CapeTownMagazine.com

Why You Should Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

Why You Should Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

These city walking tours (three in total) are free, frequent, central and quick

Cape Town Free Walking Tours does exactly what it says on the box. Professional tour guides take groups of ±20–30 people on enlightening walks through the city in exchange for just a tip. It’s the type of experience you see packed with tourists. Free, short, frequent, central and informative, it’s also a gem of an experience often overlooked by locals.

90-MINUTE TOUR EVERY DAY, 3 TIMES A DAY
Take the Bo-Kaap tour, for example. As with all three of the 90-minute walking tours, it starts with a sign-up at Motherland Coffee Company in St George’s Mall on Wale Street, where you’ll find a guide waiting outside carrying a large green and white-coloured branded umbrella. The tours are on 365 days a year, come rain or shine, multiple times a day. 

After the guide gives a brief introduction and snaps a group photo, the walk begins. Up Wale Street, towards Buitengracht Street, you see the familiar sight of the colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap.

The guide entertains with some background information and fun facts, like how Wale and Bree Streets got their names or which popular city centre establishment is an old mortuary. You might hear stories related to the old Christiaan Barnard Memorial hospital and chuckle at foreign visitors’ experiences of crossing the road in Cape Town.

HOW ISLAM GOT TO THE CAPE
The guide (registered and accredited every three years by law) weaves the history of the Bo-Kaap into an entertaining tale touching on politics, history, religion and culture. You’ll learn how Islam landed in the Cape, hear greetings in Arabic or even chuckle at the shortest Khoisan joke. Visit the oldest mosque in South Africa and find out what all the Bo-Kaap mosques have in common. 

In recent historical moments, you might be told about the neighbourhood’s great victory as a cultural asset. In March 2019, the Bo-Kaap was declared an official Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ), meaning that new developments that threaten to infiltrate the zone will be restricted. The City will also foot all bills related to the restoration and maintenance of properties in the area so the heritage value of the buildings or site are protected or enhanced. 

THE LEGEND OF THE PAINTED HOUSES
The now iconic colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap have graced the covers of Lonely Planet and many Instagram feeds. That you know. 

But how much do you know about the mythical, spiritual and legendary reasons the houses are painted so many different colours? You might even be a little surprised to learn about what happened to all the early-19th-century Victorian broekie lace in Cape Town.  

You might get a recommendation to visit the casual cafe whose name Freddy Mercury used in Bohemian Rhapsody or visit an aunty’s tea garden. Discover the origin of bobotie and bunny chow and the difference between koeksusters and their Cape Malay sisters. Find out the funny way to tell if it was a good curry and visit the spice girls to stock up on supplies.

APARTHEID TO DISTRICT SIX 
The two other tours, city centre- and District-Six-based, unfold different aspects of the past. In the Apartheid To Freedom tour you’ll discover more about the struggle for freedom and what happened on the day Nelson Mandela was released. The Historic City Tour highlights the heroes and villains of colonialism and shares personal insights into local life over the years. 

These city walking tours are the best way to – once and for all – discover why Cape Town is called the Mother City, to learn about the different eras of Cape Town and South Africa’s history, and about some of the people who shaped it.

Address: Motherland Coffee Company, Mandela Rhodes Place, Wale Street/St George’s Mall, Cape Town City Centre
Hours: Tours depart at 11am, 2pm and 4:20, 365 days a year
Contact: +27 76 636 9007, info@freewalkingtourscapetown.co.za, http://freewalkingtourscapetown.co.za/ 

Images: Works Brothers, Free Walking Tours and author

---

NEW: The one dish, served one day a week that feeds whole families at Akni in the Bo-Kaap.

Find out 15 reasons to service your car on a Saturday and 15 awesome inner-city discoveries.

Do you know of any great things you can do for free?

Keep busy with these Cape Town day tours and stay active with beautiful hikes.

--- 

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

Follow and like us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterest for updates.

Cape Town Events Calendar
February 2020
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Woolworths_ProductionA Haunting New Show With A Hilariously ...

Anything and everything will be made fun of in Juliet Jenkin’s new satire

mother_city_comedy_festivalPlanting Funny Bones And Growing Local ...

Come out to support comedians you know... and new ones you’ll love

Hussar_GrillCook Your Steak And Eat It, Too

Plus find out how to make wet-aged beef and the perfect sauce to go with it

africamps_valentinesSPECIAL: Feel The Love This February At ...

Book this month to get bubbles and breakfast on the house

the_om_revolution_2019Sunrise To Sunset Yoga On The Beach Or ...

Sociable, mindful, fun and affordable group yoga classes in the park or on the beach

Polkadraai_and_popcorn_popcorn_and_wine1Polkadraai & Popcorn Wine Pairing Back ...

Check out the anti-serious wine pairing in the Western Cape with Polkadraai & Popcorn

ocean_experiences_2019_sealSnorkelling Adventure To See The ...

There are no crowds here. Just you, the seals and the guides

OX boat rides 04Spot Whales, Dolphins, Penguins, Seals ...

Readers get a special discounted rate with Ocean Experiences

aroundaboutnew3Season Specials And More With ...

From R200 vouchers and free upgrades, drive away with more value adds

robin_hoodTwo For One Tuesdays at Robin Hood ...

Where meat lovers and vegans can come together to enjoy good grill

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition At The Norval ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

tjing_pancakesTuesdays Are Pancake Days At Tjing Tjing

A fluffy soufflé pancake (or two) at Torii at Tjing Tjing House

dales_16Check Out the Everyday Lunch Menu at ...

The Milnerton family eatery also serves tapas

fpl_5Get Moving in Functional Training Class

Improve your fitness, strength and overall functionality with the Functional Performance ...

royalteaA Tuesday Treat to Share with a Friend

Royaltea at the V&A Food Market is offering a second one of their special teas at half ...

asamisLove Sushi? Asami's Has The Best ...

Get two sushi plates, pay for one, plus women also get 50% off on all cocktails on ...

haskell_wine_1Save On A Gourmet Food and Syrah Wine ...

Sip the renowned wines and taste delicious gourmet food from Haskell Vineyards

date night hqTuesday Date Night Special To Wine and ...

This Parisian-inspired steakhouse is top class

WSDC Shark 5Bucket-List Special: Swim (Safely) With ...

Is it your dream to see a great white?

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips