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The Best Cape Town Activities

There is so much to see and do in and around Cape Town; explore the city on private tours focused on art, history, or community organizations, spend a day wine-tasting or explore the Cape Peninsula. Hike Table Mountain, take a helipoter ride over the city, dive with Sharks or explore Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Although you could spend weeks in Cape Town taking advantage of all it has to offer, we can help you weed through all the possible activities and pick a few that are best for you and your trip. These are some of our favorites to get you started! (Pictured below: Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront with Views of the Cape Grace)

Footsteps to Freedom, Cape Town city walking tour

Take a three hour journey back in time to glimpse what life during Cape Town's centuries of history.

Cycling through the Townships-Kyayelitsha in Cape Town

Meander past local shebeens (pubs) and butcheries grilling meat on the street, sample some local delicacies and greet friendly locals as you cycle your way through formal and informal settlements.

Jewish Heritage Tour

A half day visit to the Cape Town Jewish Museum,the Holocaust Museum and Synagogue. The synagogue was consecrated in 1905 when Cape Town boasted its first Jewish mayor, Hyman Liberman, who was also president of the congregation. In 1941, the South African community was reaching its peak of 118 200 Jews, nearly 30 000 of whom lived in the Western Cape.

Uthando Community Projects Tour

Uthando South Africa is an umbrella organization for a wide range of highly effective community projects across the country. In order to showcase these and offer a glimpse into the work being done to uplift the disadvantaged in South Africa, they offer daily scheduled excursions visiting the sprawling townships around Cape Town funded through Uthando. The Uthando tours offer a unique and authentic introduction to the social problems confronting so many millions of South Africans, while also illustrating the innovative and inspirational ways in which they are being handled by these marginalized communities. This is a really interesting experience that feels very authentic, it is one of our favorite options.

Cape Town Arts and Culture Tour

An art specialist takes you to the Cape Gallery, SA National Gallery, Casa Labia, Kalk Bay Gallery in one day.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Take a guided tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, arguably some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch lies on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and consists of landscaped gardens of indigenous plants and trees and natural forest that extend up to the lower slopes. Kirstenbosch covers 1,383 acres, 148 of which are cultivated; the remainder is a natural flora reserve. 9,000 of the estimated 20,000 species of indigenous South African flora can be found here.

Township and Drumming

In Langa, Cape Town's oldest township, a local guide will take you on a walk through the community visiting the infamous hostels which are now being converted into smart family apartments, an informal settlement or ‘squatter' camp, a community center and craft market and the Taxi rank, sequel to the Sharpville Massacre of 1960. A highlight is the interactive drumming session at the Guga S'Thebe Arts and Culture Centre.

African Cooking Experience

Start the day with a visit to the District 6 Museum in Cape Town. This is Cape Town's apartheid museum. This museum represents the memories of a community on the outskirts of Cape Town where over 60,000 people were forcefully removed from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's. Explore the museum and learn more about what led to apartheid and how it was implemented. Then travel to Langa township to cook at a small cookery school that provides the local residents with the skills needed to get jobs in the kitchens of the top hotels in Cape Town.

Home Hosted Dinner

Enjoy an authentic home cooked meal including many dishes typical to South Africa in a relaxed and comfortable environment, with fascinating conversation, and all prepared by your host family. Host families are located across the Cape Peninsula - from Bothasig in the north east, right across the Cape Flats and the townships, to the Southern Suburbs.

City Tour with Helicopter and Lunch at 12 Apostles

This morning your private guide will take you on a brief city tour of the city's highlights before heading to the Cableway at Table Mountain for a spectacular view over the city and ocean. You will then descend and head to the V&A Waterfront to board your helicopter for a 15 minute private helicopter tour of the city, surrounding beaches and coastline. You will be dropped off at the Twelve Apostles for lunch. After a leisurely lunch you will have a chance to hike the 12 Apostles Mountains behind the hotel on one of the trails which should take around 40 mins, before heading back to your hotel with your driver/guide.

Robbin Island Tour

A fascinating tour of the island prison (now museum) where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.

