Gravity Adventure Festival - an untamed adventure weekend

Words: Tatum Prins | Photos: Jacques Marais

Adventure Racing

Every year, outdoor enthusiasts from all over our rainbow nation flock to the Palmiet River in Kleinmond for the Gravity Adventure Festival, either to compete in it or just enjoy a weekend of outdoor adventure activities and have some good clean fun! This year's festival, presented by MERRELL, promises even more action, more activities, and loads more fun. In addition to the 12 events on offer, throw in a Film Festival, DJ, band, food stalls, camping, and dancing at the CAT Footwear Party and you have yourself a recipe for a one hell of a weekend. Even the day tripper will be spoilt for choice with all the events to choose from, as well as the opportunity to catch up with family and friends, have a bite to eat and a beer, or let the kids experience a range of adventure activities. There really is something for everyone.


Gravity Adventure Festival - an untamed adventure weekend


The festival takes place in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, just outside Kleinmond and an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Taking place over the weekend of 16 to 18 August 2013, it is the perfect time of year to catch the Palmiet River at its very best, while still being able to enjoy the Koggelberg Mountains, the beach, estuary and Palmiet Valley. A unique aspect of the festival is the set-up of the Festival Hub at the Palmiet Caravan Park, the point from where all the events start and finish. So for those travelling from Cape Town or afar, it's a 'one-stop shop', with everything happening in one area.


Events on offer

The festival showcases a wide range of disciplines that all combine to create a weekend full of adventure for participants and spectators alike. Friday night starts with a bang, with Mountain Runner Events hosting the 4 km and 8 km Black Diamond Night Runs. All you need is a headlamp and shoes, and you can look forward to experiencing the sounds and area by night. If water is more your thing, there's the Rocky River Night Swim. Probably not for the 'warm' hearted, swimming one mile at night is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Thereafter, it's time to kick back at the Festival Hub, grab a beer, a bean bag, and watch some awesome adventure films as part of the Film Festival. With all that just for starters, you know you're going to be in for a cracker weekend!


Saturday is the big adventure activity day, with loads of events to choose from. If you are feeling super energetic, you can enter all of them.


The schedule of events was planned with this in mind so you really can do all the events - if you dare. For the trail runners, there's the Cape Winter Trail Series, with the option of XL, Long and Short course routes. The rock rabbits can enter the Black Diamond Rock Rally Climbing competition and the Ark Inflatable Croc Sprint Race is perfect for those of you looking for more of an adrenalin rush. This is a fast paced and exciting event designed to deliver some intense white-water action for teams of two, who will race against the clock down Judgment Day, the most intense rapid on the Palmiet. Just when you think you couldn’t possibly have any more fun, the Kayak Downriver Race and Timed Event begin. This aqua action will make for spectacular viewing from the banks. After a quick lunch break, the next set of events will get underway. The WCAD 30 km Adventure Race takes runners through and around the reserve. Alternatively, there's also the Naisch SUP and Cape Town Estuary Sprint, the Second Skins River Swim and, most importantly, the Kiddies Adventure Activities, where kids can try their hand at mountain biking, swimming, and trail running.


Come Sunday, you can take part in the Ark Croc Race and Sportsman’s Warehouse Mountain Bike Race before packing up and heading home.
Events for everyone


The beauty about all of these events is that they cater to the novice, who just wants to have fun, and the competitive types, who want to go out there and test their mettle. Even if you've never paddled or been in a two-man inflatable boat, you can still enter the Croc Race. There are safety marshalls at all the rapids and experienced guides to show you the way.


This weekend is about everyone being able to try their hand at a variety of outdoor adventure sports and have experienced people there to help you. There will be sweep guides along the route at all the events so you'll never feel like you are alone. You can also take comfort in the fact that there will always be someone behind you.




The idea behind the festival is that once you arrive, you don’t have to go anywhere else - unless you want to. The Palmiet Caravan Park boasts a stunning campsite where you can choose to be near the Hub and all the festivities or slightly further away and where you can get some peace and quiet near the beach. The campsite's ablutions are serviced and cleaned all day. There are medics and security on site 24 hours a day, as well as at each of the events, including the late night CAT Footwear Party. And when you want to chill out, you can head over to the Festival Hub, where there will be a tent to relax under, fires to warm yourselves, bean bags to relax on, a bar to drink at, and music to dance too. Oh, and of course, you will also find a range of quality food stalls that cater for the healthy eater and the not so healthy eater.


We look forward to GRAVING it up with you at the Gravity Adventure Festival, presented by MERRELL, in August! It's going to be one hell of a weekend!


Events at a glance


Friday, 16 August

• Rocky River Night Swim - 1 mile starts at 18h30
• Black Diamond Night Run - 4 km & 8 km start at 19h15
• Film Festival - from 20h30 to 22h00


Saturday, 17 August

• Cape Winter Trail Series - 23 km starts at 08h30 / 13 km starts at 09h00 / 5.6 km starts at 09h15
• Black Diamond Rock Rally - starts at 09h00
• ARK Croc Sprint - starts at 10h00
• Kids Adventure Zone Events - 2 km trail run starts at 11h00 / swimming event starts at 14h30 / Gecko Adv event starts at 15h30
• Naish SUP Estuary Sprint - 6-8 km long course starts at 11h30 / 1-2 km short course starts at 11h30
• Paddlezone Kayak Events - 4 km downriver race starts at 15h00 / kayak sprint from14h00-16h00
• WCAD Adventure Sprint - 30 km starts at 13h00
• Rocky River Swim - 1 mile starts at 13h30


Sunday, 18 August

• SWH MTB Challenge - 30.5 km starts at 09h00
• ARK Croc Downriver - 2.5 km heats between 09h00-14h00
• Kids Adventure Zone Events - 4 km mountain bike starts at 11h30



To enter, go to To check out the full event schedule and information, go to