Top 5 Adventurous Things To Do In Cape Town
Avid adventurers, daring thrill seekers, die-hard adrenalin junkies, and anyone & everyone eager to take a walk on the Mother City’s wild side – This is for you!
If you’re keen to get your blood pumping, you’ve definitely come to the right place! Cape Town is full of adrenaline-inducing activities and unforgettable bucket-list worthy adventures.
Named the third greatest city on Earth by the flagship UK newspaper, The Telegraph, deemed one of the most beautiful, exciting, and vibrant cities in the world, as well as voted the ‘Greatest City in the World’ by the Telegraph Travel Awards for more than 7 years – Cape Town is at the very top of its game. And, of course, we’re absolutely loving & living for EVERY second of it!
However, beyond Cape Town’s obvious beauty, electrifying energy, and endless array of things to do, see, explore, and experience, the Mother City is every bit as adventurous, bold, and thrilling as they come – and oh how she loves showing off her wild adventurous side!
There really is nothing better than experiencing every daring adventure Cape Town has to offer. Not to mention explore ALL of its best kept secret hideaways, cool hidden gems, and epic off-the-beaten-path spots – Undoubtedly making for a beyond unbeatable Cape Town adventure bucket-list!
Are you ready to unleash your inner thrill seeker? You better be – because there’s no backing out now! Here are some of the most adventurous things to do in Cape Town anytime of the year.
Remember to have an absolute blast, revel in every single second, and, of course, have a TON of fun!!!
#1 Go on the ultimate cave exploring adventure
It’s time to go on the ultimate Cape Town cave adventure! The Western Cape is home to several seriously cool, absolutely extraordinary, and down-right thrilling caves – All of which deserve a top spot on your Cape Town adventure bucket list.
…Only if you’re up for it of course!
There is no doubt that going on the ultimate cave exploring adventure is by far one of the most thrilling things to do in Cape Town for every head-over-heels adventurer.
Here are a few of Cape Town’s top caves to explore:
#Boomslang Cave | Kalk Bay
- Difficulty: Easy
- Fitness level required: Low -Moderate level of fitness required
- Start point: Boyes Drive – Echo Valley
- End Point: Boomslang Cave above Kalk Bay
- Average time to the top: Approximately 2 – 3 hours (depending on your fitness and experience level)
- Approximate route distance: +/- 3.9km
- Child-friendly: Yes
Boomslang Cave is one of Kalk Bay’s coolest hidden gems. As it’s a relatively easy hike, it is great for less experienced cave explorers, novice hikers, families with curious and active kiddos, and eager adventurers keen to get out and explore.
Found above Kalk Bay, Boomslang Cave tunnels right through the mountain – making it quite a thrilling experience to tick off your adventure bucket-list.
#Klipgat Cave | Gansbaai
Nestled within the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, a mere three kilometers from the idyllic De Kelders fishing village, Klipgat Cave is another one of Cape Town’s best secret caves and coolest hidden gems.
Beyond its stunning surroundings and spectacular views, Klipgat Cave has quite a bit of history behind it. The cave reached cultural, historical and world heritage significance due to the 1992 excavation when 70 000-year-old human bones and stone tools were discovered within the cave. These bones and stone tools were believed to be left behind by the native Khoikhoi bushman. This undoubtedly adds an extra dose of mystery and thrill to your experience.
Besides its rich history, exploring Klipgat Cave is a real adventure. It boasts two chambers: The first chamber has a rugged rocky surface and leads to the ocean. The second chamber is made up of a small entryway that leads to the main cave excavation site. There is also a boardwalk that circles around the historical site.
