With its street music, cosmopolitan buzz, markets and busking acts,
as well as a multitude of alfresco cafés and restaurants
to take a rest in, Cape Town is a great city for exploring on foot.
(telephone: (021) 426 4252, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org),
offers 3‘Cape Town on Foot’ walking tours of the city.
The Full City Walking Tour takes 2 and a half hours
to cover the main sights of the city centre, these depart from the
Cape Town Tourism office from Monday to Friday at 11.00 am and cost
R 100 per person. The 1 hour City Highlights tour also departs from
Cape Town Tourism office at 9.30 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
costing R 50. The 1 hour Bo-Kaap Experience tour departs from the
Bo-Kaap Musuem, 71 Wale Street, at 9.30 am Tuesday and Thursday
and costs R 75 (including museum entrance fee).
(telephone: (021) 511 1784, facsimile: (021) 511 2401, email address:
runs a frequent open topped double decker bus tour called the Cape
Town Topless Tour, which takes in all the major sights of Cape Town,
with a running commentary. The 2 hour tour can be hailed anywhere
along the route and takes in the V & A Waterfront, Sea Point,
District Six (Zonnebloem) and Camps Bay.
Buses run from the Cape Town Tourism office daily from 9.30 to 7.10
pm (summer) and 9.30 am to 5.10 (winter). The R 90 hop on hop off
tickets are valid all day and can be bought on the bus, at the Cape
Town Tourism Visitor Information Centres or in advance from Hylton
Ross. The company also offers half day tours of Cape Town,
including Table Mountain (cableway tickets not included) and a boat
trip of the V & A Waterfront, departing daily 7.45 am to 12.30
pm and costing R 250, as well as full day township tours,
Monday to Saturday 8.30 am to 1.00 pm, costing R 260 (concessions
Grassroute Tours (telephone: (021) 706 1006, facsimile:
(021) 705 0798, email address: email@example.com)
offers a half day Rainbow Tour of District Six (Zonnebloem) and
the townships, with an option of continuing the tour with a trip
to Robben Island. Pick up and drop off is arranged and tours (excluding
Robben Island) run from 8.30 am / 9.00 am to 1.00 pm / 1.30 pm.
Boat Company (telephone: (021) 418 5806, facsimile: (021) 418
5821) offers a variety of tours, from harbour tours
to excursions and champagne cruises, departing
from the V&A Waterfront Quay Five. Tours range from a half hour
harbour cruise (R 30) to a full day fishing trip (R 1,600).
Whale watching tours are available during the season
(June to November), these take 3 to 4 hours and cost R 350. Thrill
seekers might enjoy a high speed 1 hour motorboat trip to Clifton
beach for R 300. A well liked pastime is a stunning sunset sailing
experience across Table Bay, which costs R 170 and includes sparkling
The Waterfront Information Office (telephone: (021)
408 7600, facsimile: (021) 408 7605, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
provides information on other tours available from the V&A Waterfront.
Boat tours to see the Cape Fur Seals on Duiker Island
in False Bay are run by Drumbeat Charters (telephone: (021) 790
4859). All cruises, which depart from Hout Bay Harbour, cost R 45
and take about 40 minutes.
(telephone: (021) 511 4766, facsimile: (021) 511 4768, email address:
organises numerous bicycle tours, including the ‘Cape Point
Tour’, which follows the Atlantic Coast past Hout Bay and
Chapman’s Peak to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and
on to Boulders Beach. The full day tour costs R
350, including entrance fees and picnic lunch. Other cycling tours
include a Winelands tour, numerous mountain biking tours, and a
whale watching tour (July to November). Adventure
Village (telephone: (021) 424 1580, facsimile: (021) 424 1590,
email address: email@example.com)
operates a similar service.
(telephone: (021) 419 5182, facsimile: (021) 419 5183, email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org) and NAC
Makana Aviation (telephone: (021) 425 3868, facsimile: (021)
425 3858, email address: email@example.com)
both offer 20 minute, 30 minute and 1 hour helicopter tours. Civair
flights cost R 1,800, R 2,700 and R 5,400 respectively, while NAC
Makana flights cost from R 1,600, R 2,400 and R 4,800 respectively.
Civair also offers 50 minute Winelands tours from R 9,000.
