header Image courtesy of Skydive Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with white sandy beaches and a mountain range covered in lush green vegetation right within the city’s limits. One of the best ways to see Cape Town is by air, which will give you a perspective of the city and its surrounds like no other. From Table Bay and Table Mountain looming over it, all the way south along the Peninsula to False Bay and Cape Point. Here’s a look at how you can get a bird’s eye view of this incredible city.
One of the most popular activities in Cape Town is paragliding off Lion’s Head or Signal Hill and on a sunny day, a multitude of colourful canopies can be seen floating around the mountain slopes. There are a number of professionally certified operators who offer tandem jumps for all ages (as long as you weigh between 20kg and 120kg). Most operators can accommodate those with disabilities, and also offer transfers from the CBD, in-flight photos and/or videos. If you loved your flight so much and want to learn more, most also offer lessons in becoming a solo paragliding pilot.
Paragliding’s adrenalin fuelled cousin is another popular activity in the Mother City, and definitely not for the faint hearted. Skydiving gives you the chance to see Cape Town and its surrounds from a completely different angle. There are a handful of operators in the Cape Town area that all have experienced and certified tandem instructors who will ensure you experience the incredible thrill of jumping from 10,000ft about the Cape Peninsula. Most offer transport options to and from the city, and if you’ve enjoyed the experience so much that you want to learn how to skydive yourself, some offer skydiving course or can tell you who to contact.
A helicopter ride is one of the best ways to see Cape Town from the air. With numerous licensed operators offering a variety of different routes of different lengths, there’s something for everyone wanting to see the beautiful Cape from the skies. One of the most exhilarating experiences is a flight in the famous Huey helicopter. It’s the only Huey in the world certified to carry passengers and the pilot will take you through some combat manoeuvres that will give you a white-knuckle experience you’ll never forget.
Get hold of a City Pass for generous discounts on Huey helicopter flight.
One of the most affordable arial activities you can do in Cape Town is a flight in a microlight. These small, open-cockpit planes fly closer to the ground than its bigger brothers and therefore give an exhilarating ride of a different kind. There are a small number of operators in the Cape Town area who provide microlight trips, as well as flight training, should the microlight bug bite. Most operators offer transfers to and from the CBD at an additional fee.
For something truly different, why not try a ride in a gyrocopter? Not quite a helicopter, not quite a microlight, these funny-looking flying machines will give you a birds eye view of Cape Town and it’s lovely surrounds. And just when you think that a gyrocopter flight sounds a bit boring, opt for a ‘combat’ flight and the pilot will show you just what the gyrocopter is capable of. As with microlight flights, there are only a small number of operators in the Cape Town area, and all offer transfers to and from the city.
Hot air ballooning
For those who feel like a more relaxed, laid-back sort of activity, but still want to take to the skies, a ride in a hot air balloon might just be for you. Float over the picturesque Cape Winelands with the wind in your hair and magnificent views from the tranquil safety of the hot air balloon. Most operators only offer flights during the summer months (November to May) due to the unpredictable weather of Cape winters. There are many to options to choose from, with some packages including breakfast and transfers to and from the city.