Cape Town with Kids
Penguins, Table Mountain & Beautiful Beaches
Hi and welcome to South Africa Cape Town with kids. This is part four of four of a 20-day road trip itinerary from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and back. To make it easier for you I did not want to bundle the whole 20 days into one big blog post. Depending on your travel itinerary choose the area which interests you most and get a closer look.
If this is your first time to South Africa you might want to read our FAQ & MORE.
You will find Part 1-3 below
Part 1 * 5 Days – South Africa Garden Route road trip with kids – Whale watching in Hermanus Gansbaai & more
Part 2 * 6 Days – South Africa along The Garden Route with kids– Knysna & Plett area
Part 3 * 4 Days – South Africa with kids – Wild life encounter at the Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth
Read our full 20 day itinerary list Travelling to South Africa with Young Kids
Enjoy our South Africa Cape Town with kids – Part 4
Day 17 – Stonypoint Penguin Colony, scenic coastal drive & Cape Town
We overnighted in Mossel Bay on our way back from Port Elizabeth.
The four-hour drive to Stonypoint from Mossel Bay is beautiful. You will be driving through open farmland (mostly straw). On the right side the Overberg mountain range, on the left open fields and sometimes the ocean.
Stonypoint at Betty’s Bay, may not be your normal choice to see the penguins, but it is the less touristy and cheaper option than Boulders Beach at Simons Town. As we were driving past it on our way to Cape it made sense to stop and visit this place. The sea was wild and rough when we visited and as the area is very rocky and most of the penguins were in their molting periods, there was not a lot of movement and action to be seen. When penguins molt, they are unable to forage as their new feathers are not yet waterproof; so they are just sitting there and don’t move a lot.
The kids had a good run around especially after having been strapped in the car for four hours and enjoyed seeing these little creatures.
Even if you are not visiting Stonypoint, the drive from Betty’s Bay to Gordon’s Bay along the coast is well worth it and a must. A beautiful scenic drive, great secluded beaches with picnic areas, and best of all it is free of charge, no entry gate to pass!
We arrived in Cape Town at our accommodation at Dolphin Beach with the best view of Table Mountain. Amazing. Just what we wanted to finish our last few days.
Cape Town with kids can be quite tiring – as every city can be. The activities we have chosen are completely for a family with young kids. We have left out some major city attractions during our days in Cape Town, but felt on this visit that it was the right choice.
Day 18 –Bo-Kaap, Signal Hill & Camps Bay
Just below Signal Hill you find yourselves in what appears to be Lego land. A beautiful quarter of Cape Town City where all the houses are painted in bright, vibrant colours. We learned that the government is paying for the paint and asked the residents of Bo-Kaap to keep the façades of their houses nice and repaint if needed. It is definitely a place that needs to be seen when the sun is shining to enjoy the colours to the max.
One hour is probably enough to stroll through the streets, admire the amazing street art and maybe even buy a handmade South African souvenir like we did. Our son chose a plane made out of a Sprite can and our daughter a colourful zebra made out of beads.
As Bo-Kaap is already half way to Signal Hill we combined the two. It is a beautiful drive up to the top.
There are stunning views on every side including Table Mountain which lets you forget that you are actually in a city. This is also the meeting and take off point for Cape paragliding activities. There were some flights ongoing and it was fun to see them getting ready, and running off the mountain to fly over Camps Bay.
On top of Signal Hill you can make a little circular walk. It is also a very popular place to spend sunset.
Depending on where you’re staying, if it is not Camps Bay you might want to drive down and visit the up-market area with its large white sandy beach.
A large promenade stretches along the beach on one side of the road with several restaurants and shops on the other side.
We parked at the first free space we found and went for a run around on the beach. The waves were quite large and produced a cool mist as they broke. It was very atmosphereric. Be aware of the waves though as within only minutes of being there suddenly the waves came all the way in and several people were left with wet belongings.
We were back at the Atlantic Ocean and we certainly felt it. Further along the beach is a great playground and on the other side a patrolled and sheltered swimming area. Maybe this is the better place if you are visiting during summer time and plan to give it a go and swim in the Atlantic water.
As it was a Sunday when we visited, a lot of locals were down at the beach area with whole families having a picnic, playing at the beach and just having a good time.
