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Top day tours in Cape Town
Explore our magnificent metropolis with a wide selection of sightseeing
Last Updated: 3 May 2017
The glorious Mother City, with her towering mountains, sparkling oceans, fragrant fynbos and fine architecture, offers a smorgasbord of sightseeing options for South Africans and international visitors alike. Though it seems impossible to cover it all in one trip, there are plenty of Cape Town day tours that give outsiders (and locals who don’t get out much) a neatly packed insider’s glimpse into everything from the famed Winelands to the local craft beer scene and the lives of city and township dwellers.
We’ve compiled an overview of excursions in and around the city that are sure to thrill, enlighten and educate even the most seasoned of travellers. So, all you have to do is pick an adventure and get set to be blown away.
TOP DAY TOURS IN CAPE TOWN
Deon Meyer Mystery (audio) Day Tour
Looking for a day-tour that will have you intrigued, entertained and enthralled? Don’t delay booking for the Deon Meyer Mystery Day Tour. Hop into a tour bus along with 11 other people and take a trip through Cape Town, visiting the significant locations featured in Deon Meyer’s novels Thirteen Hours, 7 Days, Cobra and Icarus, with exhilarating audio clips as your guide throughout this tour. Follow the chase of the characters in the beloved author's novels set in Cape Town as the tour takes you from the lower Long Street to Signal Hill and Sea Point - you will have the opportunity to experience picture-perfect views and knowledgeable guides on this visual-audio tour.
Cost: R600 per person
+27(0)82 410 1762 | email@example.com.
AWOL Tours and Travel
Explore the breathtaking beauty of our seaside metropolis with AWOL Tours and Travel. The award-winning hiking trips and bike tours specialist- they have been bestowed with TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for four consecutive years (2011-2014) - run guided group and private trips that give visitors and locals a unique sightseeing experience. Some of AWOL’s most popular offerings include a tour of the inner city that takes participants to historical sites The Castle of Good Hope and the Company’s Gardens, an excursion to the Masiphumelele township that forms part of AWOL’s responsible tourism drive to empower local communities and various guided hikes on the magnificent Table Mountain. All tours are private; this means that departure is guaranteed even if there is only one intrepid explorer. Furthermore, be sure to give the lovely folks at AWOL a call and ask about custom designing your own sightseeing adventure.
Cost: AWOL Tours offer a vast variety of expeditions and adventures that vary in price. For more info you can visit www.awoltours.co.za. Bookings and payments can be made online via a safe and secure payment service on AWOL’s website.
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront Information Centre | Cape Town |+27 (0) 21 418 3803 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Into The Blue Snorkeling and Fun Dives
Into The Blue Scuba Dive Centre offers novice, intermediate and expert divers an array of snorkeling and diving adventures (suitable for all diving statures), various internationally recognised PADI-certified diving courses (from beginner to professional level) as well as a top quality dive shop (sales and rentals). Offering a wide range of snorkeling and fun, shore and boat, diving opportunities, Into The Blue prides itself on providing the very best and exciting ocean excursions in the Cape. What’s more, not all of the dives require a qualified scuba diving certification, making it possible for non-divers to also enjoy the aquatic experience. These fun dives take the form of snorkeling with Cape fur seals and scuba diving with cow, blue or mako sharks to discovering the Cape’s unique kelp forests and reefs and exploring one of the 800 shipwrecks scattered along its seafloor. Boasting a plethora of underwater spectacles, the Cape Peninsula coastline truly does offer some of the most beautiful and varied scuba diving opportunities available across the globe, suitable for all diving preferences and qualifications. Founded in 2010, today Into The Blue has been internationally recognised as a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) 5-star IDC centre, in 2016 was awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence and proudly claims over seven in-house PADI-certified diving instructors and masters. Contact the expert diving company today and experience an underwater ‘trip’ of a lifetime.
Cost: Into The Blue offers a wide range of sea-expeditions and ocean-adventures that vary in price. For more information please contact the Cape Town diving company directly on +27 (0) 21 434 3358 / +27 (0) 74 106 3575 or email email@example.com.
