Meisho Maru no. 38

5 DAY CAPE TOWN ITINERARY FOR A RETURN VISITOR – PART 1 OF 3

You have been visiting Cape Town every year, doing the same things and now you wonder if there are any exciting things you can do in and around Mother City. A five-day trip down to Cape Town is enough for a road trip outside the city and still have a night out club-hopping in the city bowl or Camps Bay before going back home. This will give you an opportunity to spend some time getting off the beaten track, making friends with locals, experimenting with local food and drinks, and getting to know Cape Town and its surroundings.

Mother City has plenty to offer, but it also makes a perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding areas of the Western Cape. You could head off in any direction, depending on your interests and the time of year and you will always end up in an interesting destination. If it’s between June and October, it’s whale season, and this means a trip to Hermanus would be great for land and boat-based Whale watching adventures. Between August and September, consider driving up the West Coast to see the fields of wildflowers in bloom. During July and August consider driving to the Overberg region until Arniston and Cape Agulhas, the official meeting of Atlantic and Indian Oceans – here you will drive through bright yellow Canola fields. If you drive to the Karoo, you will be spoiled with the vast scrubby landscapes, small quirky towns, a taste of rural South Africa, and a Big Five Safari.

DAY 1: ROAD TRIP TO ARNISTON

Close your eyes and imagine sand dunes, clear blue sea water, white sand, unique rock formations, amazing sunsets and sunrises, and delicious seafood – That’s Arniston in a nutshell! Arniston is a small seaside fishing settlement on the coast of the Overberg region, 210km from Cape Town and about 40km from Cape Agulhas, the titleholder of the southernmost point in Africa. Some refer to it as The Wreck of Arniston while others call it Waenhuiskrans, an Afrikaans name meaning literally “Wagon house cliff”, named after a local popular sea cave, Waenhuiskrans Cave, large enough to accommodate a wagon and a span of oxen.

Arniston Village

Arniston was known to many as just a small fishing village, but over the years has become a holiday destination for many travellers and a paradise for nature photographers when hosting photography workshops. This village characterised by its lime-washed and thatched cottages remains unspoiled by modern civilisation. Don’t worry, there is a four-star Arniston hotel, the jewel of the Western Cape, and private modern seaside houses you can rent.

DAY 2: MEETING OF THE TWO OCEANS (INDIAN AND ATLANTIC OCEANS)

Cape Agulhas or L’Agulhas is the southernmost coastal village and a holiday resort located within the Cape Agulhas Municipal, just 40km from Arniston. The name “Agulhas”, Portuguese for “needles”, is said to have been given to the area because a strange magnetic anomaly occurs here where compasses point true North rather than magnetic North. This anomaly creates confusion and danger for passing ships when visibility is poor. About 250 vessels lost their way and got wrecked on the jagged rocks of Cape Agulhas.

Cape Agulhas Africa MonumentToday you will see where the official geographical line is and where the two Oceans, Indian and Atlantic meet. Here, you will also see the second oldest operating lighthouse, the popular Meisho Maru no. 38 shipwreck, is a Japanese fishing trawler that succumbed to the mighty two ocean meeting point on the 16th of November 1982 and the longest uninterrupted sandy beach in the southern hemisphere situated in Struisbaai. You will return to Arniston hotel for your second night of food and drinks at their restaurant before calling it a night.

DAY 3 AND 4: VISIT HERMANUS – THE WHALE CITY

Head off to Hermanus, the Whale watching capital of the world. This small seaside town is a popular holiday location with beautiful holiday homes and hotels overlooking the ocean and is famous for southern right land and boat-based whale watching during the southern winter to spring seasons (June – early December).Hermanus Old Harbour

The whales can be seen from the cliffs along the coast from as early as June and they usually depart in early December. Whale watching is not the only exciting thing in Hermanus, other activities shark cage diving in Walker Bay, beach horse riding, zip-lining, and quad biking, sea kayaking, sandy beaches, playing golf at the awe-inspiring 27-hole Hermanus Golf Club, and tasting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and many more fine wines, comparing craft beers, appreciating gin, exploring art and attending the Annual Whale Festival in September.Hermanus Ficks

Spend two days exploring this town and having fun. For accommodation, book at Harbour House hotel.

DAY 5: PENGUIN COLONY, CLARENCE DRIVE AND CLUB HOPPING

Your time in the Overberg region is finished. After check-out, you will head off to Stony Point in Betty’s Bay to visit the African Penguins. Yes, it’s not only Boulders Beach where you can find a colony of African penguins. The best time to visit these cute birds is in the morning or late in the afternoon because they are usually out at sea to find food during the day.Bettys Bay

Due to their decline in recent years due to various adverse conditions the area is now protected and visitors are only permitted to walk along a wooden pathway that curves through the colony. The entrance fee is R25 per adult and R15 per child.

Then continue driving through Clarence Drive, one of the most stunning coastal drives in the world. It’s as exciting as the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive but longer and without the cost of the toll gate.

Clarence Drive

Arrive in Cape Town, check-in at your last accommodation (options are plenty, look around the City, Woodstock, De Waterkant, Green Point, Sea Point, Camps Bay, and Clifton on Booking.Com or Airbnb) and go club-hopping in the city or Camps Bay.

I hope this information will help you explore and see the Western Cape through my eyes. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need more information, tips, discounts or recommendations.

Planning a trip anywhere around the Western Cape? Book flights and browse accommodation or hire a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop-on hop-off City Sightseeing bus.

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