The Cape’s fiercest and most fun outdoor activities
What better time is there to plan a thrilling bucket list than in the current climate? We’ve certainly got the time for it, and besides, the Cape has no shortage of adrenalin-packed adventure to offer. Here are some of our Cape Town recommendations for people who want to get the blood rushing in furious fashion after months and months of lockdown.
Skydiving and adrenalin (or, for most, terror) are practically synonyms for each other. But if it’s the best view in the country you’re after, you’ve got to fling yourself out of an aircraft at 12,000 feet above sea level to see it! Whilst plummeting towards the ground, make sure to absorb the Cape’s staggeringly beautiful scenery, from her rugged peninsula and mountain ranges to her gently rolling farmlands. Mother City Skydiving (+27 79 337 2443) and Skydive Cape Town (+27 82 800 6290) are two well-known, reputable companies that offer adrenalin-soaked tandem skydives, an unforgettable experience.
Have you ever wondered what it felt like to fly? Who hasn’t? Ziplining is as close to that feeling as you can get, without a noisy engine in your ear. Once strapped in to all of your safety equipment, you can blissfully throw yourself into thin air, and delight in the scenery that whips past you, from yawning mountain chasms and rushing rivers to pristine fynbos carpeted valleys. There are several locations in the Cape that are considered prime spots for ziplining adventures. One of the most reputable companies is Cape Canopy Tours (+27 21 3000 501), which arranges exhilarating tours of its 13 elevated platforms in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.
Instead of the slogging the six hours it takes to get up Table Mountain’s imposing city-facing slopes, why not take the easy route: catch the cable car up and then abseil down? With an altitude of over 1,080 meters, Cape Town’s iconic mountain offers one of the highest commercial abseiling experiences in the world and there couldn’t be a better way to get up close and personal with her stony, fynbos-clad, and dassie-decorated countenance than to abseil down it. Abseil Africa (+27 21 424 4760) is a popular and well-respected company to go through; another is Cape Extreme (+27 76 016 9696).
Hot Air Ballooning
Is there anything quite as romantic as hot air ballooning over a patchwork quilt of vineyards and farmlands? Hardly! GoBallooning (+27 72 955 5444) is a Stellenbosch-based company that offers morning rides over the Cape Winelands. The point of departure is Klein Joostenberg Farm and from here, the balloon soars over the N1 and then the surrounding farmlands and winelands. Without the roar of an engine, guests can take in the early morning melody of the Cape farmlands, from the toll of church bells to the lowing of cattle. It’s an unforgettable, multi-sensory experience.
The Cape Peninsula is peppered with paragliding spots, the best known and most easily accessible of which are Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. These scenic launch sites offer breath-taking views of the Cape’s rugged and dramatic topography. Fly Cape Town (+27 82 851 7119) and Cape Town Tandem Paragliding (+27 76 892 2283) are two reputable companies that offer such exhilarating experiences in the city. Further afield, you can look into paragliding in the picturesque Franschhoek valley, Porterville in the Olifants River Mountains (155 kilometres northeast of Cape Town), the whale-watching town of Hermanus, and the hair-raising Sir Lowry’s Pass in the Hottentots Holland Mountains.
Sand dunes, mountain trails, and even vineyards: the Cape’s varied landscapes are even more fun to explore behind the wheel of a quad bike or ATV (all-terrain vehicle) than by foot! Most of the quad bikes supplied by Cape Town’s adventure companies such as Extreme Scene (+27 79 666 9789) and Downhill Adventures (+27 21 422 0388) are automatic, so all you need to do is open the throttle and let her fly: no experience needed.
Important note: All of the above-mentioned thrilling adventures are weather dependent so keep a close eye on the forecast and stay in contact with the company you’ve booked through to avoid disappointment.