If you are looking for an adventurous activity for a group of friends, colleagues, or family, paintball is an option like no other. The intensity and fun make it an experience to remember. And getting shot on the leg by someone you shot on the helmet brings everyone a little bit closer.
I went paintballing in Cape Town with some of my more game colleagues, and the atmosphere was exciting for days in advance. In the office, we made jokes and trash-talked way too much for people who were all about to be shot, whether new to the sport or pretty darn experienced. So it was lots of fun before the game even started.
What to expect from paintballing in Cape Town
If you’re getting ready to play paintball, you’re likely a little nervous of the technicalities. You will get shot, and it might be painful. It might even be very painful. But fortunately, when you’re running, searching, aiming through the trees and pulling the trigger, your adrenaline will be high enough for it to not really matter.
So don’t worry too much about the bruises. Or at least, don’t let it put you off so that you tell your friends at the last minute “actually, I’m not feeling so good today, you’ll have to go without me”. Because they will, and will have an experience to keep them talking for ages after.
If you’re like me and want to first just catch up with your friends or colleagues and build on the excitement for the day, going for a beer beforehand is a great idea. It may even help with the nerves!
Best places to play paintball in Cape Town
Cape Town is a fantastic place to play this physically active game. The weather is generally mild, so you won’t completely overheat when you’re running across the field. Unless you go on a day with a 30+ heatwave like one of the times my team played.
The other great thing about playing in this city is that Cape Town is naturally beautiful, particularly as you drive out a bit. Which is where you’ll find the best paintballing places. You do need space to run around after all.
So here are the very best paintball places in and around Cape Town.
In first place is my favourite spot, Reapers. Here you’ll be running under the trees, using them and “debris” as cover. They have a number of different game options so that you can choose how long you want to be playing, and how many paintballs you want. Though you can always buy more in between paintball games.
I am a particular fan of Reapers because the second time we came here to play, they introduced a smoke bomb to the game, which really made it feel like we were at war. Plus, the manager insisted that I use his professional paintball rifle so that I could get a real feel of the sport.
You’ll find Reapers in Brackenfell, right next to a cute little pub, where you can grab a beer before or after the game. The prices at this paintball place range from R115 to R250, depending on how long you want to play. If you’re not very fit, I recommend the 1.5 hour slot, as it gets pretty exhausting.
And if you’re wanting to get more fit for the experience, check out our favourite Cape Town hiking trails.
Ground Zero Paintball
Ground Zero is a similarly popular paintball spot, with a bit of a different vibe. Instead of trees and haphazard wooden structures, they have blown up obstacles and a clean green lawn.
This is the ideal place to visit if you’re playing with children, or are organizing a game for a few youths. There is also a jungle gym and a number of picnic tables, making it a great place to hold a children’s birthday party.
If you’re willing to drive a little further out of town, Munition Paintball may be the one for you. It has a beautiful playing ground amongst the trees and includes some rusty old cars and obstacles. It’s positively apocalyptic.
Their packages range from 1.5 hour games to 3 hour marathons. As previously mentioned, dashing about gets tiring, especially with a helmet that must stay on at all times. So the shorter slot will likely suit all newbies and those of us with anything other than an impressive level of fitness.
What happens when you arrive
When you get to the paintball field, you’ll meet the organizer and their marshalls, who will be with you for the game. You’ll get a chance to settle, pay the fee, form teams, and say a last few jokes and insults.
Women will get a covering that protects their chest and back, because breasts are a particularly sensitive spot, and safety first. Everyone will get a helmet, which cannot be taken off at any point during the game (again, safety first!).
Then everyone will get a piece of fabric with their team colour, which you must tie somewhere visible on yourself. You don’t want to be shot by your own team, after all.
Next, you’ll be given your gun. They’ll run you through how to use it and the safety regulations as well as what to expect for the game. Here are the most important rules:
- Never take off your helmet while you’re on the field, even when the whistle has gone for the end of the game
- When you are shot, put your gun up into the air and walk back to the designated starting point
- Don’t shoot anyone with their gun up
- If you’re within 2 metres of your target, shout “freeze” and do not shoot, as point-blank shots are not fun for anyone
Final thoughts on playing paintball in Cape Town
Cape Town has so many adventurous activities to experience that it may be hard to fit them all into your plans. But you certainly won’t regret adding paintball to your weekend itinerary.
It’s tons of fun for everyone, and will create a lasting memory with your friends and family. So get into the spirit of things, remember to book ahead of time, and get psyched for a new adventure!