For people who like to spice up their vacations with a bit of adventure, South Africa is the ideal destination. Here, you will find a wide range of exciting outdoor pursuits to choose from, no matter what the time of year. Whether you want to go canoeing on the Orange River, hunting exotic plants in the forests of KwaZulu-Natal, bungee jumping on the Garden Route, or mountaineering in the Drakensberg, South Africa will have something for you.
Hiking South Africa
There are about 250 hiking clubs around South Africa. Any one of them can arrange hiking tours for a day, a weekend, or longer. There are trails for beginners, and more challenging trails for veteran hikers who really like to rough it. Hiking organizations provide maps and equipment. Many of the tours provide overnight accommodation in rustic huts that have firewood, mattresses, and cold water plumbing. There are privately operated trails, as well as trails in national parks. Kruger National Park has seven. Some of the most popular trails, such as the Otter Trail, the Tsitsikamma Trail, and the Bushman Trail, are booked up to a year in advance, so be sure to make your arrangements well in advance. If you’re a dedicated hiker, you will also enjoy a uniquely South African activity called kloofing. This involves following the course of a river by wading and hopping from boulder to boulder. You have to be in good shape for this one.
Horse Riding and Pony Trekking
Maybe you would prefer to see the countryside of South Africa from a saddle. The South African National Equestrian Foundation controls sport riding in the country, and offers some great guided tours. You can ride along the beaches or cross unfenced countryside. There is a wine-tasting tour, and another that takes you to see dinosaur tracks. One very popular horseback tour takes you to see Bushman rock art. You will spend a night in a Basotho hut, and be entertained by local people doing traditional dances.
Thrills On and Under The Water
South Africa has 2,500 km (1553 miles) of gorgeous coastline. The country also has many rivers with dams that create artificial lakes. There is no shortage of opportunities for water sports here. This is one of the best places in the world for surfing, and one of the best spots in the country is Jeffrey’s Bay. This is where you are bound to find your perfect wave. Windsurfing and sailing are also very popular here. For something really different, try sand boarding in the massive sand dunes. If you like fast water, you can go river rafting. Coastal Kayak Trails will take you around the Cape Peninsula and along the Garden Route. Scuba diving enthusiasts will find a water wonderland of coral reefs, shipwrecks, and kelp forests. The seas are full of tropical fish and sea turtles. For those who have nerves of steel, there is shark cage diving. You can actually have a close encounter with a great white shark. Whatever kind of adventure you have a taste for South Africa will not disappoint you.