Whether you have a few days or a long stay in Cape Town, this activity is a nice one for the list. I did it recently and was quite surprised how convenient it was.
The bus tour is very affordable especially in the sense of distance and cost of fuel. Hire cars, taxis and other transport may cost more for the same distance, if you had to drive the route for the scenery and a few stops you might be giving yourself unnecessary work compared to this bus. Not only cost, but parking too, some areas around Cape Town are very full of working people which often leaves little parking.
Ticket options are available from plain circuit route to circuit route with added stops included. There are four directions to choose from, 4 are scenic routes which includes the mini Peninsula tour, wine tour, city tour and the downtown tour.
When getting your ticket, you are issued with your own set of earphones that you can keep. These earphones are plugged into a socket situated at every seat, allowing you to listen to running commentary about interesting places and buildings you may pass, this commentary is available in many different languages including a kid’s channel making it easy for everyone to enjoy.
There are 30 stops where you can choose to hop on or off. How it works is you get on usually at of the main ticket offices, you may have a few places in mind that you might like to see, the bus goes on its loop and will stop at every stop, if you feel you wish to explore this area you hop off and spend as much time as needed, once you’re ready there will be a new bus at certain times where you can hop right back on and carry on with your loop till your next desired destination.
The Mini Peninsula route is a long route lasting around two hours without taking a stop (I know this because I forgot to get off at the main stop, so I took a nonstop loop! I did still enjoy it the second time). This loop has a few of my personal favourites including World of Birds, Kirstenbosch gardens, V&A waterfront and the coastal road views from Hout bay to Mouille point. The City tour is very similar to the last route having the coastal road, except this route goes through the city via Table Mountain cable way. The downtown tour concentrates more on the finer stops within the city centre looking at buildings, museums and monuments, whereas the wine tour is rather quite explanatory of the search for good wines and fascinating wine farms.
This system has become quite popular and things are expanding with so many options and packages that go beyond the boundaries of just seeing Cape Town, with harbour cruises, canal taxis and further trips to wine farms around Stellenbosch and Franshoek.
No matter where in the world you are, these red buses are becoming very popular and are already in many countries, and you can see why. They are simple, informative and when you’re facing a new country and you unsure what to do, these buses have already done all the hard work for you and all you need to do is sit back, relax and choose when you want to stop. Even if you’re a local there is still a lot to learn and things you may never have known about, it really does give a new perspective to where you live and the roots you have.