Ten cool things you might not know about the Cape Wheel of Excellence
The Wheel of Excellence (now also known as the Cape Wheel) first visited Cape Town in 2010, initially for a six-month period during the FIFA World Cup. Since then it’s found a permanent home at the V&A Waterfront, and adds a lot more magic to the Cape Town experience. Here are 10 fun (and rather obscure) facts about the wheel that you might not know:
1. It has been around the world
It’s travelled to Belgium (twice), Germany (twice) and Sweden (2009/2010).
2. It was made in Germany
Designed by Ronald Bussink, it was made with well-known German precision in 2007.
3. It is designed for awesomeness
It stands 50 metres high and takes nearly a week to assemble. There are 36 temperature-controlled berths, each seating between six and eight individuals. The wheel has two kilometres of lighting (the colours change from time to time) and a single revolution takes approximately 2.5 minutes. A ride on the wheel lasts 12–15 minutes, depending on weather conditions.
4. You can get married on it
Yes, you can! But be sure to contact the organisers of the wheel in advance.
5. You can party on it
Although you are not permitted to bring your own alcohol onto the wheel, you can arrange a hospitality package with the organisers in advance. There are even options for corporate events.
6. It is immune to loadshedding
The wheel is kitted out with back-up generators and batteries, and can even be mobilised with manpower. So if loadshedding does occur, you can be assured that you are safe.
7. It offers a stunning view
It’s pretty amazing. Expect a bird’s-eye view of the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium and even Robben Island and Table Mountain. You can also see the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range in the direction of Paarl and Stellenbosch.
8. It is equipped for special needs
Certain berths have wider doors to accommodate wheelchairs and although pets are generally not allowed, registered guide dogs are permitted.
9. It has panic buttons
Suffer from the occasional bout of vertigo? Not a problem. Each compartment has a panic button that will alert a facilitator and they will bring you down to earth ASAP.
10. It is affordable
Possibly the best thing about the Cape Wheel is its affordability. For just R100 per person for adults and R50 for kids over the age of four, as well as discounted tickets for families of four and pensioners, the wheel makes for an affordable tourist attraction, especially for locals.