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TThere are many things that make Cape Town special – for instance, it’s a place where unparalleled beauty can be combined with adventure.
Here you can take part in outdoor activities without having to stray far from the city centre. Whether you want to lose yourself in sea, sky or somewhere in between, adventure is just a step away. Diving, paragliding and abseiling are just some of the high-adrenaline activities that you can enjoy within 5km of the city centre.
Scuba dive with sharks – no cage or chumming required – at the Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront. You’ll dive among ragged-tooth sharks, turtles and stingrays.
A minimum Open Water 1 qualification is required for this adventure, but you can also do a quick Discover Scuba course on the day if you’re not qualified. If you have an advanced qualification, you can dive in one of only three kelp forest exhibits in the world – an unbeatable experience. Diving here is not weather dependent, and visibility is guaranteed.
FFor more sedate aquatic exercise, hit any of the city’s public swimming pools. Long Street Baths houses original Turkish baths, and there is also a 25-metre heated swimming pool. Watch the waves crash as you frolic in the calm waters of the public swimming pools at the Sea Point Pavilion – or go for a more natural setting at the Camps Bay tidal pool.
From the sea, we shift to the sky. Head up Lion’s Head for a bit of paragliding, awesome views of Cape Town included. This is a weather-dependent activity, but the Mother City provides around 200 suitable days a year. Good paragliding conditions are characterised by a 0-30km/h wind that blows up-slope with a tolerance of 15 degrees.
Several operators offer tandem paragliding from Lion’s Head, but Para-Taxi, in particular, is known for environmentally responsible practices and for making the sport accessible to the physically challenged.
WWhile around Lion’s Head, you should also head up Table Mountain via the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway – and if you’re a thrill-seeker, you can then abseil down. Abseil Africa operates from the summit of Cape Town’s most famous landmark – step off from 1 000m above sea level and rappel into pure vertical space from one of the highest commercial abseiling spots in the world.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cape Town Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 6800
Best time to visit
Cape Town generally enjoys warm weather and blue skies from October to March, while winters are notoriously wet and windy.
Metered taxis or Cape Town’s rapid bus transit system will drop you at any of the locations mentioned here.
Around the area
Cape Town’s many beaches offer great surfing opportunities. Beginners love Muizenberg; seasoned veterans love Llandudno.
Tours to do
The hop-on, hop-off bus tours of the city and peninsula are an excellent way to catch all the historical and cultural attractions; tours in the City Bowl will make a stop at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway lower station, so you can include a trip up the mountain in your hop-on, hop-off meander.
Length of stay
The excursions mentioned here take up to 2 hours each.
What to pack
You’ll need sunscreen, sun hats, water and a camera.
Where to stay
Stay in any of the city’s range of backpackers, guest houses, B&Bs or hotels.