Full-Day Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Region Private Tour from Cape Town: including a visit to visit to Domaine Des Dieux

Spend an exceptional day exploring the boutique wine producers of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Known for its Pinot and Chardonnays, this region is a delight to true wine connoisseurs that want to discover the diverse appeal of South African wines. Drive down the famous coastal Whale Route through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay and then spend the day tasting heavenly world class wine in the renowned Hemel-en-Aarde valley wine region.

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Highlights
All entrance fees included
Led by a local guide
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Private guide for a more personalized experience
Start the day with a beautiful drive along the picturesque Cape coastline, passing through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay en route to Hermanus. This famous drive is aptly named the “Whale Route” because it is known to have the best land-based whale watching in the world. The majestic Southern Right whale can be spotted year round but they are seen in abundance between June and November when they come to breed and calve.

Make your ascent into the adjacent Hemel-en-Aarde valley, with dramatic mountain landscapes and endless vineyard views. There’s no question why this valley appropriately named “Heaven on Earth” in Afrikaans. This region’s close proximity to the ocean makes it prime for cool climate wines, mainly of a French, German and Northern Italian descent. Wines like Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and even some great bubbles are all produced in this hidden gem of a region. All the wineries here are boutique and small production, but are growing rapidly in terms of a world-class recognition.

After stopping at two of the family owned wineries to taste, arrive at Creation Winery. Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylonstoren Mountain to a lofty altitude of 350 meters above sea level. Here they bask in generous sunlight, flourish in 450-million-year-old clay loam soils with decomposed Bokkeveld shale and dance in the cool breezes blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. You’ll experience one of the most impressive food and wine pairings in South Africa. Known for their award winning Pinot noirs and Chardonnays, you can see how the perfectly prepared canapés can enhance the unique flavors of the wines.

Your last stop will be a visit to Domaine Des Dieux, the first and only MCC (sparkling wine) producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde. This small production premium wine estate boasts stunning views of the Valley as you sip on their range of award winning wines. And just when you thought life couldn’t get better, one of the tasting assistants will supply you with some bubbles to do your own sabrage! This experience is offered exclusively for Sideways guests and is really not to be missed.

After you’ve sipped and sabraged, your guide will bring you back to your accommodation in Cape Town or Hermanus. This region is one of our personal favorites and we cannot wait to share it with you.

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Marine Big 5 Safari from Cape Town: includes a visit to our newly build African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary

Operating around the world famous Dyer Island where you might be so fortunate to see the Marine Big 5 – the Southern Right Whale/Humpback/Bryde’s Whales, the iconic Great White Shark, the Cape fur seal (around 60 000 on Geyser Rock), the endangered African Penguin and various visiting dolphin species. The area is also home to a wide variety of seabirds.

Highlights

All necessary equipment included
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
You will arrive at The Great White House where we a restaurant, bathroom facilities and curio shop are situated. Upon arrival tea, coffee an muffins will be served. In the conservation and education room, you will receive an in-depth briefing regarding the area that you’ll be operating in, as well as conservation work and safety. You will be equipped with inflatable life jackets and wet weather gear in case of cooler weather conditions.

It is a short walk down to the harbour to enjoy an exhilarating trip on custom designed Dream Catcher. The Southern Right Whale Season is normally from June – December, but for the rest of the year the area is so fortunate to occasionally see some Humpback and Bryde’s whales. Other stops include a visit to the shark cage diving vessels to view great white sharks and then head to Dyer Island and Geyser Rock for the penguins and seals. You may also spot one of three dolphin species that visit: the Common dolphin, the Humpback or the Indo-pacific Bottlenose dolphin. You have an on board biologist and experienced crew promise an educational and memorable experience for the whole family.

After the trip at sea, you come back to The Great White House for warm soup and bread while warming up in front of a cosy fire or in summer to enjoy the warm sun. A debriefing will follow and the trip footage can be bought.

The trip also includes a visit to our newly build African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) either before or after the trip.

