Cape Town Family Day Trips?
December 22, 2012 4:05 AM   Subscribe

What are some great family day trips from Cape Town, South Africa?

We are travelling to Cape Town in March and are looking for interesting ideas for day trips with a rental car. We have a broad range of interests including, but not restricted to, nature, history, and recreational activities that would be suitable for teenagers and up. Recommendations for restaurants and other dining options (eg. best beach braai) would be great too. Finally, any offbeat attractions within Cape Town that a visitor might not come across in the usual travel guides would also be most welcome.
posted by fairmettle to Travel & Transportation around Cape Jervis, Australia (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I lived in Cape Town for a couple of years as a kid in 95-96 and I remember enjoying the following:

Going to the Cape of Good Hope to see the baboons and other animals
Going up the cable car to Table Mountain and seeing Rock Dassies
Listening to live music at the Waterfront
A day trip out to Stellenbosch to have a picnic lunch at a winery.
There is a beach somewhere with lots of shipwrecks and jackass (?) penguins
Swimming in the rock pools at Camp Bay. I think we saw Southern Wright whales there too.
Cape Town museum and the Planetarium
There may be a cheetah and crocodile park nearby.

I don't know if you are planning on going to any of the game parks or if there are any close to Cape Town but they are definitely a must see.
posted by poxandplague at 4:32 AM on December 22, 2012

Definitely, do the walk with baboons conducted by Baboon Matters (I think this is the right link). We also greatly enjoyed the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony in Simons Town, which is a great little seaside village. Hermanus is another great seaside village with phenomenal whale watching from the shore, but I'm not sure about the whale-watching season. All are easy drives on great, well-marked roads. Any drive on the Western Cape will reward you with amazing scenery.

And, although the highways are very well marked and in great condition, I would still recommend renting a car with a GPS unit. It will make your navigation much less stressful.
posted by flyingrock at 9:54 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the Boulder Beach penguin colony was a lot of fun. The penguins waddled about on the beach where my kids went swimming. We saw some other interesting wildlife in that area too, and the coastal route was magnificent.

We also stayed a couple of days in the Khayelitsha township and found it tremendously interesting as well, especially getting to know the locals, visiting a school, a shabeen etc. So I'd definitely recommended some kind of guided tour.
posted by sively at 9:55 AM on December 22, 2012

Also, to amend my earlier response, my wife said World of Birds just outside of Cape Town was amazing. I was, unfortunately, working in Cape Town when she visited there.
posted by flyingrock at 6:16 AM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

All the above suggestions are good - Boulder Beach, Table Mountain (especially up through Kirstenbosch Gardens), Hermanus, Cape Point, the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island (I know it's not a day trip with a car, but you shouldn't miss it - and remember to make the reservation WELL in advance), Hout Bay up through Camp Bay (I'd take the train), Khayelitsha, Planetarium, South African National Gallery, etc.

Spier Cheetah farm and winery is fun too.

Spend some time wandering Long Street in Cape Town. There are some great restaurants, especially up by Kloof Street.

UCT is also a really beautiful campus.

Cape Town is my favourite city in the world. Feel free to memail me if you want more specific suggestions.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:44 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely have some seafood at the pier in Hout Bay. Or maybe it was or the other. Are you guys into sharks? If so you're in the best place in the world to see the big ones. If you want to see them in the air, take the early morning boat tour to Seal Island, if you're there in the right season you'll see them breaching. If you want to see them in the water, drive out to Gaansbai and hop in one of the cage boats that goes out so you can see them up close. I highly recommend White Shark Projects. I researched a lot on who the responsible outfits were (because some aren't so great with the animals), and they seemed best. We had a great time.

There's some good beginner surfing and / or kiteboarding if you're into that, around False Bay.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:01 AM on March 21, 2013

« Older I'm sorry I don't feel pain the way you think I...   |   It's Snowing Cats and Dogs Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.