**Extra tip: Klipgat Cave is regarded as one of the best whale watching spots in the Western Cape.
#Woodstock Cave | Table Mountain
- Difficulty: Moderate level of difficulty
- Fitness level required: Moderate level of fitness required
- Start point: Tafelberg Road / Rhodes Memorial
- End Point: Upper Aerial Cableway Station
- Average time to the top: 1 – 2 hours one way starting from Tafelberg Road | 2 – 3 hours one way starting from Rhodes Memorial
- Child friendly: Yes
Famously known for its long horizontal crack in the Devil’s Peak mountainside, the iconic Woodstock Cave is one of the largest caves on Table Mountain. This not only makes it a top go-to cave, but offers avid cave explorers and adventures tons of space to discover everything it has to offer.
The hike to reach the Woodstock Cave is relatively easy and doesn’t require a great deal of hiking experience. Once you reach the cave, you will be well rewarded for your hiking efforts with a magnificent view, a shaded area to relax and recharge, as well as a small waterfall to admire and enjoy at your own leisure.
**Extra Tip: Don’t hike this route alone. It’s always best to hike in a group when hiking any of Cape Town’s hiking trails.
#Lookout Cave | Chapman’s Peak
The Lookout Cave is not only one of Cape Town’s top secret caves, but one of Chapmans Peak Drive’s most beautiful hidden gems and best secret sunset spots too. Like all of the Mother City’s best kept secrets, you may need to wander a little off the beaten path to find it.
Make your way along Chapman’s Peak Drive until you reach the famous Chapman’s Peak Lookout Point – This is where the real adventure begins! Positioned just below the pass, you’ll have to climb over the railing and carefully make your way down the mountainside to reach the Lookout Cave.
An extra bonus is that this Chapmans Peak hidden gem has enough space to enjoy a picnic and a few sundowners paired with one hell of a view.
#Stadsaal Caves | Cederberg
While you may need to travel a little outside of Cape Town to explore this hidden gem, it promises to be well worth the trip.
Located just over 2 hours outside of the city center, the Cederberg Wilderness area is considered one of the most undisturbed regions of the Western Cape. With burnt ochre mountains, jagged sandstone rock formations and ancient San and Khoi rock art, it will feel like you’ve escaped to another world entirely.
The Stadsaal Caves is a series of caverns carved into the rock by thousands of years’ worth of wind erosion. These caves were entirely formed by nature and have been touched only by humans in the form of the ancient bushman paintings found on the walls inside. The Stadsaal Caves, together with other nearby landmarks such as the Wolfberg Arch and the Maltese Cross, are some of the most magnificent natural gems in the Western Cape.
How to get to the Stadsaal Caves: To get to the Stadsaal Caves, follow the N7 towards Citrusdal. Continue north from Citrusdal and take the Algeria turnoff to the right onto a dirt road. Continue to the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, the caves are located around 5km from the Algeria campsite. You will find a gate barring the entrance to the caves. The gate can be unlocked with the combination attached to your CapeNature permit.
**Important information: As the Cederberg Wilderness is a CapeNature reserve, you will need a permit to enter. You can purchase a permit at Driehoek Farm, en route to the Cederberg, or directly from CapeNature by contacting them on 021 483 0190. The cost of permits is R70 for adults and R40 for children.
#Waenhuiskrans Cave | Arniston
Located just off the sandy shoreline of Arniston, the Waenhuiskrans Cave is undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s best secret caves to explore. Arniston is a small seaside town on the coast of the Overberg region of the Western Cape, approximately 3 hours from the city of Cape Town. It is home to white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and a stunning shipwreck-strewn coastline rich in history and heritage. But, by far one of its best kept secrets and hidden natural gems is the Waenhuiskrans Cave.
Due to its secret location, the Waenhuiskrans Cave can only be accessed during low tide when you are able to make your way through the shallow waters to the entrance of the cave.
Inside the Waenhuiskrans Cave you’ll discover several rockpools, as well as plenty of rock-dwelling marine life that have decided to take up residence inside the cave. If you’re an avid adventurer and keen explorer, a trip to the Waenhuiskrans Cave in Arniston should definitely be on your Cape Town bucket-list.
