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Discover the cosmopolitan delights of Cape Town City Bowl before taking a revolving cable car to the top of Table Mountain. Cape Town’s central business district is rich in history and a thriving tourist hub with a collection of fine dining establishments, quirky coffee shops and restaurants, and vibrant street markets. The majestic Table Mountain stands sentry of Cape Town’s iconic landmarks, with the vibrant central district and working harbour lying at its feet.
- Cape Town City Bowl
- Castle of Good Hope
- Cape Town City Hall
- Adderley Street
- St George’s Cathedral
- Company Gardens
- Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarters)
- Table Mountain
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Pick up and drop off available at no extra charge from various hotels in Cape Town CBD. Pick up and drop off from hotels in other suburbs in Cape Town available on request at an extra charge. Tour duration and collection times may vary depending on route taken and traffic.|
|DEPARTURE TIME||8:00am or 12:30pm Daily (Sunday to Friday)|
|RETURN TIME||12:30pm or 5:00pm|
|WEAR||Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.|
Cape Town City Bowl
Cape Town CBD is a vibrant, multi-cultural destination which is steeped in history and culture. It’s the gateway to Cape Town’s most popular attractions such as the V&A Waterfront, the Two Oceans Aquarium and a working harbour where you can take a boat trip to visit Robben Island.
Once a safe haven for passing ships, sailors and traders; Cape Town City Bowl is world-renowned for its vast collection of quality hotels, designer shops and stylish restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Modern high-rise corporate offices stand sentry over the historical Company’s Gardens and the Castle of Good Hope.
Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope is a famous landmark in Cape Town and a prime example of a ‘star fort’. It was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company and is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa. It is positioned on the original shoreline before years of land reclamation changed the Table Bay coastline. The Castle of Good Hope was declared a national monument in 1936.
The castle is built using local rock cut from a granite outcrop on Signal Hill and blue slate and shells which were transported from Robben Island. It was built by soldiers, volunteers, slaves and Khoi who were forced to do hard labour for punishment. It housed a church, bakery and living quarters as well as various workshops, shops and prison cells. Ironically, it was never attacked as battles against the British were fought in Muizenberg in 1795 and Blaauwberg in 1806.
Please note: Guests can go on a tour of the Castle of Good Hope only if time permits
Cape Town City Hall
Cape Town’s City Hall is an imposing Italian Renaissance-style Edwardian building which stands on the Grand Parade in the heart of the City Bowl. It was constructed from honey limestone and took five years to complete; the cornerstone was laid in 1900.
The lower walls and plinths of the City Hall were made using granite from a quarry on Signal Hall, while the honey-beige limestone and numerous fixtures and fittings were imported from Europe and England. The façade was restored in 1979 and the Grand Parade was given a major facelift in 2010; making the block it stands in one of Cape Town’s iconic landmarks.
Adderley Street is the main street in Cape Town running through the central business district. This famous thoroughfare is steeped in history and links the business hub with the main train station. It was originally named ‘Heerengracht’ after the gracht (canal in Dutch) which ran down its centre. This water source had its origins in the rivers from Table Mountain. A wide walkway ran beside the canal, crossing various ancient bridges.
The network of canals were covered over in the 1860 as part of the land reclamation project and the Heerengracht river and canals now run under the city as part of an underground pipeline. The street was given its name by Mayor Hercules Jarvis in 1850 in honour of British Parliamentarian Charles Bowyer Adderley who fought successfully against the plan for the British government to make Cape Town into another penal colony.
St George’s Cathedral
St George’s Cathedral is a magnificent church which stands sentry at the top of Adderley Street in Cape Town. It is a gorgeous example of Victorian-era design with spectacular stained-glass windows and a crypt which has since been turned into a restaurant.
This famous church is affectionately known as the “People’s Cathedral” because of the role it played during the apartheid era. St George’s doors were kept open to people of all races at a time when brutal racial segregation dominated South Africa.
It was from the steps of St George’s Cathedral that Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, led a mass demonstration of some 30 000 people to the Grand Parade in 1989 and where a memorial service for Madiba was held; bell ringers paid their respects for the iconic struggle veteran by ringing 95 hand and 95 backstroke gongs.
The Company Garden in the heart of Cape Town is a popular park and heritage site. It was originally created in the 1650s by the Dutch East India Company and provided fresh produce to replenish ship stocks. It was watered from the Molteno Dam which uses water from springs on the lower slopes of Table Mountain.
At the Company Garden, you’ll find the oldest cultivated pear tree (circa 1652) and a rose garden designed and built in 1929. Delville Wood Memorial Garden commemorates the World War I Battle of Delville Wood in France, where 2 245 South African soldiers lost their lives.
Today, the Company Garden is a hive of activity and the perfect retreat for office workers; it boasts an excellent restaurant, an aviary, benches and beautifully-kept lawns and a herb and succulent garden as well as historic statues. You’ll find the famous Iziko South African Museum and Iziko National Gallery which
Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarters)
Bo-Kaap is the historic Malay Quarters and an iconic feature of Cape Town. It is situated at the foot of Signal Hill on the fringe of the city centre and is a visual feast of colour and beauty. This bright and vibrant residential area dates back to the 1760s when “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) were built and leased to slaves. These slaves were brought from Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of Africa and used to build the city of Cape Town.
The homes built on old cobbled roads are an eclectic mix of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture which have since been painted in neo-bright colours. This was an expression of freedom when the slaves were eventually allowed to buy their homes; prior to that the colour of the outside of a ‘slave house’ could only be white.
Many families living in Bo-Kaap are descendants of the original Malay slaves. Their rich cultural heritage is celebrated throughout the year, with the highlight being a music carnival where brightly-dressed musicians make their way from Bo-Kaap through the City Bowl.
Table Mountain is a UNESCO heritage site and an iconic landmark of Cape Town. It was a beacon of hope for desperate sailors when they rounded the Cape Horn during vicious storms. The majestic mountain is home to the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth and was voted the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011.
Table Mountain is flanked by Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head and makes up the northern end of the Cape Fold mountain range. It has a distinctive flat top which is covered in a thick blanket of cloud on certain days, earning it the nickname “the Table Cloth”. If there is time, guests on the half-day tour can take a revolving cable car to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Atlantic Seaboard, the Cape Town harbour and Robben Island in the distance.
Please note: Pre-buy your cableway ticket for Table Mountain online before the tour starts; in busy peak periods, the queues at the cableway station are very long.
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