These fun and immersive activities will keep you off your devices! Guaranteed.
Sir Francis Drake once described it as “the fairest Cape in all the circumference of the world”. And now, a few centuries later, the intrepid seaman’s depiction still holds true! These days, Cape Town is appreciated not only for its natural beauty, but also for its rich heritage and cultural attractions. And the fact that it’s fast establishing itself as one of the world’s top culinary destinations only enhances its appeal.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things to do that showcase different aspects of our magnificent city. Whether it’s exhilarating outdoor adventures, immersive dining experiences, or a wonderful art outing you’re after, these are the things you must do in Cape Town (especially if you’re a local)!
What are your favourite things to do in the Cape? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Drive a Cobra to Groot Constantia for a picnic
Life’s too short to miss out on this classic experience – zipping around Cape Town in a vintage open-top sports car. The eight-hour tour, along the peninsula’s most beautiful roads, makes a pitstop at South Africa’s oldest wine-producing estate where you’ll enjoy a picturesque picnic for two, followed by a coffee break at Constantia Nek. Then, it’s back into the driver’s seat so the Grace Kelly-esque tour can continue.
Good to know The first 120 kilometres are free.
Please note Vegetarian and halaal picnics are available.
Times Pick up is from 9am.
Cost R5 000 for two adults
Where to find it 48 Rose Street, Schotsche Kloof, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Abseil down Table Mountain
The views from the summit of Cape Town’s iconic landmark are spectacular enough; now imagine what you’ll see as you rope your way down the side of the mountain. At 1 000 metres above sea level, this is the world’s highest commercial abseil, and it makes for an exhilarating experience as you are lowered into the vortex, the vast blue ocean stretching out before as you, and Camps Bay, Lion’s Head and The Twelve Apostles forming a panorama of splendour.
Good to know The adrenaline-inducing experience takes about an hour, which includes a safety demonstration, harnessing up, and a 30-minute hike to get back on top of the mountain.
Please note No persons under-10 years are permitted. Minimum weight limit is 40kg’s (but if you are a little lighter, you can do a tandem Abseil at an additional R300).
Times Daily, 8.30am (weather dependent)
Daily, 9.30am – 3.30pm (winter)
Cost R990 per person (excludes Return Cable tickets)
Where to find it Meet at the top of Table Mountain, next to the big wheel with cables.
Hike Lion’s Head with a pro
Looming above Cape Town and the surrounding ocean like a sentinel, Lion’s Head is an iconic piece of the city’s wondrous topography. At 669 metres above sea level, its peak offers panoramic views of the city, Table Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, making it a wildly popular destination for hiking enthusiasts (and a top spot for Instagrammers).
Even though it’s a relatively short hike (a two- to three-hour round trip), it’s not to be underestimated. There is a fair amount of exposure, parts that involve rock-scrambling, and around halfway up the trail you have to scale some metal ladders and climbing chains (this section can be skipped by taking a slightly longer, roundabout route).
Hiking in a group is always encouraged and, with an expert guide, it’s the most safe and enjoyable option.
Good to know This hike includes hotel pick up and drop off within the city centre and Atlantic Seaboard.
Contact 021 422 1601 (Kloofnek Office)
021 712 0527, Table.Mountain@sanparks.org (Table Mountain National Park)
086 110 6417/ 107 or 021 480 7700 (TMNP emergency numbers)
Where to find it Lion’s Head Parking Lot, Lion’s Head / Signal Hill turn-off from Kloof Nek Road, Cape Town City Centre
Guided option? Yes, from R950 per person (R500 deposit is required). Book directly
Ride a scooter around Table Mountain
You may have walked the paths of Table Mountain many times before, but have you ever done it on a freewheeler? The spectacular scenery is all the more invigorating during an off-road adventure, especially one where you get to feel a rush of adrenaline as you whizz down hills and slopes. The tour begins at the Lower Parking Area off Kloof Nek Road, from where you are transported to the top of Signal Hill for your first downhill run. The scooters are nonmotorised yet extremely stable (they’re used to navigate the slopes of the Swiss Alps during summer, after all), making for a family-friendly (and eco-friendly) experience.
Good to know You need to be 10 years or older to ride your own scooter, and four years to join as a passenger.
Times Tuesdays – Sundays, 9am – 5pm
Cost R650 (driver)
Where to find it Kloof Nek Parking Area, 209 Tafelberg Road, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
Tandem-paraglide over the Atlantic Ocean
Experience Cape Town’s magnificent topography from up high – and get your adrenaline pumping – with an experienced instructor. No previous knowledge or experience of paragliding is necessary – your instructor will run through some guidelines, clip you in securely, and then you’ll be attached to an expert pilot. Once in the air, all you have to do is sit back and relax as you gradually glide at a maximum of 40km an hour to Sea Point’s popular promenade.
