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Posted on: Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Adventures in South Africa

Adventure Sports in Cape Town

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Sandboarding

Sandboarding

Crouching behind a rock with a stinging wound on my back that was almost certainly going to bruise, I was having the most fun I’d had in a long time. I stood up and fired two rounds of high-velocity paintballs at the approaching weekend warriors. Shouts of pain and frustration told me that my projectiles had found their mark. Yes, despite Cape Town’s amazing range of wines and plethora of drinking spots, adrenalin is in fact the favoured intoxicant for many city-dwellers.

The plentiful supply of rugged terrain and occasionally even more rugged locals means that Cape Town is one of the best adventure sports destinations in the world. Paintball is just one of the activities where you can get that special euphoric feeling that you only get when doing something slightly dangerous and maybe a little stupid.

Take for instance mountain biking. There are hundreds of mountain bike trails around the Western Cape to choose from From the more placid eco-ride and fossil-ride tours to more adventurous cycle trails, there’s something for all levels of biking expertise. Of course if you just want to ride really fast and possibly fall off your bike there’s plenty of opportunity for that too. Mountain biking is a great way to see the natural surrounds, test your navigation skills and get some exercise.

Paragliding

Paragliding

If hurtling down pristine white dunes in nature reserves sounds more like your thing then give sandboarding a try. You can organize day-trips out to the dunes and have sun-bronzed wild men instruct you in the fine art of staying upright on a glorified iron-board as it hurtles down a dune. It’s almost as fun mastering standing up as it is seeing your friends fall off, but make sure you’re feeling fit. Remember after every successful sandboard run there’s the long walk back up again.

Not for those who were scared when watching Jaws, shark cage diving seems to appeal to the most adrenalin-addicted adventure people. It basically consists of plunging into cold water while prehistoric creatures evolved almost exclusively for killing swim around you. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? The truth is – it is! Seeing nature ‘red in tooth and claw’ so close up is an exhilarating and enlightening experience. You may even be seduced by the guide’s insistence that sharks are shy and mysterious creatures who just want to be left alone. I, for one, was still glad that there was thick steel between me and those double rows of natural razors.

If even this adrenalin-soaked fun sounds a little passé to you, then perhaps you’re one of those people who’ll only be satisfied when playing with the big folks of X-treme sports. Skydiving is the ultimate rush, and if jumping from a plane at 11000ft doesn’t do it for you, then you’re either not human or you’re totally crazy. In either case we can’t help you. But if the thought of plummeting toward the earth at 120mph piques your interest, then welcome to Skydiving in Cape Town. You can start off with a tandem jump with an experienced instructor after which there are many great skydiving courses available to get you ready for that life-changing first solo-jump.

Adventure sports are a booming industry in Cape Town with hundreds of companies offering a myriad of activities for thrill-seekers to explore. Give each one of them a try and who knows maybe you’ll find a worthwhile holiday diversion, a story worth telling to your friends at home, or perhaps even a lifelong passion. Let the adventures begin!

Useful Links:
South Africa Outdoor Activities
Abseiling in South Africa
Bungee Jumping in South Africa
Canopy Tours (Tree-topping)
Mountain Biking in South Africa
Ostrich Rides (For the brave!)
Paragliding in South Africa

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