Cape Town, famed for its verdant Table Mountain, mysterious caves and world class gastronomy, is also an excellent destination for Nature lovers – those who can think of nothing better than living an adventure to be treasured for a lifetime. If you’re on a budget but you’d still like to enjoy a thrilling experience, take your pick from these top adventure activities:
• Rock Climbing at Table Mountain: Whether you’re a beginner or a pro climber, you will definitely meet your match at Table Mountain, which offers the most epic views in South Africa. Table Mountain boasts perfect rock, a myriad of grades, steep and super steep climbs and a plethora of multi-pitch routes. Best of all, the Mountain is within a two-hour radius of the City Centre, which is home to amazing shops, bars and restaurants. Both beginners and seasoned climbers alike will find what they are looking for at Table Mountain, which contains easy face climbing and difficult overhangs alike… there are full and half-day climbs available, though prices are reasonable enough to merit a full day’s adventure. Ask the staff at Ashanti Lounge to recommend top climbing companies, and avail of discounts for more than one person, or for groups. Cape Town has many other interesting areas for climbing – ask your guides about climbing a granite dome in the city of Paarl… the challenge is totally unique and unforgettable.
• Caving with The Cape Peninsula Speleological Society (CPSS): The CPSS holds regular cave explorations, which are open to the public. Contact them to inquire about precise dates and times; book a spot with them so that they can arrange to bring the gear you will need. The experience and knowledge of the team at CPSS offer tourists the unique opportunity to discover hidden nooks and grannies of the mountain in a safe manner. Contact the CPSS on [email protected]
• Abseiling Off Table Mountain: Step off the top of Table Mountain (which rises 1,000m above sea level) and abseil into the abyss as you take in the beautiful views of the city of Cape Town, Chapmans Peak and the azure coastline of Clifton. The experience is fun from the word ‘go’; hike up the mountain or save your energy for when it counts and take the cable car. Cape Town has many experienced abseiling companies that will guide you and provide all the gear you need for this once-in-a-lifetime experience and if you have never abseiled before, the good news is, it doesn’t matter – no prior experience is necessary.
• Sandboarding: Sandboarding is the artful skill of surfing down a sand dune at vertiginous speeds. Cape Town boasts two popular sandboarding sites – Atlantis on the West Coast and Betty’s Bay on the east coast. Both are less than an hour’s drive away from the city centre and offer a totally wild experience. Because it can be so difficult to maintain your balance while you ‘carve’ your way down the dunes, we definitely recommend that you enjoy your first sandboarding experience with dedicated guides. Prices for this amazing adventure start at around R300 per person (significant discounts are normally offered for three persons). The price includes all the equipment you will need as well as training. For a little more, you can also ride into the dunes in a 4×4.
• Explore the Sea around Cape Town: Take a fun kayak tour to see the penguins on Boulder’s beach costs – for just R250 per person, this activity is a steal. If the timing is right, you can even enjoy a small swimming break on the beach. Take your kayak out when the moon is full and enjoy the romantic view of Hottentots Holland mountains (local company, Sea Kayak Trips, offers this tour from April through October). If a longer voyage is more your scene, a short cruise may just be within your budget; many companies offer short voyages lasting between two to five days, which include all meals, organised activities such as wine tasting tours, and cultural activities which will enlighten you on the history, culture and cuisine of Cape Town; a budget cruise is an excellent way to make your rand go further while offering you a taste of the glamour of life at sea.
Contributor, Susie Youngman