Immerse yourself in the Cape’s wondrous beauty.
As urbanised as our species has become, and as much joy as we get from our devices, we have always felt innately drawn to the great outdoors. It’s where we started, where we’ve spent the majority of our history – and it’s the only place where deep, soul-level relaxation takes place.
The human brain is wired to be outside, and though scientific research supports the notion that being in nature is good for our psychological health, we don’t need the data to know that being outside feels great.
Boasting a diverse topography and natural beauty that is the envy of the world, the Cape is bursting with ways to experience the great outdoors. Here are some of the best outdoor activities in Cape Town.
Important note Although the Cape is rich in natural beauty, tourists and locals alike are urged to take necessary precautions when exploring secluded areas, as crimes and accidents do happen.
Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand: 086 110 6417/ 107 or 021 480 7700. Criminal incidents should be reported to the nearest police station as soon as able.
We also recommend @safetymountain as a useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via whatsapp. You are then able to provide hourly updates on your progress, and to notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.
Are there any outdoor activities you think should be on our list? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Go hiking and swim in a waterfall
The Krom River Hiking Trail has it all – a winding riverside route through indigenous forests with flats, gentle inclines, steep kloofs and breaktaking valleys – not to mention curious baboons along the way. Take a dip in the river along the way, or wait until you reach the dam where you can splash to your heart’s content. The path to the waterfall is a harder, with chains to help you clamber to the top but once there it is worth all the huffing and puffing!
Good to know Bring sunscreen, water and food and, of course, a swimming costume!
Please note You’ll need to bring some cash, as using the Huguenot tunnel requires a toll.
When Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost R50 (adults); R30 (children)
Contact 021 871 1535 / 087 087 4145 (reserve office)
087 087 8250, firstname.lastname@example.org (permits)
Where to find it Du Toitskloof (to the left after the Worcester exit of the Huguenot Tunnel), Limietberg Nature Reserve (via N1)
Picnic at Cape Point Vineyards
With breathtaking views of Noordhoek beach, acres of fynbos and the estate’s manicured vineyards, the picnic site at this award-winning winery is hard to beat. Visitors can expect delicious treats, such as bobotie wraps, seasonal vegetable quiche, tuna Waldorf salad and chocolate brownies.
Opening times Daily, 12pm – 4pm (all-year round)
Please note Picnic baskets must be booked 24 hours in advance. Spaces are available to pre-select if you are a group of 12 people or more
Good to know Vegetarian baskets are available. Your waiter will assist you with drinks and other refreshments. Children can order off the kids’ menu.
Cost R200 (per person)
Contact 027 789 0900, email@example.com
Where to find it Cape Point Vineyards, Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
Book through DinePlan
Abseil from the summit of Table Mountain
The views from the summit of Cape Town’s iconic landmark are spectacular enough; now imagine what you’ll see as you rope your way down the side of the mountain. At 1 000 metres above sea level, this is the world’s highest commercial abseil, and it makes for an exhilarating experience as you are lowered into the vortex, the vast blue ocean stretching out before as you, and Camps Bay, Lion’s Head and The Twelve Apostles forming a panorama of splendour.
Good to know The adrenaline-inducing experience takes about an hour, which includes a safety demonstration, harnessing up, and a 30-minute hike to get back on top of the mountain.
Please note No persons under-10 years are permitted. Minimum weight limit is 40kg’s (but if you are a little lighter, you can do a tandem Abseil at an additional R300).
Times Daily, 8.30am (weather dependent)
Daily, 9.30am – 3.30pm (winter)
Cost R990 per person (excludes Return Cable tickets)
Where to find it Meet at the top of Table Mountain, next to the big wheel with cables.
Visit a farmers’ market
Despite its name, this farmers’ market is actually located at Granger Bay at the V&A Waterfront, and runs every Saturday and Sunday morning – and Wednesday evenings (from November 2019)! Managed by the people who started urban farms, OZCF (as it’s known among insiders) is a cheerleader for local produce and artisanal culture in Cape Town.
