7 Cape Town Summer Adventures to Add to Your Bucket List
While Cape Town has beautiful beaches, fine wine, cocktail bars and restaurants, it also provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventure. Below are a few of our recommendations to get your heart beating a little faster, for more than just love of this city.
1. Paraglide over the Atlantic Seaboard
Get a birds-eye-view over Cape Town’s spectacular coastline as you float on thermals with an experienced tandem paragliding pilot. From the parking area on Signal Hill, it’s a short hike to the launch spot on the lower slopes of Lion’s Head and then it’s up, up and away. The views are magnificent and when you’ve finished soaring with the birds your pilot will orchestrate a soft landing on a grassy field.
2. Kayak to see African penguins
Dip your paddle in and out of the ocean as you make your way from a jetty in Simons Town, through a little harbour with bobbing yachts, past the naval harbour and along the South Peninsula towards a colony of African penguins. Depending on the weather, you may stop for a dip or land on a beach and enjoy a snack. Alternatively, you could also kayak from Greenpoint in the summer and possibly paddle past a pod of dolphins, with the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head behind you.
3. Take a sidecar trip
A chauffeured sidecar trip to explore the Cape Peninsula, or the Cape Winelands, will give a different perspective of the surrounding beauty. You’ll feel the breeze across your face as you wind your way along the Atlantic Seaboard and look up from a low vantage point to the towering mountainscape of the 12 Apostles. Alternatively, fill your day with flitting between wine farms in Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, in 1940s style, enjoying wine tasting and lunch.
4. Learn to surf
With nearly 3,000 kilometres of coastline it’s not surprising that South Africa has a strong surfing culture, especially in Durban, Jeffrey’s Bay and Cape Town. Muizenberg’s small rolling waves and warmer water offer the perfect environment in which to learn. There are two surf schools on the beach that offer lessons and provide all the equipment you’ll need. If you can already catch a wave, you can advance to Big Bay beach at Blouberg, while other spots like Llundudno, Glen Beach and Scarborough are better suited for skilled surfers.
5. Hike to the top of Table Mountain
There are several routes to the top of Table Mountain like the steep Platteklip, Kasteelpoort or Skeleton Gorge ascents, or a more gradual climb from Constantia Neck. You could also meander around the mountain’s base on the Pipe Track while still enjoying spectacular views. While you don’t necessarily need a guide; never hike alone, make sure that you have a good pair of walking shoes, some water, snacks and a waterproof jacket (even in summer). You can find more tips for hiking on Table Mountain on the SANParks website.
6. eBike in the Stellenbosch vineyards
Electric mountain bikes have made offroad trips accessible to the whole family even when not everyone is equally fit. The battery power allows you to enjoy the natural surroundings without breaking too much of a sweat. There are various tours available which include historical tours of Stellenbosch with a wine tasting experience and half-day trips from Stellenbosch up through the Idas Valley and down the Banhoek Conservancy trails to Boschendal. There are also lengthier tours from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek with a lunch stop at a wine farm, or e-biking from one wine estate to another through the vineyards (stopping to sample the wines in between).
7. Snorkel with seals
After a friendly briefing and donning a wetsuit, enjoy a boat trip from Hout Bay harbour to the nearby Duiker Island. Here you can slip into the sea and swim with curious seals (remember to bring a GoPro with a floating handle to capture the curious creatures as they twirl and somersault in front of you). You’ll need to be comfortable in the open ocean, however, there are floating buoys that you can hang on to if you need to catch your breath.
The Leopard Team
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