20 April 2012 by Roy Barford

City Sightseeing in Cape Town by bus

If you only have 1 day in Cape Town and want to see the city centre, Table Mountain and the beaches - take the Red City Tour with City Sightseeing and do this easily.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of entertaining Eric Moe, an extremely well-travelled Canadian tour operator, who popped into Cape Town for a quick visit. As a passionate advocate of the city, I was eager to show off its versatility and given that I only had a few hours to do so, I knew the City Sightseeing tour was my best option.

This is a tour that every Cape Town resident and visitor should go on at least once. You are pretty guaranteed to step off the bus feeling inspired and informed.

Yesterday was around 26 degrees Centigrade, with clear skies and a gentle breeze. Sitting on top of a double-decker bus on such a day is pleasant enough as it is, but throw in scenic locations like Camps Bay, as well as insightful narration throughout the journey, and you're getting a lot of value for your R120 ticket, particularly as you can get on and off the bus as often as you like throughout the day.

Less pleasant times in South Africa’s past are not ignored as the story of District Six and the forced evictions of non-white residents during the apartheid era is accurately told

The most convenient place to catch the City Sightseeing bus is probably at the V&A Waterfront, outside the Two Oceans Aquarium. From here the tour proceeds through the city centre, up to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, down to the beaches at Camps Bay and then along the coastline through Bantry Bay and Sea Point on the way back to the V&A Waterfront. If you don't wish to leave the bus at all, you could complete the tour in around 2 hours, but with so many must-see attaractions to stop at along the route, you should probably leave yourself around 6 hours.

The narration, which is now available in 16 languages, explains the history of Cape Town and how the various areas have developed over time. Less pleasant times in South Africa's past are not ignored as the story of District Six and the forced evictions of non-white residents during the apartheid era is accurately told.

Table Mountain, a provisional New7Wonder of Nature, is the highlight of the route for most passengers. Return tickets for the Table Mountain Cableway can be booked online in advance if you wish to skip the queues.

Camps Bay, with its pristine strip of restaurants and bars along the beach, is another popular stop on warmer days, while an assortment of museums in the city centre attract those more interested in culture and heritage.

If you have a second day in Cape Town, buy a 2-day ticket and go on the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour as well. The 2-day ticket costs R210.

For more information, visit the City Sightseeing website.

City Hall, where former South African president, Nelson Mandela, made his first speech after being released from prison.

Category: Routes & Trails

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