From the beach to the top of the iconic Table Mountain, outdoor adventure awaits all over Cape Town. Whether you're an animal lover, an adrenaline junkie, a surfer, or a cyclist, you'll find outdoor fun during your stay. Here are your options.
You don't have to leave Cape Town proper to get in on the outdoor action. Take a running, cycling, or walking tour of the city to see its most significant sites, including 3,558-foot (1,084-meter) Table Mountain. This towering landmark is a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking—to get to the top, either make the strenuous hike or ride the rotating cable car for more time to explore the plateau's winding paths. Other adventures lie just outside of town. Wildlife enthusiasts have a host of game and nature reserves to choose from in their quest to see Africa's Big Five, while the Big Cat Sanctuary offers insight into the country's feline inhabitants, with a chance to observe lions, Bengal tigers, caracal, and leopards. Meanwhile, the Atlantis Dunes, 30 minutes outside of Cape Town, set the scene for two more land-based adventures: quad biking and sandboarding.
In the Water
While Africa is famous for the Big Five, South Africa is home to another animal icon: the great white shark. You can test your nerves with the ultimate adrenaline rush and go cave diving with these fierce predators, but if the thought of facing Jaws is a bit too intense, Cape Town has plenty of other aquatic adventures on the menu, including sea kayaking and surfing. The beach breaks here are perfect for beginners and intermediates.
To get the best views of Cape Town—and the best thrills—you'll have to take your feet off the ground. You can step off the top of Table Mountain and experience a 367-foot (112-meter) controlled descent to the bottom from the world’s highest commercial abseiling point, or fly above the city by parasailing from nearby Lion’s Head for spectacular, unobstructed views. It's also possible to zipline at Silvermist Estate in Cape Town or at the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve outside the city.