Flights last between five and 30 minutes, depending on the wind. In perfect weather conditions, the instructor will show you how to steer so that you can fly the paraglider yourself!
Good to know Wear comfortable clothing (closed shoes, long pants and a windbreaker), don’t forget to apply sunscreen and drink some water before the flight. After the adventure, you’ll be driven back to the parking area where you started.
Times Daily, 8am – 6pm (in summer)
Cost R1 400 (flight)
R300 (inflight videos and photographs)
Where to find it At the end of Signal Hill Drive, or Lions Head parking (depending on wind on the day), Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
Zipline across the Elgin Valley
Soar over fynbos forests, majestic valleys and thundering waterfalls in this zipline adventure. Few things compare to the exhilaration of looking down into a gaping canyon as you slide along a steel cable. Based in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, about an hour out of Cape Town, the tour kicks off with a 4×4 ride high into the mountains, where guests are supervised by professional guides and attached to cables that run from platform to platform. The tours depart on the hour (every half an hour), and each takes around four hours. There are 11 slides in total, some as long as 300 metres, and each ends on a platform into the rugged mountain.
At one point, you’ll cross a suspension bridge that runs over a majestic double waterfall – all in a day’s work for mountain adventurers.
Times Daily, 7am to 3pm (tours last around 4 hours)
Cost R895 (adults, includes a fully guided trip, light lunch, and rain gear for wet weather)
R855 (adults with a Wild Card)
Where to find it Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, R321, Elgin
Hot-air balloon in the Winelands
Trains, trams and automobiles… there are many ways to experience the Cape Winelands, but few that allow you to soar over them like a bird. Travelling like the Brothers Montgolfier will certainly give you something to write home about.
You’ll get to watch as the crew assembles your heat-powered flying machine, the very first technology that allowed humanity to take to the skies. Lift-off is at sunrise, but the early start is definitely worth it for the views you’ll be treated to as you float over the rolling vineyards and lush meadows that the Cape Winelands are so famous for.
Good to know The experience lasts three to four hours, and includes tea and coffee before the flight, sparkling wine to celebrate your landing, and breakfast at a nearby bistro.
Please note Rides can be cancelled as a result of poor weather. You will be given the option of an alternative date or a refund.
Times Daily, sunrise
Cost R2 950
Where to find it Klein Joostenberg Farm, R304, Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch
Sandboard and quad-bike on the Atlantis Dunes
Ride like the wind, and experience the silence and solitude of the West Coast sand dunes. Just 45 minutes to an hour outside of Cape Town, Atlantis Dunes Field is an endless beach, best enjoyed on a sandboard or quad-bike. Your instructor will pick you up from the City Bowl, transport you to the sand dunes, where you’ll be given a basic overview about balance and safety. With just a little instruction, you’ll be sandboarding in no time.
Then, if you’re up for it, hop aboard a high-powered quad-bike and snake your way around the dunes. Rookies and pros are all welcome.
Good to know This half-day adventure is full of action-packed fun, with a break of snacks and refreshments between sandboarding and quad-biking.
Please note If weather conditions are not suitable, you will be offered a choice between an alternative date or a refund.
Times Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, 7am – 8am or 12.30pm (subject to availability)
Cost R1 590
Where to find it Transport from your centrally located Cape Town accommodation to the destination at Atlantis Dunes, and back again, is available.
Segway through the Stellenbosch vineyards
If you’re looking for a new experience in the Cape Winelands, a segway tour could certainly be it. Glide through rows of vines at Spier Wine Farm on a two-wheeled PT (personal transporter), and relish the surrounding mountain vistas, while also learning some interesting facts about Spier’s biodynamic farming techniques.
Before you begin your one-hour ride, a helpful 20-minute training session will get you ready.
Please note Children under 10 years are not permitted.
Good to know Meet at the Wine Tasting Lounge at least 15 minutes before the tour.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am; 10.30am; 12pm, 2pm & 3.30pm (October – April)
Monday – Sunday, 9am; 10.30am; 12pm, 1.30pm & 3pm (May – September)
Cost R375 per person
Contact 021 809 1157, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Spier Wine Farm, R310 Lynedoch Road, Stellenbosch
Helicopter over the peninsula
Witnessing a city as uniquely beautiful as Cape Town from way up high is elevated to a whole new level. A bird’s eye view of our mountain-strewn peninsula, surrounded by ocean, will give you a new appreciation of its diverse topography.
Tour providers NAC Helicopters offer a range of options, including helicopter tours of the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Point and Robben Island.
Times Daily, 8am – 6pm
Sharing flights: 10:30am or 4.30pm; 10am or 4pm (depending on the flight)
Please note Walk-ins are accepted depending on availability, but it is recommended to book in advance.
