Cape Town, or South Africa's Mother City, offers a plethora of things to see and do. From some of the best beaches in the world to glorious vineyards, from the majestic Table Mountain to several protected nature reserves, the city has a lot on offer to visitors. You could, of course, choose to go sightseeing on your own or pick your places and Uber yourselves to them.
But as most Capetonians will tell you, it is much safer, much cheaper and that much more efficient to just pick one of the hundreds of pre-packaged tours on offer here. Here are 20 of the best Cape Town Tours that you could pick from.
A tour of Cape Town's glorious vineyards is an absolute must if you are ever in town. There is no better way to experience the green splendour of the wine county than to take a physical tour of the wine lands, even better if you do it riding a Segway! Segway Tours runs fantastic tours that allow you to glide through the vineyards enjoying the fresh air and the anticipation of great wine tastings. Add to this the opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of wine lands with the majestic Stellenbosch mountains in the backdrop.
You need to be over 10 years of age to take these Segway tours, so if you have older kids, this is a fun way to explore Cape Town with them. While no Segway experience is necessary, making a prior booking is a must.
If bike tours interest you more than segway tours though, check out this 3-hour bicycle tour in Cape Town instead.
Cape Town Culinary Tours let you explore Cape Town in a slightly different way. These culinary tours let you explore the city's culture, history and lifestyle through its food! Take their guided walking tour through Cape Town's thriving food scene at the base of the majestic Table Mountain. Enjoy the city's striking culinary offerings, perfectly paired with Cape Town's world-renowned wines!
Stroll about at a leisurely pace, sample local foods made by local chefs and enjoy a one of a kind culinary safari. Pick a tour according to your preference or tailor-make a private tour just for you.
Three of our highly recommended Cape Tour food tours are:
Cape Point Ostrich Farm, an ostrich facility about 50km from Cape Town, runs guided tours of their ostrich breeding station. For people who have never encountered ostriches, other in picture books, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about them. For others who have, this is still a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal.
You can easily spend a wonderful day here. The farm has an excellent restaurant if you wish to have lunch here. There is also a shop where you can buy trinkets and ostrich egg souvenirs. As a bonus, the farm is wheelchair friendly.
You can save some time and money by choosing this full-day, private Cape Penninsula Tour that covers Table Mountain, ostrich farms and penguin colonies in one package!
One of the best free Cape Town tours is Afrogem's fabrication factory tour that showcases South Africa's rich mineral heritage. Get first-hand insight into the process of crafting smelted gold into beautiful elegant jewellery. It is a different kind of thrill watching craftsmen intricately set gemstones in yet unfinished jewellery. The factory is right in the heart of Cape Town's CBD and you can walk in anytime during work hours. There is no entrance fee.
After the tour, don't forget to collect your complimentary tour gift. It serves as a memorable memento.
If you do not mind something slightly more expensive, you can test out your love of diamonds with this extraordinary (and well-named) Penninsula Wine, Whiskey, Gin & Diamonds tour instead.
Art and Beyond runs regular art and wine tours in the wine counties of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Specialized tour guides make the experience worthwhile as you gain a lot of insight on both, local art and local wines. Visiting vineyards and their landscaped visitor gardens are an entire standalone experience of their own, but when teamed up with wine tastings, they are simply phenomenal.
Though they have pre-made tour itineraries, you can also choose to build personalised tours with Art and Beyond. In addition to the wine and art tours, they also run tours up Table Mountain. If you are interested in exploring a bit further away, try their Cape Point tours or their tours to Boulders Bay's penguin colony.
And if you love graffiti, the Cape Town Photograffity tour comes highly, highly recommended. Get all your Instagram-worthy Cape Town photos in just one 5-hour tour!
If you want a different kind of touring experience, try any one of the several tours run by Afta Africa Tours. Their whale tours to Hermanus are especially popular, followed by their 'explore the Cape Peninsula' tours. Hermanus, one of the world's 12 best sites for whale watching, is home to colonies of these gentle sea giants. You can watch these magnificent creatures from land, but taking their 3-hour boat ride to get a bit up close is something truly adventurous.
The whale tour also includes wine tastings, a visit to the local botanical gardens, a look at Stoney Point's penguin colony and visits to other hidden gems. Hence, these tours are every bit worth their price.
You can choose a full-day guided and private whale-watching tour for the best experience or try our highly recommended Marine Big-5 Adventure Tour that takes you on a delightful tour to see whales, Cape seals, great white sharks, penguins and more (in their natural habitats and nesting grounds) in one neatly combined package.