Boasting stunning sea views, the market is covered by tents and pergolas, ensuring shelter from the elements. You’ll find fresh-from-the-patch veggies and herbs – it’s worth doing your weekly grocery shop here – as well as fruit, bread, organic dairy products, free-range eggs, raw honey, muesli, and ethically sourced meats and seafood. There is also a retail section of stalls, selling an array of carefully curated clothing and shoes, vintage items, houseplants and farm-to-vase flowers. There’s plenty of space for the kids and dogs, who’ll also enjoy the foot-tapping music and a family-friendly vibe.
Good to know OZCF is a plastic-free zone and you are encouraged to bring your own bags as well as your reusable cup for tea and coffee.
Times Saturday, 8.15am – 2pm
Sunday, 9am – 3pm
Wednesday, 4pm – 8pm (from November 2019 – end-April 2020)
Contact 083 628 3426 (Sheryl), firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Granger Bay Boulevard, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Swim in a tidal pool
Arguably one of Cape Town’s most well-known and popular natural swimming pools, St James Tidal Pool lies just below the railway line, in the seaside suburb of St James, which is tucked neatly between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. During summer, the beach and tidal pool become especially busy, so it’s best to get there in the early morning to beat the crowds, and have a refreshing dip in peace.
It’s a sheltered, ultra-family-friendly beach, making it perfect for sunbathers and young families, though surfers can ride the reef here, too.
Contact 021 444 9504, 021 784 2010, Desiree.Mentor@capetown.gov.za
Where to find it St James Beach, St James, Kalk Bay
Drive a Cobra to Groot Constantia for a picnic
Life’s too short to miss out on this classic experience – zipping around Cape Town in a vintage open-top sports car. The eight-hour tour, along the peninsula’s most beautiful roads, makes a pitstop at South Africa’s oldest wine-producing estate where you’ll enjoy a picturesque picnic for two, followed by a coffee break at Constantia Nek. Then, it’s back into the driver’s seat so the Grace Kelly-esque tour can continue.
Good to know The first 120 kilometres are free.
Please note Vegetarian and halaal picnics are available.
Times Pick up is from 9am.
Cost R5 000 for two adults
Where to find it 48 Rose Street, Schotsche Kloof, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Visit a night market
Boschendal estate is a scenic setting to be sure, with a maze of wonderful gardens and magnificent mountain views. And during the warmer months, visitors have the opportunity to experience this spectacular setting at night. Boschendal’s Friday night market takes place in its historic Werf area, where guests can enjoy live music, and an array of artisanal food and drink stands as well as some local arts and crafts stalls.
Good to know Stalls at the market change weekly, so you’ll get to see new faces – and taste new things – every time you visit.
When Friday, 6pm – 9pm (until 19 April 2019)
Contact 021 870 4200, email@example.com
Where to find it Boschendal Wine Estate, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein
Cycle along the promenade
The Sea Point Promenade is Cape Town’s answer to Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and Central Park in New York: a beautiful public space where locals (and tourists) can enjoy their city in a safe and secure environment. The fact that the promenade boasts spectacular views – of the ocean on one side, and Lion’s Head on the other – makes it even more appealing for a cycle.
Simply rent a bike at one of the Up Cycles stations (which are dotted at various points throughout the city, including the promenade, V&A Waterfront Silo District and the Camps Bay strip) and return it by sunset.
We recommend cycling along the promenade to the Sea Point Swimming Pool, another of Cape Town’s most prized and loved public spaces. The iconic landmark, which dates back to the 1950s, is filled with fresh seawater, and is wonderful for a refreshing dip after an invigorating cycle.
Times Daily, 8.30am – sunset
Cost R80 – R165 (1 – 3 hours); R240 (half-day); R340 (full-day); R80 (child seat)
Good to know Helmets and locks included.
Contact 074 100 9161, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Pavilion on Sea Point Promenade
Sandboard and quad-bike on the Atlantis Dunes
Ride like the wind, and experience the silence and solitude of the West Coast sand dunes. Just 45 minutes to an hour outside of Cape Town, Atlantis Dunes Field is an endless beach, best enjoyed on a sandboard or quad-bike. Your instructor will pick you up from the City Bowl, transport you to the sand dunes, where you’ll be given a basic overview about balance and safety. With just a little instruction, you’ll be sandboarding in no time.
Then, if you’re up for it, hop aboard a high-powered quad-bike and snake your way around the dunes. Rookies and pros are all welcome.
