Active Cape winelands adventures
Did you know?
The of the Donkey Trail is to provide community based, sustainable employment to the isolated farming community of the Groenfontein valley in the Little Karoo.
If you think our winelands are breathtaking on the ground, wait ‘till you see them from above. Go on a Cape winelands adventure in the sky: paraglide, skydive, glide or choose a helicopter, gyrocopter or hot air balloon for unsurpassed views of the picturesque wine country below.
The winelands are criss-crossed by cycle paths, on and off-road. Opt for a fast-flowing tarred road cycle, with intermittent wine tasting and picnic stops, or enter the ABSA Cape Epic MTB race - a 707km 7-stage, eight-day team race, it’s the ultimate winelands mountain bike experience. Day riders are permitted to join at certain stages of the race.
If you can't spare a week, ride the Cape Times Vigne à Vigne, a challenging 50km or 26km mountain bike vineyard race timed to coincide with the Absa Cape Epic finish. Where does the wine come into this Cape winelands activity? Both races finish at Lourensford Wine Estate and the post-race celebration is, well, epic.
Run through the scenic Helderberg, the annual Mr Price Winelands Marathon and Half Marathon is a qualifier for both the Two Oceans and the Comrades marathons. You run a beautiful, undulating route through the winelands of Stellenbosch and Somerset West. There is also an 8km and a 16km trail run. Walkers and wheelchair athletes are welcome at all three events.
During the Breedekloof Outdoor Festival, white water raft, fish in the Breede River, or find that granny gear and winch yourself up the Du Toitskloof, Slanghoek Valley and the Louwshoek passes around Rawsonville. Soak those aching muscles in Goudini’s natural hot springs before visiting a few of the Breedekloofs 24 wine estates.
Not for the faint of heart, for some cliff-leaping, bum-sliding, pool-plunging, rock climbing Cape winelands sport go kloofing (canyoning) in the Hottentots Holland Mountains outside Grabouw, and Suicide Gorge in the Liemietberge outside Paarl.
Fancy being footloose in the fynbos? Slackpack or quad bike the Green Mountain Eco Route Trail in Elgin, visiting orchards, forests, dams, flower farms and of course, wine estates.
On the Calitzdorp Donkey Trail, hee-haw with happiness because the ass carries your baggage through the Gamkaskloof valley in the Swartberg for four days, leaving you to admire the spectacular scenery and to enjoy the Port wine cellars and ostrich farms on your route.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27(0)21 876 3603
Fax: +27(0)21 876 2964
Tel: +27 (0)21 8833584
Fax: +27 (0)21 883801
Tel: +27 (0)23 349 1791
Fax: +27 (0)23 349 1720
Elgin Valley Tourism Bureau
Tel: +27 (0)21 848 9838.
Fax: +27 (0)86 660 0398
Cape Epic enquiries:
General or registration enquiries
Epic Day Trippers
+27 (0)21 5114766
The Donkey Trail
Cell: +27 (0) 83 628 9394
Mr Price Winelands Marathon
Race enquiries and registration
Via the website
Best time to visit
Outdoor activities in the Cape are best between spring (October/November) and autumn (late March – early June). Winter in the Cape is generally sunny, but can turn chilly and rainy unexpectedly. When this happens, give your drinking arm some exercise in the tasting cellar.
Tours to do
A local tour operator can assist you to design a winelands adventure to match your sporting (and wine) interests, or contact the relevant local tourism authorities for assistance.
What will it cost
Mr Price Winelands Marathon: R70 (42.2km) and R50 (21.1km) ABSA Cape Epic MTB Race: R17 700 per rider Cape Times Vigne a Vigne: R180 (50km) and R130 (26km) Breedekloof Mountain Bike Challenge: entry fees start at R90.00 All for all other activities enquire with the individual activity provider. The price of the Donkey Trail is on application.
Length of stay
The ABSA Cape Epic races lasts for 7 days and 8 nights. The Donkey Trail is a 4-day, 3-night trail. Most other sports activities are 1 day events.
What to pack
Sunblock, a hat and sunglasses are recommended for anyone planning to be outdoors in SA. Bring appropriate gear if participating in a sports-specific event such as running, cycling or hiking. Comfortable clothes will do for flight activities, casual horse riding and jumping activities.