Ferdinand’s Tours: Combination day tour – By Kim Murphy
The day encompassed the perfect combination of history, nature, culture, scenic beauty and of course, wine.
After a four in the morning pickup, the group of seven and our guide, Ferdi made our way up to Signal Hill before day break. In spite of the brutally early start to the day, watching the sunrise while enjoying breakfast and coffee made it all worth it. It was a spectacular scene that everyone should experience whilst in Cape Town.
The morning continued with a leisurely hike up Paarl Mountain and a visit to the Language monument where we learned about the history of Afrikaans and all of it’s contributions from other languages from all corners of the globe. The monument itself physically represented the cultural staple beautifully and abstractly.
The group then headed to a lion sanctuary where we strolled through the park and got to know some of the lions, most of whom had been rescued from inhumane conditions such as the illegal pet trade in Bolivia, and circuses around the world. We learned about the ethics the park upholds in its treatment of the animals, refraining from breeding or letting tourists interact with them. Despite the fact that such practices are the means for serious financial gains for other lion parks, Drakenstein Lion Park clearly valued the wellbeing of the animals over making money from tourists, directly in line with the responsible tourism standards Saltycrax upholds in all of their partnerships for tours and packages.
The afternoon led us through scenic Cape Town wine country, stopping at three different wineries where the group tasted a variety of wines and champagnes while listening to a relaxed briefing on the nature of the product and its making and later experienced both a chocolate and cheese tasting. We then enjoyed an Italian lunch sitting in the sun looking out at the vineyards while tasting more wine and homegrown olives. A craft beer company was the next stop after Fairview Cheese and Wine and Spice Route Wine, where we tasted a nice variety of CBC beers after touring the brewery with the brewing master.
Venturing the Cape Town area with Ferdinand’s Tours was different than any other guided tour i’ve experienced throughout my travels; because unlike the majority of guides who tend to be somewhat robotic, Ferdi made the day feel as though we were just exploring with a friend we’ve known for years. The day was informative without being boring, and interesting without ever being overwhelming; and the combination tour allowed us to experience the immense diversity of experience Cape Town has to offer, all in one day.