Good to know This half-day adventure is full of action-packed fun, with a break of snacks and refreshments between sandboarding and quad-biking.
Please note If weather conditions are not suitable, you will be offered a choice between an alternative date or a refund.
Times Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, 7am – 8am or 12.30pm (subject to availability)
Cost R1 590
Where to find it Transport from your centrally located Cape Town accommodation to the destination at Atlantis Dunes, and back again, is available.
Hike with your hound
Whether you’re after a coastal meander, forest ramble or a blood-pumping mountainous hike, it’s no fun without your pooch, right? Well, the Cape has no shortage of dog-friendly trails, such as the Alphen Trail in Constantia, and the Liesbeek River Trail in Observatory.
Another dog-friendly option is Beaverlac, a campsite in the Cederberg with access to the Olifants River, and some great hiking and swimming spots. Campers love bringing their kids and pets along, so it’s probably not the right place to go for peace and quiet, but for pooches it’s a five-star getaway.
Cost Areas that form part of the Table Mountain National Park require dog-walkers to have a Level 1 My Activity Permit, which can be purchased for R288 from the Tokai Plantation Office, or at the specified Cape Town Tourism branches, and is valid for 12 months from the day of purchase. A maximum of two dogs are allowed.
Contact 021 712 0527, Table.Mountain@sanparks.org (Table Mountain National Park)
021 712 7471 (Information on My Activity Permits)
Swing in the treetops
Hidden deep within the Constantia Nek forest (okay, fine, not that deep), in the shadow of the misty mountains (okay, fine, they’re not that misty), lies this treetop playground. The four obstacle courses – two of which are suitable for young children, while the other two are geared towards teenagers and adults – have all the ziplines, cargo nets, and elevated platforms a budding Indiana Jones could want. Assistants are available in case any of the kids need a helping hand, and there’s a restaurant onsite where parents can relax.
Why they’ll love it Kids no longer have to listen to their parents yapping on about how “in our day, we used to climb trees,” because at this park they get to take tree-climbing to a whole new level, while getting a good workout and improving their coordination and planning in the process.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Booking is essential
Cost R140 (Acro-Twigs); R180 (Monkey Moves); R220 (Swinging Tarzan); R280 (High Flying)
Where to find it 1 Hout Bay Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
Relax on a secret beach
One of Cape Point’s more famous beaches (though still definitely a secret unlocked by only a select few of the reserve’s numerous daily visitors), Diaz Beach makes for a truly unforgettable experience. Oh, and did we mention that it’s one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, too?
Perhaps the reason Diaz remains largely undisturbed is because there is a 20-minute walk from the parking lot down a rather steep set of wooden stairs.
But for the stunning views alone, it’s undoubtedly worth it, as Diaz will render you breathless in the best possible way!
For the brave surfers and bodyboarders among us, you’ll love tackling its hollow barrels. However, swimming can be very risky here, due to the strong currents, so rather just wet your feet.
When Best time to visit during opening hours: 6am – 6pm (October to March); 7am – 5pm (April – September). Try arrive early to make the most of your time and avoid the wind.
Cost Entry fees into Cape Point (valid until 31 October 2020):
R80 (SA citizens and residents with ID); R40 (SA children, 2 – 11 years); R160 (SADC nationals with valid passport); R80 (SADC children with valid passport); R320 (international visitors; standard conservation fee); R160 (international children; standard conservation fee)
Contact 021 780 9010, email@example.com
Location A steep walk down from the Cape Point Nature Reserve
Sunset catamaran cruise
Relax aboard a 39-foot catamaran, taking in the spectacular Cape Town sunset with a glass or two of fizzy stuff in hand. And, have your cameras at the ready, as this boat trip offers stunning vistas of the city in the distance and Table Mountain in the background.
Please note The onboard cash bar serves soft drinks only.
Good to know The vessel leaves from the V&A Waterfront, and heads towards Table Bay before returning to the harbour.
Duration Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Times Daily, 6.30pm – 8pm (dependant on weather)
Cost R390 (includes two glasses of sparkling wine)
Where to find it Shop 7, Quay 5, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Go mountain biking
The great thing about mountain-biking is that you get to enjoy nature, while getting a good workout. Think sweeping views of the city and southern suburbs, plus a refreshment stop at Rhodes Memorial before descending via Deer Park, with some exhilarating downhill rides along the way.
