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