Day Trips Around Cape Town

by edstorm

With a little something for everyone, the the greater Cape Town area is the ideal place to kick off an African adventure.

Cape Town offers visitors a wide range of activities, and none of them require you take a drive any further than half an hour out of the city center. Whether you are looking for some scenic views, some of the worlds finest wine farms, a historical outing or maybe a trip to a local beach village, Cape Town has it all.

Boulders Beach

Not an hour south of Cape Town brings you to Boulders Beach. Tourists to Cape Town often make it a must-see due to its colony of local African Penguins which has been settled there since 1982. Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, the beach (referred to as Boulders for it being sheltered by enormous granite boulders, some of which are 540 million years old) is set in a somewhat residential area, so you don’t have to stray too far off the beaten track to find yourself among the calm waters of Boulders.

Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach

Robben Island

Take a slow and relaxing ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront harbour out to Robben Island for a chance to visit the infamous maximum security prison that held South Africa’s first democratic president, Nelson Mandela. Known also for its use as a defence and training station during World War II, the island has a rich history. A site of huge sentimental value to South Africans, it is also an island of distinct beauty offering a view of Cape Town and Table Mountain that is not quickly forgotten.

View of Robben Island from Table Mountain
View of Robben Island from Table Mountain


The second oldest historically preserved town in Southern Africa, Stellenbosch is known for its excellent wine estates. Dotted with romantic neo-Dutch and modern Victorian houses, Stellenbosch has an air of elegance that stands as testament to its heritage as part of the world famous Cape Winelands. With local car hire offering you the chance to get around without problem, take a day trip to Stellenbosch for excellent wining, dining and unwinding amongst some panoramic views of Cape Town and its surrounding mountains.

Stellenbosch and surrounding mountains
Stellenbosch and surrounding mountains


No more than an hour and a half from Cape Town is Hermanus, a beach side town famous for the excellent whale-watching and endless stretches of glimmering beaches. Winter is the best time to come and try and spot the Southern Right whale population as it passes through the bays, and standing on a coastal cliff to see this incredible creatures is not an opportunity you’ll want to miss while in or around Cape Town.

Panoramic Hermanus view
Panoramic Hermanus view

Khayelitsha Township

While you’re in Cape Town, make sure not to miss out on the chance to join in on a township tour through Khayelitsha. Learn about their history, culture, and get an up close and personal feel for how they live. You might get a chance to attend a church ceremony in the township, or to enter the homes of some of those who live there. Most importantly, do your best to ensure you join in on a traditional meal and have a real taste of township life.

Khayelitsha Marketplace
Khayelitsha Marketplace
Updated: 08/31/2012, edstorm
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