The Ultimate Top 10 Cape Town Adventures List
Last updated on July 28th, 2023 at 03:22 am
In this ultimate list of the top 10 Cape Town adventures, you can choose from extreme adventure right down to mellowed-out adventures because Cape Town is a hive of activity with plenty of things to do. Apart from sightseeing, eating, drinking, and visiting the many historical sites in Cape Town, it just so happens that it’s also become the adventure capital of South Africa. Here is my list of cool Cape Town adventures.
1. Lion’s Head
This is a great way to see Cape Town from a different angle. Lion’s Head is an iconic landmark just to the right of Table Mountain, named so because it really looks like a Lion’s Head.
It is a moderate hike that circumnavigates the hill all the way to the top, giving stunning views of the city bowl and harbour on the one side and then remarkable views of Clifton beaches and the Atlantic Ocean on the opposite side.
This and other Cape Town hikes are certainly a little Cape Town adventure worth taking.
Adding a special twist to the Lion’s Head adventure, the full moon hike is a popular activity among locals and tourists alike. On these nights, scores of adventurers, with flashlights in hand, embark on the moonlit journey to the top.
So if you happen to be visiting during a full moon, join the locals that climb by the moonlight and find a seat on the summit to enjoy a glass of local wine under the stars!
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a nature lover, or a travel enthusiast seeking new experiences, the trek up Lion’s Head should definitely be on your Cape Town bucket list.
2. Scuba Diving and Seal Snorkeling
Cape Town has some epic diving opportunities. Blessed with amazing cold water reefs covered in gorgonians (fan-like sea coral) and other invertebrates.
Coldwater fish species encountered here include Yellowtail, Tuna, and many reef-bound species and of course the occasional toothy ones like ragged tooth sharks.
There are also seal snorkeling trips where one can encounter seals face-to-face, close to the cliffs where they take refuge.
The seal snorkeling trips typically depart from Hout Bay and travel to Duiker Island, an offshore haven where large colonies of Cape Fur seals reside. The Cape Fur seal, known for its curious and friendly nature, is sure to put on a memorable show.
From a safe distance, you can observe these fascinating and playful creatures as they frolic and swim with effortless grace, often approaching and interacting with snorkelers.
3. Kite Surfing
The mother city has a good supply of southeast wind during the summer months, making it a deluxe venue for kitesurfing and other wind-charged Cape Town adventures.
The main hub for kitesurfing in Cape Town is in the Big Bay, Bloubergstrand area which has gorgeous beaches and a community that loves the beach and ocean lifestyle, this is the ideal spot to rent gear and take a lesson on two.
The wind here really pumps in the summer and for kitesurfing, it makes for extreme speed and awesome airtime! The steady wind makes the conditions perfect for both beginners and advanced kitesurfers.
Kloofing is an activity that entails a bit of hiking and then a freestyle bundu bash down a gorge.
It usually entails a few jumps down waterfalls, swimming through pools, and rambling on till the next jump or swim. The Limietberg reserve, just outside Cape Town, has a kloof which is ideal for this.
Accessed from the top of the escarpment, kloofers make their way down into the gorge following the headwaters of the Krom River. There are a few jumps down waterfalls into deep pools.
This is followed by boulder hopping further down until the Krom River hiking trail is reached, which is the exit out of the kloof back to the national road.
Kloofing should only be attempted with a Cape Town Adventures organization that guides such trips to ensure your safety.
5. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing in South Africa is a big sport and there are literally hundreds of routes and venues in and around Cape Town.
Traditional routes and modern sport climbing routes can be found scattered around Table Mountain, the Western Cape, Paarl Mountain, and Limietberg Reserve.
An hour and a half drive from Cape Town is the Cedarberg Wilderness area, which is considered climbing heaven in South Africa.
It is well renowned for its vast landscape with bouldering and freestyle climbing opportunities.
6. Offshore Fishing
Cape Town has some really good game fishing in season and international anglers visit annually for the great tuna sport fishing with anglers often catch record size fish.
Annually, Cape Town has a Tuna Derby and nearby in the town of Struisbaai, there is good Marlin fishing to be had.
Battling a large gamefish of this scale is the ultimate dream for many sport anglers and one of the more exciting adventure activities. In Cape Town, that dream can come become a reality at a fraction of the cost of flying out to remote destinations.
