Table Mountain, the lap of Cape Town, and the city’s most famous landmark, seems to set the scene as part of an effortlessly glorious landscape teeming with wild seas, mountains, effortless valleys that boast some of the most incredible wines, the arid spaces that make up the Little Karoo, the beauty of the Overberg, the litany of nature reserves and green spaces, and the wild West Coast that all combine to make this an adventurer’s ultimate destination.
And if you want to do extreme Cape, there is enough on your menu to ensure a rather long stay. Whether you are here simply to hike Cape Town or seek even greater thrills, the Mother City and the Western Cape are where it’s happening …
Adrenalin Junkie Activities in Cape Town and Western Cape Adventure
Dive the Two Oceans Aquarium:
It doesn’t get much better than this. Diving the I&J Predator Exhibit at the Two Oceans Aquarium and joining ragged-tooth sharks and a turtle named Joshi, alongside another host of predatory fish is one up on going out there in a cage. This way there isn’t even a metal bar between you and them!
Those with advanced diving qualifications can tackle the Kelp Forest, one of the most beautiful exhibits in the aquarium. You will need to book ahead.
Contact: Two Oceans Aquarium on +27 (0)21 418-3823.
Note: Diving by appointment only. Open Water One or Discover Scuba qualification required.
Abseil Table Mountain:
Views from the top of Table Mountain are incredible (see our gallery at View from the top of Table Mountain), but this way, you get to repel yourself from 1 000 metres up over the Atlantic. Known as Table Mountain’s ‘Long Drop’, this is the world’s highest commercial abseil and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You don’t need any climbing know-how and all the equipment is supplied for you, so head off for Table Mountain when the sun is shining and take in the city from its heights.
Contact: Cape-Xtreme on +27 (0)21 788-5814 or +27 (0)76 016-9696
Ride horses at sunset on Noordhoek beach:
Also known as Long Beach, the beach at Noordhoek is 8 kilometres long and one of the wildest beaches in the city. This is not where people come to swim. Rather it’s where people walk their dogs and ride horses along the wide stretch of soft sand dunes with some of the most incredible scenery that includes the Kakapo ship wreck. A number of local stables offer rides on the beach between 9am to 8pm, and riding schools in the area also give lessons for those wanting more than just the requisite beach gallop.
Contact: Imhoff Farm on +27 (0)82 774-1191.
More options: See plenty of other opportunities to ride at Western Cape Horse Riding.
Learn to surf at Big Bay, Bloubergstrand:
Bloubergstrand is one of the most popular beaches for surfing, kite surfing and wind surfing. But better still, it comes with the view over Table Mountain and Robben Island most often seen in post cards. This is a great place to learn how to surf (you don’t need to have any experience to try this one) and you should be able to catch a wave within the first lesson.
Take a helicopter flip over Cape Town:
If you have ever been confused about which side the mountain is on, when in Cape Town, then an exhilirating helicopter flip will indelibly carve the Geography of the peninsular on your mind. There are a number of routes you can follow including the Atlantic route, over Clifton, Llandudno, the Twelve Apostles etc, or the Inland route over Fish Hoek, via Muizenberg, over Constantia Valley to Table Mountain and the City Bowl.
Contact: Makana Aviation on +27 (0)21 425-3868
Also See: Cape Town Scenic Flights for many more options.
Go ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn:
Whilst it takes a little more than mounting an ostrich and holding on tightly to the base of each wing, this is a fun thing to do.
Ostriches are strong and riding them takes a little more than one go to get it right, but a number of the Ostrich show farms in Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, famous for its ostrich farming, offer ostrich rides as part of a visit to their farm. Ostriches are amongst the tallest living birds on Earth. Better still, watch an ostrich derby and see how the professionals do it (see photograph).
Contact: Cango Ostrich Show Farm on +27 (0)44 272-4623.
River rafting in Robertson:
Head along Route 62 to the town of Robertson and the Breede River valley, where you can ride the Breede River – arguably one of the most scenic rivers in the Western Cape, with some awesome mountain scenery. You won’t be sorry you included this item on your itinerary, particularly if you couple it with a visit to the odd wine farm in or out of the valley.
Contact: +27 (0)23 626-1280 or +27 (0)72 447-5991
Go mountain biking in Langebaan:
The beautiful West Coast is home to a number of (nearly) undiscovered coastal towns, like Langebaan. It’s a beautiful part of the Western Cape, and a wonderful place to go to ride narrow singletrack trails down mountain tracks, just before sundown, with the beach (and a beer) but moments away. There are a couple of gruelling options for those dead keen on earning their beers. Contact: Live2Ride on +27 (0)22 772-1793
Go paragliding in Porterville:
Just one more quickie. Porterville is one of the best places in the country in which to paraglide or hang glide, at the nearby Dasklip Pass. Contact Wallend-Air Paragliding on +27 (0)21 762-2441.
Swim with Sharks in Gansbaai:
The mainland of Gansbaai together with seal populated Dyer Island flank a natural nautical auditorium showcasing the Great White Shark capital of the world street named ‘Shark Alley’. This dense concentration of apex predator is only 20km into Indian Ocean swell where floating at prey level encapsulated in a steel barred cage will leave you swimming in a surge of adrenalin …
Contact: +27 (0)21 418-0134 or +27 (0)83 675 4043
Also See Things to Do in Gansbaai for more Shark Cage Diving options.
Shooting in Stellenbosch:
An exhilirating experience and accuracy training for those who have never fired a gun or for fine tuning the skills of an experienced shooter. An array of shooting activities is explored at various targets. Shooting commences with formal target shooting, then the shooting of steel plates, followed by brick busting, shattering clay pigeons and blowing up water bottles… because you can ‘Bullseye!’.
Contact: Shootopia Shooting Range in Stellenbosch on +27 (0)83 709-7092 or +27 (0)83 411-0174.
Paraglide off Lions Head:
During the flight you can relax and enjoy the view from your bird’s-eye perspective. You can take photos while in the air and your pilot is also equipped with a camera to take photos (optional). Pure simplicity and freedom is the true beauty of paragliding. Within minutes you and the glider can be ready and in the air. It is a truly awesome and unique experience!
Contact: +27 (0)21 762-2441
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If these adventure activities are too tame for you (or too extreme?) browse our selection of Extreme Adventure in Cape Town or Things to Do in Western Cape. Options range from extreme adventure and sports to water sports, horse riding, hiking and mountain and mamy many more.