Cost From R1 275 (sharing flights)
From R3 800 (private flights, 1-3 passengers)
From R15 300 (destination flights, 1 – 3 passengers)
Where to find it E Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Bike around Table Mountain
The great thing about mountain-biking is that you get to enjoy nature, while getting a good workout. Think sweeping views of the city and southern suburbs, plus a refreshment stop at Rhodes Memorial before descending via Deer Park, with some exhilarating downhill rides along the way.
Please note The tour requires a minimum of four people, and is suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.
Times Daily, 8.30am – 1pm
Cost R3 200 for four people (R800 per person, includes transport, bicycles, helmets, the services of a guide, entrance fees, water, drinks and snacks)
Contact 021 511 4766, email@example.com
Where to find it Collection is offered from most hotels in Cape Town, provided a pick-up location is selected when booking. (If you are situated outside Cape Town, you can enquire where the collection points are).
Kayak around Sea Point
There’s nothing like paddling on the open ocean to evoke a spirit of freedom and adventure. This two-hour guided kayaking tour departs from Three Anchor Bay beach under the Sea Point Promenade, where you’ll get to encounter a whole other universe. African penguins, Cape fur seals, sunfish (aka mola mola), Bryde’s whales, humpback and southern right whales, as well Heaviside’s dolphins are known to swim close to the coastline. Plus, you’ll get to see what Lion’s Head and Table Mountain look like from way out.
Times Daily, 6.30am – 8.30am: 9am – 11am; 11.30am – 1.30pm (October – April)
Daily, 9am – 11am; 11.30am – 1.30pm; 4pm – 6pm (May – September)
Where to find it 179 Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town
Go water-biking in the sea
These premier water bikes make walking on water as easy as pie. All you need to do is take a seat, and pedal away, exactly like you would on a normal bicycle. Besides being fun, they’re stable and don’t require fuel (nor do they emit emissions), making them environmentally friendly.
The two-hour option is an early-morning tour, but if you’d prefer to explore the ocean at a more relaxed pace, go for the one-hour tour! Both tours are enriched by a knowledgeable crew on a nearby guide boat and take you from Simon’s Town pier, past the naval base and towards the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Your seated position allows you more than a peek into the marine life of Cape fur seals (and even whales during season), not to mention the penguins darting in and out.
Times 8am (two-hour tour, 1 November – 30 April 2020)
9am (two-hour tour, 1 May – 31 October 2020)
10.30am; 12pm; 1.30pm (one-hour tour)
Cost R690 (2 hours)
R490 (1 hour)
Where to find it Simon’s Town Pier, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
Sail a yacht around Robben Island
Effortless luxury and elevated sight-seeing collide, as you drift off Cape Town’s coast and out into the Atlantic Ocean, on a private yacht. Included in the experience are beer, wine, bubbly, soft drinks, snacks and canapés – a perfect excuse for a special occasion, lunch or sunset cruise.
The tour also includes a three-hour trip around the coast of Robben Island with Christo Brand, former President Nelson Mandela’s prison guard. Upon arrival on the yacht, you’ll watch an insightful video about Robben Island, that features Madiba and himself. And after setting sail from the harbour, the author of My Prisoner, My Friend shares personal anecdotes and points out the island’s landmarks from the comfort of the boat. This intimate setting sheds an authentic glimpse into Mandela’s 27 years in prison and South Africa’s past.
Good to know Yachters need be on board half an hour before the scheduled cruise time in order to receive safety instructions.
Times Depends on client request and yacht’s availability.
Cost R42 000 (includes three-hour tour, drinks and canapés)
From 1 to 10 maximum people on board at a time
Where to find it (Parked behind the Cape Grace Hotel), Ground floor, Marina Centre, West Quay Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
SUP around the V&A Waterfront
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUPing) has seen an upsurge in popularity over the past decade, but in truth, it’s been around a lot longer than most other sports we know of. Ancient fishermen made their living off it, and African warriors made effective use of it when launching stealth attacks (they’d use their spears as paddles).
On these outings, paddlers get to experience the V&A Waterfront from its majestic canals, during a three-kilometre loop. All equipment is provided, along with the services of an experienced guide, and you’ll receive a brief introduction to SUPing before you set off. .
Good to know Children are permitted, assisted by an experienced instructor. The tour operator also hosts birthday parties and team-building experiences.
Times 8am – 6pm (Summer months)
10am – 5pm
Where to find it Battery Park, V&A Waterfront (parking access from Alfred Road, just behind City Lodge), Cape Town
Sunset catamaran cruise
Relax aboard a 39-foot catamaran, taking in the spectacular Cape Town sunset with a glass or two of fizzy stuff in hand. And, have your cameras at the ready, as this boat trip offers stunning vistas of the city in the distance and Table Mountain in the background.
Please note The onboard cash bar serves soft drinks only.
Good to know The vessel leaves from the V&A Waterfront, and heads towards Table Bay before returning to the harbour.
