Cape Town is also an ideal base from which to go out and explore the surrounding areas. Only a few hours drive will get you into the heart of the Winelands, or looking out over the end of Africa, marvelling at the sheer size of a Southern Right Whale from the deck of a boat, or even coming face to face with a shark...
If you would prefer to join a guided day tour, you can click here to see a selection of the day tours that we can arrange for you as part of your stay in Cape Town.
Mistakenly often thought of as the most southernmost tip of Africa, a day trip down to the Cape Peninsula is still a worthwhile addition to any holiday itinerary. The winding cliff road running alongside the Atlantic coastline, called Chapman's Peak Drive, is a toll road so make sure you have some cash on you, but the drive is breathtakingly beautiful. Boulders Beach, just past Simon's Town, is a rugged coastal area which is home to a large colony of African or jackass penguins, and another pleasant place to stop on your way back to Cape Town is Noordhoek. Hout Bay itself, although set in a very attractive bay, is a pretty uneventful small seaside town.
The climate around the Cape is ideal for the cultivation of vines hence the amazing wine that is produced from the region. The Cape Winelands region are around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Wellington and Constantia, with literally scores of vineyards and wine estates. many of the wine estates have wine tastings, cellar tours, and restaurants serving lunches which are open daily to anyone passing by. Being so close to Cape Town, the Winelands really are a great place to spend your last few nights in South Africa where you can relax.
Hermanus and Gansbaai
On the Western Cape, Hermanus and Gansbaai are the 2 main areas for whale watching, either boat-based or land-based. Only 120 km from Cape Town, the pretty little town of Hermanus is one of the world's 12 best whale viewing sites. Good whale watching vantage points are from the Old Harbour wall, or from the 12 km cliff path. This is truly an amazing experience that is worth waking for.
The boat-based whale watching trips from Gansbaai, with one of our recommended operators, Dyer Island Cruises, also visit Dyer Island, which is home to a colony of African or jackass penguins. The trip also takes in Shark Alley, where Great White sharks can be seen gliding through the water.
For a great adrenalin rush, try experiencing the Great White shark close up with Marine Dynamics. Come face to face with this ocean predator from within the safety of a sturdy steel cage, which is lowered into the water from the side of the boat. Your head will never be more than a metre under the surface and you can decide when and how long you want to stay underwater. Back on board the boat again, the marine biologists and expert crew members will explain everything you want to know about sharks, including how to tell a male shark from a female shark!