Excursions for half day
This windswept peninsula, where the cold Benguela current and the
warm Mozambique current unite, is the mythical meeting place of
the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the physical meeting place is actually
100 kilometres (62 miles) to the east, at Cape L’Agulhas.
(telephone: (021) 780 9010 / 11) is located in the Cape of Good
Hope Nature Reserve at the far tip of the massive 7,750
hectare (19,151 acre) Table
Mountain National Park (telephone: (021) 701 8692, facsimile:
(021) 701 8773, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Situated 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the city centre, along the
M4 via Simon’s Town, Cape Point is home to a brilliant array
of wildlife, including zebra, bontebok, lynx, ostrich
and baboons, as well as some of the rarest plants on Earth. Visitors
are advised to be cautious of the baboons as they can be dangerous,
especially where food is involved, there is a fine for feeding them.
The Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre (telephone: (021)
780 9204, facsimile: (021) 780 9321), which has exhibitions, audio
visual displays and information on the areas natural and cultural
wealth, is open daily 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. An overnight facility
at Bordjiesrif is in the preparation stages. An added bonus is the
Two Oceans Restaurant
(telephone: (021) 780 9200, facsimile: (021) 780 9060, email address:
which is perched on the cliff above the Atlantic Ocean, as well
as curio shops. Admission to the reserve costs R 35 per adult (concessions
available) and it is open daily 6.00 am to 6.00 pm (September to
April) and 7.00 am to 5.00 pm (May to August).
Constantia Wine Route
Located approximately 17 kilometres (11 miles) or a 25 minute drive
south of the city centre, the Constantia Wine Route presents a handy
alternative to a longer trip to the Boland. There are more than
400 wine producers in South Africa and the Constantia Valley area
is home to 5 of the Cape’s top estates,
Groot Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Klein Constantia, Constantia
Uitsig and Steenberg Vineyards.
Africa’s oldest wine estate, Groot
Constantia, off the M41 Constantia Road (telephone: (021) 794
5128, facsimile: (021) 794 1999, email address: email@example.com),
with its original manor house and wine
museum (telephone: (021) 795 5140, facsimile: (021) 795 5150),
gives a fascinating insight into early colonial life in the Cape
(admission is R 10). There is also the elegant Jonkershuis
Restaurant (telephone: (021) 794 6255; facsimile: (021)
794 4813, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tasting takes place daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (May to November)
and 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (December to April) at a cost of R 20 per
person (this includes 5 wines and a souvenir tasting glass).
The family owned Klein
Constantia, Klein Constantia Road (telephone: (021) 794 5188,
facsimile: (021) 794 2464, email address: email@example.com),
offers some choice Cape wines for tasting in particularly
friendly company. Buitenverwachting,
Klein Constantia Road (telephone: (021) 794 5190, facsimile: (021)
794 1351, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org),
is renowned for its exclusive restaurant and pleasant picnic area.
Uitsig, Spaanschmat River Road (telephone: (021) 794 1810, facsimile:
(021) 794 1812, email address: email@example.com),
translates to ‘Constantia View’ and the farm offers
visitors not only brilliant wine but the charming Spaanschemat
River Café and 2 superb restaurants; La Colombe
is the best. Finally, Steenberg
Vineyards, Steenberg Road (telephone: (021) 713 2211, facsimile:
(021) 713 2201, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org),
makes up for its doubtful location opposite Pollsmore Prison with
a golf course, an exclusive hotel and a restaurant.
Visitor Information Centres can offer further information on the
Constantia Wine Route. Most of the estates are open for wine tasting
at least from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (weekdays) and 9.00 am to 1.00
a whole day
A tour of the Boland (‘uplands’ or ‘toplands’)
reveals a world of dramatic mountain ranges, crystal
clear rivers swarming with trout, stunning valleys and the Western
Cape’s bucolic Winelands, dotted with historic wine estates.
There are 14 officially selected ‘wine routes’ incorporating
several wine estates that are open to the public.
Mother City Tours (telephone: (021) 448 3817, facsimile:
(021) 448 3844) offers a full day ‘Three Cape Winelands’
tour of the Boland estates, costing R 430. Bacchanalian tourists
who choose to go it alone with 1 of the several route maps accessible
from Cape Town Tourism (see Tourist Information) should always make
sure there is a designated driver who abstains from drinking.
