Winter has descended upon the Cape, but while we traditionally think of this season as inhospitable to outdoor sports, in Cape Town we see considerable breaks in the rainy weather. And it’s on those crisp, crystal clear winter mornings that we should come out of hibernation, get a little sun on our faces, and have an outdoor adventure. If you keep a close eye on the weather forecast and work around the periodic cold spells, here are four adventure sports that could be guaranteed to get your adrenalin surging.
Contrary to popular belief, the very best view of Cape Town isn’t from Table Mountain or Bloubergstrand, it’s from 12,000 feet above the ground! With the Cape’s spectacular scenery composed of dramatic mountain ranges and a patchwork quilt of farmlands and vineyards, it has become an enormously popular destination for skydiving. Skydive Cape Town and Mother City Skydiving are two reputable companies that offer thrilling tandem skydives and the opportunity to leave your winter funk behind you on the plane as you leap into thin air.
Instead of slogging the six hours it takes to get up Table Mountain’s imposing city-facing slopes, why not take the easy route: down? With an altitude of over 1,000 meters, Cape Town’s iconic megalith offers one of the highest commercial abseiling experiences in the world, and there couldn’t be a better way to get up close and personal with her stony, fynbos-clad, and dassie-decorated countenance than to abseil down it. Abseil Africa, which calls it “dope on a rope”, is offering a winter special for R995 per person (valid until 31st August 2018).
Zipping over yawning chasms, lush valleys, rushing rivers, and the canopies of the Cape’s indigenous forests, gives one an unparalleled perspective on, and appreciation of just how beautiful our natural heritage is. Given the mountainous topography of the Cape, there are several locations that have become prime spots for ziplining adventures. Cape Canopy Tours arrange exhilarating tours in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, where there are 13 elevated platforms from which to cast oneself (safely) down slides of up to 320 meters, as well as a suspension bridge over a double waterfall.
Cape Canopy Tours: www.canopytour.co.za, 021 300 0501
Sand dunes, mountain trails, and even vineyards… these varied landscapes are even more fun to explore from behind the wheel of a quad bike or ATV (all-terrain vehicle). Most of the quad bikes supplied by Cape Town’s adventure companies such as Extreme Scene and Downhill Adventures are automatic, so all you need to do is open the throttle and let her fly: no experience needed!
All of these thrilling outdoor sports are weather dependent so keep a close eye on the forecast and stay in contact with the company you’ve booked through to avoid disappointment.