Our Favorite Adventure Vacations in South Africa
“Sawubona!” -Zulu for Hello!!!
Welcome the adventure capital of Africa-or ACA for the more acronym craving traveller types out there. South Africa is 1.2 million square kilometers of gorgeous, incredible greatness condensed into a variety of mind-blowing adventure vacations that attracts travellers from all corners of this jagged, wet and windy spherical globe that we humans have decided to inhabit.
What makes the ‘Rainbow Nation’ the number 1 adventure travel destination not on in Africa but in the world? Well, here is a list of that we think are ‘mind-blowing, epic and incredible not to be missed adventures’:
- Abundance of wildlife
Live in the moment and experience the thrill of a walking safari in one of South Africa’s many Big 5 game reserves like the Pilanesberg or Kruger. Definitely not for the faint hearted as you will get up close and personal with wild animals like elephants, lions, zebra, giraffe and a host of many other creatures. As you can imagine, this adventure is way different to observing the animals from the safety of a game vehicle. Your senses are so in tune with nature.
Although the walking is pretty safe and hikers are accompanied by a trained game ranger who is armed. Armed? What do you mean armed? Armed with what you may be asking. Umm, bad breath, colorful language, feather duster? Nope he is armed with a .375 Holland rifle with an excess of 4000ft/lbs/square inch stopping power. So enough to stop an elephant if the need arises. Fortunately though we have never had to use it. We rely on our 4 senses to survive in the bush. We listen, smell and look for signs of animals. Sometimes we may even find spoor and spend some time tracking them.
Feeling the wind and making sure we are up down wind is also an important aspect to ensure an enjoyable experience. The core focus on these walking safaris is obviously safety and respect for both the environment and the animals.
- Magical Mountain ranges
Such as the Drakensberg, that have attained a World Heritage site status. Explore the barrier of spears on one of our many multi day hikes that cover most of the mountain range from North to South. In terms of difficulty levels there are a number of hikes to choose from ranging from the average like Cathedral Peak to the more challenging like Mafadi, the highest mountain in South Africa. Our hikes are designed to take you back to root level. We sleep in tents and make use of the many caves that can be found in the various areas.
Our drinking water is obtained from the pristine mountain streams and or waterfalls. There are no campsites-no facilities. Just pure, raw mother nature in all her glory.
Ignite your primal senses as you survive in the mountains and challenge your physical and mental capabilities on some of the scenic passes like Organ Pipes or Judges Pass. Some of which rise up for 1200m over only 2km.
The reward of making the escarpment and having virtually having the whole Drakensberg to yourself is always an experience that we never get tired of. And we have been hiking and guiding in the Drakensberg for over 10 years.
Rated as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. This diving town is situated in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park close to the Mozambique border with South Africa. The dive sites boast some of the world’s best unspoilt coral reefs and abundance of fish species. Depending on the season, regular sighting s of whalesharks and manta rays are the highlight of the day. Sodwana is probably one of the most consistent diving spots in South Africa in terms of the weather. There is rarely a dull day diving here.
Most dives are done in the early morning finishing off by lunch time. The afternoons are kept free to explore the pristine coastal dunes and forest or if you have any energy left, partake in other adventure activities like kiteboarding, horse riding, surfing, snorkeling, quad biking or kayaking. And if you are really daring, try out the new sport of free diving– the fastest growing adventure sport in the world. And once you have tried it you will understand why.
- Shark diving in Aliwal Shoal
The south coast of Kwazulu Natal is the official home to the most sharks per square meter in the world. Although reserved for advances scuba divers only, the chances of diving with Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Ragged Tooth sharks is always pretty high. And yes it may seem daunting at first but after a few dives you get to understand the behavior patterns of these apex predators and realize that they are not out to eat you. Besides, wetsuites and fins give them indigestion. The cylinders give them gas. What a lame attempt at a joke we know. Had to throw it in there though.
- Surfing in Durban
or Jeffrey’s Bay. South Africa is home to some of the gnarliest waves in the Southern hemisphere. Whether you are seasoned pro or just a novice looking at trying out this incredible sport, we have just the adventure for you.
As much as we would just love to throw you into the ocean and sip on a tasty cocktail and observe you from the comfort of our deck chair, we have an absolute passion for surfing and the aquatic environment. So our sun tanned surf instructors are going to right next to making sure your surfing experience is an incredible one. In fact it will not be them but you who will most likely be dragging them out of the water.
- Rock climbing
In South Africa, rock climbing is fast becoming one of the most popular adventure sports in the country. Although there are various indoor climbing centers, there is nothing better than the feeling of natural rock on your fingertips. And besides that, why not climb without a shirt on and catch up on your tan. Men-you can also climb without a shirt if you like. There are various crags throughout the country that offer some incredible routes with varying degrees of difficulty from plodding up big outcrops to hanging on with one pinky finger and 23% of your toenail on your left foot.
There we have it. Adventure travel in South Africa is booking and we are proud to be a part of it. Feel free to add your comments below or suggestions on adventures that we should be featuring!