When it’s time to get your thrill on, there is only one place to head for – the wild, rugged and unspoiled Cape West Coast. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not merely a region of pristine beaches, rich cultural history and abundant crayfish; it is also a one-stop extreme sport destination that is guaranteed to bring out the adrenaline junkie in you.
Just a short drive from Cape Town, thrill-seekers will find all manner of exciting ways to put life and limb at risk as they commune with nature at her most spectacular.
Harness the wind with kite surfing
Those of who haven’t yet figured out whether they prefer their thrills airborne or land-based, kite surfing is the ideal adventure sport as it combines aspects of surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, and paragliding into one exhilarating experience.
Only 20 minutes from Cape Town, Big Bay in Blouberstrand is one of the best kite surfing spots in the world thanks to the combination of Atlantic Ocean swell rolling onto the coastline and the wind which blows almost daily. A little further up the West Coast, Langebaan is also is internationally recognised as one of the top boardsailing venues in the world as the wind picks up around noon almost every day and the lagoon water is warm in summer.
Kick butt in Action Paintball
If military tactics and the hunt of tracking the enemy thrill you, then man your troops, load your guns and get ready for battle. Action paintball is the adrenalin sport you were born to play.
Kitted out in realistic camouflage gear and armed with a serious looking weapon, you’ll have the time of your life getting down and dirty, stalking the enemy and trying to avoid becoming a target yourself. But make sure you develop a strategy before you run out guns blazing or you’ll find yourself covered in enemy paint before you even spot your first target. And be warned, these babies sting!
Conquer the dunes on a quad bike
By far the most exciting activity on 4 wheels, quad biking over mountainous dunes takes extreme to a whole new level. The Atlantis Dunes in the Witzand Aquifer just 40 minutes from Cape Town offer 27 square kilometers of pure white sand dunes, some of which reach the height of a six-storey building. The dunes are a protected, completely unspoiled area in which to immerse yourself and forget about the daily grind.
Sandboarding, Africa’s answer to snowboarding
The most popular playground for this sport is a spot called Lost City in the Witzand Aquifer near Atlantis, and it is here you will experience the unsurpassed exhilaration of being perched on the verge of a mountainous wind-crafted dune, strapped to a sand board with Table Mountain on the horizon…just before you to fly down the leeward face. There are several local adventure companies which cater for both advanced sand boarders and beginners.
Leap out of an airplane
A 40-minute drive north along the R27 is all it takes for you to be whisked from Cape Town to a drop zone which boasts one of the best aerial views in the world. Look down over the Mother City nestled between Table Mountain and Table Bay harbour and further south on the far side of the mountain, lies False Bay, Hout Bay and the splendour of the South Peninsula. To the West, you will spot Robben Island and the Atlantic breaking on the beautiful Cape West Coast, while to the North, is the Langebaan lagoon.
Jumping out of an airplane form 3km above Cape Town and free falling for 25 – 30 seconds at 200 km per hour is as exciting as it gets.
Hit the mtb trails
Experience the Cape West Coast at ground level. There are many MTB Trails on the Cape West Coast where everyone from beginners to experts will find a mountain bike trail to suit them. The vast range of road and trail conditions, weather patterns and fauna and flora always make for an interesting ride.
SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve – The pristine reserve is located inside the military grounds on a peninsula and offers spectacular ocean views and many scenic trails.
!khwa ttu San Cultural and Education Centre – The trail has a 30km adventurous track and a family-friendly 10 kilometre ride, both routes taking you on a fascinating journey across a rugged landscape and over the Darling Hills, offering excellent views and amazing game encounters.
West Coast Fossil Park – All starting at the visitor’s centre, there four trails to choose from, ranging from 3.5km to 10km, which are of varying degrees of difficulty.
West Coast National Park – Biking is a unique way to experience the West Coast National Park and there are two trails to choose from, both offering spectacular scenic rides which are not too challenging.
Hitting the waves
The West Coast is regarded by many as a surfer’s paradise and it always involves the quintessential road trip. One of the best surf breaks is at Elands Bay where world class waves continue to roll in with remarkable dependability and fine shape. Known as the Jeffrey’s Bay of the West Coast, Elands Bay offers board riders a peeling left-hand point break that breaks that is best when the swell is really barrelling. Other popular breaks are at Silwerstroom and Derdesteen, which has several peaks.
For instant access to more information about all these places, and loads more exciting West Coast destinations, an informative and free app is also available for download from Google Play store, Windows Phone store and the Apple iTunes store. West Coast Way’s 101+ Points of Interest app is available as part of an internationally recognised travel app called Tourism Radio City Guides, and showcases over 101 fantastic things to see and do on the West Coast.