Sometimes a breather from reality is a necessity to cope with everyday life. Robyn put together a list of some amazing budget day trips and weekends away to keep you sane and get you away from the city buzz.
Cape Town is huge and there are so many different areas to live within Cape Town. Some areas may be surrounded by farmlands and you won’t feel the rush of the city while living smack bang in the city bowl is all about fast living and being busy constantly. Luckily Cape Town is located in one of the most beautiful of places and a day or weekend away is easier than you’d think.
You’re probably reading this because, just like me, you have a burning desire to go on an adventure, experience something new, and surround yourself with beauty. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just relax for a day or two?
But one word quickly stops your dreaming, and instead of planning a trip, you take out your laptop and spend another day binge series-watching. This word is BUDGET.
In my opinion most of the getaway places nearby are fancy and expensive. And if you’re anything like I was before this article, you have no idea where the more affordable places are or how to find them. That’s why I have your back. Gone are the days of dreaming, it can now be a reality. Some of these may need careful planning and a slight change to your budget, but it won’t leave you eating 2 minute noodles for the rest of the month.
Boulders Beach – Simons Town
Boulders Beach is a great day trip out to Simons Town. You have two options here. The one is to go on a walk to the viewing deck to see hundreds of penguins living on the shores of Simon’s Town. The second option is to go to the beach where you can swim and bump into a few penguins while lazing on the sand and taking a dip.
Address: 1 Kleintuin Rd, Cape Town, 7995
Distance from the city centre: 43.1km
Tel: 021 786 2329
Rondevlei Nature Reserve
Just a short trip past Muizenburg, Rondvlei Nature Reserve is perfect for those seeking a few hours of tranquility. Rondevlei boasts their bird-watching facilities since they have 230 species of birds. Rondevlei is also home to hippos. Take a stroll on the walkways over the wetlands, watch some birds, spot some hippos and maybe take a book along. Sounds like the perfect, city-free day.
Address: Fisherman’s Walk, Zeekoevlei, Cape Town
Distance from the city centre: 22.6km
Contact Number: 021 706 2404
Sandboarding Cape Town
Here in South Africa we don’t get much snow and as a result we don’t get the opportunity to go snowboarding or skiing. Many of us have never experienced the thrill of gliding down a hill, wind rushing past us. Well now we can. It may not be snow, but sandboarding is just as fun and gives the same gliding-effect. Head on out to sand dune heaven in Atlantis.
Cost: Prices range from R250 – R550. Need a minimum of 4 people, a group of 8 plus get discounted
Address: Dassenberg Road, Atlantis, Cape Farms, Cape Town, 0083
Distance from the city centre: 43.9 km
Contact number: 084 665 1314
Silvermine Nature Reserve
Situated in the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, Silvermine is perfect for hikers, strollers or picnic-goers. Silvermine Nature Reserve has a beautiful dam in the park where you can swim, picnic and laze the day away. It’s only a 20min drive from the City Centre and if you have a permit, you can bring your four-legged canine friend along.
Address: Tokai, Cape Town, 7945
Distance from the city centre: 29.8km
Contact Number: 021 789 2457
Cherry Picking in Ceres
As most fruits are, cherries are seasonal, and you can only enjoy this activity from the end of November until the first week of January – perfect timing for your holiday, and it’s the perfect day trip. Ceres is about a 3-hour drive and you can pick cherries at the Klondyke Cherry Farm. They are open from 08:30h – 16:30h, so leave nice and early and pack a picnic or have a braai at the farm.
Cost: R20 entrance and R50/kg of cherries.
Distance from the city centre: 171km with tolls
Contact Number: 023 312 1521
Crystal Pools – Gordons Bay
Situated in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Crystal Pools is the perfect day outing. You need to book a permit online. This(link with above link) website has all of the booking and payment information that you’ll need to hike to Crystal Pools. The Crystal Pools hiking trail is only open from the 1st of November until the 30th of April. The cool part about Crystal Pools is the dam to swim in and the various rocks to jump off. This is the perfect location for a day out with friends.
Address: Kogelberg Nature Reserve Trail, Helderberg Rural, Cape Town, 7135
Distance from the city centre: 69.1km
Contact Number: 076 018 2577
Picnic and wine tasting at Hazendal Wine Estate
Located in the beautiful Stellenbosch wine region on Bottelary Road, Hazendal offers a free wine tour and a beautiful picnic spot. The tour is all inclusive and includes a history of the slave lodges and original oxen kraai. Just call ahead and book a tour to ensure a spot. They have picnic baskets available on order but feel free to take your own basket of goodies.
Cost: R15 for wine tasting and R290 for a picnic basket for two people, they have a vegetarian option.
Address: Bottlery Ray Rd, Stellenbosch, 7599
Distance from the city centre: 35.5km
Contact Number: 021 903 5034
Berg River Resort
You can camp or just visit for the day here. It is situated close to Paarl and hosts the Berg River. It makes for a lovely day out. Go with a group of friends, take a picnic and some tubes with and spend the day lazing in the Berg River.
Costs: R80/car and R80/person.
Check out the camping and chalet rates.
Address: R45 Franschhoek Rd, Paarl South, 7624
Distance from the city centre: 59.2km
Contact Number: 021 007 1852
Waking up early on the weekend can seem like such a mission. You only have 2 days a week to sleep late. Why would you give that up? For the beauty and freshness of nature! There are so many beautiful hikes in and around Cape Town. Some of them will only cost you the petrol, while others require an entrance fee into the reserve.
