12 affordable weekend getaways near Cape Town

Posted on 7 March 2022

If you’re planning to take a weekend off from the hustle and bustle of the Mother City, here are 12 weekend getaways near Cape Town you should consider. One of them could just be that much-needed escape you’ve been longing for.

Please note that the prices below are subject to change at each establishment’s discretion and should serve as a comparative guide only. Check with each establishment before making a booking.

1. Arumvale Country Lodge, Swellendam

Price: From R650 per person per night.
Travel time from Cape Town: 2 hours 25 minutes

The Rustic Cottage at Arumvale is the sort of place where you could bunker down for the long haul. Although it’s small (it’s a converted labourer’s cottage), you have the best view of Swellendam’s Hermitage Valley through double doors at the foot of the bed, which makes it seem spacious. The cottage is one cosy room with an adjoining bathroom and a two-plate gas stove – perfect for two. If you’re looking for more space, head 30 metres up the hill to the two-storey Anneline Suite. It sleeps four, and the mezzanine bedroom has a terrace that offers more jaw-dropping views.

Field and Fork (tel  072 157 0055), in Swellendam’s heritage area, is a five-minute drive away and is worth a visit just to see the building, which forms part of the Drostdy Museum. The seasonal menu changes every few weeks, but you can count on delicious food and great service. Taste berry liqueurs at the nearby Wildebraam Berry Estate (tel 028 514 3132) or explore the trails that meander into the kloof from your front door.

Note: There’s no electricity, but there is LED lighting and a hot-cold-hot-cold gas shower.

Contact: Tel 02 5143545, arumvale.com

2. KolKol Mountain Lodge, Bot River

Price: From R2,300 a night for two guests
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour

As you ascend the gravel Van der Stel Pass just beyond Bot River, there’s no expecting the beauty that awaits at KolKol Mountain Lodge. The log cabins look out over an expansive fynbos valley (part of Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve) and you’ll seldom be aware of other guests when you lie back in the hot tub on the porch and drink in the undisturbed quiet. Fitted with handmade furniture, a gas stove and a braai outside, the cabins are rustic but have all the necessary comforts – even the wood is chopped, piled and ready to be lit.

Take your pick from one of the four cabins (sleep four to 10 people) or the tent set up high on the hill. If you’re a couple or a small family, Bugsy’s snug character will charm your shoes off. Although it sleeps four, the upstairs loft is intended for two kids (with mattresses on the floor). Breathe in the fresh fynbos aromas through the bedroom’s large windows, before sinking into the king-sized bed.

The kitchens are fully equipped, but if you head out for lunch, Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate (tel 028 284 9865), 15 kilometres away, will give you 10 percent off your bill if you take along your cabin key. The three-kilometre nature trail that runs from the cabins is a great way to explore the surroundings. A map of the trail accompanies your welcome note.

Contact: Tel 076 9136014, kolkol.co.za

3. Windtown South Africa, Langebaan

Price: From R1,600 per night
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour 30 minutes

Windtown South Africa is a boutique hotel based on a simple concept: holidays that are centred on Langebaan’s two favourite sports: kite- and windsurfing. And what better location than two blocks from the lagoon? (The original Windtown is in Brazil and the owners found the West Coast town the perfect fit for number two.) When you’re not on the water, rooms open onto a sheltered courtyard and sociable pool area (if you want a bit more privacy, book a room on the top level). Inside, the walls are simply washed in dark brown and beige with natural wood and striking red lamps adding character. It’s not overly fancy and the painted screed floors are easy to clean if you tread sea sand into the room (as you should on such an outdoorsy holiday – the on-site shop rents and sells all sorts of watersports gear). Windtown’s Breeze restaurant is a top dinner choice among locals – book a table when checking in to avoid being turned away. The catch of the day is the obvious choice, but the Asian prawn curry bursts with flavour.

Contact: Tel 0227721064, windtown-sa.com

4. Aloe Ridge, Swellendam

Price: From R1,150 to R2,625 per night, depending on the season
Travel time from Cape Town: 2 hours 25 minutes

Aloe Ridge, Swellendam

With its high ceilings, open-plan living areas, floor-to-ceiling windows and private pool decks overlooking the Breede River, Aloe Ridge is beautiful.