**Tip: The Waenhuiskrans Cave can ONLY be accessed during low tide. For your own safety it is vital that you do not attempt the hike at any other point of the day. Take only the essentials along when making your way to the cave. Due to the slippery, seaweed-strewn rocks that lie beneath the water’s surface as you navigate your way to the cave, it is important that you wear shoes that are appropriate for traversing slippery rock beds. If you require any additional information on the tides, be sure to contact Cape Agulhas Tourism (028 424 2584 or 028 424 2883) – they will be happy to give you all the pointers and additional information you need.
Check out our ‘Top 10 Secret Caves To Explore In Cape Town’ blog for everything you need to know about Cape Town’s coolest secret caves.
#2 Go Tandem Paragliding!
Time to hit the sky! There are few things more exhilarating than going on an adrenaline-filled paragliding flight or an unforgettable paragliding sightseeing tour over the glorious city of Cape Town – What a THRILL!
Undoubtedly making going on an exciting tandem paragliding experience one of the coolest and most adventurous things to do in Cape Town. Not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-forgotten, bucket-list worthy adventure in EVERY way.
Cape Town’s tandem paragliding trips typically take off from Lions Head or Signal Hill. In addition to the intense adrenalin rush and ‘pinch-me I can’t believe this is ACTUALLY happening’ moments you’ll experience throughout your tandem paragliding flight, you’ll be treated to the most magnificent views of the beautiful city of Cape Town. All while soaring through the sky – how unbelievable is that?
**Tip: If you’re keen to experience a super special tandem paragliding adventure, why not take to the sky at sunset? Is there anything better than gliding above Cape Town’s top sights and wonderful natural wonders as the Mother City’s stunning sherbet-colored sunsets set the sky alight in a beautiful celebration of colors? We think not! Cape Town is pure sunset bliss after all.
**One of the New7Natural Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, Lion’s Head, glorious Atlantic Ocean, captivating Cape Peninsula and its vast and equally stunning coastline are just a few of the incredible sights you’ll have the amazing opportunity to see on your paragliding adventure.
#3 Hike Suicide Gorge | Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
- Difficulty: High | Extremely challenging
- Fitness: High
- Start Point: Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
- End Point: Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
- Average time to the top: Approximately 9 hours (depending on fitness level)
- Approximate route distance: +/- 17km circular route
Did you know Suicide Gorge is regarded as one of South Africa’s most thrilling and adrenalin-inducing hiking trails?
If you’re the ultimate hiking adrenalin junkie, going on a thrilling Suicide Gorge hike in the incredible Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve is the perfect adventure for you.
Aptly named for its death-defying jumps from cliffs that range between 3 and 20 meters, Suicide Gorge definitely lives up to its hype. Deemed the ultimate (as well as the most daring, challenging, and hair-raising) bucket-list hikes in the Western Cape, especially among avid and expert hiking enthusiasts, the renowned Suicide Gorge is solely reserved for the brave, down-right adventurous, and blissfully fearless. Hiking Suicide Gorge should ONLY be attempted by highly experienced, resilient, hardy, and vastly skilled hikers – No exceptions!
Often described as more of a daring combination of kloofing and swimming than a hike, the demanding trail involves extremely daunting leaps off cliffs into deep pools, intense climbing, serious rock scrambling, and challenging swims through mountain streams and canyons surrounded by waterfalls.
Most of Suicide Gorge’s trail involves compulsory leaps and jumps which are between 7 – 8 meters, with the highest jump being a pulse-racing 14 meters high. As certain (or rather most) leaps down waterfalls cannot be avoided when hiking and scaling Suicide Gorge, it is important that you are not in the least bit afraid of heights and that you are willing to swim in ice cold water when needed.
Remember, once you’re in, you’re in, that’s it! The only way to get out of this section of the Riviersonderend Mountains is through several gravity-defying jumps and grueling scrambles. Considering the vastly challenging and formidable nature of this wildly intense Cape Town hiking trail, any and all hikers eager to conquer Suicide Gorge MUST be extremely fit, highly experienced & skilled, great under pressure & able to deal with intense situations, be in good health, and possess a bold, brave, thrill-seeking, and adventurous spirit ready to take on any challenge. Especially one as demanding and daunting as summiting Suicide Gorge.