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Cape Winelands Guided Trike Tour from Cape Town: travel to Spier for some more wine tasting

This tour will take you over 4 dramatic and scenic mountain passes via Grabouw, the apple capital of South Africa, to Franschhoek, rated as one of the worlds 10 prettiest towns, to historic Stellenbosch where you will taste some of South Africa’s best wines at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate and Spier Wine Estate.

Highlights

Romantic experience, perfect for couples
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Free drinks included

Depart from your hotel in Cape Town around 9am then travel down the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass stopping for a photo shoot. Ride through Grabouw via vast apple orchards past various farms. Then travel over the majestic Franschhoek Pass stopping for a photo shoot overlooking the Franschhoek valley. Franschhoek is rated as one of the 10 prettiest towns in the world. Continue to ride through Franschhoek over Hell’s Hoogte to Stellenbosch, stopping at Blaauwklippen Wine estate for wine tasting and lunch. From Blaauwklippen, travel to Spier for some more wine tasting. From there along the N1 back to hotel or guest house.

Two wine tastings are included in the price.

Return back to your hotel in the late afternoon.

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Half-Day Robben Island Tour from Cape Town: a World Heritage site

Robben Island needs no introduction with regards to the significance of its place in South Africa’s and indeed the world’s history. As “home” to one of the world’s most infamous prisoners, statesmen and leader’s in Nelson Mandela.<

Highlights

Comprehensive tour by bus/coach
Step back in time on a history tour
Family friendly
You will be collected from your accommodation at 8am and taken to the Robben Island Museum where you will board a ferry to the island which is 9km away from the V&A Waterfront (entry to Robben Island included in price). The ferry ride is approximately 45 minutes. You will then hop onto one of the buses and be led on a tour by previous inmates of the prison who will tell us stories of their’s and Nelson Mandela’s time in the prison.

The island, a World Heritage Site some 9km (5.5mi) offshore from Cape Town, was dubbed “Robben” (the Dutch word for seal) Island by early settlers in reference to the seal population at the time. Over the centuries, the island has housed a prison, hospital, mental institution, leper colony and a military base. The aforementioned Nelson Mandela spent only 18 years of the 27 years of his incarceration imprisoned on the island.

After the tour of the island you will take a return ferry and your guide will then escort you back to your accommodation at around 1pm.

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Cape Town City and Table Mountain Private Tour: including a visit to the Castle of Good Hope

Situated below Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, Cape Town offers a rich cultural and industrial heritage, grand splendor and an assurance of activity of excitement at the V&A Waterfront. Including all the `must-sees` of any Cape Town day tour, this option is a geographical and cultural extravaganza, showing you Cape Town, from its historical beginnings to the dazzling modern shopping malls of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

* The Cape Town City & Table Mountain tour will not include Table Mountain during the period 24 July – 6 August, due to the closure of Table Mountain for annual maintenance.

Highlights

Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Small group ensures personal service
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Small-group tour by minibus
The tour commences with a tour of Table Mountain (weather permitting; cable car fee not included). In the city itself, visit the Company Gardens, the S.A. Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the vibrant and arty flea market, Greenmarket Square. Take a trip through the picturesque Bo-Kaap.

Table Mountain (Cable Car fee not included in cost): By the late 1870’s, several of Cape Town’s more prominent citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top of Table Mountain. Plans to implement a proposed rack railway got under way but the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war put a halt to these efforts. By 1912, with a strong desire to gain easy access to the top of Table Mountain, the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer to investigate the various options for public transport to the top. The new cableway was officially opened on the 4th of October 1997, the anniversary of the original launch, almost 70 years previously.

The Company Gardens have been described as “an oasis of calm in the city rush”, and with the trees, the squirrels and lunch-hour love birds it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of Africa’s most important cities. Spots of interest include a sundial dating from 1787, a Saffren Pear Tree (believed to be South Africa’s oldest cultivated tree), a statue of Cecil John Rhodes, a rose garden and pools with brightly colored fish.

The South African Museum was founded in 1825, then moved to its present building, in the historic Company Gardens, in 1897. Since then, millions of visitors have wandered its halls and corridors to be stimulated and inspired by its collections and exhibitions. They have left the Museum with a better understanding of the Earth and its biological and cultural diversity, past and present.

