There are many great day trips from Cape Town for any traveler be it an adventurous traveler, a family with children, or a honeymoon couple. From incredible hiking routes to breathtaking scenic drives, from renowned wine routes to diverse wildlife, it will never disappoint you just have to choose the right place for you. Cape Town has many incredible things to do some of the suggested day trips are definitely to include in your bucket list.
There are many fantastic coffee shops in Cape Town where you can stop for breakfast and coffee before starting your Cape Town day trip.
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How to do day trips from Cape Town?
Renting a car is the easiest way of doing day trips from Cape Town. If you’re more than one person renting a car will work out cheaper than doing day tours. The best way is to rent a car at Cape Town airport on arrival then you can drop it off when you fly out. You don’t need a big 4×4 car to do day trips around Cape Town a small car will be fine.
If you’re alone joining a day tour to visit some attractions outside Cape Town might be a better option than renting a car. On a tour, there will be someone to talk to and take photos of you. There are many different day tours to the most interesting sights near Cape Town.
Some of the most popular day tours from Cape Town
- Supersaver: Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Day Tour from Cape Town
- Cape Town: Full-Day Winelands Tour with Wine Tastings & Food
- Cape Town: Table Mountain, Penguins & Cape Point Shared Tour
The 11 best day trips from Cape Town
We lived in Cape Town for a couple of years and extensively explored the city and its surroundings. Below you can find some day trip ideas and unique experiences that will enrich your South Africa holiday.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 50 km/31 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 45min – 1 hour
- When to visit – in the summer months (December and January) Monday to Friday if you want to skip weekend crowds. Saturdays and Sundays if you want to visit local food markets.
- Average cost – ZAR 75/US$5 per tasting (3-5 wines)
- Can be combined with a day trip to Franschhoek
Visit Stellenbosch with a tour
- Cape Town: Full-Day Winelands Tour with Wine Tastings & Food
- Stellenbosch: Historical Bike Tour & Wine Tasting
- Full-Day Chocolate, Cheese, Olive and Wine Tour from Stellenbosch
It’s one of our favorite day trips from Cape Town. Western Cape and Stellenbosch in particular are known as the top wine areas in South Africa. With more than 150 farms, it’s difficult to beat it by the number or by the quality of wines. If some wine route like Franschhoek, in my opinion, is more of a romantic/special occasion thing, wine tasting in Stellenbosch is great for anybody; families, a group of friends, or even a single traveler. You just have to find the right wine farms for you.
If you don’t want to drive yourself you can join one of the wine-tasting tours from Cape Town that include pick up and drop off at your hotel/house. Another option is to use hop-on-hop-off wine buses that depart from Stellenbosch. You can choose one of the three routes: the Northern Route Wine route, the Southern Route Wine route, or the Eastern Route Wine route.
Besides wine tasting, there are many other activities around Stellenbosch from hiking in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve and mountain biking one of the trails to off-road driving, visiting the historical museum, and enjoying a beautiful sculpture garden.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a stunning place near Stellenbosch even the drive there is beautiful. Hiking here is one of our favorite things to do in Stellenbosch. There are several hiking routes inside the reserve from short and easy walks suitable for the whole family to long and challenging trails for relatively fit people.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 80 km/50 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 1h10min.
- Best time to visit – Monday to Saturday, some wine farms and restaurants are closed on Sundays. If you come on Saturday you can visit the local food market in the town.
- Average cost – ZAR 75/US$5 per tasting (3-5 wines).
- Can be combined with a day trip to Stellenbosch
Visit Franschhoek with a tour
- African Story Wine Tours in the Cape Winelands
- From Cape Town: Franschhoek Wine Tram Hop-on Hop-off
- Franschhoek: E-Bike Guided Winery Tour
Franschhoek Valley is my favorite place to come for wine tasting. Since the first time my husband brought me here, I fell in love with this charming town and its picturesque surroundings. Franschhoek is a great place to come for a romantic weekend getaway from Cape Town. Here you can find all you need for a perfect weekend – great wine, delicious food, and stunning scenery. We always celebrate our wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day here.
You can drive to Franschhoek yourself, join a wine tour from Cape Town, or explore the area riding a hop-on-hop-off wine tram. A big advantage of the last two options is that you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving you can test as many wines as you want. Franschhoek wine tram is a unique way of doing wine tasting. The tram route starts in the town. There are 8 different routes each goes to 5-7 wine farms where you can get off the tram, taste wine, and have lunch.