Click here to find out everything you need to know about the Suicide Gorge hiking trail.
#4 Go swimming in Cape Town’s dams & rivers
This is by far one of the most exhilarating, invigorating / ‘make-you-feel-completely-and-utterly-alive’ adventurous things to do in Cape Town for both the young and young at heart.
What’s more thrilling than plunging into a crystal-clear rock pool in one of the most beautiful locations and natural gems in the Western Cape?
If you’re keen to take a refreshing dip in one of Cape Town’s countless cool dams and rivers, here’s a list of some of the ultimate spots.
- Distance from Cape Town: +/- 50 minutes
- Where to find it: Silvermine Reservoir in Table Mountain National Park (via M3)
- Opening times: Silvermine Gate 1: Daily, 8am – 4pm (May to August) | Daily, 7am – 5pm (September to April) | Silvermine Gate 2: All year round – 8am – 6pm
- Contact details: 021 712 7471 | 021 712 0527 | [email protected] (Table Mountain National Park)
- Dog-friendly: Yes, but dog walkers require a Level 1 My Activity Permit | Contact Tokai Plantation Office at 021 712 7471 for more information
Cost: Conservation fees (1 November 2021 – 31 October 2022):
- SA citizens and residents with ID: Adult: R36 | Children: R18 | Additionally R25 per vehicle
Located in the Table Mountain National Park, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, the Silvermine Reservoir is a real fan-favourite all around.
Besides enjoying a refreshing swim in a stunning location, there are loads of picnic spots scattered around the reserve, making it the perfect place for enjoying a great day outdoors.
**Important note: As there are no lifeguards on duty, swimming in the Silvermine Reservoir is done at your own risk.
- Distance from Cape Town: +/- 2 hours
- Where to find it: King Street, Stanford (via N2 and R43)
- Opening times: Always open
- Contact details: 028 3410 340 | [email protected]
- Dog-friendly: Yes
- Cost: Free for swimming
Located in Stanford, this tranquil river passes through the Akkedisberg Pass and the lush meadows of Stanford on its way to the estuary (Hermanus Lagoon). Its calm waters are perfect for cooling down after a hot summer’s day filled with adventuring and exploring.
The Stanford Wandelpad walking trail meanders along the Klein River, and is easily accessible from several points. However, a map is available at the local tourism bureau just in case.
**Tip: The bottom of King Street is particularly convenient and an ideal location due to the nearby shaded lawns that make for an incredible picnic spot.
#Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
- Distance from Cape Town: 1 hour
- Where to find it: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Jonkershoek Road (via N1), Stellenbosch
- Opening times: 1 May – 31 August: 8am – 4pm | 1 September – 30 April: 7am – 4pm
- Contact details: 087 087 4118 (reserve office) | 087 087 8250; [email protected] (permits)
- Dog-friendly: Pets are not allowed in CapeNature reserves
- Cost: R50 (adults) | R30 (children)
The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is one natural gem that should be on every nature lover’s bucket-list. Located close to Stellenbosch, the reserve includes the smaller Assegagaai Nature Reserve and is home to the imposing Jonkershoek Mountains as well as portions of the upper Jonkershoek Valley.
It boasts two popular and equally thrilling hiking trails, both of which offer beautiful views of the valley and wine farms below. Besides enjoying an exciting hike, taking a dip in the clear river water is by far one of the top highlights of visiting the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve.
**Important note: Only 80 people are allowed into the Assegaaibosch picnic area per day to help with conservation efforts. Admission is on a first-come-first-served basis. No alcohol is allowed into the picnic area.
Check out our ‘Best Dams and Rivers in Cape Town for swimming’ blog for everything you need to know about Cape Town’s best swimming spots.