Built between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. The Castle was, however, not the first fort to be built at the Cape. A quadrangular fort was built after the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, where the Grand Parade and the main Post Office are situated today. In 1936 the Castle was declared a National Monument.

At picturesque Bo-Kaap, or “Malay Quarter”, you’ll discover the unique culture, lifestyle and personality of the Cape’s Muslim community and their contribution to South Africa’s development.

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Table Mountain Bike Tour in Cape Town – Double Descent’ downhill route: The perfect track for beginners

Unleash your adventurous streak on this three-hour mountain biking tour on Cape Town’s iconic landmark, Table Mountain. Enjoy a fun-filled dirt track riding experience while discovering the true beauty of the mountain slopes!
Before hitting the tracks a complimentary hotel pick up by mini van will bring you to the very top of Table Mountain where you will take in stunning views of Cape Town City, Table Bay and Robben Island.

You will then bike the ‘Double Descent’ downhill route on the lower slopes of Table Mountain – the perfect track for beginners. This is an excellent tour for those keen to try some off-road biking with an expert guide. After an action packed bike ride you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Enrique R, December 2014
It was an incredible experience. Quite scary at times but worth it. This tour is for the adrenaline junky type of person. If you are afraid of going down hill fast on a bike, I would think twice, but for me it was a great experience. The guides are fantastic and the experience is great!

Joanne T, March 2014
Great bike trip. I would say it is tough for beginners. The first part is quite steep but I was able to wait at the start point so didn’t have to do this bit. Then there is a pedal up for a bit which is hard work. Down was good – quite rocky and bumpy but amazing views. I hadn’t been on a bike for a few years so am a definite beginner and manged this but had to walk the bike some of the way. The guides were excellent and the views stunning. Glad I did it.

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Winelands and Wildlife Full-Day Tour from Cape Town to Stellenbosch

Experience an exhilarating day of wine tasting, at wineries that are over 300 years old in Stellenbosch. See a Black Eagle and various species of owls, vultures, and many more wild birds. Visit a big cat sanctuary and see white lions, tigers, caracals, cheetahs, and leopards. Watch a duck parade of over 1000 Indian runner ducks as they waddle off to work in the vineyards for the day to eat the snails and slugs off the vines.

Highlights

Close encounter with wildlife
Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Family friendly
All entrance fees included
You will be collected from your accommodation in Cape Town between 8:30am and 9am and travel a short journey to Stellenbosch.

Start the tour off with a steaming hot beverage of your choice at your first wine farm of the day where you will wait in eager anticipation for the 1000 plus Indian Runner Ducks to be led past us as they go to work in the vineyards. This waddling workforce is essential to the farm’s pest-control, consuming a startling amount of snails and bugs on their daily patrols. You will then be whisked away to another nearby wine estate for a wine tasting of their delectable award winning wines plus have the opportunity of stroking a few owls and taking pictures with them. Another highlight of this tour is you will also be able to hold an eagle (with a thick glove of course)! Birds of prey keep the farm’s ecosystem in balance, making it possible to naturally control pests, without pesticides. Enjoy up-close-and-personal interactions with eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, kites, buzzards, snakes and lizards. Take part in heart-stopping falconry displays, where they fly birds to you. Kids will also enjoy our piglets, rabbits, tortoises, chickens and unique playground.

A five minute drive to your next stop where you will be given an hour for lunch at a top Stellenbosch restaurant. Hudson’s Restaurant boasts spectacular views of the Helderberg mountain and, partnered with their delicious food and their staff’s passion for quality and service, the restaurant is arguably one of the best in the Stellenbosch winelands. Please note lunch is for your own account.

After lunch you will be treated to a visit to the Big Cats Park which offers a unique experience not to be found anywhere else along the Stellenbosch wine route, where you can both view and learn more about these majestic creatures that may well one day cease to exist in anything but our history books.

