Spend three days exploring in the Cape during your mid-term break.
When you’ve only got three days for a quick breakaway, you need to make the most of them. To help you pack in as many activities in those three days as possible, we lined up some super ideas.
Day 1: Winding through the Southern Suburbs
This superb Southern Suburbs drive shows a broad view of Cape Town in the space of a day, offering vineyards, forest and coast.
The green scene
Heading out of the city bowl via Philip Kgosana Drive you will access the M3. Look out for the Rhodes Drive right turn, which will lead you to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
The tree-lined road continues until you get to the T-junction; follow the road to the right, which becomes Constantia Nek. At the traffic circle drive left onto Constantia Main Road into the heart of Constantia Valley, home of the oldest winemaking region in the southern hemisphere. Look out for each wine estate’s signage. At the traffic circle where Rhodes Drive and Constantia Main Road meet, on the premises of La Parada Restaurant, you’ll find Acrobranch, which offers safe aerial adventures by zip line, swing and bridge.
Back on Constantia Main Road take a right into Ladies Mile Road, and another right into Spaanschemat River Road, which eventually becomes Orpen Road. Find the parking area on the right of the road. This is the base for your Tokai Forest explorations. There’s an easy 4km walk close to the parking lot. It’s informally referred to as the Tokai track. Before the walk head 500m down the road by foot to Bootleggers to grab a coffee or juice and snack.
On to the coast
When departing, travel back down Orpen Road, which becomes Steenberg Road, past Ou Kaapse Weg. At the traffic lights, turn right into Westlake Drive and onto Boyes Drive. At its apex your view opens up onto the coastline. You’ll find many convenient stopping points to relish the view and take a photograph or two.
An, arty, fishing village
Boyes Drive soon winds down towards Kalk Bay. Take a left turn towards this arty fishing village where there are cafés, a theatre, galleries, boutiques and antique shops to visit. Plus, a working harbour with resident seals. Keeping on the main road, the next town is St James, which presents an ideal opportunity to really stretch your legs and frolic in the tidal pool.
Once you’ve had enough sun, it’s back in the car along the old Main Road until you get to Muizenberg. Here you’ll find quintessential Cape Town scenes to capture on camera such as the kite surfers and the famed multicoloured beach huts. If you feel like being a little off the shore, there is an 18-hole putt-putt course and the hugely popular Muizenberg waterslides.
The final landmark is Muizenberg’s Friday night market, the Bluebird Garage Market, which will be in full swing from 4pm. Tell friends to meet you there for dinner, live music and a beer, before heading back home. There is also a play area at the market for the children.
Where the penguins play
If you’ve got some extra time, you can venture further to explore the naval town of Simon’s Town and visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Day 2: Active in the city
Biking through the city
Book a family-friendly bicycle tour in the city with Bike and Saddle, a travel-tours company that has featured in the New York Times. A particular ride that is recommended for families is Darwin’s Trail, a gentle ride taking two to three hours. You’ll set off in the morning before it gets too hot and you’ll be pampered with canapés after the ride. The trail takes you on a tour of Cape Town’s natural heritage sites while offering great views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Camps Bay and Table Bay. Bike and Saddle offers tandem bikes and e-bikes (electric bikes).
Tea and scones
Make sure you have worked up an appetite for Tea by the Sea, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa’s traditional high tea, which is a scrumptious, freshly-baked selection of warm scones and clotted cream, cupcakes, and mouth-watering finger sandwiches, along with a fine selection of fragrant teas and coffees. Tea by the Sea is served from Monday to Sunday at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm in The Leopard Bar, Conservatory or the Café Grill. The light and airy alfresco Café Grill is ideal for families; children have space to explore the outside area, and the buffet-style tea makes for an informal experience.
The Sunset bus city tour with Cape Town City Sightseeing is a relaxing way to end off the day’s activities and takes two to three hours. The bus departs from Two Oceans Aquarium at 6pm. The bus travels along the Atlantic seaboard through Sea Point and Camps Bay to Signal Hill for you to enjoy the sunset. Be sure to pack a picnic. Children love sitting on the open top deck of the double-decker bus. They receive a free activity pack and there is a special children’s commentary channel during the tour. Look out for other specials like a bus and boat tour too.
Day 3: West coast to Winelands
Out on the ocean
Rise early, pack a flask of coffee and padkos, and gather the children and your sense of adventure before hitting the road for the West Coast (1hr 43mins). You’ll need to leave Cape Town no later than 6.30am to arrive at Paternoster for sea kayaking with Danie Breytenbach. The aim is to leave the beach between 7 and 8.30am, before the winds pick up. The launch point is from the Waterfront at the old crayfish market. A short beach briefing to prepare paddlers is followed by a gentle kayak to the main rock point off Paternoster. The route is easy and geared for a beginner’s enjoyment and safety. Dolphins, seals and whales are common in the bay as well as the growing penguin colony. It is advisable to call ahead and book your adventure.
Sample the local food
Visit Paternoster Fish Market afterwards and be sure to try the West Coast delicacy, called bokkoms (fish biltong).
Wining and picknicking
Then it’s Paternoster to Paarl (1hr 47mins) through the beautiful Agter-Paarl region onto Rhebokskloof Wine Estate for their child-friendly picnic under the trees. Please call first to book your picnic basket and to check weather conditions. There is an abundance of entertainment for the children including pony rides, jumping castles, jungle gyms, play ball and more. Be sure to try Rhebokskloof’s award-winning Sandstone Grove Chardonnay. Since this is the final destination on your itinerary, all that’s left to do is sink a little deeper into your chair, with one eye on the playground, and enjoy the company of loved ones.
Here’s wishing you three days of happy adventures and discovery.
Remember activities may change based on weather conditions and subject to COVID-19 regulations.