Here are some really awesome hiking trails:
- Table Mountain – here is a list of a few of the different routes you can take
- Lion’s Head, the moon hike’s really cool. Go a day or two after the actual event if you want to avoid crowds. Invest in a flashlight, the moon is bright but not THAT bright.
- Crystal Pools (R60, look here for step-by-step details)
- Kloofing Suicide Gorge, this is a real adrenaline pump (R275 for the permit)
- Constantia Nek, free of charge and a more relaxed hike
- Silver Mine, R40 and various hike options are available
Take a Road trip along the West or East Coast
Whichever direction you take, you won’t be disappointed. If you take the West Coast, you can stop at the West Coast Nature Reserve to enjoy the flowers in the spring time and the amazing hidden beaches in summer. Along the East Coast you’ll find places like Hermanus and Knysna, if you’re willing to head out that far. West Coast can easily be a day trip while the East Coast can be an amazing road trip if you plan carefully.
Make use of Groupon!
Groupon is amazing with all of their deals and specials. Groupon is my go-to whenever the desire to do something different pops up. Most of you have heard about Groupon, but from past conversations , many who know about it don’t actually use it. Some getaways can have up to a 60% discount. They also have some cool specials on go-karting and other fun day activities. Go check it out and you might just find you next memory-maker. Be sure to grab the special that catches your interest as soon as possible, they’re only available for a limited time!
Tucked away just after Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, and set on the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, this hidden gem is the perfect escape while not being too far from the city. You can laze around on the small private beach and swim at your own leisure without worrying about the normal hustle and bustle found on most of Cape Town’s beaches.
Cost: R30 per person
Address: Cape Point Cape Town 7764, Oudekraal (Nature Reserve), Cape Town, 8005
Distance from the city centre: 10.2km
Contact Number: 021 712 2337
Backpackers in Hermanus (or any other backpackers)
Hermanus is a popular weekend getaway for many reasons, two of them being the beaches and the whale-watching. Unfortunately, it has become rather touristy and expensive. Luckily they have a well-equipped backpackers. This venue has pretty decent accommodation for the budget-conscious and they are all over the world. Most holiday and popular towns have a backpackers. No matter where you want to go, check if there’s one in the area.
Cost: Depending on the room you choose, it starts at R150 per night, per person.
Address: 26 Flower St, Hermanus, 7200
Distance from the city centre: 119km
Contact Number: 028 312 4293
Family ties holiday houses
Simply put, any family ties or family friends that have a house in some holiday location, use them. Most won’t say no if you ask for a weekend away at their holiday home as long as you look after it. Ask around if your friends know of anyone and start planning a weekend away.
Just because you know the person whose house you’re staying in, doesn’t mean you can skimp. Here are a few ideas of how you can say thank you and not take advantage of their kindness:
- Take your own toilet paper and other bathroom essentials
- Top up the electricity box or contribute towards the electricity and water
- Take your own food and don’t get too comfortable in their pantry
- Leave the place in the same condition you found it, or better.
Quaggas Kloof Dam
This campsite is located on Quaggaskloof Dam just outside of Worcester. If you or your family/friends have a boat, then bring that along too for some boat rides and water sports. Day visitors are welcome and since it’s only about an hour and a half drive from Cape Town, it can be a day well spent on the water and lazing in the sun.
Cost: From R300 for 6 people on a campsite for a night (only R50 each!);
R80 for day visitors and R80 per vehicle; boats are R80 and not included in vehicle price.
Address: Worcester, 6850, Winelands, South Africa
Distance from the city centre: 130km
Contact Number: 023 340 4163
Otter’s Bend Lodge Franschhoek
Franshoek is picturesque and the perfect location for a tranquil weekend away. Franshoek is well known for the surrounding winelands and top-class restaurants. But as a result, accommodation has become pricey. On a happier note the Otter’s Bend Lodge offers various rooms at affordable prices. Use the weekend to stroll through the beautiful town, soak up its history and do some wine and chocolate tasting while you’re there.
Cost: From R150.p.p.n
Address: Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek, 7690
Distance from the city centre: 75.9km
Contact Number: 021 876 3200
Beaverlac is the perfect city escape. It’ll take a 2 a bit hours drive and is close to Piketberg. It’s situated in a valley and has no cellphone reception and no electricity (don’t worry, the bathrooms have electricity and warm water). A 10 minute walk away is a beautiful rock pool with a waterfall to jump off. The further up you hike, the more waterfalls and pools you’ll discover. If you want to camp here, you need to register on the camp sites website. EVERY person who wants to go camping must register, while the driver must fill in the booking form. Look at their website for the detailed procedure. Remember that registration doesn’t meaning booking, the driver needs to book once everyone has registered.
P.S. Dogs are welcome!
Costs: R20/car and R55/adult a night
They have cabins available if you aren’t up to camping.
Address: Porterville, 6810
Distance from the city centre: 177km
Email: No communications done via email.
Contact Number: 022 931 2945
Website of Beaverlac.
Sometimes all you need is a break, a breath of fresh air and some lazing around. Things can get pretty stressful ,whether you’re a student, already working, or both. Real life can be tough. Don’t feel guilty about taking a breather. Just go for it and make some amazing memories with friends. You don’t have to do them all at once. Pick one a month, or one per semester. This means a monthly adventure and something to look forward to and help you get through the tough times.