Duration Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Times Daily, 6.30pm – 8pm (dependant on weather)
Cost R390 (includes two glasses of sparkling wine)
Where to find it Shop 7, Quay 5, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Swim in a mountain reservoir
The large, glistening reservoir is open to everybody, including your pooches, but there are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk. There’s a 1km trail around the dam with a boardwalk that’s easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams. There are also loads of picture-perfect picnic spots dotted around the reserve.
Dog-friendly? Yes, but dog walkers require a Level 1 My Activity Permit. Contact Tokai Plantation Office at 021 712 7471 for more information.
Times Daily, 7am – 6pm (September – April)Daily, 8am – 5pm (May – August)
Cost Daily Conservation Rates valid until 31 October 2020:
R40 (SA citizens and residents with ID); R20 (SA children, aged 2-11)
R80 (SADC nationals with valid passport); R40 (SADC children with valid passport)
R160 (international visitors; standard conservation fee); R80 (international children; standard conservation fee)
Important note In order to qualify for SA rates, you must present a valid SA ID, passport or driver’s license (cellphone copies are not accepted)
SANParks accepts certified copies of proof of SA ID.
Good to know The SANParks’ My Green Card entitles you to 12 free entries into the pay points of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) within a one-year period. If you are a frequent visitor to Cape Point, Boulders, Oudekraal, Silvermine, and the braai and picnic areas at Tokai, Newlands and Perdekloof, this card is worth purchasing.
Contact 021 712 7471, firstname.lastname@example.org (Table Mountain National Park)
Where to find it Silvermine Reservoir in Table Mountain National Park (via M3)
Ride along Sea Point promenade (then go for a dip afterwards)
The Sea Point Promenade is Cape Town’s answer to Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and Central Park in New York: a beautiful public space where locals (and tourists) can enjoy their city in a safe and secure environment. The fact that the promenade boasts spectacular views – of the ocean on one side, and Lion’s Head on the other – makes it even more appealing for a cycle.
Simply rent a bike at one of the Up Cycles stations (which are dotted at various points throughout the city, including the promenade, V&A Waterfront Silo District and the Camps Bay strip) and return it by sunset.
We recommend cycling along the promenade to the Sea Point Swimming Pool, another of Cape Town’s most prized and loved public spaces. The iconic landmark, which dates back to the 1950s, is filled with fresh seawater, and is wonderful for a refreshing dip after an invigorating cycle.
Times Daily, 8.30am – sunset
Cost R80 – R165 (1 – 3 hours); R240 (half-day); R340 (full-day); R80 (child seat)
Good to know Helmets and locks included.
Contact 074 100 9161, email@example.com
Where to find it The Pavilion on Sea Point Promenade
Learn to surf at Muizenberg
Surfing enthusiasts will tell you there’s no greater way to destress than to be out in the ocean, riding the waves. And at Surf Emporium, you’ll learn the basics and be able to “hang 10” in no time. Simply bring your swimming costume, a towel, sunscreen and “a dose of enthusiasm”.
The fun sessions are tailored according to your skill level: intermediate-level surfers will be able to fine-tune their board skills in group or private lessons; and children are most welcome, too. If they’re younger than 10 years, they’ll take Freezer Lessons.
Good to know All surf lessons offered include 1.5 hours of coaching, surfboard and wetsuit rental, plus the use of club facilities. The 1.5 hour private surf lessons (as well as private group sessions with family and friends) can be scheduled at a time convenient to you.
Times Monday – Sunday, 7.00am – 6.30pm (summer)
Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 6.00pm (winter)
Cost R390 (private lesson 1:1 coach to participant ratio); R1 170 for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R340 per person (private lesson 1:2 coach to participant) or R1 020 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R315 per person (private lesson 1:3 coach to participant ratio) or R945 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R260 per person (1:5 coach to participant ratio) or R780 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R300 per person (with your own equipment, individual lessons) or R900 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R330 per person (Freezer Lesson for 1 hour; children under 10 years) 1:1 coach to participant ratio) or R1 320 per person for 5 lessons (if paid upfront)
Group lessons: R540 per month (‘Learn to surf,’ February – May; August – November); R1940 (sign up for 4 months if paid upfront)
Where to find it Surf Emporium Surf School, 66 Beach Road, Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg Beachfront, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Taking it easy
Ride a steam-train to the Elgin Market
Inspired by Victorian-era railway stations (think: elaborate metal archways with overhanging bridges and lanterns), the steampunk-themed market in Elgin makes for a wonderful day outing, made all the more exciting on a steam train!
Visitors can experience the grandeur of a bygone era, by hopping aboard a locomotive as it chugs through rolling hills and apple orchards before pulling up alongside the bustling station platform in Elgin.
Passengers may then disembark, and enjoy a cornucopia of food, drink and craft stalls to the sound of live music.
