Cape Town is quickly becoming the go-to place for travelers looking for their adventure fix.
While the City is known for its ocean, there are just as many land-based adventures to explore.
From zipline adventures over the Constantia Valley and MTB tracks to abseiling off the iconic Table Mountain, sky diving, and paragliding, Cape Town has a huge variety of options available to those chasing an adrenaline high.
Go try them all and find your favourite.
1. Running & Hiking
Cape Town is known for its magnificent hiking. The city is hugged by mountains all around, with ravines, rugged cliffs, forests, waterfalls, and of course spectacular ocean views.
Trail running is incredibly popular in Cape Town. With a mountain and surrounding forests within the city’s borders creating a multitude of established hiking and mountain biking trails, most of which are shared with trail runners, it’s easy to see why Cape Town is such a trail runner’s paradise.
Horse riding is popular in Cape Town, with scenic rides on the beach, mountain, and forest.
Noordhoek is a horsey haven, and there are a number of places catering to riders of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced. Ride along the 8 kilometers of beach, and enjoy the serenity of the area on horseback. Try Sleepy Hollow or Imhoff Equestrian Centre.
3. Rock Climbing & Abseiling
Put your endurance to the test while rock climbing up some of the best rock climbing locations in the world, with climbing hotspots at Silvermine, the 12 Apostles, Table Mountain, and Lion’s Head.
SA Forest Adventures offers an amazing tree-top ziplining experience on Silvermist estate. A 4X4 trip takes you into the wild where you will be surrounded by the natural beauty, fauna, and flora while walking and ziplining between the 12 platforms.
5. Sandboarding & Quad biking
The Atlantis dunes are one of only a handful of sandboarding locations in the world. It’s a fantastic adventure sport that is as exciting as snowboarding but comes with the bonus of sunshine and warmth.
The experienced guides will take you and your friends on a high-energy day out on custom sandboards.
The Atlantis Dunes are not just limited to boards; they’re also the perfect place to explore on a quad biking tour. This hour-long adventure will let you bike across the pristine white dunes and take in the spectacular views.
Popular nature activities to try in Cape Town:
FREEDOM ADVENTURE PARK
Freedom offers, a 50-meter long Adrenaline Pumping Hi-Line Indoor Rope Course, Multiple Climbing Walls, a Customized Trampoline Dodgeball Arena, specially designed for kids, a 1st for South Africa Dodge Attack, Hi-Dive Leap of Faith, a Foam Pit, Nerf Wars (on selected days) – or explore their first of a kind, Custom Built Play Pods with architectural design elements added to create an environment that is fun, cool and contemporary.
Butterfly World Tropical Garden is home to exotic, colorful, free-flying butterflies. Here visitors can watch them fly feed, lay eggs, and emerge from their pupas. They are hosting dozens of animals – from spiders to lizards and snakes, monkeys and bats, small antelope, and many species of birds.
BUFFELSFONTEIN GAME AND NATURE RESERVE
Buffelsfontein has everything you need for a relaxing yet extraordinary getaway, including a restaurant and bar. However, for those who like to explore, it’s conveniently located near the unspoiled beaches of Yzerfontein, !Kwha ttu San cultural center, the West Coast Fossil Park, and at the right time of the year, the Darling Wildflower Show.
PANTHERA AFRICA – BIG CAT SANCTUARY
Less than two hours from Cape Town, the Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary is home to white and tawny lions, tigers, a black leopard, and caracals. Panthera Africa is also a registered non-profit company, and all of the animals are captive-bred big cats that have been rescued from bad conditions in captivity. Now, they live in vast natural enclosures with beautiful surroundings on a 40-hectare piece of African paradise.
BALLOONING CAPE TOWN
They offer their passengers a completely unique way to view the wonderful Cape Winelands like nowhere else to be seen. They fly at sunrise and passengers can enjoy a warm cup of coffee while they inflate the balloon. They then take off for approx. 1-hour adventure. Once landed passengers get a glass of sparkling wine or fruit juice and they all head back to the starting point where passengers will be treated to breakfast at the famous Joostenberg Bistro.
TABLE MOUNTAIN AERIAL CABLEWAY
Atop the mountain is a self-service buffet cafe while you can always pack a picnic and enjoy what still is part of a national park. You will be 3,500ft above the city and here, in this unique location, you will find rock hyrax, lizards, butterflies, and the odd porcupine. There is also a wide array of birdlife from eagles to sunbirds flying above great patches of fynbos, the Cape’s indigenous flora.
LOOKOUT HILL TOURISM CENTRE
Lookout Hill is a popular first stop on your way into Khayelitsha, a beacon easily reached on the corner of Mew and Spine Road. Once you’ve parked, take the wooden boardwalk that leads to the summit where you’ll be able to browse the view, as well as the wares at the craft market. There is also a boardroom and exhibition hall, both of which can be hired out for unique corporate events.
EDITH STEPHENS WETLAND PARK
Bird watchers and nature lovers can enjoy sights of ibises, egrets, cormorants white-backed ducks, and snipes among more, most prominently found during the winter rains between July and September.