7 thrilling outdoor adventures in South Africa

Posted by Anita Froneman on 15 October 2020

For some, lounging around watching movies is simply not enough. There is so much to explore and South Africa is an outdoor adventure heaven. Whether you’re just looking for something a little different or need a steady injection of adrenaline coursing through your veins, we’ve got it all.

If there is one thing lockdown has made us all more aware of, it’s the immense privilege and joy of being able to go outdoors and enjoy nature. Here are our favourite ways to do this.

1. Paragliding

Throughout history, humans have found several ways to get up in the air and explore the earth from a bird’s eye view. Paragliding is an incredible way to feel the wind through your air, get that rush and take in the dazzling views. You have to go tandem with a professional, but some places also offer courses you can take to get qualified.

Safety: Very safe

Cost: From R850 p/p

Try: Fly Time Paragliding in Wilderness

 

2. Abseiling

Dangling from a rope on the side of a cliff? Bring it on! South Africa is an absolute abseiling mecca, with various levels of difficulty and height. This is the flip side of rock climbing, and many rock climbers do in fact abseil down after reaching the top.

Safety: Moderately safe. Always go with an experienced crew or commercial tour operator.

Cost: From R500 p/p

Try: Adventure Zone Cullinan in Gauteng

 

3. River rafting

This is an oldie-but-goodie. A popular outdoor activity throughout the country, river rafting or white water rafting takes kayaking to the next level as rowers navigate boulders, currents and take on (sometimes rather wild) river rapids.

Safety: Very safe. Always wear protective gear and go with at least one other person.

Cost: Varies depending on place and time spent, generally start from R250 p/hour for single-day trips

Try: Gravity Adventures, countrywide

 

4. Freediving

 

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Water is content with its nature, it bends and flows, never resisting change, always letting go. Nothing can resist it, everything is shaped by it. Be like water: Grounded in living Honest in expression Soft in confrontation Patient in approach Flexible in action Deep in being We often forget that the planet we live on and the body we call home are both 70% water. Would it be wrong to assume that we are able to embody the very characteristics that are water? How flexible in body and mind are you? How capable of accepting change, patiently letting it form and shape you, resisting little, trusting a lot. How much like water are you? Quite strange what goes through one’s mind when bobbing on the ocean surface (or free falling ever deeper down the dive line). ___||___ The seasons are changing, the wind is shifting North to South. Days are becoming longer and soon winter will be summer. This year many of the ocean tribe are feeling a little resistant to what that means, including us. The loss of weeks and months of False Bay winter diving is tangible somehow, and as with any loss – moving on is hard. In the spirit of water, not resisting change and flowing with the times, here is an image of THE most exquisite Atlantic diving. Once this cold spell blows over and the sun warms our skin, we might just about be ready for summer! ___ Adventure Freediving – reconnect to nature within and around you, one breath at a time. ___ #coral #coralgarden #capetownfreediving #freediving #wildocean #specialplace #secretspot #oceanview #oceaneyes #wonderlust #underwaterworld #secretgarden #thegreatafricanseaforest #motherocean #kelpie #kelpforest #colourfield #ocean #underwaterphotography #windowwithaview #explore #oceanworld #blueworld #blueplanet #forest #waterworld #adventurefreediving #oceanadventure #mothernature #coldwaterdiving

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If you have seen documentaries like the recent My Octopus Teacher you might find yourself eager to visit the mysterious underwater world of the ocean. Freediving offers spectacular experiences and learning opportunities in kelp forests, coral reefs and countless other environments.

Safety: High-risk. Never freedive without professional training.

Cost: From R2,500 p/p for an entry-level course

Try: Cape Town Freediving 

 

5. Rock climbing

 

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Jed Johnson on the 2nd pitch of The Rave on Cogmans Buttress #Montagu @montaguclimbing @kai_naturally

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Rock climbing and bouldering is big in South Africa. Not only does this sport strengthen almost every muscle in your body, it develops technical thinking and problem-solving skills. You don’t need to go with a commercial tour group, once you have done a course, you can head to the mountains with your friends for a rocking time.

Safety: Medium-risk. Never go without professional training and never go alone.

Cost: From R2,500 for a training course for a group of three or more

Try: SA Climbing Academy

 

6. Gorge swing

Similar to bungee jumping, but a gorge swing fastens a harness around your waist instead of your feet. Then, you jump. Plain and simple. Some of South Africa’s swings have incredibly long freefalls, like the Oribi Gorge Wild Swing which lets you plummet a wild 165m (55 storeys) down the gorge.

Safety: Very safe

Cost: From R695 p/p

Try: Wild 5 Adventures 

 

7. Aerobatic plane ride

 

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If you’re comfortable flyer, why not kick it up a notch? Duck and dive in a sports plane, high above the earth. Aerobatic plane rides are an exciting way to get the best views and the adrenaline rush all in one.

Safety: Very safe

Cost: From R1,140

Try: Sky Adventures 

 

If you’re hungry for more, check out these 7 activities for SA adrenaline junkies.

 

Picture: Unsplash






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