12 Apr BEST DAY TRIPS AROUND CAPE TOWN
Cape Town is indeed a beautiful city in South Africa. With majestic mountain landscapes and ocean views no matter where you stand, the Mother City stands out as a top item ranked high on every Traveller’s to-do list. We’re also a little biased since Ates Africa is based out of Cape Town! However it’s our duty as partners in the tourism industry to open every Travellers ‘eyes to the wonders that exist in South Africa outside of the major cities. Whether it’s more diverse hiking trails or pristine beaches other than Camps Bay and Clifton, we have the best day trips for you that will take you outside of Cape Town, no more than 1-2 hours.
Known as the whale-watching destination of South Africa, Hermanus is a great day trip for anyone looking to take a beautiful drive along the coast. Did you know? The World Wildlife Fund has recognized Hermanus as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. Between July and November every year, travel to Hermanus for the day to view plenty of Southern right Whales, who migrate from the Antarctic every year to breed. To view these whales, you can go on kayaking trips, boat rides, walks along the 12km Cliff Path, and sometimes you can even see these whales on your drive en route to Hermanus itself.
Besides whales, Hermanus also has plenty of long stretches of beach to walk along and simply enjoy natures. Some of our team’s favorite beaches are Voëlklip Beach and the broad Grotto Beach, overlooking Walker Bay.
Find yourself keen for a glass of wine after a long day of whale-watching? Stop by some of the many wine farms tucked away in the Hemel en Aarde valley, but be sure to have a designated driver! Visit https://www.hermanus.co.za for more details now to best enjoy Hermanus and the stunning surrounding regions.
West Coast National Park
Welcome to West Coast National Park! Located 1.5 hours drive away from Cape Town, this is a great day trip for beach-goers and nature-lovers.
During the summer season, the lagoon is a beautiful place to braai and swim. There are plenty of uncrowded braai spots and crystal-clear waters to swim in and enjoy. The low water levels and warmer water temperatures make this a great place for the kids and the whole family. The swimmable section of the lagoon is also open to kitesurfing, waterskiing, fishing, kayaking, snorkelling, SUPing, and boating.
Visit the Postberg section of the park August through September, deemed flower season in South Africa. This small section of West Coast National Park is open to visitors for a select few weeks; normally it’s closed during the rest of the year. This section of the park explodes with vibrant colors and showing off beautiful flowers, such as the White Rain Daisy!
Visit Sanparks website for more info on conservation rates and opening hours.
Who knew penguins would be living in South Africa? Located just outside of Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula, Boulder’s Beach is worth the drive and is perfect for a day trip outside of the city. Visit the home of the stunning Colony of African Penguins in this secluded beach from a protected viewing deck.
Tip: Escape the crowds and visit the more secluded part of Boulder’s Beach! Follow the boardwalk to the right of the main entrance and use your ticket in order to gain access to this more quiet beach where penguins often are swimming right next to you. You’ll see why this is called Boulder’s Beach after an afternoon of hopping, climbing and crawling around massive boulders located on the beach and in the crystal clear blue waters. Always remember to be respectful to nature, however; these penguins don’t have to be friendly if they don’t want to.
Visit https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/attractions.php#boulders for more information.
Winelands in the Western Cape
South Africa is a huge player in the global wine industry – so it only makes sense to see what all the fuss is about for yourself on a day trip out to the winelands. Among others, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek are the right places to visit when it comes to wine tasting, especially since they are all located no more than an hour outside of Cape Town.
Since the colonial times, wine tasting has been every traveler’s favorite destination. Enjoy a full day of wine tasting where the quality of South African wine production settles for nothing but perfection, honoring the tradition of the best winemakers. Many wine farms have tried to add a bit of a unique spin to the normal experience of wine tasting, so you can choose from various experiences of pairings with cheese, chocolate, or even ice cream. Some of our personal favourites are:
- Waterford Wine Estate – for the chocolate lover: Enjoy an exquisite chocolate and wine pairing, while lounging the afternoon away in a beautiful courtyard with a magical fountain centerpiece.
- Fairview – for the cheese (and goat) lover: This cheese and wine pairing has us drooling every time. Stock up on cheese, bread and snacks for the day – this is a perfect first-stop-shop for a full wine day!
- Vergenoegd – for the duck lover: Stop by this traditional wine farm at around 10H30, 12H30 & 15H30 everyday Monday through Sunday and you’ll be in for a treat! This is fun for the whole family as 1,200 Indian Runner Duck waddle past in the Vergenoegd Duck Parade.