Share the Pain, Tragedy, Challenges and Triumphs of the Mother City

Cultural day tours and excursions uncovered in Cape Town and Surrounds

What are the origins of Cape Town and how did the city become the ‘rainbow nation’ of the present day?  From District Six to Bo’Kaap and from Kramats to Art Deco; you will find the answers in historical streets, monuments, museums, landmarks, architecture and spirited Cape Town people. Embark on a full or half day cultural tour and your expert guide will open your eyes to fascinating accounts of the pain, tragedy, challenges and triumphs faced by the ancestors of the Mother City.

Walking cultural day tours in Cape Town

Nothing helps you digest an experience like slowing down the pace to a leisurely walk. Join specialist guides on a budget, half day walking tour through Cape Town’s historic streets to retrace 350 years of Cape Town’s colourful past. Your tour, including Greenmarket Square and the Castle of Good Hope, is packed with stories of the challenges facing early Dutch settlers, the pain of Apartheid and the triumph of the new ‘rainbow nation’. Your tour operator also provides private walking tours for smaller groups (Footsteps to Freedom | +27 (0) 824521112).

A free walking tour which focuses on city developments is a great way to see just how far Cape Town has come since Apartheid. Discover the stories behind the streets, buildings and people, and the projects that are transforming the City Centre into a place that retains historical character, whilst becoming a vibrant, ‘World City’ (Cape Town Partnership | +27 (0) 21 - 4191881).

Cultural day tours in the Mother City by bike

Ever wondered how much the Dutch East India company paid for the Cape Peninsula, or what wild animals roamed the City Centre 300 years ago? Hop on a bike for a full day tour and you’ll find out. Cycle through Cape Town’s major historical sights from Robben Island, to the Castle of Good Hope, to scenic, Chapman’s Peak Drive. Tours include bicycle rental, a helmet and a knowledgeable tour guide (City Cycle Tours | +27 (0) 21 - 5115766).

Cultural day trips to Robben Island

From the 17th to the 20th century, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment to key political figures like Nelson Mandela. Several times a day, ferries depart from the Robben Island Exhibition and Information Centre, situated at the V&A Waterfront. A half day tour of this world heritage site is a reminder of the price paid for freedom and includes; the prison and an island tour (Robben Island Museum | +27 (0) 21 - 4095169).

Bo-Kaap cultural day tours

Bo-Kaap is a multi-cultural area of Cape Town, tucked safely into the fold of Signal Hill. During a half day walking tour, explore Muslim cultural history and heritage, via the cobbled streets and colourful 18th century homes. Your local guide, Yagya Arend, will take you to South Africa’s first Muslim mosque and to sample traditional Cape Malay cuisine at a resident’s home in the ‘The Malay Quarter’. For more information, Take a Walk Through Bo'Kaap (Bo’Kaap Experience Cape Town | +27 (0) 829216755).

Not enough Cape Malay cuisine for your taste buds? Combine your cultural tour with shopping for tantalizing ingredients including; ginger, cinnamon, coriander and chili. Learn how to mix Masala, fold Samosas and balance the flavours of a Cape Malay Curry, then reap the tasty rewards of your efforts, whilst an expert cooking instructor tells you more about the food of Bo-Kaap Culture (Andulela Experience |+27 (0) 21 - 7902592).

Exclusive Cultural Day Tours

Drive through historical Cape Town in style, in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle with onboard refreshments. Your tour includes Table Mountain, the Castle of Good Hope, Wine Tasting in Constantia and a Traditional South African Lunch at a luxury venue (Alatus Tours | +27 (0) 723698625). Or, cruise the city with a group of friends in a private, 7-seater microbus, with a qualified driver guide. Your half day scenic drive includes; Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Houses of Parliament, City Hall and Bo-Kaap (Hylton Ross Exclusive Touring | +27 (0) 21 - 5115784).

We hope that this overview of excursions and day trips in Cape Town and Surrounds has inspired some great experiences in the Mother City. If you enjoyed this overview, be sure to read Adventure Day Tours, Township Day Tours, Winelands Day Tours, Cape Peninsula Day Tours and Wildlife and Nature Day Tours. Or Read our selection of the Best Day Tours in Cape Town and Surrounds.

By Lisa Nevitt


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Locals and visitors can discover something new during free walking tours of Cape Town.

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