The Western Cape has no shortage of adrenaline-fuelled activities, yet this is a sector that it plans to grow significantly in the next few years.
According to a recent consumer report compiled by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), adventure travel is the fastest growing global niche. “Travellers are continuing to look for transformative experiences, all while helping to protect and respect the people, and the places, that they visit,” says Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, the official provincial tourism promotion agency. “These are all core to the essence of adventure and, as such, to adventure travel.”
It is with this in mind that the agency has identified adventure tourism as a core area to focus on.
“There are a number of opportunities, with everything from trail running and hiking to seal snorkelling and shark-cage diving on the cards. Throughout the regions of the Western Cape you will find adventure experiences, whether they be ‘soft’ like whale watching in the Cape Overberg and Garden Route, and star gazing in the Cape Karoo, or high-octane experiences like sky-diving in Cape Town and the Cape West Coast,” says Harris.
Briony Brookes, Communications Manager of Cape Town Tourism, says it is the inherent mix of mountains, forest and ocean that allows the province to successfully deliver adventure.
Says Harris: “Our advice is to start in Cape Town with abseiling off Table Mountain and snorkelling with seals in the Atlantic Ocean, before heading off to surf incredible breaks at Vic Bay on the Garden Route, slack pack on the West Coast, embark on a zip line adventure in the Cape Overberg, explore the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in the Cape Winelands or get completely off the grid in the Cape Karoo. The list really is endless.”
Monika de Jager, Manager of Namaqua West Coast Tourism, says their region is fast becoming a hub for adventuring. “Mountaineering in the Gifberg mountains and white water rafting in the Doring River are becoming particularly popular activities.”