Every now and again I really get to do something extra special. A recent day-to-remember came in the form of an invitation by the guys from Cape Town Tourism to explore the beautiful little town of Muizenberg with the help of a new walking tour app called VoiceMap.
Now I freakin’ love walking, especially when travelling. In fact, I walk so much, that instead of the dreaded holiday bulge, I always come back from a trip a few kilos lighter. Why do I love it so much? (apart from the weight loss benefits of course) Because you really just get to see so much more…
I’ve used a walking tour app before while overseas and found it really cool for many reasons:
- You pick what route you want to do and when you want to do it
- You’re not reliant on a tour guide
- You don’t have to deal with the sometimes tricky dynamics of a tour group
- And you can explore at your own pace
I was therefore very excited to hear about Cape Town Tourism’s new partnership with the team from VoiceMap, because now not only will people from abroad be able to enjoy various amazing walking tours here in Cape Town & its surrounding areas, but we can also act like tourists in our own city, checking out local gems you might not even have known existed before.
But first, what is VoiceMap & how does it work? VoiceMap is a locally created app which is now taking over globally as well. Currently they have various walking tours for Cape Town, the Cape Winelands & Johannesburg along with a list of international cities including Buenos Aires, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, London, Bangkok, Sydney, New York, Beijing and more. The real exciting part is that they’re loading new tours in new cities from all over the world like every few days & it makes me very proud to know that it all started here.
What sets VoiceMap apart from any other walking tour app is that their tours are stories told by locals themselves. This way you’re not just getting all that generic touristy stuff, instead you’re getting a real insight into what the locals love about their cities; something which fits in perfectly with Cape Town Tourism’s mission to promote travelling like a local.
The app is FREE and available on iOS and Andriod. The walking tour options come in a mix of FREE or paid tours, but with the paid tours only costing R24,99 for local tours, and up to R69.99 for the international ones.
To try out this concept for ourselves, we were going to test out one of their newest walking tours: Muizenberg Like a Local by Coleen Van Staden. Coleen has been a Muizenberg resident for 30 years, and her love for this quirky seaside town is evident in her storytelling.
But first, to get to Muizenberg, we hopped on a train – which is of course a really fun & affordable way to get from Cape Town to Muizenberg & Kalk Bay:Upon arrival in Muizenberg it was a quick 5min walk to our staring point, which was the Masque Theatre over on the Main Road. From there, the walking tour covers a distance of 1.8km and takes only about 30min to complete. All ‘n all, this walk taught me a whole bunch of stuff about Muizenberg which I definitely wouldn’t have known otherwise. It has inspired a few return visits to this area, which I guess is the whole point of getting people to explore, learn & fall in love with new places.
We wrapped up the day by popping in at the beautiful Knead on Surfer’s Corner, before settling in for lunch at the all new Tiger’s Milk:The Cape Town Tourism team will now be assisting VoiceMap with the next Cape Town walking tour which will focus on Woodstock. Other cool things they’re working on include:
- Continued promotion of their #lovecapetown campaign, which you can follow on social media (and I highly suggest that you do). It’s a good dose of inspiration for locals and tourists alike, and also a great way for you to share what you love about our incredible city.
- Mid 2015 they’re also planning on launching a new mobile app where travel suggestions, experiences & activities will be shared from an insider’s perspective.
- They’ve also started a neighbourhood series on their blog where team members head out every month to spend some time with locals in different neighbourhoods in order to create a comprehensive insider’s guide to these different areas.
- And then mid-2015 they’ll also be kicking off a neighbourhood focused video series on Youtube.
So yeah, lots of exciting stuff happening in that space.
To the Cape Town Tourism team as well as the guys from VoiceMap I have to say a HUGE thank you. It really was incredible getting the opportunity to explore Muizenberg with you guys, and I’ll definitely be continuing my exploration by following a few more walking tours in the future.
To all of you guys reading this – download that app and start exploring… you’ll absolutely love being a tourist in your own city. 🙂