The 7 Most Thrilling Adventure Activities in Cape Town

Cape Town can offer adventure-seekers a long list of heart-pumping experiences whether you prefer to be swimming with the sharks or racing down the mountains on 2 wheels.

Adventure-seekers will have no problem packing their trip with wild activities in Cape Town. The South African port city is nestled between stunning coastline and dramatic mountains.

Zip-lining in Cape Town

Child zip lining in Cape Town

This 2+ hour zip lining experience is perfect for thrill-seekers who want to do an adventure activity in Cape Town without spending an entire day on one trip.

You’ll hop into a 4X4 and head 15 minutes outside the city to an area near Hout Bay Harbour. You’ll head into the mountain where you’ll start a 2.3-kilometre zip-line tour. While you’re in the air, you’ll get a bird’s eye view over the beautiful mountains and Cape Peninsula. The tour also includes some hiking along small paths in the mountains, so make sure you bring comfortable shoes.

Cage diving with sharks

Tourists cage diving with sharks.

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Want to almost be a shark’s next meal? Of course you do! Wow your friends and terrify your parents with pictures and stories from that time you went diving with one of nature’s most feared predators.

During the full-day shark cage diving experience, you’ll learn all about the sharks during your boat trip from the onboard biologist. When it’s time to challenge your fears, you’ll get into the cage and be within touching distance of great white sharks.

Breakfast, refreshments, and swimming equipment are included. The tour company, Marine Dynamics, is Fair Trade certified.

Hike Lion’s Head at sunset

Lion's Head near Cape Town at sunset.

Hiking is the perfect way to get a feel for what nature in the area has to offer. Hiking activities in Cape Town are not for the inexperienced, however. Lion’s Head is considered the easiest trek because of the short distance, but it still involves scrambling and a steep incline.

Towering 669 metres about sea-level, Lion’s Head is a mountain with stunning views over the coast and Cape Town itself. Timing your hike just right to catch the sunset will add dramatic colours to your view.

Sea kayaking on the Atlantic

Two people kayaking on the Atlantic, surrounded by dolphins.

Explore the natural beauty of the Atlantic coastline on a 2 hour guided kayak tour. You’ll likely run into a variety of curious wildlife on your thrilling adventure activity including seals, sunfish, penguins, dolphins, and possibly whales. A kayak tour is a fun way to get out on the water and see the city from a different viewpoint.

The tour is suitable for all levels of paddlers and equipment is provided.

Off-Road Scooter Tour

A man riding an off-road scooter down a mountain in Cape Town.

Interested in a unique way to see beautiful views of the city and mountains? This off-road scooter tour can be technical at times, so it’s best suited for travellers seeking adrenaline-fueled activities near Cape Town.

After a short introduction at Table Mountain National Park, you’ll hop on the bus and head towards Signal Hill. You’ll grab a scooter and go on your first down-hill run into Bo-Kaap with views of the city and the waterfront. Then you’ll get back on the bus and go to Table Mountain for another freewheel down a track.

Snorkelling with seals

A seal inspecting a snorkeler under the water near Cape Town.

Snorkel with friendly, curious Cape fur seals at Duiker Island. This is one of the best activities in Cape Town for adventure-seekers who want to spend some time in the water.

The 3-hour seal snorkelling experience starts with a safety briefing at the Snorkel Centre. After a quick ride on a bus, you’ll get on the boat and head to Duiker Island. The marine guides will make sure you have a blast while you explore the waters and splash around with the island seal colony. Once back at the Centre you can have a hot shower, relax in the lounge with free wi-fi, and enjoy complimentary tea and coffee until you’re ready to head out.

Explore Cape Point and visit the Penguin Beach

Two people walking down the stairs at Cape Point near Cape Town.

See the picture-perfect Cape Peninsula for yourself on a full-day excursion to 3 different beauty spots.

Your day starts with an hour at Boulders Beach where you’ll get to observe the penguin colony and visit the penguin reserve to learn more about them. Then you’ll head to Cape Point Nature Reserve where you’ll have 2 hours to explore the UNESCO heritage site.

You’ll head to Cape of Good Hope next and can decide how you want to get there. Either by bus, or you can join a 40-minute guided hike which requires a medium level of fitness.