Day 19 – Table Mountain
There is something you need to know. It is not always possible to go up Table Mountain due to the weather. The winds can be so unpredictable that even if it looks good from the bottom it is not always good at the top. Clouds can come in from behind within minutes and the top is reduced to zero visibility. Sirens will sound and the summit is closed very quickly. They call this phenomenon the ‘tablecloth’. When we visited the 1st time years back we hiked up and had an amazing day on the top. As soon as we left the top by cable car it was like someone pushed the button and turned on the fog machine in a nightclub. Clouds came over Table Mountain, fast and furious, and half way down the front face they disappeared into thin air. Spectacular. But it made us realise how unpredictable it can get.
Every day we checked the Table Mountain website for reports, and for the first 2 days it was actually closed due to strong winds. But we got lucky on day 3 and packed our belongings to go up there by cable car. By the way this is one of only three revolving cable cars in the world. Swiss engineering at it best.
TOP TIP: At the bottom before the road climbs to the cable car is a free of charge park and ride area. The bus drops you right at the cable car entry. I highly suggest that you take advantage of this service. As parking around the cable car station is very limited and it is possible that you need to park along the road, sometimes over 1 km away from the cabin. And with kids this is not much fun.
It is cheaper to go up in the afternoon or pre-book your ticket online. If Table Mountain is closed you can use pre-booked tickets on another day but be careful you don’t run out of days.
We arrived and there was a massive waiting queue. But to be honest it was not too bad and with the help of Peppa Pig on the phone we managed the 45 min wait like pros. The waiting area is well protected from the sun with umbrellas and permanent shelters.
It is beautiful on the top!!
And as the name says the top is pretty flat like a table. You can walk as long or as little as you like. Lots of different geckos kept us busy whilst walking around the designated circle path. Incredible views on all sides. You do need to keep an eye on your little ones in some areas, especially further away from the station as there are no protection fences anymore. The drop down to Cape Town is quite significant!
You will find a large restaurant on the top, reasonable prices and of course, with the most impressive views. Take your time up there, enjoy it as you never know when you will be back for another visit.
Day 20 – Scenic drive along the Cape point route number 4.
St. James’ Beach colourful beach huts :: Kalk Bay :: Simon’s Town, Boulder Beach :: Miller’s Point :: The Farm Village at Noordhoek & Chapman’s Peak Drive
We’re heading slowly but surely to the end of this amazing trip and the plan was to visit Cape Point with a few stops along the scenic Cape Point drive. From Cape Town take the main road number 4 along the coast and your 1st stop will be the tiny beach at St. James’s with the vibrant colourful beach huts. Not to be mixed up with (the maybe more famous) Muizenberg Beach.
Even if you’re not planning to go for a swim, it is well worth a stop just to enjoy the nice scenery. Although if you are looking for a safe and family friendly beach other than the famous large beaches around Cape Town City then this is definitely a great alternative. A man made shallow tidal pool protects the little ones from the great Atlantic waves and if you are there at a weekend you can mix with the locals. If this pool is too busy for you, there is another deeper pool further along but it did not look like there is a beach by it.
Parking is along the road next to the railway system and an underpass allows access to St. James’ Beach.
Carry on the main road 4 and you will pass right through a small quaint town called Kalk Bay. If you like lively coffee shops, garden restaurants, African art craft shops and street artists then this will be a great stop. The village also has a beach and a beautiful small port.
If you have not yet been to see the penguins at Stony Point then you might want to stop now in Simon’s Town with the famous Boulders Beach and their penguins. We skipped it as we had a great encounter previously with the Stony Point penguins so we carried on. If of interest Simon’s Town has a Military Port and a Naval Museum.
We were not aware of how beautiful this scenic road is, so much so that we stopped at nearly every corner and admired the amazing and rough nature South Africa has to offer.
The next stop on this beautiful stretch could be Miller’s Point. If we knew it beforehand we would have packed a picnic and stayed here for some time. Such a beautiful place with an amazing beach and all set up to spend the day there. The place was empty not a single soul. What a pity.
