I know that big red buses are a total tourist trap, but in Cape Town – without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in the world – they’re the best way to see the sights of the city.
My friend Lani and I used them on my first trip to South Africa back in 2010, and when my boyfriend Matt and I visited in 2011 I convinced him it was the best way to get around.
With two routes – red and blue – you can see the major sights Cape Town has to offer for a very reasonable price and in convenience. Buses circulate the routes and you never have to wait longer than 20 minutes or so for another bus to the next stop.
I’ve taken both routes. The red route takes you through the gorgeous Waterfront, where you can stop for a meal or stroll through the area, past museums including the District Six Museum which highlights the atrocities of people who were forcibly removed from their homes, and up to the cable car that will take you to the top of Table Mountain (or if you’re feeling a bit more energetic, you can walk to the top).
The blue route goes out a bit further and stops at the National Botanic Gardens, and Constantia Winery and Restaurant where Matt and I had a delicious two-course meal and wine for the most ridiculous price (the Australian dollar was incredibly strong at the time). The bus then takes you around Hout Bay and Camps Bay, which offer gorgeous scenery. I recommend going through this area as the sun is setting, stopping for a drink at one of the many seaside bars. As you board the bus back to Cape Town, get a seat on the roof and don’t forget to look back – the sight of Table Mountain looming over the bay is an incredible one.
For R250 (around A$26) you can get a ticket for two days that allows you to take both routes.
Visit www.citysightseeing.co.za for more information, including bus route maps.