There are also trips all year round for general offshore edible fishing. If you feel like spending a day out with hardened fisherman and want to feel and smell the salt in your face, you can’t beat this Cape Town adventure.
Have you ever wanted to ride the wind like a soaring eagle, gently floating on the thermals?
If your answer is yes, then this Cape Town adventure is perfect for you. Why not enjoy a tandem paragliding flight with an experienced and licensed Paragliding pilot?
It is an awesome experience to see Cape Town from the air. The flight sites are magical, with vast views of the ocean, mountains, and the mother city.
8. Trout Fishing
The mountains around Cape Town have some of the most beautiful trout streams in the world and fly-fishers from around the globe regularly visit the area to experience the exceptional quality of water and trout fishing on offer.
If you are keen on the idea of drifting tiny dry flies over wild and wily trout, high up in the unspoiled mountains, then it is fairly easy to organize a guided trip or to explore on your own.
Make sure you have the relevant permits and licenses before entering the reserves to go in pursuit of your quarry with this relaxing and connecting sport.
Unfortunately, in Cape Town, it never snows, but we have a few epic sand dunes! Capetonians love to have fun and they always find ways to make it happen
The solution is sandboarding on the dunes of Atlantis, an hour out of the city. Not quite like snowboarding, but an absolute blast nonetheless, a bonus is you won’t freeze down there!
Get sand in your hair and get out in the sun and soak up the rays. This is incredibly fun and and of the absolute best adventure activities aroudn Cape Town for the whole family.
10. Sea Kayaking
Experience some of Cape Town’s beautiful ocean on a sea kayak. Simons Town is a rich historical area and has stunning views over False Bay. It is also home to the naval base as well as boat and yacht lovers.
There is no better way to get adventurous and get a good workout, than paddling this beautiful bay on a kayak. You’ll find that your ocean adventure is even more fun with the wind and waves!
Boulders Beach in Simons Town is part of the magical Table Mountain National Park. The entrance fee to the Table Mountain gives you access to the boardwalk and the beach so that you can visit the magnificent Penguin colony here.
By kayak, you get in touch with them on a different level. Awesome Cape Town adventures right there!
10 Other Cape Town Adventure Activities
I mentioned at the beginning that Cape Town is the adventure capital of South Africa. And as you’ve seen from ym top 10 Cape Town adventures list, it’s not just in the Cape Town city center where you can find adventures.
From Table Mountain National Park, to the Cape Fold mountains, Western Cape, and Cape Peninsula, to scenic Cape Point and the Atlantic seaboard and ocean, you can find pretty much every adventure activity imaginable in the Cape Town area.
Here are 10 other exciting things you might want to try on your next visit to Cape Town:
– Horse riding at Noordhoek beach below Chapman’s Peak but beach rides are offered in multiple locations
– Shark cage diving on the Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving Cruise
– River rafting and Tubing on the Breede and Orange rivers
– Mountain biking around Table Mountain
– Cable car ride on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
– Quad biking in South Africa’s Atlantis sand dunes
– Whale watching – Cape Town tours to see whales is a fun adventure the whole family will love. Whale watching is best in September and October and this is when the Hermanus Whale Festival is held.
– Bungee Jumping off Bloukans Bridge on the Garden Route outside Cape Town (by Face Adrenalin)
– Go Kart racing is available in many places aroud Cape Town, includingCenturyKarting in Century City (Canal Walk), Extreme Outdoor Karting in Stellenbosch, and ANGRi Racing Academy in Table View
– Abseiling off Table Mountain with abseil Africa
Come and enjoy all that beautiful Cape Town South Africa has to offer. Not only will your days be adventure packed, but you will get to experience the incredible cuisine, warm South African people, and cultural diversity.
There is no doubt that you will return home with a world-class (yet affordable) experience and memories to match. This list is only the tip of the iceberg!
Other useful resources
About the Author
Hi! I’m Bianca, from Cape Town, South Africa, and MyWildEarth. From a young age, the world inspired me.
Different cultures, exotic food, new adventures, and ever-changing landscapes, are what make my soul explode. I love to share my stories so others know that the life they seek is not beyond their reach.