Since arriving in Cape Town, the opportunity to venture up Signal Hill has eluded me. From afar, it has always looked enticing, with its grove of tall trees and promise of a glorious view of the Mother City. Fortunately, I was able to make the trip this past weekend, thanks to the Sunset Bus Tour, a recent addition to Cape Town’s City Sightseeing Red Bus experience.
The Sunset Bus Tour opened on 23 September, and will be available until 1 May 2017. Unlike the other Red Bus touring options, this is not a hop-on, hop-off tour, taking you directly from Stop 1 outside the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront to Signal Hill. The bus arrives between 5.30 and 6pm, and should stop at Signal Hill just in time for you to see the sun set over Cape Town.
Having already taken the Red City Tour to Table Mountain, I found Sunday’s journey to be a tad repetitive. The audio aspect of the tour constituted information about the Green Point Lighthouse and Clifton’s various beaches, as well as the scandalous history of Graaff’s Pool, all of which those who have taken the Red City Tour will be familiar with.
There were, however, a few interesting titbits about other places along the route. We learnt a bit about the supposedly haunted Somerset Hospital, now a provincial heritage site; as well as the lush surroundings leading up up to Signal Hill, which are inhabited by a slowly increasing population of Verreaux’s Eagles, along with their favourite snack: dassies. And as always, this natural wonderland was a sight for sore eyes.
Signal Hill itself is a great place to round off the weekend, or to begin one for that matter. It boasts spectacular views of Cape Town, the sunset, and the ocean; and also proves to be a popular spot for socialising. Many families and groups of friends had gathered around with drinks and snacks, and there were a few paragliding enthusiasts showing off their bravado.
With it’s views, nature, and convivial atmosphere, Signal Hill is definitely must-see for everyone. The Sunset Bus Tour will be available everyday between now and May, except for 24 December to 3 January 2017, and 12 March.
When Thursday 29 September between 5.30 pm and 6 pm (until Monday 1 May)
Where Spot 1, Across from Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront
Cost R100 for adults, R60 for children aged 5-17
Contact +27 86 173 3287, www.citysightseeing.co.za
Photography courtesy Joshua Craig White
[Find out what else is going down in the Mother City on the Cape Town Etc events page]