Top 10 Cape Town Out-of-Town Excursions

By Michael Sieburg & Alison Bradley
Breede River flowing through Bontebok National Park, South Africa
WILD TO MILD: Breede River flowing through Bontebok National Park, South Africa (South African National Parks)

6. Paddle the Breede River
Only two hours' drive from Cape Town, the Breede River offers a magnificent outdoor escape as it winds its way through the wine lands below the Langeberg Mountains. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing paddle on a canoe trip through this picturesque landscape, on water that's typically quite mild, except after some heavy rains. The largest fruit- and wine-producing valley in the Western Cape, the Breede River Valley is also known for its indigenous fauna and flora, including birdlife such as fish eagles, jackal buzzards, herons, and kingfishers. Make a day-trip of it or upgrade to an overnight camping—or should that be "glamping"?—expedition on the banks of the river, with delicious meals cooked by experienced guides from Felixe Unite River Adventures, an outfitter that has been organizing river-rafting trips here for over 20 years. Downriver, the luxe Breede River Lodge fronts the widening river as its spills out into San Sebastian Bay and the Indian Ocean.

When to Go: Early spring (September to October) for highest water flows; river runs lower over the summer months, though still a pleasant float—just at a much slower pace!
Driving Distance from Cape Town: Paarl (40 miles), Worcester (70 miles)


Published: 24 Mar 2010 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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