Cape Town’s Best Cultural Tours: Creative and Natural Beauty

Photo of A. J. Samuels
9 February 2017

The second most populated city in South Africa, Cape Town is a unique destination where natural beauty, a fascinating yet turbulent history, and enchanting cultures meet. The wide cultural spectrum found in the city can be experienced by travelers through the many quality tours which explore both the city and surrounding areas.

© Vintage Hidden

Hidden Vintage – Art and Galleries of the Cape

Hidden Vintage is an organization that prides itself on offering a range of tours and holiday packages that explore the unique cultures of Southern Africa. One of their exemplary itineraries is the Art and Galleries of the Cape, a multiple day customizable tour that explores the rich artistic culture of Cape Town, both historic and contemporary. The tour not only visits renowned museums, private collections and contemporary galleries, but also locations that have inspired some of the most famous South African artworks. Curators and local artists help guide the tour, giving travelers access to expert knowledge.

© Explore

Explore – Cycle the Cape

Explore is an international tour organization that prides itself on responsible tourism, aiming to positively impact the environment, local residents and travelers. Starting in Cape Town, their Cycle the Cape tour has been raved about by their customers and offers an incredible ten day cycle experience throughout South Africa’s Western Cape Province. Travelers will witness the rugged coastline of Cape Point, the forested shorelines of the Garden Route, the vineyards in Stellenbosch, the Cango Caves and Boulders Beach, home to a colony of African Penguins.

© Bites and Sites

Bites and Sites – Classic Cape Cuisine Tour

Subtitled ‘Culture on a Spoon’, Bites and Sites is a Stellenbosch based organization that is proud to present South African history and culture through delectable food and wine. Stellenbosch is located 50 kilometers East of Cape Town and is renowned for its vineyards. Bite and Sites’ Classic Cape Cuisine tour allows travelers to explore the historic buildings of the town, including South Africa’s oldest restored townhouse, and sample a range of historically and culturally significant wines, teas and cuisines. From the savory classic Bobotie to sweet amarula mousse, the Classic Cape Cuisine tour is a unique way to experience the Cape Town region, as well as taste it.

© Callan Cohen | Birding Africa

Birding Africa – Cape Tours

Recommended as one of the top five bird tour companies in the world, Birding Africa is an esteemed organization that is made up of a team of biologists, bird book authors and conservationists who share a passion for Africa’s birds. The organization is nested in Cape Town and therefore travelers can be confident that their selection of Cape Tours are well researched and offer the best opportunities to see some of the country’s most beautiful avifauna. The tours range from day trips to multiple day tours, while Pelagic trips are also offered through their sister company Cape Town Pelagics.


AWOL – Cape Town City Walking Tour

Proud of providing ‘genuine and real interactions between locals and tourists’, AWOL is an award winning Cape Town based tour organization that provides a diverse spectrum of enlightening itineraries. The tours range from biking and hiking tours that delve into the area’s awe-inspiring beauty to city walking tours that immerse traveller’s in Cape Town’s fascinating history. In their Cape Town City Walking Tour guests will be told about the history of the city’s architecture, looking at sites such as the Grand Parade, the Castle, the City Hall and St. George’s Cathedral. The tour also explores the original Muslim area of Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap.

© Coffeebeans Routes

Coffeebeans Routes – Jazz Safari

While many tour companies throughout South Africa solely focus on the natural beauty of the country, Coffeebeans Route celebrates the contemporary, urban, African experiences that are to be found. The company is proud of their status as a pioneer in creative tourism and their tours bring together colorful personalities and local professionals to offer travelers insight into the city’s music, art, cuisine and more. One of their standout tours is the Jazz Safari, which invites guests to the house of a local musician for dinner, allowing them a unique local experience. After this the tour goes to a jazz venue where the city’s contemporary culture can truly be reveled in.

© Aquila Private Game Reserve

Aquila Private Game Reserve – Horseback Safari

Aquila Game Reserve is Cape Town’s closest private game reserve and is a popular destination for travelers who want to see some of South Africa’s most impressive animals. A four star establishment, the site offers different lodge accommodation options including premier, family and luxury, and visitors can also enjoy their multiple safari tours. Their Horseback Safari stands out as a distinct experience, allowing travelers the opportunity to spot ‘the big five’ (elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards and rhinos) and admire the stunning surroundings while traveling by this more natural method.

© Wine Tasting Tours

Wine Tasting Tours – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

South Africa’s wine is internationally renowned for its taste and quality, and tours of the vineyards that surround Cape Town are a great way to learn from professionals, as well as sample many fine vintages. Guided tours of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes are offered by a number of esteemed organizations, including the company Wine Tasting Tours. Offering Winemaker led excursions of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Franschhoek Valley, the tours offered here are advertised for everyone from beginners to passionate collectors and take guests behind the cellar door to where the true wine making secrets are kept. The tours also visit the best markets and restaurants of the area, as well art galleries, open air theaters and more.

© James Gradwell | Photography Tours Cape Town

Photography Tours Cape Town – Photography Tours, Hikes and Safaris

Photography tours are a fantastic way to see a city from unique perspectives, as well as take home a few new tricks and photo souvenirs. The first of its kind in Cape Town, Photography Tours Cape Town is owned and managed by professional photographer James Gradwell and offers a picturesque list of tour packages that allow travelers to see exactly what they want in expeditions designed to capture the perfect lighting. From the beautiful flowers and landscapes of the West coast to whale watching in Walker Bay, and from hikes up the iconic Table Mountain to architecture explorations in the city itself, Photography Tours Cape Town provides an experience for every photographic genre.

© Gecko Tours

Gecko Tours – Robben Island and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Tour

Gecko Tours is a family owned and run tour company that is proud of the local expertise given through their guides. Offering a number of flexible packages, their Robben Island and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront tour exudes a mixture of history and culture. The tour includes a ferry trip to the infamous world heritage site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, enlightening travelers on the chilling history of this island. During the tour guests are able to visit the Maximum Security Prison and meet an ex-political prisoner. The tour also includes opportunities to discover Murray’s Bay Harbor’s attractions and have lunch at the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

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