Get on a bike to explore the Mother City

The best way to discover and unlock a city is to hit its streets, pound the pavement and mingle with the locals. Cape Town, naturally, has a variety of tours to help you get to know the city, and few cover as much ground as AWOL Tours Cape Town City Cycle Tour.

For me the guide makes – or breaks – a tour. Fortunately then, we got Mark for our visit into the city. Apart from being knowledgeable of the Mother City’s long and storied history, he was always quick with a quip and kept the conversation rolling with personal anecdotes about his shared story with each location we visited.

I have been on a fair amount of guided tours around the city and it’s always unique because of the guide. Nobody sees the city the same way. One person’s favourite spot is not always going to be yours, while the diversity of the locals in the city means you are guaranteed to enjoy some friendly debate at some point over who makes the best coffee in the city or whether or not one takeaway joint is better than another.

AWOL offers a number of different tours and we went for the three-hour jaunt around the city, which combines both the old and the new around the city. Starting at the V&A Waterfront, Mark took us through the back-end of the docks and into the city, where we stopped off in Adderley Street, The Bo-Kaap, The Company’s Garden, St. George’s Mall, Cape Town Stadium and Eco-Park amongst other prime spots in Cape Town.

Something I really enjoyed about the tour is that while guides are expected to hit the major landmarks, they are not bound by any specific route and can add their own favourite spots and talking points during the ride. With the guides given this freedom, It makes the experience all that more unique. It also means that while you will be educated on the history of the city, you will also be given the insider’s guide to Cape Town by somebody who knows what makes the city tick.

The Cape Town City Cycle Tour takes around three hours from start to finish, but the speed is leisurely with very little climbing – with the exception of the hill into the Bo-Kaap – meaning it is the perfect way for everybody, young and old, to explore the wonders of the Mother City.

For more information on AWOL Tours Cape Town City Cycle Tour and all the other tours on offer, visit their website: