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April 25, 2013

Disabled tourists can enjoy Cape Town

Touring Cape Town in a wheelchair may seem like a huge challenge, but there are tour operators with specially modified vehicles who will take you on a trip to some of the most memorable places in the city.

Stephen Hawking sightseeing in Cape Town. Photo courtesy of Endeavours Safaris

The City of Cape Town is hard at work creating universal access, and recently the mayoral committee member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Brett Herron, made a commitment that public transport, and the streets of Cape Town, would become more easily accessible to the disabled.

Most of the city's attractions, such as the V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, the Table Mountain Cableway and many of the malls, are wheelchair-friendly. Wheelchairs and guide dogs are allowed in the Table Mountain cable cars and many of the walkways are paved and wide enough for wheelchairs.

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden has a braille trail for the visually impaired.

Getting to the attractions need not be a difficult experience. There are tour operators, like René Moses, who have specially adapted vehicles, and her services include customised tours and airport-to-hotel transfers.

Tour operator René Moses, whose disability gives her a keen understanding of her clients' needs

A bad car crash in 1995 left Moses quadriplegic, giving her keen understanding of the special needs physically challenged people face, and how to overcome them. 

When Stephen Hawking visited Cape Town, Endeavours Safaris took him on a tour of the city. Hawking later thanked the company for "looking after me so well during my stay in South Africa".

Visually and hearing-impaired people who depend on oxygen tanks, and even people undergoing dialysis, are catered for by Endeavours Safaris. The company takes travellers across the city to as many sights as possible.

Epic Enabled has day tours that take in many of the must-do tourist attractions, including a township tour

If Stephen Hawking can tour Cape Town and René Moses can run a touring company, then there's surely no excuse for anyone to give Cape Town a miss.

Kirstenbosch has a braille trail, and wide pathways for wheelchairs. Photo courtesy of Gurney5

 

 

 

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