For those who prefer to be among high-rise buildings and a busy street life, Cape Town has a great variety of urban experiences to offer. From edgy street art to unique shopping experiences, vegan and vintage markets, to Stand Up Paddle boarding on The Waterfront’s canals and even a sneaker cleaning service to make sure you do all of this in style, here’s a guide of activities for city-loving girls and guys.
Started by a South African-born Australian who always held a deep connection with ‘the motherland’, Kiff Kombi Tours offer unique Cape Town experiences for locals and tourists. Their flagship ‘Urban Safari’ takes participants on an alternative city tour with a great variety of activities, such as walking through District Six and Woodstock to look at street art, lunch at Devil’s Peak Brewery, a visit to Bo-Kaap, wine-tasting in Noordhoek, a drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive and sundowners at a secret spot in Africa’s most expensive suburb with breathtaking views. Groups are picked up at a convenient, pre-arranged location, and will move around in a street-art-covered Toyota van, listening to their favourite tunes.
The Woodstock Foundry is a “working creative environment”, featuring a selection of innovative businesses. Beyond a coffee roastery and a fully-licensed restaurant, curio enthusiasts and art lovers will find shops offering unique creations, including hand-crafted leather handbags, upcycled interior items or naturally-dyed fabrics, as well as artist studios, including sculpture, ceramics and fine art. There’s also a local hairdresser, specialising in colouring, cutting and styling for women and men.
On 28 March, The Woodstock Foundry is hosting an Open Studios event, inviting the public to meet their tenants and get some insight into their creative endeavours. Expect good music, complimentary drinks, as well as exclusive sales and promotions. Food and additional drinks will be for sale at the event.
An app-driven scavenger hunt designed for groups, The Gallivanting Goose is a great way to engage with urban sights and sounds in a new and interesting way. Teams take part in a friendly and entertaining competition against one another and, beyond being a lot of fun, the tasks are educational, challenging and engaging – it’s a great activity for team building and corporate functions.
For an urban experience, The Cape Town City Walk is recommended. Following an official route, teams will get to know the CBD as well as each other from a new perspective, using teamwork, good communication and strategy to climb to the top of the leader board. “Just when you think you know the city and each other… this game comes along.”
Each game starts with a pre-event orientation to explain the rules and provide an outline as well as smartphones with the pre-loaded requirements. Games are played live and teams get to view what their opponents are up to in real-time.
Prices for games start at R450pp.
The Woodstock Exchange is an office complex and retail centre in a refurbished factory building. On the ground floor, visitors can find unique retail stores, often connected to the creator’s studio space so consumers can get an insight into the making of the product, as well as acclaimed coffee shops and eateries.
Besides being an incubator for fledgling young businesses, WEX – as the complex is known as – provides a home to international market makers and acclaimed artisans, offering visitors an exclusive shopping and food experience, from Mondays to Saturdays. The common thread, the owners say, has always been “creativity and inspirational exchange”.
Some of the retail tenants include SIXKINGS, purveyors of handcrafted leather shoes, as well as premium leather goods manufacturers like Chapel and Project Dyad, or FatSak, producers of arguably the most comfortable (and durable) beanbag in the world. Food and drink-wise, there’s Superette, a friendly and inviting neighbourhood-style café, Ocean Jewels Fresh Fish, a premier SASSI-green-list-fish-serving seafood eatery or Rosetta Roastery, one of Cape Town’s most celebrated coffee producers. Also make sure to check out Starling & Hero Bicycle Café not only for their healthy and wholesome food, but also for their second-hand bicycles, workbench and tools available for anybody to use. Or, if you’re into simple lines, functional design, and a timeless aesthetic, pay a visit to proudly South African furniture designers Pedersen + Lennard’s studio and showroom at WEX.
Nude Foods is an urban, plastic-free shopping experience, selling high-quality, sustainable, delicious foods and products – all non-GMO and sold by weight.
Every second Saturday, Nude Foods hosts the Vegan Goods Market, an initiative to provide convenient access to ethical, plant-based food and other vegan goods. Beyond offering shoppers a communal environment for social interaction with like-minded people, the market is also an educational resource for vegan and eco-friendly living. There is also a market at 196 Victoria Road in Woodstock every first Saturday of the month, as well as a market at The Source Yoga Studio in the Southern Suburbs every third Sunday of the month, and – starting in March – a First Thursday Vegan Night Market at Cape Quarter Courtyard, Greenpoint.
Nude Foods also organises a vintage market on the first Saturday of each month, selling a selection of pre-loved treasures, including clothes, accessories, bags, vinyls, sunglasses, and books. With a great atmosphere and live music, both events are family and pet-friendly, and – of course – plastic-free.
The Old Biscuit Mill has teamed up with Juma Art Tours to offer a personalised and immersive artisanal tour of this uniquely creative space in Woodstock. Characterised by some of Cape Town’s most charming architecture, it’s home to dynamic office spaces, a range of workshops and designer stores, decadent restaurants, food stalls as well as an inspiring line-up of day-and-night markets.
Through getting up-close-and-personal with talented local creatives, the interactive walk through the centre will bring participants closer to the art, graffiti, artisans, designers, décor specialists, fashionistas, furniture makers and foodies of The Old Biscuit Mill. Beyond finding out how a micro coffee roaster operates for instance, you will also explore the surrounding street art, and there are options for additional experiences, such as a visit to The Woodstock Gin Company.
Tours run throughout the week, Mondays to Fridays. The morning tour begins at 9.30am and includes a coffee tasting and gin experience. The afternoon tour begins at 13.30pm and includes a coffee tasting as well as a wine experience.
To book, contact Juma Art Tours on 073 400 4064, mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp 081 511 6639.
The Sneaker Shack is based at Virgin Active in Claremont and offers a sneaker cleaning service for those who have tight schedules. Even if it seems like a mundane task, it’s nice to have someone take it off your hands, especially after returning from a muddy festival or a sweaty work-out session at the gym.
The team at The Sneaker Shack promises to put that clean, bacteria-free feeling back into sneaker’s soles and offers a pick-up and delivery service. Sneakers are cleaned depending on the customer’s specification by trained sneaker-care-technicians within a 48-hour turnaround time.
SUP Cape Town provides introductory lessons in Stand Up Paddle boarding on the canals close to Battery Park near the V&A Waterfront. Because there are no hazards and no waves, the flat water of the canals is an ideal learning base for first-timers. The basics will be taught on land, and there are options to wear life jackets if needed. Board rental is included and discounts for groups are available.
SUP Cape Town also has a SUP store located on the canal next to the Battery Park, selling equipment, from longboards and paddles to bamboo wax combs, as well as accessories and apparel, from sunglasses to art prints.
There are also options for kids’ birthday parties, team building and corporate functions, and SUP offers ocean tours and board rental on Clifton 4th beach during the summer months.