Please note The tour requires a minimum of four people, and is suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.
Times Daily, 8.30am – 1pm
Cost R3 200 for four people (R800 per person, includes transport, bicycles, helmets, the services of a guide, entrance fees, water, drinks and snacks)
Contact 021 511 4766, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Collection is offered from most hotels in Cape Town, provided a pick-up location is selected when booking. (If you are situated outside Cape Town, you can enquire where the collection points are).
Scooter around Table Mountain
You may have walked the paths of Table Mountain many times before, but have you ever done it on a freewheeler? The spectacular scenery is all the more invigorating during an off-road adventure, especially one where you get to feel a rush of adrenaline as you whizz down hills and slopes. The tour begins at the Lower Parking Area off Kloof Nek Road, from where you are transported to the top of Signal Hill for your first downhill run. The scooters are nonmotorised yet extremely stable (they’re used to navigate the slopes of the Swiss Alps during summer, after all), making for a family-friendly (and eco-friendly) experience.
Good to know You need to be 10 years or older to ride your own scooter, and four years to join as a passenger.
Times Tuesdays – Sundays, 9am – 5pm
Cost R650 (driver)
Where to find it Kloof Nek Parking Area, 209 Tafelberg Road, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
E-Bike through Stellenbosch
The power of an electric motor makes it possible to bike up hills and over rough terrain (although you won’t need to the latter when exploring the majestic Jonkershoek Valley. The tour departs from Stellenbosch Central, follows Eerste River, then goes past some historical buildings then follows Eerste River, ending at two esteemed wine estates: Lanzerac (one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1692) and Stark-Conde.
Experienced guides are on-hand to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment, and wine tastings, snack platters and coffee are included.
Wine estates you’ll visit Lanzerac and Stark-Conde.
When Tuesday – Saturday, 9am & 1.30pm
Cost R850 (adults); R550 (children 3 – 9 years)
Where to find it Tours depart from De Warenmarkt: 20 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Soar over fynbos forests, majestic valleys and thundering waterfalls in this zipline adventure. Few things compare to the exhilaration of looking down into a gaping canyon as you slide along a steel cable. Based in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, about an hour out of Cape Town, the tour kicks off with a 4×4 ride high into the mountains, where guests are supervised by professional guides and attached to cables that run from platform to platform. The tours depart on the hour (every half an hour), and each takes around four hours. There are 11 slides in total, some as long as 300 metres, and each ends on a platform into the rugged mountain.
At one point, you’ll cross a suspension bridge that runs over a majestic double waterfall – all in a day’s work for mountain adventurers.
Times Daily, 7am to 3pm (tours last around 4 hours)
Cost R895 (adults, includes a fully guided trip, light lunch, and rain gear for wet weather)
R855 (adults with a Wild Card)
Where to find it Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, R321, Elgin
Explore Kirstenbosch Gardens
The flowery meadows of Kirstenbosch are great for picnics or a leisurely stroll in the park any time of the year. It’s the perfect spot for kids to unleash their abundant energy – or sit and observe the birds and insects at work if they’re in a more contemplative mood. They’ll especially love the treetop canopy walkway, named The Boomslang (tree snake), which is so Jurassic, you almost expect a pack of Velociraptors to burst out of the bushes at any moment.
When Daily, 8am – 7pm (September to March)
Daily, 8am – 6pm (April to August)
Daily, 9am – 5pm (conservatory)
Cost R70 (adults)
R20 (children, 6 – 17 years)
Free (children under 6; pensioners on Tuesdays, except on public holidays)
Location Kirstenbosch Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Snorkel with seals
At the Cape Fur Seal Colony at Duiker Island in Hout Bay, you’ll find hosts of these playful creatures suntanning on the rocks and frolicking in the waves. The tour runs for about two-and-a-half hours in total, with half an hour set aside for meeting the team and kitting up. Time in the water with the seals amounts to about 40 to 60 minutes on average, allowing you the opportunity to see the Cape’s iconic marine-dwelling mammals up close.
Please note Tours are weather-dependent. Check their schedule for availability.