We arrived at the entry point to the Cape Point National Park. Guess what? We did not enter. My husband and I have been to the Point twice before the kids and although we planned to go there today we decided against it at the last minute. If you have never been, of course you need to pay the quite expensive entry fee and visit Cape Point. I think there is no question about it. But for us, as a family it was not an important point to tick on this trip. We also knew that along the drive back to our accommodation are still many nice other areas we wanted to stop including the famous and very scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive.
So we continued, direction Chapman’s Peak along the 65 which changes to the 6 passing by Misty Beach. We got a bit peckish and the kids needed a run around. Minutes after we agreed to stop we passed by the Noordhoek Farm Village, and spotted a playground. What a great stop this was. Definitely also an amazing day out if you’re staying for longer in Cape Town.
Visiting the Noordhoek Farm Village is like entering a movie setup. It gives a super relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You just want to stay and explore this little artisanal village more. A variety of Mexican, Potjies, Italian, Vegan & lots more pleases the avid food lover and with Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream (and it was kick-ass yummi) it is simply a food heaven. Fresh juice bars, clothing shops, art exhibitions, massage centre and much more are all there and waiting to be discovered.
For us the main area was of course the large outdoor playground which provided a safe & spacious area for the kids to have fun. As it was a Sunday when we visited an entertainer occupied the kids at the playground whilst a musician playing joyful tunes in the nearby restaurant entertained the adults. I fully understand why this place was packed with locals. What a great way of spending a relaxed Sunday with the family.
It was time to leave this beautiful place and carry on with our drive. Next part was Chapman’s Peak. One of the most scenic drives in South Africa.
I suggest you make the drive from south to north. Having done both ways, I feel it is much more scenic and impressive this way, plus the stopping places are easier to enter as they are on your left. You can drive nearly half of Chapman’s Peak before you come to the paying point. There is always the option to turn around, but honestly don’t. As it is not an expensive fee pass the toll booth and carry on to Hout Bay.
Make the most out of this drive and stop at every layby. If you drive it like we did, at the end of the day you will be rewarded with warm, deep summer sunset colours. What more can you wish for?
When we saw the large beach at Hout Bay with its massive waves, we just needed to stop and have a run around and for sure get wet. A fun way to end an amazing last afternoon in South Africa. Tomorrow is home time.
Day 21 – Bugz Amusement Park & flight home
One last morning stroll on the beautiful Dolphin Beach in front of our accommodation before we had to check out. And guess what, today is perfect beach weather, no wind at all.
Most flights out from Cape Town will be during the late afternoon or evening. This can create a bit of a problem if you have to check out of your accommodation at 10am. But we found the perfect place only 30min from the international airport, where you can spend the whole day and the kids are in paradise. Bugz, a crazy family friendly place of pure joy for kids up to the age of 12. It features all kinds of different jungle gyms, a water section, rides, petting zoo, picnic areas and a restaurant. This place is amazing and on top of it all super cheap. You can pay a VIP ticket which gives the kids unlimited rides for 70 Rand (around Chf 5), or you pay a small entry fee and buy the tokens. In my opinion take the VIP tickets and let your kids have unlimited fun.
We all had a great time, and by the time we returned to the car, checked in and boarded the plane we had two pretty tired but super happy kids with us. Guess what, we all had a nice sleep on the 12 hours overnight flight back home.
Also in the area which you may be interested in (not visited by us this time)
- Hike up Lions Head for sunset if your kids are older and used to hiking. Otherwise skip it.
- Stroll along the V&A Waterfront, where the city meets the sea.
- Drive along to Cape Point
- Wine tasting in Franshoek or Stellenbosch
If you have missed the other parts click on the link below to get the full story.
If you liked the read please do share it, Thank you. Never forget to travel
Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife, a small holiday rental business owner and founder of Packed Again – family travel & adventure site. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.
Being out there as a family, either locally or whilst travelling is super important for our whole well-being and sanity Travelling has always been a passion of mine. Globetrotting the world for over 14 years, part of it together with my husband, has shown us some of the most amazing places and we were able to make some incredible encounters with locals, animals and the nature itself. The love and passion for all the above has now been transferred to our children who already at three are some great nomads in the making.
It is our aim to encourage all families which are daunted and uncomfortable taking the kids travelling to go out there as a family. Do it once and you will not regret it!
Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina
Change the way you SEE things, and the things you see will CHANGEWayne Dyer