From Cape Town to the Sunshine Coast: Press refresh in these cool local summer escapes

From house boats in the West Coast to morning rains in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa has an almost-unlimited amount of travel options for summer. Go beach, don't go bush (too hot!), go hike, go swim, zipline in Mossel Bay or go taste wine in Robertson - there are plenty to do for everyone. 

Here are just a few summer escapes perfect for anyone who loves summer, and hates everything else: 

Cape Town's pools and tidal pools 

In Cape Town's CBD there's a rooftop bar around almost every corner, haunts that fill up fast in summer for sparkling cocktails under warm rays and views of Table Mountain. Many of them also feature wonderful pools for a refreshing dip. 

Alternatively, go take a delightful dip in one of the many tidal pools scattered about the Mother City. You can even join the swim-risers in the early am for some swims and chill.

Do Knysna and the Garden Route

Roadtripping to the Garden Route is something every South African family or couple should experience.

While some might think the best views of a town is from somewhere higher up, the real winner is viewing it from the vantage of a boat sailing on the lagoon's still waters. Do this particularly in Knysna, as this is also a great way to escape the crowds that do find themselves here during the summer months. 

Whether you're heading to Knysna, Plett or Sedgefield, the Garden Route is one of those regions that will continue to draw crowds every season. Despite the influx of people into these sea-side towns, there is always a place for everyone to enjoy the nature, the food, and the adventures that are unique to this green and blue land and seascape. 

West Coast

Head up the coast and stop for a picnic and swim at The West Coast National Park, just before you hit Langebaan. Kraalbaai is a lekker sea-side picnic spot, but you can also braai up top close to where you park. It's a great way to spend the day.

And if you're clever, book a year or more in advance and score one of the house boats floating on the gorgeous lagoon. A summer filled with boat braais, lazing about and sporadic swims do not sound too shabby, hey? 

Travel further up this fynbos coast, all the way to the pretty fisherman's village of Velddrif. With so much to eat and see along the way, take it slow and steadily, stopping off at farm stalls promising roosterkoek with cheese and jam or home-made meat pies. In Velddrif, Bokkomlaan is THE place to visit, while taking in a boat trip is also mandatory.


Green in summer, dry in winter, KZN is the place to start if you're chasing the green. Waterfalls, the Howick Nelson Mandela Capture Site, rolling hills and delicious coffee spots (and gin distilleries!) can all be found in the Midlands. Go for a long weekend to meander, to discover and to indulge in the many cute arts and crafts shops scattered around this beautiful area. 

Eastern Cape

"The Eastern Cape is a treasure trove of experiences; it glitters and charms with diverse landscapes, biodiversity and cultural history stretching all the way from the Wild Coast to the Sunshine Coast, through the Amathole mountains, to the top of the highlands’ mountain passes, into the Karoo, with a city pit stop to the fruit of the Langkloof and the crashing waves and coca-cola coloured rivers of Tsitsikamma," writes Anje Rautenbach. 

From lively wilderness experiences to tranquil nature reserves, hiking activities and city parks and gardens - the Eastern Cape is brimming with spots where you can enjoy the best works of Mother Nature. 

You can even horse-ride on the beach...