Here at Olaf’s Guest House, we can help you to discover some of the best kept secrets of Cape Town, and we have selected 10 of our favourites for you here, each for under R50. Whatever your thing, you’ll find someone doing it in Cape Town.
Hop on-Hop off Train Ride
The Southern Line Rail Route stretches between Cape Town and Simon’s Town Besides it being a great way of getting from A to B, it’s also a relaxing way of seeing Cape Town’s varied scenes. The part of the journey between Muizenberg and Simon’s Town winds along the edge of the ocean and the views are brilliant. Buy the hop-on, hop-off ticket and stop at Muizenberg for a surf; Kalky’s in Kalk Bay for some mouth-watering fish and chips; and Simon’s Town for a trip to Boulders Beach for a visit with the penguins.
Guided Tour of Slankoppunt Lighthouse
The bright white lighthouse, situated on the coast in the South Peninsula, is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in South Africa. The internal spiral staircase you will climb during the guided tour takes you up 100 feet from the bottom to the balcony. If the idea of climbing up all those steps gets you a bit nervous, rest assured that the views from the top are entirely worth it. The tour will leave you with all sorts of interesting facts including the reason for South Africa being one of the few remaining places to retain actual Light House Keepers.
Cool Runnings Toboggan Ride
It’s hard to imagine tobogganing without snow, but Cool Runnings in Tygervalley offers exactly that. The stainless steel track has 17 s-bends, corners and a tunnel. Adrenaline junkies will love this experience, as you get to regulate your own speed and boy can things get speedy if you want! Sleds accommodate up to two people, so the little ones can go with Mum or Dad. It’s also a really popular venue for kiddies parties.
Bugz Family Play Park
This huge play park has both indoor and outdoor play areas suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 10 years. There is a wide variety of play areas and rides such as a choo-choo train, swing horses, water slide, horse rides, quad bikes, free play areas, a tree house and even castle. There is also a regular magic show and Bugz characters who often pay the park a visit. No shortage of fun here! Another popular spot for kiddies parties.
The Company’s Garden
The Company’s Garden is situated right in the city centre of Cape Town. It was planted by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 to produce fresh fruit and vegetables for the ships that were sailing along the spice trade route between Europe and the East Indies, via Cape Town. Today it is home to the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa, said to have been planted in 1652; a rose garden built in 1929; an aviary with a variety of birds and many other interesting landmarks. It’s also well-known for the resident and perpetually hungry squirrels, so take along some peanuts to feed to them. What’s more the garden offers free wi-fi.
The Scratch Patch
Did you know that almost half of the world’s gemstones can be found in South Africa? Did you know that you could scratch for these gems yourself right here in Cape Town? The Scratch Patch and Mineral World at both the V&A Waterfront and in Simonstown is a cool way to dig for your own beautiful gems. You get to emerge yourself in all the stones that quite literally cover the floor, then visit the gem exhibitions and shops afterwards.
This Wale Street-based coffee and chocolate shop is where you can get handmade chocolate made from raw ingredients and organic Ecuadorian cacao with no preservatives or artificial flavouring. It’s also dairy free. You can grab a good cup of coffee with a delectable slice of cake (gluten-free also available) or purchase some of the delicious chocolate products. Try the banana bread bunny chow - a banana bread mini loaf filled with macadamia chocolate spread and ice cream for R48.
How about a round of Putt Putt?
Enjoy the views of Mouille Point while playing a round of putt-putt. It’s an entertaining way to get the competitive spirit going and to have some fun with friends and family. From here, you can take the kids on the mini Blue Train, to a maze and the oldest lighthouse in South Africa. The putt-putt course is located along Beach Road. There are two courses so queues will be short!
Wine Tasting at Groot Constantia
One of the oldest wine producing farms in the Cape, Groot Constantia is steeped in history. This farm boasts fine examples of Dutch architecture and has been producing wine on the estate without interruption since 1685 when Commander Simon van der Stel of the Dutch East Company (VOC) was originally granted the land on which Groot Constantia stands. You can amble around the leafy grounds, do some trail running or take in some wine tasting. There’s an Iziko Museum on site and if you get hungry, the farm has two restaurants to choose from.
Helderberg Nature Reserve
The beautiful Helderberg Nature Reserve is located in Somerset West and stretches as far as the cliff faces of the Helderberg Mountain. There is so much to do and enjoy here. There is a plant herbarium, Guinea Gift Shop, an environmental education centre, a picnic area, children’s play area and jungle gym, as well as bird watching, hiking trails and walking trails.
I hope that’s whetted your appetite! There’s so much more so CLICK HERE to choose your room and let us guide you to our favourite spots in Cape Town soon.
Raymond and the Team
Pick up a copy of The Insider’s Guide to Cape Town by clicking on the image below