If you want to explore Cape Town on a tight budget, Cape Town Free Walking Tour gives you the best, free of cost options. Qualified and knowledgeable local guides take you all around the city on 60-minute, 90-minute or longer walks. From Cape Town's coastal beauty, its historic locations and museums, Apartheid-era relics and even the colourful Bo Kaap; these tours cover everything.
Though these tours are free for everyone, they are run on a 'tips' based model. It is a good practice to tip your tour guides for the time and effort they spend on your sightseeing and comfort.
If you don't mind spending some money for an elevated tour experience, try the Bo Kaap walking tour with tea offered by Viator.
Cape Town Outside runs fantastic day trips to San rock paintings, high in the Cedarberg mountains. Their expert-guided day trips start from Cape Town and take you through the phenomenal experience of going up the mountains to view ancient Bushman paintings. Their trips take you off the beaten path and include a heavy dose of local history and culture.
You can also book private tours with them. But even their readymade trip itineraries are experiences that shouldn't be missed while you're in Cape Town. If you prefer private tours to these Bushmen paintings, this day-trip from Cape Town is totally worth the money you spend.
If you've never met an alpaca, you have no idea what you've been missing! After all, they are gentle, cute and immensely cuddly. Quenti Alpaca & Mill lets you tour around their customised industrial fleece mill after you finish learning about these beautiful creatures and get your memorable close encounters with them. The mill is just an hour's drive from Cape Town and is an interesting way to spend a morning if you want to do something different for the day.
The mill tour is wheelchair friendly. People of all ages can enjoy this tour and get insight on how an alpaca's luxurious fleece gets spun into wool.
City Sightseeing Cape Town runs open-top bus tours all across the Cape Peninsula. They have over 30 stops and take you to over 50 of the city's top attractions. You can hop on or off these bright red buses as you please throughout the day. Their tours are colour coded and they provide maps and timetables with your tickets, so you know where and when you can catch the next bus on your line from.
These bus tours are wheelchair friendly. They are a great way to roam around the city without putting too much effort in researching where to go and what to see. The purple line (wine tour) and the blue line (Cape peninsula tour) come highly recommended. While the purple line takes you through breath-taking vineyards, the blue line gives your unforgettable azure views of the ocean on one side and Cape Town's famous mountain peaks on the other.
City Sightseeing also offers harbour and canal cruises that are a fun way to explore the city from a different perspective. You can almost always spot a Cape Fur Seal or two, frolicking in the water during the harbour cruise while getting outside-in views of the V&A Waterfront as well as Table Mountain. The canal cruise takes you through the city's internal waterways, showing you interesting spots and city landmarks as you move along.
If you want to take back unforgettable memories of your trip to Cape Town, the Franschhoek Wine Hop on Hop off Tram tour is the one tour you must not miss.
Another free Cape Town tour experience is the jewellery tour run by The Diamond Works Institute. Learn about the highly skilled craft of diamond cutting and careful jewellery-making craftsmanship through a tour of the institute. Meet industry professionals, ask questions and admire their creations.
The tour also takes you through the only Tanzanite polishing studio in the Southern Hemisphere. And if that weren't enough already, you can enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with your already free tour! Alternatively, take this private tour.
Apex Predators runs the most adrenaline-packed shark expeditions to False Bay. They also offer cage diving among other things and are totally committed to giving you the best over and under water experience in Cape Town. You cannot leave Cape Town without witnessing False Bay's rich marine wildlife and sharks. False Bay's resident sharks have featured in over 60 documentaries filmed by Discovery Channel, Nat Geo and BBC.
Take these tours if you'd like it to be a bit more private than others as this operator only caters to smaller groups of 12 people or less.
If you are an adrenaline traveller who would like something that gives a more up close and personal experience, the 4D 3N Divers Experience is enough to give you goosebumps for a long time to come. And if you're ballsy but not that ballsy, there's the shark cage diving experience option too, you know.
A great, alternative way to experience Cape Town is via sailing cruises. Yacoob Yachts offers daily sailing cruises alongside the Cape coastline. Not only do you experience a real sailing experience aboard one of their catamarans but you get stunning views of Cape Town all along the way.
For added excitement, they also offer faster speedboats. And if you still want more, get aboard Jolly Roger's pirate ship and get a-boasting on social media.
If you're travelling as a large group, the 4-hour Atlantic seaboard private yacht experience is by far the most fulfilling yacht experience in Cape Town.
