Are you looking for weekend getaways near Cape Town? Cape Town is a beautiful destination to visit. It has so much to offer and the diverse range of things that you can do here will keep you busy for days. However, sometimes it’s good to get away from it all and spend some time with nature or doing something completely different. If you’re looking for weekend getaways near Cape Town, then this guide will be helpful.
Weekend getaways outside Cape Town
1. Get an immersive food and wine experience at Babylonstoren
This historic farm dates back to the late 1600s and is a dream place for people who love good food, wine, and fresh local ingredients. Only in the last ten years has Babylonstoren started getting ready for visitors. In 2010, Babylonstoren restaurant and Babylonstoren hotel were added, and the first Babylonstoren label wines came out the following year.
A decade later, the impressive grounds now have a spa, greenhouse, tasting room, multiple restaurants, a Farm Shop, and a well-kept garden with more than 300 edible and medicinal plant species. Daily garden tours alone take an hour because it is so big.
Once you get to Babylonstoren, you don’t have to leave, as it is one of the best weekend getaways near Cape Town. You can stay in one of the original farm-style cottages. They have been updated with a glass box kitchen, dining areas, and modern furniture. Then spend your days relaxing in the Babylonstoren spa, tasting their award-winning Babylonstoren wine, and eating at their famous restaurant Babel. If you decide to stay longer, nearby Stellenbosch and Franschhoek have many other wineries worth a day trip.
2. The Big 5 can be seen at Gondwana Game Reserve
Just north of Mossel Bay, along the famous Garden Route, is a great place to spend the weekend and one of South Africa’s best game reserves. It is only four hours by car from Cape Town. At Gondwana Game Reserve, guests have the chance to see the Big 5 in the wild.
This is done through game drives in the early morning and late evening through the 27,000-acre reserve. Elephants, zebras, lions, leopards, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and more live in Gondwana’s colossal budget, where the most important thing is to protect endangered animals and plant species.
Also read: Big 5 game reserves near Cape Town
The reserve’s Kwena huts, close to the main lodge, are perfect for a luxurious and romantic getaway for two. Wildlife often stops by these huts, and Gondwana’s villas, eco-tented camps, and beautifully designed Ulubisi House have more room for groups and families. Plus, you don’t need malaria shots for this safari.
3. Unwind on Thesen Island, Knysna’s Beachfront
You’ll feel at home in Knysna, an excellent seaside stop on any trip down the South African coast by car. You can rent a quiet Airbnb on Thesen Island where you can cook your South African braai or walk 10 minutes to nearby restaurants like Tapas and Oysters or île de païn to get to know the area.
Walk across the bridge to Freshline Fisheries for a nice seafood dinner. The following day, have breakfast with a view at East Head Cafe at the mouth of the Knysna River. Check out the East Head Cafe menu and East Head Cafe Knysna opening hours here. You won’t have a hard time finding beautiful pictures here. Don’t miss The Heads, Coney Glen Beach, or Brenton on Sea restaurant, which has some of the best ones.
4. In Hermanus, You Can Behold Whales in All Their Glory
Hermanus is a small but beautiful town on the southwestern coast of South Africa. It’s one of the 12 best places to watch whales worldwide. Marine life lovers flock there during whale season to see Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Bryde Whales, and even an Orca if they’re lucky. Whale season rush from June to November, but September and October are the best months to visit if you want to see the most whales.
To get to Hermanus from Cape Town, rent a car and take the scenic route through Gordon’s Bay, along Claren’s Drive, and through Betty’s Bay, where you can stop to see the cute penguins at the Stony Point Penguin Colony. Along this coastal route are steep drops off cliffs and beautiful coastlines, and you might even see a baboon or two.
5. Nature’s Valley will feed your adventurous spirit
The areas around Tsitsikamma National Park are a must-see for travelers who love the outdoors and adventure, and Nature’s Valley is the perfect place to stay while you’re there. In Tsitsikamma, hikers can take the four-day Otter Trail or go on the famous Mouth Trail for a quick day trip that offers beautiful views of the ocean and the park’s famous suspension bridge.
Kayak & Lilo Storms River is a great tour for paddlers who don’t mind getting wet. These tours take paddlers through the mouth of the Storm River Gorge, which has dramatic cliffs that create excellent photo opportunities. Bloukrans Bungy is the world’s highest commercial bungee bridge, so thrill seekers won’t want to miss it.
At Bramon Winery, you can taste wine and have lunch among the vineyards. You can also go to Nature’s Valley Farm Stall. Make sure you order a freshly baked meat pie or cheese plate and eat it outside among the farm’s cute cows, goats, rabbits, and chickens.