If you’ve never been to Cape Town in South Africa, chances are you’ll spend your first couple of days with your jaw dropped due to the sheer gorgeousness of it all. Once the initial amazement is over however, you’ll really be able to imagine what’s beyond Table Mountain. The following day trips are all a quick jaunt from Cape Town proper, and each offers something amazing.
Picture yourself in Stellenbosch.
Just 40 minutes outside of Cape Town marks the start of what’s known as the Winelands, an area internationally known for producing some of the best wines in the country. They’re composed of three main towns: Stellenbosch, Franshhoek and Paarl, and each is home to dozens of vineyards offering tours and tastings. If you’re organizing a visit on your own, use this website as a handy guide to what’s open and available.
Boulder’s Beach (Simon’s Town)
African penguins waddle along Boulder’s Beach.
If watching cute penguins swimming and sunbathing sounds like a perfect afternoon, then you can’t miss a visit to Boulder’s Beach just outside of Simon’s Town. This national park is home to an African penguin colony; and there’s a beach nearby for you to swim at too.
The MetroRail trains run here roughly every hour of the day, but a special tourist train departs from Cape Town on Sundays. If you can, snag a seat on it; it’s much cleaner, safer and quicker than the local trains.
If you’re feeling adventurous, this G Adventures hike will take you from Cape Town to Simon’s Town, and then onto the Cape of Good Hope, our next great day trip.
Cape of Good Hope
At the southern most tip of Africa – the Cape of Good Hope.
It’s a bucket list item for many, and for good reason. The journey to the most southern tip of Africa (Cape of Good Hope) is simply stunning. You could spend an entire day in this part of the country just taking in the scenery, but there are two main things you must see here: Cape Point, the point at which the undercurrents of the Indian and Atlantic oceans intersect, and the Cape of Good Hope.
As you hike about, keep an eye out for antelopes and baboons, both of which call the area home.
Langa Township and the Happy Feet Youth Project
Posing for the camera in the Langa Township.
Visit Langa Township and you’ll hear first-hand stories about the country’s struggle with apartheid and oppression, be able to sample some local delicacies, and glimpse a bit of the joy found in these self-governing communities.
You’ll also likely have the chance to see the Happy Feet Youth Project, a gumboots dance organization that promotes a safe and healthy after-school environment for the children living in Langa Township. It’s an incredible experience that really changes your perspective on South Africa and shows you the true meaning of community.
Get a history lesson with a trip to Robben Island.
Just a one-hour ferry ride outside of Cape Town is Robben Island, which houses the prison where Nelson Mandela served for 18 years. You really can’t miss a trip to this place for its cultural significance; when it was operational, it housed several freedom fighters who helped build South Africa into what it is today, and those prisoners are now the ones leading tours.
Aside from the prison, you’ll have a chance to tour the actual island, which offers great views of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
Views of Cape Town from Robben Island.
What are your favourite day trips from Cape Town? Let us know in the comments below!
G Adventures runs a number of departures in South Africa encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.