are game. Fair warning though, the seal community have a strong smell of fish penetrating from them and their breath is rather potent.
Do a tour of Langa Township
A trip to Cape Town will never be complete unless you do a tour of the Langa Township just outside of the main city. These townships were set up during the pre-apartheid era in the 1920’s and designated to the black Africans. It is a lively community that speaks mainly in their traditional language known as Xhosa.
You will be shown through the town by a local guide, who will even attempt to teach you some of this language. The language is famous for having a serious of “clicking” sounds that represent a letter, not easy for anyone not brought up speaking it. Without a guide these townships are considered a dangerous place for tourists so I would strongly suggest only travelling to the region in a tour group.
Most tours will explain to you the culture and history within the established township as well as take you to some of the most iconic and important places in their town’s history. You will hear some versions of history you thought you knew but told in a completely different way in these parts, it can be a heavy experience.
The tour will likely finish in a famous restaurant that serves some delicious local dishes, including fried chicken. This is a restaurant that Jamie Oliver himself has toured and learnt the art of how to make this delicious chicken.
NOTE: Remember this is strongly suggested to only visit as part of an organised tour group and not a day excursions from Cape Town that you should do alone.
There you have it, a list of my top five favourite “day trips from Cape Town” to visit just outside of the city. I also did an awesome “Tuna Fishing Trip” during my stay and if you are into your fishing, I highly suggest you look into it if fishing is of interest to you. The tuna are MASSIVE in these parts.
Another tour I had planned to do only for it to be cancelled due to a lack of sharks was the “Cage Diving” with great whites. I was disappointed this trip was cancelled and almost certainly would have made my top five list otherwise. If you are game then, check that out while in the area.
For a full list of Cape Town tour prices and the amazing variety on offer just head here and explore them knowing they are all operated by a leading professional tour company.
Organise Your Trip: Travel Advice and Tricks I Personally Use
Book Your Flight
Heading to either Skyscanner or Momondo are my methods of choice for this. They are my favourite as they search for flights from different companies all over the world. You can filter the results to suit your needs and ensure you land the best price every-time.
Book Your Accommodation
This is an important part of any holiday you’re going on. Read all the reviews and get the right accommodation via TripAdvisor. They even show you the best prices available at the time for that room from suppliers like Booking.com.For booking a hostel your best bet is to start with HostelWorld or possible even use CouchSurfing if you’re on a real budget.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is a must these days so you have a piece of mind you’re covered for anything that could go wrong while on your trip. I now never go on a trip away without travel insurance. I’ve been using World Nomads for the past few years.
My favourite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (little more expensive but covers everything)
- SafetyWing (cheaper option to just cover you for health issues)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
As I have been travelling frequently over the last few years I’ve learnt some great tools to use for saving money when travelling. I have a travel resource page that lists all the trusted companies I personally use and rely on. I think you will find them good as well.
The Best Place To Book Your Tours
If you are someone you likes to have the best tours in one place and read reviews from other travellers about their personal experiences of each different tour then the best platform to use is GetYourGuide.
They offer the best tours, have money-back offers in case your trip is cancelled and ensure the price of each tour is the lowest possible.
Like with any tour I mention you will be most likely able to get CASH BACK when you book simply by being signed up to EBATES. Not sure what Ebates is? Have a read about how you can save on almost all your online purchases now.
Please do me a favour and write a comment in the section below or get in touch with me if you manage to do other day-outings from Cape Town or in particular the diving trip. I would also love to see some video footage of what I missed.
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- Best Day Trips from Cape Town, South Africa
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- Cradle Mountain National Park – Why a Tasmanian trip must include here
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Happy Travels, Brodie