Cape Penisula and the Cape of Good Hope

Explore the southern most point of the African continent and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve that surrounds it, by car, bike or helicopter.

Full Day Peninsula with Sea Kayaking

Drive from the city to Simonstown to meet the sea-kayaking guide for a safety briefing, then gear up for a couple of hours of easy paddling in twin kayaks along the False Bay Coast. The safe, comfortable sit-on-top kayaks require almost no balance or skill. Paddle to Boulders Beach where a colony of African Penguins live, and view them from the ocean as they swim around this quaint little cove. Leave the kayaks on the beach at Seaforth and lunch at a seafood restaurant.

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Cycling the Cape of Good Hope

Depart your hotel in the early morning and travel along the spectacular Atlantic seaboard, past Hout Bay Harbor and via the picturesque Chapman's Peak Drive to the Noordhoek Farm Village. Here you will enjoy some light refreshments to energize you for your visit to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. On arrival at the reserve, you will have the opportunity to cycle along the winding road to the historical landmark of Cape Point, the most South-Western point of Africa (weather permiting). Continue to enjoy views from Cape Point Lighthouse before traveling to the naval hamlet of Simon's Town for lunch followed by a visit to Boulders Beach and the penguin colony.

One Hour Peninsula Helicopter Tour

On this unforgetable 1 hour tour you will explore the everything from the waterfront to Hout Bay and Seal Island to Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay to the Cape Point Nature Reserve and Constantia before returning to Cape Town.

Explore the Winelands

Spend a full day exploring the Winelands region below the spectacular Boland Mountains, only an hour from the city. Discover the internationally acclaimed vineyards of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek on the Western Cape. A stop at the historic estate of Boschendal (pictured below) will introduce you to some of the most brilliantly preserved Cape Dutch buildings in the Cape and its collection of priceless period furniture. At Franschhoek, discover lovely antique shops and gardens, nestled in the "Valley of the Huguenots" where the French first settled in 1688. You will also explore the university town of Stellenbosch, the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town, undoubtedly the most scenic and historically-preserved town in Southern Africa. Oak-lined streets next to water furrows compliment the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture – all part of this unique "Town of Oaks". All the wine estates you’ll visit in the region offer tastings and cellar tours and you’ll enjoy lunch at one of them. Return to Cape Town in the late afternoon. This trip will be done in a private vehicle but for those who are interested there are ways to explore the Winelands by bicycle or on horseback!

Three Bay and Wineland Tour

This tour includes a scenic 30 minute helicopter flight and a 2-hour lunch stopover at a vineyard in Franschhoek

Winelands: Chocolate, Cheese and Olives Tour

This tailor-made tour with a wine expert is designed for visitors who want to experience and taste some of the other delectable delights on offer in the winelands. Your day can include Paarl, with its imposing Afrikaans Language Monument and of course the Franschhoek Valley, including exceptional estates such as Haute Cabriere, Moreson, La Motte and Grande rovence. Delight in cheese tasting, chocolate tasting, olives and olive oil tastings and enjoy a lunch at one of the top restaurants or estates. We love this tour and use it quite a lot for our clients.

Table Mountain

Get a birds eye view of Cape Town by taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, the signature of this city landmark. This tour is very dependent on the wind factor, as well as the clouds. Those who are interested can also hike to the top. (Table Mountain is pictured above from the One & Only Hotel).

Great White Shark Breaching or Cage Diving

Leave your hotel early in the morning and drive to False Bay (or Gansbai depending on season) to board your boat. After a 20-30 minute ride, spend the 1 – 1.5 hours watching natural shark predation activity and try to get the sharks to breach on the decoy seal. Breaching involves the Great White Shark launching its body clear out of the water to attack fleeing Cape Fur Seals! You will also have the opportunity to cage dive if you’re up for it! Return to the harbor in the afternoon.

CONNECT with your personal travel expert.

Have you started planning your safari on your own? Are you totally overwhelmed with all the information out there? Let us help you cut through all the conflicting information online and start planning a safari that is completely tailored to you. Get in touch with us and we can discuss your travel passions and help you begin the planning process for your dream safari.

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Elizabeth Gordon