Red Bus: Unplugged

Gosh, this was fun.  Bryce and I had put it on our to do list very early on in our trip and due to our over zealous to-do-list we were only able to squeeze it in on the second to last day that we were there.  We got a great crew together, met for a coffee at the Mount Nelson (perhaps a little too late!) and braved the Cape Town wind for some sightseeing and heavy tourism!

It’s really easy to do if you haven’t done it.  You buy your ticket online for a little discount or on the bus for full price (R180).  You choose your route, get your bright red earphones and race for the open top part of the bus.  And the longest row of free seats 🙂  And then you plug in and listen to the well-scripted history lesson on your own town, while the sun beats down on your face, the wind sweeps your hair back and your friends surround you.  Can’t complain.

We chose the Blue Route, which led us down the M3, with the first stop after Mount Nelson being Kirstenbosch.  We decided to skip that one and head to the home of Pas De Nom – Beau Constantia – where the wine is almost as delicious as the views!

Once the wine bug bit, we couldn’t resist jumping on the Wine Tour Bus (which your day pass also covers) and heading down to Constantia Glen.  By this time, everyone was a little merry and the need for some cheese was very necessary.  We were blessed with a beautiful table on the veranda, some great cheeses and then time just ran away with us.


With some of the members of our crew needing to go early, we had to make it back to our bus stop, which was a short but beautiful walk through the vineyards, surrounded by an array of brilliant greens and some sheep doing what ever it is that sheep do.   We had a minor wait at the end of the road that allowed us to rest (after the gruelling day- ha ha).  And then like clockwork, the wine bus came around the corner and delivered us to the top of Constantia Nek.  From here we wound around the canopied cover road to Hout Bay, with the option to stop at The World of Birds, The Hout Bay Harbour and The Hout Bay Market.  Had the day been less windy and our starting time earlier, we would definitely have done The World of Birds and some “Vis n Tjips” at the Harbour, but continue we did.  Down one of my favourite stretched in Cape Town, The Suikerbossie descent past Llandudno, along The Twelve Apostles.  The breathtaking views of Lions Head standing proudly next to Table Mountain.  The sun shining brightly on the cable car and the wind blowing the clouds in all sorts of patterns over head.  By this stage the wind was blowing relentlessly and we were holding on to our hats.

With the tummies calling a little again, we decided to stop on The Camps Bay strip for a sundown smoothie at Kauai, while half our crew headed on their next adventure.  The rest of us stayed on board for the City part of the tour, wrapping around the remainder of the peninsula towards The V&A Waterfront and the vibrancy that comes with that.


Your last interesting stretch takes you along the bottom of Long Street, filling you in on all the magic that unravels there.  It was there Bryce’s cap had had enough and escaped in the blustering wind, encouraging him to stop the bus, stop the traffic and sprint until he had it back in his hands.  Steph and I finished the last few minutes of the tour, ending at the top of Long Street with a massive smile on our faces.

I highly recommend doing this tour, as a tourist but especially as a local.  It is such fun, you learn something you never knew and its a great way to wine taste while not worrying about driving 🙂

A couple of pointers:

  1. Start Early (catch the first bus)
  2. Take snacks
  3. Try to do it on a still day (if possible in CT summer!)
  4. Suncream!!! And a hat.
  5. Do it with a rad crew who will stop at most of the stops



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