Good to know There’s a dedicated play area for kids, climbing walls that are safe for all ages (with the experts from Cape Canopy Tour ensuring safety standards), one-hour segway tours of the nearby Oak Valley Estate (depart from the market every hour), and two-hour mountain-biking tours (suitable for older children).
Times Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 5.30pm
View upcoming dates for steam-train rides
Cost R750 (adults, return)
R500 (children 3 – 13 years, return)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)
Where to find it Harbour Bridge Hotel, Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town
Visit the Cape Point Vineyards night market
Cape Point Vineyards Market is where south peninsula locals flock every Thursday evening for an array of inspired street food-style dishes, chilled vibes and stunning views.
The festivities take place in the restaurant and picnic area of the farm, whose award-winning wines are available at great prices. There is ample parking and long stretches of open grass, with a jungle gym for the little ones to blow off steam.
Please note No pets are allowed, and no food or beverages from outside can be brought into the market area.
Times Thursday, 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 789 0900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Silvermine Road, Noordhoek, Cape Town
A garden tour of Babylonstoren
Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren boasts one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape. Its magnificent garden, laid out over 3.5 hectares (eight acres), informs every aspect of the property, including the contemporary Farm Hotel & Spa, the Farm Shop and Bakery.
It’s divided into 15 broad areas, with sections for fruit, vegetables, bees, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, ducks, tortoises, chickens, and more. A secluded path runs along the stream where thousands of clivias flower in spring. The garden also boasts a plethora of trees of historical and botanical import.
Good to know Regrettably no dogs are allowed (except for guide dogs). Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Cost R20 (adults, weekends and public holidays)
R10 (adults weekdays, children 0 – 12 years)
Free (RHS members)
Contact 021 863 3852, email@example.com
Where to find it Babylonstoren, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Franschhoek
Explore Cape Point on an e-bike
Enjoy a full day of adventure of the Cape Peninsula, starting off in the fishing village of Hout Bay (with the option of a boat trip to the Cape fur seal colony on Duiker Island), followed by an e-bike ride along Chapman’s Peak Drive to Boulders Beach, where you can see the penguins at play before hopping back on your e-bike and heading to Cape Point.
There, you can experience the beauty of the ocean crashing up against the cliffside as you hike through the beautiful wilderness area, populated by an abundance of wildlife.
Finally, a bus will transport you back to your accommodation in the city along a scenic coastal route.
Good to know The cycling route may vary depending on weather conditions. There will be bail-out points along the way, where those who’ve had enough of the cycling can board the bus to the destination.
Times Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost R1 200 (includes pickup and drop off in the city; driver guide; e-bike with helmet and water bottle; homemade picnic lunch; entrance to Cape Point Nature Reserve)
Where to find it Pick up and drop off is possible, however if you are outside of Cape Town, then an arranged meeting point in the city center will be made.
A sunset yoga class on Clifton Beach
Breathe in unadulterated fresh air in awe-inspiring surrounds, while increasing your flexibility, improving your posture and building core strength at The Om Revolution’s outdoor yoga classes on Clifton 3rd Beach (voted the second best beach in the world in 2015). Centre yourself in the sand with these 60-minute Vinyasa Classes that take place every Sunday at 6.15pm (from November until the end of summer).
Good to know Sand not your thing? There are Saturday morning yoga classes in the Company’s Garden.
Times Sunday, 6pm (from November 2019 until end of season)
6.15pm (from 15 December 2019 – 8 March 2020)
Where to find it Clifton 3rd Beach, Victoria Road, Clifton, Cape Town
Tour the peninsula + meet the penguins at Boulders
This Peninsula and Penguin Colony Tour is a full-day of sightseeing that begins with an azure bang along Camps Bay strip and Clifton. From there, you’ll make your way through the fishing village of Hout Bay, with an option of popping to Duiker Island to witness thousands of seals in their natural habitat.
Then, it’s a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive towards Noordhoek, followed by Cape Point, revered for sea-faring journeys and the explorer history of Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias. Heading to the naval pitstop of Simon’s Town, you’ll be able to meet the resident penguin colony at Boulders Beach. And, finally, enjoy the charming seaside areas of Kalk Bay and Muizenberg, before culminating at the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Good to know Included in the tour’s cost are entry fees to Cape Point Nature Reserve and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Lunch and optional visit fees (Penguin Colony and Seal Island) are excluded from the tour’s price.
Times Daily, 8am – 5.30pm
Cost R1 330 (adults)
Where to find it You will be picked up and dropped off at your centrally located hotel or elsewhere, provided you give a contact number when making your booking.
Eat, drink, ride and play at Constantia Uitsig
The Cape Winelands – including Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch – offer a tranquil reprieve from the city, not to mention utterly alluring wine-soaked itineraries. But, the long drive to get there isn’t always that appealing.
Which is where Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate come in. A mere 20-minute drive from the city centre, Uitsig, which means view in Afrikaans, has vistas for days. Not to mention a 2.8 km bike park right next to The Blockhouse Kitchen, which serves divine food and has a wonderful kiddies’ play area.