After all that excitement you will end your tour with another wine tasting at Meerlust Estate which is long recognized for producing world-class wines, and has been the pride of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the traditional dedication to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh, eighth generation custodian of this seventeenth-century national monument. Travel back to your accommodation at around 4.30pm

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Paragliding in Cape Town: Arrive at Signal Hill to start your adventure

Cape Town is one of the most spectacular places in the world to paraglide. Lion’s Head is the site that you’ll fly from most commonly because of its location and the stunning views of Table Mountain and the Cape Town area. Tandem paragliding instructional flights are a great way of getting into paragliding or just experiencing the joy of free flight. Flights last anything from 10-30mins.

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Highlights:

Enjoy fantastic aerial views
Family friendly
Multiple times offered throughout the day
Treat a loved one on a special occasion
Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
Arrive at Signal Hill to start your next adventure. You will get kitted up with the latest gear and then the pilot will brief you on take off and landing shortly before your flight. As a tandem paragliding passenger you do not require any previous knowledge of the paragliding at all. It is important that you listen to the instructions of the pilot and to have total confidence in his abilities. Take offs are easy (just a few steps usually) and landings are soft (most often we land on large grassy fields with no obstacles or dangers).

You can enjoy the aerial views while experiencing a rush adrenaline as you glide above Cape Town.

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Sunset City Bike Tour of Cape Town: along the Sea Point Promenade

Enjoy a sunset ride that will take your breath away. This half-day cycle includes some of the Cape’s most breathtaking scenery from majestic mountain passes to the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, and takes in the sights, sounds and cultural attractions of the Mother City.

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Highlights:

Cycle the city streets to absorb the local atmosphere
Family friendly
This fun-filled excursion is the ideal way to experience the beautiful Cape Peninsula and the culture and heritage of Cape Town. Leave the much-celebrated V&A Waterfront, riding through the historic harbor and alongside the Atlantic Ocean as the sea breeze fills the air. Visit the Cape Town Stadium and the Green Point Urban Park, as well as the oldest working lighthouse in the country. Your journey continues along the Sea Point Promenade, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Ride through Bantry Bay and stop at Darwin’s Rocks, where the famous explorer himself stopped in the HMS Beagle. Make your way past Clifton, and its four attractive beaches, onto Maidens Cove, where you can take in the magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and Camps Bay Beach. Ride alongside the bustling Camps Bay promenade and silky, white sand beach, where the beautiful folk of Cape Town go to play. Return via High Level Road with its magnificent views over the ocean, cycling beneath the mighty Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, making your way back into the city.

Meander through the delightful De Waterkant Village, the pink heart of the city, and explore the Company Gardens, initially established as a trading stopover by the Dutch. Then take in the bars and cafes on Long Street, heart of the city’s nightlife and climb up into the historic Malay quarter of the Bo-Kaap (Upper Cape), home to Cape Town’s Muslim community, with its colorful houses, cobbled streets and historic mosques. Slowly return to the Waterfront for a glass of sparkling wine complimented by gourmet canapés at the lovely Tobago’s Terrace Restaurant overlooking Table Bay.

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Table Mountain Hike in Cape Town: including a walk to Skeleton Gorge

Following the famous Smuts Track to the Table Top, walkers walk through flower-strewn fynbos and past waterfalls and frog-filled streams, enjoying sensational views of Cape Town, False Bay and the city’s surrounding mountain ranges, snow-capped in winter. Reaching the highest point of the mountain, Maclear’s Beacon, the views open up to take in Table Bay and Robben Island, landmarks that guide hikers across the flat-top and to the cable car for an easy way down.

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Highlights

Family friendly
Free snacks included
Lunch included
Africa’s greatest garden, Kirstenbosch, sets the scene for this iconic hike. Hikers set off through immaculate landscaped gardens only to plunge into the indigenous forest that cloaks Table Mountain’s eastern flanks. A winding path leads to Skeleton Gorge, a deeply scored ravine that steepens gradually as you ascend, leading to a ladder section and after, a small stretch of boulders to negotiate. The forest walk is cool and shady; birdsong and the sound of running water provide the soundtrack all the way up until the unlikely spectacle of a white sand beach greets hikers- perfect for a lunch stop.

Please note: The difficulty level of this hike is moderate to tough. The total distance covered from Kirstenbosch to the Table Mountain cable car is approx. 4 miles (6.5 km) and takes between three and five hours.

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