South African’s take their fitness very seriously. Gym sessions, hiking, climbing, running, Crossfit – they’re all on offer in Cape Town. But before you start to sweat over pricey gym memberships, we’ve found a whole host of affordable options for your stay. Our pick of the gyms in Cape Town all offer day, week or month passes – plus drop in fitness class sessions for a spontaneous calorie burn. The Crossfit community spirit is also alive and well in South Africa. Crossfit in Cape Town is unrelentingly gruelling – in THE best way. You might even take some tips back to your home gym. Grab your sports kit and get fit in these Cape Town gyms on your next holiday.
Cape Town Gyms
Want to keep in shape on holiday but not looking for a gym in Cape Town? Run, don’t walk, to Mob Athletic. Their drop–in fitness classes are ideal for fitting in to your holiday schedule. Their weekly timetable includes HIIT, Bootcamp, Kettlebell and L.E.G Work classes to really test you. Half hour and one hour sessions keep things short-ish and sweaty. Mob get bonus points for their online booking system. Something which seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of gyms that still don’t offer this. Class fees are more than reasonably priced – which will only encourage you to keep fit on your Cape Town travels.
Cost: From R75 – R150 per class (£3.50 – £7)
Got the CrossFit bug? We’ve got great news. CrossFit in Cape Town is easily accessible during your stay. Easy to access – but you might find it hard to keep up at Cape CrossFit. They take their fitness seriously at this firm but fair Cape Town gym. Their “No Excuses – Only Results” philosophy should resonate with any hardcore CrossFitters looking to maintain or build on results on a vacation. Expect high intensity classes that mix weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning in a variety of ways that are designed to seemingly almost break you. Three locations will keep your CrossFit Cape Town options open.
Cost: 1 Drop in session R250 ~ £11.50 / 10 Drop in sessions R1999 ~ £91 / 1 month of unlimited classes for travellers R2499 ~ £114
BUC Fitness Club
If you’re looking to train among elite athletes – and perhaps a few famous South African faces – lift weights at BUC Fitness Club. Day and week passes are available, on request. And once you’re through the door, you’ll have access to some of Cape Town’s best equipment, knowledge and facilities. We’re talking sports scientists, physios, bio kineticists and personal trainers. If your training needs are sports specific, they can cater to that too. Extras come in the form of some rather sweeping Atlantic views, a juice bar, steam rooms and more. If that all sounds alarmingly pricey, don’t forget your sterling buys you substantial rand – so why not live it up? You’re on holiday after all.
Cost: Day Pass R195 £9 / Week Pass: R500 ~£23 / Fortnight Pass: R700 £32
South Africa’s biggest chain certainly has its advantages. First off, if you’re a member in the UK, give the Virgin Active team a call and they’ll hook you up with gym access in your chosen location. This does take a couple of weeks for them to do the necessary gym paperwork – but once it’s done, you’re ready to pump iron on foreign shores. Not a member? You can get yourself a day pass to get your workouts in. And, Virgin Active gyms in Cape Town can be found across the city. Twenty locations mean their should be a Cape Town gym near your accommodation. Travelling around South Africa? There are 130 locations across the country to choose from. Plush facilities – often including a pool – and a brand you’re aware of make this an easy drop in gym option in Cape Town.
Cost: Day passes vary, depending on location.
Cape Town Gym Alternatives
With a mountain towering over the city, you’ve got a natural wonder to scale on your doorstep if you want to keep fit. Table Mountain is certainly hike-able – with many routes to the top. Taking the cable car might seem like cheating – but even the walk back down can be challenging, depending on your fitness. The Nursery Ravine route starts in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and is our pick of the routes for a real test of your stamina – and rickety wooden ladder climbing skills. Fans of a long walk might spot a smaller mountain to the right and be tempted to give it a go. Lion’s Head is no less of a climb – and, the steep, unfenced drop offs will have your vertigo kicking in sharpish. If you’re not a martyr to your inner ear, be prepared to put your trust in chains, metal hand holds and other ad hoc implements to get to the top.
Orbzii Tip: Both mountains do attract pick pockets and unfortunately robbers. So don’t hike up with your worldly possessions.
Cape Town residents do seem to label scaling Table Mountain and Lion’s Head as hiking – despite the amount of cliff scaling involved. For some actual climbing – that involves safety ropes, knots and carabiner, City Rock is the place. Climb all day with a pass costing just R160 (£7.30). An embarrassing cheap day out, that’ll certainly keep you in shape. If you need to work on your climbing core, City Rock’s yoga day passes come in at a reasonable R100 (£4.50).
It’s best to stick to the treadmill in gyms across Cape Town for your running needs unless you know where to train safely. But there some places you can run that are always well populated. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens has several trails to explore and Green Point Park is always home to a few runners getting in some laps. The park also hosts a weekly ParkRun – but it’s a little urban. Try the ParkRun at Rondebosch Common instead – it puts you in 40 hectares of open land in the city, with mountain views and rare plant life.