Stunning landscapes, fierce wildlife, adrenaline-fueled adventure, divine food and wine, beautiful beaches and buzzing nightlife—you could say Cape Town has it all, and then some. For those looking to get a broad taste of what the city has to offer with a little more insight than your standard one-size-fits all tour, the personalized adventures offered by Explore Sideways will give you a curated, insider’s view of the most southern tip of the epic continent of Africa. Here’s a taste of how their jam-packed, high-end packages allow you to take in all of Cape Town’s luxuries when time is of the essence.
Beat the crowds to Table Mountain with a sunrise yoga class.
There is no denying the outdoor beauty in and around Cape Town, especially the views of the iconic Table Mountain (voted in 2007 one of the wonders of the natural world). While you can of course climb this treasured mountain or take the cable car up along with all the other tourists, Explore Sideways will take you to the top before anyone else has access, where you can enjoy a private yoga session as the day dawns. Overlooking the city and the land and sea beyond, this is a special opportunity to salute the sun from the clouds.
Let a chopper deliver you direct to wine country.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to its award-winning winelands outside the city. For those short on time and looking for something a little more extra, take to the air and hop aboard a helicopter to land directly in the vineyards at Marianne Wine Estate. Situated at the foothills of the Simonsberg Nature Reserve, outside the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, is Marianne, owned by Frenchman Christian Dauriac and named for the iconic, fictional French symbol of liberté (freedom), égalité (equality) and fraternité (camaraderie). Rather than heading to the restaurant, you’ll be whisked away to a secluded spot among the vineyards where your private chef and four-course lunch awaits—naturally paired with local wines from the estate and explained to you by the winemaker himself.
After wine, sample something stronger.
And while South African wines are always recognized in the foodie scene, there has been somewhat of a gin revolution across Cape Town, where passionate locals are distilling gin using indigenous flora called fynbos (which includes the rooibos ‘red bush’ plants normally used as a herbal tea) to create a truly distinct, handcrafted gin unique to the region. For gin-lovers looking to deep dive into the process, heli-flip to your own private, secluded picnic spot on the peninsula, where you’ll have a pop-up gin tasting with a knowledgeable distiller to learn about the history of the spirit and today’s juniper renaissance in the Cape.
Pair it all with a 16-course meal.
For a more formal, shall we say ‘Chef’s Table’ inspired foodie experience, look no further than Gåte, situated at the newly reopened Quoin Rock wine estate. From the moment you’re greeted by security and approach the larger-than-life glass box that houses the tasting room and restaurant you know you are in for something special.
The restaurant, unlike any other in the region, is led by world-class, award-winning chef Rikku Ò’Donnchü, whose impressive resume includes the likes of Michelin star chefs Marco Pierre White, Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal. Gåte’s 16-course, molecular gastronomic feast is about playing with the senses and has everything from hands-on dining and tableside preparation to interactive experiences.
Learn about South Africa’s art scene from a curator at the city’s best museum.
Cape Town was actually deemed the world design capital a few years back and since then has become an international cultural hub that’s on par with established art centers around the world. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is a must for anyone visiting, but a true art aficionado should tour the museum after hours, guided by one of the institution’s curators. Once you’ve gazed at the multiple floors of stunning art, head to the atrium, the heart of the museum, connecting what were once two separate buildings, the old elevator shaft and the grain silos. There you can top off the tour with a private dining experience in the cathedral-like architectural marvel.
Get an alternate view of the coast from a jet ski.
Explore the Cape coastline from your private sailboat and spend an adrenaline-fueled hour riding a jet ski around Cape Town’s Table Bay. As you get a unique and iconic view of Table Mountain from the water, frolic over the waves and explore the Atlantic seaboard where dolphins and seals playfully frequent. After you’ve gotten your adrenaline fix, sit back and relax on your private vessel and take in the breathtaking scenery and multitude of pinks and oranges as the sun sets. Your vessel will come fully equipped with an onboard braai or barbecue so your skipper can cook up a feast as you wrap up the day with an ice-cold glass of MCC, South Africa’s version of champagne.