You can drive to Franschhoek yourself and get on the tram there or take a tour from Cape Town that includes a return shuttle to your hotel and a tram ticket.
Wine tasting is not the only activity there are many other things to do in Franschhoek that will be interesting for the whole family. You can drive over the Franschhoek Pass, go on a short hike in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, visit the Motor Museum with a great collection of old cars, learn how to make chocolate, and many other interesting things.
Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 40 km/24 mi
- Best time to come – between December and February there are many tourists at Boulders, especially over the weekends, make sure to come here early.
- Opening hours – winter (April – September) from 8am to 5pm, summer (October – November and February – March) from 8am to 6.30pm, the peak season (December and January) from 8am to 7.30pm.
- Admission fee – foreigners ZAR 176/US$9 adults, ZAR 88/US$4 children, South Africans ZAR 44/US$2 adults, ZAR 22/US$1 children.
- Can be combined with a day trip to Cape Point and Muizenberg
Visit Boulders Beach with a tour
- Cape Town: Penguin Watching at Boulders Beach Half Day Tour
- From Cape Town: Cape Point & Boulders Beach Full-Day Tour
Boulders Beach is one of the not-to-miss places in Cape Town. It’s a perfect day trip from Cape Town. This beautiful white sand beach is surrounded by massive boulders with many cute African penguins walking around. Boulders Beach is a must-include in your Cape Town itinerary if you travel with children they’ll enjoy it a lot. You can go for a swim here if you’re not afraid of cold water. A visit to this beach can be done as a part of a day road trip from Cape Town around the Cape Peninsula. If you don’t feel like driving yourself you can join a half-day tour from Cape Town to Boulders Beach.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way, along the coast) – 79 km/49 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 1h45min.
- Best time to visit – November to April, it gets very windy in summer. In December and January on weekends the park is very busy, you might have to wait at the gate for a while.
- Opening hours (Cape of Good Hope) – April – September from 7am to 5pm, October – March from 6am to 6pm
- Admission fee (Cape of Good Hope) – foreigners ZAR 376/US$20 adults, ZAR 188/US$10 children, South Africans ZAR 94 adults, ZAR 47 children.
- Can be combined with a day trip to Boulders Beach and Muizenberg
Visit Cape Peninsula with a tour
The drive around the Cape Peninsula is one of our favorite drives in South Africa. It’s a great day trip from Cape Town. The scenery is amazing and there are many beautiful places to stop along the route. Start your day trip with the sunrise at Camps Bay. This trip can be done with a tour from Cape Town that will take you to the main highlights of the route.
The famous Chapman’s Peak Drive is the most beautiful part of the scenic drive. It’s a 9 km drive between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. There are a couple of viewpoints along the drive where you can stop for photos. It’s a toll road, so you’ll have to pay ZAR 61/US$3 per car. At Hout Bay harbour you can spot cape fur seals in the water in search of leftovers from fishermen’s boats.
Cape Point Nature Reserve is a spectacular place. It offers some of the best scenery in Cape Town, and it’s a bucket list place to include in your Cape Town itinerary. One can easily spend the whole day here exploring the area. There are several not-to-miss attractions here such as Dias Beach, a white-sand beach surrounded by the cliffs, New Lighthouse, Cape of Good Hope, Flying Dutch funicular, and several tide pools and viewpoints.
Hiking around Cape Point you have chances to see some wild animals such as mongooses, zebras, ostriches, porcupines, tortoises, chameleons, etc. My advice is if you have time after visiting the main part of the park drive away to quieter areas your chances of seeing wildlife there are much higher.
There are several day tours from Cape Town to Cape Point. If you’re into photography you might enjoy the Cape Point Instagram tour. For outdoor lovers, there is a great alternative to sitting in the car – explore Cape Point on an electric bike tour.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 25 km/15,5 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 30-40 minutes depending on the traffic
- Best time to visit – November to April, it gets very windy in the peak summer. In December and January on weekends the park is very busy, you might have to wait at the gate for a while.
