Cape Sidecar Adventures
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Top 5 lesser-known activities around Cape Town

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. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Campbell

Paul Campbell is a co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers, specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean. Paul’s love of independent travel was first cemented when he spent 9 months doing the classic back-packing route across Asia, Australia, and North America when he was 20 year old. Over the following 30 years or so he has returned to these destinations many times, and also travelled for extended periods in central in South America as well as making countless trips to destinations across Europe. His first trip to Africa was nearly 20 years ago, and he fell in love with the continent instantly. After a few more trips (including spending a month training to be a field guide in the Sabi Sands), Paul and his wife Tracey decided to leave their jobs in marketing to form Travel Butlers. Their aim was to provide a friendly, professional, and knowledgeable service to help visitors find the very best experiences in Africa. The company was formed in 2003, and initially focussed on just South Africa and Namibia. Over the years they have taken on more staff and expanded to cover a dozen countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean. They still travel regularly to Africa both to find new destinations and experiences to offer their clients, and to check-up on old favourites.

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  1. I’ve never known anyone who’s ridden on a motorbike sidecar, let alone around Cape Town. That would definitely be a novel experience and a great way to take in the scenery. I don’t think I have the stomach for paragliding, even though the experience would be breathtaking. I wonder what the health restrictions would be for that, what kind of screening they do to see if you’re okay to do it. I think I may be safer in the tram! I love that you can get on and off to explore as you go with a few tipples for good measure.

  2. The motorcycle side car tour round the winelands is absolute creative genius. The idea of a Wallace and Gromit style tour is so eccentric and I want to do that. I wonder if Wallace and Gromit means much to South Africans, if it does it would make for such a great marketing tagine.

    As well as the sheer novelty of it tou’d be able to get the driver to stop whenever you wanted to take in the views or grab a photo. Best of all on the winelands tour you would be able to enjoy the tasting without having to worry about being over the limit.

  3. Cooking tours and cookery courses are brilliant ways of getting to know about a country and it’s people.

    Often the cooks are working on recipes that they have known since childhood and are all part of their memories of growing up. As the cookery teachers feel so at home in their kitchen they often open up and are really talkative. You learn what the ingredients mean to them, usually they’ve got some brilliant anecdotes which make a place come to live.

    I’ve learnt so much from cookery courses that wherever I travel I always look to do one.

  4. I always think that it is a great tribute to a city when entrepreneurs start thinking up new out of the box ways to enjoy the destination.

    Cape Town is such a perennial destination that it will keep drawing people back again and again.

    These off-beat activities are brilliant for giving a new twist on a classic destination.

  5. I’m definitely up for the motorcycle ride and the Boomslang. I love immersing myself in nature and its beauty. I’ve been to similar places like riding along the Pacific Coast Highway in the US, and Gardens By the Bay’s Skyway in Singapore. But this one in Cape Town could potentially be more awesome. I think it will be.

  6. So glad I came across this post, I’ve never heard of the wine tram before, but as a huge wine fan (for tasting and drinking it ;) its now on my must do list for our Cape Town visit in August. Plus it eliminates the need for a designated driver… Thankyou!

  7. I don’t think that the 2019 holiday budget is going to cover a South Africa holiday and for 2020 being able to do Cape Town plus a safari was going to be a big stretch, though this piece has given me an idea.

    After reading this it is obvious that there is loads to do in Cape Town and all of these activities even combined would be far cheaper than tacking on a 3 or 4 day safari.

  8. I am in the process of planning a trip to Cape Town for mid-January 2020. I’ve been to Cape Town before, which is probably why I’m going back, as it is such a great place. As I’ve done a lot of the usual tourist attractions I’m looking to do a few new things this time. I remembered seeing this post several months ago and it’s going to be very useful in helping me to plan a trip that’s a bit different and quirky.

  9. I remembered reading this piece back in the middle of 2019 and the ideas sort of stuck with me. Then my wife and I had a couple of rambling chats about where we plan to travel to this year.

    We’ve been to Cape Town and both really enjoyed our time there but my wife dismissed it as she said we’d done most of the good stuff there was. Then I remember this piece which will give me plenty of ammunition for arguing for a return to Cape Town perhaps n November or early December.

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