On the opposite side of the estate, a cluster of former labourers’ cottages beckons, with a diverse array of shops and eateries, namely Nest Deli (for breakfasts, light lunches, baked goods and coffee); Sushi Box; Aegir Project Ale House (for beer, small plates and live music); Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice-Cream; The Kind Kitchen (for vegan comfort food); and The Wine Shop (for wine-tasting with an artisanal cheese- or charcuterie-platter pairing).Truly an ideal destination for the whole family.
Please note Dogs aren’t allowed on the estate
Times Daily, 7.30am – 10pm (depends on shop or restaurant)
Contact 021 794 6500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Fynbos-tasting experience in the Company’s Garden
This ancient, uniquely South African vegetation, celebrated for its remarkable healing properties, constitutes 80% of the smallest – yet most diverse – of six globally recognised botanical kingdoms. Besides infused tea, few of us have had an opportunity to sample its distinct flavours in other forms. During this wonderful experience, you’ll be guided through a tasting of eight fynbos botanicals, starting with a herbal-tea infusion, then sweet cordials, progressing to aromatic vinaigrettes along with edible naturals and seasoning salts, culminating in soothing digestives accompanied by sweet treats.
Good to know Pop by the Heritage Shop for a contemporary range of kitchen paraphernalia, plants and homeware.
Times Wednesday & Thursday, 2pm – 3.30pm
Cost R1 200 per person (a 10% discount applies to groups of 10 or more guests; maximum capacity is 16 guests)
Where to find it Visitors Centre, Company’s Garden, 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
Wine + dine in the East City
Dining at Belly of the Beast is much more than a meal, it’s a gastronomic experience. Co-owners Neil Swart and Anouchka Horn pursued a shared dream of unhindered culinary creativity, where Neil explains: “Cooking dishes on a small scale enhances the depth of flavour of each element.” Naturally, Neil only cooks with local seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced meat.
The reservations-only eatery hasn’t had an empty seat since opening in August 2018. The industrial-modern ambience – leather booths and opposing mid-century modern dining chairs, cinder block walls and delicate light fixtures – is elevated by a cool alternative playlist.
Times Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday, 7pm – 10pm
Lunch: Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm
Cost R599 per person
Contact 021 461 0335, email@example.com
Where to find it 110 Harrington Street, CBD, Cape Town
Visit the Oranjezicht City Farm Market
Despite its name, this farmers’ market is actually located at Granger Bay at the V&A Waterfront, and runs every Saturday and Sunday morning – and Wednesday evenings (from November 2019)! Managed by the people who started urban farms, OZCF (as it’s known among insiders) is a cheerleader for local produce and artisanal culture in Cape Town.
Boasting stunning sea views, the market is covered by tents and pergolas, ensuring shelter from the elements. You’ll find fresh-from-the-patch veggies and herbs – it’s worth doing your weekly grocery shop here – as well as fruit, bread, organic dairy products, free-range eggs, raw honey, muesli, and ethically sourced meats and seafood. There is also a retail section of stalls, selling an array of carefully curated clothing and shoes, vintage items, houseplants and farm-to-vase flowers. There’s plenty of space for the kids and dogs, who’ll also enjoy the foot-tapping music and a family-friendly vibe.
Good to know OZCF is a plastic-free zone and you are encouraged to bring your own bags as well as your reusable cup for tea and coffee.
Times Saturday, 8.15am – 2pm
Sunday, 9am – 3pm
Wednesday, 4pm – 8pm (from November 2019 – end-April 2020)
Contact 083 628 3426 (Sheryl), firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Granger Bay Boulevard, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
A tuk-tuk wine-tasting tour of Franschhoek
If, like us, you love the odd awayday to Franschhoek, you’ll be as delighted as we were to discover this easy, convenient (and affordable) way to get around the valley. Because, let’s be frank, nobody wants to get behind the wheel when there are wine farms to visit, nectars to sample, gourmet restaurants to eat at, and picnics to be devoured. We say: let the experts be your personal chauffeur for the day.
Good to know You can custom-create your own tour through the Winelands on either the half-day or full-day tours, which travel between La Motte and La Petite Ferme. A few of the most popular stops include Haut Espoir, Stony Brook, Mont Rochelle, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, and Chamonix.
Summer special Get an additional hour at no charge when you book a half-day or full-day tour (valid until April 2020).
Please note Should there be unexpected heavy rains, a vehicle will be made available for your tour and your Tuk Tuk experience will continue as soon as is possible.