88 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town
Wine Flies Wine Tours
Let the knowledgeable, fun-loving Riaan Renke and Francois van Binsbergen from boutique tour company Wine Flies take you on a Cape Winelands excursion that’s slightly different from the average tasting trip. Day trippers get to visit the much-loved vineyard towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek and call in at several well-known estates, but they also get to stop at hidden gems that locals tend to keep secret. Here, visitors can hear the stories behind the vintages straight from the winemakers’ mouths while touring the vineyards and cellars. Along with reds, whites, sparkling wines and ports, the tour also gives participants the chance to sample lots of cheese, local cured meats and dried fruit, as well as enjoy a hearty lunch. Notably, the two Wine Lords and their legion of guides add a healthy dose of charm and humour to each day trip, peppering their talks with titbits of trivia and history to make for an informative but informal excursion. Be prepared to laugh, learn and discover a whole new appreciation for local wines.
Cost: A Winelands tour with Wine Flies costs R700p/p, which includes doorstep pick-ups and drop-offs, all tastings, food pairings and lunch. There is a maximum of 13 people allowed per trip (though bigger buses can be arranged), and customised private tours are also available. Tours run seven days a week.
+27 (0) 21 462 8011 | firstname.lastname@example.org
MLT Day Tours
Striving to share the beauty of the Cape and her surrounds, the expert team at MLT Car Hire and Tours has created a selection of magnificent day tours providing locals and international folk with an all-inclusive glimpse into the wonderments of Cape Town. Offering eight superb excursions – ranging from a detailed tour of the city of Cape Town and the celebrated Cape Winelands to majestic game drives and romantic sunset cruises – MLT takes pride in providing its clientele with the best in the biz. Other day-trips include an outing of the Cape Peninsula, township tours, shark cage diving and whale watching. Led by well-informed and approachable tour leaders, participants are in for a treat as the guides are well-known for sharing fun and interesting titbits about Cape Town ensuring a top-notch and unforgettable adventure. MLT also provides light snacks and bottles of water for members on all tours. What’s more, the rental company also offers tailored tours and will design a trip suited specifically to a client’s interests (whether it’s food, architecture or history) catering to their specific needs and budget.
Cost: Varies depending on tour. For more information or a quote, it’s best to contact MLT directly on +27 (0) 551 7365, email email@example.com or visit their website www.mltcorp.co.za.
9 Duncan Road | Waterfront Port | Foreshore
Scootours® Cape Town
Described as ‘Downhill fun for everyone’, this exciting experience guarantees a fun day out. Embark on the adventurous scooter tours to see the city sites from Signal Hill and Table Mountain. The scooters are designed by the Swiss to navigate along the Alps; if they can handle those tough terrains they are sure to manage across our mountain ranges. Scootours® are always led by a professional guide, to ensure everyone has safe fun, and last between 90 minutes and two hours. Each user-friendly scooter is equipped with two large, wide wheels and a compact frame, making them sturdy and easy to maneuver. The scooters are non-motorised (instead they are propelled by gravity) making them eco-friendly too. What’s more, in Franschhoek, every Sunday all junior passengers (four to nine year olds) ride along for FREE with their designated driver. All drivers must be able to a ride a bicycle.
Table Mountain Lower Information Centre | +27 (0) 82 776 0557 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Camissa Township Tours
Experience the other side of the Mother City with a vibrant, eye-opening half-day township tour led by the husband and wife team from Camissa Travel & Marketing. Giving locals and foreigners a glimpse into the heart of real South African culture outside of the glamorous CBD, the day trips include visits to a number of informal settlements, like Langa, Gugulethu and Bonteheuwel, where people were relegated during the dark days of Apartheid. The half-day excursion starts at the infamous District Six, the site where thousands of families were evicted due to racial segregation, and then proceeds to Langa for a walking tour led by one of the township residents. On foot, visitors can immerse themselves fully in the setting and engage with the homeowners, all the while learning about South Africa’s tainted history and the effects of it today. However, rather than being an outing full of doom and gloom, the township tour with Camissa also shows the strength, resilience and optimism of these Capetonians, making it more than worthwhile for both locals and international guests.