When Daily, times vary
Where to find it 8 Albert Road, Hout Bay (via M6 or M3), Cape Town
Go (hassle-free) camping
We like to call it the Uber of Camping, because they will set up a camping site for you at a location of your choice. That’s right, they’ll supply the tent, deliver it, and kit it out with all the bells and whistles you need. Talking about bells, their elegant bell tents – perfect for outdoor weddings, parties, and small groups.
If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, let Hey Pioneer handle it from start to finish – they’ll even clean up at the end of your glamping getaway.
Please note A minimum of 12 people (six tents) is required to make a booking. And while they operate in the Breede River Valley mainly, they are happy to pitch your tent further afield for an additional cost
When By arrangement
Cost Rates vary according to group size and location.
Rentals are subject to availability, and advance booking is required
Contact 082 494 8452, email@example.com
Go tandem paragliding
Experience Cape Town’s magnificent topography from up high – and get your adrenaline pumping – with an experienced instructor. No previous knowledge or experience of paragliding is necessary – your instructor will run through some guidelines, clip you in securely, and then you’ll be attached to an expert pilot. Once in the air, all you have to do is sit back and relax as you gradually glide at a maximum of 40km an hour to Sea Point’s popular promenade.
Flights last between five and 30 minutes, depending on the wind. In perfect weather conditions, the instructor will show you how to steer so that you can fly the paraglider yourself!
Good to know Wear comfortable clothing (closed shoes, long pants and a windbreaker), don’t forget to apply sunscreen and drink some water before the flight. After the adventure, you’ll be driven back to the parking area where you started.
Times Daily, 8am – 6pm (in summer)
Cost R1 400 (flight)
R300 (inflight videos and photographs)
Where to find it At the end of Signal Hill Drive, or Lions Head parking (depending on wind on the day), Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
Braai on the beach
With sandy beaches, clear waters for snorkeling on calm days, and huge boulders just a few meters away, Oudekraal is a deliriously relaxing spot for a family day out. This sheltered cove between Camp’s Bay and Llandudno is beach-braai heaven, with secluded barbeque areas that include seating with great views of the ocean.
When It is closed during the week (from 1 June to 30 September), but is open every weekend and on public holidays irrespective of the season.
Cost TMNP conservation fee
Contact 021 712 7471, Table.Mountain@sanparks.org
Location Oudekraal, Victoria Road, between Llandudno and Camps Bay
Surfing enthusiasts will tell you there’s no greater way to destress than to be out in the ocean, riding the waves. And at Surf Emporium, you’ll learn the basics and be able to “hang 10” in no time. Simply bring your swimming costume, a towel, sunscreen and “a dose of enthusiasm”.
The fun sessions are tailored according to your skill level: intermediate-level surfers will be able to fine-tune their board skills in group or private lessons; and children are most welcome, too. If they’re younger than 10 years, they’ll take Freezer Lessons.
Good to know All surf lessons offered include 1.5 hours of coaching, surfboard and wetsuit rental, plus the use of club facilities. The 1.5 hour private surf lessons (as well as private group sessions with family and friends) can be scheduled at a time convenient to you.
Times Monday – Sunday, 7.00am – 6.30pm (summer)
Monday – Sunday, 7.30am – 6.00pm (winter)
Cost R390 (private lesson 1:1 coach to participant ratio); R1 170 for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R340 per person (private lesson 1:2 coach to participant) or R1 020 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R315 per person (private lesson 1:3 coach to participant ratio) or R945 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R260 per person (1:5 coach to participant ratio) or R780 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R300 per person (with your own equipment, individual lessons) or R900 per person for 4 lessons (if paid upfront)
R330 per person (Freezer Lesson for 1 hour; children under 10 years) 1:1 coach to participant ratio) or R1 320 per person for 5 lessons (if paid upfront)
Group lessons: R540 per month (‘Learn to surf,’ February – May; August – November); R1940 (sign up for 4 months if paid upfront)
Where to find it Surf Emporium Surf School, 66 Beach Road, Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg Beachfront, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Explore a cave
Found above Kalk Bay, Boomslang Cave is particularly good for less-experienced cave explorers and hikers. This easy-to-moderate two-hour hike offers the chance to test yourself with some novice caving, as it leads through the belly of the mountain for about a 100 metres, or so.
