Top 5 lesser-known activities around Cape Town

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Cape Town is the most visited part of South Africa, and there is a well established set of outstanding attractions that are always high on the list of every visitor.  But the city still has plenty to offer once you’ve taken the cable car up Table Mountain, seen the harbour and waterfront area, visited the penguins at Boulders Beach, and explored the Cape Point Nature Reserve.   These may well be the best known of the attractions, however for many visitors it will be some of the less known activities that will really leave then with the long-lasting memories once they return home.

Motorcycle sidecar tour around Cape Point or the winelands

There is nothing quite like being driven around Cape Town  in the sidecar of a vintage CJ750 motorbike with Cape Sidecar Adventures. This unique way of seeing the sights in and around Cape Town has become increasing popular and you have a few options of routes to choose from too – from a 2 hour cruise along the West Coast or along Chapman’s Peak to longer half-day or full-day tours. The longer tours can take you down to the Cape Peninsula or to the cape winelands  where you can spend the day visiting the local wine estates.  Each motorcycle can take two guests (one in the sidecar and one on the pillion), and all the routes are great fun and offer some wonderful scenery.  The guides provide you with all your riding gear (leather jacket, helmet and goggles) so you look and feel the part, and when we did their tour of the cape winelands both the ‘bike and our leathers got plenty of attention from other guests who had joined a more conventional tour.

Cape Sidecar Adventures

Paraglide over Cape Town

This might sound like an activity for only the adventurous, but seeing Cape Town from the air is completely possible – and safe. Experiencing a tandem paraglide, means you are in your own seat, attached to the pilot and ‘flown’ by an experienced pilot. You don’t need any previous experience to enjoy this activity, just sit back and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness, complete silence and uninterrupted views of Table Mountain, Cape Town and Camps Bay.

Paragliding Over Cape Town

Cape Malay cooking tour in Bo-Kaap

Feel like experiencing an authentic meal in Cape Town? Cape Malay cooking is one of South Africa’s traditional cuisines and it plays a large role in Bo-Kaap culture in Cape Town. Why not book a cooking tour, hosted in a true Cape Malay home! Explore the colourful community of the Bo-Kaap and learn how to make samosas, roti’s and understand the wonderful spices in a masala. The tours end with a lovely social meal, enjoying some lovely dishes and the food you have learned to cook.

Cape Malay cooking tour in BoKaap

Tree canopy walkway at Kirstenbosch Gardens

When visiting Kirstenbosch Gardens, be sure to include a stroll along the new Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, a 130m curved steel and timber bridge that has been built 12m above the tree canopies, offering breath taking views of the gardens below with minimal impact to its surroundings. Known locally as ‘the Boomslang’ (meaning tree snake), the walkway dips and curves its way through the forest and over the trees of the Arboretum.

Kirstenbosch Canopy Walkway

Hop-on, hop-off wine tram in Franschhoek

Franschhoek – known as the ‘Food and Wine Capital’ of South Africa, offers a wonderful and unique way to indulge in just that  – excellent food and wine! The wine tram, offering 6 different route options of this ‘hop-on, hop-off’ experience, allows you to comfortably travel through the winelands, enjoying the scenery of vineyards and mountains whilst visiting some of the top Wine Estates in the area along the way.

Franschhoek Wine Tram

Wine tastings are offered at the estate cellars and most have on site restaurants where you can enjoy anything from a light meal to a three course lunch.  Prebook your cellar tours and lunch when booking your tram tickets as this is a really popular activity!

Paul Campbell is a Co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers. Travel Butlers are specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean.

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