The port city of Cape Town on South Africa’s southwest coast offers stunning locations, all kinds of nature experiences, hiking walks, and mountainous views to enjoy pretty much the whole time you are there.
The mountains that surround Cape Town offer so many opportunities to get outside of the city and get yourself on a hiking trail.
Also, the dramatic sandy beaches and cliff walks nearby make a stunning day trip from the city.
Some beaches even have their own free-roaming penguin colonies, you can seal-watch from the beach, and you can get lost watching the ocean from the beach.
People often think of Cape Town as a city break, but there is actually so much beautiful nature to explore all around, it will make you want to break out the hiking boots and head to the nearest hilltop.
The city is overlooked by Table Mountain which offers an impressive, imposing backdrop for photos in the city.
For a taste of nature you can also head to the harbor and feel the fresh sea breeze air hitting your face.
Cape Town offers so many cosmopolitan city dweller delights, some of the best restaurants and shopping in the world.
If you’re making a trip to the African continent however it really does make sense to make sure you see some nature, and it’s so easily done from the city of Cape Town.
Whether vibrant urban landscapes or the stunning outdoors is more your thing, why not book your next holiday to Cape Town, South Africa?
In this blog post, I have some tips for you for getting out and about outside of Cape Town and exploring the great outdoors.
Here are some of my favourite ways to escape to nature when I’m in South Africa’s bustling capital.
Visit the Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland right at the tip of the Cape Peninsula.
It makes up an important part of a huge protected wildlife reserve.
There are picnic spots you can make use of all along the cape, and also there are guided walks and marked trails you can get involved in to explore more of this beautiful outcrop by foot.
The Cape of Good Hope is famous for being the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
Stand over these vast bodies of water coming together and marvel at the magnitude of it all.
It’s inside the Table Mountain National Park, so you can combine this with a trip right to the top of the mountain and overlook the city.
To the top of Table Mountain National Park
You simply have to go right to the top on your visit to Table Mountain – it’s a must.
The mountain’s iconic and distinctive flat plateau is extremely popular for hiking, climbing, biking & wildlife spotting. Enjoy panoramic views by taking the cable car right to the top of the mountain and look over Cape Town from 1089 feet.
There are three hiking trails you can explore right from the Upper Cable Station to explore the summit further.
When you’ve come back down, you can also explore the huge nature reserve that encompasses Table mountain.
Get ready for even more natural wonder as you explore a penguin colony, thick forest, beaches & walking trails.
Walk around Boulders Beach
Head to Boulders Beach for a magical encounter with some African penguins. This is one of Cape Town’s most famous and visited beaches – the huge granite boulders that give this beach its name help to shield the bay from wind which keeps it nice and sheltered.
Enjoy some strolls along the nice sandy beach and boardwalk, and see if you can persuade the free-roaming colony of African penguins to spend some time with you!
Take a trip to Robben Island
Robben Island is a key historical landmark for tourists to Cape Town.
It is famous for it’s history housing political prisoners like Nelson Mandela, who served 18 years in prison within those walls.
Robben Island now has a museum you can pay a small entry fee to and take a good wander around learning about South Africa’s political history.
Chill at Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
The V&A waterfront is known as the place where ‘the city meets the sea’, and it’s a great place to stroll through restaurants, shops & an art museum all set against a historic working harbor.
Take in impressive views of the city bowl, the ocean and Table mountain right there in the background – plus the architecture in the area adds a beauty all of its own.
Beauty awaits at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch is known as one of the most beautiful and developed botanical gardens in the world.
These gardens offer stunning views against the eastern hillsides of Table mountain, and you can spend all day walking amongst lush gardens and peaceful nature reserves.
Explore rare plant species, walk hidden trails and take in those beautiful mountain views.
Capute the moment at Cape Peninsula
This rocky peninsula pokes right out into the Atlantic Ocean, and makes for some absolutely spectacular outdoor pictures.
The peninsula marks the south-western extremity of the African continent, and it really is something to look over the cliffs here at the end of the land.
Cape Point is a special area on the Cape of Good Hope. This place features stunning towering cliffs, breathtaking ocean views, and the opportunity to take a climb to a lighthouse from the 1800s known as The Old Cape Point Lightouse.
Check out the view from Lion’s Head
The Lion’s Head is one of the most popular hiking trails you can find in Cape Town, and that’s possibly because you can do the whole hike there and back in 2 hours!
It’s totally advisable to take your time however, as a hike to the top of the Lion’s Head means you enjoy panoramic views of the city from a whole new angle.
Lion’s Head mountain is home to many hiking trails, and also some historic gravesites that will be one for the history nerds.
The trail is pretty easy to find – just take a taxi to the Lion’s Head parking lot and you can find the trail right there.
No need to shell out on guides or expensive equipment for this hike – it is pretty accessible but still well worth it for the views you get at the top.
Grab a glass of wine or two at Constantia, Cape Town
Constantia is the premier wine-producing suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Taking a tour of the Constantia Wine Route means you get to sample the delights of the many wineries along the Constantia Valley, and take in the verdant natural beauty to be found there too.
Take a scenic drive around Chapman’s Peak
Chapman’s Peak is famous for the scenic road that circles this mountain on the western side of the Cape Peninsula.
The Chapman’s Peak Drive goes between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in Cape Town, and you wind your way around picturesque harbours, stunning sandy bays and dramatic rocky coastlines.
If you are going to self drive, make sure you have enough cash for the toll road.
I’d also advise taking a picnic with you, as there are many wonderful picnic spots laid around the Peak perfect for use by hungry tourists.
Thank you for reading all about the great outdoors of Cape Town
Thank you for reading about my guide to Cape Town.
I hope you explore natural beauty and take some great heights from this wonderful South African city.