As winter is fast-approaching for us South Africans, the weather grows progressively colder, and the urge to spend weekends snuggled up in bed, content to let the adventurous you go into hibernation, has already started rearing its head (I speak from experience). There is nothing I love more than spending a cold weekend snuggled up under my blankets with a good book or some series, but I’m here to tell you… THE ADVENTURES DOES NOT NEED TO END! There’s more to winter than Netflix and being indoors! Winter travel is a thing! Don’t believe me? Well, prepare yourselves as I lay down a list of some of the things you can do in and around Cape Town during these winter months.
Let’s dive right in with this one. You might be thinking, surfing in winter? You’re insane! During the winter months, the waves are actually better with more consistent swells. A bonus of surfing in winter is that the water tends to be slightly on the warmer side. If you don’t know how to surf, fear not. There are many surfing schools one can sign up at for a few lessons. Be hardcore, catch a wave or two and go reward yourself up with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and delicious breakfast afterward at one of the local coffee shops.
Best beach to surf at:
Truth Coffee: Coffee Appreciation Course
This is a call to all coffee lovers out there! You can now take your love of coffee to the next level with Truth Coffee’s ‘Coffee Appreciation’ course where you will delve into the history and origin of coffee. Here you will hear interesting facts about coffee, take a tour of the roastery and be'an chamber, learn how to prepare the perfect cup and of course to have your taste buds sing with the prospect of tasting a few hot brews to beat those winter blues!
Whale Watching and Schulphoek House
“COME TO WHERE WHALES PLAY!”
If you want to know the best times to see some Southern Right whales in the beautiful waters of Hermanus, then come by anytime between June and November. Watch these majestic mammals as they frolic around in the waters of Hermanus rearing their heads and smacking their tails. They are truly a sight to behold! While in Hermanus, head on over to the stunning Schulphoek Guest House, situated 164 feet from Schulphoek Bay, where you can get your fill of delectable wines and locally sourced cuisine!
Visit the KWV Wine Emporium
If you’re all about tastings and keeping warm, then you’ll LOVE the KWV Wine Emporium. Here you can enjoy a multitude of pairings such as Wine/Brandy Tasting, Wine & Artisan Pie Tasting, Biltong, Nut & Wine Tasting, Chocolate & Brandy Tasting, Sweet Wine/Liqueur & Cake Tasting, and MCC & Cheesecake Pairing. Be sure to book a transfer for this one, so that you’re able to enjoy the full experience without the worry of getting home or to the next stop!
take a hike
Looking for a way to get some exercise in? Take a hike this winter on some of the numerous hiking trails dotting Cape Town and the surrounding areas. Winter hikes offer crisp mornings and extraordinary views as rain showers ensure flourishing greens all around. Cape Town fortunately offers many different levels of difficulty when it comes to hiking, some paths can be completed in just 20 mins and others could set you back all day. Novice or expert, there’s a trail for you.
Here are some of the best hiking trails to explore:
Lion’s Head | Skeleton Gorge | Jonkershoek | Newlands Forest | Woodstock Cave
Eating, drinking, and exercising aren’t the only things you can do during the colder months, you can also go see some of Africa’s greatest wildlife! Going on a winter safari in South Africa means you escape the dense crowds and summer heat. This is the time where bushes have less foliage, making wildlife easier to spot and where more elusive animals emerge from their hiding spots and grace safari-goers with their presence.
Where you can go on a Safari:
Samara Private Game Reserve | Addo Elephant National Park | Shamwari Game Reserve | Etosha National Park | Kruger National Park | Aquila Safari Private Game Reserve