45 Minutes outside of Cape Town you will find the spectacular Atlantis Dunes. With views like this, you can see why it become the hotspot for filmmakers, photographers and adventure enthusiasts.
Table Mountain view of the Atlantis dunes by Emmet Sparling
You don’t need to be a local to find out everything you need to know about the Atlantis Dunes.
Until recently Atlantis Dunes was one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Atlantis Dunes, as well as some interesting information and local tips and tricks.
Local Tips and Tricks for the Atlantis Dunes
The dunes can get very windy in the South Easter. Check www.windguru.com for the forecast.
Security will check your vehicle for Wood, Alcohol and Camera gear.
Dunes are best after wind or rain during the week. There will be fewer tyre marks in the sand.
After Rain, the dunes can fill with water which makes for beautiful scenery.
Atlantis is a great place to spend the day or picnic in low wind conditions
Dunes look best in Golden Hour with scattered clouds.
On a clear day, you can see table mountain.
About the Atlantis Sand Dunes
The Sand dunes are located in Cape Town, South Africa. Atlantis covers 500 hectares (32km squared) of the City of Cape Town Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve.
The White sand dunes can reach up to 50 meters (160 feet) high.
The Sand dunes are used for a variety of activities that we will mention below.
To access the dunes you can walk in without a 4x4, however, you will be limited to how far you can walk which can be strenuous on the soft sand.
To access the dunes, you will need to book a tour, or self-drive 4x4 yourself, which we will discuss in the self-drive section.
Atlantis is home to rare mammals and flora.
Entry fees 2022 and permits.
To enter the Atlantis Dunes you will require a permit. Permits can be obtained from the permit office at the gate with the exception of a filming permit.
There are different permits for different activities.
4x4 / Off Road
Per vehicle (4 Adults)
Atlantis Dunes gate times.
Summer: September to February 07:00 - 19:00
Winter: March to August 08:00-18:00
Atlantis Permit office hours.
Monday - Saturday 08:00-15:30
Sunday and Public Holidays 08:00 - 15:30
7 Best Atlantis Dunes Activities.
1) Quad Biking
If you want to have a little fun and see the Atlantis dunes, we highly recommend a quad bike-guided tour experience.
Note: You are able to explore the dunes on your own quad bike if you are lucky enough to own one!
See Sandboarding Cape Town for more details.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: Meet at Atlantis Dune parking lot.
Cost: R1900 (Booking essential)
Open: 7 days a week (except Christmas)
Minimum age: 6 Years old
Children under 13 to ride with an adult.
Image via Sandboarding Cape Town.
2) Atlantis Photography and Photoshoots.
The white sand dunes are incredible to photograph. The sheer height and scale of the dunes give you a wide variety of shots and can be utilised by a broad spectrum of photography styles.
Whether you are looking for an engagement shoot, lifestyle, fashion, extreme sport or even landscape shoot. Atlantis has some great features.
You really get a sense that you are marooned in a vast white desert. The shadows from the 50-meter-high sand dunes combined with the textures of the sand make for truly unique compositions.
Cape Towns' wind ensures that the dunes are forever changing.
As with any photography we recommend shooting in the dunes in Golden Hour. However, it is important to note that Atlantis can get extremely windy on summer afternoons. Making early morning shoots the best.
Atlantis is generally busy over weekends, which means there are a lot of tyre tracks in the sand. For photography, it is always best to go mid-week, after rain or strong winds as this transforms the dunes into their untouched natural state.
For Brand Photoshoots or Films Contact
For Atlantis Photography tours and photo shoots Contact
3) Jeep Tours Cape Town
Jeep tours Cape Town offers day trips to the Atlantis Dunes which has made the Dunes and the activities in the Dunes possible for tourists.
We highly recommend Jeep Tours Cape Town. You’ll jump in a Jeep Wrangler with an experienced Driver that will leave you on your seat's edge. It’s a lot of fun. After you have been for the 4x4 spin around the dunes, you’ll be taken back to base camp in the heart of the dunes that have been set up with Shade and refreshments. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the dunes, get a couple of photos and give sandboarding a try if you are feeling adventurous.
Cost: R2395 pp (minimum 2 people)
4) Self Drive 4x4
If you have a 4x4 you are able to self-drive yourself in the dunes. This is great when you want to explore the dunes by yourself, spend the day or even picnic in the dunes.
We do recommend experienced off-road drivers. It is very easy to get stuck or roll your car if you don't know what you are doing.
We recommend driving in convoy if you enter the dunes, it's always good to have a backup.
Note: it is very easy to get lost in the dunes. Don't forget to let your tyres down.
5) Sand Boarding
If you want to give sand boarding a try, the 50-meter dunes are a great place to do it. The great thing about Atlantis is that there are varying dune heights which make it great for beginners or experts.
If you do a Jeep tour, Sand Boarding can be included, otherwise, Sandboarding Cape Town is good.
6) Filming in the Atlantis Dunes
Atlantis is a great place to film especially for lifestyle and extreme sport, you will however need a filming permit for commercial use.
The dunes make you feel like you have been transported into a different universe.
More information can be found at the City of Cape Town head office.
7) FMX Motocross in the dunes
For experienced riders, the dunes are the ultimate motocross playground. Note that this is for experienced riders and additional permit fees apply
Photo by Craig Howes
Atlantis Dunes Animals
Animals can be hard to spot in the Atlantis dunes. However, if you are lucky you can see the following animals.
Bat Eared Fox
Small Spotted Genet
Lessor Dwarf Shrew
Four Striped Grass Mouse
Cape Mole Rat
For more information, feel free to contact
If you are looking for more Cape Town Activities have a look here!
Please leave any additional comments/tips/ tours in the comments!
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