Cost: The half-day township tour costs R520p/p for adults and R260p/p for children between the ages of 2 and 12. There is a morning and afternoon option, and Camissa also runs gospel, soccer and eco tours as well as full-day township tours combined with excursions around Robben Island, the Cape Winelands or the CBD. Tours run daily.
20 Curlew Street | Brooklyn | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 510 2646 | email@example.com
Cape Bike Travel
Get ready to burn some rubber and soak up the city’s spectacular scenery.Thanks to Cape Bike Travel’s chauffeured rides, those who’ve always dreamed of a hard-fisted, free-wheeling ride can mount the back of a twin-cam 169cc Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle and careen around the curves of some of the most scenic roads in the world. One such route is the Cape Peninsula, which Cape Bike Travel highly recommends. The excursions include an experienced driver who’s completely at your disposal. If you prefer to take the reins, you are more than welcome to as long as you have a motorbike licence.
Cost: Prices for the chauffeured ride experience range from R800 to R2200 depending on the duration of the tour.
+27(0) 84 606 4449 or +27 (0) 21 424 5013 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shark Cage Diving Tours with White Shark Diving Company
Forget safaris and trying to catch sight of the big five on land. For a truly otherworldly experience and a day trip you’re not likely to forget soon, book a cage dive with the White Shark Diving Company (WSDC), which specialise in underwater adventures that showcases the kings of the deep in their home territory. These excursions for the brave and daring take place in the Gansbaai area, which is notorious for its year-round great white shark population, and divers can arrange to be picked up in Cape Town – Gansbaai is roughly located two hours from the CBD – or can meet the operator at Kleinbaai harbour. The day tours start at the crack of dawn (the best time to see these master predators in their prime), and thanks to the hundreds of seals that live and breed on the nearby Dyer Island, you’re almost always guaranteed to spot a shark from the safety of the submerged cage. Not to mention, from May to September, warmer water and an abundance of baby seals make for perfect conditions to view the sharks breaching (leaping out of the water as a hunting technique to catch their prey unawares). And since WSDC only takes 22 passengers per trip, everyone on board gets to spend more time in the cage and is also guaranteed a quality viewing spot from the deck of the boat.
Cost: A standard shark cage diving tour costs R1 600 (from 10th December cage diving will cost R1 750) for adult divers, R1 450 for adult non-divers and R1 050p/p for children; this price includes diving equipment, safety briefing and light pre- and post-trip meals and refreshments. A breaching and diving combo trip (offered only during the winter months from June to August) costs R1 950p/p. If door-to-door transport is required, an additional fee applies.
9 Kusweg | Kleinbaai Harbour | Gansbaai | +27(0)82 559 68587| email@example.com
Kiff Kombi Tours
A Kiff Kombi tour is an urban safari with a difference. Co-founders, Drew Campbell and Sophie Bagheri, set up a rustic and authentic Cape Town experience, using an old school Kombi (microbus). The Mother City is filled with history, myths and plenty of secrets; all of which you will be schooled about on this magnificent one day tour. Day trippers are taken to Bo-Kaap and District Six for a historical experience, and lunch coupled with some refreshing craft beer is at the Devil’s Peak Brewery. They have also recently debuted The Gin Jol for all lover gin lovers out there. They will take you to three distilleries and for a drink at the Secret Gin Bar too. On Saturdays, Kiff Kombi Tours takes you to the Old Biscuit Mill, where lunch is not included, but instead a cheese and wine pairing at Cape Point Vineyards. Expect the warmth of new friendships as a result of the intimacy of the tour. Kiff Kombi Tours targets ages from 18-35; but make no mistake, the young at heart are more than welcome to hop on board too! Try Kiff Kombis Wine, Beer & Biltong Tour; The Road Trip Tour which includes a trip to Cape Point, as well as penguin spotting at Boulders Beach. You can also enquire about Kiff Kombis township tours, for a truly Kasi experience.
