V&A Waterfront Historical Walk

The V&A Waterfront oozes with tales at almost every corner. Each of the numerous landmarks has a story of its own and is reminiscent of one thing or the other on the history of what now constitutes this waterfront in all its grandeur.

Tread down the miles back to a by-gone era with a historical walk in this stupendous place. Relive the time of sailors, seafarers and bold adventure seekers. Trace the footsteps of South Africa’s founders when the impressive of the V&A Waterfront was a brave little jetty built by Jan van Riebeeck in 1654. Revoke the hustle and bustle of the harbour and live through the frenzy of the shouts of the sailors and stevedores as you navigate through the port's vibrant history.

For a Self-guided Historical Walking Tour, collect a free map from the Information Centre and make your way around the V&A Waterfront at your own pace. A series of numbered boards placed at key points of interest will make you relive history through various interesting facts, anecdotes and visuals.

But if you really want history brought to life, take a Guided Historical Walking Tour with a tour guide who will accompany you on a journey back in time with fascinating facts and amusing stories on this trading port’s vibrant history.

The Tour starts at Chavonnes Battery Museum, the harbour’s oldest relic. The tour then winds its way from Clock Tower Square and will include, but is not limited to the following points of interest:

  • Clock Tower
  • Swing Bridge
  • Bertie’s Landing
  • African Trading Port
  • Alfred Basin
  • Robinson Dry Dock - one of the oldest of its kind in the world still in daily use
  • SAS Somerset – the only boom defence vessel remaining in the world
  • Old Power Station - Cape Town’s first power station
  • Pump House
  • Breakwater Prison –markings left by recalcitrant prisoners are still visible today
  • Portswood Ridge
  • Time Ball Tower
  • Portswood Tunnel
  • Rocket Shed
  • Union Castle Building
  • Victoria Basin
  • Tour ends: Quay 5 / Amphitheatre


The V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tours depart daily from Chavonnes Battery Museum at 11am and 2pm. (dependent on demand)