Feeling inspired by the Send me to South Africa CheapOair contest? All this week we’ll be telling you more about the country. To kick it off today, here’s where to go on a day trip from Cape Town. Good luck!
Cape Peninsula: Cape Town itself is at the very north of the Cape Peninsula, and below that are nearly 50 miles of coastland to explore at the tip of Africa. All the way along there are beaches and spectacular rugged cliffs, which are is part of a national park. At the bottom is the Cape of Good Hope which, although it isn’t technically the southernmost point of Africa, is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.
Robben Island: The island in Table Bay, five miles off the coast of Cape Town is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for part of his 27 year jail sentence, and Jacob Zuma spent 10 years imprisoned there under the apartheid regime. Today, the jail has been turned into a museum and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Ferries depart Cape Town four times a day to the island.
Stellenbosch: 30 miles east of Cape Town – and the oldest European settlement in the province after Cape Town – Stellenbosch is, along with the Paarl and Franschhoek valleys, the center of the Cape Winelands, one of the two main wine regions in South Africa thanks to its Mediterranean climate. Home to the oldest wine route in South Africa, there are plenty of vineyards for you to stop by and do tastings on your way around. The cabernet sauvignon is meant to be particularly good!
Constantia: Part of the Winelands in the center of the Cape Peninsula, Constantia is a beautiful area. If you’re not a wine buff, take in the spectacular scenery with a horse ride around the area – you’ll ride through actual vineyards and enjoy views that stretch right down to the ocean.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: A botanical garden may not generally be on your must see list, but when it’s one nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, you should probably reconsider. On the eastern side of the mountain (the northern side is the best known, tourist-wise), it’s been open since 1913. What makes it special is that only plants native to South Africa are grown here – and as well as the gardens down below, you can take hiking trails up the mountain itself.