Times 9am – 10pm (October – April)
10am – 6pm (May – September)
Cost Half-day tour: R240
Full-day tour: R380
Get an additional hour at no charge (valid until April 2020)
Where to find it 54 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Cape Town
Drinks at an innercity rooftop bar
Slotted atop ever-popular Kloof Street, is Up Yours, the rooftop terrace above Yours Truly. The humming atmosphere is set alight by twinkling fairy lights and hanging plants. Super-cool local and international DJs and live acoustic sessions take things to the next level (pun intended). If you’re lucky, resident bulldog Molly, who is just the cutest, might make a guest appearance.
Good to know No reservations, so come early.
Times Up Yours: Monday – Sunday 3pm – 10pm
Yours Truly Kloof Street: Monday – Sunday, 7am – 12pm
Contact 021 426 2587, email@example.com
Where to find it 73 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Cooking class in the Bo-Kaap
The diversity of our rainbow nation is reflected in a delicious melting pot of cuisines. In Cape Town, specifically, Malay flavours, brought to the Cape by the slaves, are still evident in dishes such as curries, bobotie, bredies and denningvleis (dried fruit and meat curry).
To learn more about this slice of history – and how to prepare some traditional dishes – join a practical cooking classes in the Bo-Kaap. The two-hour interactive cooking lesson – making chicken curry, samoosas and daaltjies (chilli bites) – culminates in enjoying a traditional lunch in an informal setting with auntie Zainie.
A short walking tour of Bo-Kaap, including a visit to the local spice shop, reveals insight into the culture and development of the area since the 1760s.
Times Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10am – 2.30pm
Cost R1 750 per person (Includes transfers to and from your hotel; minimum of 4 people required for booking)
Where to find it Bo-Kaap
Good to know Pick up from Cape Town’s central areas is included in the price (from hotel or other), provided you give a contact number when making your booking.
Wine-tasting at Idiom in Somerset West
A little slice of la dolce vita in the Cape, Da Capo Vineyards is perched on a hill amid granite mountains, and offers sweeping vistas of the sea in the distance. As such the 150-hectare estate is made up of a series of micro-terroirs, each of which produces different varietals – 18 in total – that have been compared to wines from Bordeaux and the Rhône, Tuscany and Piedmont.
For a unique experience with a sweet spin, head to the tasting centre with its Roman-style arches, for the macaron-and-wine-pairing at Idiom. Doesn’t a match between Romeo & Juliet Prosecco and a white peach butter cream, chamomile and white chocolate macaron sound intriguing?
Good to know While you’re there, pop into the estate’s view-drenched restaurant.
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4.30pm
Cost R200 (three macarons paired with three Idiom wines)
Contact 021 858 1088, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Idiom Tasting Centre & Restaurant, Da Capo Vineyards, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West
Visit Norval Foundation
Located in the serene Steenberg wetlands, with sweeping views of vineyards and Table Mountain National Park beyond, the majestic, modern glass-and-metal structure is home to a series of world-class, purpose-built galleries. Founded by the Norval family, the property is also boasts a sculpture garden, outdoor amphitheatre, research library and children’s playground. And, of course, The Skotnes Restaurant and Bar, which features a bistro-style menu.
Dedicated to showcasing art with global appeal in an environment that fosters an appreciation for nature, Norval Foundation is a welcome presence in the homely ’burbs, and is another well-deserved feather in Cape Town’s ever-expanding culture cap.
Good to know Entry is free on the first Thursday of the month.
Times Norval Foundation: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm, closed on Tuesdays
Contact 087 654 5900, email@example.com
Cost R180 (adults)
R160 (pensioners with valid SA ID card)
R100 (students with valid student card)
Free (under 18)
R350 (annual membership)
Where to find it 4 Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
Watch an outdoor concert + picnic at Kirstenbosch
Every year, between November and April, Kirstenbosch hosts the ever-popular Summer Sunset Concerts, where a stellar lineup of international and local talent takes to the stage to entertain the crowds amid the lush gardens of this majestic venue. It’s the only place to be on lazy Sunday afternoons – be sure to pack a blanket and a picnic basket;
Please note Only tickets purchased from Webtickets are valid.
Times Sunday, 4pm – 9pm (November – April)
Cost R170 – R220 (Sunday concerts)
R25 – R110 (Christmas carols)
R435 (New Year’s Eve concert)
Where to find it Kirstenbosch Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
If you don’t make it to one of the concerts, why not call Dial-a-Picnic? They’ll deliver prepacked baskets to the flowery meadows of Kirstenbosch.
Good to know Dial-a-Picnic offers a variety of menus, including gluten-free, vegan and customisable baskets.
Times Daily, 8am – 8pm (Dial-a-Picnic)
Daily, 8am – 6pm (Kirstenbosch)
Cost Dial-a-picnic: From R130 – R240 (per person); R2 750 (Bespoke Picnic Experience for 4, includes food, drinks and setup)
Kirstenbosch entrance fee: R75 (adults); R40 (students); R20 (children 6 –17 years); free (children 0 – 5 years; pensioners on Tuesdays)
Please note Although Dial-a-Picnic can deliver to the gates of Kirstenbosch, they will not be able to bring the picnic inside due to the entrance fee, so you’ll need to collect the picnic at the gates before taking it to your chosen spot.