Cost: The Urban Safari with Kiff Kombi Tours cost R680p/p, while the Wine, Beer & Biltong Tour with costs R800p/p, which includes pickups from designated spots, a local guide, beer tasting, lunch, wine tasting and lots of fun. The Road Trip Tour costs R600 p/p including the drive, and all entrance fees. The Craft Beer Safari costs R750 p/p including four craft brew tours and tastings, plus a craft beer and food pairing board. Their new tour, The Gin Jol, costs R770/p. There is a maximum of nine people allowed per trip and customised private tours are also available. Tours run seven days a week.
+27 (0)72 213 3888 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Kiffkombitours.co.za
The Forgotten Route Tour to Matjiesfontein with Wine Flies
There aren’t many tour operators that can promise a time travelling experience as part of the day trip package. But Wine Flies sure can with its Forgotten Route tour, which retraces the steps of early diamond explorers through the Karoo and ends in the little one-road town of Matjiesfontein, a small village still stuck in its Victorian-era glory days. Apart from the fact that you get to ride in the Shosholoza Meyl train and stay overnight in the historic Lord Milner Hotel, this two-day adventure stands out because tour owners Francois van Binsbergen and Riaan Renke make it their mission to create a fun-filled, educational journey that contains quirky surprises at every turn. There’s the stop at a boutique winery in the Breedekloof Valley, the hilarious, lightning-quick bus tour of Matjiesfontein, the honky-tonk jam with the locals at the Laird’s Arms pub and the visit to an old Anglo-Boer War fort, just to name a few highlights. Not to mention, travellers can expect to be stunned by the scenic Karoo landscape. With deep green fields of fynbos and thin waterfalls spilling from rocky crags, it’s every bit as majestic and visit-worthy as the oft-travelled Garden Route.
Cost: The Forgotten Route tour with Wine Flies costs R1675p/p, and this price includes everything (accommodation, train ride, wine tasting, dinner, breakfast and museum access) except lunch and drinks. The tour departs every Friday.
+27 (0) 21 462 8011 |email@example.com
NAC Helicopter Tours
If you’re the sort that believes first impressions are everything, then the best way for you to meet the Mother City is on one of NAC Helicopters Cape Town’s next-level chopper tours. The breath-taking rides treat passengers to the kind of postcard-perfect vistas that grace the front covers of glossy mags and travel guides, and there’s truly no better way to appreciate the totality of Cape Town’s beauty than from above. NAC offers a handful of scenic flights, from the Hopper tour that cruises along the Atlantic Seaboard to the Point flip that beats its way to most south-western tip of the continent and back. In every case though, riders can take in striking panoramas of Table Mountain, the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island, Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, Lion’s Head and more. Best of all? Helicopter flights are reportedly cheaper in South Africa than anywhere else in the world. And as NAC also offers personalised destination flights, you can even arrange your own aerial sightseeing tour to an end point of your choice.
Cost: Shared tours (minimum of 2 people) cost between R1080p/p for the Hopper flight to R4300p/p for the Point ride. Private flips range in price from R3240 to R25,800. Tours run daily between sunrise and sunset.
V&A Waterfront | East Pier | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 425 3868
ByeCycle Electric Bicycle Tours
Explore the Mother City’s sights and landmarks in a particularly unusual way on one of ByeCycle’s e-bike tours. The Oranjezicht-based company specialises in crafting exciting excursions done by electric bicycle. This two-wheeled wonder differs from its traditional counterpart in that it features a built-in motor that allows riders to cruise up steep hills and cover longer distances without even breaking a sweat. Choose from trips like the Sundowners on Signal Hill Tour, the Sunday City Breakfast Ride and the daily Sea Point Promenade Ride. On top of these options, cyclists can customise their own tours (with the assistance of ByeCycle’s highly dedicated staff) for special occasions, and they can get quite creative as this modern beast of a machine can take riders almost anywhere in the Mother City and surrounds.
Cost: The Sundowners on Signal Hill Tour goes for R590p/p ( including refreshments), the Sunday City Breakfast Ride is R550p/p (excluding breakfast) and the Promenade Cycle is R325p/p (including entry to the Chavonnes Battery Museum at the V&A Waterfront).