#5 Ocean kayaking & MORE kayaking adventures
Going ocean kayaking alongside Cape Town’s notorious Marine Big5 – The cool and charismatic African Penguins, playful and charming Cape Fur Seals, beloved and fun-loving Dolphins, spirited, slightly mischievous, and magnificent Southern Right Whales, and underwater sunfish – is definitely one of the most memorable and adventurous things to do in Cape Town.
Embarking on an exciting ocean kayaking trip is not only one of the most thrilling ways to get up-close-and-personal with the Mother City’s incredible marine life (some of them coming right up to your kayak at times), but see and explore the Cape Peninsula and vibrant False Bay coastline from a whole different perspective.
This is one ocean adventure that should undoubtedly be on every adventurer’s Cape Town bucket-list!
**Note: If you want to see as much sea life as possible, we recommend going on an early morning kayak trip. However, if you’re after some incredible photos, sights, and scenery, going on a late afternoon or sunset kayak adventure (if it’s offered) is a real winner.
…Wait, the ocean kayaking fun isn’t over yet! Atlantic Outlook’s ultimate adventure-filled, beyond exhilarating, unforgettable, bucket list Land & Sea Experience awaits!
#Atlantic Outlook’s Land & Sea Experience
Atlantic Outlook’s Land & Sea Experience is the ultimate adventure combo for all thrill seekers or anyone eager to do something beyond exciting, totally unique, incredibly fun, and wildly memorable.
Atlantic Outlook is a local adventure company and Cape Town tour agency offering visitors a vast and wonderful variety of kayak tours, guided hikes, tandem bicycle experiences, and several not-to-be-missed once-in-a-lifetime adventure activities and experiences in the heart of Cape Town.
#Enjoy Atlantic Outlook’s Land & Sea Experience
Atlantic Outlook’s Land & Sea Experience is deemed the ultimate summer activity and all-around adventure experience along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard.
This not-to-be-missed land and sea experience is the perfect combo of a Classic Promenade Cruise and Kayak Adventure – Allowing you to explore and experience the very best Cape Town has to offer in one of the most exciting and memorable ways.
#What can you look forward to and expect to experience when going on Atlantic Outlook’s Land & Sea Experience?
This highly sought-after Atlantic Outlook experience will start off with you taking a retro tandem bike ride along the promenade with your partner, friend, family member or fellow adventure-seeking soulmate. Cruise this iconic stretch of the promenade along the Atlantic Seaboard from the start at the V&A Waterfront to Bantry Bay – Boasting truly spectacular views everywhere you look.
After your fun and thrilling retro tandem bike ride, you can sit back, relax, and soak up the glorious morning atmosphere before enjoying a lovely cup of coffee paired with a delicious snack at a local coffee shop.
Get excited! It’s finally time to take to the cool Cape Town ocean waters for an unforgettable (in more ways than one) 2-hour Kayak Tour along the stunning Atlantic Seaboard coastline. This exciting Kayak Tour will embark from the V&A Waterfront, past the Green Point lighthouse, before cruising back to base.
An extra special treat is potentially spotting one of Cape Town’s Marine Big5. Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals, African Penguins, Sunfish and occasionally Whales are known to frequent our Cape Town waters. While it’s not always possible / guaranteed that you will spot all of these beautiful marine wildlife species on every tour, you can certainly rest assured that all your senses will be tantalized if you choose to embark on this ultimate Atlantic Outlook Land & Sea adventure experience.
#Atlantic Outlook Details / Information
- Experience: Atlantic Outlook Land & Sea Experience
- Duration: Open Ended
- When: All year round
- Location: Ground Floor of Granger Bay Parking area, Granger Bay Blvd, V&A Waterfront | Between the Oranjezicht Farm Market & the Lookout Waterfront (At the top of the wooden steps behind Grad Beach Café)
- Departure Point: The Atlantic Outlook offices are located in the V&A Waterfront at the Granger Bay parking garage, next to the Oranjezicht Farm Market & The Lookout Function Venue. The shop is situated at the main pay station below the ramp from the ground to the first floor | Another landmark would be The Grand Cafe. From the entrance to The Grand Cafe, cross the road and walk up the wooden stairs. At the top of the stairs, you will see our shop in the parking garage across the road.