A cobbled pathway leads up to the entrances of the five newly built houses that rest on a ridge overlooking the river, near Swellendam. Inside, the richly textured stone and wood surfaces and sleek furnishings create an elegant, earthy atmosphere. The two en-suite bedrooms flank the living area on either side, giving you a degree of privacy. Comfy beds (choose a double or two singles) and large cupboards will make you feel at home, and luxurious touches such as indoor and outdoor showers and big baths. Cooking is a social affair in the modern open-plan kitchen as well as the built-in braai area under the patio, where you’ll find 50 pieces of wood on arrival – once you’ve made the tough choice of dining inside or outside (depending on the weather), it’s down to drawing straws to see who’ll pack the dishwasher. The houses have everything you need for self-catering, but the tap water isn’t drinkable (you’re supplied with 10 litres, so you may need to take extra for an extended stay).

The Breede River area is cold during winter, but nothing the inside fireplace can’t sort out. There’s also DStv, but the real highlight here is watching African fish eagles circling above the river as you swim, kayak or fish in the water.

Contact: Tel 0873540578, aloeridgebreede.co.za

5. Mountain Mist, Betty’s Bay

Price: From R1,950 a night for the house (sleeps six)
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour 15 minutes

It’s unusual to say that the best thing about a holiday house is that it’s away from the beach, but that’s exactly what sets Mountain Mist apart from many of the other options in Betty’s Bay: you’re a little way away from the seaside crowds.

Just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town and close to the country’s whale capital, Hermanus, it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac and tucked in the fynbos against the Kogelberg mountains. All the bedrooms and the lounge in this six-sleeper house have beautiful views and decor is neutral, so you can fully appreciate these panoramas.

Modern amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine, a flat-screen TV with limited DStv and a DVD player. There’s a master en-suite and two rooms that share an adjoining bathroom. The garden with its loungers and cold-water spa bath is a great place to relax if you don’t feel like trekking down to the beach and Mountain Mist is equipped for year-round stays, with a fireplace, electric blankets on all beds and an undercover braai area.

Contact: Tel 0761266912, mountain-mist.co.za

6. Miskloof Farm, near Ceres

Price: From R3,000 a night for up to six people (R250 a person thereafter)
Travel time from Cape Town: 2 hours

Calling this a secluded farm is an understatement. Without electricity or cellphone reception and surrounded by rocky hills, Miskloof is the kind of hideaway you need to go back to again and again. A large barn has been converted into a 10-sleeper house with an entertainment area that’s great for a group. The quiet encourages you to chill with a book, take a stroll or relax in the terraced lounge. Spend summer days at the pool (a converted reservoir) with loungers overlooking the mountains, or at the sundowner deck, waiting for the purple and orange hues of dusk to make way for night. You won’t have to worry about being left in the dark – sufficient candles and lanterns are provided. There’s an indoor braai area and a kitchen with gas stove and utensils.

Pack all essentials and groceries as the closest eatery is 50 kilometres away in Ceres. There’s a special track for quad biking (take your own quad bikes), as well as mountain-biking and walking routes. Pack a few carrots for the donkeys that pop by.

Note: The gravel road to Miskloof is better suited to high-clearance vehicles. A 4×4 is needed to get to the sundowner deck.

Contact: Tel 0829784965, alisongeeling.wixsite.com/miskloof

7. Oudebosch Eco Cabins, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

Price: From R1,100 a night for four, plus conservation fees (R40)
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour 20 minutes

Oudebosch Eco Cabins

Don’t be misled by the word ‘cabin’ – Oudebosch is far from the teeny, rustic accommodation that may spring to mind. Picture modern, glass and timber houses linked by raised wooden walkways leading to a sparkling swimming pool. The five self-catering units were constructed from renewable materials with little impact on the surrounds. Each has a roof garden and quirky touches such as chandeliers made of recycled bottles add character to the minimalistic rooms. Cabins sleeps four guests each in two bedrooms and bathrooms have a shower, basin and self-composting toilet (you’ll soon get used to not flushing). The lounge, dining room and kitchenette area opens onto a deck or courtyard.

Getting in and out of the reserve to eat at a nearby restaurant is tricky at night as there are no lights, so it’s best to prepare your own meals. To truly appreciate the tranquility here, open the sliding doors and let the breeze filter through – a treat in the summer heat – or spend an afternoon lazing on the pool deck.

Contact: Tel 087 087 8250, capenature.co.za
Also read: What to do and where to stay in Hermanus

8. Oewerzicht, Greyton

Price: Cottages from R 990 a night
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour 50 minutes

Oewerzicht, Greyton

The first thing to do when arriving at Oewerzicht is to kick off your shoes, roll up your jeans and wade into the cool waters of the Sonderend River with the family. The variety of accommodation options adds to its charm: a caravan park and campsite on grassy banks, a farmhouse a little further upstream and a cottage on a hill where you can gaze out over the water. However, the safari tents stand out. The trek across the suspension bridge is entirely worth it when you arrive at your tent under the trees, kitted out with beds, kitchenette and outdoor braai. Kids will love playing in the water or on the far-stretching embankments while you sit back and keep an eye on the activity.

