February 12, 2013
Walking tours of Cape Town
Stuart Buchanan is a journalist, blogger, and online writer for Flow Communications.
He grew up in Durban and has lived in various parts of South Africa and the UK, before finally settling on Cape Town. He often wonders why anyone would want to live anywhere else.
Wedged between Table Mountain and the sea, central Cape Town is commonly known as the City Bowl. This area is relatively small (in comparison to other cities), making it the perfect place to explore on foot.
With a concerted effort to draw businesses and residents into Cape Town's CBD, the area has seen huge improvements over the past 10 years. Crime has decreased dramatically, and the number of people living in the CBD has increased significantly. One-quarter of Cape Town's GDP came from businesses in the CBD. These days, it is a vibrant and busy place, and a number of companies now offer walking tours for those who want to discover Cape Town street by street.
There's also plenty to see. From the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest colonial building in South Africa, to the modern skyscrapers that make up the city skyline, Cape Town is a fascinating mix of old and new, African and European, urban and natural. It is a melting pot of cultures, best experienced by walking the streets and being greeted by the friendly faces that Capetonians offer their visitors – when you live in the best city in the world, it's hard not to smile!
It's also the most eco-friendly way of getting about (and it is Responsible Tourism Week this week, after all). Think of it as a trade-off for the long-haul flight to get here! Below are some of the walking tour operators in Cape Town:
Cape Walk & Talk Tours
Cape Walk & Talk Tours is a 3-in-1 city walking tour which is designed to orientate you geographically, culturally and historically within the city of Cape Town.
Walk in Africa
Walk in Africa specialises in designing a walking holiday that suits your needs, whether you are exploring Cape Town for a day, or trekking across the continent. "Walking a place allows you to savour its beauty and spirit, encouraging interactions with local people, insights into the ecology and appreciation of your destination at a more relaxed pace," they say – and how right they are.
Ruben is an accredited tour guide offering private and personalised tours. The advantage of a private tour is that Ruben will assess your interests and requirements, and customise a tour to address your needs.
Manaazil Tours & Shuttle Services
Manaazil Tours offer personalised walking tours of Cape Town, as well as tours of the Garden Route. They will also arrange bookings for shark cage diving, safaris and whale tours.