The Cape Wheel – Is It Worth It?

Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by Hannah Stephenson

You’ve heard of the London Eye, but now it’s time for… the Cape Wheel! 

Okay, so the Cape Wheel is nowhere near as big as the London Eye, but the views are pretty sweet and taking a ride is a quick and fun thing to do at the V&A Waterfront. Plus, it’s super easy and it doesn’t tend to get very busy, so you don’t have to wait in line for ages. 

The Cape Wheel was dismantled and moved from its original location not long after I arrived in Cape Town. It took them over a year to get it up and running again, so I was very excited to finally take a ride on it when it reopened! But is it worth it, or is this one Cape Town activity that you should skip?

Where is the Cape Wheel?

The Cape Wheel is at the V&A Waterfront, right out the front of the Victoria Wharf Mall. It’s pretty hard to miss! 

There’s plenty of parking nearby, and it’s within walking distance of other attractions like the Oranjezicht Market, the Aquarium, and many of the affordable restaurants around.

How tall is the Cape Wheel?

The Cape Wheel is 40 metres (131 feet) tall, and has 30 different pods. So it’s not as big as some world-famous ferris wheels, but it’s definitely tall enough to offer some wonderful views. 

What do you see from the Cape Wheel?

Lots! You get a birds-eye view of the Waterfront, with Table Mountain towering over it all in the background. I also loved the views of Green Point stadium, and being able to look out over the ocean. In fact, we saw tons of seals swimming around, which was really cool! 

How long does the ride last?

Only about 12 minutes, so it’s not super long. We got to go around four times during that time, so we felt like we saw quite a lot, but it did go by pretty quickly. 

How much does it cost?

Hannah Will and Stacey on the Cape Wheel at sunset

It costs R250 for foreigners if you pay on the day, and R175 for locals. I actually got my South African friends to buy my ticket for me so I paid the local rate! However, foreigners can also save money by purchasing tickets through Get Your Guide. It only costs R235, and you can also reserve them and pay later if you like. 

Do I need to book tickets in advance?

No, we went during the summer and didn’t have to queue up! Buying your tickets on the day is fine, but as mentioned, you can save a little bit of money by purchasing them in advance through Get Your Guide. Tickets aren’t timed, so you can redeem them at any point on your chosen date, and you only need to book the day before.

What’s the best time to go?

I went on the Cape Wheel at sunset and absolutely loved it! Obviously, the sunset times change throughout the year, but we just went to the ticket kiosk and asked the lady behind the counter about the optimum time for a sunset ride. Cape Town sunsets are spectacular and I would definitely go at sunset again. 

However, the Cape Wheel is open from the late morning until night, so it’s up to you! When you buy your tickets (either through Get Your Guide or in person), you can redeem them at any time of day. Get Your Guide actually has the opening times wrong, but don’t worry, this won’t affect your ticket redemption. 

The Cape Wheel is actually open from 10 am until 10 pm every day during the summer, which is from September to April. Then, the correct open times during the winter are:

  • 11 am – 9 pm from Monday to Thursday 
  • 10 am – 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays 
  • 10 am – 9 pm on Sundays 

Is it wheelchair friendly?

Yes, the Cape Wheel has two wheelchair friendly cabins. Only push wheelchairs are permitted though, as electronic wheelchairs are too big to fit into the pods. 

How many people can fit into a pod?

Officially, eight. The Cape Wheel doesn’t tend to get super busy, so usually it’s just you and your group in a pod, unless you have more than eight people. However, I think eight people in a pod would be quite a tight squeeze. There were three of us in our pod and although we had plenty of space, I think it would have been a bit cramped with eight of us in there! 

Is it worth it?

I really enjoyed the experience and I did think that it was worth it, especially because we got such an amazing sunset. However, the ride is quite short and there are so many stunning viewpoints in Cape Town that I wouldn’t say it’s a must-do. Still, it’s a fun experience and very easy to fit into your Cape Town itinerary, so why not go for a ride while you’re exploring the V&A Waterfront?

Thanks for reading my guide to the Cape Wheel! If you’d like to read more reviews of Cape Town activities, check out the following:

6 thoughts on “The Cape Wheel – Is It Worth It?”

  1. The wheel is definitely worth it. We just rode it about half an hours ago. The view is spectacular and we could see a school of dolphins playing in the sea.

  2. I did it with my free ticket for my birthday. It was great. But had i not had the free ticket i wouldv opted for something longer (only because my budget would not allow for this often). The staff were super amazing. I am in a wheelchair – but was in my electric wheelchair … no problem for them, helped me transfer into the pod, and out again after.
    It is super awesome that this is offered on your birthday, or within the week that follows for free (fill in online form before your birthday to receive your free ticket)

    1. I’m so glad you had a great experience! When I did, I was with a friend who got a free birthday ride, too. Sadly, I don’t get that as I am not South African.

      I’m really happy to hear that the staff were so good to you. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

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