The ultimate experience in Cape Town's air tourism is taking a helicopter tour run by Cape Town Helicopters. They have several scenic flights to choose from so you can pick a tour that suits your taste. Also, they offer romantic wine land lunches and other adventure experiences too.
These Cape Town helicopter tours are wheelchair friendly, a fun experience for all. These tours present you with the opportunity to take stunning aerial photographs of the majestic table mountains, the bustling city and its incredible cliffs and coasts.
About 30 km from Cape Town, the Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers guided horse rides on the beach, a beautiful, one-of-a-kind experience. These rides take you through the seaside suburb of Kommetjie, through lush meadows and tree-lined paths complimenting the seaside ride. This is arguably the best place for horseriding in Cape Town and hence it comes highly recommended for those who crave a different kind of experience.
Visit Imhoff Farm while you're here. It has lots to offer to everyone; from camel rides and animal encounters for kids to wildflower-covered beaches, a restaurant and a café for others.
Alternatively, you can combine two joys and try wine tasting on horseback.
They say that the best way to understand a culture is to look at its art, and that is especially so with street art! Baz Art runs several street art walking tours that take you around the buzzing suburbs of Cape Town, showing you interesting street art and explaining the artist’s vision and backstories. The tour covers all the hot street art locations in town, including Salt River, Woodstock and Bo Kaap.
Tours need to be booked at least 48 hours in advance and require groups of at least 2 people. The tour runs for 2 hours and is conducted by guides knowledgeable in street art, who are often street artists themselves.
And if you prefer combination tours, we have one that combines wine and beer tasting tours with graffiti hunting. How's that for a great combo?
Drumbeat Charters runs several different tours and private charters to seal island. Their 40-minute seal colony cruise takes you to Duiker Island seal colony. There, you get right up close with gorgeous Cape Fur Seals right in their natural habitats. Their 60-minute cruise takes you a little further to the Moari Bay shipwreck as well.
All along the cruise, you get to see stunning views of Chapmans Peak Drive and Sentinel Mountain. Drumbeat cruises are wheelchair accessible. Tickets cost R100 per adult, R50 for children who are 14 and under, while kids under 2 years are free. Their boats comply with all safety and security measures and they only employ qualified and competent skippers. This is a huge relief considering the temperamental weather of Cape Town.
Check out this supersaver deal!
There are 22 historical landmarks at the V&A Waterfront and even without this official figure, there is plenty to explore here. Guided walking tours run for about 90-minutes from the Chavonnes Battery Museum, the oldest heritage site in the harbour. The winding walking tour then takes you to all famous and historic landmarks such as the Clock Tower, Robinson Dry Dock, Breakwater Prison and the Pump House, which is now home to the Cape Town Comedy Club.
Post the tour, head over to Shimansky Cape Town Diamond Museum in Clock Tower District to learn about South Africa's glittering diamond history. If you are on the other side, check out the Two Oceans Aquarium instead. The aquarium is a treasure trove of local sea life in and around South Africa. If you are particularly adventurous, you can feed the penguins or scuba dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit.
You can take combination tours here as well, such as this Freedom Heritage Tour.
The best way to explore Robertsons Wine Valley is to take a wine valley safari tour. These fun tours, which follow a different route each day, bring on the super excitement of being in an open-air safari vehicle. As you travel through the endless vineyards, you get 360-degree views of the landscape as far as the mountains go.
You can choose between different tours, they have everything from freestyle hop-on hop-off tours, wine tasting tours, cellar tours and even lavender farming tours. The cultural tour of McGregor Village also comes highly recommended, as do their vine and wine sunset safaris and their Nkqubela township tours.
Weather permitting, Robben Island Museum conducts general tours from Monday to Saturday, running to Robben Island from mainland Cape Town. These tours take about 4 hours with two half-hour ferry trips on a Sikhi.The ferries depart from Nelson Mandela Gateway at V&A Waterfront and disembark at Murray’s Bay Harbour. Thereafter, buses take you all the historical sites on the island, including the maximum-security prison that held South Africa’s most prominent freedom fighters including Nelson Mandela. Inside the prison, knowledgeable tour guides (sometimes even actual prisoners who were held there) give you a guided tour of the prison and the island, and tell you stories from the personal experiences of the prisoners there.
There is just so much to see and do in Cape Town that this list of 20 is
just the tip of the iceberg. So watch this space for add-on articles that bring
you more, super exciting tours of Cape Town. In the meantime, in case you have
experienced any of these tours first hand, share your experience with us
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