- Can be combined with a day trip to Boulders Beach, Cape Point, and Constantia
Muizenberg is a popular surfing spot in Cape Town. During the season you can see hundreds of surfers in the water. There are a couple of surf schools and board rental places in the town. It’s a great spot for a surfing day trip from the city. Muizenberg Beach is a beautiful white-sand beach nice for tanning. Colorful wooden huts on the beach are one of the most popular photo spots in Cape Town.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 18 km/11 mi
- Driving time – 20-30 min. depending on the traffic
- Best time to visit – Monday to Thursday if you want to skip the crowds
- Average cost – ZAR 75-100/US$5 for tasting up to 5 wines
- Can be combined with a day trip to Muizenberg
Visit Constantia with a tour
Constantia wine route is the closest to Cape Town place for wine tasting. It’s a great option to come and try some of the best wine within a short drive from Cape Town. The Constantia Valley is a stunning place with beautiful scenery and some of the oldest wine estates in the country. There are 9 wine farms in Constantia, meaning you can easily visit half of them in one day. You can drive yourself or join a private wine tour that includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. If you’re up for an adventure you can do a cycling wine tour through the valley.
Groot Constantia is the one not to miss here. It’s the oldest wine farm in South Africa and one of the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. Klein Constantia and Constantia Glen are two more farms I’d recommend including in your list. Most farms in the valley do wine tasting without prior arrangement. You can combine tasting with lunch at one of the estates, most of them have great restaurants on their premises.
You can combine wine tasting in Constantia with driving around Cape Peninsula or surfing in Muizenberg. If you travel with children before or after the tasting take them to Boulder’s Beach to see cute African penguins or do a boat tour from Hout Bay to see playful seals.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 10 km/5 mi offshore
- Tour duration – 3h30min. including a return ferry trip
- Departure times from V&A Waterfront – daily 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm (only between 1st September and 30th April)
- Best time to visit – October to April
- Ferry price (including an island tour) – from ZAR 400/US$21 (South Africans), ZAR 600/US$31 (foreigners) per person
Visit Robben Island with a tour
Robben Island is one of the most important historical places in Cape Town. The island can be visited only with a tour that includes a return ferry ride and an excursion. A boat tour to the island is a perfect day trip from Cape Town where you can learn about the recent history of the country, enjoy spectacular views of the Cape Peninsula, and observe the diverse marine life of the region. The main attraction of Robben Island is an ex-prison that was turned into a museum. Former South African president Nelson Mandela was the most famous prisoner on Robben Island. He spent there 18 years.
The name of the island comes from the Dutch word for seals. You still can see them in the waters around the island. The history of Robben Island dates back to the 16th century when it was used as a stopping point for ships. after it became a Dutch and then British penal colony. In the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century century it was turned into a leper colony. From the second half of the 20th century till 1991 it was used as a maximum security prison where many political prisoners including Nelson Mandela were held.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 120 km/74,5 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 1h30min. – 2 hours depending on the traffic
- Best time to visit – July to October when Southern right whales come here for mating and calving.
- Boat tour prices – from ZAR 1000/US$55 per person (including transfer from Cape Town).
- Can be combined with a day trip to Cape Agulhas
Visit Hermanus with a tour
- Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip
- Whale Watching Walking Tours (Land-Based)
- From Cape Town or Hermanus: Shark Cage Dive Boat Cruise
It’s a perfect day trip from Cape Town to see the diverse marine life of the region. Hermanus and Gansbaai are the best places in South Africa to see Southern Right whales. Your chances of seeing them in the peak season are very high. It’s possible to see them from the shore but for a close encounter go on a whale-watching boat tour. If you want to see calf whales, August and September are the best months for whale watching in Hermanus. On a nice day, you can see several mother-calf pairs.
Outside the Southern Right whale season, you can see seals, great white sharks, dolphins, penguins, and occasional Bridal whales. If you want to see one of the most famous water predators in the world, the great white shark you can combine a whale-watching tour with shark cage diving in Gansbaai.
There are other things to do in Hermanus besides whale watching. It’s a beautiful town famous for its great restaurants where you can try fresh seafood and fish and fine wine estates. On a day trip from Cape Town to Hermanus, you can see marine animals, enjoy delicious food, and taste local wines.
On the way to Hermanus, you can stop at Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay. It is a great place to see African penguins. The beach here is not as picturesque as Boulders Beach in Cape Town but it’s far less touristy. Wooden boardwalks take visitors along the coast. Rocks and boulders are covered with hundreds of penguins. You can see them swimming, walking across boardwalks, and nesting.
Aquila Game Reserve, Worcester
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 175 km/108 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 2 hours
- Best time to visit – early morning or evening (after sunset) when it’s not too hot.
- Safari prices – from ZAR 2000/US$110 per person including a return transfer from Cape Town, a 3-hour safari drive and lunch.
