Baz Bus. Baz Bus tours the south peninsula with a trailer full of bikes. You cycle the fun parts and sit in the bus for the rest. It costs about R540 for the whole day. 021/439–2323.

Downhill Adventures. Downhill Adventures offers great cycling trips around the peninsula. You can opt for a full day at the nature reserve at Cape Point, including a picnic lunch, or a leisurely cycle through the Constantia Winelands, stopping for wine tasting along the way. The company can also arrange mountain-bike tours, or you can simply rent a bike. Their range of combination tours includes a Cape Point & Winelands Biking Tour, a Table Mountain Bike & Abseil Combo, or even a Sandboard & Tandem Skydive Combo. The company also arranges shark-cage dives. 021/422–0388 or 021/422–1580. Rentals from R200; tours from R895.


Brians-Birding. Specialized birding walks can be organized through Brians-Birding, which offers full-day birding walks with a max of about five people. Brian Vanderwalt is one of only two birders in the Western Cape who has spotted more than 200 birds in 24 hours for three years running in the annual Big Birding Day competition. In short, he knows his stuff. 021/919–2192. From R2,500.


Cape Town has hundreds of bolted sport routes around the city and peninsula, ranging from an easy 10 to a hectic 30. (To give you some idea of difficulty, a route rated a 10 in South Africa would be equivalent to a 5.5 climb in the United States. A 20 climb would register around 5.10c, and the hardest you'll find in South Africa is probably a 34, which American climbers would know as a 5.14b. The toughest climb up Table Mountain rates about 32, which is a 5.14a.) Both Table Mountain sandstone and Cape granite are excellent hard rocks. There are route guides to all the major climbs and a number of climbing schools in Cape Town. A few favorite climbs include Table Mountain (from various angles), Lion's Head, Du Toit's Kloof, and Muizenberg Peak.

High Adventure. High Adventure specializes in climbing in the Cape Town area but also organizes trips farther afield that can be anything from short two- to four-hour hikes, to half-day outings or full-day trips. A minimum group is two clients; there's a singles supplement of 80% for a solo traveler. 021/689–1234. From R480.


Hooked on Africa. Based in Hout Bay Harbour, this operation is in one of the richest fishing grounds left in the world today. If you're keen to take to the open ocean for some deep-sea fishing, you'll have plenty of choices, as South Africa has excellent game fish, such as dorado, yellowfin tuna, and broadbill swordfish. The company offers private, full-boat charters of a 32-foot catamaran for a full day of deep-sea fishing. Call to inquire about current rates and to see if there are any organized trips you could join in lieu of a full-boat charter. 021/790–5332. From R10,000.

Inkwazi Fly-Fishing Safaris. In the mountains, just an hour or so away from Cape Town, you'll encounter wild and wily fish in wild and wonderful rivers. The season runs September–May and Inkwazi Fly-Fishing Safaris offers escorted tours, all the equipment you'll need, and plenty of good advice. Regulations allow them to guide no more than two anglers, and trips are frequently just one person. 083/626–0467.


Most golf clubs in the Cape accept visitors, but prior booking is essential. Expect to pay R250–R400 for 18 holes and R200–R350 to rent golf clubs. You can also rent golf carts for around R200, but you are encouraged to employ a caddie instead, as this offers valuable employment to local communities. Expect to pay around R150 plus a tip of 10%–20% for good service. Exclusive golf courses can cost even more.

Royal Cape Golf Club. Founded in 1885, Royal Cape Golf Club is the oldest course in Africa and has hosted the South African Open many times. Although the course is on flat terrain, the playing of Royal Cape is subject to three of nature’s beguiling offerings: a near constant wind to challenge you, sweeping mountain views to charm you, and water features to ensnare you. It's tree lined with narrow fairways and subtle United States Golf Association-spec-built greens. The 14th hole is rated by the Compleat Golfer as the best 14th hole in the country—par is gold on this long left-to-right dogleg par four, even for the low handicapper. This is one of the best and most challenging courses to play both in the Western Cape and the country. Royal Cape Golf Club, 174 Ottery Rd., Wynberg, Cape Town, Western Cape. 021/761–6551. R500 for 18 holes. Par 72.

Steenberg Golf Estate. The challenging and scenic Steenberg Golf Estate is the most exclusive and expensive course on the peninsula; the golf course is rated as one of the top three courses to visit in South Africa. Dress codes are strictly enforced here. Great Sauvignon Blanc is produced at the estate, and it has a profound history, having been a land grant by the first governer of the Cape in the late 17th century to Catherina Ras, one of the country's first female landowners. Steenberg Golf Estate, 10978 Tokai Rd., Cape Town, Western Cape. 021/715–0227. R1065 for 18 holes. 18 holes; 8,000 meters; par 72.

Hiking and Canyoning

Cape Town and the surrounding areas offer some of the finest hiking in the world. Kloofing, known as canyoning in the United States, is the practice of following a mountain stream through its gorge, canyon, or kloof by swimming, rock hopping, and jumping over waterfalls or cliffs into deep pools, so it’s definitely a bit more than simple hiking. There are some exceptional kloofing venues in the Cape.

Active Africa. This company is busy in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Namibia, but walking tours of four days and longer outside Cape Town can also be arranged. Their main Cape Town offering is a combination tour, customized to include a variety of different activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, canyoneering, and rappelling. 021/788–6083. From R3,909.

Mother City Hikers. Originally from Chicago, Lauren Medcalf came to Cape Town on an extended vacatin in 2006 and has never left. With Table Mountain standing tall over the city and surrounded by the southern oceans, it has become her home away from home. Mother City Hikers uses qualified and accredited mountain guides, who have fulfilled the requirements for Adventure Guiding/Mountaineering and are also qualified to offer mountain walking and overnight trips. All guides are also certified in first aid and CPR with the National First Aid Academy in South Africa. Prices include pickup at your hotel and transportation to the hiking site. 072/530–3464. From R500.

