There are loads of places to visit near Cape Town, although it’s worth bearing in mind that South Africa is a big country and some of them are a bit of a distance away. The local buses and trains can be a bit of an adventure, so for a quiet time you might prefer to drive.
Camps Bay is a beautiful, secluded bay in the Indian Ocean that is a favourite haunt for the rich and famous if they happen to be near Cape Town. There are top end hotels, beach bars and restaurants and the place has a chilled atmosphere. The beautiful water can be surprisingly cold though, so don’t fall for the old ‘just dive in’ routine!
Located on the eastern shores of False Bay, Simons Town is home to is home to South Africa's largest naval base and, much more importantly, a large colony of highly amusing penguins. It combines small town charm with a big history.
The historic architecture offers you the chance to take a walk back in time to when things here moved at a different pace. The main street features numerous noteworthy period buildings, many of which are now cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. A visit to Simon's Town is almost a holiday in a day.
Robbem Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site that infamously housed the jail where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year incarceration before becoming the president of South Africa. He was one of the last of a line of political prisoners and convicts including kings and princes who were exiled here. Having served as a whaling station, leper colony and military base, in 1961 it became a maximum security prison which housed political prisoners. It is now a museum offering thought provoking tours conducted by former inmates.
A bit further afield, Durban is South Africa’s ‘chill city’. The locals pride themselves on their laid-back approach to life, and that means you’re likely to fit in fine. Wind down, relax and enjoy the scenery in what’s probably South Africa’s most easy-going city.
There are a lot of great places around Cape Town to ride a bike, from mountains and coast roads to inner city travel. Biking is an exciting and personal way to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
You can choose the easier paved coastal biking trails for a relaxing and enjoyable way to see the marvellous sights of the Mother City. Alternatively, there are many awesome cross country and downhill mountain biking trails to be found in and around Cape Town.
This trek demands a moderate to high fitness level, as it quite hilly and mountainous at times.
It covers around 100 kilometers of jaw dropping scenery including windy, mountainous ascents and long flat straights on smooth, well maintained roads.
The road offers a nice size shoulder along much of this route and generally speaking drivers are quite courteous to cyclists.
If you feel up to the test of putting your pedal to the metal through 80 kilometres of mountains, it will be a magical ride, perhaps one of the most incredible you will ever undertake.
En route to the Cape you should take a pit stop at Boulders Beach to visit the colony of African Penguins. After a visit with these lively sun, beach and water worshipping birds, you will then keep on heading south down the Peninsula towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. You will pass through various unique endemic environments including Cape fynbos and pine forest as you ride the rugged Cape Peninsula mountain range.
The Cape itself is Africa’s most south-westerly tip, forming the dramatic meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It’s an incredible scene, so make sure you have your camera ready at every turn for pictures that will dazzle your friends and family back at home.
After riding from Cape Town to the Cape itself you will almost certainly want to get the bus back from Hout,. Hout is the last bus stop on the southern coast. This is what we recommend unless you're a pro cyclist in traing or a bit of a masochist...You can bring your bike onto the bus but you will need to ride the 20 kilometres back from the Cape to Hout. This makes for a round trip of 100k. You have been warned! Also, you should remember the last bus back to town departs Hout at around 8:30pm.
Another way home is to take a taxi from the Cape back into Cape Town. Remember to give the driver heads up when you call that you have a bike or bikes so a vehicle appropriate is delivered.
Insider Tip: If you want a tasty treat after a challenging ride; then stop in at Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay, it's a local institution. Likewise, if you’re parched when you get to Hout, stop at the Urban Brewing Company and try a pint of their artisanal award-winning beer.
This on and off road loop is a difficult ride that requires some technical ability and is very hilly.
Your trek will start at Table Mountain, the most famous landmark in Cape Town. You will follow an exciting 15-kilometer mixed track section along the mountain to the Newlands forest. Next up is a section of paved road to Tokai forest, a famous Constantia suburb at the foot of the Constantaiberg.
From there you will start up a moderate incline which then turns into a steep 4x4 track climbing through plantations and then heads into the southwest side of the Silvermine Nature Reserve. In this reserve alone you can find over 900 species of the mountain fynbos.
At this point you have many options. The wide open spaces allow you to meander across the Cape Flats, head to False Bay, or on to Cape Point. Once you get back here your last leg of the journey back to Cape Town should be traversing the coast along the famous Chapman’s Peak Road, passing Hout Bay, Camps Bay and Clifton
Table Mountain provides spectacular rides for biking enthusiasts of all fitness levels. It has a network of trails, gravel roads, steep slopes and smooth flowing single tracks, some of which even offer technical aspects for the more advanced rider. The highlights are City Views, The King’s Block House and countless amazing views of the coastline and the Cape Mountains.
The Hot Springs at Montagu is a tranquil sub-tropical oasis amidst palm and peach orchards. Your senses will be delighted by the fragrances of vibrant spring bougainvillea and year-round roses as you bathe in the invigorating and detoxifying hot springs.. It’s A lovely place to go for the weekend and only a two hour bus ride or drive from Cape Town.
You will find a heap of things to do like soaking in the hot pools, swimming in the Keisie River, enjoy some antique shopping in town or visit the dried fruit factory and take a treasure hunt tour
This beautiful region is known as the Burgers Pass Mountain Route. With majestic mountains, rivers, vineyards, orchards and scenic passes there is a picture perfect view from every corner and summit. There is accommodation at the Montagu Springs resort that is both affordable and very comfortable with all the creature comforts of a home away from home.
West Coast National Park is a beautiful national park only one hour’s drive from Cape Town, en route to the famous beginner friendly kitesurfing lagoons of Langebaan.
The park is famous for its abundance of bird life including the African penguin, the endangered Cape gannet and the African oystercatcher, as well as an abundance of flowers blooming in the spring months from August to September.
If you are lucky you might even spot some of the wildlife in the park including red hartebeest, bontebok, gemsbok, antelope, steenbok, duiker, zebra and ostriches. Slightly further afield, the salt marshes of the Langebaan lagoon are home to a thriving flamingo colony.
Want to do some sightseeing around Cape Town check out The Double Decker Red bus link below. With live audio commentary about Cape Town and major attractions in 15 languages, with a special audio channel for kids.
With over 70 wineries, with 11 of which are a specialist in brandy cellars, there is no shortage of wine tasting along Route 62, the longest wine route in the Western Cape.
Route 62 passes through Robertson, Tulbagh, Wellington and the Klein Karoo. You will also pass by farm stalls and fruit orchards where you can stop and taste the local fruits and farm produce.
It pays to remember that drinking and driving don’t mix though. Our advice is to make friend with a teetotaller and persuade them to be your designated driver.
This spectacular drive will take you into a different world as you leave the summer Mediterranean like the climate of the Cape and enter deep into the rugged African wilderness and the Cederberg Mountains.
Here you will find endless views of stunning folded mountains that stretch far off into the distance. In this unexpectedly different setting just 260k from Cape Town you will also find a five-star retreat with supremely comfortable suites, an inviting spa and excellent cuisine.
One of Cape Town's most spectacular and breathtaking tours not only above the water but below the water too. This full day Cape Point Tour includes Hout Bay and an optional 30 minutes cruise to visit the Sea Colony. Not only will you visit Simons Town, the Fishhoek Galley where a sea food lunch is (optional), Botanical Gardens, Penguin Colony (optional) Cape Point and of course the Cape of Good Hope.
Departs: 08h30 (Cape Town) 08h45 (Sea Point)
Returns: Approx 17h30