Exploring forgotten crevasses

Lorna Kalimashe, social media manager at the V&A Waterfront and the narrator of the tour, takes a picture at one of the sites on the audio tour.

The V&A Waterfront has officially launched its first walking audio tour, enabling visitors to learn more about the history of some of the city’s oldest buildings located in the precinct, as well as the docks.

The audio tour, called Reinventing Tavern of the Seas, which has been available since last month, has since received great feedback, and will now be more widely marketed, said V&A Waterfront spokesman Donald Kau.

The tour covers some of the Waterfront’s main attractions, as well as some of the spaces people are unlikely to visit, such as the Fish Quay, and gives a brief history of each of the spaces along the route, which ends at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art.

The audio tour was put together in collaboration with VoiceMap, an international audio tour platform.

Mr Kau said it had taken six months to prepare the tour.

“As the number one tourist destination in the city, we have to keep things fresh for our visitors,” he said.

The tour starts at the information centre next to Ferryman’s, near the Big Wheel, where free earphones are available, and guests will receive the wi-fi password from the staff to download the VoiceMap app. After the app is downloaded, visitors can sign in and select “Cape Town”, then download the Reinventing the Tavern of the Seas tour, and plug in the earphones. The tour starts once the visitor clicks ‘start’.

The tour uses a GPS connection to ensure that the audio always matches where the visitor is on the property – no matter what the walking pace is.

Mr Kau said the tour did not require any data after the app was downloaded, so visitors could switch off their mobile data as no internet connection was needed for the tour.

CEO and the co-founder of VoiceMap, Iain Manley, said they had been trying to get a tour in the Waterfront for a long time.

Mr Manley, who has written most of the tour himself, said the route was chosen in collaboration with the Waterfront’s team.

“We’ve tried to focus on how the Waterfront has connected the city to the water. The Waterfront chose not to focus on tenants but more on the development. For example, when we take visitors to Fish Quay, it gives an idea on how things used to be, and we wanted to connect the dots and show people how things evolved over time.

Waterfront CEO David Green, said: “The heritage of the V&A Waterfront is woven into the very fabric of the property, with most buildings and structures around us having important historical significance. This history – which is an integral part of the history of Cape Town – can often be forgotten in the rush of modern life.

“We worked hard to develop a meaningful, educational, interesting audio tour for our visitors to ensure that anyone interested in this history, can explore it at their leisure.”

Mr Kau said as the property developed, more sites would be added to the tour.