Somerset West is half an hour from the city centre
on the R 44 off the N2 highway. This busy town nestles in a basin
created by the soaring peak of Helderberg (‘Clear Mountain’)
and the Hottentots Holland mountain range. Here, the Vergelegen
wine farm, Lourensford Road (telephone: (021) 847 1334, facsimile:
(021) 847 1608), was built in 1700 and is 1 of the most gracious
and flawlessly situated of all the old Cape Dutch homesteads, offering
cellar tours, wine tasting, a superb restaurant and library containing
rare volumes of early Africana.
Nature Reserve (telephone: (021) 851 4060, email address: email@example.com)
is situated just before the turn off to Vergelegen and comprises
many kilometres of hiking trails and paths with stunning views over
the Helderberg Basin.
South Africa’s 2nd oldest town, Stellenbosch,
produces a 3rd of all the wine in the Cape and also possesses the
longest wine route in the world. Named after the Dutch governor,
Simon van der Stel, this university town is 1 of the best preserved
of all South African settlements. The Stellenbosch Village Museum,
18 Ryneveld Street (telephone: (021) 887 2902, facsimile: (021)
883 2232, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org),
tells the story and consists of 4 carefully restored and furnished
buildings built between 1709 and 1850, the museum is open Monday
to Saturday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Stellenbosch is situated on the
R310 off the N2 highway.
South Africa’s ‘French quarter’, Franschhoek,
was named after the French Huguenots who fled Catholic discrimination
and began arriving at the Cape in 1688. Today, the valley is well
known for its wine and great food. Situated off the N1, the area
is key to much of South Africa’s distant and recent history.
The Huguenot Memorial,
Lambrecht Street (telephone: (021) 876 2532, facsimile: (021) 876
3649, email address: email@example.com),
traces the history of the Huguenots, open Monday to Saturday 9.00
am to 5.00 pm and Sunday 2.00 am to 5.00 pm. Whilst to the west,
on the R303, is the Victor Verster Prison, from where Nelson Mandela
walked to freedom on 11 February 1990.
Over Sir Lowry’s pass and beyond South Africa’s oldest
inn, the Houwhoek Inn, the Western Cape landscape transforms into
the harsh beauty of the Overberg, approximately 170 kilometres (106
miles) east from Cape Town at its central point. This region is
the gateway to Africa’s southernmost tip, Cape L’Agulhas,
located approximately a 3 hour drive southeast of Cape Town, accessible
on the N2. Here, the 2 oceans meet in a spectacular show of natural
The L’Agulhas Lighthouse (telephone: (028)
435 6078) and Zuidste Kaap (telephone: (028) 435 6034) restaurants
both provide a exclusive location in which to dine out, the totally
operational lighthouse, which is over 150 years old, also doubles
as a museum and curio shop, open daily 9.00 am to 4.30 pm (entrance
is R 10). The southernmost point is located 1 kilometre (0.6 miles)
of the lighthouse. Visitors should take note, however, not to book
any tours that involve 4 X 4 driving on the dunes and beaches as
this is extremely harmful to the delicate seafront wildlife (some
of which are endangered species) and also illegal.
Nearby, the 14 kilometres (9 miles) of nonstop white sand beach
(the longest in the Southern Hemisphere) of Struuisbaai
offers beautiful bathing. Further afield, the practically untouched
charm of Arniston delights visitors with a traditional fishing village,
Kassiesbaai, which has been confirmed, in its entirety, as a national
monument. Hermanus, another coastal town in the Overberg region,
dubbed ‘the Riviera of the Overberg’ for its wealthy
stature, is the major whale spotting location, 1 of the best in
the world, with a yearlyl 10 day whale
watching festival in September / October.
The sleepy town of Greyton is famous for its arty locals
and this is predominantly evident during the winter months, when
Winter Festival takes place in June. It consists a moonlight
market among other rustic delights. Several other towns are worth
visiting, such as the fruit farming paradise of Grabouw
and the serious charm of Napier.
Touring Company (telephone: (021) 935 0733, facsimile: (021)
935 0737, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
offers whale watching tours. For those who wish to spend more
than just 1 day exploring this wonderful region, Cape
Quest (telephone: (021) 674 2555, facsimile: (021) 674 3614,
email address: email@example.com)
has numerous tour options with bed and breakfast accommodation in
the Overberg. The Overberg Tourism Office (telephone:
(028) 214 1466, facsimile: (028) 212 1380, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
provides further information on destinations within the Overberg.