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Best Day Trips from Cape Town

Best Day Trips from Cape Town

You can easily spend a month in Cape Town without getting bored. There are plenty of things to do in Cape Town itself, but you can also do numerous day trips to places nearby.

1. Boulder’s Beach

Do you like penguins? Visit Boulder Beach to find a colony of penguins that have been here since 1982. You’ll also find tons of large boulders that line the water’s edge which makes this day trip perfect for the inner photographer in you.

It takes less than an hour to drive from Cape Town to Boulders Beach and there is a small entrance fee to the beach. It’s one of the best day trips from Cape Town!

IMPORTANT: They may seem like cuddly creatures, but do not feed or touch them. Aside from it being a violation of conservation efforts, the penguins have very sharp beaks and will defend themselves if they feel threatened.

Tourist enjoying the company of African penguins at Boulders Beach in Cape Town, a unique wildlife encounter that's one of the top things to do in the city

Recommended Tours:
Cape Point & Boulders Beach Full-Day Tour
Beach Day at Boulder’s Beach & Penguin watching, Half Day

2. Gaansbai

This popular fishing town about 2 hours away from Cape Town which makes another great day trip from Cape Town. It’s well known for those looking for adventure in the depths of the ocean. 

Shark Cage Diving with great white sharks and whale watching are what the area is most known for and people come from all over the world to see these arguably misunderstood (but undeniably dangerous) creatures up close.

If that’s not quite the thrill you’re looking for then that’s not all you can do in Gaansbai. Chill by the coast, enjoy some bird watching, try the catch of the day at one of the local restaurants, explore some water caves in a kayak, or explore the landscapes like the Dangerpoint Lighthouse built in 1895. 

Recommended Tours:
From Hermanus or Cape Town: Shark Cage Diving Experience
From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

3. Cape of Good Hope

The scenery along the journey to the iconic Cape of Good Hope is as mesmerizing as the landscape once you get there. From central Cape Town, a day trip takes about an hour and a half by car, passing by Boulder’s Beach so this might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone (no pun intended!) 

And while you’re here, don’t forget to visit Cape Point that’s some distance to the East of this cape. For the best view of the Cape, hike all the way up to the lighthouse, and keep your eye out for some species of animals found nowhere else in the world. Oh and don’t feed the baboons, they may look cute but they can get quite aggressive. 

The weather can be quite unpredictable, as it can be throughout most of the country so you’ll want to be prepared for some unexpected rains. The landscape is beautiful because of its rugged and natural state, with foamy waves crashing against plunging cliffs under a dramatic sky, it’s really something you don’t want to miss. 

Recommended Tours:
From Cape Town: Cape of Good Hope and Penguins Guided Tour
Cape Town: Penguins & Cape of Good Hope Half Day Shared Tour

4. Chapman’s Peak Drive

Affectionately known as the ‘Chappies’, this 9km drive between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula was first constructed during the First World War and reconstructed between 2000 and 2003. 

The road follows the rocky coastline and offers the breathtaking scenery that Cape Town is internationally known for.

Couple enjoying a romantic sunset view over the ocean from Chapman's Peak Drive in Cape Town, a picturesque spot for end-of-day reflections.

5. Muizenberg

The beachside suburb at Muizenberg is sometimes considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa and is perfect for a day away from the busy city for the whole family. 

Known as the ‘Muizies’ to the locals, it’s about a half-hour drive away from Cape Town and home to the popular ‘Surfer’s Corner’.

Woman lying on the sand in front of colorful beach huts in Muizenberg, Cape Town, a vibrant and iconic seaside destination for visitors.

6. The Whale Route

The Whale Route involves an incredible tour of the coast along Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay, and Betty’s Bay en route to Hermanus, where you can observe the majestic Southern Right whales as they come into the Cape to breed and birth their young.

This breed of whales is currently endangered, with only around 3000 in the wild, so this is an unmissable experience to see these gentle giants frolic in the waves. 

The Route is one of the top whale-watching destinations in the world. In the town of Hermanus, they have the world’s only ‘whale crier’ who observes the whales and sounds his horn to alert the bystanders to look to the oceans. 

Recommended Tours:
From Cape Town: Full Day Guided Tour to Hermanus
Full Day Trip to Hermanus from Cape Town

7. Atlantis Dunes

A mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town, the Atlantis Dunes is a prime adventure spot. Here you can witness an ever-changing landscape of 32 square km of pure white sand dunes. It’s even been featured in several movies and advertorials. 

The dunes are well known for sandboarding, quad biking, extreme 4×4 rides, and more relaxed self-drive dune tours. 

A lone traveler sitting on the pristine white sands of the Atlantis Dunes in South Africa, a serene and expansive landscape ideal for visitors seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Recommended Tours:
Jeep Dune Adventure Tour with Sandboarding
Atlantis Dunes Quad Biking Tour

8. Stellenbosch

Located in the Western Cape Province, Stellenbosch is actually a university town but being the second-oldest town in South Africa, is a must-see if you have the chance because of scenic town scenes, the stunning landscape of vineyards, and mountainous nature reserves all around.

It’s one of the most charming regions because of its remnants of the country’s Dutch colonial history that’s preserved in the architecture and culture, as well as being integrated with various other elements of South African cultures. 

You can visit one of the world-renowned vineyards and sample some wine, hike the beautiful mountains, or wander around the town popping into the museums and boutique stores. Don’t forget to have a meal at one of over 80 restaurants and cafes. Also, be sure to check the calendar for what’s on when you visit in terms of Farmer’s Markets and Festivals. 

Recommended Tours:
From Cape Town: Stellenbosch Four Estate Full-Day Wine Tour
Stellenbosch: Guided Historical Walking Tour

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