+27 (0) 76 403 7320 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hop On Hop Off Bus Sightseeing Tours
What better way to take in the Mother City’s bucket list-worthy tourist attractions than from a fire engine-red, double-decker Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour bus? The striking, open-top vehicles rumble along two main Cape Town routes – one that winds through the city centre and one that takes riders on a breathtaking mini-peninsula tour – and travellers can disembark at various different points to explore the areas a little more on foot and then jump back on at any one of the stops. The red city tour starts at the V&A Waterfront and takes visitors past must-see landmarks, like Table Mountain, Camps Bay beach and the now-famous District Six area, while the blue mini-peninsula tour showcases the Cape’s fynbos and coast with visits to Kirstenbosch Garden, Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay and various beachside suburbs. What’s more, passengers get insightful commentary (available in 16 different languages) along the way, so when they do finally hop off for good, they’re a little bit wiser too.
Cost: Tickets for the bus tours are available online at Citysightseeing.co.za, at the City Sightseeing ticket office at the V&A Waterfront and on the bus (with credit or debit cards only). A one-day ticket costs R130p/p online, R150p/p offline and R70p/p for kids between 5 and 15 years of age; little ones under the age of 5 ride for free (maximum of two children per adult). The buses run all year ‘round (rain or shine), and they make stops every 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the route.
V&A Waterfront | +27 (0) 21 511 6000 | email@example.com
Whale, Wine and Wors Tour by Wine Flies
If you’re on the hunt for a unique day trip outing, then look no further than the Whale, Wine and Wors Tour courtesy of boutique vino operator Wine Flies. The fun-loving company will whisk you off to discover the hidden gems of the Cape Winelands, and thanks to its musical chairs policy (after every stop you have to swap seats in the minibus and sit next to someone new), you will make friends along the way as well. Running every Tuesday and Thursday from August until December, the Whale, Wine and Wors tour comprises three major stops. The first is Stellenbosch, where you will visit the quirky Oom Samie Se Winkel and stop over at the family-owned Middelvlei Wine Farm to sample some top-quality reds and whites and take a cellar tour. Next, it is off to Grabouw for a uniquely South African pairing of authentic boerewors (farm sausage) and Everson’s Cider. Finally, to top it all off, you’ll take a trip to Hermanus for lunch at a stunning Hemel-en-Aarde Valley estate and for some land-based whale watching (binoculars are provided by Wine Flies). All in all, it is a fun and informative day trip led by charming and experienced tour guides.
Cost: Wine Flies’ Whale, Wine and Wors Tour costs R650p/p, which includes all tastings, food pairings and lunch. Tours run every Tuesday and Thursday (August to December) from 7:30am-6pm.
+27 (0) 21 462 8011| firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore Cape Town – and the world – with VoiceMap. The audio walking tour app is a great way for tourists and locals alike to experience the city and discover her hidden gems. The VoiceMap app offers listeners a series of immersive audio walking tours bringing together the latest technology and insights from the city’s most knowledgeable locals. To access the location-aware walks, all that is needed is a smartphone, VoiceMap’s free app for iPhone or Android devices and a pair of headphones. The app offers approximately 30 tours in Cape Town alone with walks available in over almost 70 cities worldwide and new routes published every day. Using a smartphone’s GPS to play audio automatically (as well as offline maps), once the app and respective tour is downloaded and the green start button pressed, tour members can put their phones away and relax, exploring the city at their own pace (walkers are welcome to stop at any time for as long as they like) – the soundtrack will play automatically at the right time and place. Offering a wide range of Cape Town journeys – from historical and comical to fantasy and sci-fi themed tours– listeners can explore areas such as Muizenberg, Observatory, the Constantia woodlands and Mouille Point through the eyes of passionate storytellers thus gaining a deeper and far meaningful connection that the area.
Cost: Free – R199.99
+27 (0) 81 868 0197 | email@example.com
If you’re looking for other cool apps in Cape Town, then check out our overview of Cool Cape Town Apps.
We have rounded up some fantastic Romantic Getaways if you'd rather celebrate love.
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