**Note: This article was last updated on 02/08/2020 as per current Lockdown Alert Level 3 guidelines. It is therefore subject to change in accordance with future Lockdwon regulations.
It’s time for a bucket-list worthy adventure, are you ready? Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced on Thursday the 30th of July 2020 that intra-provincial leisure travel is now permitted under Lockdown Alert Level 3. This means Cape Town locals can finally explore everything our beautiful Mother City has to offer once again! All while continuing to play our very important part in curbing the spread of COVID-19. So don’t you dare leave your face masks (if you’re still looking for the perfect face mask, check out our blog for some amazing local brands) and sanitiser behind when you go out exploring. And remember to always abide by the social distancing guidelines of at least 2m – Both for your own healthy and safety as well as the health and safety of others!
One of the best things about Cape Town is that it is home to an amazing variety of incredible destinations. Each one distinctly different from the next. By taking just a short drive from the city centre, you can escape to a whole new world entirely without really leaving the city at all. Not only does this make discovering the different parts of the Western Cape a thrilling adventure, but it gives you the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day. Here are 5 Cape Town day trips that you should add to your bucket-list right away!
#1 CAPE WEST COAST
- Average distance from Cape Town CBD: +/- 110km
- Average time to get there: +/- 90 minutes
Taking a road trip up the Cape’s west coast is every bit as beautiful as it is exciting. Considered somewhat of a Cape Town hidden gem, the Cape West Coast is home to charming fishing villages, white sandy beaches, unapologetic natural beauty, and stunning secret spots just waiting to be explored. Boasting some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, many of which have remained largely untouched and unspoilt by the masses, the West Coast of Cape Town is the perfect place to escape for the day.
Some of the stops you should absolutely include on your Cape West Coast road-trip are Yzerfontein, Langebaan, Paternoster, Saldanha Bay, Grotto Bay, Darling, Jacobsbaai and the West Coast National Park. Have a look at our ‘Top 5 places to visit on the Cape West Coast’ blog to find out more.
#2 KOGELBERG NATURE RESERVE
- Average distance from Cape Town CBD: +/- 100km
- Average time to get there: +/- 1 h 40 minutes
If you’re a head-over-heels nature lover, this is the perfect Cape Town day trip for you. Considered by many to be the Cape’s most beautiful protected area, Kogelberg Nature Reserve is one of the Western Cape’s most magnificent World Heritage Sites as well as South Africa’s very first registered biosphere reserve. It encompasses the entire coastal area from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River vlei, as well as inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain.
The Kogelberg Nature Reserve’s reputation as one of the Western Cape’s most incredible natural wonders is mainly owed to it being largely untouched and unspoilt due to enduring minimal human interface. Its real, raw, rugged beauty and untamed wilderness makes it one of the top destinations to explore for nature lovers and adventurers. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is also considered the heart and soul of the Cape Floral Kingdom due to its exceptional diversity and pristine quality of fynbos. It very well may be the finest example of mountain fynbos you’ll find in the Western Cape.
If you’re an avid hiker at heart, a day trip to the Kogelberg Nature Reserve should definitely be on your Cape Town bucket-list. Besides its rich biodiversity and stunning surroundings, it boasts a thrilling variety of hiking trials that are bound to get even the most experienced hiking enthusiasts excited.
With so much natural beauty, adventure and hidden gems (yes, there are quite a few, you just need to find them) to offer, the Kogelberg Nature Reserve is without a doubt one of Cape Town’s top destinations to visit for every nature lover, hiker and die hard adventurer at heart. Even if you’re neither of these, we’re pretty sure you’ll fall head over heels in love with the Kogelberg Nature Reserve anyway!
- Average distance from Cape Town CBD: +/- 120km
- Average time to get there: +/- 90 minutes
Located right in the heart of Cape Town’s famous whale route, Hermanus is a rustic sea-side fishing village turned world-renowned whale-viewing site. If a visit to this Western Cape gem is not on your Cape Town bucket-list, you better add it right away! Plus, it’s only about 90 minutes away from the bustling city centre – Making it the perfect destination for a quick yet thrilling day trip!
As Hermanus is the official whale-watching capital of the world, it is undoubtedly THE place to be during Cape Town’s renowned whale season (June – November). Besides absolutely sensational whale sightings, visitors to Hermanus will be able to enjoy incredible sightings of the other beloved members of Cape Town’s marine Big 5 including dolphins, African Penguins, sunfish, and Cape Fur Seals. On top of being the whale watching hotspot of the Western Cape, Hermanus boasts some spectacular beaches and stunning natural surroundings and scenery that’s sure to sweep you off your feet. The mountainous terrain also makes it a great hiking spot for those looking to do some outdoor exploring and adventuring. Its safe to say that Hermanus has something for everyone to enjoy!
