Ditch the gym and head for the outdoors with our recommendations on the best places to get fit and healthy, for a summer beneath the Cape Town sun.
Running the Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront running route that weaves its way through the entire precinct is one of the safest and most picturesque in the city. With a choice of a 2.5km or 5km run, feel good about yourself as you take in views of the mountain and sea. Head to the V&A Waterfront Information Centre for details on the route.
Healthy food options
The V&A Market on the Wharf has a wide range of healthy food options available. Dr Juice sells delicious fruit and vegetable juice, which is organic where possible. In the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, Kauai serves up a range of smoothies and healthy light meals, which are the perfect reward for the morning’s jog around the Waterfront precinct.
Kranking Fitness Studio focuses on muscle growth and increased definition, to assist in developing strength while getting a professional cardio workout. There are a number of programmes and options on offer, and personal trainers are also available. The studio is located at Portswood Ridge. Future Fitness offers Electro Muscle Stimulation training to stimulate muscle groups via electric impulses, training 90% of the body’s muscles during each 20 minute training session. The studio is located at the Clock Tower.
There are few better ways to explore a city than on a bicycle. Learn about Cape Town from the back of a bike with AWOL Bicycle Rentals. The bicycle tours will take you through the city’s most iconic locations, including the Waterfront itself. Bookings can be made at the V&A Waterfront Information Centre.
Stretch your legs on Robben Island
While Robben Island is geared towards exposing you to the country’s troubled political past, they do still have a focus on health and fitness. Visitors are encouraged to explore the Nelson Mandela Gateway building on foot, where exhibitions are set up to provide fascinating insight into the history of the island, and South African politics. Once on the island, visitors are grouped together and commence the tour by walking from the harbour to the prison, which lets you breathe the fresh ocean air and truly connect with this iconic landmark.
Robben Island to Blouberg Swim
For the more extreme sportspeople out there, Robben Island offers support to a number of superb initiatives, the most dramatic of which is the Robben Island – Blouberg swim. This is the iconic swim to do in Cape Town, and at 7.4km in waters of an average temperature of 12 degrees celcius, it’s for the experienced swimmer only. For more information on these and other Robben Island swims, visit www.capeswim.co.za.
Walk and hike Kirstenbosch
The large, sprawling Kirstenbosch Gardens, on the slopes of Table Mountain, offer an incredible array of walks, which suit all age levels. If you’re looking to get the blood pumping a little harder, Kirstenbosch is well known as a starting point for the spectacular Skeleton Gorge hiking route, which offers incredible views across False Bay. For a change in scenery on the way down, follow the signs for Nursery Ravine, and then Kirstenbosch Gardens. The hike takes approximately 5-6 hours, and is fairly technical in parts, but is well worth it for the amazing views along the way. Park your car at the main parking lot and follow the relevant signposts or request information from Kirstenbosch officials.
If organised fitness is more your thing, bootcamp is offered by an outside service provider every morning from 6am – 7am. Contact Adventure Bootcamp for more information.
Hike up, Cableway down
You can also get healthy and fit by climbing up Table Mountain. The constantly changing views as you make your way up the iconic landmark are simply breath taking, and will leave you yearning to do it all over again. Climbing down, however, isn’t always as much fun, and it typically adds a few additional hours onto your day of hiking. Fortunately, Table Mountain Cableway Cable Card offers a great option for regular fitness fanatics. The Cable Card offers one return trip via the Cableway each day, for an entire year, weather permitting, for one flat payment. There’s simply no better way to explore the mountain than with a long hike to the top, and an exhilarating 4-minute ride to the bottom. For more details on the Cable Card, visit the Table Mountain Cableway website.
Cycle the slopes of Table Mountain
Table Mountain has a range of superb mountain biking trails that lead up from the Cape Town City Bowl and the southern suburbs. There’s a taxing selection of both Jeep and single tracks that will take you up to Tafelberg Road, and ultimately, the Lower Cable Station. This long, generally flat, tarred road offers respite from the steep climb to the top, and the most dramatic panoramic views of the city below. You can stock up on refreshments at the Table Mountain Kiosk, before pointing your mountain bike downhill and commencing an exhilarating ride to the bottom. Table Mountain Bikers offers comprehensive information on routes and trails, as well as general conduct and safety.
Walk and jog around the estate
Groot Constantia isn’t just about wining and dinning in a superb location. The estate is truly spectacular, with dramatic views over lush green vineyards, spreading out towards False Bay in the far distance. It’s the perfect environment for running and jogging, and Groot Constantia is more than happy to have exercisers explore the estate. Dogs are also welcome provided they are on a leash, making it an amazing destination in which to get fit and healthy.
Kayak around Cape Point
For the super fit, Kayak Cape Town will take you on a guided trip around the point – it will work your biceps and back muscles to the maximum, but the dramatic views of Cape Point from sea level are remarkable.
Cycle the nature reserve
Cape Point is an ideal location to ride through, with a number of different routes catering to a variety of fitness levels. It’s a unique way in which to explore the park at your own pace, and you’ll leave with a brand new perspective on this unique part of the Cape. Permits are required in order to cycle through Cape Point – more information is available on the SAN Parks website.
Walk and hike
There are a number of walks and hikes that criss-cross their way through Cape Point Nature reserve, and it’s hard to leave Cape Point not feeling like you’ve earned the afternoon off. The walks all offer amazing views of the reserve, coastline and Cape Point itself – many are safe and family friendly, while others offer steeper inclines, and even steeper drop-offs. The most popular routes are the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Point Hike, the famous shipwreck trail, and the short but fairly steep walk from the car park to the Upper Funicular Station.