Cape Town is a city of adventures. Here’s a short list of five Cape Town adventures that will get your heart racing. This vibrant city is surrounded by spectacular mountains, beaches, and diverse cultures. You can hike up the famous Table Mountain, take a spectacular drive to Cape Point, grab a bite at one of Cape Town’s many restaurants, or learn about the region’s unique fynbos plant kingdom at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It’s a great place to explore on your own by walking or convenient buses, but to really get an in-depth experience, we recommend joining a half day or full day tour. We can arrange virtually any type of tour from cultural immersion to hiking and kayaking. Keep in mind a few days in Cape Town makes for a great extension to a southern Africa safari with direct flights to Maun and Victoria Falls.
Table Mountain Hike
Skip the cable car for an exhilarating hike up this iconic mountain. This trip is ideal for people who want to climb Table Mountain via a more adventurous route. It can be offered as a half day tour on its own or combined with a half day city tour for a full day Cape Town experience.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel and transfered to the lower cable car station at Table Mountain where you lace up your shoes and prepare for an assault on the mountain. This is our favorite ascent route, offering both brilliant views and an adventurous climb. Steep rocky trails wind up the front of the mountain to a series of short vertical faces protected by chains and staples, followed by a series of ledges that swing from views over Cape Town to vistas of Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles. Strong walkers have the option to continue to the highest point at Maclear’s Beacon before returning to the traverse the western table to descend via cable car.
While this is our most popular route on the mountain, please note that several other options are available and some of these can extend into full day hikes as well. The cable-car can close at any stage due to inclement weather. In this event we are required to walk off the mountain - an additional 2hrs of hiking.
Sea Kayaking & Cape Point
Explore the stunning Cape Peninsula for a full day of kayaking and sightseeing. You’ll travel south to the naval hamlet of Simon’s Town which is located on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula. Embark on a sea kayaking experience from the Waterfront. Paddle past the civilian and Naval Harbour and out to Boulders Beach. After visiting the penguins, you stop (time & tide permitting) on a lovely semi-private beach for refreshments, swimming and snorkelling (equipment provided). The double kayaks are very stable and perfect for those with no paddling experience. During the whale season from July to December, the Southern Right Whale frequents Cape Town’s shores, which allows you the possibility of seeing them in their natural habitat.
Before continuing your journey, enjoy lunch at a seaside restaurant (included). Travel to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve - one of two world-renowned landmarks within the Table Mountain National Park (the other is Table Mountain). The Cape of Good Hope functioned as something of a beacon for sailors for years and is still widely referred to as ‘The Cape’ by seafarers. Most visitors to Cape Town regard a trip to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point (the tip of the Cape Peninsula) as obligatory. This part of the park is home to an array of fynbos, over 250 species of birds, buck, baboons and Cape mountain zebra. There are numerous picnic spots, paths on which one can set off on foot or mountain bike, and tidal pools on almost isolated beaches. Enjoy the breath-taking views from Cape Point Lighthouse and travel to the most South-Western point of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. In the late afternoon, drive along the coastal route via Noordhoek, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard back to your hotel.
Great White Shark Cage Diving
Looking for an adrenaline packed natural history experience? You should try cage diving with great white sharks. This unique day trip gets you up-close and personal with the magnificent great white shark from the safety of a cage.
You’ll depart early from your hotel and travel to the little town of Kleinbaai, close to Hermanus and Gansbaai. After a safety briefing, you board a boat for the 5-mile voyage to Dyer Island. The island, together with Geyser Rock nearby, is home to 40 000 Cape Fur Seals, the Great White Shark’s favorite prey, and the channel which runs between the two is known as Shark Alley. This is where you will anchor - using a specially mixed chum to attract the sharks, you will soon have an opportunity to see them feeding at the surface, alongside the boat. The cage is then lowered and you will be able to witness these incredible hunters of the deep in your wetsuit, protected by galvanized steel mesh. All diving equipment is supplied and only snorkeling experience is required if you want to go down in the cage. A light lunch is served on the boat as well as refreshments and you will have the chance to see seals and whales in season as well as the sharks. Return to land at around 15:00 for your transfer back to your hotel. Take a look at our recent post on cage diving with great whites for more details.
Vamos Township Tour
This township experience is about meeting with the locals and sharing experiences on an engaging, rewarding and uplifting tour where you will be left feeling inspired by the pride of the communities living in the township of Langa. For an authentic township cultural experience, you need to walk, to hear, smell, touch and taste. You will be escorted by a local guide on a journey of discovery, exploring the daily lives and culture of the Xhosa people. In Langa, the streets are the lifeblood of the community. It is in the streets where the kids play soccer, where locals trade, walk, socialize and gather.
Eating and socializing over a meal is an important aspect of township life and for lunch, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal at the famous Mzoli’s, Cape Town’s most popular authentic township eating experience. Here, South Africans of all creeds and colors meet to enjoy a traditional braai (barbecue) with plenty of cheers and chats. Weekends in particular are very busy with locals who dress to impress, let down their hair and enjoy delicious fare so a home-hosted lunch is offered as an alternative over weekends and public to avoid the long queues.
For those doing the afternoon tour, you will not have lunch but you will have the opportunity to meet with the children from Happy Feet Youth Project. A charity initiative started in 2007, it is aimed at providing townships kids with positive role models and a sense of “belonging” through dance, in an environment where crime is often a strong attraction.
On this classic tour, you’ll start your exploration of the Mother City with a trip to the summit of iconic Table Mountain. Enjoy panoramic views over the Mother City and the Atlantic Seaboard with Robben Island in the distance lying sleepily in Table Bay harbor. In the city itself, stop at the Company Gardens. Enjoy a walk through the garden and a visit to the South African Museum. This is followed by a visit to the Castle of Good Hope. Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. In the city center you’ll see the Houses of Parliament, the Grand Parade and City Hall from where Nelson Mandela first addressed South Africans after his release. Finish at the V & A Waterfront to experience this vibrant location at your own pace, with its many shops, restaurants and pubs.
Looking to explore more of South Africa? For an adventurous journey across South Africa, see our Rainbow Route Safari. To visit Cape Town and Kruger, see our Cape Town - Kruger - Victoria Falls Safari.
What's calling you to Africa? An exhilarating trek in search of endangered mountain gorillas? Experiencing the vast desert wilderness of Namibia? Following a herd of elephants on foot? Paddling papyrus lined waterways of the Okavango? Discover your African adventure on one of our safari packages or we'll help design your own itinerary.