Its no secret that Dan and I love craft beer, and I try to visit at least one craft brewery everywhere we go! When researching Cape Town, I came across the Super Cool Beer Tour and obviously had to sign up! We were able to sign up online for the afternoon tour, between about 1 and 6, on a Friday afternoon, our last afternoon in Cape Town, and what a fun afternoon it was!
The afternoon started with a personal pick-up at our hotel by Louwrens, the head guy, who was super cool, like the tour = )
The tour started with a drive through town to Newlands Brewery, which is now a main stream brewery (read: non-craft) run by SABMiller. It makes common South African and international beers.
While not craft brewery, Newlands Brewery is still a cool spot to visit. There is a lot of history here and the grounds are quite the production. We walked around a bit and saw some old cars and then moved into the tasting room for a tasting of about six beers, which included a wide variety of the “big beers” produced at the brewery such as Castle, Flying Fish (a shandy-type beer) and Pilsner Urquell. After, we got to select a pint of our choice to enjoy in the lovely outdoor beer garden! I went with the Castle Stout!
If you are in the Cape Town area, in addition to the Wine Tour, you absolutely must take a trip down the Cape peninsula to visit the villages and beaches on the way and the Cape of Good Hope!
There are several options for touring this area of Cape Town: self-drive, join a tour or take the Green Bus from Cape Town. We decided to take an arranged group tour, Day Tripper’s, because we did not have a car and the tour included stops at Hout Bay and Simon’s Town and a bike ride through Cape Point! If you are choosing between the 3, self-diriving gives you the most flexibility but requires advance planning, an arranged tour is the easiest but you are married to their schedule and the Green Bus is the most environment-friendly and is fairly easy, but time is very limited. Our tour with Day Trippers was only about $65 a person and well-worth it.
After an early pick-up at our hotel, the first stop was Hout Bay with an option to take a boat to “seal island” for $10 US.
Since we wanted to see the seals, we went directly to the boat for the 20 minute boat ride, which goes around Hout Bay and right up to Duiker Island (aka “seal island”). Duiker Island is really a tiny rock of land inhabited by tons of seals. To avoid confusion, there is another similar, but slightly larger, island in False Bay officially named Seal Island. No need to visit both! The scenery to the island is gorgeous!
Coming up on the island…the seals are so cute! Take your camera!
If you don’t take the boat ride, there is a craft market and several shops and restaurants in Hout Bay.
After the boat ride, we grabbed some coffee and moved on to Simon’s Town to see the Penguin Colony at Boulder’s Beach! To get to Boulder’s Beach, you walk straight through Simon’s Town and pay a small fee for entrance into the park.
In addition to the penguins, Simon’s Town is a cute little town and would make a good lunch stop.
After the penguins, we drove to Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is the very bottom of the Cape peninsula and leads to to the Cape of Good Hope. Our tour, Day Tripper’s, incorporates bicycling into all of its tours, so we stopped as soon as we entered the reserve and cycled about 5km to our lunch spot, which was a basic picnic…the lunch could have been better.
Did I mention, the Cape Point Reserve is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Gorgeous scenery was a theme on this tour.
Below are the bikes and me on the bike! It wasn’t as hard as it looked…
We also saw some wildlife, including baboons up close and personal and ostrich! Actually, the baboons can be aggressive if you have food, visible water bottles or are carrying a large woman’s tote bag (they know they contain food). Be careful – they are quite large and have really big teeth! They did not bother us and there are park employees monitoring their location to ensure they leave the tourists alone. But, if you see a traffic jam, it is probably due to baboons!
After lunch, we cycled another 12 km down to the Cape of Good Hope!!
After an obligatory photo-op, we did the hike from the Cape of Good Hope up to the Cape Point Lighthouse. The hike is not exactly easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. It is one of the most gorgeous landscapes I have ever seen and you do not want to miss out on this hike. Definitely wear proper shoes.
Once we made it to the Lighthouse area, there are a few shops and the Two Oceans’ Restaurant, We didn’t eat there, but it looked really good! Definitely go up to the light house, which offers gorgeous views of False Bay (shark diving is there) and the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. If you have mobility issues, note that you can drive directly to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Lighthouse. There is a small funicular that takes passengers from the restaurant/shop area to the Lighthouse.
Dan and I began our trip to Southern Africa in Cape Town, South Africa! Cape Town is a gorgeous, historical city with so much to offer! Literally, it has beaches, mountains, great food, even better wine, craft beer, so much history, a mix of people and an evolving political climate. Cape Town makes for such an interesting place to visit. Main picture from the top of Table Mountain and below are some more favorites!
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