October 24, 2012
Five Great Spring Adventures in Cape Town
Fazielah Williams has lived in and loved her Mother City since birth. Having lived all over the Peninsula during her childhood, she now calls the picturesque City Bowl home and likes nothing more than watching the sun set over Table Bay from the window of her apartment.
A lover of the arts and proud Cape Town fanatic, Fazielah began her writing career by spending many hours as a child conjuring fantastical stories that featured independent heroines from faraway lands who saved the Prince instead. This Capetonian princess has enjoyed stints as a magical arts PRO and TV publicist before finding her calling as a travel writer.
When not waxing lyrical about the Fairest Cape’s most loved attractions and activities and embarking on unexpected adventures, Fazielah can usually be found taking in a show at one of the City’s fabulous theatres.
It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that spring is finally on its way. The whales are in town and the flowers are magnificent, so there’s no better time to head outdoors. Here are five must-do adventures in and around Cape Town.
Take a tandem paragliding flight from Lion’s Head. Walk up through the fynbos and massive silver trees and then run off the slopes of the iconic peak in the company of an expert pilot before floating gently down to the coast. The views of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and the golden bay beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton are simply breathtaking.
A combination of kloofing, body surfing and cliff jumping into the sea, coasteering is wet and wild. Gravity Adventures runs trips to Llandudno on the Atlantic seaboard, and to Castle Rocks, near Boulders Beach on the False Bay coast – a warmer, so way more popular, option!
Wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets are supplied and the adventure is open to all ages and skill levels – even non-swimmers.
Spring is whale season, the perfect time to cruise the Peninsula, stopping off at designated sights to scan the ocean with your binoculars in the hope of seeing a whale blow or breach. And what better way to do it than on a Harley-Davidson. No motorbike licence? No problem. An experienced chauffeur will be happy to take you for a ride.
The trail up Kasteelspoort, above Camps Bay, affords incredible views, particularly in the late afternoon when the sun sinks past the Atlantic and Lion’s Head and Twelve Apostles glow burned orange in the evening light. The fynbos is magnificent any time of year, but this hike is spectacular in spring, when the lower slopes are a mass of pink watsonia. Alternatively, organise a hiking permit for Orange Kloof.
There are plenty of spots where you can peddle through spring flowers, but one of the best is on the network of tarred roads that meander through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. If you’re doing it on your own, park at the entrance gate, pick up a map and head south. You can pull off the main road and head to the beach at Olifantsbos or Buffels Bay, or cruise on towards Cape Point, enjoying the spectacular scenery, the fynbos, and occasional sightings of ostrich, zebra and other plains game. Stop off at the newly renovated Two Oceans Restaurant if you have time before heading back to the gate.
Fiona McIntosh is the author of Slackpacking and a Getaway Blog contributor