Cape Town and the Western Cape have many well known travel destinations that include Cape Point, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. The region however also has lesser known areas that are just waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers, whilst on a day trip or long weekend with your family and friends.
Fill your tank and take the road less travelled with some of the lesser known treasures listed below.
CAPE WEST COAST
Rooibos Route, Clanwilliam
The Cedarberg Mountain region is the only place in the world where Rooibos can be found. Visiting Clanwilliam, the Rooibos capital, will allow you a glimpse inside this indigenous route, with a variety of experiences on offer that include: cultivation, history, activities, tea tasting in the only Rooibos Tea House in the world, wining and dining with rooibos infused gourmet food or luxury pamper experiences with rooibos products.
Visit www.rooibos-route.co.za for more information.
Mamre Heritage Walk
Enjoy the new heritage walk in the town of Mamre. Only 50 minutes from Cape Town and rich and colourful in history, it is also home to South Africa’s fifth oldest church at the Moravian Mission Station. A walking tour has been developed in close collaboration with the Moravian Church to ensure that visitors can explore and experience this authentic route on foot.
CAPE GARDEN ROUTE
Noetzie – a Khoisan word meaning ‘Dark Water’ – is less than ten minutes away from the beautiful coastal town of Knysna. This is a secluded cove, boasting a pristine beach, an impressive variety of indigenous flora and fauna and an eclectic collection of classic beach houses and fanciful ‘castles’ that are available for vacation rentals. Bordering on the Sinclair Nature Area, Noetzie itself is protected by the Noetzie Conservancy, who are dedicated to maintaining this site for locals and visitors alike.
Judah Square Tour- A Rastafarian Experience
The Judah Square Community is truly unique congregation of people, situated in a small valley in Knysna. Meet and engage with the tranquil community and learn more about their culture and lifestyle. Stay at one of the B&B’s for an authentic experience and experience how Rastafarians live.
Point of Human Origin
The Pinnacle Point caves in Mossel Bay have revealed the earliest evidence of modern human behaviour, which puts Mossel Bay as the birthplace of culture and complex technology. Visit the caves for a personalised tour. Each tour includes a visit to the Pinnacle Point Cave and lasts about 3 to 4 hours.
Cape Town Stadium Tours and Green Point Urban Park
Built specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and venue for an impressive array of international acts, the Cape Town Stadium also offers an hour long tour from Tuesdays to Saturdays. The Green Point Urban Park, next to Cape Town Stadium is a family friendly experience with children facilities and a Biodiversity garden.
Underground City Centre Tours
You have been to all the top attractions, the vineyards and believe that you have done it all. Well, think again. Escape the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s city life and plunge down under into the ‘secret tunnels’ below the city of Cape Town. During the earlier days, the canals and rivers of Cape Town acted as routes of travel, instead of highways and interchanges.
District Six Museum
District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. It was originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants.
On February 11, 1966, it was declared a white area under the Group areas act of 1950 and by 1982 the last remnants of the once vibrant community essentially disappeared.
Gugu S’Thebe Theatre
Gugu S’Thebe Art and Culture Centre in Langa runs many successful programmes in music, with an emphasis on drumming, but also extending to dance, drama, along with many cultural clothing projects. The theatre recently opened, with shows aligned with the annual Cape Town Fringe Festival. The entire structure is made up of recycled items and built from containers. Shows will be held there in the future to entertain the local community and keep them occupied with cultural activities.
Scootours at Table Mountain and Signal Hill
If you’re looking for something new, something unique and something exciting, look no further, because your chariot awaits and it’s a scooter. But not just any scooter; Scootours offers a two-hour tour on the trails of Table Mountain and Signal Hill and mixes adrenaline with history, flora and fauna.
Steam Train – Ceres Rail Company
Historic stream trains are being revived by the Ceres Rail Company, bringing new life and excitement into the charming Ceres Valley. Relive the impressive history, whilst listening to the echo of the train whistle, travelling through Michelle’s Pass.
The train service runs every Saturday and has two departing times and has a hop on- hop off system, where visitors can disembark at Waverley Hills for a wine tasting or lunch.
Farmer Redbeard, Ashton
Get down and dirty with some ‘hands on farming’ at Farmer Redbeard in Ashton. During the hot summer months, visitors can harvest fruit orchards and vines. Another exciting experience includes the traditional practise and methods of beekeeping that includes smoking of the beehives and retrieving honey.
Magpie Art Collective, Barrydale
Magpie specialises in creating art from waste. A socially conscious art collection that specialises in exclusive pieces such as chandeliers, Magpie is a must stop shop or stop for inspiration and to find the perfect gift as part of your trip to the Western Cape.
Known best as the town with the last surviving hand-driven river pont in operation in the country, this is an important link to a bygone era in which Dutch settlers used to build floats to cross rivers on their journey. The pont runs daily between the east and the west banks of the Breederiver at Malgas today.
Other activities include: hiking, fishing, water skiing and mountain biking trails for cycling.
Go star gazing in the Cape Karoo and journey lightyears away through the celestial splendour of the Southern Hemisphere. Spot the celestial ‘Big Five’ in the clear Karoo night sky, braai some succulent Karoo Lamb and experience a complete digital detox in this region.