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“Township Futures” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coffeebeans Routes

Coffeebeans Routes
Book In Advance
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$122.52*
and up
Cape Town Jazz Safari
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We create contemporary, urban experiences around urban stories in Cape Town and Johannesburg. They provide deep insights and plenty of fun. We operate a portfolio of long-form and short-form specialist creative travel programmes, and we custom-make experiences around pretty much any topic.
Surbiton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Township Futures”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2014

Booked in the Township Futures tour through Coffeebeans Routes for a group of 4. Visited Langa and Gugulethu to see the work being done by entrepeneurs and visionaries within the townships. Great to see a different perspetive being taken on the townships and how they really are the centre of Cape Town. Well worth it.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank marionjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Needham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
76 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

We took two tours (Jazz Safari and Inner City tour) with Coffeebeans Routes and canceled a prescheduled third after the second of those. While Michael was an enthusiastic and likeable tour guide, and Coffeebeans Routes provided a safe way to visit a township, based on our experiences I would not recommend it to other travelers.

The reasons:

At the Jazz Club, the second stop on the Jazz Safari, we waited and waited for the band but none arrived. We ended the evening by leaving without completing the main part of the evening. The band’s non-appearance was apparently related to Heritage Day, a public holiday. This is something Coffeebeans should have known about. We paid about $250 for the Jazz Safari--2/3 before arriving in Cape Town and $80 (800 ZAR) earlier that evening, for our daughter to join us.

On the Inner City Tour there were two of us and on the first stop we discovered that the Bo Kaap museum was closed because of the holiday. For the Inner City Tour we paid $160 or so.

Coffeebeans Routes offers tours that sound good and many previous TripAdvisor reviewers have enjoyed. But our experience was that they were poorly organized and unaccountable for the quality of product they offer.

Heritage Day clearly made a big difference to our experience (the band didn't turn up, the museum didn't open), but the fact that Heritage Day happens should be a surprise to the people at Coffeebeans Routes. They weren't responsible for the band or the museum not being available, but clearly Coffeebeans Routes didn't feel responsible for providing a good experience to us either. A company with integrity would have taken it on the chin and provided a rebate/refund, at the very least for the $80 (800 ZAR) we paid on the night of the Jazz Safari, but nothing was offered.

The bottom line: What we received was MUCH less than we had expected and paid for and my advice to others, based on this, is to book elsewhere if you can.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank AlbertStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oneiain, Owner at Coffeebeans Routes, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Dear Albert,

I am sorry that you and Dana found the experiences so disappointing. Let me try and address your issues.

What I have seen from your posting, is that we need to improve our follow-up system, because we should not have discovered your dissatisfaction through this forum, but almost immediately after your experiences. We are looking at ways to improve this.

The Jazz Safari. I must correct you: we book Swingers every week, and we are always aware that for some or other reason, they might not have music that night. So we always make sure. As we did on this night. Heritage Day had nothing to do with there being no music - this was the whim of the venue. When we booked, it was business as usual, the regular great house band and jam session etc. It was on arrival that we discovered that either the person who took the booking was misinformed OR the owner pulled the gig at the last minute. We have been let down by jazz venues in Cape Town before, so we check and recheck. When things happen such as they did on this night, it is because the owners and managers got something wrong. You have no idea how often I dream of owning a great venue where we have the control. We have had a jazz venue sell on our pre-paid booking of 20 places because of a mixup between management and new staff. You can imagine the embarrassment.

These are elements over which we have no control. And it's a risk factor we deal with all the time. But - that doesn't change the disappointment over not having this part of the programme take place. And our bad, knowing that it didn't, was not immediately getting in touch the following day to follow up. I am sorry for that, and as I indicated, we are relooking our system. I believe however that the main part of the evening, in the home of Hilton Schilder, was lovely and enjoyed by all.

On the Jazz Safari front, I am very happy to refund you 50% of the ticket price for your three tickets.
(your pricing by the way is out - you did not pay 250USD for the jazz for the two of you, it was 174 USD, and then the 895ZAR cash for your daughter on the night yes.)

Secondly, the city tour. You mention only one element of the tour, the Bokaap, which wasn't the entire tour. The Bokaap Museum was closed yes, but we never include it, on any tour. It is not a very well put together museum. So it being closed on that day is a moot point. You visited the District Six Museum, which was open (and I read your great review of it, which I imagine was from the tour, or maybe you returned there outside of the tour?). And then the tour followed the theme of forced removals out of the historic centre to Guguletu and the home of Blackie and Sheila Tempi, for an experience of a new centre, a part of the city becoming a major node. Heritage Day activities had no impact on the execution of this tour. And so I find myself wondering what the real disappointment was with this tour?
(your pricing comment is also incorrect here - you paid 135 USD and not 160USD)

Once again Albert, I am sorry that you did not experience our offerings as we intended. If you come back to Cape Town, apart from the refund on the Jazz Safari, I would be happy to offer you a tour of your choice at no charge. If your daughter is still here and would like to take up that offer with a friend, please do get in touch.

Thank you
Iain Harris
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Immerse yourself in South African culture and cuisine! Incredible experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

My husband and I took the culinary food tour of cape town (half day). Our guide Michael was extremely knowledgable and a joy to spend time with. Michael met us right in front of our hotel and we proceeded to walk through the Bo'Kaap Region of Cape Town. Mike took us inside a local spice shop where we enjoyed the smells and scents of the Cape Malay traditional spices. This was fascinating, especially because Michael provided the cultural and historical details, but also the culinary aspect considering he is well versed in the culinary arts! Mike drove us through some areas of town where he described their importance during the apartheid. (My husband and I probably wouldn't have felt comfortable going to these areas without a guide). We went to our host's house and enjoyed traditional South African food and amazing conversation. Our hosts Sheila and Blackie were so hospitable and sweet. We ended our route at a local spot called Wembleys and had such yummy tastes of the area.

This was a very important and special experience for my husband and I! We were blown away with how much we learned and took away from our day with Michael. If your looking for a way to immerse yourself in South African culture and exercise your passion for food- this is the tour to take. Amazing! And worth the price!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Emily D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Peninsula Tour, full day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

We took the full day Peninsula Tour, and Michael was our guide. Michael was friendly, knowledgeable, and an all-around excellent guide. Totally worthwhile experience for both the time and money. I highly recommend! You can't beat touring the city with one of its residents and hearing both the back story as well as the current climate.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Shelley615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oneiain, Owner at Coffeebeans Routes, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Thank you for this Shelley, really delighted that you had such a great time.
Iain
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Coffeebeans planned and executed an excellent itinerary for us!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

All was WONDERFUL!!  Everyone in our party enjoyed every detail and every moment about our phenomenal visit to Capetown.  Coffeebeans was the perfect travel partner for us. And, most importantly, Michael was the perfect guide. Every detail was perfectly planned and executed. Thank you and thank Michael for a memorable and perfect vacation. We hope to return and so look forward to reconnecting. 

All the best,

Linda

Helpful?
3 Thank Linda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oneiain, Owner at Coffeebeans Routes, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Dear Linda,

it was a great pleasure to host your family, and we are happy that you had such a great time.

Michael said that he too learned a lot!

Warm regards
Iain
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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