All accommodation options are self-catering and every unit and campsite has its own braai. If you feel like a sit-down meal, Greyton is 10 kilometres away and boasts a handful of cafes and restaurants. Take on the 20-kilometre mountain-bike trail that runs through the farm. You can also enjoy a leisurely hike along this route. Most of the trees in the camping area are still too small to create enough shade, so take a canopy.

Contact: Tel 0282549831, oewerzicht.co.za

9. Old Mac Daddy, Elgin Valley

Price: From R1,995 a night for Trailer suites
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour

Old Mac Daddy, Elgin

Scattered on a hill surrounded by the Elgin Valley orchards are 12 shiny silver Airstream trailers. With names like For ‘Better or For Boerewors’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’, each oozes character, with decor and colour schemes as elaborate as the next. The plush Mills and Boon trailer is bound to stir up the provocative in you and pink velvet curtains, cushioned walls and prints of good-looking couples may inspire you to read one of the classic romance novels stacked under the (very pink) couch. The trailers are cleverly designed to offer a surprising amount of space. Two are perched beside the dam, with outdoor decks and bathrooms inside. The other 10 are connected to a private bathroom, elevated balcony and living area where two kids can sleep on couches.

The on-site restaurant serves woodfired pizzas and the seasonal grills and pastas are divine. Alternatively, enjoy an afternoon braai beside the pool. Hire a fishing rod (R50) to catch and release bass in the dam at the foot of the hill. All products in the bathrooms are eco-friendly and shower water is recycled. Wooden walkways between the trailers and the restaurant cause as little possible disturbance to the natural surroundings.

Contact: Tel 0218440241, oldmacdaddy.co.za
Also read: Zip through a World Heritage Site with Cape Canopy Tours

10. River Goose Campsite, Bonnievale

Price: R180 per person
Travel time from Cape Town: 2 hours 15 minutes

River Goose Campsite is just over two hours from Cape Town, on the Eureka farm on the banks of the Breede River. Guests can choose between eight campsites and all of them are on grass. All the sites share an ablution block with flush toilets, showers and hot water. A shop, wood and braai facilities are available and campers can enjoy fishing, swimming, canoeing or bird-watching. If you are up for more, you can visit the Marloth Nature Reserve near Swellendam, Soekershof in Robertson which has 10 hectares of mazes formed by plants. It’s pet-friendly too!

Contact: Tel 0827595727 rivergoosecampsite.co.za
Also read: 16 of the best backpackers in Cape Town

11. Nerina Guest Farm, Robertson

Price: Private Bushcamp R450 per unit, and R2,500 to book the whole camp
Travel time from Cape Town: 1 hour 45 minutes

Nerina Guest Farm is situated on the banks of the Breede River, 15km from Robertson and around 150km from Cape Town. The Summer Bush Camp comprises five semi-permanent units on the banks of the Breede River. There is no electricity, but each unit has its own chemical toilet and a shower. There is also a lapa equipped for cooking or braaing. Nerina has various accommodations which include the Manor House, the genuine old farmhouse, a B&B room, a rondavel and the Summer Bush Camp. The farm offers an interesting variety of activities such as horse-riding, trails and lovely breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises which can be booked on request.

Contact: Tel 082 744 2580 nerinaguestfarm.com

12. 5 Mountain Lodge and Spa, Wellington

Price: From R1,650 per cottage per night,
Travel time from Cape Town: 45 minutes

5 Mountain Lodge and Spa is a 4-star elegant country retreat, only 45 minutes from Cape Town, set in the historic Bainskloof Pass amongst beautiful gardens and working vineyards. Guests can choose between light and airy cottages with private verandas, or the luxurious suite with its own private courtyard garden. All rooms have air-conditioning and DStv. Guests can combine sumptuous country living with sightseeing, wine tours, mountain-biking, horse-riding or simply relax by the pool. The Spa caters for up to 12 guests per day, and whilst revelling in the wide range of treatments on offer, guests can enjoy the tranquility of the spa’s garden, pull up a sun-lounger on the beautiful green lawns, or just relax on the stoep.

Contact: Tel 0218643409, 5mountainslodge.com


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