Surrounding Areas

The surrounding areas of Cape Town have wonderful opportunities for visitors. Enjoy West Coast treasures, coastal holiday towns, the glorious Garden Route, adventure, wildlife, nature at its best, festivals and so much more.

External Links: Western Cape Government (Seasonality Map) - South African Tourism 

The table below lists activities for areas surrounding Cape Town.  *NE 49/30 = North East 49 km / 30 miles from Cape Town airport.
Activity Description Area
Huguenot Monument This Christian-inspired monument, in the beautiful Franschhoek wine valley, celebrates the influence of the French on the Cape (and ultimately South Africa). The neighbouring museum elaborates on the history of the French Huguenots. Try the hop-on hop-off wine tram. NE* 49/30
Clarence Drive A scenic 50 km (31 mi) mini road trip. Enjoy Gordon’s Bay, Steenbras River Mouth, 21 km (13 mi) stunning ocean hugging section, Kogelberg mountain range, Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Stony Point Penguin Colony, Betty’s Bay, Harold Porter Botanical Garden, nature reserves & Kleinmond. SE 45/28
Harold Porter Garden Excellent place to see the Cape Floral Region. Enjoy forests, gorges, marshes, mountain slopes, waterfalls and amber pools. Contains 10 hectare cultivated garden and 190 hectare (470 acre) natural fynbos. Has the highest floral diversity in the world. SE 52/32
Hermanus Land based whale watching capital of the world. Popular coastal holiday town. Enjoy beaches, old & new harbour, ocean boat cruises, whale crier, nature reserves, old fisherman village charm, wine route, lagoon, river boat cruises and plenty of outdoor activities. SE 78/48
Fairy Glen Big 5 Safari Fairy Glen private game reserve. At the foot of the Brandwacht mountains close to Worcester.  NE 89/55
Aquila Big 5 Safari Aquila Private Game Reserve, Safari & Spa. 10,000 hectare (24,000 acres) in the Southern Karoo. NE 140/87
Inverdoorn Big 5 Safari Inverdoorn Game Reserve & Iziba Safari Lodge. Includes a Cheetah Conservation Centre. 10 000 hectares (24,000 acres) in the Ceres Karoo. NE 140/87
Shark Cage Diving Close to Gansbaai is a channel of ocean that is home to one of the largest populations of Great White Sharks. This channel is called Shark Alley and is nestled between two small islands, one with a colony of penguins and one with 50,000 seals. Several companies offer boat tours to Shark Alley for cage dives (or watch from the boat). SE 110/58
Marine Big 5 The Marine Big 5 refers to whales, sharks, seals, penguins and dolphins. Most probably the best place in the world to see the Marine Big 5 (in one trip) is Shark Alley close to Gansbaai. Several companies offer boat tours to Shark Alley for a Marine Big 5 safari. Shark Alley is nestled between the Dyer and Geyser Islands. SE 110/58
Cape Agulhas This is a significant land mark as it’s the southernmost tip of Africa and also the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. SE 161/100
Langebaan Lagoon Intense blue 6,000 hectare (14,000 acres) purely salt water lagoon (rare as no river runs into it). Includes 4 islands, reedbeds, sand flats, saltmarshes, beaches, the Langebaan holiday town, Mykonos resort, plenty of water sport and West Coast National Park.  NW 105/65 
West Coast Fossil Park  Visit and go on a guided tour of this active fossil site which has well preserved fossils from 5 million years ago. At that time many now extinct animals, such as saber-toothed cats, short-necked giraffes and African bears lived in the then lush grasslands and forests. The fossils include bones of over 200 different animal species.  NW 120/75 
Sutherland Observatory Sutherland is one of a handful of locations in the world that is ideal for stargazing. It has the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere and it is funded mostly by other countries. Korea and Japan also have telescopes at the site and South Africa has at least five optical telescopes there. The University of Birmingham has a solar telescope to help monitor the Sun. Day and night tours start at the Visitor’s Centre. NE 272/169
Sanbona Big 5 Safari Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. 54,000 hectares in the Little Karoo at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountains. NE 182/113
Garden Route Big 5 Safari Garden Route Game Lodge. On the Garden Route between Mossel Bay and the Langeberg mountain range. SE 282/175
Gondwana Big 5 Safari Gondwana Private Game Reserve. 11,000 hectare (26,000 acre) on the Garden Route between Mossel Bay and the Langeberg mountain range. SE 306/190
Bartolomeu Dias Museum The highlight is the replica of the ship that Dias used in 1488. The replica was built in Portugal and sailed to Mossel Bay in 1988 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Dias’ trip. The museum also has a 1501 Post Office Tree, large indigenous garden, small Aquarium, maritime museum, small ethno-botanical garden, Malay graves and shell museum. In Mossel Bay on the Garden Route. SE 328/204