Many bats call this cave home – so please help protect these little guys by keeping the sound and disturbance level to a minimum. Near its entrance, you’ll find another smaller cave, White Dome Grotto; while inside, you will discover a labyrinth of tunnels.
Good to know Pack a flashlight or headlamp (and long pants too, if you don’t want to get wet or dirty) – or you won’t be able to venture beyond the cave mouth safely. If you’re claustrophobic, maybe give this a miss, as leopard crawling is necessary to reach the other side. It can get rather wet during the rainy months, so it’s a good one to save for spring or summer.
When Silvermine Nature Reserve opening hours:
8am – 6pm (October to March); 8am – 5pm (April – September)
Cost Silvermine Nature Reserve tariffs: R31 (adults); R16 (children)
Contact 021 712 7471, Table.Mountain@sanparks.org
Location Echo Valley, which can be accessed via Boyes Drive in Kalk Bay, or through the Silvermine Nature Reserve
Explore the Cape in a vintage sidecar
Seeing the sights from a bus or car is all well and good, but there’s nothing like feeling the icy breeze on your face, as you ride the open roads. You haven’t truly immersed yourself in the Cape’s majesty until you’ve explored the peninsula in an open-air vehicle. And if you want to ride an open-air vehicle with panache, you should make like the motorcyclists of yore, and take a ride in one of these super-cool vintage sidecars.
This fleet of 30 vintage World War II sidecars is available for tours, team-building events and special celebrations. Participants have the option of chauffeur-driven or self-drive guided tours, and tour packages range from two-hour experiences to multi-day trips.
Good to know The tours are disabled-friendly (disabled passengers can even have their wheelchairs strapped onto the sidecars).
Please note Cape Sidecar Adventures allows a 30-minute leeway with pick-up times you’ve agreed to. Should your group exceed this leeway: Cape Sidecar Adventures can choose to either withdraw the sidecars and terminate the tour at full cost, or choose to wait with an additional charge of R300 per sidecar per 30 minutes.
When Daily, 8am – 7pm
Cost R2 500 (two-hour tour)
R4 600 (four-hour tour)
R5 100 (eight-hour tour)
Rates for self drive, multi-day, and guided tours available on request
Where to find it Prearranged meeting point (depending on package)
Pick your own roses
This serene farm in Wynberg, a mere 15-minute drive from the CBD, is a real treat for flower lovers, as it is home to a large garden filled with a variety of wild roses in almost every colour you can imagine. It also happens to be the only place in the Cape peninsula where you can pick your own, from mid-October right up until the end of June.
Good to know There’s a coffe shop and farm stall, where you can stock up on tasty treats
When Daily, 9am – 4.30pm
Cost R6 per stem (pick-your-own)
R4.50 per stem (Sunday special)
R7 per stem (ready-picked)
Contact 021 761 0434, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Chart Farm, Klaassens Road, Wynberg Park, Wynberg, Cape Town
Ride a water bike in Simon’s Town
These premier water bikes make walking on water as easy as pie. All you need to do is take a seat, and pedal away, exactly like you would on a normal bicycle. Besides being fun, they’re stable and don’t require fuel (nor do they emit emissions), making them environmentally friendly.
The two-hour option is an early-morning tour, but if you’d prefer to explore the ocean at a more relaxed pace, go for the one-hour tour! Both tours are enriched by a knowledgeable crew on a nearby guide boat and take you from Simon’s Town pier, past the naval base and towards the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Your seated position allows you more than a peek into the marine life of Cape fur seals (and even whales during season), not to mention the penguins darting in and out.
Times 8am (two-hour tour, 1 November – 30 April 2020)
9am (two-hour tour, 1 May – 31 October 2020)
10.30am; 12pm; 1.30pm (one-hour tour)
Cost R690 (2 hours)
R490 (1 hour)
Where to find it Simon’s Town Pier, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
Stroll through the Green Point Urban Park
With glorious views of Lion’s Head and Cape Town Stadium, the Green Point Urban Park is the perfect place to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The best part? Everyone’s welcome – including the four-legged members of your family, as well as the kids, who can enjoy some playtime in the park while you sit back and relax at one of the dedicated picnic spots or at the park’s charming café.