RidgwayRamblers. Binny Ridgway is one of the most experienced Table Mountain guides. If you want to get the most out of this iconic rock, it's best to learn a little about the area and its flora and fauna while getting some exercise and not having to think too hard for yourself. Hikes may go from Skeleton Gorge to Maclears Beacon (on the mountain) or to the Twelve Apostles (above Camps Bay). His prices get you a packed lunch and complimentary transportation to and from the hike. 082/522–6056. From R750.

Table Mountain Walks. Table Mountain Walks offers various hikes, including options at Table Mountain and Silvermine Nature Reserve, with a well-informed guide. Owner Margaret is a veteran hiker with experience on all the continental "biggies." 021/715–6136. From R550.

Horseback Riding

Cantering down one of the Cape's long white-sand beaches or riding through the fynbos-covered dunes at sunset is a unique and tranquil pleasure, and Noordhoek is the place to do it, whatever your level.

Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding. Sleepy Hollows Horse Riding has three guided rides a day. A two-hour ride goes mostly at a walking pace. But the company also has some specialized offerings and has experience with riders with disabilities. Sleepy Holly Ln., Noordhoek, Cape Town, Western Cape. 021/789–2341. From R460.


Coastal Kayak Trails. You don't have to be a pro to discover Cape Town by kayak. Coastal Kayak Trails has regular sunset and sunrise paddles off Sea Point. The two-hour paddles are reasonably priced and popular. 021/439–1134 or 083/346–1146. From R300.

Real Cape Adventures. Real Cape Adventures offers regular scenic paddles off Hout Bay and from Simon's Town around to Boulders. Trips can last anywhere from two hours to a half-day. You'll need to make provision in your planning for traveling to and from the point of departure, and add an hour for getting ready and for kayak and safety instructions, as well as for ending the trip, packing up, and getting dressed. They also offer tailor-made sea kayak overnight trips on request. Accommodation, transport, and meals can be included in the packages. 021/790–5611. From R250.

Paragliding and Skydiving

Para-pax Tandem Paragliding. Para-pax Tandem Paragliding will take you flying off landmarks such as Lion's Head, Signal Hill, and Table Mountain, depending on the wind and weather conditions. The company claims to be the original tandem paragliding operation in Africa. With some 13,000 flights under their belt, they have earned their reputation. They have a wide range of operational centers, from the paragliding mecca of Porterville to Wilderness, Hermanus, and Franschhoek. 082/881–4724. From R1150.

Skydive Cape Town. You can do a tandem sky dive (no experience necessary) and have a video taken of you hurtling earthward with Table Mountain in the background with Skydive Cape Town—in business since 2002. On a tandem jump, you are strapped to an instructor with a special harness that’s attached to a specially designed parachute large enough to support both of you. After only 15 minutes of ground briefing you will enjoy a spectacular 20-minute aircraft ride, with views of the West Coast, Cape Town, Robben Island, and Table Mountain before making the jump. 082/800–6290. From R1,900.


Abseil Africa. Abseil Africa offers a 350-foot abseil (rappel) off the top of Table Mountain. Another excursion takes you over a waterfall in the Helderberg Mountains, an hour's drive away. Tours include both transportation and lunch. This is a good operation that's been around a long time. 021/424–4760. From R700.


Scuba Diving

The diving around the Cape is excellent, with kelp forests, cold-water corals, very brightly colored reef life, and numerous wrecks. An unusual experience is a dive in the Two Oceans Aquarium. CMSA, NAUI, and PADI dive courses are offered by local operators; open-water certification courses begin at about R2,800 (all-inclusive).

Orca Industries. Orca offers dive courses, from beginners to specialist wreck divers. A PADI open-water certification takes a week and includes all dives, lectures, course materials, registration, and gear rental. 021/671–9673. From R3,500.

Scuba Shack. The friendly Scuba Shack is based out of Muizenberg and can organize dives around the peninsula—both the Atlantic and the warmer False Bay, with Simon's Town as the meeting point. Options include diving with cow sharks, traveling through kelp forests, and snorkeling with seals. It's a refreshing experience—and not just the water temperature—but so very different from the more typical vacation diving world of subtropical corals. 072/603–8630. From R1,300.

Shark Diving

Seeing great white sharks hunting seals around False Bay's Seal Island is one of the most exhilarating natural displays you're likely to witness. And if witnessing it all from a boat is not thrill enough, you can get in the water (in a cage).

Apex Predators. Run by marine biologists, Apex Predators operates small-group trips from Simon's Town during season (February–September). If the great whites aren't around, try the Ocean Predator Trip, in which you cage dive with makos and blues. Co-founder Chris Fallows is a local legend in the shark photography and observation world, and the go-to guy for many international broadcasters. Quayside Building, Main Rd., Shop 3, Simon's Town, Western Cape, 7975. 079/051–8558 or 021/786–5717.


Cape Town has some great but cold surf, and conditions can be complicated by the winds. Though it's no J-Bay (Jeffreys Bay), Cape Town still has some killer spots, Bloubergstrand (beach) being host to regular international events.

Gary's Surf School. Gary's Surf School offers surfing lessons to youngsters and the young at heart in the relatively warm and gentle waters at Muizenberg. You can also rent boards and wet suits. A basic two-hour lesson includes an hour of instruction and an hour of practice. You do need to be aware, however, that you'll be sharing the ocean with plenty of sharks, as you would around the world, though the company has never had an incident. Balmoral Building, 34 Beach Rd., Muizenberg, Western Cape. 021/788–9839. From R350.