Capetonians revel in the fact that they live in one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa. Quite rightly so, Cape Town is a diverse and stunning city with mountains and oceans offering some exciting opportunities for adventure seekers.
The mild climate here also makes it possible to enjoy most outdoor activities all year round, except maybe for very short periods of inclement weather during midwinter. The surrounding landscapes offer all sorts of adventures from the ocean, land and sky.
We put together a list of awesome outdoor activities for you to enjoy.
Lions Head – Hiking Under a Full Moon
A full moon hike up Lion’s Head has become a bit of an institution amongst outdoor lovers. Groups usually meet at a designated point and embark together at around sunset and enjoy the walk up and around Lion’s Head and watch the moon rise over the mountains behind the Paarl and Stellenbosch Mountains.
The hike is not overly strenuous and can be enjoyed at leisure. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy the views and bath in the full moon that shines over the city bowl and harbor, especially if you’ve packed a light picnic or bottle of local wine.
Here’s a cool adventure for those who want to take to skies! Go for a tandem paraglide with a fully licensed paraglider pilot and get the hawks’ eye view of Cape Town.
Paraglide operators often use the iconic Signal hill as a take-off zone for tandem flights. It’s a safe and exciting adventure for the family. (one operator flies with people from age 3 to 92!) So get airborne and ride the wings of the wind!
Blessed with two oceans on either side, the Mother City boasts some awesome offshore fishing opportunities. There are numerous charters which run day trips from the harbors around Cape Town, heading into False Bay on the eastern side or into the Atlantic on the western side of the mountain.
At certain times in the year, fantastic game fishing can be had, with massive Tuna, Yellowtail and even Marlin taking surface lures. It’s an experience any fishing enthusiast won’t pass on.
Sandboarding in Atlantis
Atlantis is about an hour’s drive along the West Coast road from the city centre and is home to fantastic sand dunes.
This is the ideal place to go and carve up a few dunes on a sand board. It’s an adventure that can be enjoyed by anyone willing to take a few falls and get sand just about everywhere. It’s really great fun and is bound to provide a few good laughs between friends. Check out this link for more info.
The area is also great for Quad biking if you feel like a bit of motorized action instead.
The Cape Town area and its surrounding countryside is a mountain biker’s dream.
There are plenty of trails and single tracks to choose from, including a few dedicated downhill tracks for the real adrenalin junkies!
Or you could take the more relaxed route and hire a mountain bike for a day and enjoy cross country riding through the stunning winelands around Cape Town. Best to enquire at any mountain biking shop or outfitter for the best advice on where to go and what you will need.
Cape Town is surrounded by unique and beautiful mountains that give climbing enthusiasts a myriad of scrambling opportunities.
Table Mountain itself has a few great trad and sport climbing routes, the nearby Limietberg area has a number of awesome amphitheatres and crags that will test even the hardened climber.
About an hour and a half from Cape Town is the Cedarberg wilderness area, the true heart of South African Rock-climbing. Rocklands in Cedarberg is the bouldering capital of South Africa with a vast expanse of boulder strewn countryside, creating a deluxe playground for free climbers to enjoy.
City Rock in Observatory is the ideal place to hook up with climbers from Cape Town and get advice or organize a group expedition. It is also the largest indoor climbing facility in the Cape, so you can get some good practice here before tackling the real thing.
Cape Town’s many beaches have great breaks to enjoy a surf. Muizenberg corner is an excellent spot to get in a few waves if you are unfamiliar with the breaks in the area, it’s a more gentle beach break that’s forgiving to newcomers, and equally fun for seasoned veterans.
A more hard-core break would be Kalk Bay reef just around the bend from Muizenberg corner; this is a true mini pipeline just like Hawaii has.
For big wave enthusiasts, Dungeons, which breaks just off Hout Bay, will get the adrenalin flowing!
Plenty of surf shops around the city will point you in the right direction to get a good wave.
Cape Town wind is often fed by the “Cape Doctor” aka, the South Easterly wind, during spring and summer months.
It makes conditions perfect for wind driven water sports like wind surfing and kite surfing. Kite surfing has taken the Cape by storm and on good days there are plenty of guys and gals out there enjoying the blustery conditions.
Langebaan lagoon on the West coast is the number one spot to visit; the lagoon is safe and sheltered from the Atlantic ocean and has a fantastic Mediterranean vibe with incredible turquoise water to carve across.
This list is only the tip of the iceberg, there is plenty more adventure around each corner in Cape Town, so it’s best to get out there and explore it for yourself.
Listing all the fantastic outdoorsy things in Cape Town in this article is almost impossible.
Some good advice is to visit info centres in any given area to find out what’s available and where to get kitted out. Always remember to be safe and don’t attempt any extreme adventures on your own without a guide or experienced person. Have an awesome time!
Bianca has lived in Cape Town for the past 7 years and taken full advantage of what the city and its surrounding beauty has to offer. Cape Town is a safe and affordable destination well worth visiting.