14 reasons to jump on the Cape Town Blue Mini Peninsula Tour
Welcome to Cape Town! Get a great overview of everything the Mother City and its surrounding areas have to offer, simply by hopping on a big red bus.
The Blue Mini Peninsula Tour circles the back of Table Mountain, letting you take in the scenery on its southern slopes, past the winelands and out of town, before heading back via the Atlantic Seaboard and returning to the city centre.
It's a highly recommended experience – and here are 14 reasons why you should do it:
1. Shopping at the Waterfront
If you start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), you can stock up on snacks, drinks, spare batteries, suncream, hats, good walking shoes and other essentials at the V&A Waterfront.
The bus returns here, too, so make it your last stop and end your trip with a shopping spree at high-street names such as H&M, Zara, Karen Millen and Jo Malone.
2. Checking out the foreshore
The red bus is one of the most convenient ways to get to the Cape Town International Convention Centre and, as the name suggests, there are interesting exhibitions and conferences taking place there all year round. Elsewhere on the foreshore, stroll over to Cape Town's flagship theatre venue, the Artscape, for a number of local and international productions.
3. Long Street, the heart of the city centre
Some people prefer to start their tour at Long Street (you can hop on and off from wherever you like), but if you decide to hop off and explore, make sure you head downstairs to our Travel Depot for a bunch of exciting add-ons to your visit!
Nearby, explore Greenmarket Square's bewildering amount of African crafts and curios, and be serenaded by buskers as you enjoy one of the square's many restaurants and coffee shops.
4. High tea at the Nellie
The unmistakable pink walls of the Mount Nelson Hotel welcome you to what is recognised as one of the best high teas in the world. Sandwiches, scones and a variety of sweet treats, plus a proper tea service and all the ritual that goes with it, make this a worthy stop.
(As an added bonus, it's not too late to switch tours at this stop and try out the Yellow Downtown Tour instead. It will take you to some of the other top attractions that Cape Town's city centre has to offer.)
5. Stop and smell the flowers
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a magnificent natural habitat of indigenous plants, trees, insects, birds and other fauna. Stroll through the gardens, pack a picnic, sit at the tearoom or simply find a quiet spot for contemplation.
6. Jump on the wine bus
The Blue Mini Peninsula tour passes over beautiful Constantia Nek as it winds its way around Table Mountain, and here you can hop off and link up with our Purple Wine Tour. Check out three of the best estates in the area, taste the superb wines, and then hop right back on the Mini Peninsula tour and keep going!
7. Close encounters of the feathered kind
Hop off at World of Birds, the largest bird sanctuary in Africa, home to more than 3 000 birds that you can get up to close to. The sanctuary also serves as hospital, orphanage and breeding centre for injured birds, so go and support the good work they do!
8. Get a glimpse of daily life
South Africa's apartheid laws had a devastating effect on its people and landscape, but the residents of Imizamo Yethu ("our collective effort"), a township in Hout Bay, are embracing tourism and small business ventures to overcome the challenges and improve their community. You can support them by doing a walking tour and hearing people's stories.
We've partnered with local resident guides to offer you a guided township walk.
9. The best fish and chips in Cape Town
Mariner's Wharf is always on a list of "top fish-and-chip shop stops" (trying saying that quickly!) in the city, so make sure you come hungry. You can also switch transport here and take a boat trip to Seal Island to get a closer look – and smell – of some of Hout Bay's furry residents.
10. Dip your toe, or yourself, in the ocean
Camps Bay is home to the rich and famous, playboys and models, celebs and moguls ... but not all of them are brave enough to jump into the icy Atlantic waters! In all fairness, once you've dipped your toe in, the rest is easy, and Camps Bay beach is probably the best place to cool off after a long, hot day on the bus.
11. Explore Sea Point's main road
As the bus winds its way back into the city, it stops outside The President Hotel in Bantry Bay – very handy if you are staying there but ,even if not, this is a great spot to hop off and see what the bustling suburb of Sea Point is all about.
With a bunch of new developments springing up recently near the bus stop, you're sure to find something delicious to eat, or another souvenir to take home.
12. Sundowners overlooking the ocean
The next stop in Sea Point drops you off near La Perla, a popular spot for enjoying sundowners as you watch boats and yachts coming and going along the coast.
13. Take a stroll along the Promenade
Hop off at Winchester Mansions and spoil yourself with their delicious meals, luxury rooms and pampering spa. Or simply take a stroll along the Sea Point Promenade and enjoy the view. If you're lucky, you might even spot whales and dolphins!
14. Tea in the park
The bus drops you off at the Green Point Urban Park, one of the best legacy projects of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This is a green, family-friendly environment perfect for picnics or walking the dog. Explore the labyrinth and biodiversity garden, or grab a bite from the tea room.