Ostrich Farms Oudtshoorn is home to the world's largest ostrich population. There are a number of specialized ostrich breeding and tourism farms, such as the Safari Show Farm and the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. Close to Garden Route. NE 336/209
Cango Wildlife Ranch Over 90 species of amazing animals. Enjoy, crocodiles, Valley of Ancients, interactive lemur, snake park, croc cage dive, pygmy hippos, touch a cheetah, large aviary, wallaby walkabout, kid zone, guided tours and catwalk over big cat enclosures. In Oudtshoorn Close to Garden Route. NE 337/210
Cango Caves On the list of 25 Most Amazing Caves in the World (list25.com) the only cave in Africa on the list. It is over 4 km (2.5 miles) long. The first quarter of the cave is open to visitors via one of two guided tours and has over 20 chambers, one as large as a soccer field. Close to Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route. NE 342/212
Garden Route One of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world (200 km / 125 mi). Enjoy excellent beaches, picturesque lagoons and lakes, ten nature reserves, a National Park (121,000 ha / 300,000 ac), dramatic sea cliffs, rocky coves, forests and two mountain ranges (Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma). Best Road Trip in the World and a great holiday destination. SE 321/199
Knysna Popular coastal holiday town. Enjoy large lagoon, estuary, rivers, beaches, lagoon boat cruises, yacht club, vibrant lagoon waterfront, ocean boat cruises, nature reserves, Knysna Heads, Knysna Elephant Park, snorkelling with seahorses and plenty of outdoor activities. On the Garden Route close to Plettenberg Bay. SE 412/256
Plettenberg Bay Popular coastal holiday town. Enjoy large river, beaches, river boat cruises, estuary, Adventure Land water park, ocean boat cruises, Birds of Eden, Crags Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary, Wolf Sanctuary, nature reserves and plenty of outdoor activities. On the Garden Route close to Knysna. SE 440/273
Bloukrans Bungy The world's highest commercial bridge bungy. The Bloukrans Bridge is Africa’s highest bridge. The jump is operated by Face Adrenalin who also provide walking tours of the bridge. On the Garden Route close to Plettenberg Bay.  SE 466/290 
Storms River Mouth  Walk along a boardwalk through an indigenous coastal forest (800 m / half a mile). There you will find a boat jetty and the famous suspension bridge across the river mouth (77 m / 253 ft) as well as two smaller suspension bridges and several short nature trails. Take a boat cruise up the spectacular Storms River gorge. The river has high walls on either side and often gets very narrow. On the Garden Route SE* 490/304 
Archaeology Caves  There are four Archaeological Caves that are Western Cape Provincial Heritage Sites. Pinnacle Point Caves Complex and Cape St Blaize Cave in Mossel Bay. Matjes River Cave near Plettenberg Bay. Blombos Cave near Still Bay (visit the small Blombos Museum).   
Nature Reserves  There are over 80 Nature Reserves and five National Parks surrounding Cape Town. Some nature reserves are excluded from humans, some are open to the public and others are privately owed. The best way to experience a reserve is to stay at a lodge or chalets on a reserve.   
Game Lodges Besides the Big 5 safari reserves there are plenty of other luxury game lodges which also offer game viewing. Some have interesting offerings such as Bushman caves, rock art, fynbos tours, horseback safaris, elephant rides, spa, cave suites, quad biking and scenic hikes. All game lodges have plenty of African wildlife.  
Natural Springs There are several resorts located at natural hot mineral springs. Common and unique facilities include warm mineral pools (indoor and outdoor), saunas, jacuzzis, roman baths, natural rock pools, bird watching, hiking, camping, spa and water slides.  
Hotels, Resorts and Lodges World-class accommodation is available to suit everyone. Including tree top chalets, houseboats, cave suites, beachfronts, rivers, lakes, lagoons, wildlife, nature, guest farms, mountain ranges, budget, 5 star luxury, tranquil, historic, cape floral, game reserves, nature reserves, guesthouses, manors, log cabins cottages, glamping, camping, and caravanning.  
Hiking Trails There are thousands of hiking trails surrounding Cape Town. Most of them have spectacular scenery. This is our top 10; Otter Trail, Outeniqua Trail, Whale Trail, Krom River, Kogelberg Trail, Suicide Gorge, Dolphin Trail, Donkey Trail, Leopard's Kloof Trail and Oystercatcher Trail.  
 *SE 490/304 = South East 490 km / 304 miles from Cape Town airport.

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