Pre-event Sightseeing

Meeting local dancers and getting to know Mother City Hoppers from all over the globe, all while seeing the best of Cape Town’s sights, is a big highlight for many people coming to our event. If you are coming to Mother City Hop from outside South Africa, do consider arriving earlier to join us for this week of fun!


Schedule at a glance:
Monday 16 March The Peninsula – penguins and beaches
Tuesday 17 March Table Mountain
Wednesday 18 March Winelands
Thursday 19 March Imizamo Yethu
Friday 20 March Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa / Robben Island

Please note that this package is only available to Mother City Hop participants. Register here.

★    Monday 16th March: THE PENINSULA 

Join us for a fun trip along the dramatic coast of the Cape Peninsula, driven by local swing dancers. We’ll meet at 9:30am to head south towards Boulders Beach to see some quirky penguins near Simon's Town. After that we carry on around the peninsula offering some stunning views, and plenty of time relaxing at a beautiful beach for some lunch and maybe a splash in the ocean. Be sure to bring your swimming things, sunscreen and cameras for this one!

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★   Tuesday 17th March: TABLE MOUNTAIN  ★

Cape Town wraps around the base of one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the iconic Table Mountain. You can choose to hike up to the top in a group, led by experienced locals, or you can take the cable car up if you want to save your energy for dancing! Those who take the cable car up will still have the opportunity to walk around on the top, on flat paths to see the view and take photos. Both groups will take the cable car down. Be warned: the hike is steep and somewhat strenuous (we don’t advise it if you have bad knees or a limiting health condition) but there will be opportunities to stop to admire the view and the unique vegetation.

Walkers will gather at 8:30am (location TBC) and those going by cable car will gather at 10.30am at the lower cable station. We will have a picnic lunch at the top (this is provided), and we'll all come down together by cable car, in the early afternoon. There will then be the option to head to the beach with local dancers for some chill time and maybe a dip!

Please bring sensible hiking shoes (if you’re hiking), a hat, sunscreen and water. 

On Tuesday evening there will be dance classes with Boogie Back Dance Co. at 6.30pm and 7.30pm, followed by social dancing, all at 6 Spin Street. There's a restaurant at the venue that'll be open from 6pm, if you'd like to grab dinner before or between the dancing.

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★   Wednesday 18th March: WINELANDS  ★

Join us for a triple step into the countryside for a bit of fine adventuring – we'll gather at 9:30am at De Waal Park, and then head out. Delight your taste buds with some local wines as we take you to some beautiful vineyards in the Cape Winelands. Enjoy all the flavours you want while basking in the beauty of the landscape: lush mountains, lakes and garden villas. We’ll find a great spot for a tasty lunch all together (own expense).

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★   Thursday 19th March: IMIZAMO YETHU  ★

Imizamo Yethu is an informal settlement in Hout Bay, a coastal town about 30 minutes from the city centre. We'll head there for a half-day visit, guided by a local resident. We’ll go to a cultural centre in the community to meet artists and entrepreneurs and learn about local social projects, and we will learn a bit about the history of apartheid and its legacy that continues to negatively impact people’s lives. Maxwell Rani will host a taster class in Pantsula, a South African vernacular dance that has its roots in jazz music, and then we’ll enjoy a traditional lunch prepared by a local cook. We recognise and acknowledge the potential challenges around stepping into a different community’s home environment: especially from a more privileged perspective. We have worked hard to make sure this day is carried out sensitively, in partnership with someone we know well in the community and the youth NGO she runs there. Last year our visitors gave very positive feedback and felt it was really worthwhile. We request that you do not take photographs of people unless you have their enthusiastic consent.

Cape Town is one of the most segregated cities in the world. The apartheid government enforced laws that forcefully removed and then placed people in different areas of the city, based on their skin colour. Even though apartheid ended in 1994, the geography of the city (built between mountain and ocean) the continued income disparity and a tendency by the privileged to maintain the status quo, have made this racial segregation slow to change – South Africa is still one of the most unequal societies in the world. While most tourists see only wealthy areas of the city, the majority of Capetonians live in townships, and we feel that it is important for our visitors to have a more balanced perspective on South African life. While the socio-economic perspective is important to acknowledge, these communities across the country have a hugely varied culture of art, music and dance that we wish to share with our visitors in a way that supports local artists and is sensitive to the community.

We'll meet at 9.30am at De Waal Park and travel there together. We will return to the city centre in the late afternoon.

★   Friday 20th March: ZEITZ ART MUSEUM OR ROBBEN ISLAND  ★

We’re thrilled to offer a new entry on our sightseeing schedule this year: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. This internationally- acclaimed museum holds a fascinating collection that celebrates the cutting edge of modern art in Africa, with a particular focus on intercultural understanding and socio-political perspectives. We are keen to share this impressive showcase with you and all it has to say about today’s Africa. The group will meet at 10am at the museum entrance at the V&A Waterfront. 

If you don’t want to go to the art museum you could choose to go on the Robben Island tour, which will give you a first-hand experience of one of South Africa's most well-known historical sites. That group will meet at 8.30am at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island, by the Clocktower at the V&A Waterfront and take a boat trip across the bay to visit the famous prison that held many political prisoners during the apartheid regime, including our former South African President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who spent 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence there. The guides are often ex-prisoners, which gives a unique, moving and important insight into not only the horror of the regime but also the powerful stories of resilience, forgiveness and reconciliation. The tour is weather-dependent and is roughly 3.5 hours long. Bring water, a snack if you want, sunscreen and a hat.

We will aim for the two groups to reconnect at the V&A Waterfront to have lunch at the Food Shed, where there are lots of food stalls with delicious delights for all preferences. The tour day will end after lunch, so there’s plenty of time to get to the level auditions at 3:30pm.

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