#4 CEDERBERG WILDERNESS
- Average distance from Cape Town CBD: +/- 230km
- Average time to get there: +/- 2 h 20 minutes
Located just over 2 hours outside of the city of Cape Town, the Cederberg Wilderness area is considered one of the most undisturbed regions of the Western Cape. With burnt ochre mountains, jagged sandstone rock formations and ancient San and Khoi rock art, it will feel like you’ve escaped to another world entirely. Known for its unapologetic and untamed beauty, a visit to the Cederberg Wilderness should be on everyone’s Cape Town bucket-list, especially if you’re an avid hiker and nature lover at heart.
This Western Cape natural wonder stretches from the Middelberg Pass in Citrusdal to the north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam and forms part of the Cape Floral Region. The Cederberg Wilderness is also a World Heritage site and encompasses the 100km long protected Cederberg mountain range and 71 000 hectares of protected reserve made up of rugged terrain.
Boasting a variety of thrilling hiking routes, the Cederberg welcomes hikers of all experience levels. Some of the famous natural landmarks you can expect to encounter on your Cederberg Wilderness hiking adventure includes the Wolfsberg Arch, a giant rock-formed archway, as well as the Stadsaal Caves, which contains San art dating back thousands of years – This makes hiking in the Cederberg quite an exciting adventure! Be sure to keep your eyes open for some amazing wildlife sightings on your hike too.
**Tip: The Cederberg is known as one of the best places to see snow during Cape Town’s winter season. You can expect to enjoy beautiful blue skies, snow-capped mountains, and snow-covered landscapes when visiting the Cederberg during this time. To find out more about where the best places are to see snow in winter in Cape Town, check out our blog here.
#5 CAPE POINT
- Average distance from Cape Town CBD: +/- 60km
- Average time to get there: +/- 90 minutes
**Note: Following an announcement by South Africa National Parks (SANParks), Capetonians are once again able to visit the Western Cape natural gem, Cape Point, for self-drive excursions during the day as of the 8th of July 2020.
Located approximately 60km south west of the city of Cape Town, at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Point is the ultimate destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Besides it’s wild unapologetic natural beauty, Cape Point offers visitors so much to do, see and experience. From thrilling hiking trails, nature walks and an abundance of wildlife, birdlife, and marine life to a variety of adventure experiences and tons of hidden gems, Cape Point is the ultimate escape from the hustle and hype of the city.
The Cape Point magic doesn’t end there. It is also home to the old Cape Point lighthouse, the famous Flying Dutchman Funicular and various tidal pools and picturesque secret beaches. Some of which include Buffels Beach, Diaz Beach, Maclear Beach and Olifantsbos Beach.
To top it all off, Cape Point boasts one of the most magnificent views in Cape Town. From jagged mountain peaks rising from the deep blue, plunging cliffs and a spectacular view of the entire False Bay coastline, glorious Mother City and beyond, there is nothing quite like it. It is all of this and so much more that makes Cape Point one of the best Cape Town day trip destinations.
**Although many of Cape Point’s beaches, hiking trails and adventure experiences are currently closed/off limits due to Lockdown Alert Level 3 regulations, it’s certainly worth while to add them all to your adventure bucket-list when they all re-open again!
Cape Point COVID-19 regulations & guidelines:
- As per Lockdown Alert Level 3 regulations Cape Point will have a daily quota of a maximum of 250 vehicles a day with no more than 75 vehicles being allowed at once. At later stages of the lockdown, the daily quota could be revised in terms of compliance with regulations.
- Cape Point will be open daily from 8am to 4pm.
- Upon arrival visitors are required to complete a COVID-19 health related questionnaire.
- Mandatory temperature screenings will be conducted by staff on all day visitors to Cape Point. Visitors with a temperature screening of 37.4°C and above will not be allowed access.
- The wearing of face masks is compulsory for all visitors – No face mask = NO entry!
- Permitted activities include: Self-drive vehicles limited to three persons per vehicle of the same household, and motorbikes limited to one person per bike only | Activities such as surfing, cycling, fishing, hiking/walking, trail running, launching of vessels, braaing and picnicking are not permitted as per COVID-19 alert Level 3 regulations.
- Olifantsbos and Bordjiesrif roads; Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre; restaurant/shops; the funicular and accommodation facilities within the Cape of Good Hope section are still closed to the public.
Cape Point Entry Fee (1 November 2019 – 31 October 2020): Standard Entry: Adults – R320; Kids – R160 | South Africans (with ID): Adults – R80; Kids – R40 | SADC Nationals: Adults – R160; Kids – R80