- Website: atlanticoutlook.com
- Contact details: Kayak Tours & Tandem bikes: Jordan Zeelie: 079 891 4455 | [email protected] | Hiking Tours: Fatima Sait: 084 3561 368 | [email protected]atlanticoutlook.com
- Booking: Click here to book your spot now & to find out everything you need to know about this unforgettable adventure experience
- Facebook: @AtlanticOutlook
- Instagram: @atlanticoutlook
**Important to note:
- Weather: Weather dependent service
- What to Wear: Windbreaker in case the weather cools down on the water / / Clothing suitable for getting wet / / Sun protection
- Things to Bring: Change of clothing for after the tour / / Windbreaker in case the weather cools down on the water / / Sun protection / / Water Bottle / / GoPro if you wish to film on the water. Please note that the guide has a GoPro and will capture all the sites and sounds of the tour. The Guide will do her / his utmost to create cool content and share all the footage. If you specifically want the guide to take shots of you, please request this directly from your guide.
- Guests or Spectators: Only paying guest allowed
- Minimum Age: 8 years
- Minimum Height: 0.0 m
- Maximum Height: 0.0 m
- Fitness Level: Average
- Qualifications: N/A
- Maximum Weight:100.0 kg
- Certification: None Required
- Experience Level: No Experience Requirement
**Inclusions and Exclusions:
- Inclusions: Kayaks / / Paddles / / Life jackets / / Qualified tour guide / / Other safety equipment
- Exclusions: Drinks / / Snacks / /Sun protection
- Participants must be physically able to paddle
- Participants should have no known health issues
- Children must be 8 years or older (Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult)
- RIDE FROM HOME: Are you staying in Sea Point, Green Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, or the V&A Waterfront? Why not lower your carbon footprint for the day and pick up your bike at your nearest drop-off location along the Prom and ride to your next kayaking trip.
To find out more about all of Atlantic Outlook’s thrilling bucket-list worthy adventure experiences – Check out our Atlantic Outlook blog for everything you need to know. You can also visit the Atlantic Outlook website for more information on their diverse and incredible tours, adventures, packages, combo experiences and so much more.
~ Bonus ~
#6 Go sandboarding at the Atlantis Dunes
Its sandboarding time! There is no denying that going sandboarding in Cape Town is deemed one of the most exciting, unique, fun, and coolest adventure experiences for absolutely anyone and everyone – Let’s be honest, how can it not be?
The amazing Atlantis Sandunes is considered one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. With good reason too. Undoubtedly being one of its countless charms! Located only a short drive from Cape Town’s city centre (+/- 30 – 40 minutes) going sandboarding at the Atlantis Dunes promises to be one of the greatest, fun-filled, and action-packed (in the very best way) adventure activities and experiences to enjoy with the whole family.
Despite the dunes of Atlantis being ever-shifting and always-changing, often ranging in size of up to 35 meters, people of all ages and experience levels are invited to join in on all the epic sandboarding fun and games. Even if you’ve never sand boarded a day in your life – you have absolutely nothing to worry about – the experienced guides will be right there, supporting and helping you out along the way.
*Note: In addition to the iconic Atlantis Dunes being regarded as the ultimate sandboarding mecca, it is also one of only a handful of sandboarding locations in the world – How unbelievable is that? Without a doubt making it a must-do bucket list experience and adventure EVERYONE should enjoy at least once in their lives.
*Extra Note: If you’re feeling slightly out of your depth and somewhat uncertain about the entire experience – that’s completely normal. However, the great thing is, the highly experienced sandboarding guides and experts are always there to lend a helping hand whenever needed – no questions asked. You will also get all the safety equipment you need, an introductory lesson (plus everything else you need and want to know), as well as plenty of time to practice your technique on the dunes. Before you know it you’ll be a total sandboarding pro!