Contact 082 789 5478, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dial-a-Picnic)
021 799 8783, KirstenboschInfo@sanbi.org (Kirstenbosch Gardens)
Watch a movie under the stars
If the idea of watching your favourite flick under a starlit sky sounds wonderful, listen up. From October to April every year, Galileo Open Air Cinema screens a series of silver-screen classics (as well as some millennium favourites) at various scenic locations around the Cape, including the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens, and rotating venues in the Cape Winelands. Blankets and backrests can be hired, and there are vendors selling food and beverages at the location (you’re also welcome to bring your own picnic basket). Get there before the movie starts, so you can enjoy the live music and festive atmosphere (and reserve your spot on the lawn).
View upcoming dates for open-air movies.
Times Wednesday – Friday, 6pm; Saturday, 5pm; select Sundays, 4pm (16 October 2019 – 25 April 2020)
Cost R109 (standard)
R117 (includes blanket)
R125 (includes backrest)
R130 (includes blanket and backrest)
R195 – R360 (VIP)
Where to find it Various venues (including V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens and rotating venues in the Cape Winelands)
Visit a sculpture garden in Stellenbosch
Located on Mulberry Farm, whose majestic hills and luscious gardens are home to over 60 stunning sculptures created by feted local artist, Dylan Lewis, the seven-hectare Sculpture Garden is also home to a wide range of indigenous fynbos, Buchu and Erica.
Dylan’s sculptures fall into four broad themes – the human form, shamanic figures, monumental abstracted fragments, and the great cats – and are grouped accordingly throughout the garden. The heather hills, for example, are dominated by earthly male images, while the poplar grove hosts the female form.
Please note Visit by appointment only, last entry at 4pm.
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 8.30am – 5pm
Cost R150 (adults)
R110 (students and pensioners)
R1 000 (private guided tours are available on request)
Contact 021 880 0054, email@example.com
Where to find it Mulberry Farm, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch
Live music + drinks in the city
La Parada Bree Street
The Jagger Lounge is a pumping live-music venue that hosts some of South Africa’s top artists and bands, including MaJozi, Jesse Clegg, Arno Carstens, Monark, and The Kiffness, to name a handful. Along with lunch and dinner menu, featuring pizza, pasta and salads, the innercity hotspot also has an extensive selection of wine and cocktails.
Times Monday & Tuesday, 7am – 3pm
Wednesday & Thursday, 7am – 12am
Friday – Saturday, 7am – 2am
Please note Closing times may vary depending on the live performances.
Where to find it 74 Shortmarket Street, Central Business District, Cape Town
Feel like some Spanish-style tapas after the gig? Take a short walk to La Parada on Bree Street, where the waft of garlic and buzzy vibe overflows onto the pavement.
Times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 426 0330, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 107 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
Visit Zeitz Mocaa
Touted as Cape Town’s very own Tate Modern, Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) at the V&A Waterfront has been on the global art radar since it launched in 2017. It was even named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Destinations of 2018!
Located in a former grain silo, the massive nine-storey space underwent a state-of-the-art overhaul, courtesy of esteemed British architect Thomas Heatherwick, and houses 6 000 square metres of exhibition space with galleries on every floor, as well as a restaurant area, event space and a rooftop terrace with views of the entire city bowl.
Good to know Entry is free for African citizens every Wednesdays from 10am – 1pm. Proof of ID is required.
Times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
First Friday of the Month, 10am – 9pm
Cost Free (year-round to under 18s)
R200 (adult single day entry)
R290 (annual membership, which grants free year-round access to the museum)
Half-price (first Friday of the month) 4pm– 9pm
Contact 087 350 4777, email@example.com
Where to find it Silo District, S Arm Road, V&A Waterfont, Cape Town
Go deep at Two Oceans Aquarium
Home to over 8 000 living sea animals, this one-stop destination of all things aquatic is, unsurprisingly, one of Cape Town’s premier tourist destinations. The Penguin Experience is a highlight, as is the 10-metre-long transparent tunnel through the I&J Ocean Exhibit: a massive tank holding around 1.6 million litres of sea water where sea turtles, stingrays and other creatures dwell. Don’t miss the large ragged-tooth sharks and the mesmerising large-scale Kelp Forest Exhibit.
Good to know The denizens of the Aquarium’s many exhibits are fascinating at any time of day, but to see them at their most visceral, you’ll want to visit during feeding times.
Times Daily, 9.30am – 6pm
Cost R90 to R185
R215 – R435 (membership)
Contact 021 418 3823
Where to find it Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Compiled by Bianca Hausle, Matthew Flax, Michelle De Bruin, Adam Lange
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