Wheelchair-friendly attractions around South Africa

2020-02-03 04:45 - Thutolore Tsatsane
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When you are planning your next getaway, you hardly have to worry about accessible power buttons, placing rails or ramps unless you have a disability. 

Accessible tourism allows everyone to enjoy travel experiences. With the rise in awareness about mental and physical disabilities, attractions and tourist destinations have become more accommodating. 

Travelling with mobility impairments has never been this easy, some of your favourite tourist destinations in South Africa have dedicated themselves to delivering the best experiences for everyone.

Here are some of the top disability-friendly attractions across South Africa.

From museums to aquariums, Cape Town welcomes you all

  • The Company's Gardens

Set perfectly in the centre of the CBD, the Company's Gardens offers an escape from the noise. Spend your afternoon feeding the friendly squirrels or enjoying a picnic on the lush lawns.

  • Enjoy the Views from the Top of Signal Hill

Enjoy Cape Town's breathtaking sunsets and views of iconic sights such as Robben Island and Table Mountain. There are two accessible restrooms on top of the hill and some the paths are wheelchair accessible.

  • Two Oceans Aquarium

Two Ocean's Aquarium is one of the top attractions in the city, have fun learning about marine life and enjoy the activities on sight. The whole building is wheelchair-friendly.

  • Artscape Theatre

The Artscape Theatre is the main performance arts centre in the city of Cape Town. Some of the best opera, musicals and theatre productions have been performed at this world-class venue and it is accessible to everyone with its wheelchair-friendly facilities.

  • Visit historical Groot Constantia Wine Estate

Take a tour of the oldest wine farm in South Africa. The Visitors Route Experience is a self-guided cellar and vineyard tour, the free audio walking tours of the vineyards accommodate visually impaired wine enthusiasts. The wine farm is wheelchair-accessible and so are the restrooms.

READ: One of the world's most unreachable historical sights is now accessible by wheelchair

  • Hang out with penguins at Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is home to the largest colony of African Penguins. It is a tourist hotspot and locals also enjoy taking pictures with them. Wheelchair users are also able to admire the little guys thanks to the wooden walkways.

  • The City Sightseeing Bus

The best way to enjoy the beauty of Cape Town is on the sightseeing bus. The open top bus has over 30 stops and takes you to more than 50 attractions in and around the city the the Groot Constantia, the busses have ramps that make boarding easy for wheelchair-users.

  • The Iziko South African Museum and Planetarium

The Iziko Museum houses 11 national museums showcasing South African art and culture. The museum is accessible from the parking bay with designated parking area, throughout the premises-entrances are ramped, including all the levels, right down to the restrooms.

  • Table Mountain

It is only fitting that one of the seventh wonders of the world is also wheelchair-friendly. Table Mountain is fully accessible from the designated parking areas to the Cableway. Enjoy the smooth-sailing from start to finish.

  • Kirstenbosch Gardens

Africa's most beautiful Garden has spacious restrooms that are suitable for wheelchair users. Most of the Garden is accessible with handicap parking lots. The newly constructed Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway takes you from the forest floor to the top of the trees where you will be met with beautiful scenery.

  • Play at Planet Kids

There are attractions perfect for the little ones too. This tucked-away playground was built all types of kids in mind, the wooden floors and accessible equipment are what makes this fun spot friendly for the disabled.

Johannesburg

  • Neighbourgoods Market

Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein is the place to be every Saturday. Locals and tourists flock to the venue to enjoy the array of food and live music.

  • The Origins Centre Museum

Situated in Wits University, the Origin's Centre gives insight on South African Human heritage and allows visitors to view some of the oldest images made by early humans. 

  • Market Theatre

The Market Theatre aims to celebrate South African history vibrantly and they want everyone to enjoy the cultural experience. Wheelchair-friendly facilities like ramps are available at the venue.

  • Joburg Zoo

Joburg's favourite zoo is packed with fun activities for everyone including a playground for kids. The park is lined with walkways that are also suitable for rolling.

  • Gold Reef City Theme Park

Gold Reef City falls under the list of one of the best theme parks in the country. The park and casino combine history and fun in a way you have never seen before, paying homage to the mining history of the land.

  • Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden

This popular picnic spot is home to indigenous plants and birds and Gautengers are here for all of it. Most of the landscape, making it one of the wheelchair-friendly attractions.

  • Maropeng Visitor Centre

Go on an adventure at the Maropeng Visitor Centre, choose from the Cradle of Humankind exhibition or learn about the formation of our planet at the centre. Both the restaurants and Maropeng are wheelchair accessible.

Port Elizabeth

  • Bay World Oceanarium

Bay World is the third oldest oceanarium in the country, the long-running aquarium is friendly for the whole family, the able and disabled. Amenities such as the Snake Park have wheelchair access including most of the Oceanarium.

  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum

If you have an interest in the arts, take a trip down to the museum and enjoy a collection of South African art and craft. The museum is of course wheelchair-friendly but even better there are wheelchairs available upon request.

  • Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World

24 whole hours of entertainment is available at the Boardwalk. A kid's entertainment area gives the parents time to enjoy the amazing restaurants with spectacular lake views. 

  • Mc Arthur Pool and Leisure Centre

In summer every day is a good day to go to the pool. The pools are situated along the King's Beach Promenade, the facility has two large open-air pools with a splash pool for the little ones. The leisure centre is also close to the beach so plenty of swimming for you! Most of the facilities are accessible through the wooden deck.

Durban

  • KwaMuhle Museum

Going to the beach when you are in Durban is a must but if you really want to learn about the history of the city and its people, visit Kwa Muhle Museum. The building offers on-site parking that is suitable for everyone.

  • Mini Town

The name says it all! Mini Town has been around for over three decades if viewing every corner of Durban sounds like a daunting process Mini Town is a representation of the city scaled down to tiny structures. You can look at the airport and harbour as miniature models.

WATCH: Travelling in a wheelchair will make you see the world differently

  • Durban Botanic Gardens 

The Botanic gardens are one of the oldest public institutions, that provides all-round entertainment for everyone. Guided golf cart tours and picnics on the lawn are some of the ways you can enjoy the gardens while learning about the vegetation.

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