Universal Access in tourism means providing attractions that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s on one of Cape Town’s eight responsible tourism priorities and the City is continually looking for ways to provide unique experiences for everyone.
Here are some of the City’s most affordable Universal Access activities.
The MyCiti Bus has been recognised as a world leader in universal access. The buses run throughout central Cape Town with routes extending as far as Hout Bay, Century City and Melkbosstrand, making daily commuting accessible on this innovative public transport system that is universally accessible. Buses have boarding bridges, allowing wheelchair users level access from platforms or pavements. They also have tactile paving for visually impaired travellers to locate platforms, and induction loops at kiosks for the hearing impaired.
An all-time favourite tourist activity, the hop-on hop-off bus is an ideal way to explore the mother city, with most of the buses being wheelchair accessible with a fold-out ramp. The longstanding City Sightseeing routes, which visit popular tourist attractions like the V&A Waterfront, Long Street, Kirstenbosch, the World of Birds, Mariner’s Wharf and the ever-popular wine route, have now been extended with new trips going to explore Franschhoek, a Sunset Bus to Signal Hill for a picnic as the sun dips below the horizon, and a brand new Cape Point day trip.
Cost: Classic (1-day Cape Town): R200, Premium (2-day Cape Town): R300, Deluxe (3-day Cape Town): R400
What to see and do
An Adaptive Surfer is a surfer with a disability, including but not limited to, paralyses, cerebral palsy, blindness or amputations. These are just some of the many physical challenges that surfers overcome to share the stoke of catching waves in beautiful Muizenberg. The Surf Emporium in Muizenberg is the only officially SSA accredited Adaptive Surf School in South Africa.
Adaptive Surfing Cape Town runs free monthly clinics for Adaptive Surfers.
Cost: The monthly clinics are free or you can book a private lesson with a coach.
Visit Table Mountain
Access for wheelchair users is not an issue when visiting Cape Town’s most famous attraction. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offers a wheelchair route map, which details the paved pathways on the summit of Table Mountain, and the ramps and elevators that make navigating the Cable Station a pleasure.
Cost: R380 return or R200 single. Table Mountain also runs special offers—so make sure you consult their website
Explore Green Point Park
Green Point Urban Park has something for everyone. The pathways are easily manageable and it has an outdoor gym for fitness enthusiasts, an inclusive playground for families with young children, numerous picnic areas and some interesting gardens.
There is also a quiet, zen-like space with a labyrinth tucked away. While the curving paths of the labyrinth are not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, carefully considered resting benches are situated at points around the labyrinth, each with a space created for a wheelchair and a ‘touch labyrinth’ for a sensory experience while tracing your fingers along the paths. A tea room in the centre of the park provides access with ramps for some refreshments.
Enjoy The Sea Point Promenade
Sea Point Promenade is a must for sea lovers. It also offers wheelchair users the opportunity to join the promenade’s walkers, runners, cyclists and dog walkers.
Ride the Cape Wheel
The Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront has two wheelchair-accessible cabins, giving travellers a 360° view of Cape Town from the sky. The cabins have emergency buttons and speedy response to bring passengers back down if needed.
Discover The Iziko South African Museum
The museum is accessible from the parking area, with designated off-street disabled bays, to the ramped entrance and right throughout the museum, with all levels being accessible by gentle gradient ramp walkways with handrails, for both disabled and able bodied visitors with ample space. The museum also has elevators
There are a number of excellent resources that offer excellent information about Universal Access in Cape Town. The Warrior On Wheels Foundation aims to uplift and empower children with disabilities by providing special adventures tailored for special kids, thereby changing perceptions of ability and bridging gaps between able-bodied and differently-abled communities.
Accessible South Africa is a great resource if you’re looking for specific businesses that have Universal Access offerings.