While Cape Town is a spectacular city with lots to offer, don’t think for a second that the action stops at the city edges. There are a number of small towns in the Cape Town area that promises spectacular sights and lots of fun. While volunteering at Dreams To Reality, your weeks will be spent working in disadvantaged communities and helping those who need it most, but your weekends will be free and you can explore these hidden jewels of South Africa.
Franschhoek lies in the heart of the Cape Winelands, and is its own distinct fusion of France and Africa. The town was given to the French Huguenots who fled religious persecution in 1699, and their influence can clearly be seen in every aspect of the town from the fine food to the surrounding vineyards and the local art. Walking through the town is a constant delight with home-made cheeses, preserves, chocolates, bakeries, and breads on display and wine tasting is also a popular activity.
Paternoster, which means “Our Father” and derives its name from the prayers of shipwrecked Portugese sailors, is a picturesque coastal town and the perfect weekend getaway. With its colourful fishing boats, thrown onto white sandy beaches, tiny fishermen’s houses and huge boulder’s overlooking the bay, it’s the kind of village that settles the soul. Beach braai’s are a local tradition and whales and dolphins can often be spotted in the ocean.
This quaint little town is one of South Africa’s foremost artist colonies- the kind of town where horses roam the streets and Victorian palaces guard the roads. But it first attracted attention for the beautiful wildflowers that blossoms in the spring which inspired restaurants, coffee shops and a buzzing local tourist industry. It has also become the home of well-known South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys’s theatre, Evita se Perronn, named after his alter-ego Evita Bezuidenhout.
This popular holiday town is also known as the best land-based whale watching site in the world.
With its miles of sandy beaches, coves and endless adventure options, it’s easy to see why people from all over the country choose this town to spend their holidays and weekends. Hermanus has various art/food and craft markets that are held in and around the town every weekend. Its annual whale festival at the end of September celebrates the returning of the southern right whales to the bay for calving and mating season and is definitely not to be missed.
Founded by the Dutch, Stellenbosch is as quaint as it is diverse, as cultured as it is active, as historically rich as it is modern and definitely one of the most popular towns in the area. It is home to the world-renowned Stellenbosch University and is consequently steeped in a culture of knowledge while the splendid, mountainous background sets the scene for every activity. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is world famous and includes 106 cellars, most of which are visited by millions of thirsty travellers each year.