- Can be combined with a day trip to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek
Visit Aquila with a tour
Aquila Private Game Reserve is only a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, it’s a perfect place for a safari day trip. Aquila is the closest to the Mother City safari park where you can see the famous African Big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, and leopard). Besides the big 5, there are many other animals to see here such as hippos, zebras, giraffes, different African antelopes, and more. The reserve is massive and occupies 10,000 hectares. Safari drives here are 100% wild experiences with a touch of luxury. You can combine a safari drive with relaxing at a local spa.
There are several ways to explore the reserve from self-drive to quad bike/horseback safaris and a helicopter fly-in. Another option is to join a day tour from Cape Town that includes transportation from your hotel, entrance tickets, a game drive, and lunch.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way) – 124 km/77 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 1h30min.
- Best time to visit is the flower season between August and September when fields along the route are covered in spring flowers.
Visit the West Coast with a tour
It’s one of the most beautiful Cape Town day trips during the spring. The West Coast (Namaqualand) completely transforms in spring, usually bare and dry after winter rains, the region looks like one big colorful carpet. Thousands of flowers cover the fields along the coast. West Coast National Park near Langebaan is the best place to come for a day trip from Cape Town to see the famous Namaqualand blossom. There are several short hiking trails inside the reserve. You can spend a couple of hours exploring the park and taking photos.
Admiring flowers is not the only activity on the West Coast. The area is famous for its fresh seafood. The small town of Paternoster, 40 km from Langebaan is the best place to try it.
- Distance from Cape Town (one way, along the coast) – 266 km/165 mi
- Driving time (one way) – 3h30min.
- Best time to visit – the summer months between November and March
- Can be combined with a day trip to Hermanus
Visit Cape Agulhas with a tour
- From Cape Town: Cape Agulhas, Hemel en Aarde, & Towns Tour
- Combo Cape Agulhas Tour and Whales Watching Boat in Hermanus
It is one of our favorite road trips in Cape Town. Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point of the African continent and the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Many tourists think it’s Cape of Good Hope near Cape Town but it’s not. A drive from the city along the coast to Cape Agulhas is one of the most scenic drives in Cape Town with many beautiful places to stop in between.
Clearance Drive, a stretch of the coastal road between Gordons Bay and Rooiels is the most beautiful part of the trip. From the lookout points along the road, you often see seals, dolphins, and in the right season even whales. There are some amazing places to eat fresh seafood in Hermanus as well as a couple of wine-tasting estates with nice restaurants e.g. Black Oystercatcher Wines.
On this day trip from Cape Town, you can visit Harold Porter Botanical Garden or the penguin colony at Stony Point, do a whale-watching tour in Hermanus, or do shark-cage diving in Gansbaai. If you decide to do some of the mentioned activities you have to start driving early in the morning.
You can drive back the same way along the coast or turn inland and drive through Caledon and over Sir. Lowry’s Pass, the view from the top of the pass is quite impressive.
Places to stay in Cape Town
Cape Town has many hotels, hostels, and guesthouses for any budget. My main advice here is to stay at a place near the city center (Long Street, Bree Street), V&A Waterfront, or Green Point these are the best areas to stay for exploring the city.
- Lower end | Long Street Backpackers | Atlantic Point Backpackers | 91 Loop Boutique Hostel |
- Middle price | Urban Oasis at The Square | Villa Zeezicht | Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel and Spa |
- High end | Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront | DysArt Boutique Hotel | Victoria & Alfred Hotel |
Cape Town books and guidebooks
Disclosure: Stingy Nomads take part in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you buy something recommended in this post, we may get an affiliate commission — but it never affects your price or what we pick.
- Top 10 Cape Town and the Winelands (Pocket Travel Guide), 2019. Kindle & Paperback
- Insight Guides Pocket Cape Town (Travel Guide with Free eBook) (Insight Pocket Guides), 2019. Kindle & Paperback
- Lonely Planet Cape Town & the Garden Route (Regional Guide), 2018. Kindle & Paperback
- Cape Town and Peninsula [South Africa] (National Geographic Adventure Map, 3200), 2019
The pretty half of Stingy Nomads, responsible for all our land adventures (hiking, climbing, walking the Camino) and following them write-ups. Alya loves walking since she was a child, she prefers to walk 1000 km with a backpack rather than to do a 10 000 km road trip (actually any road trip). Alya is a big fan of Latin America, the Spanish language, and dancing. Every time we go away she desperately misses our dog Chile.