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Take To The Skies For Spectacular Views In A Cape Town Helicopter

Cape Town helicopter trips

There are many ways to experience Cape Town, but if you don’t see it from a Cape Town helicopter trip, you simply haven’t seen the best that this wonderful city has to offer.

Lions Head and Table Mountain
Lions Head and Table Mountain

Our Cape Town helicopter experience

We’ve not been blessed by spectacular weather for our week in Cape Town. Originally scheduled to fly on Friday, the cloud and winds thwarted our hopes. We rebooked for this morning, and hoped for better weather. Thankfully, there’s barely a wisp of cloud, and bright blue skies greet us as we enter the heliport.

My heart sinks however, as we pull up to the dock behind a coach load of excited Indian tourists posing for selfies. We are on a tight schedule, and I have visions of arriving back to our Airbnb to find our bags dumped unceremoniously on the pavement. Thankfully the staff at NAC helicopters are expecting us, and usher us through the chaos to a calm oasis. We watch a short safety briefing, and are quickly herded through the crowds towards our sleek, black helicopter.

I feel a frisson of excitement as we clamber onboard. The weather is perfect and I cannot wait to get a panoramic view of the city in all its glory.

Taking the helicopter in Cape Town
Having the time of my life

Green point

The pilot does his checks, and in no time we feel a slight shudder and rise above the V & A (Victoria and Albert waterfront), to soar over the bay towards the rugged mountainous coastline. Cape Town’s topography slowly unfolds, showcasing the city. Hemmed in by Table Mountain to the rear, Signal Hill and Lions Head to the right, and the waterfront to the south, it’s utterly stunning.

Signal Hill and Table Mountain
Signal Hill and Table Mountain

For lovers of football, one of the first man-made landmarks brings back memories of the colourful and raucous World Cup in 2010. The stadium at Green Point shimmers in the sunlight, a permanent reminder of a fantastic tournament, and now the backdrop to the Green Point Park Run. I recommend you check it out if you are visiting!

Views of Green Point and Table Mountain
Green Point and Table Mountain

Towards Hout Bay

The helicopter follows the coast, past SeaPoint with its outdoor pool clearly visible above the rocks and on to Clifton and Camps Bay. These beaches are stunning from the shoreline, but from above, they are even more dramatic. Hout Bay appears between the rocky peaks, and Chapmans Peak is visible beyond. Be sure to drive the route too, and if you are lucky/unlucky you may spot ‘adult films’ in progress! I kid you not!

Lions Head, Table Mountain and Clifton Beaches
Lions Head, Table Mountain and Clifton Beaches
Chapmans Peak, South Africa
Hout Bay towards Chapmans Peak
South Africa coastline from an helicopter
View of Chapmans Peak towards Cape Point

We marvel at the flat expanse of Table Mountain and the grooves of the Twelve Apostles. It’s truly a kaleidoscope of the most amazing vistas that this city has to offer. We click desperately, trying to capture the moment for eternity.

Table Mountain top, Cape Town
Table Mountain top

Robben island

Sadly, we bank sharply and start to turn, signalling our return to the V & A. Out in the shimmering azure waters, we can see the hazy outline of Robben Island. It was once home to many political prisoners during the days of apartheid. 10km out to sea, surrounded by cold shark infested waters, only one prisoner (allegedly) successfully escaped from incarceration here.

Robben Island
Robben Island

Champagne helicopter trips

All too soon, we are safely back on dry land, sipping a glass of champagne and the proud owners of a DVD memorial of our trip. Not that I need it, as the sublime views are going to be engraved in my mind for some time to come!

Michala, John, Me and Jason
Michala, John, Me and Jason

Why you should not miss a Cape Town helicopter trip

The Atlantico offers the best views of the city and costs just 6,200 Rand (cost for four people. Approximately £80 each). It lasts twenty minutes, and gives you spectacular views of the headland, and a much better appreciation of the layout and topography of Cape Town. I’ve done a ton of helicopter trips in my life, but this is the best by far!

There are a range of other options to suit all budgets. Find out more on the Extreme Scene Helicopter ride page. We were delighted with the service we received from Gavin, and the staff at NAC Helicopters. I cannot recommend this trip enough. It was truly a perfect end to a fabulous week.

Other things to do in Cape Town:

If you fancy taking to the water in Cape Town, check out our sea kayak experience or sign up for future updates to follow our adventures in South Africa.

Take A Paddle On The Wild Side Kayaking In Cape Town

Disclaimer: We received a 10% discount off the price of our trips but all views are unedited and our own.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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16 comments

  1. I have been to Cape Town and the city is one of my favorite places in the planet. I have visited nearly everyplace mentioned in the post, but from the ground. If I ever visit again, I would certainly try to book myself into a helicopter tour.

  2. Parnashree Devi

    Cap town is high on my list. I loved the idea of taking a helicopter ride to see the stunning cap town. It looks breathtaking. I am definitely going to try this in my next visit. The photos are simply stunning.

  3. I’ve taken a helicopter ride before, but that was a military copter so I guess that shouldn’t count. Nevertheless, it would definitely be quite an experience flying over the picturesque Cape Town landscapes, especially the Table Mountain area which is absolutely spectacular and beautiful.

    • I think a military helicopter sounds pretty cool, although that does depend on the reason for taking the flight I guess. I imagine this would be infinitely less stressful

  4. A helicopter experience would be awesome. Glad you had better weather when you visited. Will try to schedule one soon as a surprise for my husband. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Amazing! There are so many helicopter tours offer all around the world but I must say that Cape Town from above is gorgeous! The 20 min ride must have felt like 20 second when up there with the clouds. Another place I would love to have a helicopter tour is in Rio Janiero! But we awesome flying by the Christ the Redeemer and sugarloaf mountains.

    • Ooh now I suspect that would be amazing. It never occurred to me to do an helicopter trip there so what was I thinking? In some ways Cape Town reminded me of Rio with the amazing beaches and mountains combined. Both are stunning cities

  6. I have never been to Cape Town or on a helicopter. Both must be just wow! We did consider a helicopter tour at Grand Canyon this year, but we ended up going somewhere else, so that trip was pushed to future. Looks very beautiful and green there. An ideal place to enjoy from the skies.

    • Ooh flying in a helicopter definitely should be on your bucket list and this one is much cheaper than the Grand Canyon trip thankfully.

  7. What a great experience! Have never done a chopper tour but looking at the photos you have shared it looks like an absolutely awesome trip. The best way to see Cape Town!

  8. What a beautiful trip and such amazing views. I love helicopter rides, they give you such a lovely perspective of a city’s skyline from the sky. I just wish they weren’t as expensive as they are! Cape town has lovely beaches and mountains and the views from the sky are spectacular. Especially of the Table Mountain and Clifton Beaches!

  9. Abhinav Singh

    Whoa, I didn’t know that a helicopter ride was possible here! The bird’s eye view of the Signal Hill and Table Mountain look so gorgeous from top. The price of the tour is quite reasonable at 6,200 Rands. I have also heard that this place is a penguin paradise!

    • It sure is, we did a day driving tour of the peninsula to see penguins at Boulders Beach but also saw them in Hermanus. they are seriously cute!

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