Khayelitsha Curated Routes
Taking township tours to a new level, the Khayelitsha Curated Routes are specifically designed by locals living in Cape Town’s largest township. The routes have been curated by Maria Maile, Abigail Mbalo, Juma Mkwela and Buntu Matole and include the Accommodation Route, Eat, Drink, Party Route, Arts, Culture and Shopping Route, and the Adventure and Activities Route.. Highlights include the Fugly Art Gallery – founded by two passionate locals - and the Makukhanye Art Room, which is run by Theatre4Change. These carefully-crafted routes allow visitors to immerse themselves in this vibrant township and celebrate the culture with the locals.
The history of Cape Town is a torrid one and the Slave Lodge – part of the Iziko Museums – offers a haunting reminder of a darker time. It is not easy to stomach, but it is an important reminder of how the country was built on the backs of slaves and speaks to a global audience with many other countries sharing in the global slave trade. The museum was once where the slaves stayed and as such is very much part of the exhibit, while a visit to the re-created slave ship is an emotional experience and very much worth seeing.
District Six Museum
Few areas are as vivid an example of the Apartheid regime as District Six. A once racially diverse and vibrant community, the original residents were forcibly removed from the area when the National Party government declared it a “white group area”. The District Six Museum – formerly a Methodist Mission Church – serves as a reminder of what the community once was. It contains a permanent multimedia exhibition called Digging Deeper, which includes narrated life histories of District Six residents.
The Bo-Kaap – also known as the Cape Malay Quarter – is one of the city’s most popular destinations with its colourful houses a standout feature of the neighbourhood. But beyond the houses, the area has an incredibly fascinating history with many of the residents being descendants of slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and various African countries who were forcibly brought to the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Bo-Kaap Museum is the perfect place to discover the history of the area with the building dating back to the 1760s and the oldest in the neighbourhood. Among other things, the museum recreates the life of a typical Malay family.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA)
After having officially opened its doors to the public in September 2017, the Zeitz MOCAA has quickly become a popular attraction to both locals and visitors alike, bringing plenty of foot traffic to the up-and-coming Silo District. Boasting the largest collection of African art on the continent and rival the likes of the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, the museum itself is a work of art, having been constructed using the original grain silos.
The Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa and was once a fort, but today showcases the Cape’s early days and is a popular museum. Built by Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company. The castle gates open at 9am and close at 4pm.
Apartheid to Freedom Walking Tour
Get introduced to the history of apartheid in Cape Town and the places related to it. Hear about the apartheid laws and the consequences they had. Find out more about the struggle for freedom and what happened the day Mandela was released. Highlights and Cape Town attractions include St George’s Cathedral and Desmond Tutu, The Cape High Court and the “apartheid benches”, a stopover in District Six and the spot where Mandela made his first speech as a free man.
Based at the iconic V&A Waterfront, Nobel Square is where the statues of Nobel Peace Prize winners Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk stand side by side. It’s a favourite photo spot for visitors and locals alike, while the ever-popular V&A Food Market is located a few feet away. After lunch, make sure you explore the Waterfront properly, which has more than 450 retail stores in the main centre and a further 150 in the Watershed market.
The Company's Garden in Cape Town is a great place for visitors to spend a few hours unwinding and exploring the natural, historical and architectural attractions found within the garden.
Robben Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site accessed by ferry from the V&A Waterfront you can visit the former prison at Robben Island, this represents an important chapter in the country's path towards democracy. (Unfortunately currently closed for physical tours, but virtual tours are offered).