Good to know If you’re in the area on a Tuesday, swing by! Tea in the Park Café serves complimentary tea with any meal or cake ordered. How’s that for a deal that really takes the cake?
When Daily, 9am – 5pm
Contact 060 997 6153, email@example.com
Location Green Point Urban Park, 3 Park Road, Mouille Point
Tuk-Tuk through Franschhoek
If, like us, you love the odd awayday to Franschhoek, you’ll be as delighted as we were to discover this easy, convenient (and affordable) way to get around the valley. Because, let’s be frank, nobody wants to get behind the wheel when there are wine farms to visit, nectars to sample, gourmet restaurants to eat at, and picnics to be devoured. We say: let the experts be your personal chauffeur for the day.
Good to know You can custom-create your own tour through the Winelands on either the half-day or full-day tours, which travel between La Motte and La Petite Ferme. A few of the most popular stops include Haut Espoir, Stony Brook, Mont Rochelle, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, and Chamonix.
Summer special Get an additional hour at no charge when you book a half-day or full-day tour (valid until April 2020).
Please note Should there be unexpected heavy rains, a vehicle will be made available for your tour and your Tuk Tuk experience will continue as soon as is possible.
Times 9am – 10pm (October – April)
10am – 6pm (May – September)
Cost Half-day tour: R240
Full-day tour: R380
Get an additional hour at no charge (valid until April 2020)
Where to find it 54 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Cape Town
SUP around the Waterfront
Whether roaming the canals of the V&A Waterfront like a Venetian gondolier, or being out on the open ocean with the marine world swimming beneath you, standing up on a paddle board allows you to experience the joys of being on water on two legs rather than swimming.
Choose between a guided tour along the Atlantic Seaboard coastline (if you’re lucky, you may encounter seals, dolphins and penguins), or a self-guided SUP around the V&A Waterfront canals.
Good to know Children are permitted, assisted by an experienced instructor. The tour operator also hosts birthday parties and team-building experiences.
Times 8am – 6pm (Summer months)
10am – 5pm
Where to find it Battery Park, V&A Waterfront (parking access from Alfred Road, just behind City Lodge), Cape Town
Kayak with the penguins
The penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach is always worth a visit, but why watch from afar when you can see these wonderful water birds up close? These kayak tours in Simon’s Town allow you to meet them on their home turf – you can even join them in the water if the tide is right.
Check out the various tour options.
Please note Tours are weather-dependent.
When The Penguin Trip: daily, 8.30am (summer); 9am (winter)
Full Moon Rising Paddle Trip: one day per month from April to October only
Cost The Penguin Trip: R350 (equipment and drinking water included)
Where to find it Wharf Street
Full Moon Rising Paddle: R400
Recommended only for hardy and experienced hikers. You’ll be getting wet on this journey, so bring the appropriate gear, including lightweight hiking shoes, a swimsuit, and a change of clothing – a wetsuit is also highly recommended. You’ll be treated to breakfast before embarking on a 30 minute trek to the first cliff-jumping pool (it’s takes another 30 minutes to reach the next pool). Before hiking out the gorge you’ll be able to enjoy a light lunch in the pools above the waterfall and then abseil down Crystal Pools. An adrenaline-boosting experience to be sure, but if you’d prefer a less intense adventure, then opt to only jump the first of the pools.
When Daily, 7am – 6pm (1 December to 30 April)
Daily, 7.45am – 6pm (1 May to 30 November)
Cost R1 395 (includes hiking, kloofing, a wetsuit in cold conditions, abseiling, transport and three meals)
Please note A minimum of four adventure seekers is required in order to make the booking.
Location Wharf Street
Hike (and climb) Table Mountain
Table Mountain is, justifiably, one of the prime attractions in Cape Town. Tackle it in a group of friends – never alone – or make use of a tour operator. Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or a more strenuous run up Platteklip Gorge, their experienced tour guides will create a route to suit your fitness requirements, and gladly show you the ropes.
Once at the top, hikers are encouraged to take the Cable Car down at their own expense.
When Daily, 7.30am
Cost From R995 (depending on route)
Location Visitor Centre, Lower Cable Station, Tafelberg Road, Cape Town
Researched by Matthew Flax, Alicia Chamaillé and Annabel Short
Explore the Cape with the help of our weekly newsletter.